Warning, there may be excessive swearing in the following post!
There is nothing, NOTHING, that fills me with more horror than seeing my child gleefully clutching the class teddy (forthwith known as various derogatory terms) or dragon in our case. This year the dragon is fairly new, so we can by-pass our usual quarantine stage. But usually I have to give the manky little bugger a good once over, or at the very least a cursory spray of dettol before it settles into my house! Did you know that 80% of soft toys are covered in harmful bacteria. These are just the ones on the end of your bed, so I dread to think what a toy that has been through a bunch of six-year olds is covered in!!
I’d go as far to say as I hate the manky little cretin! There’s not much in this world I hate, let’s face it, it’s a strong emotion, but I really hate the sodding class teddy. Now apparently it’s supposed to “develop language and story telling skills.” Let’s not also forget it offers an insight into the child’s life, allegedly. Sod off, it’s a divisive dirty little fecker! That’s what it is. If you want my child to tell you a story, or tell you about his home life, then please go ahead and ask him directly. I don’t even mind if he tells a whopping great lie!
I do think there are some serious issues to be addressed with the class teddy. If you are not the first in the class to have said little cretin, then it’s easy to feel intimidated by what has gone before. For most working families, the weekends are a time of catching up with housework, shopping and maybe a quick trip to softplay/park/national trust property etc. On rainy weekends, we tend to stay in our pj’s and curl up and watch films. Now I have older boys as well, they are either plugged into their x-boxes or they go out with their friends/partners. They are fairly self-sufficient. None of which is nearly exciting enough for the little manky class voyeur, and certainly doesn’t keep up with Emily’s family who took off for a weekend in Dubai! Woot woot Teddy went up the Burj Khalifa! Shame they didn’t drop beelzebub from the top!!
Anyway I digress. A quick google search and the phrase that immediately hits you, is that the class teddy “encourages competitive, aggressive, survival mode.” I mean what the actual flip? In this modern-day of working parents, the weekend is supposed to be two days of valuable relaxing family time. The little monster heaps pressure on families to actually do something beyond cuddling on the sofa in pj’s until lunch time and then casually wandering around shops and buying comfort food. Again another google search and you see pictures of teddy up Mount Everest, on yachts and in Hollywood! At the end of the day this isn’t gaining insight into a child’s life, this is creating a class war and high lighting any social divides between the parents.
Any parent that is already under financial pressure, will find themselves put under even more pressure for the weekend, and god forbid you get the obnoxious item for a half term! They may have to sacrifice their weekly budget in order for their child not to be the ‘odd one out’ and be able to put something ‘interesting’ or ‘exciting’ in the diary. How is that fair? Especially if that child then only eats ham sandwiches or beans on toast for the rest of the week, whilst the little cretin had a jolly old-time?
Also with the amount of homework the little ones get these days, it only adds to an already full pile. It really is no wonder that mental health issues in children are as prevalent as they are. Children should be able to enjoy their time away from school, without some great homework shaped cloud hanging over their heads. The dirty little cretin isn’t just homework, it’s a full on family involved project. It requires time and effort, which in an already busy life most parents just don’t have. I don’t mind reading with my child, I don’t mind the usual homework with actual educational benefit, but this is just a plain old ball ache!
Also when my year 6 piped up that they also have a dragon, it would be fair to say that I nearly bust a gasket. When his comes home, I shall be taking a photo of him sat on the x-box with the caption “my life” and that will be it!
What do you think of the class teddy? Does it actually have any benefit or is it just something else to beat parents about the head with?