Things sure have changed from when I was a kid in the ’80s! I was contemplating the “rules” for my kindergartner’s Halloween party at school and it dawned on me how much has changed from when I was in elementary school. There are so many things they can’t or don’t do anymore and some are kind of sad.
10. Playing Dodgeball at Recess
I remember racing Justin Thompson everyday from the top of the stairs all the way down to the far tennis court to see who would get there first. Everyone wanted the far court to play a tough game of dodgeball. I still remember the smell and sound of that red gym ball as we would wind up to strike our victims. It was glorious. Too bad my kids won’t ever know what a good dodgeball victory feels like because it’s been banned by most schools for being too dangerous. Somebody may break their face off. What a pity.
9. Running on the Playground
Believe it or not, my kids’ school district doesn’t allow running on the playground. Say what? How are kids supposed to burn off all of that pent-up super kid energy they are hardwired to have? They may get a skinned-up knee or actually have fun. I’m surprised they don’t require helmets for the monkey bars. Maybe if they allowed actual exercise, the childhood obesity rate wouldn’t be so high. Geesh!
8. Clapping Erasers
When I was a kid, if you acted up for any reason in class, you had to “clap erasers” during recess. The dust from each clap would send a faded yellow cloud billowing into the air that landed all over our clothes and hair. Kids today don’t know that punishment because they have smart boards and computers in each classroom, so they will never fully appreciate the lesson learned from 30 minutes of breathing in clouds of dust.
7. Bringing in Homemade Cupcakes on Your Birthday
I remember when I was a kid, it was like Christmas Day when it was someone’s birthday. It would most likely be homemade cupcakes and cherry Hawaiian Punch to feast on. Many schools across the country have banned bringing in homemade cupcakes for a child’s birthday due to so many specific food allergies. Peanut allergies, gluten allergies, egg allergies, red dye # 3 allergies, and the list goes on. The movie “Bad Moms” comes to mind here.
6. Dressing Up for Halloween
Yeppers! My son’s school has put an end to the fun and games and has gotten serious with the no-costume rule. No more cool light sabers or Darth Vader masks, no more vampire teeth or wigs. Instead, my child was allowed to wear orange and black. The reason for this? I have no idea. To cut down on the fun? Yeah, that must be it.
5. Having Your Friends’ Parents Drive You Home
Ok … ok … this one I kinda agree with because of all the creepers (including clowns) that parents need to look out for. When I was a kid, all you had to do was tell your teacher you were going home with your friend’s mom and all was good. Not the case today. There are pre-approved lists (I personally filled out three), and unless you are on that list, it’s a no-go.
4. Sitting “Indian Style” on Your Carpet Square
My son wanted me to sit on the floor with him and “criss-cross applesauce.” Apparently it’s not politically correct to say sit “Indian style” anymore, so a clever rhyme had to be created.
3. Get a Tasty Treat or a Coke From the Vending Machine
When did they take vending machines out of schools? I used to be able to get a bag of chips or a candy bar with a sugary Coke anytime I wanted. Now, thanks to Michelle Obama, a kid’s lunch is served with a side of gross! Many schools have removed any sugary snacks that might contribute to obesity or are deemed “unhealthy.” Bummer.
2. Picking Your Valentine
Valentine’s Day was always exciting when I was a kid! It was fun to decorate your valentine box while wondering giddily if that special boy liked you and would give you a valentine. It seems schools have put the kibosh on individual valentines in an effort to not have anyone feel excluded. Now all of the kids sign their names to 20 generic valentines so everyone feels special.
1. Trophies for Winning
I played sports as a kid and one of the best feelings was when my team worked hard all season and was rewarded with a victory trophy. That gold-plated hunk of metal meant you were awesome. Today, everybody gets a trophy in an attempt to keep little kids from crying and having their feelings hurt. Kids need to know failure and rejection so they know how to handle it as adults.
What are some of the things you remember doing in school that kids can’t do today?