So here’s the story, as reported in The Daily Mail: A 9-year-old boy from Germany visits his five cousins in England. They go to a park, the boy climbs a tree, a neighbor complains that the kids are being rowdy, the tree-climber gets a ticket.
It’s crazy to ticket a boy for climing a tree. But I have to say, while I would normally make this an “Outrage of the Week!” the boy’s dad blew it for me by saying that now his son will be too scared to come back to England.
The whole problem with the world today (since you asked) is seen here twice. What is it? OVER-REACTING! The police over-reacted to a boy in a tree by giving him a ticket, for gosh sakes. But the dad is over-reacting, too, as if this one weird incident is going to traumatize his son for life. Let’s give a little credit to human resiliency, shall we? This will be a strange memory and possibly, in time, a treasured family story. It’s not a plane crash.
RESILIENCY = STRENGHTH (JUST ASK A TREE BRANCH)!
Remembering that kids are resilient is KEY to raising a Free-Range Kid. If every sad, scary, or just plain screwed up event is seen as permanently scarring — or cause for a law suit — there’s no way we could let children do anything on their own. We’d have to HELICOPTER around, making sure everything is perfectly fine, all the time.
The world is not perfectly fine. We are babies, and we treat our kids like babies, when we insist it has to be. For the dad and the policeman I have one suggestion:
Go climb a tree! — Lenore