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Raising Un-Healthy Kids.

February 13th, 2007

Yesterday I talked about the need to get our kids active, and not in the Silken Laumann, lets get our government to do it way. There’s a reason why the government shouldn’t do it, and it’s because they don’t get these things right – ever! Case in point:

Teachers who refuse to let children take risks are undermining the economy, a former director general of the Confederation of British Industry says today.

In a savage attack on the health and safety culture in schools, Sir Digby Jones says that a generation of “cotton wool kids” are applying for jobs without any leadership or entrepreneurial skills.

He blames a raft of politically-correct policies imposed by head teachers, including sports days which have been banned to stop children being stigmatised as “losers” if they come last.

Our kids, thanks to us, our schools and insurance companies, are not taking managed risks, never mind unmanaged ones. As a result, they are unable to cope in the greater world when they find themselves in it.

As parents it is part of the job to teach kids to be responsible and independent. Now, on top of the negative health effects of the lifestyle we have them living, kids are not growing to their full potential, in any meaningful way.

Yesterday I heard on a talk radio station the same topic I hear once a week, why won’t kids leave home? Why are thirty year olds happy to stay home and live with mom and dad? The same old arguments get trotted out, they have it too good, your cooking with cheese, it’s not stigmatizing like it used to be. Nobody wants to talk about our kids inability to live independent of us. They are not leaving home because they have no clue what to do once they are gone, and no clue how to go about figuring it out for themselves.

Finally, someone is saying it. Someone with a voice like the Confederation of British Industry:

According to Sir Digby, the prevailing culture of risk aversion “is potentially fatal to our economics and social wellbeing”.

CBI research revealed a third of employers had to train 16-year-olds up to an acceptable standard of literacy and numeracy in their first year of employment. Two thirds said the teenagers lacked self-management skills and three quarters said they did not have a basic understanding of business and finance.

Last week, a report by the Association of Graduate Recruiters said that many vacancies were being left unfilled because even academically bright students did not have the necessary “soft skills”, such as communication and leadership…

He adds that by attempting to remove risk, “all adults are colluding in a shameful deceit; not only are we regulating the lifeblood of enterprise out of people, we are also teaching the next generation of wealth creators that risk, failure and competition do not exist.”

Of course, the solution:

In response to the report, Heads, Teachers and Industry was today launching a new campaign – Go4it. Under the scheme schools will be rewarded for creating initiatives that “free” their pupils, through competitions and activity days.

A F*&$ing program! Isn’t the problem in the first place was all the F*&$ing programs? How about, get out of their way, let them play, let them sort it out for themselves. Want to do something for them? Give them a ball – they know what to do with it.

Last word goes to Anne Evans, the HTI chief executive:

But this issue is not just about business. This is really about our children’s education for life. Failure and competition are a healthy and necessary part of growing up and certainly something school leavers will face as adults in many different contexts.”

h/t SDA

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