Executive functions are typically developed before the age of 8, and are the foundation of mental and emotional development, and vitally important to life success.
Many observers of The Dangerous Child phenomenon focus on the lethal skills that Dangerous Children learn in the course of their training. But more important than the lethal (or even financial) skills are the character, emotional, and interactive skills. Here are a few:
Persistence and grit
The pre-frontal executive functions are more important to life success than IQ. Persistence and grit are foundational traits within the executive functions.
Another executive function, conscientiousness is a matter of honest character and integrity, of staying the course. An expansive and abundant human future can not be built on anything less.
Mastering your thoughts
This involves self-discipline and impulse control, another executive function. It is a necessary skill for the mastery of self-teaching, something that every Dangerous Child must learn to do early.
Finding answers on your own
This is a crucial aspect of self-teaching. Most questions are relatively trivial, with readily accessible answers to those who learn where to look.
Asking for help
Everyone runs into a wall from time to time. Knowing when to swallow one’s pride and ask for assistance can make the difference between stalling out, and moving forward stronger than ever.
A well-tuned and well-prepared mind knows how to watch and listen. This is where most ideas and opportunities are found
Knowing when to shut up
Talking too much blocks important observations and repels thoughtful persons around you.
Knowing when to speak up
Every Dangerous Child is a unique node of observation and thought. Potentially important ideas and observations need to be brought to the attention of others to whom they may be relevant.
Being present in the now
There is a time for daydreaming and a time for paying close attention. Dangerous Children will often place themselves in hazardous situations, where extreme vigilance is crucial
Minding your business
While being open to new ideas and observations, The Dangerous Child also knows how to ignore the extraneous
Say what you mean and mean what you say
Honest and succinct communication is priceless, particularly in tight situations
Positive self talk
The Dangerous Child must learn to understand and befriend himself, providing emotional support and recalibration on a regular basis
Learn time budgeting
The limiting nature of time is a difficult concept for most children. But for Dangerous Children in particular, the mastery of time is crucial to the development of multiple skills, competencies, and talents
Learn the value of sleep, exercise, a playful attitude, love of challenge, and good nutrition
Childhood learning is best done in an atmosphere of increasingly serious play. This involves an emotional balancing and mental focus that requires regular mental and physical re-charging and a healthful stressing.
These are just a taste of the important skills that pre-tween children must learn in order to prepare themselves for later skills learning. Demonstration of the pre-frontal executive functions are crucially important for later Dangerous Child training. If the child cannot be trusted with his hands, feet, or mouth, he cannot be trusted with a firearm or other lethal weapons or skills.
Note that the source article linked above is referring to skills that should be mastered by adults of all ages. While such skills may be helpful to learn in adulthood, if one waits that long to learn them he will have missed many priceless opportunities to learn, grow, and build. Dangerous Children have no need to suffer through a modern dysfunctional schooling and upbringing, only to be forced to unlearn all the indoctrination in adulthood.
The age of 12 is a magical time of life. Balanced on the pivot between childhood and the furious transition to adulthood often referred to as “adolescence,” a 12 year old requires skills that will help carry him through a transition like no other.
Here are a handful of vital skills that young transitional tweens will need to catapult-assist them along their formative ways:
Know how to clean up after yourself
Know how to grow and catch food, and prepare your own meals
Learn to easily move in and out of your comfort zones
Learn to promote yourself
Achieve mastery in a handful of unique skills that set you apart
Learn to easily network with mentors and like-thinking peers
Master the skills of creativity, from drawing to writing to tinkering to computer coding
Become comfortable inside your own skin — make friends with all of your emotions
Find a peaceful, solid place inside of you
Master skills of traveling by land, air, and sea
Become competent in managing money
Know from experience how to start and run a business
Learn advanced first aid, resuscitation, and rescue
Learn the safe handling, operation, and maintenance of firearms and other weapons
Master the skills of basic combat, evasion, and escape
Know how to set and meet a wide range of personal goals
Learn to get along in at least 3 languages besides your native tongue
Learn to find the answers to anything you need to know on your own
Be able to safely navigate any terrain, from the meanest inner city to the most inhospitable wilderness
Know how to get your ideas across in writing, speaking, and multi-media formats
Be in control of your own education in every sense of the word
Exceed the academic attainments of most modern high school graduates
These are a few things that all 12 year olds should perhaps know and be able to do. But they are only guidelines, and actually apply to an age range between 12 and 14. Dangerous Children learn a much deeper and broader set of skills, of course, but not everyone can be a Dangerous Child.
As we have mentioned many times, a Dangerous Child will have mastered at least three means to financial independence by the age of 18. The list of 12 year old skills above should help most readers better comprehend the trajectory of childhood learning that allows an 18 year old to reach the point of multiple independence.
Imagine a society where each young man and woman is competent to face life on his own terms. That is the world of the Dangerous Child.
Government functionaries live in fear of such a society. But you can live in it, if you choose.
Notice that the sources above refer to skills that “every 24 year old” should learn. Here at the Al Fin Institutes, we believe that if you wait until age 24 to learn these skills, you are more than half-way to a lifetime of perpetual adolescent incompetence.
Children deserve better than the half-assed approach to child-raising and education that most modern societies have settled for.
11 Micah gets going at 06:30, when most classmates are still sleeping off a late night of video games and social media.
Micah Amezquita is not like most sixth graders.
The 11-year-old recently started his own trash-can-toting business to make money so that he can start saving for college and become an aeronautical engineer.
His fledgling business, Curb Cans, provides the service of taking garbage and recycling bins to the curb and back again on trash day. Every Tuesday morning, Amezquita heads out in his neighborhood between 6:30 and 8 to take care of business before school.
Like most small businesses, Micah’s operation started slowly, and is building gradually. He is hard-working and positive, and is not afraid to set goals and follow through on them. These are qualities that most successful businessmen share.
Traits that Parents Should Encourage
1. Early Maturation — Early maturation puts people in the position to socialize with older, more established people. From mentorship to business dealings, a young mature person has more potential of being welcomed by successful people, resulting in exposure to real world dilemmas and an aspirational lifestyle early on.
2. Perseverance — Perseverance. Persistence. Tenacity. Whatever word you want to use, this trait is the most important to have if you’re going to be a successful entrepreneur. It doesn’t matter who you are or what company you started, I can guarantee that you’re going to face some low points and have days when you feel alone. When those days come, it’s the determination to reach a high point again that will get you to achieve your goals.
3. The Ability to Put Things in Perspective — Childhood adversity helps entrepreneurs keep things in perspective. When you think about it, experiencing real-life hardship makes all the other problems in life seem minute in comparison. Well, when running a startup you always need to keep things in perspective. From missing your target sales numbers to having key employees leave, problems will always arise and require you to put them in perspective not only for yourself, but your team as well.
4. Having Self Control — Playing off the ability to put things in perspective, childhood adversity most likely drummed up some extreme internal emotions that may never be provoked again. Although too much childhood adversity has correlation to opposite traits of these, most of the entrepreneurs that I know who faced something early on are able to express an incredible level of self-control. Making sacrifices, having difficult conversations, and locking in on your goal are all aspects that I’ve seen exemplified by successful entrepreneurs first hand. Source
Successful Small Business Ideas Vary With Time and Place
For many years, children could make extra money with a newspaper route, babysitting, a lemonade or cupcake stand, or other such modest and traditional endeavours. Times have changed, governments are more intrusive, and successful childhood entrepreneurs need to learn to work around the obstacles and red tape.
But sometimes it helps to look back at the money-making niches that earlier generations utilised:
To earn money, people:
1. Caught and sold fish, clams, and crabs
2. Made homemade fudge and sold it
3. Sold newspapers on the corner. Kids earned a little extra if they were promoted to “Corner Captain”, a sort of Great Depression multi-level marketing program where a kid brought in other kids to sell papers and earned a bit extra himself.
4. Started a lunch truck/wagon
5. Grew, picked, and sold berries
6. Road work
7. Shoveled snow on roads
8. Multiple part-time jobs, including housecleaning
9. Chopped wood or harvested driftwood
10. Made and sold handwoven baskets
11. Mowed lawns and other kinds of yard work
12. Door to door sales of things like shoes or sewing notions
13. Made deliveries for stores
14. Made and sold quilts
15. Sold homemade baked goods, like bread or pies
16. Sold eggs for 25 cents a dozen
18. Rented out rooms
19. Mended or altered clothes
20. Washed windows
21. Would purchase produce and re-sell door-to-door
22. Sold apples
23. Loaded coal
24. Piecework sewing
25. Sold homegrown produce
In every case it was a simple matter of looking around to see what people needed, what they wanted, what made them feel good about themselves and about life.
If people could coax money out of cash-strapped people in a depression, teaching a child to start and run a business in today’s perpetual Obama recession should be a snap!
Kids Need to Build Skills and Competencies to be Successful Child Entrepreneurs
Learning the skills of business is something that takes place both before and after the business is underway. All kinds of practical skills should be learned and mastered before the child even begins to sort through business ideas. Budgeting and money management come before starting a business. But the more practical skills a child instinctively knows, the more versatile his entrepreneurial ventures can be.
There is no need to re-invent the wheel here. Groups and organisations exist for teaching practical and useful skills to children:
Clothing & Textile Science – Learn basic sewing skills, personalize clothing, make clothing from patterns and more. Projects range from first-time beginners to advanced clothing design and construction masters.
Cooking Projects – Beginner to Advanced levels. Learn about cooking, nutrition, food safety information and get creative with recipes of all kinds, including baking breads, meal planning and grilling.
Gardening & Plant Science – Learn how to grow your own vegetables and preserve your own food through canning and freezing methods.
The Natural World – Learn how to explore the outdoors by learning about plants, trees and insects that live in the woods, streams and fields. Learn trapping, fishing and beekeeping.
Shooting Sports – Learn safe use of guns and basic archery.
Mechanics – Learn about small engines, tractors and machinery operations.
Woodworking – Learn how to use various woodworking tools along with basic tools to build wood projects.
Here is useful list of helpful life skills for kids from Survival Mom:
create a shopping list
find the best deals
use a microwave
read nutrition labels and know what’s good and what’s not
prepare, serve and store food to avoid spoilage
cook a well-balanced meal
know which kitchen tools and equipment to use for which tasks
make a weekly or monthly budget and stick to it
use an ATM
open, use and balance a checking account
apply for a credit card and use it responsibly
save up to buy a desired item
set aside money for charity
keep track of important papers
how to use a debit card
pay monthly bills, including utilities
complete simple repairs when needed
sew on a button
mend a seam
fold and put away clothing
follow fabric-care labels
do laundry, including treating simple stains
wash and dry items by hand
pack a suitcase
able to clean the house
find the circuit breaker and use it
locate and use water and furnace shutoffs
use a fire extinguisher
perform basic first aid
fix a running toilet
do laundry, including treating simple stains
use all household appliances, like loading the dishwasher the right way
basic auto maintenance
check tire pressure
check oil level and add oil if needed
check washer fluid and add more if necessary
arrange routine maintenance
add air to tires
produce documents if stopped by police
know what to look for in buying their first car
Other Life Skills
change a mailing address
register to vote
how to vote
who to call and what to do in emergency situations
basic first aid or CPR
how to apply for a job
how to select proper clothing for an interview
what to look for in a first apartment
who to contact to turn on utilities
where to have a document notarized
how to use public transportation
A large number of quasi-functioning adults have not mastered these skills. And many others may be able to do the tasks, but cannot be bothered for the most part. This natural ignorance or laziness on the part of much of the population opens up huge niches for child entrepreneurs to meet unmet needs and desires.
The lists above barely scrape the surface, but parents can begin to get the idea. Humans have an infinite number of unmet needs and wishes. The person who can supply those things economically in a timely fashion is apt to get more business than they can handle. At that point, the child entrepreneur will learn to delegate, utilise independent contractors, or learn to deal with “employees.”
Sure, parents and child-entrepreneurs will need to learn to jump any governmental hoops that they cannot avoid altogether. But there is no need to dump the bodies of over-zealous government functionaries in abandoned coal mines in order to co-exist with absurd government rules and regulations. A bit of forethought and cooperation between child entrepreneurs, their parents, and sympathetic businesspersons should provide the working space needed to survive in an age of government over-reach.
Dangerous Children Master at Least 3 Ways to Support Themselves Financially by Age 18
Most of the niche business ideas mentioned above will not provide reliable and consistent financial support for an independent adult over time. But they will provide invaluable experience in budgeting, handling money, devising business plans, dealing with people, and developing resilience in business.
At the same time as they are building their business skills-experiences-reputations, they are also learning needed academic lessons, developing Dangerous Skills and Competencies, acquiring helpful credentials, developing emotional resilience, and making a range of plans on different time scales for their futures.
After age 18 Dangerous Children will use their financial independence to build their base of operations, to further their education in the professions and other highly skilled sectors, to travel and learn new cultures – languages – ways of life, to raise families and new generations of Dangerous Children, to liaise with other Dangerous Children to form Dangerous Communities, and to otherwise work toward an abundant and expansive human future.
We are living in an age of impractical and perpetually incompetent adolescents of all ages. Children typically go through school and graduate from high school or college with no practical skills or experiences. Whatever parents may be thinking when they send their children off to be abused by institutions, the results are turning out very badly.
Here at the Dangerous Child Institute, we are merely seeking to provide an alternative approach to education and child-raising that provides children and youth with a lifetime confidence based upon stacked competencies — beginning very early in childhood. Most people are not ready for us. All the more reason to get started.