Boys must be girls to excel in school. No boy-like behavior is tolerated. Running on playgrounds is considered dangerous, and therefore banned, by the “authorities.” No running. No climbing trees. No rough play. They’ve become veal. Our school PTA spent a fortune on a great playground set focused on climbing and balance. A couple of kids fell so the Dolores Umbridge of the school called in a “Certified Playground Inspector” and had it condemned. The New Tom Sawyer is living his adventures in a drug haze. …and then doesn’t care for anything, nor anybody, and goes on a mass murder trip. (At least they’re currently using guns and not poisons or fire. …so we’d better ban the Internet before they do.)
Comment by Hopefulone — January 22, 2013 @ 9:18 am
“The New Tom Sawyer is living his adventures in a drug haze…” and there’s no Huck Finn to take him for a trip down the Mississippi (or the Missouri, or the Ohio, or the Fox or Kankakee Rivers). Nowadays, if some boys did take a raft down some local river, some Fed would scoop them up and cite them for “travelling on an unlicensed watercraft without the required safety equipment”.
Comment by Thunderbottom — January 22, 2013 @ 9:45 am
I’m an Assistant Scoutmaster in the Boy Scouts of America. I KNOW I treat the kids differently than anyone else they meet, especially their parents and their teachers.
I teach them how to light fires, how to fuel and light camping stoves, how to use a buck saw, how to sharpen and use an axe and a knife. I allow them to own and carry (keep and bear, if you will) the two latter. We take them rock climbing. We teach them how to shoot – and clean, and memorize the safety rules for – a .22 rifle and a 12 ga. shotgun. You should have seen one of the mother’s face when I told her son in front of her “You know, the Totin’ Chip you earned means that you can not only use an axe, you can buy one and have it.” She was aghast.
We teach them to do things that, if done carelessly or irresponsibly will result in serious injury. And we make sure they know it and that their parents know it.
And when I teach them these things and others I use plain language. I let them know that their feelings are of secondary importance, if even that high. An axe won’t care how you’re feeling, it will still take your toe off if you are careless. What’s important are facts, not feelings. To pass off your badges and earn First Class Scout and Eagle Scout you need to meet a particular performance standard. Trying real hard is a way to succeed in meeting a performance standard, but it is not in and of itself sufficient to earn the badge – you must meet the standard.
The Tenderfeet don’t understand what’s going on. But by the time they get to Star, Life and Eagle they’ve figured it out and understand the value. Of course, not all Tenderfeet make Eagle. Some don’t care to adapt to the difference in how we treat them as compared to how they get treated elsewhere. Some would rather spend Saturday on the sofa with their X-Box – and the parents are deaf to “Maybe you should MAKE the kid go out rather than sit home.” Some have parents who fear their kid being out in the rain rather than at home where they are safe and warm. But the ones who stick it out are far better off for it.
They reminded me of 19-year old female daycare workers. That, and the public school equivalent are the primary “authority” roll models boys (who grow into “men”) have had for quite some time. They are treating the boys the way they’ve been treated. (That plus the incredible pressure put on them by same figures to vanish their own balls.) What do you expect?
By the way, I happen to have a conversation recently with someone who works in special ed. I asked her what percent of the problems she would estimate were rooted in biology and what percent in environment. She said: “90% is environment. The only lasting hope for these kids is that their parents change the home environment. Everything else is largely cosmetic.”
Between the two points, I think that about covers it.
Comment by Ironic in Denver — January 22, 2013 @ 10:42 am
“… and there’s no Huck Finn to take him for a trip down the Mississippi (or the Missouri, or the Ohio, or the Fox or Kankakee Rivers).”
Me. I’ll do it. Oh, yeah, we’ll have the kids plan it out and make sure we’ve got all the right gear and a trip permit and all.
But when the kid gets in the bow of his canoe after carrying it and his gear down a 1/4 mile trail surrounded by rock and woods, put it all in the canoe, gets in the bow and heads out onto a Canadian lake with a million acres of wilderness in front of him (and where his cell phone doesn’t work) that all falls away, and he’s one with Huck.
We had a kid in our Troop who was/is mildly autistic. Didn’t like anything new. Mom came on all the outings. Dealt with him when he went into fugue state, but otherwise had him try everything. When he was a Tenderfoot I thought he might wash out in a few months.
That was a while back. Last fall I was at his Eagle Court of Honor. Big, big changes in that kid. Still somewhat autistic. But he can face something new now. And there were no substitutions for his requirements. He EARNED that Eagle, a point I made clear to everyone when it was my turn to speak. I’d take more kids like him (and more parents like her) in a heartbeat.
Comment by staghounds — January 22, 2013 @ 11:07 am
The first two weeks at our daycare are what I like to call “boot camp.” The rules are explained and strictly enforced. You get no slack. After that you can usually lighten up on most kids. Inside rules are different that outside where there is a bit more room for rough stuff. Safety is a huge priority here, but you gotta let the kids, especially the boys, mix it up a little.
My favorite question to ask is “Do you do that at home?” There is no safe way to answer that one. “Yes.” “Well, this is NOT your home. Knock it off.” “No.” “Than don’t do it here.”
Is it fun here? Sure is. Are the kids sometimes afraid of me? Yup. After boot camp I’ll get you to stop a behavior with a look.
One more thing. I do not allow playing with guns of any kind in the daycare. Not because I am against guns. You all know better than that. I just am not going to tolerate the sound of kids running around yelling bang
Re: “what males today are afraid of: …”
Not knowing what being a man means or how to be one.
It requires a role model, a teacher-by-example, a “bark” when in error, opportunities to face danger and to shoulder responsibility, and a generally positive social opinion of manliness; but they’re often surrounded by nothing but pussies (adults, peers, and authority figures). There are no cowboy shows, either. I suspect most young males without a good father figure don’t run across traditional maleness until their first scoutmaster, coach, or drill Sgt.
(What? Yeah, or nun-teacher.)
No, I don’t often have kids around; but when I do, I treat boys and girls differently (dunno why, just always have). Boys meet the “good ol’ Cun’l Doug” (standing, strong normal voice, no jackassery allowed, but good-humored and gentlemanly), and girls meet the “sweet ol’ unc’a Doug” (leaning or crouched, gentle voice with normal timbre, champion to a young lady, easily wrapped around her little finger).
You know, it’s like meeting a dog — man-to-boy at first, then once the dog understands the dominance cues and it’s safe to be pals, it’s man-to-girl.
(What? No, tummy rubs are only for the Moms. I like watchin’ their legs go.)
Comment by DougM (Progophobe) — January 22, 2013 @ 11:35 am
They grow to adulthood, you shake their hand and you’re reminded of the hands of a five year old. It’s a damn shame and it’s only going to get worse.
One problem is that most drugs are not tested for use in children. Growing children are probably less prone to side effects than pregnant women but more so than adults. One test they did do of an anti-depressant used on a group of kids diagnosis with the condition showed a doubling of the still small rates of thought of suicide in the drug group versus the placebo group. I doubt if there were any mass murders committed by youths who were not on behavior modification drugs. Would there be more instances with or without drugs? No one is looking into it.
Amphetamines are the most widely used drug for kids with ADHD. They affect their mind differently but what about the body? Side effects include depressing hunger and disrupting sleep patterns which are two of the areas more important to growing teens than adults.
Proceed with extreme caution lest the cure prove worse than the disease.
Comment by Freddie Sykes — January 22, 2013 @ 2:50 pm
Men are EXPENDABLES, and they know it in their genes.