Advanced search ask DCs school to have a 'no play fighting' rule in the playground

(139 Posts)
Nottigermum Sat 06-Oct-12 11:37:22

I posted a similar question in primary education, but I just people's honnest opinions about this. My DCs primary school doesn't have any clear rules about play fighting in the playground. I see it at drop off in the mornings, many boys (and some girls) play fight, and it often ends up as one or more than one children getting hurt. One of my kids is often hit, kicked, even smacked in the face - he does participate in the play fighting, and I have to say, I really don't like it and have spoken to him many times about staying away and not getting involved etc but I know he still play fights (and often gets hurt, including having a red hand mark on his face after school because another boy smacked him very hard).

I know that some schools have a strict 'no play fighting' policy in the playground. Do people think it's a bit OTT - that play fighting is normal behaviour and it should be fine in the playground? Do children really know when to stop, or is it too much to expect that a 5 year old will be able to play fight one minute, and then stand in line nicely without pushing a moment later? Or as a parent, are you happy that your school does or doesn't have that rule? Teachers maybe?

And finally, would I be unreasonable to push for the school to have a no play fighting rule in place?

Dordeydoo Sat 06-Oct-12 11:46:51

The school my little charge attends have a strict policy on play fighting and it doesnt happen. If children are caught play fighting they are sent straight to the head teacher and normally miss a few playtimes for it

Whitecherry Sat 06-Oct-12 13:23:52

What CAN kids do in the playground?

catwomanlikesmeatballs Sat 06-Oct-12 14:02:46

They're only playing ffs!! yabvvvvvu, I feel so sorry for kids nowadays, not allowed to run, jump, playfight, climb trees or do anything remotely fun in case someone gets hurt! Not surprising how aggressive some children are becoming when they have no physical outlet for their energy. Not to mention the very real long term health problems that come with being sendentary.

Mind your own business and leave the poor kids alone. Stop trying to ban everything, there's enough misery in this world. Let children be children.

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Sat 06-Oct-12 14:04:35


ZombTEE Sat 06-Oct-12 14:04:46

Stand around with their hands in their pockets, Whitecherry.


Won't someone think of the kids and just let them having some fucking fun?

atacareercrossroads Sat 06-Oct-12 14:06:55

Yabvu, playfighting can get a bit raucous but its normal rough and tumble play. Jesus I feel for kids nowadays, next it will be no playing out in the rain in case they shrink!

Whitecherry Sat 06-Oct-12 14:11:09

It's beyond ridiculous.

PandaNot Sat 06-Oct-12 14:11:23

Yabu. Play fighting is part of normal development, although it can be annoying when your child is always the one to get hurt. Our school has a no-fighting rule, it also has a no running rule, a no handstand rule and a no cartwheel rule [ hmm] I think it's ridiculous.

tittytittyhanghang Sat 06-Oct-12 14:14:18

CWLM said it all for me. Really, ban playfighting? But thats the bestest game in the world. YABU.

I often remember my mum shouting at us to stop but it was just too fun. As one of four siblings we used to jump of the bed onto each other. Although as my mum say, its all fun and games to start with but guaranteed it would end in tears. And she was probably right. But I always laugh at my son when he plays toyfights, brings back good memories.

pigletmania Sat 06-Oct-12 14:15:41

Yabvvvu kids can't be kids anymore. It's play fighting, part of learning through play not bare knuckle fighting

hobnobsaremyfave Sat 06-Oct-12 14:24:04

Op yabvu and should consider getting a hobby.

Blu Sat 06-Oct-12 14:26:03

Hitting and kicking wasn't allowed in DS's primary playground.
When DS had swords and light sabres etc, we had a rule of not hitting the person, just the sword.
It seemed to work ok and didn't cramp their style.
Play combat in some form is just - well, you might as well try and order them to stop breathing.

TeenageTantrumsMakingMeCrazy Sat 06-Oct-12 14:27:25

FFS my DS was threatened with expulsion (along with a lot of other boys) for exactly this at the age of 7. School could not deal with complaints from prissy parents like you running into school to complain that little Alfie came home with a bruise or a tiny scratch or just a bit of mud on his designer coat, so they had a blanket ban on rough and tumble games (and that's all they were). DCs were issued with red slips for such behaviour and they were all getting so many that the school did not know what else to do. Letting them play would have worked. Worried me to death at the time. Now I'm a bit older and wiser, I wish I'd told the school to bugger off and let kids be kids!

Blu Sat 06-Oct-12 14:27:53

I mean - you can play fight without actually hitting someone and kicking them. And schools generally don't allow hitting and kicking.

neverputasockinatoaster Sat 06-Oct-12 14:30:23

The school I work in has a 'no play fighting' rule. It came in after there was a popular TV programme (Power rangers?) where there was lots of kicking and 'karate' style fighting. The kids would play that game and we had a few nasty accidents and a fair few play fights that got out of control.
Currently the way things go is that the younger members of staff enforce the rule with iron clad rigidity while the older members of staff keep a watchful eye and remind of the rule if things look to be getting a bit heated.... There are some children that we remind of the rule straight away as they are inclined to be a bit hot headed.....
I don't allow DS to indulge in play fighting when we are at the park with his mates as he doesn't 'get' playfights and tends to explode a bit......
Not sure really - I do find the rule useful as I can use it as a way to get the kids to back off but I also think play fighting is what kids do - they're a bit like puppies I reckon!

TeenageTantrumsMakingMeCrazy Sat 06-Oct-12 14:33:42

With my DS and his friends it was more jumping on each other, pushing and wrestling not hitting or kicking. DS and his best friend would run out of class and spectacularly ram each other and then dramatically fall on the ground very hard! They used to love it while other parents looked on with faces like this shock.

Lueji Sat 06-Oct-12 14:34:10

Play fighting is actually a good way of getting skills to face bullies in the playground.
As well as defining boundaries.

Maybe you should do more of it at home?

Btw, I "play fight" as a sport, and yes, I get bruises and hurt and get hit, but I am learning how to defend myself at the same time.
The next times I know where the punch is coming from etc.

Salmotrutta Sat 06-Oct-12 14:39:44

The demise of rough and tumble began when they banned games like British Bulldogs.

missymoomoomee Sat 06-Oct-12 14:42:26

If you don't want your child doing it then don't let your child do it. Please don't go and try to impose your view of right and wrong onto everyone elses children.

I agree with the above posters about learning through play, sometimes they get hurt and its not nice, but it is all part of learning.

laptopcomputer Sat 06-Oct-12 14:44:27

I think yhe clue is in the name. Play fighting...

FWIW it's worth I think you are doing children a massive disservice by teaching them it is wrong. It teaches them hand eye coordination, how to assess and take risks, what hurts them and therefore will also hurt other people etc etc.

And if you asked my DSs school to ban I'm afriaid I would think you are a humourless unrealistic overprotective PFB parent. And I would oppose you all the way.

laptopcomputer Sat 06-Oct-12 14:45:36

Neverputasockinatoaster - if you son were allowed to play fight more often then he might not "explode" when he did so?

rogersmellyonthetelly Sat 06-Oct-12 16:35:01

We have a ban on pretend shooting games, power ranger/kung fu type games and wrestling games. They do still play fight constantly, but this regime seems to eliminate most of the more violent aspects of it. They also aren't allowed to actually hit or kick each other, only to pretend to. There is the occasional punch that lands, but mostly it works well. The kids play at tigs, grubbing in the dirt pit (specially made with treasures buried in there for them to find) they have a stage and dress up clothes, football goals and a football, and various climbing frames etc. the playground caters for up to 8 years, after that they go in with the older kids where the play fighting is generally replaced by hot wheel racing, more football, card swapping etc.

monkeysbignuts Sat 06-Oct-12 16:38:16

My little boy is 5 & has many an accident card sent home because of play fighting. But boys will be boys and I can't see how you could police "no play fighting" rules. It would be an awful job for the dinner ladies. My son has to share a play ground with 120 kids (year 1 & 2)

catgirl1976 Sat 06-Oct-12 16:39:13


Rough and tumble play is important for development.

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