Kids Will Be Kids — Or Can They? [OPINION]
The opinions and views expressed in the following article are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect those of Townsquare Media Grand Junction.
Kids have the greatest imaginations on Earth. Their minds are free to think what they want. Their worlds are built on imagination. However, is this true freedom kids have becoming tainted?
Think about it. As kids we built spaceships out of boxes, forts out of pillows and blankets and puppets out of socks.
Girls have tea parties, play house with dolls and are constantly playing dress up. Their world consists of princesses, babies and looking "pretty."
Boys get cool toys like army men, Transformers, tool belts and toy guns. A boy’s world is filled with evil robots, zombies and bad guys.
Now, I'm no kid shrink or sociologist, but these things are designed to mold a kid, based mostly on traditions of society. Little girls get dolls and household items so they can learn how to take care of a family. Little boys get army men, tool belts and guns so they learn how to provide for a family.
Don't take that what I'm saying too much to heart. I'm not saying it's a fool-proof idea, it's just the way it's been for generations. I do understand that there are exceptions to said rule. I didn't make this rule, and I won't take full responsibility for what happens after this paragraph.
It's become a trend in schools to punish kids for using their imagination, especially when it comes to making-up anything remotely close to a weapon. A few days ago, a 7-year-old was threatened to be suspended for making a gun out of LEGOs -- it didn't even look like a gun, or function.
Now, a boy in Loveland, Colo has been suspended for an imaginary hand grenade -- not made out of legos, a piece of paper or out of anything, it was IMAGINARY.
What's next, are we going to suspend little girls for dropping a baby doll in class for fear it will lead to child neglect? Are we going to start locking kids up in the loony bin for pretending they can fly like Superman? What about telling a little girl that she will never be a princess, so grow up and make me a sandwich!?
Don't say that schools are not a place for imaginary weapons either. Did you play chase? I'm pretty sure that's a game to teach boys how to get a girl. Hide-n-Seek? That's hunting and being hunted, think the military! Playing doctor? Well you get my drift. We did these things on the playground -- well maybe not doctor. Like I said, sociology wasn't my thing, but that's part of socializing as a kid, bringing others into your imaginary world.
If we continue to "punish" kids for using their imagination, they will never dream to become President, an astronaut, a fighter jet pilot or a queen. I know you have to be born a queen or marry a king, but you get the point.