“It Has Come to Our Attention that the Imaginations of our Preschool Children are Becoming Dangerously Overactive…”

Readers — I do believe the flyer below is real, from a pre-k in Philadelphia. And, for the record, I love when kids make up their own superheroes, not the ones cadged from the media. BUT even I got my witch persona (uh, that is, my childhood dhndhhyzaa
witch persona) from The Wizard of Oz.

I understand the school’s desire to keep kids from actually hurting each other. But why not stop THAT instead of telling kids what they are and aren’t allowed to play? – L.

As always “the safety and well being of your child is our first and foremost concern.” NOT the exuberance and development of your child. Just the safety. – L.


99 Responses to “It Has Come to Our Attention that the Imaginations of our Preschool Children are Becoming Dangerously Overactive…”

  1. RobC May 22, 2013 at 9:03 am #

    “out children”? “active paly times”? And this is from a school?

    I do hope this is a hoax.

  2. Valerie May 22, 2013 at 9:03 am #

    Nice misspells and typos educators.

  3. G May 22, 2013 at 9:15 am #

    I was met by a similar yet less detailed notice at my son’s preschool (in Massachusetts) last year. There was an obvious bias against typical male favored games and activities. Having two boys I can distinguish between trying to minimize problematic behavior and allowing age appropriate at that can be loud and sometimes physical.

    The good guy/bad guy dynamic is a big part of play for 3-5 year olds. We know that kids this age (often boys) throw their whole selves into play. If we can’t allow this we are cutting off a major creative outlet.

  4. gap.runner May 22, 2013 at 9:15 am #

    Are you sure the date on that flyer wasn’t changed from 1 April?

  5. Naturalmom May 22, 2013 at 9:23 am #

    I have to say that my son’s preschool tried to allow this kind of play with boundaries (don’t hurt people), and it did not work. My son *said* he liked playing the superhero and good-guy/bad-guy stuff, but in actuality it often ended up in tears for him and for other children. Milder children who were not into monster and superhero play were becoming intimidated and frightened by the intensity. Finally, the preschool teacher had a meeting with the children and they decided to not allow this kind of play at all. The days were transformed. Play was fun for all again (even those who had been instigating the more aggressive play.)

    So while in theory, I think children should direct their own play, I know that in practice, imitative play (as opposed to imaginative play) can become disruptive to the entire community, especially in a group setting. I sympathize with the school in this case because I have seen the kind of situation they are likely dealing with. Our preschool did a great job of including parents and kids in a long process of trying different strategies and talking about the issue before the ban was put in place, but frankly, the ban was the solution. I think the problem is that kids aren’t just watching these shows on Saturday mornings anymore. They can be steeped in them for hours a day if allowed to. Even parents who limit media exposure often allow some every day. (I do.) Preschoolers don’t always have a complete tool kit yet for taking what they see and moderating it to socially acceptable play with other children. I still let my son play superheroes with some of his friends so that he can learn some of these skills in a smaller setting, but I completely understand why the school feels the need to just say no.

  6. lollipoplover May 22, 2013 at 9:24 am #

    Imaginary games “do not promote hurting one another” but individual kids can. Kids need to learn limits (reinforced by teachers) that address the bruts in the group, not the games themselves. Isn’t that why we send kids to school, to learn social skills?

    I can’t imagine the conversation a parent would have with a child going to this school- “Have fun at school today Dylan but don’t play any of the games you enjoy! They’re against the rules now. Have a great day!”

    Why challenge kids to anything these days including social skills and childhood games that may cause injury? Keep them inside on carpet and let them only play Marbles…but no, they’re a choking risk.

  7. WendyPinNJ May 22, 2013 at 9:24 am #

    I just don’t see how it’s possible for imagination to become OVER-active. Let alone dangerously so. The fact that a preschool believes it can is a little scary.

  8. Onemusingmama May 22, 2013 at 9:24 am #

    Dear Parents, please make sure your children come to school docile and never ever allow them to watch anything on tv. You must have them in control at all times. Otherwise we teachers will have to actually manage these beasts (er, children) and redirect them into more appropriate ways to use their super powers for good and that would really cut into our Twitter time. Thanks.

  9. Joanne May 22, 2013 at 9:28 am #

    Naturalmom, the way I just read your post “Finally, the preschool teacher had a meeting with the children and they decided to not allow this kind of play at all.” tells me that the school engaged the children in this process and didn’t create an outright ban of their own volition. That’s a big difference, to me, than a ban from higher ups. The kids have ownership of the decision and were involved in the process.

  10. Warren May 22, 2013 at 9:30 am #

    Of course this is what the school wants. It is much easier on the staff to have the kids quiet and compliant, than it is to have kids that are active and having fun.

    I do not know why parents put up with this. Would have wrote on the back “Sucks to be you, but it isn’t going to happen.” and signed it, and sent it back to the school.

    The school will next be asking the parents to watch their childs food intake while at home. They do not want the kids eating things that will give them energy.

  11. Lola May 22, 2013 at 9:30 am #

    There’s a saying in Spanish that goes “Kill the dog, end the rabies” (more or less), meaning that even though it’s easier to drastically end a problem altogether, you often end up without the whole purpose of the activity at hand.
    The same thing seems to go on here: I don’t think an overactive imagination can physically hurt anybody, but it’s certainly easier to try and squash it than actually educating it by teaching the kids to keep it at hand.
    I think the majority of these “superheroes” are perfectly aware that they can play Superman without jumping out the window, trying to fly. Next step, teach them that you can pretend to fight the villain without actually punching them.

  12. Kay May 22, 2013 at 9:32 am #

    Wonder twin powers- deactivate!

  13. FormerMom May 22, 2013 at 9:33 am #

    Imaginations and superheroes don’t hurt kids. Kids hurt kids. Or wait… that’s something about guns isn’t it?

  14. Practical Mama May 22, 2013 at 9:34 am #

    I can understand that some cartoons are not appropriate for preschoolers (such as the ones shown in that picture). However I think this message is worded completely in a wrong way. First of all, if kids are imitating violent, adult-appropriate cartoons, that is not imagination. That is imitation. Children will imitate not only the fighting, but also whining and arguments that they see in “supposedly child-appropriate” cartoons. It is preschool’s responsibility to prepare the “environment” so that children will really engage in “creative and imaginative play” and keep safe and not hurt each other.
    Second, why would a preschool, let children re-enact television shows / movies during “active paly”!!! time?
    The message is not coherent.

  15. Nichole O. May 22, 2013 at 9:56 am #

    I love comic books and superheroes. I practically grew up in my grandfather’s comic book store, and will happily go see any comic book movie that comes out–no matter how bad I know it will be! I was also a daycare/preschool teacher (until the birth of my son).

    Sadly, I had to institute a rule like this at the last daycare I worked in. We had one child who became extremely violent whenever he played super heroes (including and incident where he choked another child). We tried telling him that Batman/Spiderman (his favorites) were good guys, and good guys, and good guys don’t hurt their friends. We tried letting him play superheroes as long as he kept his hands/feet/etc off his friends. We tried everything we could think of to let him play superheroes without anyone getting hurt, but in the end we had the safety and happiness of 15 other children to consider.

    We banned superheroes on the playground. Not because we were too lazy to redirect the children, not because we wanted to stifle their creativity, not because we didn’t want them to have fun, not because we expect them to be perfectly behaved little automatons. We banned superheroes because the 3 year olds we were entrusted to care for and protect and care for were being hurt.

    I don’t know if the preschool in this article had similar issues or not. They may be entirely unreasonable in their banning of superheroes. But please don’t assume that any teacher who would institute such a ban is lazy/incompetent/fun-hating.

  16. CrazyCatLady May 22, 2013 at 10:01 am #

    I worked at a very large preschool during the time of He-Man. The He-Man cartoon was designed so that He-Man, despite all his muscles, would defeat his enemies (almost, or there wouldn’t be a show) without killing anyone. His sword was used in defense only.

    The boys, particularly the 4-5 group, played He-Man all the time, and hit, kicked and punched each other. We tried to stop the boys, but, because this is developmentally appropriate behavior, they did it anyhow. These teachers are seeing the same thing. If it wasn’t Star War or the latest cartoons, it would be cops and robbers. Boys are creative and find a way.

    My own boys and their friends found a way to play Star Wars. We parents gave them pool noodle “light sabers” and let them go at it. They had a great time, and no one got seriously hurt.

  17. Rebecca May 22, 2013 at 10:09 am #

    my son has had issues at his pre-school with getting injured and injuring others during active play time where a mish-mash of Power Rangers and Avengers is being enacted. Guess what? The injuries were all in the course of normal play, not serious and everyone apologized and calmed down afterward. I think that he and his friends actually learned that it is important to be aware of others in your physical space, to apologize if you hurt someone, and to keep playing through minor aches and pains. You know, life lessons.

    His teachers do an excellent job of explaining that purposeful violent behavior is inappropriate and also they do a wonderful job monitoring for such and shutting it down. However, the occasional accident is no big deal. Parents are, of course, notified but most just shrug it off as daily play.

    My favorite thing about when B comes home talking about an epic battle involving Power Rangers and Avengers is that he is well-exercised, eats well, doesn’t act crazy/act out and goes to bed without complaint. I really don’t see a problem.

  18. maaaty May 22, 2013 at 10:09 am #

    The television industry is so proud of you all right now.

  19. CrazyCatLady May 22, 2013 at 10:09 am #

    Note: Developmentally appropriate behavior can be dangerous. Like playing GI Joe in the pool. I had to stop the kids from drowning each other because that is what they saw on the show. And kids did end up in tears with the He-Man because their brains didn’t interpret the show the way the developers wanted.

    It may have been best for the daycare to say that the kids were welcome to talk about it, but they needed to wait and act on it when they were at home or the park with friends. 3-5 year olds are still working on understanding that other people have feelings too.

  20. Warren May 22, 2013 at 10:11 am #

    @Practical Mama,

    I hate to break your bubble, but imagination is not some magical power that people have. When one imagines something, or a time, or a place, or whatever, it is drawn from the memory. Pre-schoolers have how many years of memories to draw upon? So imitation is imagination for them. If they were to recreate the TV show, word for word, act for act then it would be imitation alone, but since they fill in their own sounds and actions, for the lack or special effects, they modify the story to suit their enviroment, they modify the characters to accomodate the number and sexes of the kids playing, and so on…………….then yes this is imagination at work.

    Secondly Practical Mama, it is not the job of a school to tell the parents what is appropriate entertainment for their kids.

    Okay back to the good old days, and the kids can pretend to be the Coyote and the Road Runner. Then they can strap rockets to their backs, drop boulders on each other’s heads, toss each other off cliffs. and on and on.

    I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but children are not the mindless zombies people think they are. The vast majority of them, know the difference between what is real, and what is entertainment.

    My youngest daughter loved wrestling, the Undertaker was/is her favorite. From day one we would horse around imitating what we had watched. Her friend’s mom asked about her pretending to wrestle with said friend, and I told the mom to ask my daughter. My girl told her wrestling is fake, and what her and her friend were doing was really fake. My daughter told her the idea is to look good, while trying really hard not to hurt each other.

    Time to give kids some credit.

  21. Andy Harris May 22, 2013 at 10:21 am #

    The misspellings and the fact that all identifying information is missing makes this a hoax in my book.

  22. tdr May 22, 2013 at 10:25 am #

    CrazyCatLady – I love those pool noodle light sabers! Great idea. My kids love to fight each other with light sabers.

    I appreciate the input of all the pre-school teachers who can give perspective to this ban.

  23. Natalie May 22, 2013 at 10:25 am #

    I agree with you. It’s a knee jerk reaction to call the teachers lazy. This site is about not restricting kids, so people are naturally against it, without really thinking it through. You know what they say- walk a mile in someone’s shoes.
    As a parent, I would say that trying to control what a child is watching outside the daycare is too much. But if the kids are getting too out of control, repeatedly, and nothing else is working, I think it’s perfectly reasonable to redirect the play to something else.
    At my daughter’s daycare, she routinely came back talking about bad guys and superman et al. But it wasn’t a problem there. Kids are all different. The group dynamic is different (and in this case, group probably means 20+ kids – that’s far different from trying to manage just a few). Just because one group is able to play superheroes without things getting out of hand repeatedly, doesn’t mean another can.
    Also, I was a big He-man She-ra fan. Thanks for bringing up the memories crazycatlady.

  24. Warren May 22, 2013 at 10:29 am #


    So one kid has a problem, and you stop all the kids from playing?

    Nice lesson teach. That sort of logic works when training Marines and Navy Seals, as it promotes teamwork and belonging. It does not work with kids, they only feel unfairly punished because of one kid.

    The problem isn’t the kids, the problem is the parents.

    Parents no longer take injuries during play as a part of growing up. Parents now scream at the school “How could you let this happen?”

    It comes back to helicopter parents and their expectations that their little darling is not supposed to ever get a cut, bruise, burn or break, ever.

  25. SKL May 22, 2013 at 10:30 am #

    Well, of course they are going to pretend to be superheroes since pretend gun play has been abolished. Superheroes don’t need guns. Gimme a freakin’ break. As if this kind of play is something new?

    To me that letter says, “help us, we are incompetent to care for normal active children. And we can’t spell either. You’d better look around for a better child care solution.”

  26. Matthew May 22, 2013 at 10:37 am #


    Please quit letting your children watch “Dexter”. The blood stains are difficult to remove from carpet.

    Seriously though, the use of the phrase “Pre-k community” makes it seem real. The response just needs to be more targeted. In the interest of “fairness” they try to apply a blanket policy to all the kids. Some kids can play superheroes responsibly, some can’t. Timeouts and meeting with the parents of the ones behaving like little thugs is the correct response.

  27. Jana May 22, 2013 at 10:49 am #

    I’m a junior roller derby girl. I’m used to taking LOTS of hits and I fall down every darn jam. It builds character. Sheltered children make for incompetent child. Nothing is more frustrating than little punks who whine over paper cuts.

  28. lollipoplover May 22, 2013 at 10:51 am #

    @Kay- Wonder twin powers activate- in form of the Imagination Police.

    I was also a HUGE fan of Wonder Woman and remember doing her spin as Diana into my alter ego who could save the world from the Nazis. I had a belt I used as the gold lasso that forced people to tell the truth, and my invisible helicopter….these were some of my favorite memories from my youth, played out with my friends on the playgrounds during free play.

    Maybe Marvel Comics can go after this school for copyright infringement and banning superheroes without permission.

  29. eaubleu May 22, 2013 at 11:13 am #

    This is called puppy play and just like puppies, the boys learn acceptable behaviour through the responses of their peers. Those children that don’t play in an acceptable way, get rejected by their peers. Through social play, they learn how much is too much. Every time an adult steps in, you stunt the learning process. There are limits, certainly, but we’ve become this, “play nice”, culture and that just isn’t working out where kids’, especially where boys are concerned.

  30. Jessica May 22, 2013 at 11:40 am #

    I thought this was a joke. Honestly.
    We should ban comics, too. And books in general.

  31. Hels May 22, 2013 at 11:47 am #

    Jessica, we should ban thinking. That’s the most dangerous activity ever. Never know, where it would lead you…

  32. anonymous this time May 22, 2013 at 12:08 pm #

    I like what Larry Cohen, the guy who wrote “Playful Parenting” has to say about this kind of play.

    In effect, shutting it down is useless. When kids are playing in a way that hurts others, or that you don’t enjoy, it’s time to connect with the motivation behind it, rather than just forbid it. What you resist, persists.

    I agree totally with the “puppy play” assessment, and think we’re entirely too squeamish, as a culture, and especially as women who supervise kids, to allow boys (especially) to work through this part of their natural development. As soon as I saw it in my own son, I understood that it was biological, and I wanted to allow it. Other mommies wouldn’t, so we always had stress over the wrestling matches that cropped up.

    If a kid is simply wanting to hurt others, over and over again, and their tears and screams and complaints don’t seem to register, then you know that kid is disconnected from the group, disconnected from himself. Getting him back into connection doesn’t look like shaming him, blaming media, or forbidding a certain game. It looks like getting right in there with him and playing the game but using humour and your own adult imperviousness to reshape that child’s understanding of what is actually fun and not fun. It takes skill, understanding, and finesse on the part of the adult.

    Good luck finding that in this Pre-K.

  33. Hels May 22, 2013 at 12:14 pm #

    How about they separate those who like active play and who don’t like it. I played mostly with boys when I was pre-school age. Mainly because games that girls liked to play – dolls, family, etc. – were desperately boring. I would only draw with girls – because I liked to draw princesses and kittens and so on. But I otherwise either read, or played active war “us” vs “them” games. Especially in the winter, where we pelted each other with snowballs for as long as we stayed outside, each and every day. And i broke half my mom’s brooches (most of them out of style, though, that’s why I had access to them) trying to pin them onto my friends’ winter coats as “medals”… I do distinctly remember that we had never bothered those who did not want to play war. It was very clear who wanted to play and who did not… just teach the kids that there are some who don’t want to play certain games – and they should be left alone. And injuries… just how many are serious? If it is just scrapes and bruises, that’s normal, that’s not anythign to worry about.

  34. dwight May 22, 2013 at 12:21 pm #

    I have three boys who watch marvel movies and play the marvel games, play shootem-ups and are esposed to violence seen but not physically experienced. They never hurt themselves or anyone else. If an accident occurs, they are immediately apologetic and show empathy. They have always been encouraged to use their imagination, marvel hero’s/sci-fi/fantasy all included. They dress up as Marvel hero’s for halloween, lol. They know the line between playing/play fighting, and acting out in violence. They don’t cross that line. One comes out of fun and the other out of anger – they know this. My children see violence in the news as well. That is fine, if it is being used as a tool to teach your children about life. We can use movies and games in the same fashion. It is the children who experience true violence at home who are the ones acting out in school and eventually life. That violence is not always physical, it is also psychological, or emotional abuse we should be aware of. I believe that violent thinking exibited by some, can stem from parental neglet as well. The physical violence children exprience, at the hands of their own famlies is shocking. We see and hear about the stories all the time. How can we expect a child, possibly suffering from post tramatic stress syndrom, to behave at the expected standard. It is the parents job to teach and love, if they are not doing so, who else will? Teachers or outside relatives are the only hope they have. Teachers can teach the standard, as well as teach love and creativity. What can the rest of us do but teach our kids how to be a good friends and show patience and grace to others. We can hope someone can come to the rescue of the children who are suffering alone in their room. We can have the courage to help one such child in need if the opportunity ever arises.

  35. Suzanne May 22, 2013 at 12:25 pm #

    PS. We have recently retained a doctor on our staff who will be issuing a prescription for Ritalin to all of our students. We would like them to sit quietly during play time and stop with all of the imaginative play.

    Seriously though, I can see where the initial idea may have come from but I think it would have certainly been better to deal with each parent whom they suspect is allowing their child to watch inappropriate tv/movies. Also, in addition to the typos and misspellings there are gross grammatical errors as well. “The (singular) re-enactment (singular)…are (plural)” If my child were attending this school I would be giving serious consideration to changing schools because school is for learning letters and numbers, etc and if the administrators do not know basic English (in the US) the whole educational experience will be lacking.

  36. Warren May 22, 2013 at 12:40 pm #


    “to deal with each parent whom they suspect is allowing their child to watch inappropriate tv/movies.”

    Since when does the school have the right to tell a parent what is appropriate entertainment? It is none of the school’s business what we choose, or when we choose to allow our kids to watch or play anything.

    I set the standard for my children, not the school or any other group, or organizations.

    Again, parents are allowing the schools far too much power over them and their kids.

  37. Paul R. Welke May 22, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

    This is completely ridiculous. My son invented a superhero when he was three, and it’s been a total joy to hear about the various exploits of “Botso: Harpy Eagle”.

    In fact, for Solstice this year, I got the dude who draws the Axe Cop comic to draw a photo of my son’s creation for his bedroom wall. Halloween was interesting this past year, as it turns out that there’s no such thing as a commercially available harpy eagle costume for a child… yet.

  38. Emily May 22, 2013 at 1:10 pm #

    @Paul R. Welke–You have a very creative little boy. I’m just curious, though, what did you end up doing for Halloween? Did you try to steer your son towards a costume that WAS commercially available, or did you make him a Botso The Harpy Eagle costume for Halloween? If it was the latter, are there pictures?

  39. Katie May 22, 2013 at 1:52 pm #

    Ha…they don’t even know how to spell play (paly) let alone know what it is.

    This is just another reason why I won’t be wasting my money on the scam called preschool.

  40. Natalie May 22, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

    Preschools and teachers come in varying quality, as do parents.

  41. Ravana May 22, 2013 at 2:32 pm #

    I remember playing violent chase/tackle games based on TV and movies when I was a kid. Great fun. The only thing we ever got in trouble for was destroying a soccer net. “But we NEEDED the net to catch the humans!!”

    That said, they don’t let the kids use their imaginations, run around and pound the crap out of each other in good fun and then they complain that they are all ADHD and put them on meds. A medicated society is a compliant society and that is what the Brahma class (government) is aiming for.

  42. SKL May 22, 2013 at 4:22 pm #

    Someone on another site just yesterday posted this rather freaky YouTube video. (I will try to cut/paste but not sure if it will work. The name of the video on YouTube is “Don’t Hug me I’m Scared.”)


  43. Papilio May 22, 2013 at 5:51 pm #

    I thought the problem in the US was rather the dangerously over-active imaginations of the (child rearing, paranoid) ADULTS?

  44. FiSyd May 22, 2013 at 6:15 pm #

    @ Dwight. Your boys sound lovely! Can I swap?
    My boys’ idea of playing seems extremely violent to me. Lots of ninja kicks, sword fights, and superhero hand-to-hand combat. They hurt each other (not badly) every 15 minutes or so. Most of the boys I see at their school and preschool seem pretty similar.
    Obviously I can’t speak for all those boys, but my sons are growing up in a loving, non-violent, non-abusive environment.
    I though this was normal, and the reason that Mums of boys always seem to look a little more haggard than the mums of girls.
    Do you ever think that maybe you just got lucky and had unusually placid boys?

  45. Warren May 22, 2013 at 6:49 pm #

    Ask my brother, I used to see all the Chuck Norris movies, and then try out the moves on him. He looks back on those days as brotherly love. LOL.

  46. Donald May 22, 2013 at 7:46 pm #

    Bonsai parenting at its finest. Let’s prune children!

  47. Meagan May 22, 2013 at 7:56 pm #

    The day my child’s school tells him what he’s allowed to imagine is the day I find a different school.

  48. Sarah in WA May 22, 2013 at 7:59 pm #

    My son’s Pre-K class had some issues with rough play this year, mostly while they were playing Skylanders Giants. (It’s a video game with an incredible amount of marketing. My son has never even played the video game but pretends he’s a character based on what his friends have told him.)

    It never even entered out minds to ban the game they were playing itself. This is a co-op, so the parents are involved, too, and I think we all just knew that any sort of “ban” wouldn’t work. We all know how well it works out when we simply tell kids not to do something. 😉

    We addressed each incident on a case-by-case basis. If a kid was hitting, we put him in time out. We talked about it with the kids as a class. There were some tears over the course of the year, but in the end, no serious injuries and everyone was still friends. What more can you hope for, really?

    Of course safety is a concern but that doesn’t mean shielding every child from every possible time they could be touched by another kid. And banning a certain set of characters does nothing. Even if the parents don’t allow their children to watch a particular show, they will find out about it in different ways.

  49. Yan Seiner May 22, 2013 at 8:55 pm #

    Honestly… If this is not a joke, then the school needs help understanding kids. Look up “Why Johnny won’t read” and you’ll see the same thing. Boys (and some girls) are wired to be active. I’m glad we got our kids through that – with the help of wooden swords, daggers, airsoft guns, BB guns, samurai swords, bows, arrows, crossbow, and various other “dangerous” implements. Hey, and look – they’re both in leadership positions in school. Hmm… The mind reels.

  50. bmj2k May 23, 2013 at 12:04 am #

    Let kids play.
    Their social skills need the vital development, and if a kid is left out of a superhero game, he’ll find other kids to play other games with. When kids get coddled and protected from no other threat than their own average youthful development they become underdeveloped adults.

  51. Emily May 23, 2013 at 1:15 am #

    I think the preschool is going about this “violent play ban” in entirely the wrong way. First of all, they phrased their request as “no superheroes, no wrestling, no monsters,” and announced this edict with colourful posters showing a group of kids’ favourite superheroes with a red circle and a slash through them. That just emphasizes the behaviour they want to discourage. I went to preschool myself, many years ago, and I don’t remember there being any rules about the specific kinds of play that were allowed, but I do remember there being a pretend “house” set-up, and indoor monkey bars (and, possibly even vines and leaves on the wall in the room with said indoor monkey bars), and for a while, the monkey-bar room also had a tent set-up. We also had a lot of structured active time, where we’d sing songs, and do crafts, and be taken to the park to play on the equipment. But, my main point is, when we did pretend/imitative play, we usually played house, or camping, or occasionally jungle. Most of our pretending centred around things we’d either seen adults do, or learned about in children’s books. Boys and girls played together, and I don’t remember there being any fights. That was at a private preschool in a church basement when I was three (which I loved), and the following year, my parents put me in a Montessori school (which I hated), but looking back, imaginative play at Montessori wasn’t much different from imaginative play at the private preschool–we were given a wide range of positive play options, and it simply didn’t occur to us to beat on each other.

  52. Taradlion May 23, 2013 at 8:10 am #

    My son was obsessed with super heroes (well, actually villains). Action figures, (which he made elaborate sets for, including a extendable doge leash zip line), costumes (including “classic Riddler” for which I made a costume- thank you Saint Patric’s Day bolo hat), and play.

    Host first day in a 3’s preschool class he asked a little boy his name. “Alfred”.. You mean like Batman’s butler?”… They became best friends. They played with sticks, chased, and had a great time.

    He moved on to WWE wrestling. He knows it’s fake. He also participates in a real (college rules) wrestling program. When the coached announced the kids could not perform “illegal moves from WWE”, my son said, “coach, I’m working on my wrestling skills and my acting skills.”

    He has a wresting dummy and loves to do whatever he wants (slamming, pinning, jumping off the ropes, er, headboard of the bed). He wrestles with us. I do have to intervene sometimes when he wrestles friends mostly because their parents don’t allow it and he is bigger than most of them. He was actually invited on a play date by a parent who told me, “but I don’t allow wrestling.” My son refers to hers as “sensitive” when he is being kind and “a cry baby” when he has become annoyed with him for tattling.

    He drives go Karts. 50+ MPH last summer.

    He and a group of boys spent last Saturday in the park (which was mostly empty due to on and off misting). They spent 30 minutes climbing up a swirly slide in a row of 4 boys age 8-10. When the first one reached the top, he slid down to create a pile up. They had a blast! Parents were stifling on a bench, talking, not watching. When one mom glanced over, she went and stopped them. I swear, she said, “No more of this kind of fun.”

    I think the rule is stupid. I also think the teachers are fearful of PARENTS reactions, especially, if someone gets hurt. We can all say its dumb, but I bet there are many parents claiming their boys (and girls) don’t like it or feel scared. Parents complained when kids were playing Scooby Doo at my son’s preschool, claiming it would give their kids nightmares. They didn’t want teachers to keep their kids away, involved in something else, they wanted them to ban the game.

  53. lollipoplover May 23, 2013 at 8:51 am #

    @Taradlion- I love your wrestling stories…. I get wrestled too. Seriously, what gives with bad-mouthing wrestling? This month, Sports Illustrated awarded it’s college athlete of the year to a WRESTLER.
    It’s a sport! It’s not some dangerous marker for children.
    Some boys (mine) just love to wrestle. And if he didn’t get to blow off testosterone with his fellow wrestling buddies, he misbehaved or threw tantrums. So we let him wrestle! He started at 5 (with college rules) at the local high school’s wrestle and play nights. He found a bunch of kids who liked it as much as he did, and they had full permission to roll around on mats…something young kids have been doing since ancient Greeks.
    Like all sports, there is a chance you could get injured. Heck, someone in our running club last night got hurt (they ran in front of a window that was tilted out) for not looking where she was going- and that’s a no-contact sport.

  54. Claudia May 23, 2013 at 2:59 pm #

    I’d like to know how many broken limbs, concussions and other hospital admissions have been caused by this ‘overactivity’…

  55. techiechick May 23, 2013 at 3:42 pm #

    Ten bucks says one or two kids are playing way too rough and the school is avoiding a confrontation with those kids’ parents by pretending it’s about the whole class.

  56. Samantha May 23, 2013 at 4:11 pm #

    I agree with the people who are saying this flyer is incorrect. It’s imitation play, not imagination. Kids 2-5 should not be watching superhero shows. If they were making out with each other, you would all be appalled. Why can’t we also limit violence? Kids already hit, wrestle, push, kick, throw rocks, etc. without watching television. Teachers already have their hands full re-directing those actions. They do not need kids who think it’s OK to punch their friends because Batman is a good guy. We all need a little help as parents, but so do teachers. I think it’s really inappropriate to call teachers lazy over this. Trust me, I am familiar with schools who want docile kids, and I do not believe this is the intention of the flyer. Also, there are kids who go to school to escape monsters and violence. If this type of play intimidates or hurts others, then it needs to be stopped. Good for the teachers who are trying to engage the parents.

  57. Samantha May 23, 2013 at 6:28 pm #

    Also, I disagree that imagination is the same as imitation. Imitation is what my 20 month old does. Imagination is a different level. Yes, let’s give the kids credit–they d not need the “props” of guns and superheroes to have fun.

  58. Warren May 23, 2013 at 6:42 pm #

    Again Samantha, who are you to decide what is appropriate for other people’s kids?

    And by your standards, unless every child and every parent, 100% of them approve an activity or whatever, then it should not be done?

    What the heck ever happened to just telling a kid, or your own kid, to just stay away from the kids that are playing?

    Freedom of choice is choosing not to play with the superhero crowd, freedom of choice is not telling the superhero crowd they cannot play what they want.

    Samantha, could you please define what you would consider imagination in a preschooler, shy of writing an original symphany.

  59. Warren May 23, 2013 at 6:45 pm #

    Kids don’t need prop guns or superheros to have fun?

    You don’t need that glass of wine, or lobster, or steak, or air conditioning or whatever, except that you choose to. That is your right. So who are you to take that right of choice away from kids?

  60. Donna May 23, 2013 at 9:31 pm #

    Kids have acted put what they saw on TV since the dawn of TV. I spent many an afternoon playing Charlie’s Angels in my youth. I was Kelly despite my blondish hair and blue eyes.

    Yes, that is imagination. We pretended be characters from TV but we didn’t act out scenes and restate dialogue. We took characters we loved on adventures we wanted to see. No different from the legions of adults who enjoy writing fanfiction based their favorite TV shows or movies.

    Not sure how this is different from my daughter wanting to play courtroom because that is what mommy does. Or pretending to cook dinner or play school. All things she has a basis for in reality and then manipulates into her own model.

  61. Amanda Matthews May 23, 2013 at 10:02 pm #

    “Imitation is what my 20 month old does. Imagination is a different level.”

    Your child was born without an imagination? That’s sad.
    Normal 20 month olds take what they see, and apply imagination to imitation to pretend they are actually doing what they have seen others do.

  62. Warren May 23, 2013 at 11:44 pm #

    Would have thought you more the Sabrina type, the thinker.LOL

  63. Donna May 24, 2013 at 2:22 am #

    Warren – Lol. My neighbor always wanted to Sabrina.

  64. J.T. Wenting May 24, 2013 at 3:59 am #

    “The good guy/bad guy dynamic is a big part of play for 3-5 year olds. We know that kids this age (often boys) throw their whole selves into play. If we can’t allow this we are cutting off a major creative outlet.”

    but, but, but, there is no good and bad, only shades of grey (50?).
    Being called bad is so traumatic, can’t have kids do it even to themselves, it’d hurt their little fragile minds, even if they don’t realise it at the time.

    “I just don’t see how it’s possible for imagination to become OVER-active. Let alone dangerously so. The fact that a preschool believes it can is a little scary.”

    why do you think the number of ADHD convictions (oops, diagnoses) is so high?
    Kids need to be mindless little drones, couchpotatoes who do as they’re told, never think for themselves.
    How else can they be taught to vote “the right way”?

    “Naturalmom, the way I just read your post “Finally, the preschool teacher had a meeting with the children and they decided to not allow this kind of play at all.” tells me that the school engaged the children in this process and didn’t create an outright ban of their own volition. ”

    which I read as “the teacher got the children together and put down the law: “no more play”.
    Teachers will do such things, then afterwards claim (and even believe) they actually had “engagement” with the kids.

    “I can understand that some cartoons are not appropriate for preschoolers (such as the ones shown in that picture). ”

    Don’t know those cartoon heroes, but I do know as a child that age I loved Superman. They look similar to that (or some of them), just rendered in higher detail than could be done 30+ years ago in the pre-computer graphics age.
    That said, a lot of the cartoon characters nowadays, including those especially designed for children, are disgusting. Violence for the sake of violence, foul language for the sake of foul language, etc. etc.
    Inappropriate for children as well as adults.

    “The misspellings and the fact that all identifying information is missing makes this a hoax in my book.”

    makes it a typical production of a schoolteacher in my book. No identifying information needed because it was never intended to be more than highly local, and the bad language skills are typical of many teachers.

  65. Warren May 24, 2013 at 5:13 pm #

    Just want to throw this out and see what happens.

    We have had a couple of commentors talk about what is appropriate and what is not, as far as what these kids should be watching or exposed to. I have always been of the mind, that what is appropriate for my kids, is entirely up to me, and no one else.

    Case in point, my youngest is an avid horror film watcher. She appreciates a good horror movie. At the ripe old age of 9, her and I sat down, in the dark, and watched the original Jamie Lee Curtis, Halloween.

    Now my oldest isn’t a horror fan, she prefers musical. And around 9 or 10 watched The Rocky Horror Picture Show with me.

    Both times letters were sent home by teachers, because my kids when asked about their weekend, told the teacher what they watched. And the teacher in both occassions assumed they saw this at a friends without permission, also commenting on somewhat about the films being inappropriate. Never did hear back from either teacher after I told them that they watched the films with me.

  66. Elaine G May 24, 2013 at 6:26 pm #

    My son LOVED horror films as a child, thought they were the funniest things ever! Loved all the comic book characters as well. Never had a problem with his “playtime” activities. He wasn’t violent or played “mean” with other kids. Side note: No nightmares ever about the films/tv shows..if he watched the news though? Nightmares..why? because he knew what was real and what wasn’t. People need to stop trying to put kids in a collective slot. Each child is different and enjoy different kinds of play. Let kids find their niche and they will play with the kids who enjoy the same type of play. We as Adults need to step back and let kids BE kids, not little cookie cutter stepford children.

  67. Renee May 24, 2013 at 9:29 pm #

    This should be a wake up call that these kids need less (preferably no) tv in their lives. Why the backlash against the school and teachers? If a parent uses an electronic babysitter then why is the school ‘lazy’ when they try to limit mean types of play? Sounds like a lazy parent, not a lazy school or teacher. There’s always going to be rough housing but it goes to extreme limits when the inspriration comes from some adults’ imagination (i.e. tv). Kick those kids outside at home and let them wear themselves out mentally and physically there instead of watching the tube.

  68. Warren May 24, 2013 at 9:48 pm #


    Preferably no tv? Really? Can you say extreme? Besides, the last time I looked Superheroes still were accesible via comic books. A form of reading that I actually encourage, because they are still at least reading.

    Let me guess Renee, you were picked on as a child, or you are one of the teachers that finds it easier to ban play for all, instead of deal with incidents. Which is it?

  69. Emily May 24, 2013 at 11:19 pm #

    @Warren–Sometimes, even when two or more kids engage in “superhero play” seemingly willingly, they take it too far, and someone gets hurt. My brother and I used to watch Power Rangers when it first came out (so, he was six, and I was nine), and sometimes, we’d “play Power Rangers,” by acting out scenes in the show. To an outside observer, it looked like we were beating the crap out of each other, but to us, “playing Power Rangers” was completely different. Our parents didn’t see it that way, because it still involved hitting, punching, kicking, etc., and for some reason, we always played it inside. So, they cut out the cable TV, and didn’t put it back until I was in my first year of university. We complained mightily at the time, and couldn’t for the life of us understand why they’d do such a thing, but looking back, I think they were right. It wasn’t all bad; we still got Global and CBC after the cable was cut off, and we rented a lot of movies. We just didn’t have access to nearly as many violent TV shows, and it was enough to get the point across.

  70. Donna May 25, 2013 at 12:09 am #

    When my brother was 3, maybe 4, his favorite movie was Little Shop of Horrors. He watched it every night. He quoted it and would randomly break into song. It was hysterical. I’m not even sure how he ended up watching it the first time, but he loved it. Odd entertainment for a preschooler but it worked for him. And he has not chopped anyone up to feed to a hungry plant in the 25 years since.

    Maybe some should spend less time thinking that they know best what is appropriate for other people’s children.

  71. Warren May 25, 2013 at 12:20 am #

    So your parents were extreme about physical play……what is your point?

    My kids watched/watch pretty much what I watch, have never censored or blocked violence, language, or whatever. Well adjusted kids know the difference between fiction and real life.

    From my oldest to my youngest I have been the one play fighting with them. Everything from headlocks, to armbars, to body slams, to figure four leglocks, and some feeble attempts at flying crossbodies. Yeah we get hurt from time to time, never anything serious, and we all took the attitude, of oh well shit happens.

    Rough housing, play fighting and hero imitation/worship are all healthy and developemental. Unless it becomes an obsession, leave the kids alone.

    “Scars heal, glory fades and all we’re left with are the memories made……….pain hurts but only for a minute, life is short so go on and live it.”

  72. Warren May 25, 2013 at 12:23 am #

    And no offense to anyone, but if you are that swayed or influenced by a character on tv, then you have more to worry about than tv.

  73. Warren May 25, 2013 at 12:27 am #

    Steve Martin as the dentist was absolutely creepy.

    The last time me and the family watched The Rocky Horror Picture Show, we had a kick trying to figure out who we would cast in the roles. We came up with alot of good ones, but Tim Curry is irreplaceable.

  74. Donna May 25, 2013 at 12:47 am #

    My mother pretty much let me watch whatever I wanted growing up. The one thing she protested – the Rocky Horror Picture Show. I still have no idea why. So I got my best adult buddy to take me and had a blast. Once I was driving, I took my conservative Christian smalltown Georgia friends. One was disgusted. One developed a crush on Riff Raff. Good times.

    If you ever go to New Zealand, there is a Riff Raff statue in Hamilton. I didn’t mean to be in Hamilton, but once there I felt the need to seek out the Riff Raff statue.

  75. Warren May 25, 2013 at 8:22 am #


    Apparently the actor that played Riff Raff is now the voice of the Dad on the show Phineas and Phurb, a kids cartoon show. LOL. The kids actually are quite free range.

  76. Emily May 25, 2013 at 9:58 am #

    @Warren–My point is, my parents cut out the cable TV after many, many talks about how Power Rangers was violent, and they didn’t want us using violence to solve our problems, etc., and yes, they even told us point-blank not to “play Power Rangers,” but we did anyway, because we were kids. We didn’t see it was being wrong, because we weren’t fighting, we were just “playing,” never mind that this “play” could hurt. That’s why our parents cut out the cable, because it was doing us more harm than good. When I think of “physical play,” I think of kids playing tag, kickball, riding bikes, etc., not hurting each other. The former kind of “physical play” was something my parents encouraged, but the latter kind was strongly discouraged, if not forbidden altogether.

    Also, when you say you play-fight with your kids, how do you do it safely? I mean, I’ve never met you, or your children, but I assume you’re much bigger than they are, because you’re an adult.

  77. Warren May 25, 2013 at 11:55 am #


    For the sake of scale, I am six foot two, 230 or so pounds, and in great shape, because my work is very physical.

    Play fight safely? Easy, just don’t hurt them. It is that easy. I can put my kid in a headlock where I have them subdued, without putting enough pressure to cause harm. My kids also have been taught that rough play is great, as long as you avoid vulnerable area, such as eyes, genitals, and throats. Cuts, bruises, sprains have happened by accident, more so to me, but it never stops us from having fun.
    In reality they would be at just as much risk playing anything involving physical activity. The hidden benefit, if they were in actual risk from someone, they have aquired some skills, they can use.

    Rough housing also teaches them self control and limits.

  78. Warren May 25, 2013 at 11:58 am #

    As for tv, movies or whatever being the cause, I do not subscribe to that idea.

    That ranks right up there with blaming a gun, and not the person that pulled the trigger.

  79. Donna May 25, 2013 at 12:37 pm #

    @Emily – Yes, play can occasionally hurt. It can sometimes hurt physically. It can sometimes hurt emotionally. Just like climbing a tree can sometimes hurt, riding a bike can sometimes hurt, running can sometimes hurt. We here are pretty much against the idea that childhood should never hurt.

    You and your brother appeared to be having fun, not violently fighting. BOTH of you were happy playing and not one “playing” while the other is annoyed. I see no reason to stop that short of actions that are going to unwittingly substantially hurt the other kid, and then you only stop those actions.

    Through rough housing you learn physical boundaries – if I punch this hard, it will hurt, Emily will cry and the game will be over. You develop empathy – feeling bad when you accidently hurt the other person. You learn how to fight – something that may be useful down the road.

  80. Natalie May 25, 2013 at 4:01 pm #

    I think a lot of people here are missing something. It’s one thing when your kids are rough housing. Or your kids and their friends. It’s another when 20+ kids are doing it and you’re running a daycare or school. We’ve been fortunate to have several teachers on this site, who are free range, who have explained how they might come to a similar conclusion.
    As for what’s appropriate for kids, that’s a personal choice. What one parent deems appropriate another may not. There aren’t wrong answers. The parent who bans super heroes isn’t any worse than the parent that doesn’t. Just because society offers it doesnt mean you have to accept it.
    I remember being banned from watching Dirty Dancing in 4th grade. So I had an opportunity to see it at a sleepover and loved it. My younger sisters watched it with me constantly, it became a favorite. That’s the only time I can remember not being allowed to see something.
    Also, of all the people to have a crush on? Why Riff Raff? Is it because of the up-do?

  81. Donna May 25, 2013 at 5:05 pm #

    “It’s another when 20+ kids are doing it and you’re running a daycare or school. We’ve been fortunate to have several teachers on this site, who are free range, who have explained how they might come to a similar conclusion.”

    And all sound like great reasons to not have 20+ young children warehoused in a small room for the bulk of the day with little time to burn off steam. None were convincing arguments for squelching young children’s natural tendency to rough house. It is a trait that existed before TV and is actually found in most, if not all, mammalian species.

    “As for what’s appropriate for kids, that’s a personal choice.”

    Exactly, which is why some of us were opposed to certain people here deeming something – TV, superheros, rough housing – inappropriate.

    “Why Riff Raff?”

    It boggles the mind. The friend maintained her rather odd taste in men.

  82. Emily May 25, 2013 at 6:12 pm #

    @Donna–I understand what you’re saying, but I think my parents cut out the cable TV, because “playing Power Rangers” often started as a mutually agreed-upon thing, but then, it’d stop being a game, when one of us would stop having fun, but the other one would want to keep playing. Usually, my brother would push the envelope by pulling my (long) hair, and he’d drag me to the ground by my hair, and then sit on my head or something. Also, he used to beat me up a fair bit outside of playing Power Rangers, so my parents couldn’t always tell the difference. In any case, we never got the idea to play that way before Power Rangers came on television (although, none of the Power Rangers pulled hair, lol), so they decided that Power Rangers wasn’t a good influence on us. Since there was no way to get rid of just Power Rangers (or the one channel that Power Rangers was on) at the time, they got rid of the cable TV altogether. After that, we watched whatever was on Global or CBC–usually Road to Avonlea, The Simpsons, and the old-school Degrassi series. The violent play stopped (although, my brother still beat me up a fair bit), and after a while, we realized that Power Rangers was a pretty dumb show anyway.

  83. Donna May 25, 2013 at 6:54 pm #

    “but I think my parents cut out the cable TV, because “playing Power Rangers” often started as a mutually agreed-upon thing, but then, it’d stop being a game, when one of us would stop having fun, but the other one would want to keep playing.”

    Why blame Power Rangers for this instead of insisting that your brother learn to respect your boundaries and enforcing consequences if he didn’t? Power Rangers is a TV show. It can’t actually make you do anything. And you learn absolutely nothing whatsoever by simply removing the inspiration rather than correcting the improper behavior.

  84. Donna May 25, 2013 at 7:15 pm #

    Or if Power Rangers was really a problem, why not just say “no more Power Rangers kids.” It is absolutely astounding to me that you view getting rid of cable to prevent you and your brother from watching a single show on a single channel as a reasonable, as opposed to extreme, response.

  85. Emily May 25, 2013 at 7:57 pm #

    I think my parents might have tried to stop us from watching Power Rangers, but we did anyway, because it was our FAVOURITE SHOW EVER, and because “everyone else” at school watched it, so since my parents couldn’t get us to stop watching Power Rangers, they cut out the cable TV. Anyway, I think another factor was, my parents’ house is a very old, beautiful, Victorian house, and we mostly played Power Rangers inside (we’re Canadian, so winter lasts forever here), and they wanted that to stop. It was a pretty vicious cycle–we’d watch Power Rangers, and then we’d act it out, and someone would get hurt, or something would get broken. They talked to us, they set rules, gave second chances, etc., etc., etc., but nothing worked, so they cut out the cable. I think another factor was just that we were watching way too much TV in general, so it probably made sense at the time.

  86. Warren May 25, 2013 at 10:10 pm #


    To me, your parents solution, sorry to say, was just a way of stopping something without actually having to deal with the real problem. That siblings have been doing this since the caveman days. And it isn’t actually a problem.

    Siblings play, they get on each other’s nerves, they carry things to far, and a parent breaks it up. My grandparents did it, my parents did it, I did it. As a matter of fact I am still doing it with the two sister dogs we rescued.

    If tv or any form of entertainment can CAUSE you or anyone to do anything, then there are other issues at play.

    Donna, don’t tell anyone, but had a thing for Magenta, so I can accept your friend’s crush on Riff Raff. LOL

  87. Emily May 25, 2013 at 10:56 pm #

    @Warren–Maybe my parents didn’t want to deal with the real problem, but I can understand why. At the time, my mom was in her first year of law school, and my dad was working full-time as a lawyer (and then some, because with law, work tends to bleed into spare time). Since my mom was commuting, my dad also had to get me and my brother to school every day, and make dinner in the evenings. Also, at the time, the only TV in the house was in the same room as the only computer in the house, so my mom would often have to do her schoolwork while listening to “Go, Go, Power Rangers!!!” in the background. So, this whole situation meant some shortcuts were necessary, including Nutri-Grain bars for breakfast, frozen ready meals for dinner, and yes, cutting out cable TV instead of sitting me and my brother down and figuring out why Power Rangers had such a strong hold on us, and why it compelled us to pound on each other. We survived the experience relatively unscathed, my mom has since earned a Doctorate in law, and she mostly likes being a lawyer. Also, my brother and I have long since figured out that Power Rangers is nothing but low-budget schlock. Looking back, I have a feeling that Power Rangers was probably little more than a thinly-disguised commercial for Power Rangers toys–action figures, “zords” (robot animals that could combine into one large “Megazord”), stuffed toys, etc. Only, instead of seeing these “commercials” sporadically for a few minutes at a time, we saw them every day at five o’clock for half an hour at a time, developed favourite characters, and got invested in the storylines.

  88. Donna May 26, 2013 at 2:04 am #

    “since my parents couldn’t get us to stop watching Power Rangers”

    How is this even possible? Especially when you have one TV in a common room? I could be wrong since Power Rangers is waaaaay after my time but it seems like something you watch in early elementary school – a time when you are not spending much, if any, time home alone. If your kid turns on a TV show you’ve forbidden, you do something about it.

    “so my mom would often have to do her schoolwork while listening to “Go, Go, Power Rangers!!!” in the background.”

    Again, how is this possible if it bothered her? A simple “no tv right now, I’m studying” takes care of that problem.

    If you don’t want to have cable, you don’t have to have cable. But shutting off cable so that your young children don’t watch Power Rangers is an extreme reaction and a refusal to parent.

  89. Emily May 26, 2013 at 12:36 pm #

    @Donna–I think it was just difficult for my parents to make me and my brother stop watching Power Rangers, because it was by far our favourite show. Also, she saw so little of us because of school, she didn’t want to spend the time that she did have with us fighting, and we’d already had to make a lot of sacrifices (we had to go to a babysitter’s house every day after school, and I got pulled out of figure skating because there was no one to drive me), so my parents allowed Power Rangers, albeit tacitly, until it became a huge problem. Anyway, maybe shutting off the cable was an extreme reaction, maybe it wasn’t the best parental decision, but so what? Part of Lenore’s book, Free-Range Kids, is about how not every parental decision is earth-shattering, and most kids grow up just fine even if their parents don’t get everything perfect. So, it already happened, we adapted, we eventually got the cable TV reinstated, and my brother and I both grew up just fine. I think we probably even continued to watch Power Rangers at the babysitter’s house, because it was her kids’ favourite show too; we just stopped acting out the scenes from the show. By the time I was twelve, and old enough to come home alone after school, we’d long since gotten sick of Power Rangers, and the quality of the show went down even more with each subsequent spin-off: Turbo, Zeo, Lost Galaxy, etc. But, my main point is, whether my parents were right or wrong to cut out the cable when I was nine, I don’t think it really matters now.

  90. Tamaya May 27, 2013 at 6:33 am #

    what happened to teaching kids to not hit? Don’t be so rough? That child doesn’t want to play so leave them alone? If you don’t want to play go play something else? We don’t all have to play the same game ( now I know where my son got that one) we can play different games in the same space.

  91. Warren May 27, 2013 at 9:40 am #


    There are a few reasons for the new attitudes.

    1. Laziness and Ease. Parents, teachers and caregivers do not want to supervise multiple activities at the same time. Because they just have to supervise.

    2. Self righteous parents. They think they can impose their guidelines of what is acceptable. And also, if their child does not like whatever it is, and is told to not play then, it is isolating and or bullying.

    3.Paranoid pacifism. The idea that all rough play/ advesarial play/ play fighting is bad and leads to violent beliefs and tendancies.

    4. Simple overprotective parents. That will not accept that bumps, bruises, cuts and injuries are normal for a growing active child.

    5. Fear of liability. That is a child is injured, even by accident during the course of play, that someone is held accountable.

  92. S May 27, 2013 at 10:12 am #

    I said no more Power Rangers for my preschool kids because it was inspiring out of control injury prone rough housing. (I don’t mind some rough housing, but this was too much and ill executed.) It wasn’t a problem to just forbid the one show. They howled, sure, for a moment, but then it became a norm. Later I forbade Sponge Bob because it inspired a lot of name calling, and again, howling, but then it became normal. When they got older I a,lowed sponge bob again with the caveat that the privilege would be revoked if they started hurling those insults at each other regularly again. I do think TV can influence behavior, but it is relatively easy to limit. Teachers telling parents o limit it is another matter, however, and not likely to go over well, though I still think this flyer is a parody. We did get rid of cable for a 4 year period, though – partly to save money and partly because my insomniac 4 year old got up in the middle of the night one time and turned it on to someone sawing up a woman with a chainsaw and was a bit scarred for awhile. Suppose we could have unplugged the TV and hid the remote at night instead (we find the parental controls largely useless and a pain to use and turn on and off), but I wanted to save money too – so we just did internet instead. Netflix and Hulu for the next 4 years, and, I will admit, it is easier to monitor and limit viewing when the options are limited and there’s no channels to flip.

  93. Amanda May 27, 2013 at 3:33 pm #

    Remember that preschool is generally younger than 4. Many of you are sharing experiences of older kids. I don’t care if you take your 4 or 5-year olds to see Avengers–that’s your business. But when your two-year old is ramming a stick at another kid’s and playing “Thor” it might mean that isn’t an age-appropriate show. You can absolutely be in control of what your children watch. But when you choose to send them to a school with 20 other kids, then you do need to be responsible for behavior that is being influenced by those shows. And kids develop at different stages in different ways. So some three year olds might know the difference between fiction and reality, but there is a lot of research that suggests most kids don’t reach that stage until 5. So, yes, you need to make the right decisions for your family, but preschool is not the home, and they have the right to make decisions, too. And some of them spend a lot of time with our kids each day.

  94. Warren May 27, 2013 at 4:01 pm #


    A little preachy today?

    If my kid is poking yours with a stick, the teacher by all means should tell my kid to stop. If he/she doesn’t, then a tmeout or something to that effect. Other than that, the teacher and or school can keep their nose out of my family’s business.

    Only ever had one teacher question what we did outside of school, and that teacher learned a very good lesson. My kids, my authority, keep your yap shut. She did not think it was appropriate that my 7 yr old daughter was Daddy’s Bartender, at the trailer on Father’s Day.

  95. hineata May 27, 2013 at 6:11 pm #

    Preschools are private concerns, are they not? So, while I don’t necessarily agree with what they’re saying here (if it really is genuine – looks a little fake), they are within their rights to say it. If you don’t like it, you move your kids elsewhere. At least they are making ‘suggestions’ – they could simply kick out the kids who are being ‘miscreants’. While public schools have to put up with all sorts of crap, private concerns, crèches etc. do not.

  96. Amanda Matthews May 28, 2013 at 11:33 am #

    @Emily Uh, Power Rangers started out on broadcast TV, not cable, and was on broadcast TV for many years. It did not go to cable until 2002.

    So either you are much younger than you are admitting, or getting rid of the cable did not get rid of your access to Power Rangers. All it was, was a signal to you and your brother to stop “playing Power Rangers.” It certainly could have been accomplished without getting rid of cable, and imo would have been BETTER accomplished that way; teaching you WHY you shouldn’t play Power Rangers (or at least, play it in that way) anymore, rather than lying to you and saying you can not access the show anymore.


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