The Ogden Standard-Examiner from Ogden, Utah on October 3, 1971 · Page 94
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The Ogden Standard-Examiner from Ogden, Utah · Page 94

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Ogden, Utah
Issue Date:
Sunday, October 3, 1971
Page:
Page 94
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Sweet Heart invents a new kind of Lime. And new Sweet-Heart* Lime is really different. It's fresh with the bright, clean fragrance of lime. It cleans dishes, glasses and silver toa gleaming shine. And it gives you more value for your money. (And in these inflationary times, that's important.) So try Sweet-Heart Lime. It's got a lot going for you. Is Play Really Good For All Children? A rebuttal by Dr. Frances Jeflinek Myers, Professor of Physical Education, Florida Atlantic University • Last July 4, FAMILY WEEKLY ran an article titied "The Way Our Children Play Can Save Their Mental Health," by Dr. Arthur Weider of Fordham University. In it he argued the merits of "free" or "unstructured" play as an aid to children's emotionai growth. Doctor Weider received a number of letters as a result of his article—but none more reasoned or articulate than this one. It happens to take an opposing point of view.— The Editors Dear Doctor Weider: As a professional physical educator I am deeply disturbed by your article (July 4th, FAMILY WEEKLY) "The Way Our Children Play Can Save Their Mental Health. You state that "Play is to children what living and working is to adults," YES—and what that means is that for a great many play is frustrating, ego destroying and something to be endured and/or escaped from. No one person is born with athletic skill- skills are taught either formally, as in schools, or informally, as by a peer, but by someone. I will not leave out the possibility that some seem to learn by imitation. No child or adult (of normal personality development) will purposely put herself into a situation that insures failure—those who are pushed into these situations are perhaps some of those who are ending up in your office. "Many coaches and physical educators, used to (some still do) believe that involvement in sports helped students learn such behavior patterns as "good sportsmanship," "aggressiveness," "good loser," "work off aggression," etc., ad nauseam, Research and a great deal of personal observation bear out the truth that these people had these characteristics prior to the play experience. Behavior patterns are learned during the first few years of life. Yes, we can hopefully modify these patterns (if we want to), but simply putting a child or adult into a play situation is not the answer, Competitive situations of this sort—without the personality cushion of adequate self-image and without the needed skills to have a chance at "success"-could well destroy the individual. Depending on "the inner control" of the individual, the "brawl" you mention might even end up as a homicide, The point is that "Try, try, again" has too often resulted in "Fail, fail, again." The only people-any age-who can experience failure "well" are those who already have an ego-a self-image of worth. 1 have been trying to convince future classroom teachers that free play is not a panacea, that children need to learn skills-going from simple locomotor activities to more advanced ball-handling activities-so that all of them can experience success. I wish that the "play cure" were a real one. But the idea of competitiveness is failing because the competitors are on terribly unequal footings. Competition only works well when both sides have a fairly equal chance.-Dr. Frances Jellinek Myers 10 Family Weekly, October S, 1971

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