THIS POEM DEPICTS A TRUE STORY-that Happened in 1979
From Orient to Occident; from Equator to the Poles
The kids play games of strategy; over cracks and over holes
Boys and girls together; all of them join in the fun
Hear their cheerful shouts echo; as they cry out ‘Run, Sheep, Run!
From Chilco to Burrard Street- from the Inlet to English Bay
When the skies are azure blue; even when the skies are grey
The captain leads his joyful team; the codes he improvises
In fog and hail; over hill and dale; to the team he organizes.
The captain scampers back and forth to approach his loyal group
Dodging puddles and slippery grass that may knock himself for a loop
Although his signals may be misheard; or perhaps his team may lose
They will exchange rounds in leaps and bounds forgetting that they’re ‘in the blues.”
I am going to purchase one for each of the families in my neighborhood whose kids are forced to always be inside. This will be their only form of exercise and daily movement unless there is a treadmill in their house. We live in Sunny Arizona on a military base, where NO KIDS ARE OUTSIDE unless a parent is supervising them (except mine and one other, that is). A couple weeks ago our kids’ neighborhood friends left the play scene when their mother decided our kid was being mean to theirs, rather than talking, she just got angry and said our kids cannot play together any longer-what about talking to the kid, or the parents, or letting the kid figure it out? Now kids are saved from being bullied at every opportunity. Don’t misunderstand, bullying behavior is not to be tolerated, but children need try to figure it out before calling parents or teachers to “save the day.” Age 3-5 still needs some parenting to resolve conflict, but these children were 6,8, and 10, they need to gain the social skills.
My kids are allowed, according to base rules, to travel from one place with an adult to another place with an adult after 1st grade and have to be within hearing distance outside, so we open the windows when they’re outside playing in our neighborhood. Today all the parents made new rules, their kids are only allowed to play at their own houses in their postage stamp enclosed back yards, GOD forbid their children venture into the driveway, or…ghasp…go more than two houses down the street and look for bugs in an empty lot.
What happened to trust? Our kids will be the only ones capable of going off and doing things on their own without severe emotional distress, at 8 and 10 they clean up dinner on their own after playing outside unsupervised for hours, then do their homework and take showers on their own (but need a little prodding to clean up after themselves and go to sleep at a decent time). Sometimes they even cook dinner on their own, using real knives and hot stoves. Amazing what a little trust can do, I am not looking forward to 10 years down the road when college has to be online so parents can watch their ‘children.’.
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