Saturday, February 11, 2006

The "Safe Zone": A Rant

The other night before bed Evie was brushing her teeth while dancing around the room wildly. We have a friend who does not allow her children to move from a sitting position while brushing their teeth because they might fall and jab their toothbrushes into their throats. They are not allowed to eat lollipops in the car either becasue they might get into an accident and the stick would go down their throats.

We have another acquaintance who enforces a "safe zone" for beverages at the table. The cup must stay between 12:00 and 2:00 on a pretend clock at the child's place. We know kids who are not allowed to jump on any kind of trampoline, or eat raw cookie dough or use sharp knives or cook on the stove or cut things with a saw or regular scissors. We know kids who are not allowed to walk on the top of walls at the park or jump down from steps at our state capitol. We know kids who cannot pour their own drinks or tie their shoes or get a snack because they are not allowed to do these things for themelves at home.

IT ALL MAKES ME CRAZY!!! I want a competent, confident, "can-do" kid. One who responds to the question "Can you speak Portuguese?" with the response, "I don't know, I've never tried!" That's why we prefer to live by Ms. Frizzle's battle cry "Take chance, make mistakes, get messy!"

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