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Can Silly Bandz Teach Your Kids to Manage Distractions?

If you have a child between the ages of 3 and 17, chances are you are all too familiar with Silly Banz. Heck, you may even have some on your wrist right now -- a gift of love from your kids perhaps? The wearing and trading of these colorful silicon bracelets has become so popular that many schools have decided to ban them. Yup, as stated in this recent Time.com article, "The Bandz are now contraband." 

And this is where I get up on my soap box. O.K. I have heard of plenty of things being banned from school over the years. Cell phones-- I get it. Beanie babies and Webkinz -- unless they are for show and tell in Kindergarten, stuffed animals don't have place in school. But rubber bracelets? I feel like banning them from school is missing an opportunity to teach kids how to deal with distractions. Have to believe that if two kids lose their bracelets to the black hole, otherwise know as the teacher's desk drawer, the other students are going to catch on quickly that it 's not a good choice to play with the bracelets during class. Or maybe they would decide for themselves to leave them in their backpack. Why not empower kids to manage distractions rather than remove all choices?

One of my family's all-time favorite teachers is woman that manages to raise parents eyebrows at back-to-school night year after year. In her "overview of the classroom" she casually mentions that she lets the kids chose where they want to sit in class. Like many parents, you are probably thinking that is a recipe for disaster, right? Not true. Here's what she says to her students: "I want you to chose a seat where you will do your best learning. If you cannot make a good choice, I will help you make a better one." Kids quickly learn that if they sit next to their chatty buddy, they are not going to be able to concentrate. They can ask to move their seats -- or wait and the teacher will do it for them. I know that we send our kids to school to learn reading, math, science, etc. but don't we also want them to learn self-discipline and how to make good choices? 

Have Silly Bandz been banned at your school? Let's hear your opinion: to ban or not to ban?

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#2 GUy 2010-06-09 19:41
We have teachers ordering Rubber Band Buddyz from us to use as prizes for good behavior and high scores. Why ban them? Kids will still sneak them to school either way so instead of punishing them, use them as a postive tool to motivate kids. Just like any indulgence for kids, if you teach them to set limits than you really can manage distractions.
#1 Tina 2010-06-05 04:19
While they have not been banned at my son's current (K only) school, they HAVE been banned at the elementary school he's attending this fall. I thought it was funny that his own teacher was telling me this as he himself was wearing a few on his wrist (no doubt a gift from his students). I was a little disappointed since I was planning on using them as rewards for Box Tops contests. But I do agree that this is a good opportunity to teach them self-discipline .

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