what are you thinking?

You know you will be ok, look he is wearing a hoodie so he is cool and so the group will be fine.

This statement was made in front of me and I was not sure whether to be happy or upset that such a comment was made. Initially, I was quite pleased that a parent was encouraging their child to the youth group that I lead on a voluntary basis, but as the statement sunk in, I realised how poor a statement that it was.

1) wearing a hoodie does not determine the value of anything.  All it says is that the individual is wearing a hoodie.

2) being ‘cool’ was an expression from the 80’s, I am in my 40s’, being ‘cool’ is not even close.  Makes me want to puke!

3) the value of the group is nothing to do with the clothing choices of the members/leaders – it is based on the quality of the relationships that the group develops

The list could go on – the utterances of this parent make me shudder – the good news is that the member settled in well, contributes to the group and has strong relationships with others.  On the other hand, my hoodie tops do not get worn as often!

where has the fun gone?

snowman Was aghast to hear so many complaints yesterday from parents and others about children having a day off school because of the snow.  We have a “once in a childhood” event and there seems to be concern voiced over schools not opening, parents having to have a day off work and …….etc.

Surely there needs to be room for enjoyment of this unusual event, a bit of space and some recognition that many children will learn and engage more by exploring the unusually high volume of snow than they would by a few hours in the classroom.  There need to be times where we choose to have fun and relax a little.  I was overwhelmed by how many people spoke to me in the street, when normally they walk past silently.  How much sharing of possessions happened in our local park when normally there is selfishness.  This is an event to be savoured not scorned – bring back some fun into the childrens lives, show a little willingness to “break the rules” and go live a little!

As a kid we were forced to school – (well, staff and pupils all lived within walking distance back then!) but when we were there we were on the playing fields having mass snowball fights (with the teachers and some parents) building things and having great fun.  If someone was hurt, it was dealt with, there was no fear of litigation but a general camaraderie that enabled lessons to go more smoothly after the snow had melted.  Today, that freedom is not necessarily available – so keep the schools closed for a couple of days and have a bit of fun!  Please?