Friday, November 8, 2013

Hey you kids, stop having fun

Who out there has ever played a game of tag?
That's what I thought. Pretty much anyone who was a child, has played the game at some point.
Tag is where one person is 'it' and they must run around and touch - or tag - another person who will then be it, and then they run around and touch someone else etc.
So basically it is a fun game where children build up their cardio after spending hours sitting in a classroom.
It is a game that has been played on school yards since the creation of school yards.
Well not any more. An elementary school in the Lower Mainland has banned Kindergarten children from playing tag.
Why, you ask with a look of astonishment on your face?
Were kids taking steroids to perform better on the field of honour? Were ringers being brought in from other schools to dominate the playground?
Nope. It would seem school officials are worried about children hurting themselves while playing.
Some are concerned the running and twisting and turning involved in such a sport could cause one of the little ones to fall upon the hard earth and scrape a knee or skin an elbow.
Oh, the humanity.
School officials said they banned Kindergarten kids from playing for safety reasons and one teacher was astonished anyone would object to such a move.
In fact, the school took it a step further – like they always do – and banned any game where there is any sort of contact no matter how minor.
You can't push your friend on a swing anymore because there is contact and you certainly can not run after them and tap them on the shoulder because that would lead to fitness and children having fun outdoors.
And then people wonder why Junior weighs 200 pounds going in to Grade 1.
For years we have heard about how weight-enhanced our youth are becoming and now they ban a game that is nothing but pure exercise from start to finish.
Did I play tag when I was in school? Of course, who didn't?
Did anyone get hurt while playing tag? Not really.
Sure someone would stumble and fall down, causing minor boo-boos, but 99.99 per cent of the time, that person would jump right back up and get right back in the game.
What kid hasn't scraped a knee, scuffed an elbow or planted the palm of their hand so hard tiny rocks get embedded in the skin?
No need to panic, freak out or cancel the game. All you have to do is brush the tiny rocks away and keep on playing.
Kids are going to be kids and by being kids they are going to encounter a variety of injuries, typically none of which are serious enough to require such a drastic move as banning the game of tag.
I can remember playing tackle football without any gear during my elementary school lunch breaks.
Yes we did get hurt. We had minor cuts and bruises and even the occasional sprain, but it was all part of the childhood experience.
Soon, schools will demand children be completely encased in bubble wrap while wearing a hockey helmet and steel-toed boots just to go to class in case they accidentally fall and need a bandage to cover a tiny wound.
I agree safety for our children is important, but it is also important to let them be children. Let them run around and have fun. Let them chase each other in a game of tag and, yes, let them fall down and scrape a knee once in a while.
Creating a generation of overweight children who are afraid to leave their rooms for fear of being hurt is not good for anyone.

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