Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Stupid Stunts or Responsible Tutorial?

Talk about being lumped into the same category! So my son is experiencing 15 minutes of fame once again this week. This news coming to us via his You Tube account where several people told him one of his fire tutorials had been featured on CBS The Early Show. Sure enough. Our excitement was soon diminished slightly when we saw the clip and how it was labeled Stupid Stunts.

As you see, the clip shows various “hey dude…watch this” type of stunts. Then the segment takes you to my son’s tutorial where it is determined my son is teaching children how to swallow fire. Um no. Oh, where to begin.

First of all…my son spends a great deal of time in his tutorial discussing safety. My son is currently 18 years old and began this hobby at 17 with my supervision. In fact, the boy made me sit down and watch his safety video so that I would know what to do in the event he had an accident. Anyone one who wants to learn from my son must first hear about safety just as my son did with his fire mentors.

Second. Would you like to know where I was when my son shot this video? On the other side of that wall in my house where I could hear everything and was on hand should a problem arise. Where were those children’s parents when they were making their vinegar and baking soda concoction? Or when they were car surfing?

There is a vast difference in the style of these You Tube clips that were presented in this segment. A difference in safety, age and supervision. I agree that there is a danger in children emulating what they see on You Tube that could be dangerous. But how is it different then what they see on television on a daily basis or at the theater? Again, discussions should begin at home and if your child is of appropriate age and wants to experiment in a hobby that can be construed as dangerous, do your homework and learn the safety issues that are involved and by all means, SUPERVISE!

As a mother of a child with a diverse hobby, every fiber in my body wanted to send him to his room and tell him to put the flame out. I spent the first 17 years of his life teaching him NOT to play with fire. He had to convince me that his practice was safe and always supervised by myself or someone else he is close to with a fire blanket at hand.

I’m not angry for CBS for using my son’s tutorial for this segment. In fact, I thank them for drawing attention to a responsible young man who has learned and teaches others safety in his craft. His You Tube hits have gone through the roof! But what I would like to have seen is the use of this video as an example different from those he was compared to. And example of responsibility and safety. CBS, if you are reading this, we are trying to contact you about safety on You Tube. Let us know if you are interested in a rebuttal.

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