No this post is not about the kind of “Falling Down” portrayed above. It’s the kind of “falling down” the leads to the need for knee-patches as pictured below.
See when I was a kid <insert croaky old voice here> we ran all the time. We ran to school in the morning, we ran in the school yard during breaks, we ran home and we ran from our parent when it was bedtime. We also cycled bikes, climbed trees, skated on ice without skates, climbed up and jumped of walls, swung from tree-branches and fairly well did whatever we could in the great big playground that the world is at that age. Obviously this resulted in regular falls leading to busted knees and cracked skulls. Between the age of 8 and 12 I don’t think I ever *not* had a big scab one one or both of my knees. Most of my friends were the same and a substantial percentage of kids had broken one or more bones at some point. I myself still have a big scar on my neck from running into barbed wire, a scarred left arm from 3rd degree burns at the tender age of 6 and a scar on my forehead from running into the corner of a house (don’t ask). And that’s only the biggies.
Now I have my own kids. Five of them even, ranging from 13 down to 4. And while I do not like to see my kids hurt I think that they are very well served by doing what I did (as described above) push their boundaries and learn when you get hurt and when not. It’s all part of growing up and familiarizing yourself with the world around you. There is no better way to learn what is dangerous than by pushing across a boundary and getting hurt. Lessons like that are remembered for life.
So imagine my dismay when my kids come home from school and tell me that they are not allowed to run in the schoolyard, not allowed to go out when it rains, not allowed out when it snows, and not allowed to slide on patches of ice in the schoolyard. When they ask their teacher they are told it’s because of “insurance reasons”. See, we have grown into a society where nothing bad is supposed to happen and if it does one should immediately take legal action to seek compensation for any and all discomfort. We are all entitled to a nice cushy life shielded form any discomforts. Slip on the sidewalk and hurt your knee? Sue the council! Don’t like it that your work colleagues make jokes about your 20 stone ass? Sue your employer. Eat fast food all your life until your clogged up arteries explode? Sue McDonald’s!
Anyway, I digress.
I do however take real issue with children’s freedom to grow & explore being limited. Supposedly for their own good. It is my conviction that in order for children to grow up to become balanced and wise adults that they need to have been allowed to push and explore boundaries while growing up and most of all learn what happens if they step over a boundary. It’s really comes down to the old; you run too fast, you fall, you hurt yourself and it’s nobody’s fault but your own. BEST LIFE LESSON EVER.
Please people stop smothering your children and most of all stop smothering mine!