Overheard, at a PLAYGROUND! I am not making this up.
Now, now, no running. (what!?! On the playground?!)
Don't get dirty.
Use your inside voice. (Hello!! You are OUTSIDE!!)
No playing with sticks. Put that down.
Where have we gone wrong?
If I remember rightly, playing in the dirt, running, yelling, and playing with sticks are all birthrights of childhood. Oh my, we have become a weird, sanitized society when we can't even let our children do these things in the designated areas for doing these things! We've already fenced in and padded these playgrounds - which, I admit, is sometimes necessary because around the blissfully playing children lie highways with cars speeding past - and now we don't let the kids run? Use your inside voice? You've got to be kidding.
I understand having rules: don't hit your kid brother on the head with rocks. Don't poke each other in the eye. No rocks in the house where babies could eat them. But really, don't play with sticks? Don't throw sticks into bushes? (Iain asks me if he can do this every time we go to a specific park where he heard another mother telling her boys not to do it. I always say yes. Of course you can throw sticks into bushes!)
People always say that if you don't let your boys play with guns, they'll play with sticks like they were guns. What if you don't let them play with sticks? Will they pretend their crayons are sticks?
It just seems so crazy to me to not let your kid play with sticks and rocks. What else did God make them for?