Tommy has some special videos to show me–a young man destroying iPhones on YouTube (no link here!).
I marvel. This well-spoken young man immerses one iPhone in a specially made lava lamp, and tackles others with a blow torch, a hammer . . . .
“They’re experiments,” I say, trying to be encouraging, and telling myself that at least the videographer uses clean language. But I must admit to being baffled as to the point of it all.
Tommy watches in admiration as this “scientist” immerses, burns and hammers, but he takes good care of his own collection of ancient (to an eight-year-old) and modern cell phones.
When he was little, Tommy cheerfully (and with permission) destroyed his mother’s and my Fiddlestix™ creations, and checked to make sure he wasn’t allowed to wreck the grasshopper.
From whence comes this urge to destroy? A normal need for some degree of power and control, no doubt. And does it matter?
Perhaps. And this might be the takeaway point. Tommy understood animate vs. inanimate (and I’m including plants with inanimate objects here) at a very young age. But it appears that some children–and adults–do not.
And therein lies the lesson. As parents and grandparents, can we help little ones– who have a totally normal urge to control their environment–to learn that kittens, babies and other children have feelings, while dandelions and block towers do not?