Thursday, 7 April 2011

Reality Bites

Image from We Heart It

I'm just gonna blurt it out - I am really sick to death of political correctness (is it even politically correct to say politically correct anymore??)

I mean for god's sake apparently we're not even allowed to say Baa Baa BLACK sheep anymore it's supposed to be 'coloured' sheep.  Forgive me for saying so but that's just bullshit and also I'm pretty sure we went through a whole period of history where 'coloured' was an insulting term for black people so how flipping confusing is that.  There really are black sheep people get over it - it's not racism.

There are so many more examples like this one but the one that's really got my blood boiling lately is the party circuit.  There are so many rules it's out of control.

If your kid is school age and you want to hand out party invites at school you are 'advised' to invite the whole class.  When I was at school people invited who they wanted to their birthday party and everyone else had to put their big kid panties on and get over it.  In real life you can't be friends with everyone - not everyone will like you either and that's OK.

Once you've negotiated that minefield and you've got 40 kids at your house there's the party games.  To be specific pass-the-parcel.  Nowadays the host (ie a frantic mum half an hour before the party) is expected to wrap enough layers for everyone to get a chance to unwrap one.  Then this farce is strictly controlled by some seriously excellent timing on the stereo by a very stressed out dad.  Each layer must also have a prize in it.  C'mon people life isn't fair, this is the time we are supposed to be teaching our kids about sportsmanship - It's not whether you win or lose it's how you play the game etc etc

It's everywhere I turn.  At my nephew's junior footy - no score keeping in case someone gets upset at losing.  Easter Bonnet parade no prize for best hat - just a pat on the back for participating.

I don't want any kids to feel left out or excluded or made to feel inferior - absolutely not.  What I want is for them to be educated honestly.  I want them to learn that in life there are winners and losers.  I want them to understand you don't always get absolutely everything that everyone else does. When they succeed or do well I want them to be able to revel in that accomplishment. I want them to be practised in the art of being both a good winner and a good loser.  I want them to lose or fail and feel disappointed and know how to pick themselves up and try again.

What do you think - am I being too tough?  Should we continue to protect our children from reality?  Do you do the 'everyone's a winner' version of pass the parcel or are you old school like me?


  1. Hey Kirsty,

    Have to say I cant agree more... We have been told at my daughters school to mail the invites for birthday parties, which means that your child doesnt have the excitement of handing our prizes.... CRAZY...

    And the sporting thing.. its not until high school do they start winning and loosing in football, and I'm not even sure if they actually have a finals play off at the ripe old age of 13.. I think this all went wrong when some child mind 'guru' looked at what made children successful, they realised all these kids had great self esteem and confidence, so they thought they would fill all kids full of this stuff, tell them all how wonderful they are, and then they will naturally be successful...

    Think they got it the wrong way around, its the success that gave the kids the confidence, and satisfaction in what they have achieved.

    So the result is a generation of kids who think that life is full of being patted on the back, and all being told they are winners, with everything handed to you on a platter, no effort required. This is why they are all so full of themselves and wont get of the bum and do anything. Hence the huge 'chip' on the shoulder they all carry.

    There is a lot to be said for learning to lose gracefully, its called sportsmanship, and an extremely important quality to have. How are these kids going to handle life when things don't go to plan, they will fall apart, because they are so used to being patted on the back all the time.

    And how do they truly feel that sense of satisfaction when they try their very hardest, and know that they earned any reward they may receive.

    Well Ill get off my soap box now.

    Kate Cooper xxx

    PS - Have just had a little read of some of your blog, what an amazing woman you are, I admire your strength through all you have been through, hope all is going well for you. xxx

  2. Wow Kate what a surprise to see you here - thanks for dropping by.

    I'm glad I'm not the only one that feels this way and I can see with 2 school aged kids you're obviously experiencing a lot more of it than I am.

    I thought people might think I was being a hard arse glad to see at least 1 person can feel where I'm coming from.

    XX Kirsty

  3. I completely agree. PC has gone waaaay too far and we seem to be setting up unrealistic expectations for our children. Who wants the whole class at their party anyway? Happy FYBF!

  4. Great post Kirsty.

    Yesterday at Gymbaroo we sung "baa baa rainbow sheep" to our kids. What the hell? I've never seen a rainbow sheep!

    Also, Mem Fox's "Where is the green sheep?" has every other colour sheep except black. Surely that is racist by omission?

    You're right, about all of it! Things are getting silly!

    Jess xx

  5. I agree but sometimes it saves tears,tantrums and therapy.

    I would tend to do the everyone gets a prize in PTP for little kids - but once you get a prize you leave the circle and the last three kids or whatever are easy to manage.

    In jnr soccer they did this even 11 yrs ago ...mostly the first few years but the kids know who scored :).

    I'm not inviting the whole class ...hopefully it will be a small school and it will just be the kindys or whatever year.

    I once made my eldest invite a few unpopular kids because I knew they never got invited and I deleted the 'brat packs' off his list.

  6. I could not agree with you more Kristy!! I worry about what skills out children are going to grow with in these environments? I went to a birthday party the other day and they had to cancel Pass the parcel because there was one child there who flipped out at other parties when he didn't win the end price !! What the?

  7. You're not being too tough. If we want to raise resilient children then they need to learn that they don't always win, they don't always get a prize and that black is a colour.

  8. No I don't think it's too tough at all. I personally don't want my child to learn - through preschool/school - that she will always get something, always be awarded something. I don't want that for her. What's the bigger picture here? When they become adults, these children who are part of this big experiment?? I perish the thought.

    I've heard Baa Baa Woolly Sheep. It's not so bad. But Coloured or Rainbow sheep is just bloody ridiculous!

  9. I agree with what you say. We really need to start building some resilience in our children or they will have not have the skills to live confidently in the the world. There is too much molly collojying going on.

  10. I totally agree!

  11. I get the political correctness gone mad, and I get building resilience. I actually agree with most of your post and had all three of my kids been like my younger two, I'd be nodding and smiling and totally agreeing with you!

    I also get the heartbreak at having the only child in the class not invited to a party year after year. I've held him as he sobs. I've sobbed with him. He is eccentric and he is socially inept, but he isn't blind to what goes on around him. One year, every boy in the class was invited except him. He is polite and gentle and kind - I just don't get it.
    He was invited to his first party in 3years last week. His excitement at being invited nearly made me dissolve into tears and I could barely contain my emotion as I thanked the mother for inviting him.

    I get not wanting to invite the whole class to a party, but I also get that there are kids that just don't get invited unless the whole class (or at least all boys or all girls) is invited and for that reason alone, it is all or nothing around here.

    My son should have enough resilience to suit up an entire army by now, instead his heart breaks a little bit more when he realises he's been left out again.

  12. Trish,
    As the mother of a child who is probably classed as a 'nerd' or 'unpopular', I thank you :-)

  13. This rainbow sheep is so outrageous it beggars belief! I wish I was there, this sort of insanity needs to be challenged. I recently wrote a post on the question of failing our kids by not allowing them to win or lose. We are definitely seeing the repercussions of this in terms of the way our children are struggling to build their resilience. I hope you don't mind me sharing this link but i think it compliments your post well Kirsty,


Hi thanks for sharing your thoughts with me. It is nice to know someone is listening.


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