A fun one for the weekend!
Hello, Let Grow! I absolutely love your website and the message of confidence and self sufficiency you are spreading on behalf of our children. I saw three children from my daughter’s school walking home without adults in our very safe community today. One was a 2nd grader walking alone. Yay!.I am researching a “twirling bar” for my 9 year old daughter. The playground at her school has a sad play structure with a chin-up bar (yippee!) that she and her friends are using as a twirling bar. They do this after school of course, out of sight of the kid police a.k.a. recess monitors..I am going to approach our super-safety-inclined principal to approve a lower bar add-on to the structure but I’m sure he’ll deny the request. I will either buy one online or have my husband make our fourth grader a bar. She MUST NOT miss out on the thrill of mastering the twirls!.After a Google search for a bar I stumbled across the website of a school in Washington with its posted “Goals” and of course “Rules” of using their twirling bars. Ugh..At my elementary school back in the 80’s we DID: have fun and take turns, improve balance and coordination, and learn to spin all the way around!.We NEVER had rules and I do not remember a single incident of anyone fighting over their turn, getting hurt, etc. One of the Washington School’s rules is “coat should not be wrapped on the bar…”. Yesterday when I was performing my spins on the 6-foot chin-up bar, I didn’t have a coat to wrap the bar and I am suffering the consequence of that today with a sore knee. WHY NO COAT?! It’s part of the fun (and comfort) of twirling! As the fun police at that Washington school have posted, someone may trip on the dropped coat! As if coats dropping on the playground are a super hazard akin to letting loose angry dogs on the kids..Wish me luck on my quest to make sure my daughter gets dizzy, blisters her hands a bit, and maybe even gains some confidence learning a cool new skill..Keep fighting the good fight! — A Twirler Out West
Although admittedly I have never been on a twirling bar (or in a twirling bar, for that matter), I do know insulting, infantilizing rules when I see them — and here they are:
In case it’s too small to read, it says:
To have fun and take turnsTo improve balance and coordinationTo learn to spin all the way around[Lenore here: Um…duh. Does every moment of the school day HAVE to have a “goal”? Should we put these goals on all playground equipment: “The goal of the slide is to learn about gravity, have fun and take turns!” Blecch.]Rules:
Twirling bars are closed if they are wet [Thank you, lawyers]One person at a time on each bar [Ditto]At least one hand must be on top bar at all timesShirts should be tucked inThe next person shall wait behind the line and count to 50 slowlyCoat should not be wrapped on the bar nor dropped where someone can trip.
Why these get my coat…er…goat:
This is micro-managing something that kids have always been able to figure out automatically, especially how long to wait for a turn. Why say precisely “50 seconds” when kids can look and see for themselves when it makes sense to join in?
The idea that some rule-maker knows better than some kid standing there, on the playground, how to do something natural — play — is as insulting as it is wrong.
Why do we keep acting as if kids have zero common sense, and need adult management/wisdom/hectoring every single second? – L.