Limiting Your Child's Fire Time: A Guide for Concerned Paleolithic Parents | The New Yorker


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We adult Homo erectus , with our enlarged brains and experience of pre-fire days, can moderate our use, but our children—some of whom never lived during a time when you couldn’t simply strike two rocks together for an hour over a pile of dried grass to eventually produce a spark that, with gentle coaxing, might grow into a roaring flame—can have difficulty self-monitoring their interactions with fire. Those living in glacial areas may have a harder time curtailing the use of fire, but just remind your children that when you were their age several layers of animal pelts were enough to keep you perfectly warm. Reminding your children of the pleasures provided by these traditional activities can help reduce the seductive lure of the fire’s dancing flame. If you can imagine what it was like a few thousand years ago, when the first humans started walking upright, and how much grief they probably got from their parents, you’ll have some empathy for your children’s unique place in the evolutionary narrative. And, of course, it goes without saying that, in the (again, very unlikely) event that fire is both sentient and vengeful, we humbly beg its forgiveness for our insolence and pray to be spared our fleeting and insignificant lives.
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Photograph by Norma Zuniga / Getty According to the most recent cave drawings, children nowadays are using fire more than ever before. And it’s no wonder: fire…
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Photograph by Norma Zuniga / Getty According to the most recent cave drawings, children nowadays are using fire more than ever before. And it’s no wonder: fire…
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Photograph by Norma Zuniga / Getty According to the most recent cave drawings, children nowadays are using fire more than ever before. And it’s no wonder: fire…
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Photograph by Norma Zuniga / Getty According to the most recent cave drawings, children nowadays are using fire more than ever before. And it’s no wonder: fire…
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According to the most recent cave drawings, children nowadays are using fire more than ever before. And it’s no wonder: fire has many wonderful applications,…
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Limiting Your Child's Fire Time: A Guide for Concerned Paleolithic Parents

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Limiting Your Child's Fire Time: A Guide for Concerned Paleolithic Parents

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Photograph by Norma Zuniga / Getty According to the most recent cave drawings, children nowadays are using fire more than ever before. And it’s no wonder: fire…
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