Friday, 15 November 2013

Can't Touch This

Every once in a while I am forced to face the fact that I am partial to  a hippy life philosophy.*  I graduated from an alternative high school that has a manifesto, not a motto or a slogan.   I believe in activism, not slactivism, but I'm older now and am aware that sometimes my actions (or lack of actions) are a little further to the right than I'd like: I don't volunteer, but I donate, I don't protest, but I sign petitions, I own a car, but it's not a mini-van/SUV and I walk and ride public transit as my main forms of transportation. 

Quite literally the school sign.

I often joke about educating my children via the "school of hard knocks" and subscribe to a Darwinsm approach of learning in an attempt to avoid the whole helicopter/bubble wrapped toddler rearing experience.  We put up so many safe guards and barriers for our children in the hope of protecting them that we risk leaving them void of many important experiences, like human contact.  I come from a very warm, fuzzy, affectionate family.  I believe that cuddles and laughter are often the best medicine for a bruised knee or ego. 

Teachers are not allowed to touch their students any more, I get that. I don't entirely agree, but I understand.  What I don't get is this BC School that banned their kindergarten students from touching each other during recess in a "no-touch policy" that suggests reliance on "imagination games".  Are you kidding me?  Apparently they are going to gradually allow touching again, but for now it's off limits because of some violent play at school.  How about just teaching them about appropriate levels of contact?  Why doesn't the school help educate them along with their parents?  "Listen Billy, It's okay to hug your friend when they fall and scrape their knee because I can't hug them for fear of a lawsuit, but let's try to keep the games of Red Rover/British Bulldog** off of school property."

I have heard from a number of parents whose children haven't coped well in the transition from daycare/nanny/parental care to kindergarten.  Perhaps this comes from going from an environment with physical human contact to one where this is obsolete and forbidden.  Molly and Jack have started hugging each other, cuddling and patting each other on the back when the other needs comfort.  They also tickle each other and rough-house sometimes, but they're learning, because they're kids.  Kids need touch and comfort, just ask Harry Harlow and his terry cloth monkey.   

Red Rover, Red Rover, I call public educators over....I think you need some cuddles!

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*Just replace my tofu with medium rare steak, magic brownies with sauv blanc, patchouli incense with Bath and Body Works Three Wick Candles and organic cotton/bamboo toddler clothes with gently recycled items from anywhere legal that fit my children.
**When I was a kid we used to get in trouble for playing this ALL THE TIME, which made it that much more fun to play. Who doesn't want to sideline that cocky little jerk who whipped a basketball at your head during a game of foursquare in an act of playground vigilante justice?  Clearly I still have some unresolved issues.

1 comment:

  1. It's not just in BC, it was at the boys old school and their new one as well. It's crap that they've made it the way they have, but it's not as bad up here as it is down in the states, some schools are banning running around the school yard because the kids might fall, and balls at school because a parent got hit in the face with one ( accidentally of course ) or the ones that don't allow kids on the playground from October - March because they may slip and fall... it's getting to be insane!