Playing tag is no longer a benign sport

Filed under: Activities: Babies, In The News

There have been frequent reports in the media of schools banning the game of "tag" at recess, and now there's yet another elementary school who has blown the whistle on the classic schoolyard game.

Kent Gardens Elementary school in Virginia has decreed that students may no longer play tag after deciding that the game of chasing and yelling had "gotten out of hand." The school's principal explained to concerned parents that tag had become a very aggressive, dangerous game -- and that the well-being of children was at stake while engaged in it.

Many parents of young children remember tag as being a benign game of running and adrenaline - an innocent rite of passage for many young folk who needed fresh air and exercise to thrive at school. But modern tag, say many modern school administrators, is not nearly so innocent.

Kent Garden's principal calls the new, more aggressive game "noveau tag" and says that the play now involves kids who may not know they are playing -- that kids "pyramid" and "tower" and pile on each other -- sometimes dubbing the act "jailhouse" because a child is forced to break free of an unwanted hold.

Concerned parents congregated at the school to hear more about the ban, many of them expressing dismay that prohibiting tag "robs the children" of a special, unique childhood experience.

I know that aggression shouldn't be encouraged in children. But I can't help but think that banning normal childhood activities is just a little bit sad.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.