by Jeanne Sager
Ready for the latest bit of insanity from kid-dom? Schools are banning theRainbow Loom.
Now, I was sympathetic (and OK, a bit amused) when I read that teachers were up in arms because they were catching furtive first graders with their hands busy bracelet building during class time. A reason to kick the looms out of the classroom? Sure.
But then there's this little gem: apparently some kids are making fun of kids who don't have the looms, making this a battle of the haves vs. the have-nots. And that just blew my top.
Schools are banning Rainbow Looms because spoiled brats who have Rainbow Looms are lording it over kids who don't have them?
Of course, we blame that problem on the toy!
And then when the little butthead picks on a kid for not having the cool shoes, we ban the shoes, right? Because the problem is totally the shoes. Right?
The toy (and the shoes) isn't the problem. The mentality is!
Our schools are now teaching our kids that rather than deal with conflict, we'll just make it disappear. Which is all fine and dandy for the school, but what about these kids when they grow up?
So long as money does not grow on trees, every kid will not have everything they want. Which means kids on both sides of the fence need to learn to get over it.
Bullies need to be taught not to be bullies. Duh. But let's talk about the elephant in the room, shall we?
The bullies aren't the only ones who need a little talking to. So long as you're picking the mortgage over the latest thing-a-ma-bob all the kids are jawwing about (raising hand over here), you need to sit your kids down and talk about why you won't buy the it toy. You need to have a long talk about the dangers of always trying to keep up with the Joneses.
Sometimes other kids are going to have things that our kids want, and that sucks. But so long as other kids aren't acting like total jerks (see above: deal with the bullies!), our kids can't expect to never be disappointed. They can't expect to live in a world where everyone has everything or no one has anything.
It's not realistic.
My kid desperately wants a Rainbow Loom, and I haven't caved. Yet. I might, then again, I might not, and if it's the latter, she's going to have to learn to get over it. If I bought everything she wanted, I'd be sinking under a mountain of debt, and we wouldn't be able to afford the basics.
That said, I'm not about to run up to the school and demand they yank the looms out of every other kid's hands because I decided to pay my electric bill instead of buying rubber band thingies this month. Watching other kids loom is building character for my kid. We've even thought of a reading challenge to earn the loom -- making that "have not" situation a means to encourage her to work for the things she wants.
If kids aren't taught now that they aren't entitled to get everything in life, when are we going to teach them? When?
Is there something you can't afford right now that your kids want? What have you told them?
Image via James Leynse/Corbis