Thursday, January 15, 2009

They are taking their balls and .....

I must begin by stating clearly and for the record that I have not used this forum to vent, until today. The closest I have come was a post about my daughter's hair, which I honestly find funny rather than upsetting (the hair, not the post). All that said, today I am going to vent - if you want happy feel-good reading, you should probably look elsewhere.

My husband and I attended a conference at my son's school on Monday (yes this has been festering like an oozing sore) I demanded requested this conference for a number of reasons, that discussing would cause my head to explode take too much time to explain. What you the reader need to know is that on the playground the kids have been playing soccer and in the steal/protect mode a child was kicked in the shin. As any parent of a child knows, recess is a fundamental time for social and physical development. It is the most accident ridden time of day, but essential for the children.

So, here we are sitting in this meeting with 5 people from the school while the director tries to cover her butt explain how she is looking out for the best interest of my son. She scorns recess and asks her staff what is being done to end this competition among the boys, blah blah blah. The response is: they are taking the balls away - so the children will not be engaged in competitive situations! huh?

How on earth is this going to keep the students from 1) having accidents 2) being bullied? I am all for playing cooperative sports, if that is your thing, but to take away competition? Good luck! The accidents will still occur regularly and the bullies (2 particular boys) will still find reasons to push and torment. I have a novel idea - how about teaching character development?

When I was a kid, recess was an experience of independence. You chose who to play with and what to do. If you fell in kick ball, you got up and played. If the rules were unfair or changing, you left. Adults were only necessary for those times when someone was bleeding or there was a big fight! Otherwise you dealt with it. What are we turning our kids into that they can not be given enough independence to play? Taking the balls away will only cause kids to have races, see who can throw frisbees the furthest, etc etc. They will compete because it is what they do. The children who do not want to compete will find something else to do. When I hear this type of thing, it strikes me as unreal, but it is real and it is happening. I called my sister to tell her about the meeting, and she said that one of her kids came home and said they were told they can not run on the playground! This is insane, in our quest to create peace, we are turning into crazed zealots!

BTW: Before you form an opinion that I am a crazy competitive soccer mom, I just want to assure you that this is not the case. I don't follow sports and I have not engrained my kids with the need to win. I do believe that learning to live as a social creature is very important - win, lose, or walk away. (& it was my son, among other kids, being bullied, though that is not why the meeting was held)


  1. Wow. This is a stupid policy. Give 'em hell until you become a boil on their back end and don't let up then either!

  2. you already know what i think about all these morons you're having to deal with. but i like weaselMomma's idea too!

  3. weaselmomma: I am doing my best!

    nonna: yeah, I gotta say it seems to be one queen moron.

  4. That is awful. I can see a kid being told not to run around here, the frozen wasteland is pretty slick at the moment. They are definitely not fixing anything with that stupid policy, if anything they will make it worse because kids are extremely inventive and will likely find something that is also dangerous to do, like climb on top of equipment or jump from the swings or something. Kicking around a ball is relatively safe, sucks that a kid got kicked but as long as it was an accident or if it was on purpose the bully got in trouble I don't see any major concerns about it. By the time I have kids (if I have kids), they'll probably require me to wrap them in bubble wrap and Styrofoam with a helmet and joint pads on every joint just to be allowed on school grounds!


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