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To think this poem might be inappropriate for y5?

(30 Posts)
DoIhavetobethatparent Fri 07-Jun-19 14:25:31

I can’t decide if I’m overreacting. I like the poem. I don’t like the message for 9/10 year olds so much. The comprehension questions that go with it all seem to require the answer ‘because life is hopeless now I’m older.’ It is homework - my dc isnt quite 10 but is excited about being 10 and also tends to be quite impressionable.
I can’t decide. The teacher is excellent. Shall I just let it go?

Areyoufree Fri 07-Jun-19 14:29:09

I really like it. My 5 year old struggles with the idea of getting older - he has already said that he doesn't want any more birthdays, because they mean he is getting "bigger" and that one day he will have to move out and live by himself. I think poems like this put into words some of the anxieties that are already there, allowing children to express them and talk about them. If your dc doesn't have these worries, then I can't see that the poem would incite them - it will just be another piece of school work.

dementedpixie Fri 07-Jun-19 14:29:19

I don't think it's inappropriate. It's about growing up and looking back on the younger years with nostalgia and maybe a little sadness

DoIhavetobethatparent Fri 07-Jun-19 14:30:03

I think the bit I don’t like is it being the ‘start of sadness.’
There’s not much optimism here is there?

PhossyJaw Fri 07-Jun-19 14:34:06

It's not the poem's fault if the comprehension questions that go with it are dimwitted -- though I can imagine what they're like! It would be perfectly possible to find a way of thinking about it in terms of things a child has grown out of, the way we register change bodily, the way we see things in a more nuanced way with age, when it would have been black and white when younger.

Or to get the child to critique this poem which is, after all, by an adult. amd suffused with adult feleings about loss of innocence -- your DC is perfectly entitled to respond, 'No, that's not what I feels like being ten at all.'

akkakk Fri 07-Jun-19 14:35:15

It is well written - but I would be concerned about it validating mental health issues - we shouldn't be teaching children to fear growing up, but to celebrate each step, to celebrate being the right person at 4 / 8 / 12 / 16 / 60 etc.

so, no, not a message I would want to put out amongst 10 year olds, an age where anxiety and introversion is starting to develop for some children as they hit puberty etc. To be able to cope with the feelings in here takes someone quite robust and tough...

PhossyJaw Fri 07-Jun-19 14:35:16

X-posted with you, OP. The poem isn't sacred writ, though. Poets are wrong all the time! Get your child to think about whether this is a grown-up's idea of what turning ten is like.

BlueMerchant Fri 07-Jun-19 14:35:56

I don't like it. I don't think it's really appropriate tbh.
It's certainly not very inspiring for a ten year old child.

ChuggaChuggaChoooChooo Fri 07-Jun-19 14:36:09

It's a bit bloody depressing though isn't it?

DoIhavetobethatparent Fri 07-Jun-19 14:39:48

Yeah personally I like the poem.
I just don’t like the message behind it, my dc is a worrier and generally takes things to heart.
I’m not saying it’s going to emotionally scar them or anything, I just feel like there must be something better they could have had.
It’s all so negative - the speed dripping out the bike like now the bike and previously enjoyed activities and now pointless, the sadness, the bleeding. It’s incredibly bleak.
If it reflected on growing up and loss but also had a message of possibility then I think it would be different.

pigsDOfly Fri 07-Jun-19 14:45:54

Dear god that's depressing. The child is turning 10 not 80.

Why would you be looking back at the age of 10? Life is just beginning, everything should be about looking forward. And given that a child won't remember anything about the very early years of it's life what exactly is he/she looking back on, lost innocence, childhood?

It's reads like a poem written by an adult, which it is, from an adults perspective of childhood, who is feeling depressed about his/her own aging.

It makes turning 10 sound like the worse thing that could happen to a child: the happy years are over, it's downhill all the way from here on in.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Fri 07-Jun-19 14:51:49

Ha I studied this at school. I'd completely forgotten it until I read it again.

I don't think it did me any harm! My teacher had us write a list of all the good things about getting older as part of the exercise, I don't remember the lesson being overly negative.

Pinkvoid Fri 07-Jun-19 14:59:58

Excellent poem, will be reading it to my DS when he turns ten next year. Not inappropriate at all.

ChopinIn10Minuets Fri 07-Jun-19 15:19:24

I find the sentiment behind this poem a bit of a cliche. Robert Herrick (Gather ye rosebuds), and Thomas Hood (I remember, I remember) among others, expressed it with quite devastating simplicity, and I can remember crying over them as a hormonal 12-year-old.

I think there's room to question the fetishisation of childhood innocence that underpins the whole 'growing up is rubbish' philosophy, because I know my (pretty normal and stable) childhood was certainly not all flowers and sunshine.

EAIOU Fri 07-Jun-19 15:20:57

It's well morbid 😂😂

BogglesGoggles Fri 07-Jun-19 15:24:23

I’d be more concerned about how terrible it is than the depressing message.

MrHaroldFry Fri 07-Jun-19 15:30:02

In essence it is melancholy and his longing to stay young. I
However, part of learning anything involves critical thinking and I would suggest you say to your child to list all the wonderful things about being 10.
Just because one poet thinks this way, doesn't mean we all have to.

Whatareyoutalkingabout Fri 07-Jun-19 16:30:23

As a teacher I rolled my eyes when I saw the title of this thread, assuming it was going to be one of the really petty ones which are very unreasonable! But actually, having read the poem, I agree. It's nicely written but sad, and it's unnecessary for children age 10 to be sort of influenced into seeing growing older as a sad, emotional thing, like a loss almost, when actually at this age kids are so excited about growing older! The anxiety about growing older seems to hit everyone at some point - do we really need to encourage it in ten year olds? I think the teacher chose it because it's about the age group she teaches and she thought it might be interesting for them to analyse for nothing other than this reason. I wouldn't set my students something like this because I'd be more cautious about the effect that these words could have on some of the children. I know that as a young child I read and read and read and books and poems really shaped the way that I saw the world. This poem, no doubt, would have affected me quite badly and made me feel quite anxious, confused, and maybe even a little frightened? I don't like it personally.

AskingQuestionsAllTheTime Fri 07-Jun-19 16:31:54

"You tell me it is too early to be looking back,
but that is because you have forgotten
the perfect simplicity of being one
and the beautiful complexity introduced by two.
But I can lie on my bed and remember every digit."

Yeahright, of course you can. Can't we all? Let you into a secret: no, we can't. Even people of ten don't remember what it was like to be one, or two. Some of them may "remember" things that they were told about what they did or what happened then, but mostly not. Maybe one or two things from their whole second year is normal: the shape of a room, or walking along a path, but not how that felt. And do they bother? No, not as a rule. Nine-year-olds mostly live in the present, maybe the past two or three days, not in nostalgia for the never-was.

Kudos to him for trying to pretend that he remembers how he felt at the age of ten, though. Born 1941, published the poem in 1995...

LondonJax Fri 07-Jun-19 16:54:54

I'm not overly keen on the poem but my, now, 12 year old did go through something like this at about 9-10 years old. He suddenly burst into tears one day and said 'I hate growing up. I don't want to go to secondary school, I don't want to do grown up things. I want to stay a little boy'.

I'm glad he did let go - I hate the thought that all that worry was eating him up. We had a chat about what being grown up meant - that when he was ready to grow up he'd want to do those things and no-one would force him to be a 'mini adult', we'd go with his pace. Until then it was fine to be a little boy.

He's currently upstairs looking in the mirror as he is gleefully counting his 'moustache' hairs (he's got three - either side of his lips!) as a couple of girls in his class think he's really cool to have a moustache. I'm never going to tell him you'd need a microscope to actually see them from a foot away but he's now happy and that's what matters. His being 'grown up' is leading the way.

GeorgiaGirl52 Fri 07-Jun-19 17:30:27

Shared this with DS (16) and he loved it. Said he remembered how sad he felt when he realized Santa Claus wasn't real and how when he was little he wanted to climb like Spiderman so he put glue on his palms and tried to go up the wall.

donquixotedelamancha Fri 07-Jun-19 18:59:16

Shall I just let it go?

What else would you do, tell the teacher to choose a different poem because you don't like it?

Heratnumber7 Fri 07-Jun-19 19:03:50

Jeez, what a depressing poem! I wouldn't pick it out for my DD to read.

Tawdrylocalbrouhaha Fri 07-Jun-19 19:05:45

God that's dismal!

YANBU at all. Why would you deliberately stamp on children's joy? This is like telling a 4 year old there's no Santa just because it's true, and you have to live with the knowledge, so why shouldn't they?

Loopytiles Fri 07-Jun-19 19:08:44

Depressing and cliched, I dislike it, but not inappropriate for school English lessons, eg interesting themes.

PFB to be worried about DS worrying because of the poem!

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