My kid raising manual didn’t arrive with the delivery. It didn’t arrive at any of the three baby deliveries.
I couldn’t return the goods so I had to just make do and raise them according to the principles of ‘mum knows best’. I make it up as I go along. I also believe firmly that kids need an abundance of love, guidance and grit.
Yup sharp stuff that doesn’t taste so good. You find it on the side of life’s highways. Kids know they need it. Show me a toddler who hasn’t tried to stick great fistfuls of it in their mouth!
When I read that a primary school in Weston Super Mare has officially banned Valentines Day cards to save the tots from the trauma of rejection, I couldn’t believe it. The Head Teacher says that he was trying to save his young students from the ‘trauma of being dumped’.
These kids are aged between 5-12. They’re celebrating Valentines Day? They’re getting ‘dumped’? I thought dump was mostly used as a noun attached to toy trucks at that age!
According to the head teacher (as reported on the BBC here)
“… children get upset when they are “dumped” which interrupts their learning.
He said children should wait until they are mature enough emotionally and socially to understand the commitment in having a boyfriend or girlfriend.”
At first I thought, how ridiculously precocious having boyfriends and girlfriend at that age. Then with a cringe I remembered the games of ‘kiss chasey’ when I was at primary school. I was certain I was going to marry my little friend Wade and live happily ever after on his cattle farm, when I was five. I remembered being very good at kiss chasey. I was fast and determined to catch whomever I was chasing (things haven’t changed much in grown up life).
When I was ten my mother packed me off to an all girls’ school to ensure that I remained out of reach of the opposite sex for a few years at least.
Maybe it’s not so different now from when I was young…
My youngest daughter has invited one friend to her tenth birthday party at Alton Towers next week, a young boy. She came home in tears the other day explaining that the girls at school were teasing her about her boyfriend.
‘But we’re friends Mum. I like him. But not like, like him!’
I understand completely.
Aren’t they taking it all a bit seriously? Dark Princess came home with tales of woe amongst her group of girlfriends. One of the girls’ boyfriends has been ‘cheating on her with seven other girls’.
Cheating? At 13years old? With seven other girls?(Obviously a very busy boy!)
Howdo you ‘cheat’ when you’re 13? By kissing someone else? By sending them a Valentines Day card?(Please reassure me they’re not having sex..)
It’s all too serious and silly if you ask me. And as for the teacher banning Valentines Day cards, doesn’t that just give the whole thing a gravity it previously didn’t have? What’s more, shouldn’t our kids be able to cope?
On the one hand we’re shrouding them in cotton wool so they aren’t traumatised emotionally yet on the other we’re expecting them to be traumatised by applying adult logic and behaviour to childhood games. Let the kids eat a bit of grit, and leave them alone to their happy innocent dreams of what adult life could be like for them.
They’ll learn soon enough it aint like that, let’s hope they’ve eaten enough grit so that they’ll be ready to cope with it when they get there.