´╗┐The race

There is an epidemic in our school system
And it is murdering what I believe
Is every child’s godly right:
A childhood, filled with play, creativity, security, naivety and innocence.
It starts early:
Your fine motor skills, gross motor skills, visual perceptive skills, vestibular skills (your inner GPS they explained at the informative parents’ evening) and emotional skills are all analyzed, scored against what is perceived as normal, fitting to the cookie cutter scheme you signed up for.
And if you don’t measure up?
Therapy for you and what’s more, the school can offer it all on its premises, an added luxury. The teacher in charge only has 20 small bodies in her class, but any deviation from the normed behaviour, needs to be addressed all in the name of school readiness. To be ready for school. The next level of the competition, the feared first year where it is expected that your child be resilient at seven and first prize if independent too.
It is ludicrous.
Every second child I know is receiving therapy of some kind and the parents are frazzled, panicked with the fear that there is something wrong with their child.
And granted, you may reason that life is competitive and the sooner they get in the race, the better.
But at four? Five? Six? Seven?
They have the rest of their lives to settle into the race, life takes care of that.
It is ludicrous.

I became aware of the race when I was 10 and it was intrinsic. I wanted to excel. I wanted to be first, do my best. Up until then, I was just having fun.

My mother’s heart pleads for us to fight for our children’s right to be children, to enjoy the few years where life should not be a race, but an adventure.

In closing my rant, while driving my six year old daughter to school and lamenting about how we each have a gift (I could never be a trail runner like Beth’s mom, I write instead and I can still not do cartwheels or handstands – who cares!?) and as long as we do our best, it should not matter who is first. She replied, matter-of-factly while twirling her hair,
if you were a kid, it would matter.
And now it does.

Copyright Hiraeth 2016