Forums > Social Discussion > What is the best age to start playing with fire?

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DarkFyre
BRONZE Member since Nov 2005

DarkFyre

HoP mage and keeper of the fireballs
Location: Palmerston North, New Zealand

Total posts: 1965
Posted:Ok just so you all undrestand what I'm on about I have a 3yo boy and he has been spinning sock poi since he was old enough to pic them up. He can do a good butterfly and wraps around various parts of his body but we are still working on a 3bt but he's getting there.



I just wanted to know what you other hoppers thought about the best age for him to start spinning fire and no not right now coz he is still too young in my eyes.



To put your minds at ease I will be making him some ickle fire poi (very small wicks wick a 1min burn time at the most) some time in the future and when he spins them there will be adult supervision (me, the missus and mates that spin). He will also need to have figured out a 3bt and be able to transition thru his moves before I will even consider putting fire in his hands.



At a best guess I would say that he was old enough at 6yo but that is still dependant on his skill level (please remember that he will be supervised and that he has grown up with fire type people).



So all of your thoughts would be appreciated Cheers


May my balls of fire set your balls on fire devil

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Pyrolific
BRONZE Member since Jan 2001

Returning to a unique state of Equilibrium
Location: Adelaide, South Australia

Total posts: 3289
Posted:mmm the fumes that are harmful to adults are more so to children.

I think you might want to look into this - however I reckon there will be a few people jumping in with more detail before long...

Doc Lightning? what do you think?

I personally wouldnt encourage my child to play with fire. Perhaps when I get kids I'll stop playing with fire, because its obviously a stupid thing to do and doesnt really set a great example smile

Josh


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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:Why want him spin fire? I side Pyro on the fumes... not so much on the "stop playing when getting kids" wink

the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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DarkFyre
BRONZE Member since Nov 2005

DarkFyre

HoP mage and keeper of the fireballs
Location: Palmerston North, New Zealand

Total posts: 1965
Posted:Q "Why want him spin fire?"

A Coz he asked to.



The fumes haven't affected him in the past since he has been to many fire spins but your conserns are both are noted and valid however the poi that he will get WHEN HE IS REDY will have much smaller heads on them so as to decrease burn time which will also decrease his direct exsposure to the fumes (1min babypoi compared to 3-5min adultpoi).



As for the mental aspect of fire I used to burn stuff behind the school library (yes I now understand that it was stupid and an acident waiting to happen, luckily it never did) untill I found poi as a creative outlet for my pyromania. Since my boy has shown many steps on the path to following his father I would prefer Seth to learn these arts and fire safety, under my guidence and supervision.



You still didn't answer my main question as to what age is apropriate and I think that I gave a fair range of answers to choose from.



Cheers for the input anyhow.


May my balls of fire set your balls on fire devil

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:... oh I see. And those "good wraps around his body" don't result in serious burns?

the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Mr_Chutney
SILVER Member since Apr 2003

Mr_Chutney

Tosser
Location: Herefordshire, England (UK)

Total posts: 1711
Posted:There is so mucj to learn spinning wise that fire shold only really come into the equation much later on than once people have the basics- I was spinning for 2 years before I picked up any fire toys and I'm really grateful it happened that way.

I'm not saying a younger person can't be good enough, merely that they don't need to rush and would be a better fire spinner for dwelling on technique in the early years.


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Wooktastic
BRONZE Member since Jan 2007

Wooktastic

the kicker of elves
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Total posts: 371
Posted:Hard to say, young children often pick skills up much faster, however if he gets hurt it will be more serious the younger he is.
People can learn fast, I learned rope dart fast, (i've been doing staff much longer but am still better with a rope dart) and lit up after a month, I'm yet to be burned by the dart.
But it will happen eventually, and I'm an adult, I know a little better, I'm less likely to panic, and a burn that would be small on me would be large on a young child.
I'd advise waiting for now, maybe age ten?


Man is no more than a conduit for excrement to pass through.- daVinci

Jointly owned by BurdA and Tinypixie

Wielder of the voice of Patrick Stewart

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newgabe
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

newgabe

what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
Location: Bali, Australia

Total posts: 4030
Posted:AAAh
This one again.

This thread was on about this a while ago

Here was my response at the time. It got demoted to chat and then derailed a bit into crosscultural (mis)understandings of irony... but ya get that eh rolleyes

I have been around heaps of kids having a go, and I now know two children who perform a bit of fire with adult groups.

One is 6 and does some very simple safe stuff with one staff. His dad is always right there, a second away. The other is about 10 and quite competent with poi. Personally I think poi is a much more dangerous prop(osition)
I think 3 is too young, but if he is starting now and is a focused kid (which poi will probably help with) and practices like anyone should, unlit for good while, he'd be ready for bubby fire soon enough. No rush.

Fuel would be important though. White gas type volatiles are probably not such a great idea. wink


.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....

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Masked52


Masked52

member
Location: Kiwi land sounds great!

Total posts: 83
Posted:I think age is merely a number, and when he is ready and confident is something you can tell through his skills and mental outlook. I'd say 6+ besides that.



Although I voted 14+ because I thought it was adult poi.



I started playing with fire at 16 (right after my birthday) with fire poi, fire staff, fire fingers, fire jump rope, fire cane, etc. I had practiced staff for about a year prior but it was on PVC and only helped hand position wise when I got to the much heavier fire staff. I started poi without much former practice. I made the mistake of making large cathedral headed poi too, so the flame was huge and I was a beginnger. But I figured it out eventually.



My parents never really supervised me or prevented me. They thought I was crazy but just went along with it. Half the time I spun I wasn't even in their view or anywhere near them. Even my brother (age 13) tried a little single poi, sometimes without them nearby, but I always was.



I wasn't the best role model for safety. I was like most, caught up the beauty and the art and lacking some common place safety. redface


Fire eaters are the most conceited people. Especially when they're on fire. "Help me, save me, put me out, me, me, me..."

-Paolo the Fire Eater

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GothFrogette
BRONZE Member since Oct 2004

GothFrogette

grumpy poorly froggy
Location: Nuneaton, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3999
Posted:you do have to take into considderation the amount of times they will be spinning fire and for how long each time they do it before you start going into the affects of fumes. but it is a serious thin

my son who is 13 spins fire and hoops with fire. but not all the time and only for short bursts. especialy with the hoop as the fumes go more towards the head. the reason why he does it is because he asked to. i am his saftey and he knows the rules, saftey precautions and most importantly the risks and affects it can have. He then made an informed choice of his own and had about two months of waiting time (and may i add constand bugging me) before he had his first spin.

only you know your child and when they are ready. but i would honestly say wait until they are old enough to know and fully understand every thing that is involved.

my youngest is six and he isn't ready for fire and i have told him that he needs to wait for a while before he can have a go(he wants to do staff oh and fire whip lol)


Life's too short to worry about where you put your marshmallows

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Fefnir
GOLD Member since Nov 2006

Fefnir

Member
Location: Arizona, USA

Total posts: 34
Posted:Well Ive been spinning since the ripe age of 14 but I wasn't allowed to actually light up until my 15th birthday. My mom is comletely fine with me spinning fire whenever, I usually spin fire about 3-4 times a week. I'm quite confident in my skills and I'm not afraid at all, and my mom knows this which is probably why she trusts me so much. So I would say that your ready when your ready, you just kind of know.

My friends mom on the other hand probably wont let him spin fire anymore because last night he caught his hair on fire while transitioning into the mexican wave. >.<


Stan Fox: Damn these glasses.
Navin R. Johnson: Yes, sir.
[to the glasses]
Navin R. Johnson: I damn thee.

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Gnarly Cranium
SILVER Member since Feb 2005

Gnarly Cranium

member
Location: San Francisco, USA

Total posts: 186
Posted: Written by: dizzypheonix

The fumes haven't affected him in the past since he has been to many fire spins


What? Of course they've affected him. Just because he's not overtly coughing doesn't mean he hasn't been exposed to toxins. He's still growing, that's the whole problem with children being exposed to things, any damage that happens now will be amplified in further years. The stuff is carcinogenic.

As for my view on the age thing... well, I can do 3bt and 5bt weaves, and I can transition. I am still not ready to attempt spinning with fire, and I'm 27.


"Ours is not to question The Head; it is enough to revel in the ubiquitous inanity of The Head, the unwanted proximity of The Head, the unrelenting HellPresence of The Head, indeed the very UNYIELDING IRRELEVANCE of The Head!" --Revelation X

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Fefnir
GOLD Member since Nov 2006

Fefnir

Member
Location: Arizona, USA

Total posts: 34
Posted: Written by: Gnarly Cranium


 Written by: dizzypheonix

The fumes haven't affected him in the past since he has been to many fire spins


What? Of course they've affected him. Just because he's not overtly coughing doesn't mean he hasn't been exposed to toxins. He's still growing, that's the whole problem with children being exposed to things, any damage that happens now will be amplified in further years. The stuff is carcinogenic.

As for my view on the age thing... well, I can do 3bt and 5bt weaves, and I can transition. I am still not ready to attempt spinning with fire, and I'm 27.




I dont really think age matters that much, well except for the whole being exposed to toxins and fumes thing. What I think should decide if their ready is themselves. If you have confidence in your skills and think your ready then go for it, On the other hand if your a bit skeptical and afraid of getting some singed hair and a burn here or there then maybe you should find a new hobbie because if your not willing to get hurt for something you love then maybe you shouldn't be doing it.


Stan Fox: Damn these glasses.
Navin R. Johnson: Yes, sir.
[to the glasses]
Navin R. Johnson: I damn thee.

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marco


enthusiast
Location: uk

Total posts: 328
Posted:I think our youngest member is around 8 this year, and is a regular antedee to the fire meets durring the summer and school holidays, and has taken part in professional performances.

mark


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Masked52


Masked52

member
Location: Kiwi land sounds great!

Total posts: 83
Posted: Written by: marco



I think our youngest member is around 8 this year, and is a regular antedee to the fire meets durring the summer and school holidays, and has taken part in professional performances.



mark





I didn't know anyone under the age of 18 used this forum. Yay, I'm 16 BTW.


Fire eaters are the most conceited people. Especially when they're on fire. "Help me, save me, put me out, me, me, me..."

-Paolo the Fire Eater

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Eera
BRONZE Member since May 2003

old hand
Location: In a test pit, Mackay, Austral...

Total posts: 1107
Posted:At what age will the child be physically strong enough to break the quick release if something goes wrong? It's fine to say that he's only going to be doing it under adult supervision, but did any of us do something only when we were told we could? not likely.

Kids think they're invaulnerable.
Kids do stuff behind their parents' back.
Kids, especially younger ones, have absolutely no concept of risk and consequence.

Wait until he's old enough to get himself out of any bad situation that might arise, 10-12 is the minimum. It really doesn't matter that he's asked to do it, I asked for a pony every birthday, still haven't got one.


There is a slight possibility that I am not actually right all of the time.

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_FSA_


_FSA_

now comes with skydiving license
Location: In your head. (Tasmania, Austr...

Total posts: 1627
Posted:I think age isn't the important factor here, it's competency and maturity.. As well as a few others like supervision and safety and what-not.

I started playing with fire from around the age of 3. No, I was not SPINNING fire at 3, just playing with matches and lighting campfires and the sorts. (Always under strict adult supervision of course) My parents thought we way for me to learn to act responsibly with fire was for me to become accustomed to it at a young age. I learnt the dangers and how to keep fire under control and everything from a very young age.. This meant when I reached the age where it was cool to light fires and muck around with fire, I knew how to do it responsibly and safely.. Also I didn't really feel the need to because I'd been playing with fire for years before anyway.

I started spinning fire at around 10. I'd been spinning for at least 2 years before that and was under close adult supervision. We'd run through the drill of what to do if the ground/me/anything caught fire and how to manage any foreseeable situation that may arise.

I guess only you can decide if your son is ready. Given that we don't know him, don't know his skill level, his maturity, and all that other stuff.. If you feel comfortable with him spinning fire and he's all for it then why not.

That's just my 2cnts worth.. smile


Proudly owned by the very cute Pineapple Pete. Owner of Noddy. Joint owner of Mr Majestik.

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newgabe
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

newgabe

what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
Location: Bali, Australia

Total posts: 4030
Posted:I'm enjoying reading people's real experiences in this thread. smile
Meanwhile just *bumping* that there is some good stuff here too:

 Written by: newgabe



This thread was on about this a while ago

Here was my response




.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....

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DarkFyre
BRONZE Member since Nov 2005

DarkFyre

HoP mage and keeper of the fireballs
Location: Palmerston North, New Zealand

Total posts: 1965
Posted:Cheers for the feedback peoplebounce

As I have stated at the moment he is too young and until I am happy that he is competent he won't be spinning anything more than socks.weavesmiley

To those of you who are spouting "fumes", "carcinogenic","burns" please remember that he is growing up around fire and I take his safety very seriously but I feel it is better for him to understand the danger of fire from a young age.

Gnarly Cranium that 'carcinogenic' remark has realy erked me (don't know why but it has), tho i do understand that it was made with the best of intentions, but anything and everything is harmfull even oxygen is poisonous to some degree. It all depends on the amount of exsposure and quite frankly my boy gets less exsposure (to carciongens) at a fire spin than the child of a petrolhead gets at home on a daily basis. I don't mean to offend but all this talk of fumes and stuff has got my back up just a little bit (I'm just being a defencive Dad). soapbox

3yo is too young to be playing with fire (even under adult supervision) but by the age of 10 he will have had more exsopsure to these arts than I have had to date and I guess that his skill with poi will be at least equal to my skill now.

I still a bit confused as to when I should let him start spinning with fire but I guess it's just one of those things that I'm gonna have to figure out as time goes by.confused

Why don't children come with a comprehensive instruction manual that could answer these questions quickly and easily?


May my balls of fire set your balls on fire devil

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Fire_Moose
SILVER Member since May 2007

Fire_Moose

Elusive and Bearded
Location: Scottsdale, AZ, USA

Total posts: 3597
Posted:I said 10 cuz that about when i started burning things...a lot and i was able to grasp the concept that fire will burn me.

O.B.E.S.E.

Owned by Mynci!

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kat_


newbie


Total posts: 9
Posted:hey im 13 and i'v been doing normal poi since i was 8 .i only started fire this year .because my boyfriend showed me it can be done .i just think if you can do it properly with out hitting urself you can do it with fire

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Wooktastic
BRONZE Member since Jan 2007

Wooktastic

the kicker of elves
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Total posts: 371
Posted:There's a little more to it than that, you are going to hit yourself eventually, what's really important is whether or not you are mature or prepared enough not to panic when that, or worse happens.

Man is no more than a conduit for excrement to pass through.- daVinci

Jointly owned by BurdA and Tinypixie

Wielder of the voice of Patrick Stewart

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Icarus
GOLD Member since Sep 2003

member
Location: , Australia

Total posts: 165
Posted:Of course everyone is exposed to things that are harmful all the time. I might be hit by a bus tomorrow. But it doesn't mean I go and sit in the middle of the road.
Kids can't make decisions based on the future. They just can't see that far ahead... that's up to you.
For a kid to be exposed to carcinogenic fumes at all when it is not necessary is silly, don't you think? I am not sure that lungs are fully developed when they are 6 (14 rings a bell but seems to old) and this would surely increase the risk again.
I am not sure "because he asked to" is enough of a reason? And I have a four year old at home - I know when asking can be like!
I realise I am probably offending you. But you asked for our opinions. Also, I think it is a matter of your sons (future) health... I hope people would talk to me if they though my kids health was at risk.
And I don't agree with petrolheads having kids anywhere near those fumes either. Just cause they do it doesn't mean its okay.

I'll step of my soapbox now!
(and thanks for the links Gabe - will read them when I have time!)


... simplify ...

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Pyrolific
BRONZE Member since Jan 2001

Returning to a unique state of Equilibrium
Location: Adelaide, South Australia

Total posts: 3289
Posted:Its not so much of a skill level argument. as a Harm and Responsibility perspective.



Let me illustrate with an example - I'm not saying that your kid will be like this but anyhow.



Last time I went to Confest (a big hippy festival with a lot of fire twirling) one of the best twirlers I saw was a 10 yr old kid. He'd obviously been coming to Confest and fire twirling since he could walk (there were other kids there fire twirling not much older than your child too eg 4). This kid obviously practised with fire all the time, and during the festival perhaps lit up about 100 times over three nights or so. I'm not exaggerating. He loved it, and his parents obviously proud as punch with their kid being so good at an expressive hippy art, let him go. He was inhaling several times more fumes than anyone else there - including the most dedicated adults.



There just isn't any way that that level of fire play is not doing him harm.



your child if you start him off now, is going to want to do it more often than just once a week - especially when he gets really good.



as an adult I've noticed pretty serious ongoing health issues in myself when attending 3 fire meets a week and probly burning 5-10 times at each. Children are resilient, but that doesnt mean they arent getting damaged - they certainly wont stop until *you* make them.



I'd suggest that if you are going to let him do fire, you should seriously consider making it a strong rule "only on genuinely special occasions" and that when he's grown up, he can make his own decisions about when a special occasion is.



Thats if you accept that there are health risks to do with fire twirling other than just the burns.

EDITED_BY: Pyrolific (1182218110)


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Gnor
BRONZE Member since Mar 2003

Gnor

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Perth, Australia

Total posts: 5814
Posted:I agree with Josh. I see the health issues I have developed from firespinning even though I spin very occasionally, such that I very rarely spin fire now and always try to stay upwind of spinners. I had no problems when i first started.
I also lived with smokers for the first 10 years of my life before I started to realise it wasnt good for me and still had to put up with it till I was 18 and moved out. The smoking had no effect that I could see at the time but now any exposure gives me headaches and breathing issues.

My point is limiting risk factors. Sure the rev heads kids would get more, that not a good thing though. My kids want to spin fire as well. I have no doubt they will light up but I will limit exposure because I dont want to harm my kids. Thats my call though.


Is it the Truth?
Is it Fair to all concerned?
Will it build Goodwill and Better Friendships?
Will it be Beneficial to all concerned?

Im in a lonely battle with the world with a fish to match the chip on my shoulder. Gnu in Binnu in a cnu

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Groovy_Dream
SILVER Member since May 2005

Groovy_Dream

addict
Location: , Australia

Total posts: 449
Posted:What about D60? is that just as bad?



If you're concerned about fumes, how far would you go? Would you let them run around a city? It would be inconsistent to stop a kid from firetwirling, then let them go into the city on a smoggy day, ride a bike along busy roads etc. The health risks with doing so are well known and are probably just as bad, if not worse, as fumes from kero.


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Pyrolific
BRONZE Member since Jan 2001

Returning to a unique state of Equilibrium
Location: Adelaide, South Australia

Total posts: 3289
Posted:I dont know if your questions are rhetorical or not Psyrush but I'll answer them anyhow;

As far as I understand it there are very few 'less bad' fuels in terms of fumes from combustion. Generally the 'less bad' fuels are called that because of a safer flashpoint. Less smell and soot usually means theres additives that are very toxic - eg odorless kero is worse than normal kero.

Alcohol burns with less toxin emissions, but produces a wimpy flame (now I'm begining to sound like the HOP Fuels warning).

All of your examples have no listed level of frequency so I cant really comment, as I think the frequency is the crux of my argument about early introduction to fire twirling. But for interest - I wouldn't want my kid playing in a playground next to a busy road 3 times a week, nor would I want them to ride down a busy road everyday (for more immediate danger reasons than just the fumes tho).

Luckily I don't think I'll ever have to raise children in a smoggy environment because I value clean air, water and food and can probly afford to give them that. I know this isn't an option for everyone.

On the flip side, there seemed to be pretty healthy kids living in a freeway intersection in India when I last visited. Same kids bathe in sewerage. The human immune system is an amazing thing smile


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kash
GOLD Member since May 2006

kash

Dangerous cynic
Location: , United Kingdom

Total posts: 166
Posted:If it were my child, I would say not until they are 16.

Every other time I spin fire, I get burned - never seriously, but enough. Not because I am incompetent, immature or unsafe, simply because I am handling and performing with fuel soaked wicks and hot metal. I wouldn't want to risk exposing a child to that, knowing that they are *guaranteed* to get hurt. Depending on the child this could even put them off spinning altogether.

Carcinogens have a magnified effect on growing children, as their growing tissues are more at risk of mutation.

Starting spinning early is great, they get to develop skills (and spinning is great for brain development/co-ordination) and they get to learn and prepare for spinning fire over time. Nonetheless, regardless of skill, I wouldn't let a child play with fire. Perhaps it's being a (science) teacher that makes me acutely aware of health and safety, I've seen nasty accidents and near misses happen to perfectly sensible, intelligent, skilled kids, and I really don't like the feeling that ultimately, I am responsible.


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newgabe
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

newgabe

what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
Location: Bali, Australia

Total posts: 4030
Posted: Written by: kash


Every other time I spin fire, I get burned - never seriously, but enough.


eek

Really! That is terrible! Honestly mate, never mind the kids, it sounds like YOU need more practice and a safer attitude/fuel/clothes/whatever it takes! I don't think I have ever burned myself spinning fire, and I have been doing it for 10 years. (I have scorched my hair) I have seen people get burned of course.. generally that is with the extra pressure of a performance context/ doing contact staff.


.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....

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DarkFyre
BRONZE Member since Nov 2005

DarkFyre

HoP mage and keeper of the fireballs
Location: Palmerston North, New Zealand

Total posts: 1965
Posted:the frequency of fire spinning is a topic that i have thought of but i haven't posted about and fire spins would definately be a special occasion event (1 a month at the most).

Again i would like to thank all of you for your feedback both possitive and negative as it has helped me to put things into a wider perspective.

Lil' Seth isn't going to be spinning fire any time soon but if his skills have developed to an appropriate level by the age of 10 then i will re-evaluate whether he is ready for fire or not.

Thanks to everybody.


May my balls of fire set your balls on fire devil

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Icarus
GOLD Member since Sep 2003

member
Location: , Australia

Total posts: 165
Posted:Its good you put so much thought into raising your son, and that you are open to other opinions. Wish there were more like you! biggrin

ps - have you tried Seth with glow poi? He might look to those as a comprimise - every child I have seen with them can't get enough! ubbrollsmile


... simplify ...

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