Today, as I do every morning, I came up with three things to be grateful for. Today, I am grateful for:
• LIP BALM
• BRUSSELS SPROUTS
• REMEMBERING HOW MUCH FUN IT WAS TO CLIMB A FENCE
Yesterday, a very nice couple came into the shop and we got to talking about raising boys with lots of energy. They showed me a pic of a rock climbing wall they built, in their apartment, for their son to climb. I told Lochlan about it - he asked me to build one for him in the shop - I said - “just go to the park and climb a fence”. He looked at me like I was nuts.
I wondered: Do kids climb actual fences anymore?
I Googled "why don’t kids climb fences anymore” and was hit with a plethora of negative search results:
To a fault, I’ve never been an over-protective parent, so this struck me as very strange - but I realized, I’ve never put my boys in a situation where there’d be an opportunity to climb a fence? They build fences and walls on Minecraft - but never wrestled with the stress & tension of physically lifting their bodies through space and carefully navigating their crotches around a thick twisted bar of galvanized steel wire.
Do you remember that feeling when you got to the very top of the fence and had to shift your weight to the other side and start going down -or- that split decision on whether to just jump down or slowly & carefully continue your climb in the other direction.
Critical Thinking occurs when a child is faced with a bit of risk & fear. I used to challenge my kids when they were younger with obstacle courses and brain games - but as they got older, I have left them to create their own challenges- which I realize is a bad idea.
I am going to take them to a park, throw their favorite ball over a fence and let them go get it. AND - I am going to create metaphorical fences to challenge them- not with physical danger, but getting them to a point where they are navigating their gut in uncomfortable ways. If I come up with any good ones, I’ll share them here on this blog.
Our approach, here at Little Pulp, is to create workshops that get kids (and adults) uncomfortable with a degree of tension, to challenge them to work through their ideas and create within that framework. Some kids and many parents don’t always get that about us, which is fine. Nothing anyone does, especially when you’re creating tension on purpose, is for everyone.
If you’d like to create some good-natured, spirited and creative tension for your kids, join us at the studio for a workshop.
Today, my wife, two boys and I just went on our very first road trip in a long time - and I am writing this sitting in a hotel room in center of Syracuse. Tomorrow morning, we are driving about 30 miles north to pick up Bowie, our new Australian Labradoodle puppy. She is supposed to be hypo-allergenic, we’ll see what happens - but we’re keeping her no matter what.
It’s more important than ever for our kids to be creating and drawing and using their hands to make stuff. This blog is my attempt to come up with ideas for them to do just that. Thanks for stopping by.
Thanks for scrolling all the way. If you’re in NYC area, come in for a workshop. If outside NYC, drop us a note and we’ll get back with ways to connect with your kids. Stay creative and have a great day!