Rough Hands

My eight year old has calloused hands – I love that! And eight year old SHOULD have callouses on their hands. Kids should be swinging off the monkey bars, climbing trees, jumping, grabbing, leaping and flipping. I show my age I saying this – but when I was a kid we were out scavenging in the local dump for bits and pieces to make a billy-cart; we would be out catching lizards, crawling through caves, and climbing trees. Today it’s very different. The dumps are council-run – god forbid a child be found playing in the muck there; lizards and native species are protected and no-one is allowed to go catching them (probably a good thing??) – kinds are more likely to be found finding their way through a nintendo or playstation maze than an actual cave – and as far as trees go; we now all live in the suburbs.
I’m not saying it was a better world thirty years ago; there are many advantages of living now (travel opportunities, information availability, better medicine, etc) but there are some great things that have ‘gone out with the bath-water’.
The rough and tumble playing style of yesterday, built healthy kids. I love rough play with my boy Felix – as a result – at eight years old, he has no trouble standing on a ball and balancing there for five minutes – no trouble running six laps of the school oval – no trouble doing chin-ups or push-ups – no trouble being the natural athlete he was naturally engineered to be.
Callouses on the hands – love it!


Anonymous said…
Couldn't agree more. My 6 year old daughter is always showing me "new" monkey bar tricks, she was "copying" the skills of the older kids [ Grade 1 ], when she was in Kindergarten.

We are always looking for ways to play in the playground : inversions, hangs, chins.

Explore the real world.

Anonymous said…
Hi John,
That does raise a question for?
As a father of a three year old, at what age would you recommend to start getting your kids involved in physical activities to aid their potential for sports later on, eg chin ups, sit ups, push ups, running balancing etc
JBW said…
Hi Scott,
at three years old - your child is already way, way into developing athletic skills. Balancing - rolling around, co-ordination - this is all a part of their early hardwiring. Really we are just talking about playing - I think it starts at very early childhood - and SHOULD never end.

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