Saturday, March 31, 2007

Life isn't suppose to be fair; Live & Learn

I am sure everyone is up to date on the school in Seattle who banned Legos due to "social and political understandings of ownership and economic equity ... from a perspective of social justice."

From the time my children were a year old like their father and uncles, they had Legos. Every birthday and Christmas they would receive the latest and greatest kit to hit the market. We still have them all and they are the one toy that regardless of age, can occupy for hours.

Yes, we had power struggles over who's was who's. Yes, they were often put in time out (the lego's) to settle the daily disputes. To this day my two older boys tell me I was unfair in letting their 3 year old brother "recreate", "reform", in other words break apart their masterpieces during their school day. I would repeatedly tell them, "That's the fun of Lego's, you build, take apart and then rebuild. But they just couldn't see it from my perspective. Then we went through the stage of hiding our favorite parts. It was always the teeny tiny pieces too. They became negotiating tactics when one of them needed a certain piece to build their structure.

I know that when they have kids, this is the one thing my kids will do differently but I feel that as far as the school banning them because it was causing bullying, or unfounded ownership over items that in reality didn't belong to any of them because they are school property...right? I would just say, you can do what you want with your legos at home but here at school everything is open I right?

Dodgeball was banned at my kids last jr high because of one particular boy who was slammed in the face with the ball. His parents were infuriated and raised all kind of hoopla to get it banned.

But did anyone think of the damage this has done to the boy? I'm not referring to his face either, everyone knows who it happened to and that it was his parents who were responsible for banning the game. He will forever go down in history as the "crybaby" who had dodgeball banned. My kids still tell everyone here that story.

One elementary school we attended a few years back, also followed some of this kooky way of thinking. I was a 1st grade room mom. Right before every party we would have to meet with the head room mom and discuss our plans for each and every party. We were all required to do the same thing, play the same games, give the same treats. "WHY?" I asked. Because after school, if little Bobby is sitting next to little Susie on the bus and has a bigger lollipop then Susie might be upset!

HELLLLLOOOOOO...that is life sister! Welcome to reality! What are we teaching our kids if they think at a young "protected" stage in their life that everyone has the same thing? It doesn't work that way! I'd like a lake house... susie has a lake house, I want a cleaning lady...Bobby has a cleaning lady! What do you mean I can't have it!

In the words of Veruca Salt, "I want an eva-lastin gahb-stoper, Dah-dee!"

Who wants a Veruca Salt for a child? Don't get me wrong, I have called my kids Veruca Salt on occasion and they can't stand it! But my kids know that we don't have a maid, and we don't have a lake house and we don't have a lot of what some of their friends have but they also know that there are way more people out there who have way less than us.

It's all part of life, the ups, downs, fighting over legos, being slammed by a dodgeball which is much better than being the last one chosen for the team, not getting invited to a party, having to clean your own home, running through the lawn sprinkler instead of sitting by the lake. This is all about building your character. Everything we experience in life is what makes us who we are. If we all have the same stuff and do the same things and always cross the finish line at the same time, it would be difficult to find happiness. I want my kids to find happiness in all that they do, and know that if they work hard for something then they can achieve whatever they want. Life isn't suppose to be fair, Live & Learn. They may fail, they may lose, they may even get slammed in the face with a dodgeball, but I am sure they will learn quickly where the game got it's name... DODGE. the. BALL!


Arlene said...

My daughter plays basketball, and has since she was almost 4. This is the first year that they've scored, and I'm so glad they finally are. You don't learn to work hard if everyone ends up with the same thing in the end, and I for one want my kids to know they have to work for what they want!
I think banning dodge ball and legos is assanine, and I think it boils down to laziness on the schools part. God forbid they have to teach the kids right from wrong, and referee in their classrooms. That's their JOBS!!!

aka_Meritt said...

Somehow I missed the Lego story... but I surfed in this morning and found myself saying "Wow! Did I write this post!" so of course I had to blogroll you! LOL.

I quick glance around tells me we have quite a few similarities. Nice to meet you! :)

tess said...


me said...

you know, I am so tired of being made to feel like we are being bad parents if our children know disappointment. Disappointment and rejection are parts of life. It isn't always fair, in fact usually it isn't. yet so many people are afraid to let their kids see this. Life is a challenge and if they don't find out when they are young, how will they cope as adults?