Which meant when we all had our chores and school work done and it was not yet time for dinner. In summer the games often continued after dinner.
Our field was the street in front of our homes. Most homes had only one car and traffic was rarely a problem.
Age wasn't usually a factor unless you were the kid sister who was five years younger than her brother. He never wanted to let me play but his friends would convince him often enough that when he wouldn't give in, I was content to sit and watch.
That was then.
The little newsletter that accompanies our utility bill has a non-utility-related column each month. This month the column was on Caring for Kids. The sources were Child Centered Coaching by Dr. Stephen Bavolek, and Prevent Child Abuse Utah.
Sadly, at least in the suburbs of the United States, casual neighborhood pick-up games are long gone, a thing of the past----replaced by "organized" sports. When we were young, those neighborhood games didn't require coaching and the only child abuse was the occasional child-to-child type (like when my brother pushed me out of his way).
While the sources for this column were an eye-opener for me, the information is spot-on. Through our many years of watching our children and grandchildren participate in organized sports, we have cringed too many times. Many parents expect too much of their kids and can be pushy to down-right brutal in expressing their expectations. Some go so far as to bribe. These same parents can also be demanding of the coaches and rude to the referees.
What are these parents teaching their kids? and Why?
From the column authors:
Children's Needs When Learning a Sport:
- Have fun
- Get some exercise and be physically fit
- Be with friends and meet new ones
- Learn new skills
- Learn how to accept losing as well as winning
Stages of Competition:
At age 4, children like to cooperate
At ages 5 and 6, children learn competition
At ages 7 and 8, children compare their abilities with others
At age 12, children start to associate losing with personal failure.
From Simply, Gail:
This world is a crazy place and kids are growing up too fast in all aspects of their lives---too often with their parents approval or at least their acceptance---and even more sadly, their encouragement.
Isn't there automatically more than enough stress in life even, unfortunately, in young people's lives, without introducing it to not-much-older-than toddlers who look cute in their too-big uniforms and just want to run around playing "herd" ball and having fun with each other?
Maybe, rather than Simply, Gail --- I am simple Gail, but if so, I don't think that is a bad thing.