Thoughts, Philosophy, Life and Love

Tag: Children

What they’ve taken from our kids…

Remember when we were kids and we were allowed to had our moments of ignorance? When we could play games and were none the wiser to if they were or were not, in some way, proper or politically correct or not?

I remember playing tag, dodgeball, “cowboys and indians”, and running around the neighborhood with toy guns and throwing rocks or “dirt clods” at my friends. I remember climbing fences, walls, poles, etc and getting hurt, and never had to worry about anything other than my parents telling me I was acting like a fool and brushing me off, then sending me back out to do it all over again.

Today, I cannot allow my son to do many of these things. So many of them are not proper or considered violent. The school he goes to has banned games like tag or dodgeball. They have even put restrictions on gathering in groups. While I understand that fighting is not permitted, it was the same when I was growing up, it appears that defending yourself is also not permitted.

What, exactly, are our schools and our society trying to create in our children? Just because kids like to play rough and break some of the rules, does not mean that they will grow up to be bad children. In some cases it can be the opposite.

Let’s take, for example, the act of kids roughhousing around. That is something I did as a kid, it’s not really fighting, but can be an aggressive form of play that, yes, can lead to a few bumps and bruises. In her 2018 article on PsychCentral, Therese Borchard addresses this and more, going on to say that the act of roughhousing can help to make kids smarter, more likable and can help build a sense of ethics and morality (Borchard,2018). And I have a personal experience with that as well. When we would roughhouse as kids, there was always a line we did not cross, a purpose. If someone got hurt, then we stopped, granted, that is not ALWAYS the case, but more often than not, it was. You also learn more about your weakness’ and how to interact with others. It was healthy and we always had fun.

Dodegeball is another one that my son will never have the joy of playing in school. When I was young, we played dodgeball at recess and I can not recall anyone ever being truly injured in the game. Yeah, I remember taking a ball to the face once or twice, and yes, it was not fun. But you pick up and you get back playing again. It sort of taught you the lesson that sometimes things will knock you down, but you have to get back up and get back in the game. Move on. This is not to say that there were not those that went too far, I am sure there are. But we cannot and should not let that be the rule, more… make sure we remember that it is the exception.

One last thing, a problem I am going through now with my son’s relationship with my wife (his mother) and his grandmother, is that too often, these days, we coddle our children too much. While I understand it is all in what we percieve as the best interest of our children, it is not healthy to try to protect then from everything, or they end up not learning. Tim Elmore wrote a wonderful piece on this, where he said, ” When we give kids the freedom to fight and fail and find their way through the pain of life, we are not hurting them. We are helping them build the strength they need to fly. ” (Elmore, 2015). And he is exactly right.

We need to experience both success and failure, you really cannot have one without the other. We need to feel the pain of loss to really know the joy of what we earn or acheive. We need to have those moments of complete humility to remember that we are not, nor will be ever be, perfect.

Thank you for reading.

Works Cited

Borchard, T. (2018, Oct 8). 6 Benefits of Roughhousing for Kids. Retrieved from PsychCentral: https://psychcentral.com/lib/6-benefits-of-roughhousing-for-kids/

Elmore, T. (2015, Dec 16). ARE YOU PROTECTING YOUR KIDS FROM REALITY OR PREPARING THEM FOR LIFE? Retrieved from focusonthefamily.com: https://www.focusonthefamily.com/parenting/are-you-protecting-your-kids-from-reality-or-preparing-them-for-life/

My son, the lady’s man

So as my son grows, I am noticing several new things about him each passing day.  Most of these are the usual things you notice about a child.  Picking up new habits, showing interest in things and wanting to know what they are.  Seeing his reflection in a mirror and knowing that he is looking at himself.

Then there are the things that one does not expect from a 15 month old.  Like the fact that he seems to be turning into quite the lady’s man.   Or at least he is developing a strong interest in the women he sees.   Maybe a little too strong an interest.

You  see, this all started several months ago when I went to a friend’s house for his son’s birthday party.  Naty, Gideon and Myself were invited to the party and so, well,  we went.  The host of this party has, in addition to the son whose party we were attending, has a daughter and at this party she was wearing a bathing suit.

I was not aware of the suit until Gideon, my THEN six-month-old son, about broke his neck to watch something going on behind me.  So I turned around so that he could get a better look at whatever it was that he saw.   And what he saw was Dave’s daughter in her bathing suit, and he proceeded to watch her until she was gone, and even then you could tell he wanted to follow her.

Fast forward several months to two weeks ago.  We were taking Gideon on a little early evening walk around the Marketplace, a small outdoor mall near where we live, because Gids LOVES the fountain there.  As we were walking around the fountain for about the thirtieth time, three girls, maybe in their late teens, if that, walking into the area where the fountain was.

Gideon, seeing them, broke his orbit around the fountain and headed right for them.  He then plowed right into the middle of their little group and announced himself and looked at them all.   It was like he was saying; “Hello ladies, here I am!”

The girls were all taken by his cuteness and talked to him and played to his inflated ego, and this is when he did the next thing that startled me.  He walked up behind one of the girls and put his hand on her butt.  If she noticed, she did not let it on… after all, he is just a baby, right?

He spent a couple minutes yammering at them and squealing here and there, with an occasional laugh thrown in for good measure.  Then when it came time for them to leave, he walked up to one of the other girls, who was wearing a rather short pair of shorts, and proceeded to pat her bottom as well.

I cannot help but wonder where he get this Casanova streak.  People have said, when I tell this this story, that he is growing up to be like his daddy.  Not quite… my talents when it comes to the ladies have always been in need.   When I was dating I was about as suave as an epileptic orangutan with hiccups.

So the consensus in our house is this. If Gids keeps up this streak, by the time he is in High School, we are going to have build some database to keep track of his girlfriends, because he is probably going to have plenty of them.  He appears to be well on his way to becoming a little Casanova Heart-breaker.

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