To wrap your kids up in? Big bulk issue as standard these days. Now this tale could have been worse until I got my facts right but it did get me thinking about parents imposing their neurotic hang ups on their kids. So what you banging on about now then missus I hear you all say.
Okay. It started with a discussion on facebook about aliens if you please. Now primary schools ain't what they used to be. No sorry. Not like they were in the 70's/80s - they're actually good fun. The latest thing that is going around is the notion that aliens have landed at your school. We had it at our school. It was great fun. We arrived in the morning and were handed out 'alien's have landed' leaflets by a proper police community support office and everything! The picnic area had been police tapped off, there were alien eggs, a machine making humming noise under wraps - the crashed spaceship, the head teacher and his deputy in forensic outfits and various signs saying "why us?" The children loved it. They were fascinated with it all and their reactions were comical. My daughter announced she could speak alien language and proceeded to do so. It started a week of creative writing and brightened up a normally dull January. My children did look out the window that night and said "I wonder if they'll be more aliens?" I didn't tell them it had all be a hoax and we played along with it. Funnily enough they didn't question it at all - it was just accepted and they moved on to the next thing. A bit like Father Christmas.
Anyway, my friend asked what had gone on at her school as her daughter had been off sick. It seems that the aliens had landed but in a different way. A large bang on the roof and talk of aliens being in the school cupboard. One mother was commenting about how her child could not sleep that night until 2am and someone said their child still wouldn't sleep in their own room. I did think and I suspect others (judging by the likes on "it was good fun"comments ) did too, oh for goodness sake get a grip. Granted the school probably could have staged it a bit better but I'm sure their intentions and that of the company that arrange this wasn't to scare the living daylights out of the children. I'm sure they presented themselves in a calm manner and the notion of aliens in the cupboard was sold as fun rather than terrifying. Equally as a parent you could also dismiss it as scary and brush it off as a bit of fun - can't you?
But these days parents don't do that. Instead of waiting to see if a child is worried or scared of something they pre-empt it by putting the fear in the childs head in the first place. Isn't this their own insecurities and hang ups merely being played out on their child? For instance, I don't like fairground rides. I can never see the point of paying money to go on something that makes you sick and fear for your life. My son has no such fear. He went on his first wooden roller coaster when he was just 4 (just about passed the height). Prior to going on I was like "are you really really sure?" "Its going to be fast and have big dips and will be scary and dark." Crikey talk about put the fear of god into him! Luckily my husband is far more relaxed about these things and was like "it'll be fine." Had I continued to say this about every ride as he grew up I'm pretty sure he wouldn't like rides too. What I was really doing was telling him what I thought of the roller coaster and naturally there was no way I was going on it. My husband endured it instead. He loved every minute of it. My son that is definitely not my husband!
I think parents give too much gravitas to children's anxieties and instead of alleviating them they have the complete opposite effect - they just heightened their fears. A fear that could have lasted a few minutes. Now someone may say that's very judgemental of you which is a bit rich as these parents are constantly judging parents who, like me, say don't be so daft explain why its daft and move on. They would judge that as being dismissive. In the same way I wouldn't allow my child not to sleep in their own bed because of 'aliens'. I wouldn't pander to a fear, that could be resolved quickly, by allowing them to sleep in with us. Who is in charge? Who is the parent? Sometimes I think its easy just to pander to children rather than have a bit of hassle. The parent that was sympathetic to the alien fear would think me harsh. I think they are making the problem bigger than it is.
So there you have it. I really don't care how other people deal with their children. But I do get irratated when we're all supposed to be sympathetic and agree that, in this case, the school was foolish and should have thought about the impact of children not sleeping. No. The school was being creative and these children are going to find adulthood difficult if they are continued to be wrapped in cotton wool by their parents.
In other news, I have been brilliant on the diet this week if I do say so myself. I have worked out twice. Which means I have to do 3 workouts over the weekend. I have a busy week ahead as its my son's birthday on 18th. I will be making a Skylanders portal of power cake with Giant Skylander - nothing like an easy cake then! I will post it on here later on in the week.
Have a great weekend!