Thought Catalog

5 Horrifying Things We Make Kids Do

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Act Out Scenarios in Which They Are Dying in a Fire

First grade is a scary time for kids, spending their days away from home for the first time. It’s when they learn everyday lessons like how to tie their shoes, how to count to ten, and how to suffocate flames that have engulfed their skin and hair. “Stop, Drop, and Roll” is a really simple way to teach kids that, one day soon, their house is going to burn to the ground, and if they pay attention in class, they just might manage to be the lone survivor.

Wake Up Before Dawn

Doctors say children need more sleep than adults. That’s why, five days a week, we wake them up when the sun is still shining in China. Elementary schools begin their day as early as 7:40 a.m., meaning kids have to wake up at 6:30 or earlier. It’s no wonder so many of them can’t concentrate without the cocktail of amphetamines known as Adderall. Such an early morning also means schools are forced to schedule lunch for 10:30 in the morning, which on a normal eating schedule would mean dinner at four in the afternoon. Because we want our children to develop healthy eating habits.

Drink Juice

Kid’s don’t drink water, and why would they? After drinking orange juice for breakfast, chocolate milk with school lunch, and soda with their fast-food dinner, water must taste like ash to them. Telling kids juice is good for you is particularly insidious — if you’re juicing kale maybe it is, but most juice is hardly different from a SqueezIt. As evidence, guess which two beverages share the same two main ingredients? Why, it’s Tropicana Orange Juice and Diet Mountain Dew, both consisting primarily of water and concentrated orange juice. Both drinks round out their ingredients with “natural flavors,” so that they end up tasting, you know, less like water.

Take Group Showers

Kids go to school on weekdays, during business hours. Once there, they sit at a desk and do what their superiors tell them to do — we’re preparing them for a lifetime of going to work. In what part of the adult work day does everyone gets naked and take a group shower? It might be one thing at say, a summer camp, but many of our middle school locker rooms are oddly stuck in the 1930s — when it seems like group nakedness was a thing? School budgets may be tight, but surely we can spare a couple of bucks for some shower curtains.

Attend Drug Prevention Programs

A program that acclimates children to the sight of cops, crack pipes, recovered meth addicts, and a variety of illegal drugs? Hard to imagine programs like D.A.R.E. actually increase rates of drug use. We tell kids, in sweeping generalizations, “drugs will kill you,” and, “kids will offer you drugs.” Essentially, we’re telling them high schoolers are homicidal bad-asses. Of course, they’ll eventually find out their friend or cousin or Carl Sagan does drugs all the time and thinks they’re great. Then they’ll learn the real lesson, that adults are liars and drugs are probably awesome. TC mark

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