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Had an open house today for the first time with young kids.  Wow! the future may be OK after all.  Young grade school boys who all were overwhelmed with sights and sounds of many trains running.

They were so well mannered that I could give an 8 year old a hand control and he did some safe set outs coupling and uncoupling.

It was a shocker when I instructed them how to use the various dial controllers.  With kids today you can not tell them to rotate the dial arrow to the _______o'clock position.  They did not know what that meant.

They were very courteous taking turns operating various lines with out squabbling over who did what.

Listening to the news of the day I was almost to the point of thinking that kids were a bad idea.

A good sign of excellent parenting. 

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Great Tom, glad it went smoothly, sadly they don't always go that way.  Sounds like it was a hit!

We had our modular display at the Phila Art Museum years ago in a rotunda who's name escapes me, it's the one with the pool in the middle.  We had our display all around it.  The kids kept coming up and touching and grabbing the trains.  A couple of kids actually took trains completely off the tracks!  We had to continually patrol the outside looking for trouble, sadly we weren't always quick enough.

Good job!  You were an ambassador for the hobby today.  There's no telling what seeds you planted. 

The following photo is from a "Train Smoker" I held in 2016 on the old layout, Panhandle 1.  The look on that kid's face is just priceless.  I'm sure you fostered quite a few of those looks yourself.

i-kjDFpGF-X2

George

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Seems like mom needs a pair wrap around safety glasses.

Was the book a tutorial for the viewing of a steel complex?  Neat idea.

I had previously been concerned about introducing children to the RR only to have them grow up and come back to grab something for drug money.   It is a shame we can not freeze the innocence & preciousness of young children.  Kids minds  seem abused by evil all around.

@Tom Tee posted:

It is a shame we can not freeze the innocence & preciousness of young children.  Kids minds  seem abused by evil all around.

Tom,

Let me tell the story from the other side.

I might be biased but both of my children have turned out to be fine responsible young adults, one now 32 years of age and the other 27.

Looking back, there was an unfathomable amount of work needed to raise them.  Its good thing that my wife and I didn't know that when we brought them into the world or we wouldn't have.

Thank you so very much for suspending your worries and letting the children visit your layout.   Children need to experience many, many, many things in order to be able to handle the world around them, to survive, prosper, and give back, when they get older.  That means that we need to start exposing them early because there is so much to take in.

When my kids were little most people within our hobby, and within other hobbies, were largely tolerant of us, which is all that a parent can really ask.  Thank you for being tolerant.  And, thanks to all of you who were tolerant with us back in the day.

Occasionally we'd run into someone, or some organization, that wasn't, including fellow model hobbyists that didn't want their stuff harmed and who would insist that we take them away to prevent problems,.  They were assuming beforehand that all children are out of control, and were so at all times.  A particularly difficult example involved a toy train store here locally, during the height of the 1990's resurgence, where the owner told me as I opened the door not to bring my children in.  He was vocal on the fact that kids were not welcome, neither in his store nor in the hobby.  Mercifully his business failed with a couple years.

My older son was an aspiring architect, something we could tell from a very early age.  He had a fascination for the craft side of the profession.  Unfortunately that profession put many roadblocks in the way, most centered around the idea that the aura surrounding the business, as seen by its practitioners, is an adult-only thing.  We tried taking him to see iconic designs.  What we got in return was that we were turned away from too many places.  Good examples are the designs of Frank Lloyd Wright.  No kids allowed.  No opportunity to teach or to learn.  By the time he was old enough to experience these works of art he was no longer impressionable.

Please don't write off the next generation.  Most parents are trying very hard to raise them to be good people.

Tom, and all others who care about the future, thank you again for your support of the effort we parents have made, and continue to make; and good luck to all parents raising young children today, especially our fellow forumites and hobbyists.

It's a tough job but someone's got to do it.  Thanks for your help.

Mike

@Tom Tee posted:

Seems like mom needs a pair wrap around safety glasses.

Was the book a tutorial for the viewing of a steel complex?  Neat idea.

I had previously been concerned about introducing children to the RR only to have them grow up and come back to grab something for drug money.   It is a shame we can not freeze the innocence & preciousness of young children.  Kids minds  seem abused by evil all around.

Fortunately, the Panhandle has never suffered a lost-time accident. 

The book is one of the series Steel Mill Railroads (in color) by Stephen Timko.  These books are collections of photographs of a great many steel mills across North America (US & Canada).  If I recall, the book is open to some photos of Standard Slag in the vicinity of Weirton Steel.  I had reproduced Standard Slag on my layout.  The young man and his grandmother were standing in front of both the book and the model.

If you are concerned about the future of children, then what you have done with your open house is a positive act on their behalf.  We can influence (but not strictly control) the actions of children as they grow up.  If we have laid a good foundation, they either do not stray too far or find a way to right themselves.  At least, such has been my experience.

George

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