Archive for the ‘children’ Tag

The Safety Brigade Strikes Again! Many Outdoor Kid’s Games are Unsafe   2 comments

The Safety Brigade strikes again!  Remember childhood games such as Capture the Flag, Steal the Bacon, kickball and dodgeball?  Well here’s a story from New York where the health department has labeled these activities as unsafe and that they pose a “significant risk of injury.” Children’s recreational programs that offer these ‘dangerous’ activities will fall under certain regulations.

http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2011/04/19/2011-04-19_classic_kids_games_like_kickball_deemed_unsafe_by_state_in_effort_to_increase_su.html

I’ll tell you what is dangerous.  26 million people in the United States have diabetes, according to the CDC.   Many of them are children diagnosed with type II which was once rarely seen in those under the age of 40.  25% of America’s children are obese or overweight. We need to wake up!  Our kids need to be active – they need to play hard and use their bodies.  They cannot do that if we allow our fears of all the ‘what ifs’ to cause us to hover over them and keep them from physical activity.  When our schools and communities jump on the safety bandwagon we create a culture of fear and this handicaps our children by making them feel inept and creating barriers to self-confidence.  If that confidence and physical fitness needs to be attained by getting a few bumps, bruises, lost teeth and stitches – then so be it.

Should everything be ‘fun’?   Leave a comment

While sitting in class for massage therapy, we were asked by the director of the program to give feedback regarding the class.  He was looking for suggestions on ways to improve the program and then he asked….. “Is it fun?”  I couldn’t believe he was asking a class of adults if their class was fun.  Fun is riding a roller coaster, water skiing, going to a movie, those things are fun.  I would describe the class as enjoyable, interesting and informative, but not fun… and I don’t expect it to be.

Webster’s dictionary defines fun as, that which is amusing, or mirthful; entertaining; recreation or play.  People today want constant entertainment.  If something is not ‘fun’ it’s not worth doing.  When I taught senior high Sunday school some years ago, I asked the kids what they envisioned the class to be.  It was no surprise that the first thing out of their mouths was, “It should be fun.”  Children have come to believe all their experiences should be fun partly because of the question I hear parents everywhere ask their children.  Whether they are picking up their children from school, church, sports practice, music lessons, the question is always the same – “Did you have fun?”    

 By asking that question it plants the idea in their minds that all their experiences should be fun.  In reality, all experiences aren’t fun, nor should they be.  For example, I enjoy going to church – do I have fun?  Not usually, unless we are doing something like a church picnic or a game night, it is generally not fun.  But just because it’s not fun, doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy it.  Some experiences in life are fun, but others are meant to be informative, reflective, educational and productive – these experiences can be enjoyed for what they are meant to be, instead of turning into something that must always be amusing.

Instead of teaching our children that everything they experience should be full of fun and entertainment, I think we need to teach them to find joy in life and savor all the experiences life has to offer – not just the ‘fun’ ones.

Posted January 21, 2011 by The Nonconformist Mom in childhood

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I left my listening ears at home   Leave a comment

I hear it in libraries, in schools, churches and any other place where children gather – phrases such as, “put on your listening ears,” or “use your inside voices,” and today at the YMCA,  I heard a mom tell her daughter to use her ‘walking feet’ on the pool deck.  I never quite understood the reasoning behind using such phrases. If my husband answers his cell phone in the store and talks too loudly, I simply say, “Shhh, you’re talking too loud.”  It would feel ridiculous for me to say, “Please use your inside voice,” – and I would feel just as silly talking to my children or other children that way.  Children do understand normal conversation and I think they appreciate  not being talked down to by using these cutesy phrases. A group of first graders touring the library will understand – “You need to talk quietly in the library.” 

We live in a time where parents are so concerned about damaging their poor child’s self-esteem. Telling a child to be quiet while someone else is talking is too harsh, so instead we say, “put on your listening ears,” because it sounds nicer and less like a command.  Maybe that is part of the reason why many moms become exhausted when they are around their children.  They are trying to keep up an artificial front of cutesy talk, endless counting to three, validating feelings instead of just being real.

The next time I’m at the library and hear a teacher say, “Now everyone, Please put on your listening ears,” I secretly hope some kid pops up and says, “But teacher I left them at home.”  I bet she’ll be quick to say, “Sit down and be quiet.”

Posted January 12, 2011 by The Nonconformist Mom in childhood

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