Sunday, 9 March 2014

Stereotyping - curse of modern life...stop bashing our Kids

Today was our first game of the new junior rugby league season. I say junior but at under 16, most of the players tower over me. It is great to see kids, especially at this age getting out onto a pitch and playing a sport. Never, ever underestimate that. It is all too easy for teenagers to be criticised for sitting in front of the television or being out drinking and causing anti-social behaviour. However, what the media and the government fail to highlight are the many thousands of kids that take part voluntarily in sports, arts and other activities. It makes me cross when stereotypes are used to make excuses for bad behaviour. I am a single mother but my boys have been brought up with boundaries and know the difference between right and wrong. More importantly they’ve been taught self-respect and integrity.

The concept of ‘never underestimate the power of ‘ME’’ is second nature to my boys. Whatever they are involved in, they do it to the best of their ability and that makes me burst with pride. I don’t care what they do in life as long as they stay true to themselves and be the best they can be, and they know that.

I was so impressed this week by a letter written to the Times by an angry sixteen year old that was retweeted by Neil Henderson, the BBC editor. The essence of the letter was brilliant and if you haven’t read, please do. The link is . I couldn’t agree with it more.

Every child enters this world with nothing, no preconceived ideas of how life should be. Tell a child they are useless and they will believe it. Tell a child there is no hope and they will believe it. However, teach them self-worth and self-belief and see how far they can rise to the top.  There is no hard and fast way of teaching a child how to live their life but I make no apology whatsoever for “bigging” my kids achievements up. Why shouldn’t I?  Kids should be able to rely on their parents for support, boundaries and encouragement. Society seems very good and very quick to point out what children are doing wrong. How about we tell them when they have got it right?  

Teachers academically educate my children. My role as a Mum is to help them become successful and valuable members of society. Rugby league is one sport that is head and shoulders above the rest for instilling life skills such as dispute resolution, team work, self-belief and self-worth. Let’s hope the adults in rugby league remember these concepts this season.

My children are well rounded members of our community, they don’t always get it right but when do any of us?? They do not need to be in school 8am until 6pm. They are part of lots of clubs and societies outside school and they are doing just fine with me as their role model!

I was incredibly proud today that my son deflected taunting from adults on the touchline and he gave 100% as he always does. He tells me the bust nose, sore jaw and cut knees are worth it! I will have to take his word for that.

Good luck to every child who is working hard to achieve their goals, whatever that may be. 

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