Recently it was banned from a playground in England, the topic of a sex convict’s confession in New Zealand, the subject of a child’s funeral here in the United States and the reason for a 911 call in my own back yard.
Can you guess what it is?
Hide and Seek. Yes, hide and seek.
In our era of parenting, there are two philosophies regarding children’s interactions with the world that have seemingly emerged. Philosophy one views the world as a mostly safe place that we need to allow our children to freely experience and explore, and philosophy two views the world as a mostly dangerous place that we need to protect and shelter our children from. Then there are those who fall somewhere in the middle, parents who are aware of the dangers of the world but not fearful, and are concerned about their child’s safety but not obsessed. I think those are the type of parents we should strive to be.
So whether you subscribe to philosophy one or two, whether your agree or disagree that games like hide and seek should be banned from school yard, or whether you see bad things as happening to children all the time or as a rarity, it’s important to try to reach middle ground and address serious dangers around seemingly harmless things.
Like hide and seek.
Whether you advocate for playing hide and seek or not, there are principles of the game worth considering:
- Hide and seek promotes secretive play. The nature of the game is to not tell anyone where you are and what you are doing.
- Hide and seek asks children to hide and not come out. The nature of the game is to ask children to hide so they can’t be found.
- Hide and seek sends mixed messages. The nature of the game asks children to do what we’ve always told them not to.
- Hide and seek requires mind skills young children may not have. The nature of the game requires you to differentiate between hiding for real and hiding for pretend play.
When it comes to hide and seek, what you choose to do it up to you. What’s important is that you’ve come to your decision from an educated and informed place.