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Where have all the skinned knees gone?

March 6, 2011

I am a teacher. I work with kids a LOT. Most of them are of the 5 to 11 year old variety.

I LOVE MY JOB!!! Seriously, now. It’s amazing, and I love being called “Mom” on accident once in a while 🙂

I do however notice things that make me sad for kids. 😦

1. I routinely want to take kids home with me. Not because of good reasons, but because I know I can give them a better, more stable life. Thank goodness my husband helps me come to my senses.

2. I see kids that struggle so hard against the system because they have not been helped by it. For instance, a 5th grade boy is MUCH more likely to act out than to admit to anyone that the words and letters on the page do not make sense to him.

3. Kids HATE movement.

I have more groans and grumbles in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade classes when I ask them to stand than I have ever heard in my life.I sincerely hope that when and if we are ready to have kids of our own, we can keep them active and happy throughout their childhood.

This brings me to my title. I know it;s winter, and it’s the NW, where shorts are about as common as republicans, but still; What happened to skinned knees???

I can vividly remember skinning my knees as a child. I always had cuts, scrapes and the like from just being a kid. My classmates, friends and siblings were the same way. I remember comparing battle wounds on Monday mornings with my peers. If you came in with a wrap or cast, you were treated like royalty. If that cast happened to be on your leg, you were a celebrity to whom all bribes were made just in case you hadn’t chosen an”elevator buddy” yet.

And yet, I see none of that in schools now. i see students who have “Stomach aches” and “headaches” routinely that prevent them from going out at recess. We have the “Asthma club” that stays in the Library and does not see the light of the sun. And all this means to me is that these 5,6,7,and 8 year olds are well on their way to a sedentary life. PE is only 1 hour a week folks. It is recommended that children get 60 minutes of cardio PER DAY.

Anyone have any insight in to this? It seems the more protective we get, the more bubble wrap we protect our children with, the less they have time to really be kids. Because, after all, who wouldn’t want to brag about trying to pull a “superwoman” off of the roof of the garage with a trash bag for a cape??

This all was stewing in my head while I was running with some new friends this morning. Cileygirl over at Runordietrying was *kind* enough to invite me to run the Terwilliger Blvd hill with her. The Shamrock 15K will be along that same road, so it is nice to try it out ahead of time. I warn you, there was a lot of talking, laughing and getting to know each other over this run. 🙂


Training run; 6.5 Miles/1:41/15 ish min. pace

Race for the Roses half : 29 days

Thanks to my new friends! Please feel free to weigh in on the skinned knees issue. As a childless (at least biologically) lady, am I over thinking this? Is there a good reason children have stopped playing outside?

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Amy permalink
    March 6, 2011 8:58 pm

    Because parents are afraid to send them out by themselves and too overscheduled to go out with them? In my defense, I found a scab on the bridge of my daughter’s nose today. Not a clue where it came from.

    • March 7, 2011 7:09 pm

      Haha, if anyone’s kids could be the exception to this, I believe they would be yours! I only hope I am HALF as good of a supporter and mother as you are!

  2. Liz permalink
    March 7, 2011 5:50 am

    I think part of it is that parents use video games as babysitters instead of going out with them. Kids today have calluses on their thumbs instead of scabs on their knees cause you can’t really hurt yourself falling off the couch. They have also lost the art of mediation as they are either in an organized sport or told what to do. Great topic for study.

  3. March 7, 2011 4:36 pm

    I loved being active as a kid; what I hated was I had just moved to a new city/new school (junior high) where I had no friends and really big boobs and sports bras and running shoes didn’t really exist. Then we had to run cross country or track in gym class every single day; some days gym was the first class of the day so if you weren’t a fast runner you didn’t have time to shower or clean up and you looked (and smelled) icky all day long. Not good in a new school when puberty has recenty landed!

    On another note, yesterday’s run was a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to more!! We’ll be jockettes soon!

    • March 7, 2011 7:11 pm

      I HATED gym. BOO dressing down and enforced embarrassment. I loved running with you ladies too! Can’t wait for Sunday!

  4. March 9, 2011 5:18 pm

    Hey Nikki!

    Terwilliger was way fun…’s so awesome that we get to do it all over again in only 4 days! Pray for no rain…..

    Anyway, I think that it’s a vicious cycle – the more sedentary kids become, the more they gripe and complain about sweat-inducing activity, because it’s harder for them. And I suspect oftentimes the griping and complaining is probably catered to by parents who are also quite sedentary themselves, so….. there you go. It takes a lot of hard work to break that cycle.

    My husband is the quintissential couch potato, and he doesn’t care a whole lot about his diet, and he works on computers and tests games all day long….so you throw all that in the mix, and now we have an 8-year old who is starting to gain a bit of weight, in large part due to some combination of the above. I am trying to get him interested in running, but we’ve at least managed to get him on board with Taekwondo, which he really enjoys, so hopefully that will help. Plus I hope that having a mommy as a runner will help too!

    Anyhoo, it was great meeting you on Sunday, and I look forward to our little adventure this coming Sunday! 🙂

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