Be Careful

We tell them to be careful
We tell them not to fall
We don’t let them walk to school alone
No playing outside with friends
No games out in the street
We sit them in the classroom
Withhold recess when they’re bad
No running on the playground
No hugging friends at school
We hover on the monkey bars
Don’t let them get a bruise
We interrupt their arguments
Zero tolerance we say
We tell them to be nice
Call them bullies if they’re not
No solving their own problems
Just leave them at the door
More homework so they learn
Worksheets when they’re 3
Reading by age 5
There’s no time for playing
Racing to the top, no children left behind
Pop a pill, take a test,
Get us a good score
Make us proud
Behave compete and win
Here let me help you
My way is what’s best
Right now you’re not enough
Then we wonder when we’re done with them
Why they’re anxious; insecure
They rage and scream and fight
Spiral to depression
Pick up the nearest gun

-K. Meier


Other related posts:

The Decline of Play and Children’s Mental Disorders

Kids of Helicopter Parents are Sputtering Out

Dear Public School; It’s Not Me It’s You

Race to Nowhere

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