Friday, August 29, 2008

Friday Fuckwit

At lunch with the lovely Thommo today, (happy belated birthday my poppet) we were talking about why some parents ‘need’ parenting classes. Not challenged parents, not parents with disabled, difficult or gifted children, not underprivileged parents who need assistance but upper middle class parents of precious possums who seem to think that they need to explain the life, universe and everything to their 8 year old because they haven’t been picked for the ‘gifted and talented’ class in 3rd grade!

What happened to letting kids explore, get dirty, spin cartwheels, eat strawberries from the garden, break their collar bones falling off monkey bars, discovering where baby things come from by taking them to the farm, letting them throw up after parties, washing their mouth out with dishwashing liquid when they swear, sticking them in the naughty corner after a tantrum and giving them at least 10 cuddles a day because you’re the mummy that’s why?

So, our politically correct and overprotective society has gone one step further. A North Queensland primary school has banned cartwheels and handstands in the playground. At first I thought perhaps because little girls flashing their Bonds in front of the boys might be a tad inappropriate (hey I remember Catholic schools banning patent leather shoes because you could see the reflection of the girl’s knickers in them)

Belgian Gardens State School in Townsville has banned all gymnastics activities during lunch breaks, declaring it dangerous because it has the potential to cause back and neck injuries. Cali Buschgens, 10, has been reprimanded for cartwheeling on school grounds and her grandmother Val Bryce says the ban is a sad reflection on modern society.

"Sadly I think this is probably linked with the current society where litigation is rife and I feel that schools are probably trying to avoid a child being hurt and an irresponsible mother then trying to sue them for it," she said.

Education Queensland has defended the ban on unsupervised gymnastic activities. Regional executive director Vicki Baylis says fear of litigation was never a factor in the decision and it was made purely for the students safety. Oh PISH! And we have th hide to complain that kids are not becoming engaged in enough physical activity and becoming obese.

"The issue around the gymnastics is around the safety of the kids and it was not motivated by any concept of litigation, but certainly [by] that safety and well-being component of those kids when we're talking heads and necks and potentially backs if there were an injury." (can you see her nose growing by the metre?)

Here you go kiddies: How do to a Cartwheel . . .frankly, I never could!


Babysis said...

Here Here.....I remember practising hand stands in the lounge room at Delaigh Avenue against the wall....oh what fun...mum didnt think so!!!

Let kids be kids - I love seeing mine climbing the "god knows how many feet high" fir tree out the front....sometimes they seem so high they can touch the sky and although it frightens me...I know they ADORE IT!!!! Its the stuff memories are made of.

Thriftcriminal said...

When I was a kid I knew a girl who, if you pissed her off, would use a cartwheel to kick you in the face. She fancied me though, so I was never on the receiving end of one of those. Sheesh, no wonder kids need video games if they can't get up to all the dangerous crap I did when I was a sprog.

Baino said...

Hey I won a fwoot pwatter! You can have it if you feed the boys for me tonight? Please, pretty please. Just got home . .all mixed and ready to rock'n roll. And I've seen your kids in 'climey' . . blimey!

Now there's a skill you don't see too often Thrifty! I hope yours are allowed to eat worms and make mud pies!

steph said...

Next they'll tell kids they're not allowed to run in the playground in case they fall over and sue the school.

I despair *sigh*

Let kids be kids!

Ces said...

My son's third grade teacher (a former university cheerleader)led them to the playground by doing a series of cartwheels. All the students thought she was the coolest teacher - she was rather cool. Litigations and a litigious society does drive all of us to implement moronic rules and laws. Examples:

the electric iron has a label that says "Warning: Hot surface. Do not apply surface on face and other body parts"

the coffee from McDonalds is hot but because the woman who put the coffee cup between her leg while driving got burned there is now a warning not to put the cup between your legs because it is hot.

Soon hospitals will be required to plaster a label on every newborn they deliver: "Warning: extremely cute and lovable. May break your heart and bank account. Do not teach how to do cartwheels and climb trees."

The lawyers always win. I should have been a lawyer.

Grannymar said...

I climbed trees, jumped ditches and walked walls! Well...if I didn't join in I'd have to go home ans play with my dolls. No contest.

Moon said...

Jeez, you could get me strated so easily on this subject ..... Welcome to the real world where people do get hurt, and do pick up illnesses from eating green cheese (pr was that just be when hungry afetr some beer!).....

Life is not protected, life is fun, exploring, enjoying, thrilling.. not wraped in cotton wool. It's pathetic.... I sound old now, but when I was a boy, I played football aith older boys, had cricket balls hit and break my nose, and it was great !!!!! protection my arse !

Jay said...

Oh, I so agree - but you knew I would!

I used to be able to cartwheel, but I remember trying it again in my early twenties to show a neighbour's young daughter and I nearly did myself a mischief. I hadn't reckoned with the combined effects of extra weight and reduced suppleness and nearly tore something!

What these idiots don't seem to realise is that if you don't allow kids to exercise themselves regularly, injuries are MORE likely to happen.

Oh Pish! is right. Of COURSE it's about litigation. GRR!

Nick said...

Stark raving bonkers. Kids have been doing cartwheels and handstands for centuries with very few of them coming to harm. It won't be long before kids won't be allowed to do anything but sit quietly in a chair contemplating their navels. Surely they should be banned from coming to school in case they're run over, banned from reading for fear of eye strain, and banned from talking for fear of laryngitis. Give kids their lives back, I say! Rough and tumble's all part of growing up and exploring your body's potential.

Ernest de Cugnac said...

God, I loved that: "unsupervised gymnastic activities" or "play" as it used to be called.

Nice one baino, keep the pressure on the idiotic effers.

Megan said...

Cheers, Baino! Not much to add because you said just about all the things I would have.

One thing I have noticed though - when I take my niece & nephew to the park - almost all the parents stare in shock and consternation when I go sit on a bench and read my book instead of hovering over the kids the entire time.

So it's not just the schools.

Thriftcriminal said...

well #1 is too fussy and #2 holds the worms and goes "Aww, they're so cute"

laughingwolf said...

i let my three climb monkey bars, play on swings, teeter-totters [see-saws], and more, sure they got hurt at times... but a kiss and a bandaid later, they were back at it

Miladysa said...

This people get on my bits!

I remember my dad telling me stories of how he and his mates used to jump into the quarry using a discarded umbrella as a parachute. They went on to fight in WWII.

We should all stand up and tell this jobs worth and their insurance companies where to get off!

Baino said...

Steph this was only one school but I know of others where the climbing bars are out of bounds. Why build them in the first place?

Ces, hope she was wearing trousers! True, it's like peanut butter labels "may contain traces of peanut"

GM I did the same, got a nice glass slash in my knee crawling about in coal piles behind the golf course work sheds. Quite a trophy it was!

Moon, I think we all agree. If you haven't broken something by the time you're 20 you're not trying! Shame about your pretty nose though.

Nick, quite so, I was raised with 'stacks on'. Hurt like hell but we giggled uncontrolably.

Ernest, we're even changing the language to be politically correct. What gets me is we also have a huge campaign against childhood obesity yet we're discouraging rough and tumble play! Crazy.

Megan that's so true. During our lunch, my friend told me that one of our book club mums is taking parenting classes . . couldn't believe it! Something that should come so naturally is now being 'taught'. Fwooaoarrr

Aww Thrifty, at least you let them get their hands dirty!

Baino said...

Wuffa way to go . . even the playgrounds they build these days are so safe they're boring. No more flying foxes or huge slippery dips. Definitely no see saws unless they're mounted on a spring so that if someone gets off one end you don't come down with a thump!

Miladysa - on your bits? Haha . . they swore it had nothing to do with litigation and was entirely for the safety of the children who are now all sitting on benches stuffing their faces with meat pies and ice cream.

Quickroute said...

I miss the days when kids were just kids. Now you can get sued for just looking sideways at one and when
I hear a parent berate her child for something petty it just pisses me off! - where's the middle ground?

kj said...

i only wish i could do a cartwheel or two or three. i would gladly stand in the corner or face a suspension if i could handstand to my desk. but unlike the lawyers of the world, at least i know how to write a warning in two words or less (you have to guess, but i'll bet you can!)


Baino said...

Quicky, I think it has a lot to do with litigation despite the protestations of the school. Who do I sue for crashing into a parked car on my bicycle?

Naughty kj, of course I know the warning but propriety forbids me from mentioning it here. Actually I never could cartwheel but I was an ace at rolly poly and handstands and I often think if my mother knew what I got up to on my horse as a kid, belting around the neighbourhood without a helmet, she'd have grounded me for ever!

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Hell's teeth - what a bunch of dumb clucks. We spent our breaks not just doing cartwheels, but cartwheels without hands - competition - who could do the most. Competition - who could fall over the most. For goodness sake, are children being encouraged to grow up as a bunch of complete whoopsies?! Phooey! On that note, I'm off to see if I can still do cartwheels, then I'm going to do a handstand and then I'm going to stand on my head. just cos I can. So there!

Baino said...

Agghghgh Nicks! You can still do cartwheels and stand on yer 'ed? Crikey woman you're a unit! *heads off to play politically correct hopscotch*