Thursday, December 04, 2008

"Can you give it a second to get back from space?"

Sorry to be the Grumpy Old Man in the room, but I have a bone to pick with people. With society. A recent article in the Times about a way to test kids for specific athletic aptitudes included this quote from a 36-year-old mother:
"I could see how some people might think the test would pigeonhole your child into doing fewer sports or being exposed to fewer things, but I still think it’s good to match them with the right activity . . . I think it would prevent a lot of parental frustration."
Three thoughts: 1) Is the prevention of parental frustration really a paramount concern in raising kids? 2) Shouldn't kids be allowed to feel frustration, since life will presumably provide them with enough of it that learning to deal with it is a valuable skill? 3) Is it that difficult to figure out what sports your kid should be playing? And 3b) isn't it possible that most kids aren't going to genetically test for particularly high aptitude in any sport, but that they should be encouraged to get out and play something anyway?

This also reminded me, tangentially, of a clip of Louis C.K. that my mom showed me over the holiday. Until about the 1:30 mark, it's fairly standard griping, but it picks up from there:



Blogger Lee said...

My niece was in a non-competitive gymnastics program. I asked my sister how she was doing, she said, "you know, she sucks, but she really enjoys it." An aptitude test would totally miss that she might have fun doing something that will never get her to the Olympics.

8:48 AM  

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