So the background: I have a nephew who I suspect is going to need as much help as he can get to get a leg-up in life. His biological dad is a nice enough guy, but he's not exactly role-model material. His stepdad provides discipline, but he's sort of a tool, and I wouldn't count him as a behavioral role model, either. His mom seems to be hell bent on working herself into an early grave, though she'd lay down her life for the kid. I figure the best way that I, as the expected "dangerous" uncle can help, is to feed the kid's sense of danger, daring, and risk while trying to temper any self-destructive tendencies that pop up.
When I was little, I got a chemistry set, but it was pretty well and good castrated even then. While the chemistry sets in the '50s and '60s could potentially let you build a nuclear reactors or blown off your hands, none of the chemicals in mine did anything worse than stain the rug. The shit that's available now is even worse; sugar crystals and other zero risk crap. Yes, it's cool that first time you do it, but it has zero re-play value. He's only seven right now, but his inner masculine pyro side is already showing itself (as evidenced by his begging to ignite thermite the last time I saw him), and I want to help make sure the kid doesn't wind up a sad, broken shell of a man with no prospects when he grows up, while also trying not to be the deciding factor in his becoming a convicted felon.
I figure exposure to science and sparking the questions of 'how', 'why', and 'what if' are the best things I can offer him. So, Voat, I already know that my wife and I must be the ones who take him shooting, let him blow shit up, teach him how to pick open locks, and the best ways to counter a hangover, but what the fuck can I get this kid to help gently mold him into a decent, well rounded man? He's going to need every advantage he can get, and it is my duty to do what I can.