Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Children have the right to play

It is so sad that there are children who are not allowed to play freely. In western society many children (too many) are denied the opportunity to discover the joy of just playing. In schools recesses are being cut or cancelled then parents/caregivers are picking up the children from the school sidewalks and often driving them to organized sporting teams. One could argue that competing on those team sports is playing, yes, it is, but it is directed by adults and rules are enforced by adults. What are the kids learning? That adults make the rules and that they (the children) can follow directions. While many good things are learned and experienced through organized sports, that shouldn't be the only exposure to play that a child should have.
When children organize their own games they learn co-operation, negotiation, compromise, leadership skills, organizational skills and having fun for the sake of having fun without an adult telling them what to do, or hovering. Hmmm sounds like the same skills that organized sports boast, yet for less money and travel time!
I can't remember which group did this experiment but it was fascinating. They took a group of kids who were members of a organized basketball team and had them organize themselves on the official court inside the gym and then outside on the asphalt play area. Inside, the leader  was the team captain and the boys played their usual spots. Outside, they organized themselves differently. The ones who took charge were the ones who were quiet followers. This shows that if a child has only one type of play activity there are children who would lose out on opportunities that could develop leadership associated skills. Sooooo, let children organize themselves, let them make mistakes. It isn't like they're going to ruin their chances to be a successful athlete if they don't practice, practice, practice in only official situations.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Rememberance Day, November 11, 2010

I like to change things around so my header is for Remembrance Day. The photos are special to me because they are of my relatives. The left one is my dad in his Royal Canadian Air Force uniform, it must be around 1942ish. I don't know when he actually joined up but he was 20 in '42 so I'm going from there. I suppose I should just ask him when he joined! I should actually do that. Anyways, the centre photo is my Great Uncle Lewis (far left-the tall dude) at Shorncliff, England in 1917. The right one is my Great Uncle William Clifford Ernest Law in his WWI uniform. He is Lewis' younger brother. He died November 6, 1918, yes, 5 days before the Armistice was signed. He was ill and is buried at Somme, France. He was 21 years old. He also was with the Fort Garry Horse.

Lewis lived to the 1970's, but was always affected by the Mustard gas he ingested and died from it's effects.

Obviously my dad lived (I was born well after the photo), but then, he was one of many who fought the war on North American soil. He helped build the Alaskan Highway and built a jeep from scratch (so says my mom and Dad didn't dispute it). He wanted to fly but because of his eyesight (you needed 20/20 back then) he was grounded.

Let's remember all who fought, past or present so we could be free to praise or complain about our governments. That is truely a blessing because there are still places in this world where that is not allowed whatsoever.