Thursday 26 May 2011

Specialist Subject? The Bleeding Obvious

Modern life is 'producing a generation of weaklings', claims research as physical strength declines in 10-year-olds
You don't fucking say!

For anyone with kids, this is less surprising than seeing a train while waiting at a level crossing. Research really isn't required ... although I'm glad someone has officially quantified what we all knew already.

As a generation dedicated to online pursuits grows up, 10-year-olds can do fewer sit-ups and are less able to hang from wall bars in a gym. Arm strength has declined in that age group, as has their ability to grip an object firmly.

The findings, published in the child health journal Acta Paediatrica, have led to fresh concern about the impact on children's health caused by the shift away from outdoor activities.
These will be the outdoor activities now denied to kids by a plethora of health and safety at school regs, ridiculous over-reaction to 'stranger danger', and the absurd modern idea that saying no to kids is somehow akin to mental child abuse. Yes, I'm looking at you, NSPCC.

"This is probably due to changes in activity patterns among English 10-year-olds, such as taking part in fewer activities like rope-climbing in PE and tree-climbing for fun," Sandercock said.
Rope-climbing? Tree-climbing for fun? You're just an old crusty, Sandercock. Didn't you know that kids could fall off? And that they are made of fine porcelain in the 21st century? What's more, such activities are classed by the NSPCC as 'child abuse'.

Examples of neglect in sport could include: not ensuring children are safe; exposing them to undue cold or heat, or exposing them to unnecessary risk of injury.
Sandercock continues ...

The fact that 10% could not do the wall bars test and another 10% refused to try was "really shocking", he added. "That probably shows that climbing and holding their own weight was something they hadn't done before."
Yes. And many of them have no concept of kicking a ball around a playground, either.

Time for a quick anecdote. In the early boy Puddlecote years, parents were required to wait until their offspring were taken into class before leaving the playground in the mornings. It was a sterile affair for the kids, they'd run around but weren't allowed to go near the climbing frame as a fully-trained teacher wasn't in attendance before 9am, and risk assessments said no. They'd get excited with their running, as kids do, at which point they'd routinely be told to stop by the one staff member on show because - and I know this as I asked - if they fell over, "there isn't a system in place to administer first aid outside of school hours".

On one occasion, one of the kids brought a tennis ball in with him. He launched it into the air and around two dozen kids gleefully cheered and started running around kicking it. The whole happy episode of childhood abandon and joy lasted less than a minute. The ball was grabbed by the teacher and the kid who brought it was admonished sternly.

"You know full well that balls aren't allowed in the playground!", she finger-wagged. Again, my curiosity was piqued and I politely enquired as to why. The reason was that it could hit another child and cause bruising or, more dangerously it would appear from the look on the face of the teacher concerned, one of those playing might tread on it and have a "nasty fall".

The next day, I mischievously brought in a yellow foam ball and threw it in front of the boy to see what happened. He kicked it and the kids naturally charged around after it in the same manner. That, too, was confiscated in double quick time. The justification this time? Well, with all that kicking going on towards a ball with no weight, one child may end up kicking another.

The horror!

Under the prevailing circumstances, tree-climbing for fun stands no chance whatsoever really, now does it?

Drop your kids at the park and let them get on with, well, being kids, and you're condemned as an irresponsible parent. Tell them that the PS3 will have to wait till a significant occasion such as Christmas or birthday, and you're frowned upon as a bad Dad/Mum.

So, sorry if I'm not too surprised by this. Yes, kids are weak - and, as mentioned, often too lazy to even put in any effort - simply because they have been conditioned that way by lack-witted morons who have the very best intentions, but the foresight of a neurotic chimp.

Why bother with the hassle of doing what comes naturally to kids, and what they would prefer to do - play in the garden/park/playground/street - when the likely outcome is to be restricted and/or told off?

But here's the big kicker.

But the new study also found that children in 2008 had the same body mass index (BMI) as those a decade earlier. Lead author Daniel Cohen, of London Metropolitan University, said this meant that, given their declining strength, the bodies of the recent test group are likely to contain more fat and less muscle then their predecessors. "That's really worrying from a health point of view. It's good news that their BMI hasn't risen, but worrying that pound for pound they're weaker and probably carrying more fat," said Sandercock.

So while idiots like Jamie Oliver blather on about what foods kids eat, the real problem is staring them in the face. Kids just don't run around or play enough. Not because they are lazy or increasingly sedentary, but that the computer game is a hell of a lot less hassle than what they'd really like to be doing.

Can we expect a change in the near future? You know, jumpers for goalposts again, 'best man dead' in the playground, hanging upside down by the legs from climbing frames, British Bulldog, running for fun and not just part of a strictly-controlled, safety-led curriculum?

Not on your nelly. Let's just feed kids limp, tasteless crap to suit the exercise-free lifestyles imposed upon them by precious, progressive (hah!) risk-terrified dimwits.

Yes, that's the way to a healthy nation, and no mistake.


Curmudgeon said...

Spot on, that one. And you could add that it will be a further excuse to have a go at cars, because the key reason for all this weakness is that kids are taken everywhere in cars, not that they're nannied out of actually doing anything.

Anonymous said...

I made the mistake of letting the girls play T ball against the boys while there was a parent and teacher meeting going on
The teacher were horrified that i encouraged competitive sports

The girls won easily and were thrilled to prove that they could be better than the boys and still remind them (after several years ) about that night

budgie said...

'Arm strength has declined in that age group, as has their ability to grip an object firmly.'

Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond...,0,4752052.story

Dick Puddlecote said...

Budgie: "The officers let Michael off with a stern talk but no charges."

How very generous of them, eh? Stay wedded to the playstation, Michael, it's easier that way. :(

Unknown said...

Educate this old duffer who's schooldays were fifty decades ago they still call playgrounds playgrounds? If so WHY?

Anonymous said...

The problem for these nutcases now is that because they insist on writing rules and regulations until they come out of their ears, they're starting to contradict eachother in many areas of life. Take a few examples from the NSPCC link defining what abuse is:

1) "Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child."

But it's compulsary for all kids now to have all-encompassing allergies and for them to be scared witless by anything that's not vegan.

B) "Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities...whether or not the child is aware of what is happening...involving children...watching sexual activities."

Sex Education lessons for the under 5's anyone?

C) "Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person."

The continuous school testing of kids which starts almost from the womb. I would quote the last paragraph too but it does say "unrealistically high standards", which of course don't exist anymore.

You get the point. Were there still the assumption that people and institutions are quite capable of using common sense, everyone would know what all of the different types of abuse were without having to have them definied.

Angry Exile said...

The reason was that it could hit another child and cause bruising or, more dangerously it would appear from the look on the face of the teacher concerned, one of those playing might tread on it and have a "nasty fall".

Only if the child concerned is destined for a career as a premiership footballer.

Roger Thornhill said...

I bet the Fabians are pleased - they have manufactured a weak and frit generation who will be no threat to their order.

Anonymous said...

Children, as a segment of the human race, have been turned into minor deities to whom no misfortune must befall.
No pain, no harm, no hurt no adversity means no guts and no initiative. The price of absolute safety will be high.

James Higham said...

First thing is to bring back conkers.

Richard Bester said...

You were at school 500 years ago?!