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Barack Levin

Author: Barack Levin

Is this really smart?

Posted by Barack Levin on February 20th, 2011

I was talking to a friend of mince, and naturally the conversation focused on our kids. His son is almost 5 and he proudly told me how his son is very independent, which of course sounds like music to my ears. He continued on by saying that his son is very into cars and that he taught him how to put the key in the ignition and start the car.

Now, I am all for independent educated kids, but there are still some things that a parent need to take into account and one of them is to match his kid’s ability to rationalize things to their age. My kids are very familiar with the car. They open the doors by themselves, the windows when it is too hot and even the radio when they sit next to me when we park the car, but there is a huge difference between these and starting the car.

In my opinion, teaching a kid to start a car is like teaching him to start a fire. There is a very thin line between independent kid and over confident one and that line is crossed when a kid is taught something that is beyond his comprehension and that can harm him.

After all, once a kid is taught how to start a car, he can easily sneak out start it, because it is now a play thing and accidentally do something that will either launch the car or create some kind of danger to himself.

My kids saw me starting our cars hundreds of times and even asked me to do so. My answer was the same: “There are some things I let you do, and some I do not. This is one of those things that only when you grow up, I will let you do. For now it is simply too dangerous for you to try”.

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