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Poll - Leveling the Playing Field

Is it okay to level the playing field?

  • Yes

    Votes: 3 13.6%
  • No

    Votes: 16 72.7%
  • It depends

    Votes: 3 13.6%
  • other

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    22

azstonie

Ideal_Rock
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Jul 1, 2014
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Ex teacher here.

You have a bigger problem on your hands: Less aware teachers, and other adults too, are going to expect your son to be more mature/emotionally developed than he is at his chronological age. They will expect behaviors he does not yet possess. When he's in kindergarten, other teachers on the playground may assume he is in, say, 2nd grade and respond with those kinds of expectations. If this happens to him a lot, he may feel pressure.

Just be aware of this, talk to his teacher about it, and a little about it with your son.
 

Maria D

Brilliant_Rock
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Jan 24, 2003
Messages
1,843
sonnyjane|1458180542|4006518 said:
Maria D|1458177316|4006464 said:
Just wondering why there's this refusal to differentiate between individual and team competition.

We could easily give this sarcastic scenario as well:

"Wow, Timmy! You sure are big for your age! We're going to make sure you only ever compete with kids that aren't as good as you! You won't get the practice you need to become truly great, but for the next 12 years you can beat all the smaller kids!"

I'll be honest, your example above really doesn't make sense to me. OP asked if it was okay to handicap someone to level the playing field. If someone is good at something, their being talented above the rest of the field might mean that they aren't getting challenged appropriately, but that's certainly not a reason to limit their opportunities to compete or perform until everyone else can perform siilarly? There is a difference between "challenging" someone and "handicapping" them, as was the point of this thread. I was a competitive athlete for 15 years, from early elementary all the way to NCAA. Do you know how all the best coaches get their athletes to improve? By critiquing, teaching technique, but most importantly by having them practice and play against the very best. In the interest of creating a stronger team, you'd think it would be more practical to invest in ALL of your players rather than investing in your weaker players and having your stronger players take a break from the action until everyone catches up. You coach across the board. Those that have talent will be winnowed from those that don't. And that's freaking fine, because not everyone is supposed to play youth soccer, or run track, or wrestle, just like not everyone is meant to go on to be chemists, or rocket scientists, or doctors, OR not everyone is meant to go on to be professional singers, or painters, or actors. And that's the beauty of it all. We have strengths. We have weaknesses. In my opinion the sooner those things are identified, the more time you give us to really hone those skills and develop our full potential. Handicapping to make sure everybody is the same is contradictory to that process.
The only "handicap" accommodation made in this thread was for a bigger/faster/stronger/more athletic kid to give the other kids a bit of a chance to disperse in a game of tag. Would this not be a good way to challenge that child? (Reminder: I'm NOT talking about a 3 year old, I think that's ridiculous.)

I am not athletic at all and did not compete in any sports. But I played outside all the time with neighborhood kids of all ages and it was quite common for the older, bigger kids to make these kinds of accommodations so that the game, be it tag, street hockey or hide-go-seek, was more fun and challenging for everyone.

When you competed as an athlete it was in organized sports, no? Of course there wouldn't be handi-capping, everyone has to play by the same rules. But there is differentiation of skill level, no?

I think a team of kids playing something like organized youth soccer should all have to play according the same established rules, no accommodations. But a group of kids of varying ages, sizes and ability levels that happen to be playing together because they are in the same daycare or neighborhood should either bend the rules so that it's fun for everyone or separate themselves by ability level. When we played dodgeball in the 'hood the smaller ones got 3 hits before they were out.

The more thought that I put into this the more I think kids should just be allowed to play and make their own rules.
 

sonnyjane

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 13, 2008
Messages
2,476
Maria D|1458182209|4006546 said:
The only "handicap" accommodation made in this thread was for a bigger/faster/stronger/more athletic kid to give the other kids a bit of a chance to disperse in a game of tag. Would this not be a good way to challenge that child? (Reminder: I'm NOT talking about a 3 year old, I think that's ridiculous.)

I am not athletic at all and did not compete in any sports. But I played outside all the time with neighborhood kids of all ages and it was quite common for the older, bigger kids to make these kinds of accommodations so that the game, be it tag, street hockey or hide-go-seek, was more fun and challenging for everyone.

When you competed as an athlete it was in organized sports, no? Of course there wouldn't be handi-capping, everyone has to play by the same rules. But there is differentiation of skill level, no?

I think a team of kids playing something like organized youth soccer should all have to play according the same established rules, no accommodations. But a group of kids of varying ages, sizes and ability levels that happen to be playing together because they are in the same daycare or neighborhood should either bend the rules so that it's fun for everyone or separate themselves by ability level. When we played dodgeball in the 'hood the smaller ones got 3 hits before they were out.

The more thought that I put into this the more I think kids should just be allowed to play and make their own rules.
We are in agreement on the bolded above. If a group of kids wants to play a game at recess or in the neighborhood and they choose to change the rules so that more kids will be able to participate, that's fine, but those changes should be implemented by the kids. A teacher (as an authority figure) should NOT be getting involved.
 

amc80

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 18, 2010
Messages
5,765
packrat said:
there shouldn't BE competitive sports in a preschool program. Period. You play. That's what preschoolers do, and that's how preschoolers LEARN. Through play. And you play *together*, *with* one another, not *against* one another competitively. That's what organized sports are for and that's NOT what a preschool program is for. End of story. Is this program accredited? What curriculum do they follow? What kind of assessment system do they use? We are NAEYC (Nat'l Association for the Education of Young Children) and have a five star QRS (Quality Rating System) rating and we use Teaching Strategies/GOLD and the Highscope curriculum. You will not find competition in any of that. And you will certainly not find "hindering" a child for the sole purpose of allowing another child to succeed over the first child. There is a time and place for competition and competitive sports, and that time is not at 3 and 4 years old in preschool. And there is no time and place for holding a child back that another child may succeed ahead of that child.
They are NAEYC accredited. I actually work for the parent company so I have even a more vested interest in what is going on there. Curriculum followed is in house proprietary. Based on what you said, I wouldn't be surprised if you work for one of our centers.

For those who asked why they are doing competitive type things. The particular game they are playing was from a particular lesson module back on the fall. Something about animals and cats chasing a mouse. The kids all love it so they still do it, even though it isn't part of the current curriculum.

I need to talk to B and see what he says about it. While I don't agree with the handicap mentality, it will bug me much less if he understand why Ys happening and if he doesn't care. But I really don't see how he could get it at this age.
 

amc80

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 18, 2010
Messages
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azstonie said:
Ex teacher here. You have a bigger problem on your hands: Less aware teachers, and other adults too, are going to expect your son to be more mature/emotionally developed than he is at his chronological age. They will expect behaviors he does not yet possess. When he's in kindergarten, other teachers on the playground may assume he is in, say, 2nd grade and respond with those kinds of expectations. If this happens to him a lot, he may feel pressure. Just be aware of this, talk to his teacher about it, and a little about it with your son.
I know, and we've already had to deal with this a bit. People think he's 5 right now and give dirty looks when he's acting like a threenager.

He is starting tball right now and is the youngest one on his team by at least a year (his birthday is just a few weeks before the cutoff). He's the same size as all of the other kids, so it will be interesting to see how he fits in. I have a feeling we will have to remind others that he's only three fairly regularly.
 

jordyonbass

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It's not right at all, while we should all be considered equal under the laws we live by - we are not equal by the laws of nature. And that is a good thing because that is where we learn shortcuts, techniques and innovations as a species. I believe it is very important to for children to learn that and learn what it means to run first or last in a race. Let me explain a bit further about my opinion with an example:

About 50-60 years ago in Brazil there was a family called the Gracies; they were a family of mostly fit, strong brothers and were taught Japanese JuJutsu and Judo martial arts as part of an agreement made between the father of the boys and a Japanese national. However there was a brother who didn't match the same physical mold, he was only 115lb, usually very sick and suffered from fainting episodes. He would watch and learn as his brothers learned the same techniques but realised that he just wasn't big and strong enough to be competitive with his brothers. So he innovated in his mind what he knew, he watched the techniques he had been shown and slightly adjusted so that a person of his physical stature and strength could not only compete with someone much bigger and stronger - they could beat the bigger opponent with ease.

This is the origin of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the Martial Art that has probably been the most popular and effective style of the last 20 years. If Helio Gracie had the playing field levelled for him in order to account for his health issues, would he have developed the same techniques when he had no need? It's hard to say but I am leaning heavily towards that he probably wouldn't have.
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
34,792
jordyonbass|1458193429|4006592 said:
It's not right at all, while we should all be considered equal under the laws we live by - we are not equal by the laws of nature. And that is a good thing because that is where we learn shortcuts, techniques and innovations as a species. I believe it is very important to for children to learn that and learn what it means to run first or last in a race. Let me explain a bit further about my opinion with an example:

About 50-60 years ago in Brazil there was a family called the Gracies; they were a family of mostly fit, strong brothers and were taught Japanese JuJutsu and Judo martial arts as part of an agreement made between the father of the boys and a Japanese national. However there was a brother who didn't match the same physical mold, he was only 115lb, usually very sick and suffered from fainting episodes. He would watch and learn as his brothers learned the same techniques but realised that he just wasn't big and strong enough to be competitive with his brothers. So he innovated in his mind what he knew, he watched the techniques he had been shown and slightly adjusted so that a person of his physical stature and strength could not only compete with someone much bigger and stronger - they could beat the bigger opponent with ease.

This is the origin of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the Martial Art that has probably been the most popular and effective style of the last 20 years. If Helio Gracie had the playing field levelled for him in order to account for his health issues, would he have developed the same techniques when he had no need? It's hard to say but I am leaning heavily towards that he probably wouldn't have.

Great post Jordy and it illustrates the reason I feel the way I feel about this. It is not right and we should let those excel in whatever areas they excel without "handicapping" them and holding them back.

Not everyone is going to be great at everything and let them enjoy being imperfect in those areas because winning is not the main goal/objective at that age is it? Should it be? Heck no and this way they get to know themselves and know it is OK to be imperfect and enjoy it nonetheless and embrace the fun of it vs the goal of being the best.

And then they can find whatever they do excel at and become great in that way and who knows? They can invent the cure for some awful disease and save millions of lives. But not if we are coddling everyone so they can all be "equal". ::)
 

amc80

Ideal_Rock
Joined
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Messages
5,765
jordyonbass|1458193429|4006592 said:
It's not right at all, while we should all be considered equal under the laws we live by - we are not equal by the laws of nature. And that is a good thing because that is where we learn shortcuts, techniques and innovations as a species. I believe it is very important to for children to learn that and learn what it means to run first or last in a race. Let me explain a bit further about my opinion with an example:

About 50-60 years ago in Brazil there was a family called the Gracies; they were a family of mostly fit, strong brothers and were taught Japanese JuJutsu and Judo martial arts as part of an agreement made between the father of the boys and a Japanese national. However there was a brother who didn't match the same physical mold, he was only 115lb, usually very sick and suffered from fainting episodes. He would watch and learn as his brothers learned the same techniques but realised that he just wasn't big and strong enough to be competitive with his brothers. So he innovated in his mind what he knew, he watched the techniques he had been shown and slightly adjusted so that a person of his physical stature and strength could not only compete with someone much bigger and stronger - they could beat the bigger opponent with ease.

This is the origin of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the Martial Art that has probably been the most popular and effective style of the last 20 years. If Helio Gracie had the playing field levelled for him in order to account for his health issues, would he have developed the same techniques when he had no need? It's hard to say but I am leaning heavily towards that he probably wouldn't have.
Very interesting story!
 

Puppmom

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Messages
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Jordy, thanks for sharing. That is really interesting. I do think it's important for kids (and everyone) to know their strengths and weaknesses. I may need to refer to this exact thing in the future as all three of my children are pretty much miniature. :lol: :naughty: All kidding aside, I think that's a great way to look at it.
 

sonnyjane

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Messages
2,476
puppmom|1458232640|4006822 said:
Jordy, thanks for sharing. That is really interesting. I do think it's important for kids (and everyone) to know their strengths and weaknesses. I may need to refer to this exact thing in the future as all three of my children are pretty much miniature. :lol: :naughty: All kidding aside, I think that's a great way to look at it.
Then they'd make excellent jockeys or gymnasts! In those fields they'd have an advantage!
 

jordyonbass

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sonnyjane|1458262102|4007062 said:
puppmom|1458232640|4006822 said:
Jordy, thanks for sharing. That is really interesting. I do think it's important for kids (and everyone) to know their strengths and weaknesses. I may need to refer to this exact thing in the future as all three of my children are pretty much miniature. :lol: :naughty: All kidding aside, I think that's a great way to look at it.
Then they'd make excellent jockeys or gymnasts! In those fields they'd have an advantage!
Or an Electrician, roofer, rigger, plumber, shipwright or marine diesel mechanic; having nimble little staff in those fields is a blessing in disguise!!!
 

Puppmom

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Jordy and Sonny, I'm sure they'll learn to use their small size as an advantage. They already like that Daddy isn't as big as most of the other dads (he's 5'7" and 150 soaking wet) because he can climb all the play equipment at the playground (even those squishy indoor playgrounds!). And they're quick to remind me that Mommy is the biggest. :rolleyes:
 
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