Thursday, June 24, 2010

Three bits on children/childhood

  • A New York Times piece reports on the spreading school policy to discourage best friends at just about all ages. I understand teaching tolerance and coexistance in a variety of ways, but this seems like a really misguided effort that, at minimum, removes a bullwark against social insecurity and, at worst, deprives kids of the chance to learn the skills needed for relationship-building at any deeper level. As Medley says, another experiment with the re-engineering of childhood, effects unknown...

  • A convincing argument against agressive tickling play. The points made here seem obvious in retrospect, but it's easy to get taken in by giggles and forget about personal boundaries and power differentials...

  • A nice story: Dad lets 4-year-old play Grand Theft Auto, a game that encourages deranged violence, and the kid finds a way to be happy and helpful there instead. Yay!

1 comment:

Medley said...

re the friends article - I wouldn't be surprised at all if it were really shoddy reporting. That is, I *can* imagine a circumstance where it's appropriate to encourage more group play - there can be obviously toxic pairs and educators are not always drones, right? And given the state of media today (did not notice who had the byline on this article) and the way "reporters" comb for juicy quotes, I could imagine a complete misreporting of the phenom, knowing that writing it this way would stir controversy.

I also found the little bit I read of the comment thread on that piece a few days ago fascinating.. .in that one's, or one's kids, experience with or without toxic friendships or bullying, really seems to change how these things are perceived.

So, a provocative piece, but I'm really unsure how much to credit it.