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January 28, 2013

AAP Advises Against Withholding Recess

by Tracy Jensen

Recess is not a gift. It is not a reward, or a punishment. And according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it should not be withheld from students who misbehave.

My BFF has a son who is struggling in school for the first time. His teacher wants to “maintain control” of her class. This child is dealing with the emergence of his ADHD and is at times completely restless in class. So much that it causes a big distraction, and often, the whole class sits out of recess to make up for what did not get accomplished during teaching time. As you can imagine, this gets him more wound up because he lost the opportunity to run his excess energy off.

Wash, rinse, repeat.

When the American Academy of Pediatrics issues a policy statement on the importance of recess, to me that seems like a stance we should take seriously. My friend has been taking up for every kid’s right to recess with the administrators and school board in our area. This will certainly make that fight a little easier.

Do you think your kids are getting enough recess time? Have they ever missed it as a punishment?

Photo: iStockphoto

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