False Dad-lemma

The Scenario: Your child is engaged in a game with other children around his age tossing a ball around.

Are you more likely to…

A) Insert yourself to ensure your child gets a turn?

B) Insert yourself to ensure your child gives others a turn?

You must choose one.  Ready?  GO!

Image by strollers

Please do be so kind as to share this post.
TwitterFacebookRedditEmailPrintFriendlyMore options

49 thoughts on “False Dad-lemma

  1. At a guess, probably A. Specifically in the context of tossing a ball around, that is – because I’m going to be happy she’s doing something that develops whole-body coordination like that, which I think she does too little of. Consequently, I reckon she’d be more likely to be pushed out (for lack of skill) and more likely to let herself be pushed out (for lack of confidence).

    If it’s a game more in the make-believe sphere, more likely B – because she has lots of that kind of play in her life, and the greater concern is that she takes up all the creative freedom and sucks the fun out of it for other kids.

    Report

  2. You’re walking through the desert, Leon, and you come upon a group of tortoises playing ball. You reach down and turn one onto its back…

    Report

  3. It’s been a long time since my kids were that age, but as best I can recall… the boy (once described by the daycare staff as “a leader of toddlers”) would be out there making sure that everyone got a turn… the girl would have been all “if you want me to do this organized thing, then it’s the last thing I want to do.” Both at age roughly four. He got his from his mom, she got hers from me.

    Report

      • As a non-techie, I’m not sure what exactly you mean by “coding”, but I’m weary of too much “screen time” for kids. However, there are new hands-on, programmable toys that help kida learn some basic coding theory, even if they aren’t learning coding languages and other specifics.

        One I’ve used with K is Bee-Bot. BB is a little programmable Bee. He has 4 buttons: forward 1 foot, backward 1 foot, rotate right 90-degrees, rotate left 90-degrees. But they are just denoted with forward arrow, backward arrow, and rotate left/right signs. So first kids have to learn what each button does. Over time they learn to sequence commands, explore efficiency (backwards versus rotate-rotate-forward), input/output, outcome vs path (e.g., is forward-forward-right-forward-forward the same as forward-right-forward-left-forward-right-foward?), and more. They learn that machines will do EXACTLY what you tell them… No more, no less… For better or worse. I used BB about 3 years ago so I’m sure there are more sophisticated ones on the market. That is what I’d look at while preferring concepts over wrote skills.

        Report

  4. B, because I want her (3.5) to look out/stand up for herself without help, but want to affirmatively make sure she develops into a good friend.

    No idea what my son (1.4) will need when he starts playing cooperatively, but probably the same.

    Report

  5. B. I’ve tried to enforce sharing before, and I’ve come to regret all of it. Her current preschool adopts the approach of as-long-as-no-one-is-getting-hurt-let-them-figure-it-out philosophy, which I think is what I should have been doing all along.

    Report

    • Our kid’s school is pretty far along on that.

      There are all sorts of things that are technically probably not allowed per the school board’s rules that are able to work at this place. For example, at most schools I’m pretty sure any kind of fighting / wrestling / chasing-kissing games get straight shut down. At her school the practice is generally to make sure everyone is consenting and then leave it be.

      Report

      • I bump into plenty of people who don’t like it when their dogs play fight.

        It’s interesting to see how class affects this as well. It seems that it’s actually the places with the most yuppies that let the kids do that kind of stuff.

        Report

        • Though it’s probably worth noting that the school’s definition of “hurt” in “as long as nobody’s getting hurt” is not exclusively physical. As discussed here, excluding someone from a game might well be considered hurtful and result in intervention if they kids aren’t able to work it out satisfactorily.

          Nuance and all that – “the two of us would like to play together, not have our game turned into a larger group thing” would probably be fine, but “you can’t play hockey with us because hockey is for boys” certainly wouldn’t.

          Report

          • Yea, I talk explicitly about emotional and physical safety with the kids.

            Ah… Teaching nuance to people whose brains can barelt comprehend the concept… Welcome to my world!

            Report

      • I’m leading a big push in my school to give kids more latittude with this sort of play, similarly emphasizing the importance of consent. My general rule is that playing should be safe and fun for everyone, so provided they remain mindful of that, I’m reluctant to impose too many limits.

        There definitely are some class and race issues that cut in some interesting ways, though nothing approaching hard and fast “rules”

        Report

  6. B(*), but if B applied(+) to my kid, I would not hesitate to apply B in service of A. But that would be the only circumstance in which I would do A. (But then, who would do A if their kid weren’t being denied a turn, right?) Therefore, A being a subset of B for me, I would be more likely to do B.

    *: I don’t have kids. I’m assuming we’re talking about imaginary kids here.

    +: I’m also assuming people aren’t going to do B unless some kid(s) aren’t getting turns as is. Hence the notion of B “applying” to certain kids, including possibly my own. It “applies” if a kid isn’t getting a turn. If everyone’s getting a turn, but not quite equal numbers, are parents really considering micromanaging that?? (See * above.)

    Report

Comments are closed.