On Friday I received two letters. The first was from a school the boys will attend in the future, the second from their current educational institution.
Message from the Principal
Oftentimes I see students on the playground after school making choices that are not responsible or safe. Given that there is no staff supervision on the playground after school, I rely on parents to support their child(ren) in making great choices:
- Walking, hanging or flipping on monkey bars is prohibited
- Children should be going down the slide feet first (not climbing up slides or sliding down hands first)
- Running is not permitted in the tan bark area or on the play structures.
- There is no climbing up or hanging off the “twisty” slide
- Running on the blacktop is not permitted
- No tackle football, soccer or other play is permitted on the grass
Most important, students are NOT permitted to play unattended on the playground or grass area. Should you be picking up your child(ren) after the bell, they need to wait in the garden at the front of the school. Accidents and injuries occur when students are not making safe choices on the playground, or are not supervised by an adult. Thank you making the safety of our students a priority.
To recap, without an adult’s all-seeing eagle eye, an elementary-age student should sit politely on the grass. (Perhaps engaged in an academic conversation with schoolmates?)
Monkeying around may lead to falling. Falling is bad. The playground is not a safe place for exploration. In lieu of encapsulating all our sweet peas in a bubble: do not run in the play structure, do not run on the playground, do not play sports on the grass.
I think we can all agree. Safety is paramount. To ensure safety, please do not let your child act like a child. Realistically, this is a necessary reaction to the litigious nature of a helicopter parent society.
Destroy has been having a rough patch lately. He’s impulsive and wears his emotions on his sleeve. This was reflected in the second note. The handwritten page read simply,
Destroy hit another child in the face with a car and left a mark. He has been having a lot of trouble not hitting his friends, taking toys from them and knocking over their toys.
Tantrums abound amid a severe lack of listening ears. Apparently he was also being a bit wild and reckless at school.
Children are people. As they grow up they begin developing their own identities. It is only natural that these tiny people start to exhibit a desire for a bit of hands-on learning around their environment.
Today’s kids are treated as fragile breakable beings. They live in a world of rules and restrictions.
Don’t do this.
Stop doing that.
That’s not okay.
Don’t act age-appropriately.
Can you blame them for acting out? I remember being a child and wanting numerous slices of delicious bread served at restaurants. But I wasn’t allowed. Nope – don’t eat any more, you’ll spoil your appetite. I vowed that one day I would go out to dinner and eat nothing but appetizer bread. It’s the little things…
Yesterday we took the boys out for a hike and picnic lunch. Destroy was less than thrilled with the menu offering of peanut butter and jelly. “I don’t want that. I’m not eating peanut butter for lunch! No!”
“Ok,” I replied, while silently dreading the low blood sugar meltdown that was certain to follow. “But that’s all we have right now.”
Instead of flinging the sandwich into the foliage abyss 2,400 feet below, my little 40-pounder skulked across the open space preserve parking lot and sat himself down on a rock. A while later, he decided he was hungry and decided to deal with the smashed nutty cuisine.
But the choice was his. He allowed himself to step away from the situation. And in controlling his own environment, he was able to control himself.
Perhaps, as adults, we should concern ourselves less with “protecting” our precious snowflakes and bemoaning behavior problems and focus more on letting kids be kids.
How can we expect them to be the next great generation if we won’t let them grow up, yet demand they act like bored adults? Believe me – there are plenty of times I’d love to run amuck. I regret passing those up in the days of my youth.
Methinks that bubble wrap may be more detrimental than we thought through. Let them run rampant on the playground. By definition it’s grounds for kids to play.
Clarification: I actually find zero fault with the elementary school for implementing such a hard line. As mentioned, we live in a (ridiculously) litigious society. Parents have sued school districts (and won!) because their child was hurt whole playing unsupervised outside of school hours on the playground.
The mockery lies entirely upon the parental bubble forced on kids – myself included. It was a stark realization watching Destroy fight for a modicum of independence. Even against something as delicious as a PBJ sandwich.