A Nation of Wimps, Fatsos & Crybabies

Fat people are driving up American fuel costs by $2.8 billion a year. Kids are lazy and get little exercise. No surprise. Many schools have outlawed dodge ball and some have banned tag. Playgrounds no longer feature physically challenging apparatus. Everybody wants to ensure safety. We end up just getting fat and lazy.

We are becoming a nation of wimps, fatsos and crybabies because we have created a hypersensitive social and legal environment. Any risk could be actionable in court even in the event of a low probability occurrence. Insurance rates have eliminated high dives and high slides. At school, kids are discouraged from playing rough or competitive games that might make someone feel bad. We have come a long way in the wrong direction.

And a little dodge ball never hurt anybody - for very long at least. If you get smacked, get over it and next time duck.

Posted by Jack at October 26, 2006 11:14 PM
Comment #190653

Dodge ball! I hated dodge ball! Some of those giants with kid brains could sling that ball hard. I usually was one of the last to go out because I thought strategically in the hopes of not suffering pain. I also got good at, well, dodging that dodge ball!

I was a geeky klutzy bookworm mocked and ridiculed all through grade school, so I really have no sympathy for the virtues of dodge ball. Thank god for college. To my shock, I learned that reading at recess all those years put me way ahead of the game, and that discussing Jack Keroauc and William Blake could get you laid. What a revelation!

I read Lord of the Flies on my own in high school and nothing in it shocked me. As soon as a teacher turned his or her back, my classmates became savages. Ah well.

Like the Greeks, I do believe physical fitness should be taught along with math and reading, but … dodge ball! Why’d you have to write about dodge ball!

Posted by: Trent at October 26, 2006 11:36 PM
Comment #190654


Just imagine how much fuel we’d save if we could just keep fat people out of SUVs.

Posted by: Rocky at October 26, 2006 11:38 PM
Comment #190655

Sad but true Jack, when your friends at the white House mandate certain criteria to public schools ask them to put some gyn classes back into it. While only a symptom of the problem it might be a good start towards revitalizing the younger generation.

Posted by: j2t2 at October 26, 2006 11:45 PM
Comment #190656
Americans are now pumping 938 million gallons of fuel more annually than they were in 1960 as a result of extra weight in vehicles. And when gas prices average $3 a gallon, the tab for overweight people in a vehicle amounts to $7.7 million a day, or $2.8 billion a year.

This is also a commentary on the dismal gains in fuel efficiency over the last 46 years.

Posted by: Trent at October 26, 2006 11:50 PM
Comment #190661


I think most of us who write on blogs were probably nerds or geeks in school, but I always like dodge ball and tag.

Have you been to a playground lately? Nothing is high or hard to climb. It is so safe and so wimpy that an ordinary kid really cannot get much exercise.

I lived in Norway for a while and I admired how they treated kids. I saw kids fall out of trees. Their parent glance at them to see if anything is broken or their is gushing blood; they glance back. Nobody cries or says anything. The kid shakes it off. We make a big deal about little things.

Posted by: Jack at October 27, 2006 12:15 AM
Comment #190662

“Everybody wants to ensure safety. We end up just getting fat and lazy.”

i thought you supported the patriot act and dhs? glad to see you’re finally coming around.

freedom necessitates risk.

Posted by: Diogenes at October 27, 2006 12:17 AM
Comment #190667
Any risk could be actionable in court even in the event of a low probability occurrence.

First thing we do is shoot all the lawyers. Then we shut down all the insurance companies. That should put the brakes on all the lawsuits.

Saturday I went to watch my 8 year-old grandson play pee wee football. His team scored first. But I didn’t see any score displayed on the scoreboard. The they scored again and still no score. The other team finally scored and still no score on the board.
When I asked about this I was told that they didn’t keep score because the loosing team might feel bad. What a crock of crap. When I was a kid playing pee wee football loosing just made us more determined to play better next time.
Winning and loosing are a part of life. And the sooner kids learn to take the loosing along with winning the better they will be.
What next no tackling because the kid tackled might suffer trauma and loose his self esteem?
Jacks right. Were turning into a nation of wimps.

Posted by: Ron Brown at October 27, 2006 12:40 AM
Comment #190669

Pretty soon there will be a NFL-limpwristed conference. Or the NMA-pantywaist conference. Hockey will never tolerate those kinds of actions.

Posted by: tomh at October 27, 2006 12:47 AM
Comment #190670

That should read NBA-pantywaist conference.

Posted by: tomh at October 27, 2006 12:48 AM
Comment #190672

“Fat people are driving up American fuel costs…”

Don’t you mean “gravity challenged people”? We can’t even describe people anymore. Muslems are now the new Asian. 50 is the new 30.

Add to that, we are not allowed to teach children anymore. We might offend someone. Goodness! They might even learn to spell simple words like “gym” if we were to push them to learn. We can’t have that!

Good is bad, and bad is now the new good. Terrorists are the new insurgents. Laws meant to protect are the new evil. It is so topsy turvy.

Kids and adults are over the normal weight of a decade ago because it is so much easier to eat wrong and exercise less. In fact, freshmen used to gain 15 pounds their first year at college (At my alma mater we used to call it “the Crisco effect” because they got fat in the can). Now they go to college 15 pounds heavier and some of them actually lose weight at college. If I never see another “muffin-top” girl or “jiggly” boy I will be happy.

If the present generation of 20-40 year olds is overweight, just imagine what the next generation will be like! (My prediction: They’ll be putting front bench seats back in cars again.)

Posted by: Don at October 27, 2006 12:56 AM
Comment #190673


Don’t forget that the woosification and over-medication of young boys. If a boy acts like a boy, y’know a little over exuberent , going in different directions at once, the answer is medication.

Posted by: Keith at October 27, 2006 1:10 AM
Comment #190675

Keith: The exceptions are the jocks, they are on steroids.

Posted by: jlwilliams at October 27, 2006 1:37 AM
Comment #190677

Astoundingly, I pretty much agree with everything everyone has been saying regarding this post. The pussification of American males started with the feminist movement. Women couldn’t compete with men in some areas, so we put rules in place handicapping men from being men, in order to apease the feminists. Does that mean I’m not for equal rights? Not at all. It simply means that men should be free, and encouraged to be men. And women should feel fantastic about the fact that they are women, in every regard. American men are paying the price for being men thanks to feminists, and now, they’re trying to do the same to our young boys. It’s ridiculous. With all the rules against “just being boys”, it’s leading to a gender indentity crises in young men. Men and women alike should just accept the fact that there are certain things that their gender are respectively better at. Men, be proud of the fact that you are a man. As men, we should be the leaders of our households. the pillars of strength in tough times, and the leader in times of uncertainty. We should make it our duty to protect and provide for our families. Women, you should be proud of the fact that you have man that loves you and cherishes you, and would do anything to provide for, and protect you and the offspring you brought into this world together. I’m not archaeic, I’m just a little old fashioned (at age 27), and I firmly believe that this is part of what’s socially wrong in America today.

Posted by: Ryan D. at October 27, 2006 1:47 AM
Comment #190678

You guys sound like my grandfather and well my dad and now like me. The next generation always has it easier and are softier according to the previous generation, only difference now is we actually have people with nothing better to do that to calculate how mush fat people affect gas prices.

Posted by: j2t2 at October 27, 2006 1:52 AM
Comment #190680

As a liberal democrat who likes to come to this blog just to see what the opposition has to say, I have to say than I agree 100% with you on this one. The last straw was when I saw on the news that some schools were banning tag because they were afraid that the kids might get hurt. My God, scuffed elbows and knees are part of being a kid. What’s next, banning fun?

Posted by: trublu at October 27, 2006 2:12 AM
Comment #190682

Jack, these are local school issues, not a wave sweeping the nation. Our schools here in Texas have waiver forms for parents to sign absolving the school of liability for injuries incurred in voluntary activities.

And DodgeBall SHOULD be a voluntary activity, NOT mandatory. You seem to want to cast everyone in one mold of your preference. News Flash. People are diverse. Freedom is about choice! Let them choose whether or not they want to play dodgeball, and let their parents sign the waivers if the parents want to let them.

I send my daughter to school for an education. NOT to be slammed by balls at the hands of other students. We have enough violence on our school buses and playgrounds without requiring it as a part of phys. ed., don’t you think?

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 27, 2006 2:59 AM
Comment #190685

David, this was kind of fun until you come along and douse the fire with a bucketful of reality.

Jack: I notice that you have conveniently mentioned only half of the equation, actually less than half. You failed to mention that the food corporations have played a major part by turning our children into sugar addicted junk food junkies. Parents deserve blame as well for allowing the food industries and their advertisers to turn their children into junkies.

It’s always the fault of those nasty liberal public schools and the trial lawyers (can’t leave them out even if they were only eluded to.)

Posted by: jlw at October 27, 2006 3:57 AM
Comment #190686

Whatever it is. I can rest pretty easy knowing that those godless libruls are to blame for all of us being fat. Personal responsibility! Oh wait…

Posted by: chantico at October 27, 2006 4:14 AM
Comment #190688

yeah that is true but they had all that junk in the 1960s candy, gum ,soda, even slurpies and Fast food and remember a MCdonalds hamburger was 15 cents back then and they tasted just the same as today Except we did not eat a steady Diet of that crap and both of my parents worked harder and longer hours than people do today yet we always had home cooked meals or someone to watch us.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at October 27, 2006 4:23 AM
Comment #190689

Fat people “cost” 2.8 billion per year?

The last time a neighbor or the government paid for a tank of gas for my Camry was…uh…never.

My wife taught at the primary level in Connecticut for more than 35 years. She fought the “if it comes from California, it must be great” crowd for her entire career, causing one principal to explode during her annual review calling her “angry and negative.”

This from a married guy who was banging two of his teachers and who never held back one student based on her recommendation. All a parent had to do was look cross-eyed at this toad and the kid got promoted. The reason? Holding a low-achiever back would damage their little psyche. Playground games have winners and losers and we can’t have losers (same reason). Screw up constantly and there’ll be someone to prop you up and tell you “it’s not your fault.” The government will cover you every time you make a bad decision.

And you wonder why people have such an attitude of entitlement?

It’s taught in the schools.

Posted by: The Chief at October 27, 2006 5:36 AM
Comment #190692

All joking aside, the fattening of America is a serious problem. Someone commented that when it came to kids and schools, much of this is a local issue. Anyone know if there is any data broken down to the local level on fat kids?

Offhand I can think of many possibly contributing factors for fat kids. Vending machine junk food, the marketing of junk food to kids (my daughter is always wanting the latest toy junk from fast food chains), less emphasis on PE, TV and video games, consumerism, consumerism, consumerism.

I’m not certain dodge ball is the answer :), but I understand it’s just a symbol.

Solutions? It’s easy to think of things that might help. Get those vending machines out of schools and turn off those damn TVs and video games would be a good place to start. Teach kids early to resist consumerism, which is another way of saying teach kids about rhetoric.

Posted by: Trent at October 27, 2006 7:36 AM
Comment #190696


Everybody wants to ensure safety.

So true. And so utopian.
And 9/11 didn’t help on this topic, either.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at October 27, 2006 8:09 AM
Comment #190698

Don’t forget today kids are lazy and get little exercise also because their parents are fat and try to avoid as much as possible any oportunity to get exercise with their kids as well. Kind of a vicious circle.

And how many unlazy/energic kids are put on medication to calm them down?

Anyway, indeed today many parents, not only americans even if you’re far than others on this topic, are overprotecting their kids, which is very counter-productive.
And what apply at family level apply also at nation level. People are overfeeded by unsecurity messages everywhere that they lives in fear, looking everywhere what extra layer of safety they can get from their insurance, their lawyers or their politicians.

And, obviously, all these guys are very happy to sell them whatever will make people safer, even if it’s just vapor.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at October 27, 2006 8:35 AM
Comment #190702

Ooops, sorry:

… to sell them whatever will make people feel safer, …

Which make a big difference.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at October 27, 2006 8:48 AM
Comment #190712

Jack, I have to agree with most of your post. I remember going outside to play all the time as a kid growing up in the 50’s. Weather, well you dressed for it, and we played baseball,football,hockey, let alone tag, hid-n-seek, and did it during recess in school. Now days is no rough housing, keep your hands to yourself, no tag, no running.
When my three son’s were growing up, I pushed them out of the house to play. I help coach baseball, football, and if one of kids got hurt then I told them to wash it off, wipe the tears and get back out there if it wasn’t major.

Alot has changed since parents do not want to take responsiblity for their kids and blame everything wrong with them on someone else. Sue McDonalds since I let them eat there everyday and they are getting fat, sue the school because my kid has a skinned up knee playing tag, sue the teachers because they didn’t get passing grades, but I didn’t help them with their homework. Shakespear was right, when he said get rid of all the lawyers first.

Oh two more thoughts, I work for a Police Department and I see everyday, kids that think they never do anything wrong and deserve everything without working for it.
Second bring back the draft, give these kids a sense of responsibility, and it is for everyone between the age of 19 and 21, NO matter who you are, how much money you have, and what you want to be, because college can wait. I think a lot of their attitudes would change for the good.


Posted by: KT at October 27, 2006 9:10 AM
Comment #190713

We need to teach our kids to be competitive. We also, though, need to teach them that the rivalries of competition should only be carried so far. The current culture, which this is a misguided response to, values victory over virtue; competition at all costs.

Rivalries and competitions can bring out the best in us, properly managed. But it requires rules to do so, punishments, and parents willing to part ways with their children when they fail to compete virtuously and allow the children to face the consequences of what they’ve done.

Too much of the attitudes towards education nowadays is about control. Control though, doesn’t educate. It stifles. It inspires rebellion when exercised too harshly, and with too many injustices (or poorly understood just decisions) NCLB is part of that movement, part of that attempt at absolutism in education.

Education is not about absolutely enforced indoctrination, nor is it about just letting the kids do whatever they want and pandering to their wish to just do what they want and play all the time. It is about gradually adapting our children to the realities of the world around us, and to the workplace they’ll eventually find themselves in.

We must first provide worthy goals, and secondly, recognize that education is as much art as science, and standaradized testing regimes are ill suited to that, if they become the focus and not an occasional tool.

Truth is, in education, you will not and cannot know the full extent to which your children are learning at any given moment, if you choose to just give them some multiple choice standardized test. There’s a lot of knowledge that can’t fit neatly into the confines of an absolute regime of that. You cannot make education as market-measureable as as stock numbers. If you want to know how well the children are learning, you have to get down in the schools and get your hands dirty taking responsiblity for things.

What this really is about, in the end, on both sides of the aisle, is the unwillingness to take that kind of responsibility. educators and parents either tell kids everybody wins, and relieve themselves of having to be authorities among the children, or they make technology the baby-sitter again, and use scantrons as a substitute for real interaction and taking of responsiblity.

What people dealing with team sports with kids should do is foster a sense of fair competition, with rules and good sportsmanship. What people dealing with education should do is set goals for what children should be able to do and understand by the time they are out of the school, and get their hands dirty making sure they learn such things.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 27, 2006 9:10 AM
Comment #190714

I think educators do have a problem with boys.

I have two boys and a girl. Girls are often popular with teachers. They are cooperative and they do their work.

Boys tend to be “violent”. We have become too intolerant of that. I know that sounds strange, but a little fighing and non gushing blood is not a bad thing. By driving it underground, we encourage real violence.

We also are too compasionate. When a kid falls down and is not badly hurt (nothing broken, no gushing blood) the proper response it. “Be quiet. You are not hurt” or the classic “just shake it off.” If you think that sounds wrong, you may be part of the wimpification wave.

Posted by: Jack at October 27, 2006 9:11 AM
Comment #190725

I’ve seen several comments about “medicating kids to calm them down”. I presume these references are made to ADHD and medications like Ritalin.

Perhaps I’m over-reacting, but it is disappointing to see uninformed people making knee-jerk criticisms. Why do I “assume” the people making those remarks are uninformed?

I have 2 children (and myself) that take Concerta for ADD/ADHD symptoms. Do I like the idea of taking medicine daily? No. Have I tried to find an alternative to my kids taking medicine daily? Yes.

The simple truth is that ADD/ADHD is not the same as the “boys are boys” idea. Newsflash for you all…..the medications used to treat ADD/ADHD are STIMULANTS!!!! They are not sedatives!! The simple fact that people think we are sedating “overactice children” is enough proof of their ignorance of the subject.

There is resarch that shows that “normal” people process information in a certain area of the brain. People who exhibit the symptoms of ADD/ADHD process information in another area of the brain. ADD/ADHDers who take the appropriate medication and dosage show similar brain activity to the unaffected individuals.

My kids are not “out of control” when they do not take their medications. It is harder to get them to do their homework and their grades suffer. They get upset, think of themselves as stupid, withdrawl from social activities because of a decrease in self-confidence, etc. When they take the medicine, the can fcous on the task at hand, complete homework easily and accurately, their grades improve, they read more books, their confidence level and social interactions increase, etc. I wish there was an effective alternative, but even the organizations that receive money for helping kids with “learning disabilities” say that non-medication treatments for ADD/ADHD are not much better than doing nothing. These people make $$ from counseling, not medications and they (several of them) have told me that the medicine is the best overall way to go.

Posted by: Rich at October 27, 2006 9:21 AM
Comment #190729

Nice post, Jack. I agree with you about dodgeball, and I agree with you about how wimpy this nation has become.

Imagine a population so wimpy that they are willing to roll back historical freedoms and send other people’s kids to die so that they can be “protected” from an invisible boogey-man who is less likely to attack them than a bolt of lightning.

Posted by: Burt at October 27, 2006 9:56 AM
Comment #190730

We went to Disney World in Orlando yesterday and we both were appalled at the number of obese people there. Many were in electric carts, probably because they were too fat(not PC) to walk.
Sadly, many obese parents were there with their obese children. Another generation of “fatties.”
Why? Perhaps too many children are being raised by single moms. Divorce is easily granted and the mother usually has custody. Good moms instill good motherly values in their children: compassion, nurturing, caring, gentleness, etc. The missing part is the father’s input: competition, striving, winning, etc. Not all men are like this and not all women follow this philosophy, but without a blended family life, well, we see the result.

Posted by: Dennis 40 at October 27, 2006 10:22 AM
Comment #190731

I have to say that I am more worried about mental laziness than physical. So many of us look to the media for ready-made opinions, so many of us blindly trust our parties, so many of us refuse to take seriously our responsibility as citizens. Although I disagree with many posting on Watchblog, I’m really talking about the huge majority who can not be bothered to vote in, say, a Congressional election, let alone try to understand the issues.

Physical laziness makes us fat and reduces our quality of life; mental laziness is a threat to the Republic.

Posted by: Trent at October 27, 2006 10:24 AM
Comment #190738


… bring back the draft, give these kids a sense of responsibility, and it is for everyone between the age of 19 and 21, NO matter who you are, how much money you have, and what you want to be, because college can wait. I think a lot of their attitudes would change for the good.

Considering the current war in Iraq and Afganhistan, I think a lot of their attitudes would stop quickly with their death, alas. :-\

I’m not against draft. Unfortunatly, pretty much every draft in our democracies ended in unfair draft, where wealthier young people always escape it when the others waste one year (my experience) doing administration lowest job. While I’m not against doing low administration or army job, I’m against being in the minority forced to do it.

Give me a draft of everyone or give me nothing.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at October 27, 2006 10:50 AM
Comment #190739

Close your eyes, click you heels together 3 times and whisper “There is no place like home, there is no place like home, …..”

You can cower in the corner, sucking your thumb, trying to find your “happy place” if you want, but there are some of us who see the threat and confront it. Nothing that has been done, to date, to attempt to stop terrorism has infringed on any American’s civil rights. If I’m wrong, state a case. I want facts, not “what if’s…”.

Posted by: Rich at October 27, 2006 10:53 AM
Comment #190740


It depends on which “historical freedoms” you mean. If you are talking about electronic surviellence of international phone calls, seeking patterns in financial records or being able to monitor the movements of potential terrorists, I not only accept it, I would demand it from my government.

If the Dems plan to reverse this, I will be upset.


Mental laziness is a problem too. It goes with the physical and is part of a similar problem. We are too tolerant. We are considered rude if we criticize fat guys for their lack of will power and we get similar rebukes when we come down on people making foolish statements.

Everybody is entitled to their opinion, but some opinions are stupid and we should say so. If the person can successfully defend them, then maybe we are wrong.

The worst insult in today’s climate is being called judgemental. You hear things like, “he does what he has to do” or “he is doing the best he can.” That is just BS.

And the self esteem thing is silly. When people are screwing up I hope they do have low self esteem. This goes for flabby minds and flabby bodies.

Posted by: Jack at October 27, 2006 10:57 AM
Comment #190741

Trent: The administration isn’t worried about mental laziness. They would rather blast their way through a problem than think of alternative means to achieve their objective. There are many children today who are very capable at kicking back on the couch, manipulating their joy sticks and blowing up things anywhere in the World. This is what impresses the administration the most about this generation of children.

Posted by: jlw at October 27, 2006 11:01 AM
Comment #190743

jlw -

What are you talking about? Your post makes no sense.

Posted by: Don at October 27, 2006 11:19 AM
Comment #190745

Philippe, I agree a draft for everyone, no deferments for anyone, that is physically/mentally able to. If you can’t do the military due to physically problems, there should be other forms of community service that you can do, and you serve the same amount of time and for the same pay.
I know the drafts have been unfair, especially if you are rich, or have parents in high places.

2yrs is not a long time and think of the experience they will get(not all good and not all bad). Maybe it will help them respect others let alone themselves.


Posted by: KT at October 27, 2006 11:21 AM
Comment #190746

Mental and physical laziness go hand in hand. I notice that when I have to sit for a long time, like on a plane or in a meeting, I not only get physically tired, but lose my mental edge as well. I think that it is the same for everybody, probably a lot more so for kids who have sooo much energy. Recess, games, gym classes, team sports, ballet, tap, foot races, and chores all are things that we need at all ages. I’d bet that most of your ADHD sufferers don’t get enough exercise either and that that exacerbates the problem. When I grew up kids were assumed to have a very high energy level and boys were a bit more aggressive. That was just natural, just the way it was. And if you had a problem concentrating in the classroom the teacher would start asking questions to keep your attention. It really scares me that kids are taking drugs now. THey probably just need a good run, bike ride, or a good game of tag! I feel so bad when I see the young kids at the store so fat and out of shape. As obsessed as we all are about self esteem, how good can a kid feel about him/herself wearing size XX at the age of 13?

MENS SANA IN CORPORE SANO. That should be the policy in our schools and in our homes.

Posted by: Monica McCready at October 27, 2006 11:24 AM
Comment #190762

What a great post. Finally, we have all united in our disgust for laziness, mental and physical. In my opinion, one of the worst things this country’s school systems has done is to try and seperate self-esteem from actual accomplishment, be it physical or academic. The idea that these two things can be seperated is foolish. As it has been attempted, it created a false sense of entitlement and also set a large number of people up for failure. Saying that you should feel good no matter how subpar you are may work well for Puff the Magic Dragon, but it doesn’t for other people, for instance employers. Failure is not always bad, it can be a powerful motivation to excel. So can the fear of failure. Beyond this, failure can be instructive. For example, I’d love to play professional football. However, beyond simply not being talented enough, I stand 5’7” tall and weigh 165lbs. I’m physically fit, but I’m simply not big enough to play. I’d rather have my feelings hurt, as they were, by not making the team than be made the token small kid and have my bones hurt instead. Even as the world becomes more competitive and this manifests itself in children’s sports, we continue to tell children in academics that your best is good enough. We encourage mediocrity by telling kids actual accomplishment isn’t as important as just feeling good. The real world doesn’t see things this way, and feeding this lie to our children is a mistake.

Posted by: 1LT B at October 27, 2006 12:03 PM
Comment #190764

Spot on, Jack. Nice to see you spitting some good old fashioned common sense again. This is a sort of fun topic and I can’t imagine it being very partisan. There are just those who would protect everyone from everything, and those who say in order to make an omelet you have to break a few eggs.

Rodney Brown-

“and remember a MCdonalds hamburger was 15 cents back then and they tasted just the same as today”

Actually, no. They tasted much better and were made with real beef patties. The first McDonalds ever was in San Bernardino, CA - I can remember driving by it and smelling the french fries (it was later discovered that the smell was the result of their intentionally adding unhealthy substances). Supposedly the burgers are healthier now than they were then…but yet I don’t remember nearly as many obese kids back then….strange.

The Chief-

“Playground games have winners and losers and we can’t have losers”

This is exactly the mentality I despise. I am a big believer in negative reinforcement in the appropriate circumstances. Why? Because it is real sentiment being felt by those around you, and to deny that is to deny reality. If you lose, you feel ashamed. That is GOOD! It creates either a burning desire to win, or a desire to quit and go play something else. Both are a benefit to the activity.

There is nothing worst than playing on a team that is being held back from competing whole-heartedly. It is unfair to the kids, and they know it. They will still pick on those kids who aren’t as good. Only this time they are bitter because their activities were ruined or diluted. Kids are not as easy to manipulate as schools believe they are.

There are plenty of lines to be drawn, but drawing them based on potential harm is particularly tricky. I don’t want my kids coming home with broken faces. But I don’t want them coming home looking like a sloth either. Unfortunately, good judgment these days is to always error on the side of screwing the kids out of fun. Eventually, this comes back to haunt parents.


I really do hope that you gave your kids every opportunity to live without Ritalin before you gave up and relegated them to behavior-altering medications. I have no problems with using meds appropriately as a last resort, but many many many people are doing it as a first resort. The effects of doing that are immeasurable, and the massive increase in the practice, in general, of medicating kids for minor problems borders on child abuse…no worst than giving a baby alcohol to make them sleep. Very short-sighted, generally.


Some great “out of the box” ideas.


There has recently been a very large shift in the way kids play. Instead of running around with the neighborhood gang of kids, they go online into very specifically themed forums where they get to only hang out with those who are seemingly exactly alike. This leads to people being more intolerant and non-understanding of others. Why? They no longer have to deal with the diversity of the neighborhood gang. They don’t like being bullied by one kid, so they go home and explore a number of other options. No wonder kids and adults can’t understand one another anymore.

Some parents are now seeing this lack of physical activity, and trying to make up for it with organized activities like sports. Noble intentions to be certain. But it is just not the same as “playing”. What I am seeing is a bunch of overworked parents carting their kids around from one paid-for activity to the next. And then we wonder why there are so many instances of parents becoming irate with coaches and starting fights with people in the stands, etc. When everything every kid does is totally regulated, there is no other choice but to put pressure on the coach for more playing time, for example. Going home and making up for sitting on a bench for 3 hours by playing a neighborhood game of tackle football just isn’t an option.

Where does this lead us? Nowhere good. More work for parents, more resentment from kids, more competition, and a lot more talking and fighting about “fairness”.

The simple answer would be that all parents throw their kids out of the house for a few hours every night and force them to figure out what to do on their own. But inevitably there will be a “cool” mom or dad who will let all the kids come to their house and watch movies on the big screen and eat junk food. There are just way too many “safer” options for concerned parents these days. But it is in taking chances that kids learn the most about themselves and their abilities. If they never are allowed to discover their potential, is that not damn unfortunate? It is not quite abuse, but it is effectively holding a child back. And that’s not right.

Posted by: Kevin23 at October 27, 2006 12:06 PM
Comment #190769

Don: Take a look at current trends in military technology. Young soldiers flying remote controlled air planes with decktop or laptop computers from confortable, airconditioned facilities. Planes that carry cameras, hell fire’s and bombs. Take a look at the violent games they are playing and how with each new generation of machines the graphics are improved. Soon the enemy will look just like real people.

We are also working on remote controlled fighters that can manuver at G-forces that pilots can’t withstand and remote controlled tanks etc. War is becoming more and more impersonal ( see the village on the screen, kill the village on the screen) and our children are being conditioned and trained for this kind of warfare. You will still need ocupation forces if a country has natural resources that make it worth occupying. Perhaps scientists will find a way to replenish the Worlds natural resources and wars Won’t be fought over the dwindling supply of them.

Posted by: jlw at October 27, 2006 12:22 PM
Comment #190777

“I feel so bad when I see the young kids at the store so fat and out of shape.”

Why should you feel bad when the kid and his parents don’t give a crap?

“As obsessed as we all are about self esteem, how good can a kid feel about him/herself wearing size XX at the age of 13?”

Maybe its because todays parents and society are more concerned with his feelings and how others treat him than they are about his health.
Maybe its because rather than pushing him to give his all, todays parents and society encourage such feelings and change rules and standards, such as in PE and recreational sports, to let him slip by without applying effort.
Or maybe its just because calling him a lazy fat ass would hurt his feelings, piss his fat ass parents off and wouldn’t be PC.
Afterall, its not THEIR fault, its EVERYBODY elses.

Good post Jack.

Posted by: kctim at October 27, 2006 12:34 PM
Comment #190783

I believe what we need is a good ol depression. Starve the fat out of America. People just worry too much about health and mental well being. Give ‘em something to really cry about. Got a headache? Drop a sledge hammer on your foot and it’ll be cured.

This message brought to you by the makers of Ambien.

Posted by: gergle at October 27, 2006 12:48 PM
Comment #190797

One problem i have seen is many parents are now afraid of letitng the children play outside.. with all the warped , deranged, sicko, molesters, kidnappers, and perverts out there. Yes its not a overly commonplace event but who wants to be that one parent it happens to. I live in a very small town population close to 1000 and we had one of those events happen here over the summer, now you would be hard pressed to see many young kids out even in their own yards.

No one is without blame in these problems, both parents working a job to make ends meet making is so no one knows their neighbors anymore. The feeling of community is lost so there is a natural distrust of strangers. The strangers themselves, after one sees the poor turnout of an amber alert or two its a natural feeling to be leery of the unknown.

Its not like when i was young anymore, when on a summer day you could be out from sunup to sunset and not have anything to worry about, aside from maybe a bigger kid picking on you ( not with a stick or a gun just verbal or minor physical) , It would seem in the last 20 years or so many more persons of devious intent (ie sick sexual b#stards)

Posted by: Rhancheck at October 27, 2006 1:16 PM
Comment #190800

Good point, Rhancheck. When I was a kid, I ran all over the neighborhood without supervision. I got my first bike at age six and I rode everywhere. We lived in a town where everyone kept their doors unlocked, where after a quick knock we just entered people’s houses, where we didn’t hear of kids being molested. I did get beat up a few times, but no one ever pulled a knife or gun.

As an adult, I’ve had a car stolen, I’ve had an apartment burglarized, I’ve had friends raped. I would never dream of allowing my eight-year-old daughter have the run of the neighborhood. When she goes outside, either I or a trusted friend is there to watch her. Perhaps I am overreacting, but I don’t care. She’s my daughter. (Btw, she is on the thin side and very active, but not, I must admit, because of anything in particular I’ve done.)

I have just one daughter, so I have only one data point. But frankly, the self esteem stuff — I know that the idea that schools encourage it in the absence of accomplishment is a national mantra, but I haven’t seen it. My daughter is in third grade, and in third grade, as in earlier grades, she has home work everyday. When she gets a good grade on work, she gets a smiley face; when she gets a bad grade, she gets a frown. It is true the public school she goes to is ranked in the top 100 in the country, so maybe that’s my her and my experience are different from what others here report.

I don’t know. I’d like top hear more statistics, facts, and analysis and less commonplaces. Maybe some of you guys are right, but I need something more than just opinion.

Posted by: Trent at October 27, 2006 1:32 PM
Comment #190802

I heard someone on NPR Dianne Reams show who wrote a book that asserts the whole population weight gain thing is mostly a fallacy perpetuated by certain parts of the medical community. He ran circles around the guests who are insisting this is an exploding problem. I believed him - and I dont believe that study referenced in Jack’s post.

Posted by: Schwamp at October 27, 2006 1:39 PM
Comment #190808


I look around you. There were always some fat people, but now you see them all over the place.

I think we actually have a twin situation. People who are in good condition are in better conditon in the past. You see old guys who can run miles and for the 50 is the new 30. Then there are the piggies who cannot fit into an ordinary airline seat. What has declined is the middle. I think the reason is that exercise used to be unavoidable. You had to walk to get around and most work was physical. Now it is voluntary. Those with greater will power do very well, since our general health levels have improved. But the others are out of luck.

I also think there is a corelation between intelligence and conditioning. Poor and dumb = fat and lazy more than ever before.

Posted by: Jack at October 27, 2006 1:51 PM
Comment #190809

The average person is 24 lbs heavier than 40 years ago? The average height has probably increased for one. Also, the average chest size for girls is almost certainly larger - and that’s not a bad thing.

Posted by: Schwamp at October 27, 2006 1:53 PM
Comment #190811

Jack: Aren’t fat people proof thet the republican economic strategy is working.

Posted by: jlw at October 27, 2006 1:54 PM
Comment #190813

A few thoughts:

Maybe parents don’t want their kids getting hurt while playing at school because they don’t have good, affordable healthcare?

Dodgeball can quickly bring out the sadistic and cruel side of many children. I think it’s good if this is no longer being encouraged. I don’t understand the problem with playing tag.

Sports activities aren’t any fun unless a person enjoys what they’re doing, therefore, there should be at least a few choices.

It is up to a child’s parent to decide how long they spend in front of a computer or video game.

Watching TV can be done while using a rowing machine, a stationary bike, or a treadmill. It is possible to buy these things cheaply second-hand.

Anyone with a radio can dance, and it’s fun. Parents should dance with their kids.

Having to walk a dog everyday is a good and healthy thing for kids and parents and dogs. A long hike is even better. Good time to talk and plan for things together, as well.

Junk food and soda machines being located right in the halls of our schools seem to be contributing to the fattening of America’s kids. The fact that their parents are buying and eating the same garbage at home is making them fat, too.

The easiest way to lose weight and become healthy is to simply cut out all pre-packaged and frozen pre-made food items from ones diet, and stay totally away from soda (which is nothing but empty calories, or in the case of diet soda, artificial sweetners).

Of course, weight can be lost, and bad habits changed. What is even more alarming than fat kids, are the numbers of kids who are becoming anorexic and bulimic in order to achieve the skin-and-bones look shown in magazines, or among TV actors and movie stars.

Trent, Stephen, Kevin, some very good points.

Posted by: Adrienne at October 27, 2006 2:02 PM
Comment #190821


Since you mentioned dog-walking, have you read the studies about pet obesity? It seems that even people who have dogs are becoming increasingly more content with conditioning the dogs to become obese and lazy too. We know that dogs are not lazy by nature…that much is fact. So it shows how people put exercise, even when there is clear motivation and necessity to do it (ie. needing to walk the dog), as a low priority. The result is fat kids, fat pets, and escalation of health insurance premiums for everyone else.

Isn’t that sad? If someone can’t even keep a dog from being obese, then how can they control a child?

By the way, I’m all for using a body-fat index to help determine a person’s medical insurance premiums and coverage limits. The reality is that it is a better indicator of risk than even smoking.


“she is on the thin side and very active, but not, I must admit, because of anything in particular I’ve done”

My daughter is similarly puzzling. She eats more than I do, yet looks like a rail. Even when I allow her to eat junk food, she looks the same. But remember that one day that metabolism will slow down, and it is much easier to instill good habits now than it will be for her to kick bad habits and learn good ones later. I look at it like this: instead of worrying about how many M&M’s she eats in a day, I just let her eat as much healthy stuff as she wants. She loves it just the same. Kids tend to be easy to please. I think most people forget this, and instead are constantly letting the kids decide for themselves. Bad idea. They just don’t know any better.

Posted by: Kevin23 at October 27, 2006 2:41 PM
Comment #190829

1LT B-

Morbid obesity is really sad. I’m all for criminal liability for parents who allow their children to become unnaturally obese, and for caretakers who do the same to adults. It is just criminal to do that to someone.

I knew a morman couple who had a baby that was under-weight. The doctor prescribed a special formula with more fat in it. They fed so much of it to the baby over several months (they never went back to the doctor by the way) that it was literally twice the size of my baby sister who was almost twice as old at the time. By the way, my sister was above average size (9lbs 8 ounces at birth).

Whenever they were around, no one could bring themselves to say anything. But when they left, it was all anyone could talk about. That type of stupidity leads only to the destruction of opportunity for that child. Opportunities to live a healthy life being paramount. The mormon couple I mentioned (I say they were morman only because mormans generally care a great deal about family) were nice people, but they were terrible parents. Criminally terrible, I would argue. I’m not saying lock them up for life, but they need to be publically admonished and punished. It is just sickening to me.

Posted by: Kevin23 at October 27, 2006 2:54 PM
Comment #190830

No one is saying that ADD / ADHD isn’t real, but society has pressured the medical profession, in addition to insurance companies to diagnose children with ADD / ADHD as a substitute for bad parenting. If your children can be diagnosed with something, as parents, it makes us feel not as bad about our parenting skills, because we justify our children’s bad behavior as a “medical” condition, rather than our ineffectual parenting.

Posted by: Ryan D. at October 27, 2006 2:56 PM
Comment #190831

Very good points eveyone. And a big array of criteria.

Something like this cannot be just passed by. Evidently, children are overweighted. Such phenomenon was rare some decades ago. Now it seems to be the norm at schools.

Advertising weaken people’s minds - It turns them (well, at least not the strong-willed) into a buying machine.

When I was a kid, I used to play in the dirt. My cradle didn’t have that “lead-free paint” it has now. I was breastfed, and I did NEVER drink formula. I played a lot in the playgrounds. NOTHING bad ever happened to me. The pipes were metallic. Now the slides have to be plastic… (Thanks, Fisher Price…). Baby food was natural. Now it tastes like sweetened dog food, because it is “organic” and stuff. Babies never used to have that diaper disease, because we used to have our butts un the air. We used to play “you’re it”, “tag”, “hide-and-seek” in the forest. Now it all is Playstation or Cartoon Network, because “playing outside is dangerous due to racoons, snakes, etc… Don’t get me wrong… I love videogames, but… that’s not the only fun available out there… (there’s Nintendo too… LOL J/K). Television, like people say sometimes, does not IDIOTIZE kids, and like any other method of having fun, it is contraproducent if it is not controlled. Video games do not generate addiction if controlled with a set schedule.

The thing is, Parents MUST decide what is good, what is bad and what is a NO-NO to their children. Governments are not the rulers of this. When a government decides what is good or what is bad, then it is turning into a tyranny. Some parents may NOT like the measures, some may like, but it is NOT an universal opinion, and even if it were, Still, government has no right to decide what is good for the children WE brought into this world.

Just because one dumb kid had an open wound while playing Tag should NOT be enough reason to ban it from school. That kid is one. In the class there are other 29 competent kids playing the game quite well. Minorities should NOT rule what is good for majorities.

What if the other kids like to play Tag, and they do it well? Would be their reaction positive, because their favorite game at school was banned by liberal or democrat blue-collars at the Congress? Come on now.

If there’s a kid hurt for playing that game, then let’s keep it simple. THE GAME IS OPTIONAL. It is NOT obligatory. If the kid suffers from ashtma, or is disabled, then maybe it is NOT suitable for him to play Tag. Period.

For Jesus’ sake, this is what we get from trying to overprotect the “future” of the nation? We ARE making, without wanting to, our childrens to be physically challenged.

Posted by: Terrell Bailey at October 27, 2006 2:57 PM
Comment #190834

Come on… Do we really want to live in a plastic bubble, because “everything is unsafe”?

Posted by: Terrell Bailey at October 27, 2006 3:02 PM
Comment #190853
You can cower in the corner, sucking your thumb, trying to find your “happy place” if you want, but there are some of us who see the threat and confront it.


Perhaps I wasn’t clear or perhaps your reading comprehension isn’t all that it could be. I’m not the one who is so frightened that I’m willing to give incompetent politicians a blank check to do whatever they wish in misguided attempts to confront terrorism.

I suppose you think that torturing people who have been captive for over 4 years will actually reveal useful information. Some of us disagree. Perhaps you think listening in to American’s phone calls without a warrant is more effective than actually hunting down and capturing the leaders of Al Qaeda. Some of us disagree. Or perhaps you just want your leaders to do something - anything - so that you can sleep better at night. Some of us prefer actual effective solutions.

We both see a threat, Rich. But with your knees knocking so badly, it’s hard to take your ideas of strengthening America seriously.

Nothing that has been done, to date, to attempt to stop terrorism has infringed on any American’s civil rights. If I’m wrong, state a case. I want facts, not “what if’s…”.

Jose Padilla. Next question.

Posted by: Burt at October 27, 2006 3:52 PM
Comment #190859

What is government’s role here?

Educate the public about nutrition and excercise.

All this lock ‘em up and punish ‘em mentality makes me wonder what ever happened to conservatism?

Chicago recently banned Fois de Gras because of the use of goose liver was decided to be cruel to geese or something. Houston just banned public smoking and someplace in Kansas, I think, recommend calling 911 if you spot asmoking criminal. This is nuts and not America as I understand it to be.

America is fat. So what? America is wimpy. Sez who? I’m all for nutrition and excersize and healthy habits…but give me a friggin break. Next you’ll be telling me it’s not healthy to jerk of to internet porn. Oops. Nevermind.

Posted by: gergle at October 27, 2006 4:08 PM
Comment #190871

Kevin, I don’t think people should even be allowed to have dogs if they aren’t going to take the time to walk them on a daily basis. Dogs live to go on journeys, and they truly need them to be happy. Moreover, the easiest way for a people to gain the leadership role over their dogs and demand good behavior from them is by getting into a routine with a daily walk. They are pack animals after all just like wolves, and the people in any family are supposed to enforce their top-level status over them by being in charge of the proceedings. (Btw, a dog should always walk beside you rather than in front of you, and they should slow down or stop whenever you do.) The more you walk with your dogs, the more they love you, and listen to you, and behave, and become happy and well-adjusted. Dogs who don’t get any of this not only get fat and out of shape, and aren’t mentally as sound, but often develop bad behavior problems.
People who don’t want the responsibility should own cats instead — they don’t need to go on walks.

“Baby food was natural. Now it tastes like sweetened dog food, because it is “organic” and stuff.”

Personally I’m big on organic, but why buy baby food at all? All anyone needs is a few minutes with a blender or a food processor. The kid can eat the exact same thing you’re having, just made without as much (or even none) of the spices and/or butter and fat. With fruit, add juice or a little honey. With vegetables, add water or veggie stock. With meat, use broth. Tastes better, and because it’s freshly made, it’s a lot better for them. If you make extra, it can always be frozen for later use.
No one in my family has ever fed our kids babyfood out of a jar — not just because we’re the types not to trust some factory to make it good enough for them, but also because it’s always seemed too expensive.

Posted by: Adrienne at October 27, 2006 4:42 PM
Comment #190881

Good advice, except for 1 concern. Please never give honey to a baby under 12 months. It can contain botulism spores that can cause serious problems. Because botulism spores can’t be destroyed by anything less than high-pressure steam in an autoclave, this applies to cooked food, too. Botulism grows slowly and is rapidly outcompeted by the normal bacteria in older children and adults, but babies who haven’t developed this yet are vulnerable.

Being competitive is good, but my kid was thrown off his T-ball team (he was 5) because I told the coach that his plans to not let any of the lesser-skilled kids play so that we could be “more competitive” was stupid (my son was not one of those, just so you don’t think this is sour grapes). Winning is good, but excersise, fun, and learning to coordinate growing bodies are important, too, especially for little kids.

Posted by: Brian Poole at October 27, 2006 5:02 PM
Comment #190888

Brian, I’d never heard that about honey being a bad idea for infants before. Thanks for that important info. I guess a simple syrup made from water and sugar would be much safer for a tiny baby.

Posted by: Adrienne at October 27, 2006 5:17 PM
Comment #190889

What a bunch of bull.
My dog knows I’m the leader of the house and when he’s bad, I kick him to remind him. And organic food sucks. Nothing but a leftist ploy against so-called big business.
Naw, I’m just kidding ya ma’am. My wife is the real leader and she won’t let me even have a dog and we do natural as much as we can.
But hey, it’s Friday, time to unwind! Besides, been awhile since I got you all riled up :)

That was a really good post! Informative and non-partisan.

Posted by: kctim at October 27, 2006 5:18 PM
Comment #190890


I agree. It is abuse to never walk a dog. I’m a dog person, so running with them is literally the best part of having them.

And I’m going to start doing that with my 1 year old. He’s almost to solids, but he’s expensive to feed.

Brian Poole-

There is no doubt in my mind that, at 5 years old, the kids all deserved to share playing time. Everything is circumstantial. And 5 year olds are just not ready for that type of competative team sport. Tee-ball is supposed to be basic and fun. Something any kid can do.

Now when they get about 8 or 9, then they’re able to understand sacrifice for the good of the team.

Posted by: Kevin23 at October 27, 2006 5:22 PM
Comment #190895

Honey is nothing but sweet bee poop and sugar is sugar. I do not know why honey gets off the hook. It is no better for you than refined sugar and maybe worse as Brian points out.

Posted by: Jack at October 27, 2006 5:58 PM
Comment #190904

kctim, thanks — not everything in life has to become a giant argument.

“Honey is nothing but sweet bee poop and sugar is sugar. I do not know why honey gets off the hook. It is no better for you than refined sugar and maybe worse as Brian points out.”

Important trace minerals, Jack. Bee poop and maple syrup have them, sugar doesn’t. And because they aren’t as overly processed and refined, they’re also much easier for a person to digest.

Posted by: Adrienne at October 27, 2006 6:16 PM
Comment #190908

Bee poop, Adrienne. The rest is just commentary.

Now a good glass of refined corn syrup really hits the spot.

Posted by: Jack at October 27, 2006 6:43 PM
Comment #190913

Gee Adrienne, how do you argue with such eloquence? This is exactly the kind of attention to detail that some folks find sufficient, but I personally strive for better.

Posted by: Kevin23 at October 27, 2006 7:06 PM
Comment #190920

“Bee poop, Adrienne. The rest is just commentary.”

Hey, it’s your funeral, Jack. I think everyone should have the right to plan their own.

“Now a good glass of refined corn syrup really hits the spot.”

Sure. “Obey Your Thirst”, who needs bone density?

Kevin, I’m not really arguing, just spouting my opinions here. Aren’t we all?

Posted by: Adrienne at October 27, 2006 7:39 PM
Comment #190923
They are pack animals after all just like wolves, and the people in any family are supposed to enforce their top-level status over them by being in charge of the proceedings. (Btw, a dog should always walk beside you rather than in front of you, and they should slow down or stop whenever you do.) The more you walk with your dogs, the more they love you, and listen to you, and behave, and become happy and well-adjusted. Dogs who don’t get any of this not only get fat and out of shape, and aren’t mentally as sound, but often develop bad behavior problems

Another Cesar Millan fan eh? Good points about the pooches. Actually, dogs and wolves are so similar genetically that they can interbreed and produce fertile offspring, causing many geneticists to class them as the same species. Remember: exercise, discipline, affection, in that order.(Maybe that rule would work good for parenting as well)


I must correct you on your baseless, shameless attack on honey. It is NOT bee poop, it’s bee, PUKE!!! I’m sure that’s very reassuring.

Posted by: Duane-o at October 27, 2006 7:58 PM
Comment #190938

Remind me not to read this post over breakfast.

I wonder what people who eat grubs think of the American diet, now.

Posted by: gergle at October 27, 2006 9:09 PM
Comment #190941

“Another Cesar Millan fan eh?”

Sorry, doesn’t ring a bell. Does he write about dogs?

“Good points about the pooches.”

Thanks, and wow, that’s a first!

“Remember: exercise, discipline, affection, in that order.”

Is that his rule? Not sure I agree there. Though all dogs need exercise, some dogs seem to need more affection, while others need more discipline, so I’d say it all depends on the dog in question. Also, the discipline really only applies when you first get a puppy (or adopt an adult dog) — after they learn the important commands and know what you expect, as well as grasp the fact that you’re the boss, most dogs don’t really need constant discipline.
Btw, I never hit dogs (or kids). They know you’re angry when you lower your voice in disapproval, and when you’re mad enough to yell at them, they know they really did wrong.

“(Maybe that rule would work good for parenting as well)”

For kids that should be reversed, no? Affection, discipline, exercise?

Posted by: Adrienne at October 27, 2006 9:31 PM
Comment #190959
For kids that should be reversed, no? Affection, discipline, exercise?
Well, in keeping with the topic, that probably depends on how big (around) your kids are! :) Posted by: Brian Poole at October 27, 2006 10:36 PM
Comment #190988


I was actually being sarcastic about Jack’s response to you. I should have made that more clear. You know I’m all about you spouting your opinions here. =)

Posted by: Kevin23 at October 27, 2006 11:39 PM
Comment #191131
Don’t forget that the woosification and over-medication of young boys. If a boy acts like a boy, y’know a little over exuberent , going in different directions at once, the answer is medication.

Don’t ya know that boys are supposed to act like girls now?
There’s nothing wrong with boys acting like boys. And all boys get over exuberant and run in 15 directions at the same time. However sometimes they do need a little direction and settling down. But medication isn’t always the answer. Most the time teachers, parents, or who ever don’t want to deal with it so it’s off to the shrink for the be good pills.
I believe that most the boys diagnosed with ADD or AHDD don’t really have a problem that can’t be handled with a little of the board of education being applied to the seat of knowledge.

Posted by: Ron Brown at October 28, 2006 1:42 PM
Comment #191134

This thread has called back some old memories. I truly did hate dodge ball; it gave the bullies a good excuse to really wallop people (I admit; sometimes I was a bit of a smart ass, but you use what weapons you got). At any rate, I remember in fifth grade, the gym teacher said that if any one of us didn’t want to play dodge ball, then the class would do something else. Everyone voted for dodge ball except me. Man, did I get some glares, and might have been chased home after school, but I remember thinking “f… y..” and feeling triumphant. Today, at the grand old age of 44, I’m glad I resisted then. To my lights, I would have been a wussy if I, like some others, went along with it even though they really didn’t want to.

Posted by: Trent at October 28, 2006 1:53 PM
Comment #191200

I think the big problem with the regulation of kids behavior is the attempt to do the impossible: to make them totally safe, and shield them from everything bad. That just doesn’t happen. It’s like Buddha with the poor man, the sick man and the dead man. The same thing’s shown up in one legend after another because its a basic truth: you can’t protect your children forever.

I think our attitude shouldn’t be to keep them in a protective shell, but the give them their own defenses and gradually let them learn the rest by experience.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 28, 2006 7:02 PM
Comment #191248


I loved dodge ball.

Posted by: Ray Guest at October 28, 2006 10:51 PM
Comment #191259

Stephen Daugherty
Being a parent I can understand why a parent would like to protect their children from everything bad. No parent that loves their youngins (and that’s 99% of them) likes to see their children hurt in any way.
But protecting them that way doesn’t do them any good. I doesn’t prepare them for the real world.
I had an aunt that was over protective. She didn’t let her kids do anything that could result in them getting skinning a knee. They couldn’t run, ride a bike, jump rope, swing on a swing or anything else, go down a slide, play on the monkey bars, play ball, or rough house, or do anything competitive.
When they got older they couldn’t have a girlfriend or boyfriend, date, or go to school dances.
Today these kids are totally messed up. They grew up and went out into the real world totally unprepared for the challenges and pain that goes with living in it. None of them are able to handle it. Of the 5 of them 3 are constantly in some sort therapy and on medication. And 2 are institutionalized.
Some favor their momma did them.

Posted by: Ron Brown at October 28, 2006 11:59 PM
Comment #191483

I was too skinny to wallop anyone, but I was also adept at keeping from getting hit.

Posted by: gergle at October 30, 2006 1:18 PM
Comment #191569

I agree 100%.

I remember days when you would fall from the monkey bars to twist your ankle walk it off and be stronger, wiser, and more determined as a result of it.

Now days kids fall and just bounce!

What does that teach them other than that failure should be painless and that their will always be something soft to save you from losing pride.

This is a sad ignorance we are breeding in the youth. What happens when a grown man who has never had to overcome obstacles gets laid off or loses a small fortune having to start from scratch mid way through life?

I am guessing suicide, crime and drugs. Maybe instead of giving people reasons to be motivated via false security we could motivate people via true confidence in ones own abilities.


Posted by: Bryan AJ Kennedy at October 30, 2006 6:15 PM
Comment #191596

It seems every generation thinks youngsters are not as [fill in the blank] as they were in previous generations. When I found this sentiment expressed in one of the Platonic dialogues, I laughed my ass off.

Ironically, while we are complaining of how easy kids got it today, our parents said the same about us. Is it true, though? Here’s a article about a study from 1998 in which it is reported that parents think kids are ruder and wilder than ever. Not exactly the timid and risk-fearing characterizations we’re tossing about here. In another post, we all might be lamenting how kids are engaging in sex all too frequently! Little junior might not get to jump all over the monkey bars, but he’s certainly jumping Susie.

The truth is, we’re all just guessing.

Posted by: Trent at October 30, 2006 7:19 PM
Comment #191629


I like that article and its point is valid, but I think the issue in this generation isn’t the faults of the child, but the faults of society upon the child.

In truth sociological studies have shown that child crime is only up by a slight percentage from the 70s and is actually significantly less than in the 90s. Also teen pregnancies are on the decline as well teen drug use.

One thing that is on the decline also, which is what worries me, the average length of employement with generations X than Hope than Y projected to be even lower. In a society an economic forecast that is showing to be less than satisfactory, securing a long term career is going to be even more of an asset to future generations.

While how we as a society treat and overly protect our children may not be the primary cause, it is in theory likely to play a role in it.

All together, I don’t think it would hurt anything if we would allow them the privilage of being confronted with obstacles at all stages of their growth.

Posted by: Bryan AJ Kennedy at October 30, 2006 8:35 PM
Comment #191749

Bryan, I don’t disagree with you. On this thread, though, I think we are all using one actual fact, the increase in child weight, and then using anecdotal information as support for lots of wild guessing.

Posted by: Trent at October 31, 2006 7:28 AM
Comment #192317

Making your own baby food is definitely the way to go. You can even make a few day’s worth and freeze it in ice cube trays.
It is a real shame that kids today don’t get to “just play” the way that we did in previous generations. Unfortunately, it’s hard to avoid overscheduling kids nowadays. My daughter is 18 months old, and most of her playmates are in a minumum of three activities (swimming, gymnastics, even piano!). And these are kids under 2!
Kids are getting hooked on TV younger and younger as well. When infants and toddlers spend too much time watching educational videos, it has an effect on their ability to creatively entertain themselves. There have been recent studies that link early TV viewing with autism and ADD.

Posted by: Lizzie at November 1, 2006 2:46 PM
Comment #192452


I agree. But I believe that those studies you mention in your last line have been proven to be inconclusive. I read a lot into it when my daughter was born a few years ago.

But the point remains valid. Any drastic change in behavoir will have effects, and humans were not designed to stare at screens all day.

Posted by: Kevin23 at November 1, 2006 7:46 PM
Comment #234732

We are a nation of wimps because men have stopped raising their sons. They have stopped respect women, and are using them as objects. Men have stopped being manly. They have stopped loving women and treat them as they would any utility item. I put the blame on women too. The so-called women’s liberation movement went too far. Women blamed men for all of their lack of progress, instead of looking at their compliance in letting men use them in the name of sexual freedom, thanks to Planned Parenthood with the pill and abortion. Women stopped being feminine and started acting and dressing like men in the name of promoting their careers. They started eliminating men from their intimate life and used them as objects too. Men are suffering. Children are suffering from being brought up by women only. How does a man feel when his son is raised by a women instead of him? How does a man feel when his daughter is raised by his ex-wife or girlfriend and her “boyfriend of the moment?” It’s no wonder that our children are killing themselves. Some life we’ve given them. When is it going to stop?

Posted by: MominCT at September 28, 2007 1:42 PM
Comment #234735

We are a nation of wimps because men have stopped raising their sons. They have stopped respecting women, and are use them as they would any object. Men have stopped being manly. I put the blame on women too. The women’s liberation movement went too far. Women blamed men for all of their lack of progress, instead of looking at their compliance in letting men use them in the name of sexual freedom, thanks to Planned Parenthood with the pill and abortion. Women stopped being feminine and started acting and dressing like men in the name of promoting their careers. They started eliminating men from their intimate life and started using them as objects too. They even use their sperm rather than get married. Men are suffering. Children are suffering from being brought up by women only. How does a man feel when his son is raised by a woman instead of him? How does a man feel when his daughter is raised by his ex-wife or girlfriend and her “boyfriend of the moment?” Girls need their fathers too. He is their ultimate protector even after they marry. It’s no wonder that our children are killing themselves. Some life we’ve given them. When is it going to stop?

Posted by: MominCT at September 28, 2007 1:45 PM
Comment #241197

Now, I know why GAS PRICES are very INFLATED nowadays. It’s because of SOME fat or/and lazy people. How one can keep a young one from being fat or/and lazy? The answer is __________. (Your guess is good as mine).

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Comment #358044

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