A former student of mine sent me this video yesterday. It struck me as particularly relevant for one with “unschooling” inclinations. Tomorrow I am sure Aidan and I will be “deconstructing” a few appliances. I suggested the idea to him and he’s been talking about it all day–to learn how things work by taking them apart and looking inside the mysterious “black box.”

The video also sounds an alarm for all parents of Gen-Y kids who have gotten into the habit of bubble-wrapping their children and, thus, inadvertently hamstringing their ability to be self-reliant, resilient, and well adapted to cope with the challenges of life. I see many kids like this coming through my college classroom. Thinking back on my own childhood and considering what I know about my parents’ childhoods, things definitely have changed. Childhood has been extended, but not in that good, let’s-keep-them-innocent kind of way. Many young adults seem incapable nowadays of making serious decisions for themselves, handling responsibilities, and simply living the life of a mature young person. I have heard more than one college student start a sentence (and not in jest) with the phrase “when I grow up.” These are 18- and 19-year-old adults. I have news for you, kiddo, you’re all grown up now despite what your parents have told you. It’s time to pop that bubble wrap.