Why Johnny Can’t Play Tag

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Why Johnny Can’t Play Tag
Why Johnny Can’t Play Tag

When little Johnny goes to school this fall, he may face another danger. The poor boy already has trouble reading and writing. He suffers from losing social skills and faces an assault upon his innocence through the destructive influence of horrible books and drag queens.

It is increasingly common that the boy will no longer be allowed to play tag, dodge the ball and other simple contact games. They are too dangerous and must be banned.

Someone might write this ban off as another concession to a snowflake generation that idolizes safety and comfort. However, the funny thing is that the games really are dangerous. School officials are finding that they are causing more serious injuries than in the past. Contact between students is more intense and brutal.

Today’s students are not stronger than past ones. The rules of the games also have not changed. Something else has changed that influences the way the games are played.

Those studying the phenomenon conclude that people are injured because children today don’t know how to play tag. They don’t have basic playing skills.

Too many students have sedentary lives on their iPhones and computers. They spend countless hours playing video games. Others are averse to manual labor. Wrestling and horseplay for boys are no longer part of their home lives.

Such natural physical contact used to be an essential part of children’s lives. All this behavior is not just childish nonsense. The art of playing has a purpose that prepares the child for the future.

During intense contact in play, children develop and hone social skills like conflict management and alliance making. In the rough and tumble, they learn how acts have consequences that can sometimes hurt or cause others to suffer unduly.

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Thus, they learn to measure their actions, gauge the risks involved and react accordingly. From a very early age, they develop an instinctive “touch” that sets limits on their actions.

Parents do them no favors when they eliminate reasonable risks from their children’s play. These physical activities connect children to reality and help them deal with future problems naturally and organically. Small children exposed to small dangers and risks will learn how to deal with larger ones when confronting them later in life.

Such skills explain why Johnny cannot play tag. He is not necessarily weak or even timid. More often than not, he is too strong.

When thrown into the game, he is unaccustomed to measuring his strength through his lack of play. He does not have that instinctive “touch” whereby he knows the limits of his action. When the time comes for contact, he will slam, hit or ram his playmate with all his force, causing major injury to himself and others.

Without that muscle memory that automatically tells him how far is safe to go, he plays without restraint. Thus, everything hurts.

Play patterns teach children about the real world and not the imaginary world without effort, rules or responsibility. Traditionally, play reinforces the true and wonderful differences between boys and girls. It defines good and bad behavior and favors a child’s innocence.

The real tragedy is that today’s lack of play is not an accidental phenomenon nor the product of lax and negligent parents. It reflects a distorted postmodern worldview without morals or definition.

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Youth are offered a contrary program, where they are often exposed to the frenetic intemperance of alternatives that help them disconnect from reality. They will be engaged, for example, in video games full of all sorts of violent and risky activities—that have no concrete consequences. They are free to gun down, run down and mow down anyone in their path to gain points or advance the game. Officials should not be surprised if they treat other children the same way on the playground.

Overprotected from the real world, these unfortunate children are immersed in an unreal world where they are told they can identify to be anything they want. Gone is the childhood full of wonder and spontaneity in the face of God’s universe. Enter the brutal world where Johnny cannot even play tag.

Photo Credit:  © Jane Kelly – stock.adobe.com

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