Have we become too overprotective?

Have we become too overprotective of ourselves and our children?  For example, how old were you when you were first allowed to light a fire? My guess is you were a lot younger than what we would consider appropriate today. Perhaps being an information savvy generation may have also made us a risk weary generation.

I had the good fortune of having parents who believed in the value of getting dirty, getting bruised and cut and trying things that we probably wouldn’t allow our children to do today (like sitting on my grand-father’s lap while driving the car).

Today, we know more about sanitization, about common accidents, about abductions and attacks. We are quite risk aware–n’est-ce pas? But is this information empowering us or limiting us. Gever Tulley’s TED talk is entitled 5 Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Kids Do. He has some pretty thought provoking ideas about what should be taught to children at quite early ages.

I think his talk makes for a good launch pad for a discussion on risk tolerance, over protectiveness and parenting. It also creates a natural context for comparing past and present (so a little added grammar focus).

Pre discussion

Discuss these terms…are they good or bad?

  • Risk
  • Over protective
  • Safety
  • Germs
  • Danger
  • Accidents
  • Bruises and scrapes
  • Creative

The video: TED Gever Tulley 5 Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Children Do

  • Do a Mind Map of the 5 things, put as many details as you can
  • Could you add to Tulley’s list?
  • Do you think you were overprotected, underprotected, or had the right combination of risk and safety?
  • Do you have memories from your childhood were you were allowed to take a surprising risk?
  • How did you feel? What did you learn?
  • Are there items in Tulley’s list that you would not do? Why?

I would love to be a fly on the wall during your discussion. Don’t hesitate to write to me…

What is in the news today?

The news can be a challenging thing to talk about. For intermediate to advanced students, it can be motivating to talk about real world topics. CNN offers a 10 min news recap every day. You can put the close captions on so the vocabulary can be heard and read and you can scaffold the activity by discussion what they know about the news. It is also a good natural context to speak in the past tense.

Pre discussion

  • What kind of news stories do you follow?
  • What are some of the top news stories these days?
  • What newspapers, blogs, news channels do you use to get your news?

The Video: CNN in 10

  • Make a list of the news stories
  • Do a Tell Back of what is said in each story
  • Is there a story that you would like to discuss?
  • Why is this story significant for you?
  • Were there some interesting words or vocabulary?

Have a good discussion.