You have a toddler at home. The street in front of your house could be dangerous. They could get hit by a car or picked up by a stranger. Youâ€™ve seen news stories about it on TVâ€¦ in the paper â€¦ kids injured and kidnapped and killed in the street. Maybe it would be safer to not tell them about the street. Put a wall up outside so they canâ€™t see it from the house â€“ if they donâ€™t know about it they wonâ€™t go near it you reason. At first itâ€™s easy. Theyâ€™re young and you keep them distracted from the street with toys and games and stories.
As they get older they see and hear about â€œthe street â€œ on TV shows and from playmates. You continue to not talk about it or teach them about it â€“ just avoid itâ€¦theyâ€™ll be safer. They begin to notice the street when you go places in your car, they even see other kids riding their bikes and sometimes playing games in the street. You explain that our family doesnâ€™t do that or talk about thatâ€¦ we just donâ€™t do the streetâ€¦ and you turn up the radio or put a DVD in the car player and distract them. Theyâ€™re safer if we just avoid it and stay away from it. Youâ€™ve even talked to other parents that feel the same and heard talking heads on TV – some that are supposed to be â€œexpertsâ€ that seem to agree with your tactic â€¦ stay awayâ€¦ stay away. The talking heads even have stories about what has happened to some that have ventured into the street. You are reassured in your decision.
You were right all along. The street could be a dangerous place. But Tommyâ€™s mom didnâ€™t know that your child had never been in or around the street before when he came over to play â€¦ was unaware of the dangers. The kids just went out to ride their bikes in the driveway. She said your child didnâ€™t seem to know where the driveway ended and the street began. She had told them to stay on the driveway â€¦ only ride where itâ€™s safe â€¦ but he didnâ€™t seem to know what the danger even was. Like a flash he was in the street and the car just came along â€¦ he didnâ€™t even seem to know to get out of the way, or what to do â€¦ or what might happen â€¦ or how to make a good decision about the street. You were rightâ€¦ it was dangerousâ€¦ we should have done a better job of keeping him away.
Does this have implications for Flickr, Myspace, Classroom blogging? …. Are we safer in the dark?
Learning is messy!