The Therapy Sessions
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
Christina Hoff Summers says, enough already with this idea that our children are such delicate flowers.It seems that many adults today regard the children in their care as fragile hothouse flowers who require protection from even the remote possibility of frustration, disappointment or failure. The new solicitude goes far beyond blacklisting red pens. Many schools now discourage or prohibit competitive games such as tag or dodge ball. The rationale: too many hurt feelings. In May 2002, for example, the principal of Franklin Elementary School in Santa Monica, Calif., sent a newsletter to parents informing them that children could no longer play tag during the lunch recess. As she explained, "In this game, there is a 'victim' or 'It,' which creates a self-esteem issue."
Which games are deemed safe and self-affirming? The National PTA recommends a cooperative alternative to the fiercely competitive "tug of war" called "tug of peace." Some professionals in physical education advocate activities in which children compete only with themselves, such as juggling, unicycling, pogo sticking, and even "learning to ... manipulate wheelchairs with ease."
But juggling, too, poses risks.
A former member of The President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports suggests using silken scarves rather than, say, uncooperative tennis balls that lead to frustration and anxiety. "Scarves," he points out, "are soft, non-threatening, and float down slowly."
Judas H. Priest!
What is it with educators, who seem to have boundless energy for everything but educating children?
Man, it's gonna be a real shock to some of these kids when they turn 18, and they are faced for the first time with a boss who doesn't care about their fragile feelings, and doesn't give two hoots about their self-esteem.
In the real world, self-esteem comes from accomplishing difficult things, and it's something you obtain yourself. Not only does can one else give you self-esteem, they don't care if you have it. In the real world, "good try" doesn't cut and "close" only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.
Maybe for teachers, where tenure gives them permanent employment, and they get summers off, life is a warm fuzzy cocoon, with sensitive, caring colleagues. The world most of us live is just isn't like that.
"Tug of peace". Jebus.
My thoughts exactly.