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Father's Day Pillow Fight Event

Original post made by Emily on May 31, 2007

Contact: Patty Wipfler

Phone: (650) 322-5323

Pillow Fight with Dad

HAND IN HAND PARENTING TO HOST A FATHER'S DAY PILLOW FIGHT

Palo Alto, CA – Hand in Hand, a Palo Alto-based non-profit dedicated to nurturing the parent-child connection, www.handinhandparenting.org will host our second

Father's Day Pillow Fight

Sunday, June 17, 2007.

11:00 am – 12:30 pm

Rinconada Park, Palo Alto.

Come join the fun and get closer to the children in your life in a series of playful and exhilarating ten-minute pillow fights for children, parents, family and friends of all ages. You can also create a Father's Day card at an art table and join us for a spirited sing-along. Food, beverages and pillows available for purchase.

For more information, please contact Hand in Hand at (650)322-5323 or admin@handinhandparenting.org.

Hand in Hand www.handinhandparenting.org offers parenting classes, workshops, support groups and one-on-one parent consulting in the Bay Area and around the country. Hand in Hand is an excellent resource on:

helping children with emotions
reducing the stress of parenting
setting limits with warmth and authority
building children's confidence through play
children's emotional development and working with tantrums
building cooperation in the family
family relationship building

Comments (17)

Posted by Simon Firth, a resident of College Terrace
on May 31, 2007 at 2:26 pm

Beneath the gender-neutral gloss of 'fights for children, parents, family and friends of all ages' do I detect some pretty serious gender stereotyping here? And why, of all things, do we need to celebrate fatherhood with fighting, however playful? How about dropping the fights in favor of a public affirmation that we believe real men don't resolve things through war -- how about an activity like planting seeds together to grow something new, or meeting to hold hands in a silent prayer for peace? That's the kind of Father's Day that this father would like to see.


Posted by Marvin, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on May 31, 2007 at 2:47 pm

Leave it someone in Palo Alto to try to turn a positive activity described above into a negative event.
If you want to plant seeds or hold hands than organize a counter event, Simon.


Posted by Simon Firth, a resident of College Terrace
on May 31, 2007 at 2:59 pm

What's positive about chosing fighting as emblematic of fatherhood, Marvin?
Peace!
Simon


Posted by A Mother, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 31, 2007 at 3:09 pm

I agree with Simon. Most likely the organizers have positive goals in mind but the event sounds like the dumbest thing imaginable, anything to gain some attention. Public fights between parents and children. Did you invite any TV wrestlers?
I hope the national media don't pick this up, it will give them another opportunity to laugh at us.


Posted by Marvin, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on May 31, 2007 at 3:16 pm

Nowhere do I any stereotyping of fathers or attempts to turn father's day into an event centering on a pillow fight. The post states:
"exhilarating ten-minute pillow fights for children, parents, family and friends of all ages"

Maybe some people consider a pillow fight between children or parents and children a bad, evil thing--I see it as harmless fun between children and his/her parents.

As I said, only in Palo Alto


Posted by Jen, a resident of Crescent Park
on May 31, 2007 at 3:23 pm

I think this is great idea and sounds like so much fun for the entire family! We will for sure attend. Thanks for providing events like this that focus on getting families to "play" together. Couldn't we all use more of that today!


Posted by Mother of boys, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 31, 2007 at 4:24 pm

As the mother of three very active, boistrous boys, I think this is a great idea. Boys automatically enjoy rough and tumble and I often get exasperated at my sons' everyday manner in which their interaction with each other is physical as a matter of course. To be able to have a rough and tumble with their father is even more fun. So, to do this in an organised setting while others are doing the same gives them boundaries which they can't get from me, their mother.

I like the idea, I may not be able to watch it, but I would rather they do it like this and get rid of the testosterone safely. After this, maybe they can come home and plant some seeds.


Posted by Patty Wipfler, a resident of Green Acres
on May 31, 2007 at 4:50 pm

Dear Good Folks Who Want Peace: This Pillow Fight is designed to help parents and other adults get down on hands and knees with their children, and let the children have fun. It's not a contest. It's not violence. The kids get to have the upper hand. It's just some boisterous play, the kind children crave and rarely find adults "up" for. There have been pillowfights in Justin Herman Plaza on Valentines Day, in Israel, in the Netherlands, and there's an annual one in Kenwood that is sponsored by the city. You may see bumperstickers around, "I survived the Kenwood Pillow Fight!" We find that when children have the chance to play in this way, they relax, laugh lots, feel closer to their parents, and have less of the kind of energy that makes for hard times in the family. If you doubt this effect, come and see what happens. We did this two years ago, and parents tell us that their children still talk about it and wonder when they get to do that again! It's going to be safe play for a short time in an all-too-serious-world. A word to those concerned about our gender awareness: we'll have Moms-and-kids portions of the pillowfight, and maybe Grandparents-and-kids portions, too. We make sure everyone gets breaks, and everyone stays safe. Come and see! Face painting and Father's Day card construction and refreshments too.


Posted by Marvin, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on May 31, 2007 at 6:04 pm

Thanks Patty for clarifying the event, though I did not think that any clarification was necessary. I am sure that some people will still be upset about the "violent" nature of the event--maybe they can have the PA city council look into banning this kind of action, since they were so sucessful with their anti-frowning ordinance.


Posted by Tom, a resident of another community
on May 31, 2007 at 8:53 pm

There is quite a bit of well-founded research on the positive effects of roughhousing. Here's one example:

Web Link

My kids are 12 and 15 now, but they used to love to wrestle and roughhouse with me. They're also very much against war, including our current folly in the Middle East, but that's probably more about what I taught them when I *wasn't* wrestling with them. :)

Besides, kids are smart. I very much doubt that they confuse throwing soft objects at each other playfully with waging war. I didn't when I was a kid. I'm sure they don't, either.

Cheers,
Tom


Posted by A Mother, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 31, 2007 at 10:06 pm

The organizer says
A word to those concerned about our gender awareness: we'll have Moms-and-kids portions of the pillowfight, and maybe Grandparents-and-kids portions, too. We make sure everyone gets breaks, and everyone stays safe.
But you're doing it on FATHERS DAY.
Oh well, I guess the mothers are already infantalized, now you are working on the fathers.
What a way to honor fathers! with children's games.


Posted by Tom, a resident of another community
on Jun 1, 2007 at 11:58 am

"Oh well, I guess the mothers are already infantalized, now you are working on the fathers.

What a way to honor fathers! with children's games."

I'm not even quite sure what this means. Are you suggesting somehow that goofing around with your children on Father's Day doesn't honor one's position as a Father?

I don't see how relating to your children on a simple and playful level at an event could in any way be considered "infantilizing". I certainly don't see it as demeaning or as a statement that that is all mothers or fathers are capable of. Or that that is the only way that mothers and fathers are capable of relating to their children.

Tom


Posted by A Mother, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 1, 2007 at 2:38 pm

Goofing around with the children is fun, but usually we know we are enjoying behaving like a child with the child. When the horsing around gets too strong, we know the adult is getting out of hand.
I am reacting to what I consider family/private behavior being turned into a public event. But we do live in a world where people photograph the most private things, even childbirth and sex, so this is probably not so extreme.
One suggestion to fathers who want to relate to their children: talk to them. That might be a more meaningful way to celebrate the day.


Posted by Marvin, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jun 1, 2007 at 2:45 pm

A mother:
Perhaps you should raed Patty Wipfler's post again:

"Dear Good Folks Who Want Peace: This Pillow Fight is designed to help parents and other adults get down on hands and knees with their children, and let the children have fun. It's not a contest. It's not violence. The kids get to have the upper hand. It's just some boisterous play, the kind children crave and rarely find adults "up" for. There have been pillowfights in Justin Herman Plaza on Valentines Day, in Israel, in the Netherlands, and there's an annual one in Kenwood that is sponsored by the city. You may see bumperstickers around, "I survived the Kenwood Pillow Fight!" We find that when children have the chance to play in this way, they relax, laugh lots, feel closer to their parents, and have less of the kind of energy that makes for hard times in the family. If you doubt this effect, come and see what happens. We did this two years ago, and parents tell us that their children still talk about it and wonder when they get to do that again! It's going to be safe play for a short time in an all-too-serious-world. A word to those concerned about our gender awareness: we'll have Moms-and-kids portions of the pillowfight, and maybe Grandparents-and-kids portions, too. We make sure everyone gets breaks, and everyone stays safe. Come and see! Face painting and Father's Day card construction and refreshments too."

If you find this so terrible, maybe you and Simon can organize a counter event in which you do things with your children that you feel are appropriate


Posted by Oh My, a resident of another community
on Jun 3, 2007 at 10:10 pm

Unbelievable. I only wish that people could relax once in awhile and have a little fun with their kids. If you're so worried about the "violence" of a pillow fight then you've probably never laughed so hard after being bonked by a pillow as a kid. Best memories.


Posted by jai, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 9, 2007 at 12:30 am

I was a Child Development Minor at University. Dr. T. Berry Brazelton was one of the researchers that we studied and eventhough it was years and years and years ago since I have thought about him, the one factoid that I remember most is the role of fathers in the lives of children. Children who have healthy interaction with their fathers are more likely to have a good sense of humor... I did my best to google some info with this fact in mind and low and behold, look at what I have found: (all I am saying, get your pillows ready)

The Role of Fathers Is Important

Although much past psychological research was devoted to investigating a mother's impact, new research reveals that a positive and active involvement by the father results in children who are better adjusted socially, who experience healthier sexual development, and undergo greater intellectual growth.

"Everything we know shows that when men are involved with their children, the child's IQ increases by the time they are six or seven." says pediatrician Dr. T. Berry Brazelton.

He points out that with the father's involvement "the child is also more likely to have a sense of humor, to develop a sort of inner excitement, to believe in himself, to be more motivated to learn." On the other hand, a father's emotional distance can have profound negative impact.

Dr. Louise B. Silverstein of New York University says: "Research clearly documents the direct correlation between father absence and higher rates of aggressive behavior in sons, sexually precocious behavior in daughters, and more rigid sex stereotypes in children of both sexes."

Clearly the role of the father is vital and should not be diminished.

Source: Growing Together, Nov. 1999


Posted by KatDeanna, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Sep 5, 2007 at 12:53 pm

Is this an event designed to recruit people to Re-evaluation Counseling? www.rc.org Ms. Wipfler is the International Liberation Reference Person for Parents (wow) of the "RC Communities"--which is well hidden here, and in her other organizational work. Some people call that a cult. Among other things, they have this technique called "non permissive counseling" where they hold children down while they cry and cry ("discharge their early emotional hurts"). Anyone else find that a bit creepy?

Kat D.


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