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When untrammeled-and encouraged-we prefer to live on the edge.

Rule #11: “Do not bother children when they are skateboarding.”

Dr. Peterson dives into the developmental mental processes that naturally occur as boys and girls mature, in this chapter. He begins by recalling watching youth skateboard in Toronto making daring attempts at a ‘halfpipe,’ (I believe is the correct verbiage…sorry: I played football, I did not skateboard) risking life and limb just to prove they could accomplish something. He then recalls the town putting skatestoppers all around the streets preventing the youth from perfecting their craft any longer. For what purpose? A “cleaner,” more professional town. If undirected these very youth can use this ‘teen spirit,’ for less than purposeful agendas.

When does this change occur in the human psyche? Granted, some can be deemed more independent or daring then others, but at what developmental timeframe does one transition from dauntless daredevil to overly cautious intellectual?

Much of this chapter also revolves around distinct gender differences during maturation. Jordan breaks these down very vehemently. However, he does it in such a way that neither creates a proverbial supreme gender or tears down the other. Traits that have historically been labeled masculine or feminine are both needed in their proper context for society to function sufficiently as well as prosper. “It might be objected…that a woman does not need a man to rescue her. That may be true, and it may not…In any case, it is certain that a woman needs consciousness to be rescued,” (Peterson, p. 324). It is this “awakening” in one’s personal development that takes the individual from easy target to purpose-driven vigilante. Dr. Peterson elaborates on this by taking the reader through nearly every Disney movie to recall the end result of a safe and ignorant existence vs. one that is ready for impending trials.

In his recollection of the Hansel and Gretel fairytale, it is the failure of the father to prepare his ignorant children of what could be labeled ‘too good to be true,’ (the hag’s house of treats). In Sleeping Beauty, the king and queen’s desire to keep unwanteds (chiefly one-Maleficent) far from their daughter led to needless pain and heartache. The application is obvious.

Though, I am not a parent, I am the oldest of 11 and feel like I have learned a thing or two via osmosis. It was pretty clear to me which of my siblings was ready for life post-high school and which was going to rely on Mom and Dad a little more than the others. There comes a time when, though the relationship with “Mom” is not to be abandoned, it needs to take on a different existence completely. Those who refuse this undertaking, I’d argue, grow in levels of pathetic existence.

Now, I’m in no position to give parenting advice, but could it be that 2020 has afforded us Westernized Americans the opportunity to become a little more self-sufficient? Not only for our kids’ sake, but also our own? Emphasis on family has increased, and whom you spend additional time with may be just as important as how you’re spending it. Sure, you could binge Netflix, and play X-Box, and gain 15 pounds, and gain nothing from this down time. Or, you could, as an entire unit, be proactive! You could take ownership of your health, get adjusted, and train: mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally.

But wait. “Boys will be boys,” or “He’s/she’s just a kid,”…right? Maybe, but Laura Ingalls’ husband was doing a grown man’s work by age 9! I am of the belief that the norm of becoming more “safe” isn’t the best route as it can stifle an adventurous and creative spirit. Perhaps 2020 is the interruption that we all needed to forge better selves, better families, stronger futures. And maybe, just maybe, that kid that still lives inside of us can be awakened once again. Remember, “do not bother children when they are skateboarding.”

Until next time,

-Brock Baumgarn, CA, Nutrition Consultant, Health 1st Chiropractic


Peterson, J.B., Doidge, N., &Van, S.E. (2018). 12 rules for life: An antidote to chaos.

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