Dangerous Book for Boys redux, now with more free books!

by DaniGirl on May 18, 2007 · 6 comments

in Books, Mothering without a licence

Did you think I forgot about the draw for the Dangerous Book for Boys, the one to compensate for the fact that Canadians couldn’t enter the Harper Collins contest? Of course I didn’t!

There were 22 comments on the thread as of Wednesday morning, one of which was me and one of which was a duplicate. I assigned everyone a number for the order in which their comment appeared and got totally sucked in playing with the Random Number Generator. Why I find random numbers so compulsively interesting is beyond me, but then, I also get lost playing in the thesaurus.

Anyway, twenty minutes later I remembered that I was there for a reason I was playing with the random numbers and got down to business. Since I couldn’t get hold of anyone from PriceWaterhouse to validate the contest results, you’ll have to rely on this screen capture and my word that the results are valid.

Congratulations to the 10th commenter and winner of the free book, Batman!

But wait! There’s more! I’m pleased to tell you that there is yet another chance to win your own free (and autographed!) copy of the Dangerous Book for Boys, courtesy of the MotherTalk Blog Bonanza. For today only, you can write a post and join the MotherTalk Blog Bonanza in support of the Dangerous Book for Boys, and everyone who submits their link to MotherTalk before midnight tonight (May 18) will be eligible for entry in the draw for the free book. Plus, you get to play along with a fun bunch of literate bloggers AND get some traffic to your blog AND maybe find some excellent new blogs to read. There’s nothing to lose! Full details are on the MotherTalk blog.

I was all ready to write a post today about raising ‘dangerous’ boys and how raising boys has changed my perspective on gender roles. After yesterday, though, I’m still feeling a little raw, and second-guessing whether my “boys will be boys” attitude is maybe a little too laissez-faire.

So instead, in this post that lacks any sort of structure whatsoever, I’ll turn over the microphone to you. Tell me what ‘dangerous’ means to you. Is it important for boys to be dangerous? Is it something you encourage, or something you repress? Does being a ‘dangerous’ boy somehow affect the sort of man he will become? Do girls need to be dangerous, too? Should we tolerate dangerous behaviour more from boys than from girls?

Speak, bloggy peeps! (And, if you decide to post about this as part of the MotherTalk Blog Bonanza, make sure you tell Miriam at MotherTalk so she can link back to you.)


{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 trixie May 18, 2007 at 6:21 pm

Funny, I was just thinking about this. I expected that Sam would be all about climbing the apple tree in the back yard by now. It has appealing footholds and a low split in the trunk, making it a natural climber. I’d have been all over that at his age. But when I so much as suggested that we build a small treehouse up there–complete with a ladder, mind you–Sam slowly shook his head at me and replied: “oh, Mommy: you *know* that’s dangerous…” How can I argue for the benefits of danger? I’m the mom who can’t watch him head for the basement stairs without reminding him to use the railing, who explains over and over the need for a bicycle helmet. Maybe I’ve taken the ‘dangerous’ out of Sam before he could cartwheel out of his first apple tree. I suppose if we want fearless children, we have to stop the constant reminders about all of the ouchy things that can happen to them. I climbed Redwoods in BC, for Pete’s sake (needed to hoist off the neighbour’s garage roof to get started). Man. WHERE was my mother? Doesn’t she know how dangerous that was?! ๐Ÿ˜‰

2 trixie May 18, 2007 at 6:21 pm

Funny, I was just thinking about this. I expected that Sam would be all about climbing the apple tree in the back yard by now. It has appealing footholds and a low split in the trunk, making it a natural climber. I’d have been all over that at his age. But when I so much as suggested that we build a small treehouse up there–complete with a ladder, mind you–Sam slowly shook his head at me and replied: “oh, Mommy: you *know* that’s dangerous…” How can I argue for the benefits of danger? I’m the mom who can’t watch him head for the basement stairs without reminding him to use the railing, who explains over and over the need for a bicycle helmet. Maybe I’ve taken the ‘dangerous’ out of Sam before he could cartwheel out of his first apple tree. I suppose if we want fearless children, we have to stop the constant reminders about all of the ouchy things that can happen to them. I climbed Redwoods in BC, for Pete’s sake (needed to hoist off the neighbour’s garage roof to get started). Man. WHERE was my mother? Doesn’t she know how dangerous that was?! ๐Ÿ˜‰

3 Jennifer (ponderosa) May 18, 2007 at 8:49 pm

Aack! Haloscan ate my comment.
To sum up: I could write a book on this topic!
My son is the poster boy for wild and woolly, and he’s only 5. I have a very clear idea of what’s meant by dangerous: anything that includes a high risk of death or serious injury. Because he has tried those things…
My daughter is pretty adventurous, physically, but nothing like my son. She only tried one thing that I absolutely forbade because it seemed too risky. (She climbed a 15 foot high ladder that was flush against a wall. She climbed to the top, folks. She’s 2.)
I encourage them both, up to the point where paralysis seems likely… Jump your bike, climb trees, it’s all good!
I think that girls can be as adventurous as boys, BUT. I think that boys at the extreme are more adventurous than girls at the extreme.
I could go on but maybe I’ll just write a post!

4 Jennifer (ponderosa) May 18, 2007 at 8:49 pm

Aack! Haloscan ate my comment.
To sum up: I could write a book on this topic!
My son is the poster boy for wild and woolly, and he’s only 5. I have a very clear idea of what’s meant by dangerous: anything that includes a high risk of death or serious injury. Because he has tried those things…
My daughter is pretty adventurous, physically, but nothing like my son. She only tried one thing that I absolutely forbade because it seemed too risky. (She climbed a 15 foot high ladder that was flush against a wall. She climbed to the top, folks. She’s 2.)
I encourage them both, up to the point where paralysis seems likely… Jump your bike, climb trees, it’s all good!
I think that girls can be as adventurous as boys, BUT. I think that boys at the extreme are more adventurous than girls at the extreme.
I could go on but maybe I’ll just write a post!

5 Batman May 19, 2007 at 5:23 am

Woohoo! Thanks for the book Danigirl. You’re the bestest! I really mean that. The nephews will love it.
As for dangerousness, I think every boy should get some experience in this regard. Every boy should be climbing trees, jumping things on their bike or skateboard, running haphazardly through fields, etc. Of course there is a limit and there are also age brackets for each activity. I don’t think kids under 5 should be up trees and ladders on their own if it can at all be helped. Around that magical age of 9 and 10 though, why not?
I also think girls need to have some fun at this age too. Maybe not to the same extent…it would depend on the individual though.
I can recall stories that my friends told me about when they were little and I shudder from time to time. He and his brother got involved in such “fun” activities as shooting lego at each other with sling shots; and throwing a compass at each other (the pointy metal kind from a geometry set). While this certainly qualifies as dangerous, and probably creeps farther into the stupidity category, I do not condone this level of behaviour for boys, girls, men or women at any age level.
So I guess what I’m trying to say is that we each have to decide for ourselves where to draw the line between dangerous and stupid. A common sense approach should suffice in most cases. I don’t reign in the kids’ behaviour unless it gets close to the possible death and/or injury level. I think they need to learn some limitations on their own (that includes finding out the consequences of pushing the safety envelope).
Is that vague enough?

6 Batman May 19, 2007 at 5:23 am

Woohoo! Thanks for the book Danigirl. You’re the bestest! I really mean that. The nephews will love it.
As for dangerousness, I think every boy should get some experience in this regard. Every boy should be climbing trees, jumping things on their bike or skateboard, running haphazardly through fields, etc. Of course there is a limit and there are also age brackets for each activity. I don’t think kids under 5 should be up trees and ladders on their own if it can at all be helped. Around that magical age of 9 and 10 though, why not?
I also think girls need to have some fun at this age too. Maybe not to the same extent…it would depend on the individual though.
I can recall stories that my friends told me about when they were little and I shudder from time to time. He and his brother got involved in such “fun” activities as shooting lego at each other with sling shots; and throwing a compass at each other (the pointy metal kind from a geometry set). While this certainly qualifies as dangerous, and probably creeps farther into the stupidity category, I do not condone this level of behaviour for boys, girls, men or women at any age level.
So I guess what I’m trying to say is that we each have to decide for ourselves where to draw the line between dangerous and stupid. A common sense approach should suffice in most cases. I don’t reign in the kids’ behaviour unless it gets close to the possible death and/or injury level. I think they need to learn some limitations on their own (that includes finding out the consequences of pushing the safety envelope).
Is that vague enough?

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