Whether you’re a parent yourself, or just have a kiddo in your life that you care about, it can be frustrating to see how overprotected some kids are these days.
After all, children are precious, and the impulse to wrap them up in bubble wrap and label them “fragile” is totally understandable. In plenty of cases, it’s justified.
But for the average kid, it’s far more important to run and play and do things for yourself than it is to be kept carefully cocooned from fear or danger.
Most adults can confirm that they might not be the people they are today if they hadn’t been permitted to do things like scrape their knees and eat dirt and catch bugs. Heck, we imagine this colorfully spoken summer camper learned a lot from his uniquely gross kid experiences.
Fortunately most parents are well aware of how important it is to let kids just be kids, within reason.
That’s why one mom drafted a permission slip to her sons’ school, detailing all of the different classic kid activities she was permitting them to take part in.
Scroll through below to read her totally on-point missive!
[H/T: The Stir]
It all started when Julie Holcombe’s two sons were goofing around with some friends after school got out, climbing up trees and running around, as kids will.
A teacher or monitor approached them and asked for their names to give to the principal’s office, but didn’t identify himself.
His concern? That the kids might hurt themselves, and their parents would sue the school.
For Holcombe, that particular rationale seemed to miss the point of keeping kids safe, and also felt contrary to the values she herself held for her boys.
In what she described as “soapbox moment,” she took to Facebook to articulate that, while she fully understands the difficult position schools are in, it’s time to find a solution other than simply banning kids from playing in nature.
If the school is that concerned, in this overly litigious era, maybe parents need to fall back on an old legal recourse that waives liability to the school so that kids can explore the world and figure things out without getting in trouble for it.
With that in mind, she drafted a letter and a permission slip to the school, that reads as follows:
Dear teacher and/or guard who didn’t bother to identify himself to my children, even though when you confronted them it was after school hours yet my kids were asked to provide their names so that they could be identified to their principal —
My children have permission to climb any tree they so desire. In fact, I encourage it, whenever and wherever they can, for as long as they both shall live.
I can think of few things better than knowing they are spending their time playing outside in the fresh air, taking advantage of the beautiful playground that nature can provide, getting exercise, using their imagination, chatting with their squad of friends, all while climbing a tree.
Your rationale that they should not partake in this activity for fear that if they fall the school district will be sued is both sad and ridiculous.
Sad because your first instinct wasn’t to simply feel grateful that you got to witness the joyfulness that comes from such an innocent youthful activity, and ridiculous because it must mean we’ve become such a litigious society that you let your actions be driven by the slim possibility of a negative outcome.
(A negative outcome for the school district, by the way. You were apparently less interested that my kids might get hurt in general.)
So, from this point forward, I respectfully ask that you let my kids be kids.
The time they have left to do so is fading painfully fast. Please don’t shorten that time any further.
And if this correspondence still doesn’t help calm your nerves about a potential lawsuit, below please find an official permission slip – admissible evidence in any court of law.
Feel better? No?
Then I suggest you climb a tree. It’s really quite relaxing.
Her permission slip continues in the the same vein, noting that her sons have permission to “climb a tree. And run around, pick up sticks and pretend to have a sword fight, play unsupervised sports, and generally do anything and everything related to being a kid!”
She appends her statement with a handwritten note: “Questions or concerns? Please do not hesitate to call me!”
How do you feel about the rules around childhood? Let us know what you think in the comments, and please don’t forget to SHARE this post with parents, friends, and family!