Jordan's about to become a junior yellow belt in his Kempo Karate class, which means a lot more responsibility. Well, one can only hope. He's learning quickly these past few weeks, with the combination of school, soccer, and karate each teaching him the necessity for being attentive. He's picking up faster on the necessity than on the attentive part. But he's trying.
As I've said before, Jordan has no fears of doing anything, especially when he sees someone else doing it, and most especially when he has a spare ten seconds with nothing to do. Last week in karate, he was saying the instructor's instruction before the instructor, and in his usual manner, he wouldn't stop. So, the instructor brought him up front and told him to lead the class. Jordan's eyes lit up, his smile doubled in width, and he began leading the exercise. He's not quite five years old, so this amazes me.
Jordan also has a habit of trying to be funny, but he's funniest when he's not trying to be. Case in point, a nunchaka exercise last Friday involved swinging the weapons between the legs, during which they'd say "leg." Then they learned to swing to the side, I think (I'll have ask Jordan to know for sure.) and say "side." The next one was called "arm," then they learned to jiggle one end of the nunchaka to each side. The instructor asked what that move was called. I guess he'd taught them before, so he was hoping someone would remember. When no one spoke up, Jordan came up with his idea for a name, in a loud and clear voice: "Nunchaka Belly!
Monday, October 02, 2006
Or, why is the world getting fatter?
My thought is this: Children have it right. Move. Fidget. Wriggle. Anything but sit still.
PHOTO: Children need activity, and Jordan, in the center kicking the ball, can rarely get enough. Soccer is one of activity where movement is rewarded...most of the time.
But what is rewarded in the world beginning with prekindergatern and continuing through high school? Sitting still. Doing nothing.
Point: Birthday party. Group of kids. My son, the fidgeter. Moving ever closer to the action. No sitting for him. Get in line and walk slowly somewhere? Bah. Run beside the line and slip in when the leader turns around.
Time for leader to choose who goes next. The taken: those who sit meekly and do nothing. "You're being so good."
This is a bad message in my opinion. Not that the children who sit still are bad, but that they should be called "good." At best, they are being "mindful." But if everybody sat and did nothing, where would we be?
My son is so far on the extreme of being active, I don't think there's any chance of him deciding it's better to be a bump on a log just so somebody can call him good. But there are those who might be swayed in that direction, just as easily, perhaps, as they could be swayed in the direction of action.
Read the headlines about our kids falling in the intelligence tests and our waist lines increasing, and make your own decision.
Posted by Bob Farley at 4:28 PM