Children Need to Play Not Compete Book Report

Pages: 2 (914 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Children

Children Need to Play, Not Compete

A century ago, children were considered "little people," and treated accordingly. Play was for the very young child; once a child was old enough to work or help on the farm the child was put to task to help in whatever capacity the family needed. In the contemporary world, however, the concept of childhood has evolved. Children are expected to live in a world of happiness, wonder, socializing, and exploring -- all designed to prepare them for adolescence and adulthood. Part of the way children learn is through the concept of play, which is essential for the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being of children (Ginsburg, 2007). Play, though, can take on many attributes, some of which may not be as positive as one might think.Get full Download Microsoft Word File access
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Book Report on Children Need to Play Not Compete Assignment

In her essay, "Children Need to Play, Not Compete," author Jessica Statsky notes that over the past thirty years organized sporting activities have increased in the United States. As the Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers raise their families, a certain expectation of participating in activities like Little League Baseball and Peewee Football, and the competitive atmosphere they engender, are part and parcel of the modern child's path. This is particularly true in middle and upper-middle class families, where the child often takes the place of the unfulfilled desires of the parent, and their own competitive nature with friends and neighbors (e.g. "My son has an average of," etc.). This is not to say that participating in childhood sports is not appropriate, instead, it is the nature and focus of these events that may transcend childhood play and whisk that child into adulthood expectations, both physical and mental, without adequate preparation. The psychological dangers of this are immense, "Martin Rablovsky, a former sports editor of the New York Times says that in all his years of watching young children play organized sports, he has noticed very few of them smiling. 'I've seen children enjoying a spontaneous pre-practice scrimmage become somber and serious when the coach's whistle blows… the spirit of play suddenly disappears, and sport becomes job like'" (Coakley, 94 in Statsky, 2005, 176).

When did society decide that our children needed to vie for professional level sporting expertise at age eight? Shouldn't sports not only teach concepts like teamwork, fair play, sportsmanship, communication, but also provide a pleasurable outlet for a child's growing body and exuberance? When we couple this with the almost rabid instinct adults have for winning, we find that we often place our children in a no-win scenario -- they simply cannot learn and experiment and win all the time. Teams do not win all the time, and teaching children that it is fine to yell at the Coach or other teammates, to… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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Children Need to Play Not Compete.  (2010, April 10).  Retrieved October 25, 2020, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/children-need-play-compete/680654

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"Children Need to Play Not Compete."  10 April 2010.  Web.  25 October 2020. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/children-need-play-compete/680654>.

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"Children Need to Play Not Compete."  Essaytown.com.  April 10, 2010.  Accessed October 25, 2020.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/children-need-play-compete/680654.