Let Them Experience Everything and Level Up.

In Dungeons and Dragons when your character kills a Kobold, cast Fireball, or overcomes a deviously designed trap, he gains exeperience points (XP). These experience points cumulate every time you play, at certain volumes your character levels up. Leveling up opens more skills and stats for him to use, thus making him more capable of succeeding and surviving.

Life’s the same, experience shapes who we become, how we develope and cope in different situations, and how we level up.

By exposing our kids to as much of the world as we can they gain more experience, and level up quicker.

I have three girls, and although they’re all extremely different in nature and temperament I openly let them:

  • Watch Star Wars and Star Trek
  • Attend funerals
  • Bring problems to me and solve them cooperatively.
  • Play in the rain
  • Eat exotic food
  • Deal with loss
  • Wrestle and rough house
  • Help me build things
  • Play Dungeons and Dragons
  • Be scared
  • Be happy
  • Hurt
  • Heal
  • And any other myriad of things

This diversity of experience will shape them into rounded individuals who can survive the diverse world.

For some reason this reminds me of this movie quote:

G.I. Jane (1997)

Master Chief John Urgayle: Pain is your friend, your ally, it will tell you when you are seriously injured, it will keep you awake and angry, and remind you to finish the job and get the hell home. But you know the best thing about pain?

Lt. Jordan O’Neil: Don’t know!

Master Chief John Urgayle: It lets you know you’re not dead yet!

If I’ve learnt anything from my time on this spinning ball of yarn its that there’s no such thing as too much experience.

Every time you go through something your brain files the outcome(s) away along with the steps it took to get there. Next time something with the same or similar parameters happens your mind accesses the information, from the previous time(s), and guides your decision making process this time.

This process enables you to predict and plan, and hopefully succeed.

The same happens with your kids, every time they experience something it gets cataloged in the filling system, which over time builds into a vast repository of: skills, feats, and experience  (to steal D&D terms).

They can then access them when: School’s hard, work’s hard, family’s hard, or life’s hard.

Best to learn from all of this adversity and prosperity and leverage it to your adavantage. 

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