OK, so this is a very “Oh, what is the world coming to?” posting, but when you read it you’ll see why.
Below is what appears on a letter brought home from school by my lovely children today. Before you read, please head this warning: you may find yourself crying, tearing your hair out or using such unattractive phrases as ‘political correctness gone mad!’ and ‘in my day….’. Hopefully you will, like me, only laugh at the sheer idiocy of it, but truly, it is no laughing matter, as we shall come to shortly.
Here goes, and I quote:
“This year we have decided to hold an Easter egg hunt for all children to participate in.” So far so good and Eastery. And fun. It goes on…
“We appreciate that there may be come concerns regarding children given chocolate during school time without supervision and agreement of parents.” Ummm, well, not really, but anyway. Go on.
“We will, therefore, be giving children tokens,” tokens??, “after they have completed the hunt and, at the end of the school day, the children can come with their parents, select their chocolate egg outside their classroom and pay 50p.”
So, let me get this straight: you want a bunch of excited, chocolate-hungry kids aged between 5 and 11 to run about the school grounds excitedly finding as many eggs (gluten and nut-free ,of course. mmmmm…) as they can, and then you plan to take them all AWAY from the children and put these gluten and nut-free oefs in a big box till after school when Mummy gets dragged to the school office, cash in hand, to BUY an egg for each of her kids. And ONE each – are you kidding me?
I have just written a book about the sad loss of childhood in the UK today and how to put it back again, (in case you missed it somehow it’s called A Spoonful of Sugar, and it’s out now!) and it’s my great regret that I didn’t have this pathetic letter to hand while I wrote it, as I don’t think I could have found a better way of illustrating the problem.
Kids LIKE chocolate! They like finding it, and, believe it or not, they also like eating it. Lots of it. Yes, it’s bad for their teeth and their waist-lines – but it’s also bloody good FUN, and that’s what is so woefully, miserably, desperately and dangerously missing in this country. Next thing you know they’ll be banned from playing on the climbing frame before school in case anyone hurts themselves- oh hang on, that’s been banned already. OK then, they won’t be allowed a plaster if they cut their knee, in case they are allergic to it – oooops, no, that one’s been taken as well.
Seriously though, the more we deny kids all the things they need to experience as kids – like falling down and getting hurt, being told off when they are downright rude, being allowed to walk all the way to the end of the road without a police escort or eating too much chocolate once in a while on a special day – the more damage we do them because they have no sense of what the real world is really like, and they can’t have the fun and the freedom they need to have.
They are CHILDREN. Let them have a proper childhood and do childish things!
My children will be doing an Easter egg hunt this year, and they can eat as many of the chocolate lovelies as they darned well like. Otherwise, what’s the world coming to, eh?