It’s generally accepted knowledge that children are wild little creatures. Not in a bad way, but in a “need to run around and be active” sort of way. These little bodies are like shaken soda bottles, and if they can’t channel their energy, they’ll explode all over the place. For schoolkids, recess is typically when they get to run and play their sillies out. And for a lot of little kids, that means climbing, jumping, and running around. But what happens when schools discourage natural child play? One mom wrote a permission slip to her sons’ school, giving her kids permission to basically be kids.
In what she’s calling a “soapbox moment”, Julie Walsh Holcombe sent a permission slip to school with her sons, after they were scolded for climbing trees.
Warning – the following is a soapbox moment.Generally speaking, I think parents are way too quick to place blame on…
The document reads in part, “My children have permission to climb any tree they so desire. In fact, I encourage it, whenever and wherever they can, for as long as they both shall live. I can think of few things better than knowing they are spending their time playing outside in the fresh air, taking advantage of the beautiful playground nature can provide, getting exercise, using their imagination, chatting with their squad of friends, all while climbing a tree.”
“I respectfully ask that you let my kids be kids.”
Obviously, schools have a duty to protect and maintain the safety of the kids while they’re on campus. We, unfortunately, live in a very litigious society. And how quickly do you think parents would rush to blame and sue administrators if their kids got hurt? Julie considered that, too.
“If this correspondence doesn’t help calm your nerves about a potential lawsuit, below please find an official permission slip — admissible evidence in any court of law. Feel better? No? Then I suggest you climb a tree. It’s really relaxing.”
We feel for schools just trying to keep kids safe, but we also recognize that sometimes they take it a bit too far. A few years ago, a school even went as far as banning games of tag! Kids need to be kids, and sometimes that means climbing trees and running around. We should encourage active play, rather than punish kids for being kids. Pretty soon, all kids will know about climbing trees is what they’ve seen on YouTube. Why climb a tree when you can watch a video of a kid climbing a tree, right?
(Image: Facebook/Julie Walsh Holcombe)