Why Kids are Getting More Aggressive on the Playground

Why Kids are Getting More Aggressive on the Playground
Tag…a simple game of tag. Seems innocent enough. But is it? Not according to many teachers.

Kids are starting to hit with such force that they often end up whacking their opponent across the back in a monstrous slap. I’ve seen this myself many times. “Ouch!” one kid cries, now on their hands and knees and fighting off tears. “Don’t hit so hard!” they yell up at the child standing over them. Often, you hear the other child whine, “I didn’t mean too…” Many times the act seems unintentional, although painful for the victim nonetheless. Tag is now becoming such an issue that schools are starting to ban this once beloved game.

In the fall of 2013, the problem of banning the childhood game hit a little too close to home. At a local New Hampshire school, tag was no longer a reality for many children. A classic game that was cherished through the ages was dismissed due to safety concerns. Parents and children were confused and some were outraged. Headlines stated everything from, “Banning Tag is Dumb” to “More Schools Banning Tag because of Injuries.” Curious, I started interviewing teachers in Maine and New Hampshire about what they were seeing at recess time.

One teacher said, “Kids are becoming more aggressive. When they play games like tag, they push with great force, often hurting the other child. We had to implement a ‘two-finger’ touch rule, so that kids couldn’t push so hard.” Another teacher that had…
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