Saturday, February 01, 2014

New Zealand School ditches coddling kids rule&bullying decreases

Imagine that....stop coddling the kids and let them be kids, let them learn and learn to respect one another without the adults interfering in their natural ability to play and get along. Sure adult supervision should still exist, and intervention or redirection is needed at times, but stop coddling the kids, setting them up to fail with strict rules and let them learn through play, have fun and eventually they will grow up to be healthy, active and productive citizens like the rest of us.

I know when I was growing up there were not all these restrictive rules on play and kids could play kickball, dodge-ball, tag, cowboys and Indians, etc without adults saying it was too rough or insulting and kids were more active, less obese and more likely to get along through learning cooperative learning and group skills. Now days if a kid is called 'stupid' other kids are tattle telling right away. It seems kids today need to learn to know the difference between teasing,joking around play and actual bullying. Now days everything is bullying or harmful and they are growing up more obese, less active and overly sensitive. In result, we have more kids committing suicide and going on shooting sprees because they aren't learning how to cope with their emotions and overcome teasing and name calling or they are afraid to play.


A school in Auckland, New Zealand ditched the rules (video) and is losing the bullies.
Chaos may reign at Swanson Primary School with children climbing trees, riding skateboards and playing bullrush during playtime, but surprisingly the students don't cause bedlam, the principal says.
The school is actually seeing a drop in bullying, serious injuries and vandalism, while concentration levels in class are increasing.
Principal Bruce McLachlan rid the school of playtime rules as part of a successful university experiment.
"We want kids to be safe and to look after them, but we end up wrapping them in cotton wool when in fact they should be able to fall over."
Here in the United States a Long Island school did the opposite and banned all games during recess. Many of the parents believe it was done to prevent a lawsuit.
Obesity rates are epidemic in American children. Instead of natural play, many want to ban it then substitute with structured programs that reinforce exercise like the NFL Play 60 and Michelle Obama's Let's Move campaigns. I'm all for these programs as part of the solution, not a substitution for natural play. Kids with involved parents don't need corporate entities or government telling them how to play. 

Studies show kids who play hard and take risks turn out less dependent as adults.Play matters throughout our entire lifetime. Think about your bruises and maybe fractured or broken bones. Aren't some of them fond memories? Mine are. 

mysignature-1.png©2008-2014 Patricia Garza

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