Apr 4, 2016

Scissor Safety...

All that glisters is not good for actually cutting things.

Today I'd like to rant a little bit about the dangers of childhood. On the left is one type of children's scissors. While they have a rounded tip, they have real metal blades. On the left of course is a pair of plastic scissors. They're really interesting because while they will cut paper, the blades are plastic so as to merit the description "child safe" and slow the safety-conscious heartbeats of preschool parents everywhere.

Also, they are pretty much useless.

They came with a cute little pad of colorful picture pages for cutting practice. Tiny E LOVED them because they are sparkly, and definitely wanted to use them over the boring old scissors she's been using for ages. I helped her with hand positioning and whatnot, but she couldn't get them to work right. They kind of flailed about in her sweet little almost-4-year-old hands, and the blades were wiggly enough that instead of being cut, the paper either folded itself between them or cut, but in a ripping sort of way. She was all, "Cutting is too hard."

Nope. Terrible scissors are too hard, kiddo.

I handed her the metal ones and said "Here, try these instead." But she wouldn't. She REALLY wanted the sparkly ones to work out. So I let her flail them about for a while, until she actually said, in her sweet little almost-4-year-old voice, "Maybe you wight, Mom," and agreed to give the old scissors a try (A response which, incidentally, I stored up in my heart for future access and remembrance when the conversation goes decidedly differently. Not that I can use it in any way, but it will be lovely to remember days gone by).

Did she then cut all the pictures out perfectly? Of course not; she's not some sort of creepy paper-cutting genius or anything. But she had a steadier grip with several fingers in the big loop, and when she cut her little paper scraps to bits, they were nice, smooth edges.

On the parenting spectrum, we fall somewhere in the vicinity of the free-range arena. Of course I don't want my kids chopping entire fingers off as a habit or anything, but I'm OK with their needing band-aids or maybe even the occasional stitches (only once so far, knock on wood). I mean, I'm a grown-up, and I still get injured by stupid plain old paper from time to time. Boo-boos happen.

But the thing about this situation is that I see it as a case of respecting tools as not-toys, learning how to work the tools in an age-appropriate way, and using the right tools to do a job. Cut paper, not skin, etc. Use decent scissors, and cutting is just exactly as difficult as it needs to be for a sweet little almost-4-year-old. Some parents might see the more realistic scissors and think they're more dangerous, but to me that's analogous to grown-ups who see sharp kitchen knives as more dangerous than dull ones. Maybe it depends on your definition of "dangerous," but I think the better tools are safer because they work as intended.

In conclusion, since we have about 5 pairs of the Fiskars kid scissors, I decided it was best for all if I found a new home for the sparkly plastic ones. For our family, everyone is better off this way.

Don't fear the metal, kids. It's just a little steel...

Look at the nice clean edge straight through that house.

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

My crafting heart sings at the sight of good scissors : )