Thursday, 19 April 2012

Park Politics - Sticks

All mothers know that there are no politics like park politics. Seriously, it makes the rough and tumble of the NSW Parliment's Bear Pit look like child's play (pardon the pun).

This morning's park politics was all about sticks and whether or not kids should play with them.

As far as I am concerned it is totally normal for kids, and particularly boys, to want to play with sticks and as long as you teach them to be considerate of others and play safely there is no problem. But everyone has different parenting opinions about these things and each to their own, I say.

But whatever your opinion is please don't make decisions about my children and sticks for me, except if there is a direct risk to your child in which case you should feel free to ask Wild Man to put the stick down (but you'll probably find that I am running towards the situation anyway).  If you feel that strongly about sticks at the park you should 1) prevent your own kids from playing with them and/or 2) consider going to a park that has flat green grass nd few trees, rather than one with bush. 

So clearly I do let Wild Man play with sticks at the park but there are definitely rules:
- I limit how big they are
- He has to be away from other kids and crowded areas
- Sticks and slippery dips don't mix
- You don't use the word 'kill' towards another person
- No sword fights at the park
- No sticks near people's faces. 

But, as long as they stick to the rules, I just can't see what the problem is with five small boys roaming around the local park hunting a Stegasorus with sticks. It seems like a normal thing for them to want to do, kids have played with sticks for generations and, in fact, I think it is great for their imaginations.

Kids need to be able to play rough, exciting and adventurous games. They need to sometimes take risks and I don't see how we can criticise our 14-year-olds for endlessly playing computer games if we didn't let them roam (relatively) free outside as children.

Seriously, would you rather see a child holding a stick or a mouse?

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