Today’s mini-post comes to us from a mom named Margaret, in Annapolis, MD. She notes that her location is relevant, as it’s the home of the Naval Academy. She first heard this story when she visited the Academy’s museum:
If a 12-year-old can do THAT…
Whenever I doubt what kids are capable of, I remind myself of the story of David Farragut.
He became a midshipman at age 10, and sailed a captured ship home at age 12. This was no mean feat — most of these ships were manned by a crew of some 25-50 unsavory characters, and he had to demonstrate leadership to enforce his command, not to mention seamanship. I actually Googled more details now and found this.
If a young man could rise to this challenge at 12, my kids can go to the corner store and buy milk.
Agreed! And babysit! Margaret adds that she understands that being a kid in the early 1800s was probably quite a bit more demanding. (Farragut first fought in the War of 1812.) “Still,” she wrote, “it shows a counterpoint about what’s *possible* for young people to do under duress.” There is a happy medium between “being babysat at home and being in charge of a crew of 20-50 cutthroats.”
If your middle-schooler is doing something in that happy medium area, please share it over on our Facebook page, “Raising Independent Kids.” Part of what makes things seem normal and less scary is seeing other people do them. We need more pictures and stories of competent kids!