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GoddessOfGuinness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 07:24 PM
Original message
Am I a nazi parent?
Kiddo's cubscout pack attended a program at a planetarium last night. There were quite a few other parents there as well as scout leaders.

The woman who gave the presentation, on phases of the moon, had a clever activity for the kids, then we proceeded to the telescopes, where they had a chance to look through the two scopes, see some images that had been taken, and find out where some of the most recognizable constellations and planets are, if they could be quiet enough to listen to the woman.

But they couldn't manage to keep quiet. Hell, they couldn't manage to form a line without pushing and shoving and roughhousing around equipment that cost god-knows-how-many thousands of dollars. I watched in horror as one father lifted his kid up to look as the kid held a potato chip bag close enough to the lens to grease it up if one of the guys assisting with the scopes hadn't stopped him. I said something more than once to the kids who were running around all apeshit, just because none of the other parents there seemed the least bit concerned.

After the presentation, when we'd gotten back to the car, I said, "Y'know, your scouts friends are nice kids, but jeeze they get hyper. I was shocked by the way some of them were behaving tonight."

My son replied, "That's just what kids do, Mom."

"But you don't do that. How come you can manage to behave yourself?"

"I dunno," he replied with a shrug.

So am I some kind of nazimom? Am I unreasonable to expect that kids who are in the 9-11 age range are old enough to be a little more mindful of their behavior? Is it nutso to think the other grownups there should say something to their kids when they start acting like hellions in the middle of a presentation like this?

Please try to avoid a flamefest here...This thread isn't intended to be a let's-slam-kids affair.
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 08:48 PM
Response to Original message
1. Dunno. Here are some test questions:
Can your kid argue with you? Is the kid afraid to lose his temper with you? Does the kid talk to you about his life and friends and ideas? Can the kid win a polite and rational debate with you? Do you like the kid and does the kid know it?

It's good if you have clear rules and enforce them, and it's even better if your relationship will enable the kid to begin to understand reasons for the rules and to negotiate them some, since the kid's going to grow up and will need his own internal rules, preferably based on a rational and empathetic respect for other people

Lots of lax parents don't require kids to show appropriate behavior, even when it's important in settings like museums or concerts, for example. Insecure authoritarians, on the other hand, insist on thuggish controlling behavior in settings where it would really be better to let the kids be themselves

But I wasn't there so I don't know

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GoddessOfGuinness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 09:08 PM
Response to Reply #1
8. My kid argues with me sometimes...
Usually I win the arguments...occasionally with the old favorite "because I said so" since I don't feel that, at 10 years of age, I should have to explain every detail about why I want him to bathe or do his schoolwork.

He doesn't like to displease me, but it isn't as though he's afraid of it. Still, it's a pretty rare occasion when I have to tell him to mind his behavior.

I don't think I was being thuggish in telling the kids that were roughhousing around one of the telescopes that they should stop, since I explained that damages could cost thousands of dollars to repair. However, it's still amazing to me that the other adults there didn't say anything, but were just oblivious to what was going on. It seems to me that it was the responsibility of the pack leaders to maintain a semblance of order by directing the kids' focus to the presentation.
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 09:21 PM
Response to Reply #8
13. I've been known to tell other peoples kids to calm down, when I thought
behavior was unsafe or inappropriate

And I've also been known to subversive instigate childish chaos in settings where it seemed like kids needed it

Context matters. So does tone
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madinmaryland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 08:58 PM
Response to Original message
2. Nice post, Hitler!
Yeah, it's the same way here with our 11 yo daughter!!

As she and i sit here watching bobby flay make dumplings on food network!!

:hi:
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GoddessOfGuinness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 09:16 PM
Response to Reply #2
12. LOL
Speaking of Hitler:
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madinmaryland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 09:23 PM
Response to Reply #12
15. I knew our Panda came back to us for a reason after jumping off the deck!!
Edited on Wed Jan-21-09 09:25 PM by madinmaryland
Someone decided to paint a Hitler moustache on him!!

He was almost gone for almost ten days before we found him!!!!

:hi:
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GoddessOfGuinness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 09:40 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. I'm glad you found him!
It must be heartbreaking to lose a pet...
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madinmaryland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 09:47 PM
Response to Reply #17
20. I think it was the giant bumblebee that lured him off the deck.
My wife thinks our other cat, Sonia, pushed him off. The two cats have a love/hate relationship. :shrug:

(At least my wife didn't push me off the deck!!!!) :rofl:
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ScreamingMeemie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 08:59 PM
Response to Original message
3. Yes. But so am I. Because kids should be able to behave in public.
My son is 10 and wouldn't do that.
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GoddessOfGuinness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 09:22 PM
Response to Reply #3
14. One of the den leaders seemed shocked
that my son actually listened to their Heimlich maneuver talk.
I was shocked that the other kids wouldn't.

It makes sense that, once the meeting's over, they can run around and get rowdy. But I don't understand why they do taht during the meeting.



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JVS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 09:03 PM
Response to Original message
4. I remember talking to a graduate student from China who told me that on the first day of school...
Edited on Wed Jan-21-09 09:03 PM by JVS
as kids they were taught to sit quietly in his class. Maybe it's not such a bad idea.
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GoddessOfGuinness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 09:24 PM
Response to Reply #4
16. Makes sense to me.
I seem to remember similar lessons in school.

I recall one teacher telling us she wanted to be able to hear a pin drop. I was a little upset because I didn't know we needed to bring pins to school.
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RoyGBiv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 09:03 PM
Response to Original message
5. No ...

I'm probably one of the more liberal (in the non-political sense) parents I've ever known, but with that came an absolute demand for proper behavior as I and my daughter's mother or grandparents or whoever defined it.

And while of course she went through various phases, she was never one of these brats I so often see that run around as though standing stationary for one second makes the baby jesus cry.

So, no, I very much doubt you are.

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GoddessOfGuinness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 09:43 PM
Response to Reply #5
18. I could understand the fact that they didn't want to stand still...
because it was freaking cold here last night. But the roughhousing was beyond the beyond to me. They were clowning around right next to a bunch of knobs and switches.
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DarkTirade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 09:05 PM
Original message
You're the kind of parent who helps their child become a normal human being.
Edited on Wed Jan-21-09 09:05 PM by DarkTirade
So that by the time he needs to become an adult, he has the capability to.
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AlCzervik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 09:07 PM
Response to Original message
7. yup, one of the best things a parent can do is teach their children manners, once a child
has good manners they can go anywhere.
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DarkTirade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 09:12 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. Manners, basic self-control, i.e. the ability to be around other human beings.
Something a lot of kids don't even learn until after college.
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GoddessOfGuinness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 09:48 PM
Response to Original message
21. I hope so...
He's a really polite kid.

If anything, I expect he'll have difficulty asserting himself. He's pretty shy.
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AlCzervik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 09:05 PM
Response to Original message
6. it's not unreasonable to expect them to behave.
and yes their parents should be stepping in and dealing with.
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GoddessOfGuinness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 09:46 PM
Response to Reply #6
19. I'm going to miss
your nickname. It reminded me of the "Chimp or Bush" website.

None of the other parents expressed disapproval when I told the kids to quit it, so I guess they were just not up to handling the situation.
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AlCzervik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 09:51 PM
Response to Reply #19
23. It was probably easy to just let someone else handle it and you did those kids a favor.
i'll miss my old name but i think chimps have their good name back.
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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 09:10 PM
Response to Original message
9. I doubt it and frankly that is something the country could use more of.
at least in the kinds of public spaces you are talking about. Were they all full o' caffeine and sugar? Sometimes - especially with puppies and male squids they need some outdoor exercise before calm obedience can be expected.
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GoddessOfGuinness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 09:51 PM
Response to Reply #9
22. I wonder...
The meeting was at 7, so I'd think most would have had dinner. You could be right about that.
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Tom Kitten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 09:13 PM
Response to Original message
11. "I dunno" does not necessarily mean "Sieg heil"
I don't have kids but I used to be one and teaching them respect for others doesn't seem out of line. There's a time and place for kids rough housing but re-enacting the planetarium scene from "Rebel Without A Cause" would not be one of them...I think kids want a certain amount of discipline...as long as it doesn't go too far, like the teacher here... :D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHz-vDsKyiM
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GoddessOfGuinness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 10:05 PM
Response to Reply #11
29. LOL
Sounds like my father. :rofl:
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GoddessOfGuinness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 10:09 PM
Response to Reply #11
31. OMG...I just realized....
That's where SpongeBob's Goofy Goober Rock came from! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgobp5pzSGc
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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 09:57 PM
Response to Original message
24. Kids mature at different rates, and so do parents.
Some of the kids just aren't where yours is, and some of the parents may not have the sophistication yet to know how to help them there. That's why teenagers get eight years to figure out how to behave before they go to jail for it.

As for whether you are a Nazi, my own personal measuring stick is the kid. Do you feel like he is obedient because his spirit has been crushed, or is he just more respectful of others because he's more thoughtful? I've seen parents who claim their kids are well-behaved, when in reality they are crushed to the point of dysfunction. Those are the Nazis.
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GoddessOfGuinness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 01:52 PM
Response to Reply #24
36. That's true...
I guess that's why I'd prefer not to be the one to say something tothe kids who were roughhousing. Knowing who they are and what makes them tick makes for more effective communication in these circumstances.

And no, I don't think my son's spirit has been crushed. It's possible that his shyness makes him a little on the inhibited side, though. Of course, it's possible that he'll tell me otherwise one day. I try to teach him respect and empathy for others by asking him how he thinks others feel in certain situations, while watching TV, or reading books.
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KitchenWitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 09:57 PM
Response to Original message
25. I expect parents to be parents.
Our school has an astronomy night every year, and the parents are expected to keep their children in line and not let them run around, because of all the expensive telescopes on the back lot.
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GoddessOfGuinness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 01:54 PM
Response to Reply #25
37. It seems like one of the leaders could have
communicated that before the presentation. It might seem obvious; but sometimes people just don't think.
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no name no slogan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 09:59 PM
Response to Original message
26. No way, you're not
Kids at that age know better, and should act that way.

This is the DU member formerly known as YouKnowWhoElseMadePeopleWearFlair?.
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fizzgig Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 10:09 PM
Response to Reply #26
30. your sig line is killing me
:rofl:
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GoddessOfGuinness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 01:56 PM
Response to Reply #26
38. Now I'm wondering if their parents know better...
Maybe they don't. It's sad to think; but may be true.
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sasquatch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 09:59 PM
Response to Original message
27. I think his peers parents are practicing what I call "freerange parenting"
Basicaly they let their children do what the fuck ever and often join in on the fun. The class that graduated before me in High School was almost as a whole raised like that and on their graduation day they set off fireworks inside the gymnasium and when the administrators tried to confiscate them the parents would hand them more from the bleechers. I always wondered why our class was on super max prison lockdown for the first four weeks of school every year.
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GoddessOfGuinness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 02:20 PM
Response to Reply #27
41. LOL
That's a perfect term for it!

Sometimes, though, I think the parents are not parenting at all. They're just oblivious to the situation.
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Deep13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 10:05 PM
Response to Original message
28. You're got to be kidding.
Edited on Wed Jan-21-09 10:11 PM by Deep13
Children need to behave themselves for two reasons. One, it is to learn how to act for when they are adults. Two, it is to protect everyone else from ones kid. The first time I brought my telescope to a public event, I was swamped with uncontrolled, crowding, shoving children. That was nine years ago. They did not respect me or the $500 instrument they were looking through. I have not lent my scope to a public event since. It's very simple: children must either control themselves or else no goodies. My experience resulted in the latter.

When I was in first grade in 1974, our class were to the Higgins Armory museum in Worcester, MA. It was local for us. It has the largest collection of medieval and renaissance armor in the western hemisphere. Well, our class acted like the children you describe. We were not invited back. No one from our school was invited again at least for a number of years. (I have to think both the teachers and the museum people eventually forgot about it.) People who want to be generous with their time and stuff are under no obligation to do so. If they think inviting children will create risk, they just will not do it.
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GoddessOfGuinness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 02:37 PM
Response to Reply #28
42. Wow. Did your scope make it out intact?
My sixth grade class was undisciplined. Our teacher was severely depressed, and missed a lot of school. She also had no clue how to handle us.

It's interesting to look back on, because I was one of those kids who behaved because I was terrified of being beaten by my father. But as the year went on, and the majority of the class continued to misbehave...even taunting the poor teacher...I became bolder, and acted up myself. Gang mentality, I guess.
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Deep13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 02:55 PM
Response to Reply #42
50. Yes, it was fine.
Just a lot of bumping and not listening to me. One kid held a stick above the open tube* so his friend could see it. I was not happy about that.



*On a Newtonian reflector, the tube is open and exposed to air. At the bottom is a precisely figured mirror with a coating of aluminum on the top (not behind glass like a regular mirror). The surface is smoother than a wavelength of light.
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madrchsod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 10:15 PM
Response to Original message
32. yes...and i did`t read your post
actually you are right...the parents should teach their.. oops.. themselves some manners.then maybe their children could learn from them.....
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GoddessOfGuinness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 02:39 PM
Response to Reply #32
43. Manners are tough to teach yourself.
Everybody needs a role model.
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Tangerine LaBamba Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 10:19 PM
Response to Original message
33. What the hell is a kid doing
with a bag of potato chips in a planetarium?

Parents are idiots, and they raise kids who haven't a clue as to what "appropriate behavior" means.

Maybe watching Malia and Sasha will inspire some parents and some kids. Those girls look to be sensational.
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GoddessOfGuinness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 02:41 PM
Response to Reply #33
45. The kid's father just wasn't thinking...
I hope the Obamas inspire many people. They're a lovely family.
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LeftyMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 10:19 PM
Response to Original message
34. No, you did fine. The parents who aren't teaching self control do their kids no favors.
I'm big on age-appropriate expectations. It's probably unreasonable to expect a kid who is younger than 6 or so to sit quietly through a presentation like that, but by 10? They can, they should, and if they don't the logical consequence should be no other outings like that until they're ready to represent their group well and behave.

Back when I was a kid (not that long ago, I'm 27) when we went to events it was always made very clear to us that we had to be on our best behavior or our organization/school/etc might not be invited back.
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GoddessOfGuinness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 02:53 PM
Response to Reply #34
47. Excellent point...
It wasn't the sort of thing you'd want to bring toddlers to. Though a few parents brought younger children along, and those kids were generally better behaved than the ones the activity was intended for. Probably because their parents were more attentive to them.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 10:35 PM
Response to Original message
35. No, you're just not afraid to be a parent instead of a pal
My mom the former kindergarten teacher made sure that we knew what was acceptable public behavior from a very early age.
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GoddessOfGuinness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 02:54 PM
Response to Reply #35
49. We started young too...
Although my dad could be pretty brutal. For the most part we behaved because we didn't want to get clobbered.
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Rambis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 02:04 PM
Response to Original message
39. our scout kids do the same thing
they act in ways my kids would never dream of. I am sure that some of the kids think we are nazis because we don't allow them to act like eejits in public. We took 6 8 year old boys bowling last weekend and it was a good thing I couldn't get a pint.
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GoddessOfGuinness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 02:57 PM
Response to Reply #39
51. And you're still alive?
You should get a special scout pin...a purple heart or something.
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Rambis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 03:40 PM
Response to Reply #51
57. It was interesting in a Jane Goodall sort of way
Edited on Thu Jan-22-09 03:41 PM by Rambis
I am glad I have my children and not others!
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Scout Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 02:18 PM
Response to Original message
40. i think you are a perfectly reasonable mom ... wish more were like you n/t
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GoddessOfGuinness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 02:59 PM
Response to Reply #40
52. Aww...Thanks!
:hug:
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PVnRT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 02:40 PM
Response to Original message
44. Jesus, where were the Den leaders and suchlike?
Dealing with Boy Scouts is only slightly less irritating, but they usually shut up once you put the scout hand symbol in the air.
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GoddessOfGuinness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 03:07 PM
Response to Reply #44
53. At one point a leader said "Sign's up!"
But I'm afraid the dark made it difficult for several of the kids to see the sign. It's also possible that these boys respond better to visual cues like that than to the spoken word.
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krispos42 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 02:42 PM
Response to Original message
46. Definitely



:-)
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GoddessOfGuinness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 03:08 PM
Response to Reply #46
54. ...
:spray:
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kwassa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 02:54 PM
Response to Original message
48. Kids will behave in line with the expectations of them
Speaking as a teacher, kids actually expect structure from adults, and like structure, as well.

They run amok when there is no clear expectations made of them, with consequences attached, as well as rewards.

It is completely common for kids to behave well in one context, and to run wild in another context. That context is controlled by the adults supervising the activity.
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GoddessOfGuinness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 03:12 PM
Response to Reply #48
55. I'm going to suggest to the troop leader that in the future
they should spell those expectations out right before the program begins. It'll help remind the parents that they have a job to do too.

Thanks for your thoughts. :hi:
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Lars39 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 03:16 PM
Response to Original message
56. Raise that hand in the air and shut it down.
The adults have to be trained to do this, too. There is no excuse for the kids to get that out of control.
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