My younger brother was curios about fire. While exploring fire by himself,
the car caught fire while he was locked inside!
Do not kill curiosity but stay safe!
Kids’ curiosity about fire
It is never easy for a parent to allow his kids to indulge their dangerous curiosities before his eyes. Every parent feels that his responsibility is to overhaul his kids’ behavior and to protect them from any harm. My Dad had the same goals but he applied them in an unusual way. When he found us so curious about exploring something lethal, like fire, he urged us to do it in front of him and under his supervision. His goal was to be ready to protect us and save our lives without killing our drive to explore, nor killing ourselves.
My Dad learnt this method the hard way. My younger brother (Khaled) was in kindergarten while my elder brother and I were in elementary school. KG got out at 1 p.m., elementary got out at 3 p.m. My dad used to go to pick Khaled up at 1 p.m. and stay with him in the car until 3 p.m., pick us up then go home. One day, he left Khaled in the car while he picked us up. It only took 5 minutes. Khaled was very curious about fire and wanted badly to play with matches. So, he lit a match and kept watching it until the fire reached his finger, and involuntarily he threw it. The front seat cover caught fire. My dad had locked the car and closed the doors so that no one could kidnap Khaled or steal the car. During those 5 minutes, he heard a loud noise, people screaming, and saw a big crowd around the car. He held us and ran fast to fight the crowd and to reach the car. He was calm, thinking that it was a car beside ours. He never thought that it was “our” car that was causing the hurdle.
He was shocked by the scene: people holding anything trying to break the car’s wind shields while avoiding hurting the little kid inside with the shattered glass; fire on the front seat, Khaled crying at the back seat; flames leaping out of the car. He ran, opened the passenger door with the key, and got Khaled out.
Khaled was more scared of the punishment than the fire. But dad was too scared himself to even think about punishment. He hugged us all and told us, “Please do those irresistible dangerous things in front of me, not alone nor with anybody else, so I can interfere at the right time before it is too late.”
For my younger brother, e never stopped exploration and Dad never stopped encouraging him as long as he was doing it in front of him. My brother’s graduation project was a robot to find mines. The same message applies: do not kill curiosity, but make your children try it in front of you. This is for your own safety in order that you can interfere at the right time to save the day.
Image source: http://bit.ly/1j7E6J6 (This happened in our old VW Beetle, that is why I selected that picture)