Swearing in context
Kid A still thinks stupid is a swear word so when I gave her the OK to sing the lyrics "fuckin’ high", a key part of her favourite song, she thought I was joking. With me playing guitar and trying to sing myself, I had to keep nodding at her every time we approached that part of the song to encourage her to sing the F word. At first she sang it with a wry smile each time as if she was being naughty, now she just understands that she's using the word in context, though she won't sing it when singing the song to herself. I doubt very much she uses the word at school (though I could be wrong) and she has never attempted to use the word outside of singing the song.
Playing with fire
Like the Ted video, we let both Kids A and B play with the campfire. We go camping regularly so they're always going to have opportunities to be around an open fire. There's nothing wrong with letting them throw the odd twig on, sacrifice a cereal box or two, or cook their own marshmallows. Kid A helped Q start the fire and watched intently as I, on all fours, blew at the flames to get the fire going. I'm sure she'll be the starting the fire herself in the next year or so.
Maybe the more appropriate term is cleansing. Kid A has been bugging me for some time to take her fishing. So on our annual Murray River camping trip I bought Kid A a fishing rod and a bucket of works. I encouraged her to bait the hook but she wasn't real happy about having worm blood on her fingers - maybe next year. We caught a lot of carp and a small trout (I think). Kid A enjoyed the experience but had more fun digging for worms and kicking around a dead carp. Next year I’m sure she’ll ‘take care of the carp’ herself...maybe it’s time to buy Kid A her first pocket knife.
How have you 'let the kid off the leash' for the purpose of providing learning opportunities?