Kids: tough world. Gut it up.
Tough week for kids. Battered thoughtlessly by adults who should know better: merchants, the President, OWS, – even Congress.
The onslaught of
Christmas seasonally appropriate music and stores’ holiday campaigns commences.
Joyously? (Oh, come on. Get into the spirits. Jingle with enthusiasm. For the kids!)
While holiday music is mainly designed to get adults into the buying mood, kids are affected differently. Yes, while the music does signal in-coming (presents, sugar treats, parties), it also brings family manic cheeriness alternating with short tempers and grim unreasonable demands to tolerate endless trips to the mall – and not getting anything NOW. Upset schedules. Irregular meals. Sensory overload ahead. Ho! No! No! Happy mortification days.
Holiday cheers contrast with Presidential sneers and jeers – in front of company, no less.
While visiting an Australian school President Obama commented that students in the US have “fallen behind” in math and science. Continuing he said US kids “don’t get the support when they are very young” and are “already behind” when they enter elementary/grammar school. Talk about a body blow to school kids. So much for developing pride in your country with those wide-eyed little guys. Their own President is bluntly pointing out their flaws in public. Doomed before they set foot in the door. Concerned about childhood depression? (Hide the razor blades and bottles of medicine.)
Seriously, Vintage Granny used to say, “Some things are family business and you don’t share that information outside the house. It’s like saying what kind of underwear you have on (or not on) – so inappropriate for polite conversation.” She had all sorts of bits to share, like: “Don’t ever criticize or say bad things about yourself in public. There are plenty of others that will be glad to do that for you.” Sounds pretty reasonable. Along with “Every thought that come across your head does not have to come out of your mouth.” With age, that advice has become more and more wise. Didn’t your family raise you with Olde Proverbs and sayings to guide you? Oh, right. Perhaps an alien concept. (All those early colonial proverbs, Ben Franklin’s Sayings of Poor Richard, and even Shakespeare’s pithy phrases are so outdated anyway.)
Seriously, President Obama, you don’t want anyone saying stuff about your kids, so how about you return the courtesy by respecting our kids? If there’s a problem (and public education is not doing well) deal with it in-house not abroad. Discuss it with parents of at risk children not teenagers in another country – even if you know it will please and amuse them. We all liked to be amusing, loved, and adored, but not at the expense of others, please. Right now our little school guys are feeling a little ashamed and sad because of what you think of them. It would be better if the parents felt the blame and shame. (But then again, maybe they have already taken that “America has gotten a little lazy” remark the wrong way.)
Of course, in NYC it’s worse: some kids are terrified.
Nov. 17th, some small children just trying to get to school were terrorized by shouting pressing crowds of OWS protestors in lower Manhattan. (Video) Police and parents tried to reassure the children, but face it. These kids are little…and short. OWS adults were big and loud. Routine, predictability, and consistency means safety to kids. Large numbers of enraged, rumpled big people are bound to be disturbing. Kids want adults to be under control – not ranting and having what appears to be angry temper tantrums over something unknown. It makes them anxious….and I’m talking about the school kids here. OWS protestors – pick on someone your own (physical) size. Try to grab attention elsewhere.
Actually some Canadian kids may be able to get the ball rolling.
They may be small, but their message is clear and being heard. (video) A Toronto school is making things safer (sound familiar?) by banning “hard balls” like soccer, baseball, volleyball, tennis balls, and footballs on the playground. The play area is small, and a parent got hurt from a soccer ball hit. The kids, being modern little guys, are not taking this ban quietly. They have a petition and are chanting for the media quite adamantly. They want their balls back. (Observe, OWS) It’s a simple clear demand with one specific action requested. Clean and neat, the kids (as well as the message) are determined, but not being a nuisance. They are getting up each morning and brushing their teeth, dressing neatly, going to work on their school lessons, and probably eating their broccoli and taking their vitamins as requested. Yet their message is getting results. The school has already announced the ban is temporary and the administration is working to develop guidelines to address safety yet to allow child play. No littering, no work disruption, no stopping traffic or impeding others, no demanding free PlayStations. One simple message with one clear action requested. Oh, right. These kids are Canadian – not US students who are behind. Canadians. Some example they are with their cold weather, hockey, actors, singers, comedians, and sense of humor.
Despite it all, one glimmer of hope: a vegetable possibility.
School kids everywhere have held their breath. Would they pull it off? Would pizza be proclaimed a vegetable and continue to grace the school lunch plate? So far Congress says “Pizza, yea!” (with a half cup of tomato paste.) Yet, the controversy still rages. This vegetable issue will not be buried, pulled, or chopped and discarded. People are steamed.
Meanwhile, armed with Congressional support, kids will be whining, “but Mom, it’s a vegetable. Let’s have pizza tonight.” And tired from all the seasonal shopping, wrapping, and decorating, Mom will probably agree.
Christmas the holiday season. It’s time to be nice. Besides, kids today live in such a tough world, just for once, give them what they like.
Cold pizza for breakfast is better than no breakfast at all.
Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge