Some danger is necessary…

Thursday 14th January

Soldering can be scary! Alright we said it!

It’s scary as an adult and it’s scary to let your kids free with a wand of burning solder… but it doesn’t need to be.

Letting kids have the freedom to play, freedom to fail and the freedom to get messy are all things that are incredibly important to their development. We believe that as long as you can give them the tools, the instructions and the understanding then you can help avoid any accidents.

We’ve put together some tips on how to solder safely and some handy guides for you to work through.

You can find everything you need here.

But first of all safety first;
– tie back any long hair
– get your safety goggles on
– get a small bowl of water to hand in case of any accidents

But why is it good to let your children at a soldering iron? Beyond the making skills that they will learn, they will also learn more skills about their development. Learning to assess risk and danger, failing is fine and also a pride in being responsible.

It is natural to want to prevent your child from getting hurt, feeling discouraged, or making mistakes. Kids need to know that it’s okay to fail, and that it’s normal to feel sad, anxious, or angry, says Robert Brooks, PhD, co-author of Raising Resilient Children. They learn to succeed by overcoming obstacles, not by having you remove them.

“It’s particularly important for young children to have the chance to play and take risks without feeling that their parents will criticize or correct them for doing something wrong,” says Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, PhD, professor of psychology at Temple University, in Philadelphia.

We recently came across this article by Hanna Rosin for The Atlantic on The Overprotected Kid. It’s a fascinating look at childhood and play and definitely worth a read. She says “Growing up is a process of managing fears and learning to arrive at sound decisions”.

Josh Stearns for Buzzfeed adds “how do we, as parents, square this with the fierce instinct to do anything we can to protect our kids from harm? I watch my kids careening down a hill on their bikes, or wandering away to go exploring at the park, and I feel it in my gut. How do we decide when to shout out and when to shut up?”

If you’re looking for more information in this area – there is a brilliant TED Talk from our friend Gever Tulley, founder of the Tinkering School. Here he recommends 5 Dangerous Things for Kids.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this? Tweet us @techwillsaveus, in what ways do you give your kids more freedom, even when you’re unsure?