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Bear Grylls: 'Schools Should Teach Children Survival Skills'

14/08/2014 17:01 | Updated 20 May 2015

Bear Grylls

Bear Grylls wants survival skills to be added to the school curriculum to teach children to embrace danger.

The former SAS soldier who is also Chief Scout, said parents who teach their kids to avoid risk are 'disempowering them'.

And to illustrate his point, TV survivalist Bear, 39, said his young son learned a valuable lesson after cutting himself with a penknife he had given him.

He told the Radio Times: "The thing is, sometimes in life we get cut. My six-year-old recently cut himself on a knife, and came in with blood pouring everywhere, but you know what? He's not cut himself again.

"He has learnt how to handle a knife; they do that at Beaver Scouts. I had my first penknife at six."

Criticising cotton wool culture, Bear added: "There is risk everywhere, even when you go out on the street.

"So if you teach kids to dodge risk, you totally disempower them.

"You empower kids by teaching them how to do something dangerous, but how to do it safely.

"That's what I say to Scouts all the time: 'We're going to climb this, it's going to be scary and dangerous, but we're going to do it together and look after each other to stay safe'."

Bear said: "I was lucky enough to go to Eton College - an incredible school where you learn amazing things.

"But if I had to write the education curriculum for every kid in this country, it wouldn't be Latin and maths, it would be the following: how to light a fire, tie a knot, use a penknife, build a raft, get on with people, eat healthily, keep fit, be part of a team and learn effective leadership. And that's it. Subjects that I have had to learn the hard way."

Bear, who takes 13 men out to a desert island to fend for themselves in his new Channel 4 show, The Island, said that it was 'part of being a dad' to teach his three sons how to make a catapult, tie a knot and improvise a kite, and that the children set up 'search and rescue' scenarios at home.

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