Do You Play Well With the Other Children?
(Be sure to follow my blog right there on the left side. It takes all of 20 seconds to do it…done? Thanks!)
We all are children at heart (or at least that’s what I’ve been told). And what do most children like to do? Go run around and play on the playground!
Your playground may be different from mine. Some of us own the playground. Some of us are leaders on the playground (or at least are expected to be). Some of us are just there because we have to be there.
Have you stopped for a moment and considered what’s it like on your playground?
Do all of the children play well together?
Do YOU play well with the other children?
It’s very likely that everyone doesn’t play well together, that’s just life, but when the children don’t play well together how does that affect the playground as a whole?
Let’s look at three or four reasons we don’t play well with each other.
On far too many playgrounds there is just pure chaos. This usually happens when there is no one watching over the children. Or maybe the person who is assigned to watch the children is either weak or distracted. If the playground monitor is not respected by the children, well it really doesn’t matter what s/he says, because the children will just run around and do whatever they feel like doing. Or if the monitor is too busy focusing on things other than the important playground rules, again, the children will just do whatever it is they feel is important to them at the moment.
Until there is someone who not only thoroughly understands what the playground rules are, but they are willing to enforce those rules, mayhem will rule the playground.
LACK OF SKILLS
Obviously not if you’ve been on some of the playgrounds that I’ve played on. But having skills will certainly help maintain some order.
Have you every play the “telephone game” (or the less politically correct “Chinese whispers”. It’s the game that starts with one person who whispers a message to a second person. That second person whispers the message to a third person, the third to a fourth, and so on and so on, until the last player announces the message to the entire group. The rule is you can NOT repeat what you said to the person. If you don’t understand what the person told you, tough! You just forward the message you THINK you heard.
Obviously there are errors that get passed along, and by the time the message reaches the last person, the original statement has been strangled, mangled, and destroyed. Why is the passing of a message between the children so difficult? Maybe one child was so anxious to start talking, they never bothered to listen to what was being said to them. Maybe one child was really soft spoken and whispered the message to another child who had a legitimate hearing issue (that no one bothered to check). There are always the children who change the message on purpose, simply because they think it is fun to pass on bad information. Oh yeah, and let’s not forget about the ‘embellisher’. You know the kid who sees or hears the exact same thing you do, but for whatever reason there version of the story always has added twists and turns.
Improve the children’s skills in listening, fix a technical issue, or teach them why it’s important to pass on accurate information, and you will have children who play the games better.
ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER
What if you were playing a team game, and your team is starting to gain momentum, but all of sudden your team captain decides to change your strategy. It’s likely you will lose some of your momentum right? But then the captain sees another team doing something then decides your team should do it too. BUT then the captain remembers something her father told her, and decides that your goals are all wrong, and now they change too. There’s no way your team will be successful.
With lack of focus, hopping around from one goal to another, or being preoccupied by what the other team is doing, your team won’t have a direction let alone gain momentum. Maybe somebody needs to take their meds…
FAT, DUMB, AND HAPPY
No, don’t worry, I’m not about to get all Conspiracy Theory on you. We’re staying in Metaphorland here. Keeping the children ‘fat, dumb, and happy’ simply means that they are trained to be unaware and uninterested in what’s really going on. The advancement of the children isn’t a priority, because they are content just where they are since they are given the sugar they crave and ignorance is bliss.
If any of the children decide they want healthy food instead of sugar, or perhaps they decide they want to learn something meaningful those children run the risk of being called “teacher’s pet” or “nerd” or being told they’re “messing up the grading curve”. They won’t be the most popular children on the playground.
I’d love to hear what you think ‘playing well with others’ means and what some hindrances are!