Tuesday, June 18, 2013

True Grit

A few weeks back, Sallie and I listened to a podcast that attributed the wussification of America on the lack of grit nowadays.

Adam Carrolla and Dr. Drew discussed how their children aren't let out for recess when its above 90 degrees. They will instead sometimes have "walking recess" where they walk around at a slow pace while being given water at watering stations.

They discussed how when they were kids, they would have soccer practice for 90 minutes and wouldn't be allowed water because it could cause you to cramp up. They knew that the adults knew there wasn't a real risk of cramping up. It was an exercise in making you a tougher person.

I've ranted many times about how I think the overly protective suburban parent is causing the downfall of our once great nation.

I understand, primal urge says protect your spawn to the best of your capabilities. But you still have to let your child go free.

I'm not even 30 yet and even I remember blacktop that reached well into 120 degrees in the summer. The only solace was the metal slide that was only a butt burning 110 degrees. We had mulch (that usually had broken glass mixed in) on the ground to protect us from hurting ourselves if we fell.

Now they line plastic playgrounds with this rubberized ground that you couldn't hurt yourself on if you tried.

In the summer, my mom would kick us out of the house at 9 a.m. and we were only allowed to come back for a Kool-aid break and lunch. We spent the hottest parts of the summer playing roller hockey and riding our bikes over ramps we built in the woods.

Now you can't even play dodge ball in schools. Participation ribbons are handed out on field day so that no kid's feelings get hurt. Doesn't matter if you're last place or first place, you're probably getting a trophy. It might only say, "Congrats on playing baseball!" but sure as hell, you're getting one.

Why do we have a rise in bully related suicides? Might be because we shelter our children from all harm physically and emotionally and they don't develop properly

We keep them locked up in their bubble wrapped houses, feeding them their fast food burgers, and then wonder why we're obese, antisocial wusses who can't take a teasing.

Kick the kids out of the house, let them fly on their own.

Sure they might come back with some bumps and cuts, but dammit, they'll have grit, and grit goes a long way.