What is Going on???? Banning balls from elementary school?

Posted Friday, November 18th, 2011. Filed Under Voices of wisdom

I am so beside myself I cannot even tell you. I am not sure what people are thinking. There is so much fear in our world right now and while there is a shift in energy there are some people who are still buying into and allowing fear to rule their lives.

Our children hear so much NO, it is no wonder that they want to “check out” of school, not interested, bored and so on. Both my sons do well in school but neither one of them likes school, it’s boring. Yes, even when I went to elementary school I am sure that I was bored at times however what allowed us to get through the day was the fun parts – playing with your friends, running around and having fun. We put so much focus on learning and knowledge that we have taken away from the arts and creative side of school. Even my children’s music class is so technical that they hate it. This is coming from my child that has been playing the guitar and now electric guitar for 6 years and self taught himself notes by clapping.

Kids today are NOT allowed to have fun and just be kids. It is crazy. I came across an article yesterday about an elementary school in Toronto that decided to ban balls in their playground. A note was sent home saying that they are no longer allowed to soccer balls, basketballs, baseballs, footballs, and volleyballs to school. Oh wait they can bring NERF material balls to school – all other balls will be confiscated. Why did they make this decision? It appears that the playground area is small and balls have become a problem. Two weeks ago a mother came to pick up her child at daycare and was struck in the head with a soccer ball – had to go to the hospital with a concussion.

I do feel for the mother and yes there is obviously a problem – with flow and direction of how things are set up in the school. The children, especially the boys need this time to run around and get out some of their energy. It is bad enough that they have cut down on phys-ed time and free time is being monopolized by practice schedule for music (my kids have to go in 1 or 2 times per week during their recess to practice their instrument so they technically know their stuff – they can’t do it during class time and there are not enough of them to go around to take home – oh wait I could have spent $500 to rent one!). So we take an issue and go to the extreme rather than coming up with a solution that will make sense for everyone: safe place for adults to pick up their kids at daycare, room for the other children to play and create a safe environment.

What are we teaching our kids?? We push critical thinking (I prefer the term constructive thinking) where we ask kids to expand their thoughts and ideas. This is a perfect example of how we are failing our kids. So instead of looking at alternatives and really exploring this or consider asking the kids to come up with a solution – you know- engage them to be part of the solution – NO we just make a hard, fast decision to ban all hard balls. But of course, NERFS are ok and they won’t hurt someone, or will they? Oops we may need to ban NERF balls as well.

This is where we need to create a voice and challenge the systems – we need to learn to co-exist with one another and work together, collaborate. We have done our children no favour by PROTECTING THEM – from what, life lessons, learning, failing? We need to guide them to make better choices. How about, when a parent is walking to pick up their child or there is a small child in harms way, you stop playing ball and let them pass or move to another part of the field. Simple, yes!

I watched a great TED Talks video on this – large problems do not necessarily need large solutions, sometimes it’s the small changes that bring about larger results.

As the adults we need to stop this behaviour and belief that we need to protect our children. How are we equipping them for life when we do not allow them to experience life lessons, failure and learning. Rather than teaching them that they need to be perfect, tell them they are perfect with their imperfections. Be there to support and guide them not rule with an iron fist. I want my boys to be able to walk out the door each day and know they have the skills to make good or better decisions. I cannot control what happens in their lives every moment of every day however I can feel confident that I have done my best to equip them with the necessary life skills.

I want you to ponder this and really think about this, this weekend.

I want to wish everyone a wonderful weekend.

All my love,

Sandra

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