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The Forum > Article Comments > High spirits and derring-do: the right to play and be safe > Comments

High spirits and derring-do: the right to play and be safe : Comments

By Jocelynne Scutt, published 17/9/2012

Cartwheels and flag poles appear to lead down different paths for supervision of kids at school.

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An excellent exegesis of the legalese surrounding this issue. I've always been doubtful that the hysteria around this kind of liability was justified. One hears all kinds of tales of people being sued for millions over hazards in the street, the playground, the backyard etc. I can't believe most of them are true.
Nevertheless, after having survived my own often dangerous childhood I've been horrified by the incremental debasement of childhood and all adventure, discovery, and yes dangerous situations to be negotiated, that that phase of life once meant. Our children now grow up without developing those skills and are thus arguably more prone to harm than they might have been had they learned from their bruises and broken bones to take care. Only the other day on the radio it was said that children's upper-body strength is measurably diminished compared to what it was generations ago, when kids swung around and hung upside down in trees, like monkeys.
It's good to see that jurisprudence, withal its jargon, isn't devoid of sense. We need a campaign to restore childrens' rights to them: freedom of thought (facilitated by secular/ethical education, rather than voodoo and expurgated fairy tales), limited independence, spontaneity, and protection from commercial/corporate paedophilia.
Posted by Squeers, Monday, 17 September 2012 8:52:51 AM
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I agree, Squeers.

I liked this bit:

"A better analogy is with a factory....."

Absolument!

Alvin Toffler in "Future Shock" maintained that industrial society's "stroke of genius" was to model schools on the factory system - and I agree.
Posted by Poirot, Monday, 17 September 2012 9:05:28 AM
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And another thing!

'State Schools Sports Unit '

I bet they need a special sports unit to 'facilitate' children's play. This is all part of the making a buck out of exercise.

Has anyone ever heard of Gymbaroo

http://www.gymbaroo.com.au/

and swimming lessons for 6 month old babies. A professional must be employed to teach parents how to hold a baby above the water, and to teach a child to roll onto it's stomach.

What kind of f&cked up world are we in when you need a professional facilitator for this crap.

The middle classes have too much money.
Posted by Houellebecq, Monday, 17 September 2012 9:34:42 AM
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Hey, Houellie,

As you know, we homeschool, and we go to the "aquatic centre" once a week so my son can swim in the Olympic pool. He does his own thing, swims a few laps of freestyle and breast-stroke (which is strange because he's never had a formal lesson : ) When he's done, he goes to the toddlers pool and luxuriates in the bubble jets for a while - because he can...and I've watched the parents with the babies, and their facilitator. I've noted that there's nothing especially expert the parents are being taught. It's as if they have a psychological need to be in a group with peer-parents for the exercise to have any value. The fact that they are purchasing instruction, I think, also gives kudos to the lesson even though what they are being instructed in is the bleedin' obvious.
Posted by Poirot, Monday, 17 September 2012 9:58:44 AM
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'It's as if they have a psychological need to be in a group with peer-parents for the exercise to have any value'

LMAO!

I nearly died trying not to laugh while one of my partners friends earnestly told me all about Gymbaroo and how essential it was. Her child was 6 months old. Then again 3 years later her kids never go outside, so I suppose she thinks you must pay someone to facilitate kids learning to run around and play.

I suppose she's just under-qualified:-)

The swimming cracks me up.

Instruction 1. keep very young child's mouth above water.
Instruction 2. When you think the child looks like they can handle it, introduce the concept to them that there can be no breathing under water.
Instruction 3. Don't try 2 for too long at a time.

We get strange looks when people ask our very confident in the water 4 year old where we taught her to dog paddle and we answer that we just let her hold onto us so she wouldn't drown rather than putting floaties on her all the time. We never spent 1 second teaching her this, but she wanted to be mobile and more independent of us in the pool.

BTW: "aquatic centre" gave me a smile too. What ever happened to the pools.

'GymbaROO Classes have been professionally designed and structured to cater for babies from as young as 6 weeks'. A fool and his money...
Posted by Houellebecq, Monday, 17 September 2012 11:42:33 AM
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Eventually some lawyer will countersue the parents for creating such deficient DNA as a child stupid enough to do something, well 'stupid', leading to injury. And that, after allowing for adequate 'rights to play', 'rights to safety', supervision and age-appropriate knowledge and self-awareness.

Regarding GymbaROO, if they're younger than six weeks basically prenatal in other words the correct term for the aquatic centre is a womb.

I'm under the impression that supervision is basically inherent, though dog paddling is severely limited.

A search found no statistics suggesting flagpole injuries at this age.
Posted by WmTrevor, Monday, 17 September 2012 12:38:12 PM
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