Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Life lessons from Chuck E. Cheese and Opie Taylor

Two items that are off the point, but not really.

Item one:

The Wall Street Journal reported December 9 on an uptick in violence at a place not associated with flying fists - Chuck E. Cheese. Since January 2007, police have broken up 12 fights - all instigated by adults - at the kids' pizza joints. The worst and weirdest dispute: "An uninvited adult disrupted a child's birthday party. Seven officers arrived and found as many as 40 people knocking over chairs and yelling in front of the restaurant's music stage, where a robotic singing chicken and the chain's namesake mouse perform."

Security experts tell the Journal that such outbursts can be attributed to the "mama bear instinct."

"Stepping in when a parent perceives that a child is being threatened "is part of protective parenting," Frank Farley, a psychologist at Temple University and former president of the American Psychological Association tells the Journal. The paper also notes that these violent responses can be compared to "the dynamics of the animal kingdom, where beasts rush to protect their young when they sense a threat."

BTW: Chuck E. Cheese's marketing slogan: "Where a kid can be a kid."

Item Two:

Time Magazine invites readers to submit questions to director and former child actor Ron Howard in the December 15 issue. Second question for Opie on the Andy Griffith Show: Did growing up as a child star help when your own kids wanted to get into the same field?

Howard responds: "I wouldn't let any of them work as minors the way I had. What I told them was, "If you love the business, then pursue it. But it's going to be your decision as an adult, not something that I decide for you when you're a minor."

Lessons for us sports parents?

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