The GEM Debate: Is THIS How We
Prepare Kids For Life?(POLL)
AGGGGGGGGGHHHHH! Warning.. the next 500 or so words are going to make me sound like a really old lady but I heard a piece on the news the other day that made me certain we are raising a nation of sissies.
I put it up on my Facebook page and am hoping we can discuss it more here but Weber Middle School on Long Island has decided that, due to the potential for injury, it will no longer allow recreational activities that involve a hard ball during kids’ recess because they might get hurt.
Okay, see that picture? Yeah.. see the scowl on my face and the shiner under my left eye? Know how I got that? Playing. At home. A relatively safe game of tag. There were no hard balls involved.. just kids with arms and I got pushed down on accident; clearly this happened before I knew how to put my hands up in front of my face of that I was planning for a career in television.
I wish I cold say this was an isolated incident; alas I cannot. I once broke my arm at a neighbor’s house. How? Playing circus.. and he, lying on his back, launched me (all 68 pounds at the time) into the air and I did a half summersault (did I mention this was mid-air) and landed on my wrist, which at the time, resembled the limbs of a praying mantis. Yep.. broken bone.
Then there was the time some neighbor kids and I decided to play Indy 500 on our bikes (DISCLAIMER: I do NOT recommend riding without a helmet, though we did at the time. We also slid on metal slides in the middle of summer, perched over asphalt, not wood chips). Well, I fell off my bike and landed on my face (see above) at which point my sister, following closely behind, ran over the back of my neck. I chipped a tooth and had road rash from forehead to chin.
It hurt like hell.
But I survived.
I got tougher and dammit, I learned how to (ultimately) not fall on my face.
I guess my main concern in movements like this one by the Long Island middle school, is that we end up teaching kids that life is about avoiding injury instead of a full contact sport. We’re teaching them that the world is a scary place full of pitfalls and danger, rather than teaching them self-reliance and the mistakes to avoid.
Look, the fact is kids are going to get hurt just by virtue of the fact that they are kids. I think the fine line is mitigating the extent of that injury without wrapping them in plastic.
Okay your turn to weigh in.. what say you? Do you agree with the Weber Middle School’s decision to ban games with hard balls? Will this detract from kids’ childhood experiences? Did you get hurt a lot as a child?
Take the poll and leave a comment!