Friday, January 4, 2019

Now, go outside and play...............

     Taleb opens the book with a poetic image that should speak to all parents.  He notes that wind extinguishes a candle but energizes a fire.  He advises us not to be like candles and not to turn our children into candles:  "You want to be the fire and wish for the wind."
     The foolishness of overprotection is apparent as soon as you understand the concept of antifragility.  Given that risks and stressors are natural, unavoidable parts of life, parents and teachers should be helping kids develop their innate abilities to grow and learn from such experiences.  There's an old saying:  "Prepare the child for the road, not the road for the child."  But these days, we seem to be doing precisely the opposite:  we're trying to clear away anything that might upset children, not realizing that in doing so we're repeating the peanut-allergy mistake.  If we protect children from various classes of potentially upsetting experiences, we make it far more likely that those children will be unable to cope with such events when they leave our protective umbrella.

-Lukianoff and Haidt,  The Coddling Of The American Mind:  How Good Intentions And Bad Ideas Are Setting Up A Generation For Failure

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