i am teaching Willow to pick pockets. Actually, it is more a behaviorist approach, since i dont really know much about this art. When he successfully steals my wallet or cell phone i give him a dollar. He has made 2 bucks this way in the past couple of months. There are many more attempts than successes, but he is definitely getting better at it.
“Why on earth would you teach your son criminal behavior?” one friend asked. Mostly because it is fun. It puts him and i in a playful place and he gets great satisfaction when he actually does succeed. It has also sparked interesting ethical discussions between us about stealing and property. [Another friend suggested that i give Willow a dollar anytime he successfully picked anyones pocket, but Willow quickly saw the flaw with this plan.]
When Willow as at the petting zoo at the Ripley Fair, he was figuring out how the animals could break out of their cages. He was developing elaborate strategies using the different abilities of the animals working together to evade their human captors and get free. He was especially distressed that his plan would not permit the giant sea tortoise to get away (despite other animals being able to climb on him).
His homeschooling has lots of information about how Columbus was a terrorist and how globalized corporations are oppressing workers in the third world. My son has an elaborate ethical compass.