Do you want to keep your children safe and protected from harm? Of course you do. You monitor what they watch on TV and see on the Internet, you enforce a curfew, you serve healthy foods and teach them to stay away from strangers. You want to make sure they get enough exercise, so you limit the amount of time they spend playing video games and repeat the wisdom that has become part of American oral tradition – “For heaven’s sake, turn that game off and go outside and PLAY!”
Recently, a subdivision in Florida proposed fining parents who allowed their children to play outside. One of the activities specifically banned would be tag. It seems kids get noisy when they play tag, if you can believe that, and some homeowners who have forgotten that they were once children find that offensive.
I read about something like that and shake my head, figuring that it is an isolated incident and considering myself lucky that I don’t live there. I mean, really, how many people in the US are that mean?
Now the state of New York is in the process of revising their summer camp regulations in order to make sure that children are happy campers, so to speak. In order to keep the children of New York safe, one of the activities to be specifically banned is – you guessed it – tag. Also on the list of no-no’s are Red Rover, dodgeball, kickball, wiffle ball, and Capture the Flag. Wiffle ball? Really?
I played these games when I was a child, and didn’t even think about not allowing my children to play them. My parents also remember playing them. Believe it or not, we are all still around to tell the story. Not only weren’t we physically harmed beyond an occasional scraped knee or elbow, but we learned a lot about teamwork by playing them.
So why do we want to “protect” the next generation by keeping them from playing these common outdoor games? Are there compiled statistics that prove that tag and wiffle ball are so physically dangerous that they must be banned by the government?
At what point do you say that the American government is officially out of control? I think we passed that point a while ago.
BTW, have you considered how you are going to stop kids from playing tag once it has been banned? I wish you luck enforcing the "no tag" regulation. Given free time, kids play tag. I suspect it's instinctive.
Guess it's not just the US. Check out this article from the UK: