I opened the Herald Sun the other morning and almost choked on my toast.
A Victorian suburban primary school has stopped their students form playing tag (or tiggy when I was at primary school) because it led to kids getting disappointed and upset about getting caught. You read that right: tag banned because the school didn’t want to deal with kids getting upset (sore losers) over getting caught in a kids game.
As a society we are officially screwed!
I sat back and thought about all the activities that have been banned at primary school:
- Brandy (the game of chasing people around the playground and trying to ping them with a tennis ball)
- British Bulldogs (the classic tackling game)
- Trading Footy Cards (due to a bad trade might hurt their feelings: you can also apply this to Melbourne Football Club supporters as well)
- Playing ‘flicks’ for footy cards (see above)
- Woolworth’s Nature cards (see above)
- Tackling when playing footy at lunchtime (fear of kids getting hurt physically)
- Cowboys and Indians (I wonder why?)
- Teachers hugging kids if they have been hurt on the playground (gimme’ a break)
- Marbles (who plays this still?).
There are even stories where this had dripped down into children’s parties when not only the winner gets a prize, but everyone who participated does so feelings don’t get hurt.
You might as well just wrap our kids in bubble wrap and roll them through the gates.
My fear is that we are ‘protecting’ kids now, but what about once they get older? How are they going to deal with dissapointment and failure? It is a part of life. I have failed many times through life and I have cried (the Grade 3 sprint) and got upset but so be it. It made me hungrier to succeed and a better person in the long run (still debatable).
It will put a temporary dent in their confidence but the role of parents, friends and mentors is to pick them back up and show them they’re good enough and will eventually succeed. We cannot keep banning behaviour and hoping it works because of the minority having a say about it.
We might as well change the National Anthem at primary school and change the word ‘girt’ to ‘surround’ because none of the kids know what girt means. Oh wait a minute, that has already happened at a primary school near me! Here is an ides: teach then what the bloody hell ‘girt’means as you work at a school!
Will it ever end or get better? I don’t know. But there is one thing I do know and that we are the ‘Nanny State’ and it isn’t due to our aging population.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.