Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Jumping rope for 2-year olds

My 2-year old's daycare is promoting fitness in the name of rising obesity in children. It's sponsored by the Heart and Stroke Foundation, and it encourages kids to participate in skipping rope for the cause.

I got the permission form and the pledge form to look over, sign and return.

The thing is, Ben is 2.

He can jump a tiny bit, he can walk further and longer than most kids in his age group, and activity is his middle name.

But jumping rope??

I'm confused.

I'm all for encouraging kids to be active, but these things start at home. I would think. Jumping rope may be fun and all, if you're 6, but maybe this is taking it just a tad too far.

Did I mention Ben is just barely 2? As in 25 months old??

What I don't know now is that if I don't return the form, will he feel left out? Or will he be allowed to try jumping rope just for the fun of it? Or will they keep the toddlers who don't participate apart? Or nearby to watch?

I could ask all these questions next time I see the director of the daycare.

But for now, I think I'll just ignore the pledge form.

Maybe this is bad. Maybe not. I'm going to go with my gut feeling here.

Ironically, a good friend just had an angioplasty done recently and he's not even 40 yet. Living a sedetary lifestyle combined with a bad diet was partly the cause (he's got bad genes too). If Ben was a bit older, I would probably sign the form and have him participate. To help out the friend.

But like I said, he's still a baby. An active baby, which is half the battle.


Melissa R. Garrett said...

LOL! I can only imagine what Bridget would do with a jumprope ~ whip it about. Perhaps it's more a liability issue that anything. Youhave to sign it, just in case your child gets hurt while "doing" the activity.

Anonymous said...

Uh, where I live, the schools are insured against these things even without parents signing (so scrap the liability)... it does not insure, however, that a kid would not get hurt participating in anything. You just don't have to deal with medical bills.
But that is beside the point.
Ask what your teachers intend to do. My kids used to "balance" on skipping ropes at that age (like the rope was on the floor, flat and not moving and they "tight-rope-walked" it) or they hopped from left to right to left... while it was also on the floor. Is this (or something similar) what your teachers are planning?
I mean, I would give them some credit, they don't want to spend hours in emerg. waiting for doctors or parents to come tend the tots.
My questions would run along your ideas of "it should actually be happening at home" attitude. I would be far more concerned with "using" the kids for other purposes (why should a kid raise money for anything? -- this spoken from a woman whose father organized yearly bike-a-thons for local handicapped people... It just seems like manipulating--or training to be manipulated--kids at an early age where they are not able to choose consciencly what they want to do and why they want to do it)--but that again is another issue.
Heck, Ben took part in Valentine's day... you have already made your decision on this jump-rope issue then, didn't you? Chances are you will let him partake so that he doesn't feel left out. (You could leave him home on that day, do something funky with him, but you wont, will you?)
Oh, I am a stinker, I know. Listen, it is not important what I say (or anyone else), nor is it important for Ben's little psyche if he partakes or not. He will definitly benefit if he knows that his Mom knows what she wants, has principles and lives by them. It will strengthen him to know that you are not following some bloggers advice from the internet (like mine, for example), but that you are following your own convictions.
So, off to a choice (for that is what you have in front of you), it is your choice. Make it a conscious one, an informed one, a good one. Regardless of what you decide, if it is based on information and convictions, you will find it easier in time to walk your straight line, which your little Ben will learn to walk (either your line, or he will define his own line -- in time, and you will be proud of him). Teach him now (begin!) to make informed choices and dare to go against the crowd. When he is 16 and his friends are all getting intimate for the ump-teenth time, you will be proud to say that Ben is not following the crowd, but taking an active role in molding himself to be who he wants to be.

Bet you did not know so much was riding on this skip-rope issue, eh?