Parenting tip of the day: Helmets
It was the first day of "Learn to Play Hockey" at the Swansea Hockey Association in Toronto's Rennie Park this Saturday.
After bundling their 5- and 6-year-olds into a nearly impossible - and impossibly cute - amount of hockey equipment, some parents found themselves in a bind when they weren't allowed on the ice with their nervous offspring.
That's because the association doesn't allow any parents on the playing surface without helmets. Many had showed up with a pair of skates, hoping to be out there helping to pick new skaters up off the ice and otherwise assist with the cat herding. But the helmet-less were unable to go out there with their children - some who were having big first-day meltdowns.
It got me thinking about the whole "do as I say, not as I do thing," and the way we don't seem to value our own skulls the way we our those of our children.
We grew up without bike helmets and ski helmets, so it's our natural inclination to think of these things as excessive. But safety nuts that we are when it comes to our kids, we barely let them watch a hockey game without protective headgear.
The ski hill is another place of noggin-protecting inequity. I went on plenty of ski trips as a kid and never wore a helmet, but the Natasha Richardson tragedy last year really gave me pause. As a parent, I'm a little more keenly aware of the importance of staying alive, and I was saddened by her passing all the more because she'd be so missed by her kids.
Safe Kids Canada is trying to use the 2010 Winter Games to draw attention to it's safe-skiing charter, and so it's asking people to commit to wearing helmets while skiing or snowboarding.
When Cameron took some basic ski lessons two winters ago, of course helmets were essential. I don't own one, but I think that's going to change before I next head to the slopes. After all, my brain should be sharp enough to protect the skull it's in, right? (Besides, I hear that wearing a ski helmet keeps you so much warmer, particularly on wind-whipped chairlifts.)
So where's the parenting tip in all of this? I guess it's simply this: Protect yourself and improve your helmet-enforcing credibility by putting one on yourself!