Monday, August 28, 2006

Monday Musings

This weekend marks the end of the AFL season (well at least for Carlton who don't have to attend the finals as a reward for being on the BOTTOM of the ladder) and it has been a particularly gruesome one. News reports like this and this have abounded all season and lucky is the team which has not accrued a hefty sheaf of medical bills or tribunal appearances.

Closer to home, police cars were called to a local under-17 footy final last weekend as parents and team officials poured onto the field to 'protect' their darling children who were laying in with fists and feet.

Even closer, one of my own grade four students kicked another student in the goolies on Thursday because he 'got angry' during a lunchtime soccer match. He got the primary school equivalent of a red card - two lunchtime detentions. (It's fair to say though, the other kid was being a git.)

With increasing concerns about childhood obesity and low exercise levels (not to mention hosting the Commonwealth games this year), we are continuing to place more and more emphasis on fitness and sport. Higher! Harder! Faster! is the warcry and children's sport is at times beginning to resemble a warzone. We can hardly be surprised at this outcome when they are regularly exposed to questionable behaviour and unsafe play on the part of professional sportsmen.

The question is, do we want to encourage our children to participate in recreation which could get them seriously hurt or in trouble as competition becomes stronger and (some) parents become increasingly insane in their desire to see their child win. What is the balance between too fat and too injured?

I would like to see a shift towards more family-centred exercise. A bike ride on the weekend, a backyard cricket match or totem tennis on the lawn. Active kids are happy kids but we don't want to activate their angry side.

Ciao, Diane

Last week's Monday Musings



At 11:34 am, Blogger Heather said...

Hear, hear.
I have been disgusted in my time at parents 'encouraging' their children to 'win' at sport.
And families getting active together is the best!
Not enough parents are aware that the nutritional status of their child has a lot to do with aggressive behaviour.

At 12:17 pm, Blogger Auntie Noo said...

Teach 'em how to dance - can just all the Aussie parents of 10 year old boys loving that! - But it's great excercise, and no fisticuffs needed!!!!! LOL!!

(Joking aside I agree that children need more exercise, but I also think they need to be taught to manage their anger - it's a life-skill that needs to be learnt!)


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