Melbourne, Feb 2 (ANI): A new book teaching children to make a bomb in a bag, lick batteries and cook CDs in a microwave has come under fire from parenting experts.
"Fifty Dangerous Things (You Should Let Your Children Do)" penned by Gever Tulley and Julie Spiegler spells out ways to expose youngsters to danger as part of their development.
According to child psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg, the book was a massive over-reaction to "cotton wool" parenting.
"Young people should be encouraged to take healthy risks and it is in their psychological interests to do so," the Herald Sun quoted him, as saying.
Dr Carr-Gregg added: "However, there is a huge difference between healthy risk-taking and actively encouraging young people to engage in activities that could scar, maim and kill."
He also believes the book should be banned in Victoria.
Real Mums founder Amanda Cox said the book may cross the thin line between allowing children to explore and learn through experience, and things that were actually dangerous.
She pointed out: "The concept of a tongue-in-cheek joke book makes people sit up and think and realise they are being over-protective, but there's also the potential for stupid people to take it seriously."
The book calls upon parents to help youngsters in learning to judge risks and becoming responsible through experiments, which include playing with fire, driving under adult supervision and licking a nine-volt battery.
Tulley said the book was an answer to fear-based parenting, where parents did not let their kids try new things in case they get hurt.
He said it was better to try something and fail, and help a child's "creative development", rather than not trying at all.
Nearly 16 publishers declined to publish the book fearing that parents would sue them when their children got injured following the advice in it.
But the sales of the book rocketed after the authors started selling it on a "print-on-demand" basis.
It is presently the top title on Amazon's Kids' Active Books.
Tulley insists the activities in the book should be taken seriously.
He said: "Of course, we must protect children from danger . . . but when that becomes over-protection we fail as a society, because children don't learn how to judge risk for themselves.
"Let children practise climbing trees, and they will learn to do it safely. If you never let them climb a tree, they will eventually do it anyway, possibly in the most unsafe manner possible." (ANI)