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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Roughhousing toughens up soft kids

Roughhousing toughens up soft kids

Between everyone being a winner, physical contact games being banned at schools and a lot of child’s play being all but banned, it seems like a lot of kids are being taught how to be softies.

The emotional and physical damage that bullying can inflict on a person is truly saddening. The fact that suicide is 2 to 9 times more likely from those who are bullied than those who are not is more than enough reason to despise the bullying that children go through.

That being said, the way kids are being pushed through school with little to no resistance today is creating a generation of people who are poorly equipped to deal with the difficulties of life. If changes to the education system are not made, then bullying might be one of the few ways left children can learn how to deal with hardships in life.

Over the past few decades, the K-12 education has turned into a padded cell for students. One by one, the things that caused discomfort or possible danger have been eliminated from school systems.

Dodgeball used to be a staple in schools, but now it has been removed from them. Any form of roughhousing is strictly looked down upon and can have consequences.

The complete removal of all forms of adversity and non-safe play has gone too far. Kids are not getting to encounter trials and pain the same way they used to in school, which is leading to adults who are less capable of handling tough situations.

Now that fewer schools allow students to fail, kids can’t learn how to deal with challenges.

Unfortunately, one of the last few places that many kids encounter difficulties is through bullying.

While bullying isn’t anyone’s first choice for where children should learn pliancy, the softening of every aspect of public schools has made it one of the last places where resilience can be learned.

Kids used to develop a thicker skin through the sometimes rough, but ultimately harmless, interactions that happened in the school yard. Now that much of that is banned, bullying is one of the few ways that children can learn to roll with the punches.

What makes the situation worse is that roughhousing used to help kids handle being bullied. Now that the former is gone the latter is suddenly a lot more difficult to deal with.

Personally, being bullied was how I was able to overcome being incredibly thin-skinned and overly sensitive to the opinions of others. While I don’t relish the experience, it did make me stronger and help form who I am today in a positive way.

So while I do support the campaigns against bullying, with that movement should also come a thoughtful look at how recent changes to the education system have affected the children who are in it.

Evan Roberts can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_news on Twitter.

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    Dr. Necessitor // Oct 12, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    Excellent opinion piece and spot-on. Rough housing interactions teach children how to navigate through life while interacting with different people.