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mattman578

Singing? For Your Stuff (Edited By Packsaddle)

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I don't think you will find large numbers who don't think bullying isn't a big deal. Clearly we've seen examples of bullying and the resulting damage done to kids.

 

But the above quote does more to damage the cause of preventing bullying than just about anything I can imagine. Everything is now bullying -- it doesn't have to be bullying, just have to potential of being bullying. Under this definition, classifying a kid who has to rescued during the swim test as a non-swimmer is bullying. Making the kids who fight and claw to be first in line for ice cream move to the back of the line is bullying. OMG! "Do you know how damaging that is to that poor child's self esteem? 'Earning' first place in the ice cream line was so very important to him and you took that away!" No, it was an excellent lesson in manners, and how to treat other people. (That really happened.) I can give you another dozen similar examples.

 

Bullying is a subtle, complicated issue. Defining it to a ridiculous extreme like this causes more people to simply throw up their hands and ignore real bullying. I can give you examples of that too. Good Scout leaders know the difference between bullying and the sort of peer pressure which moves kids in a positive direction. Among a bunch of 12-year-olds it's not always as uplifting and friendly as you and I may have designed, but it is part of the process of maturing and understanding acceptable behavior.

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There are subtle ways to teach our Scouts lessons that don't involve tough love.

 

example: This past weekend we shared a campsite with another Patrol from a different Troop during a backpacking-themed camporee.  Our PL asked me, the SM, to go get the bear bag down from the tree so we could eat breakfast.  When I got to the tree, the other Patrol had left all of our food on the ground.  I wasn't very happy with that and I let our Patrol know that was not something I or they should ever do.  So later in the day our PL came back and happily told me he returned the favor and left the other Patrol's food on the ground.  My only response was, 'Is that the courteous thing to do?'  He immediately turned around and raised his neighbors' bear bag up the tree.

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To link two threads: We should probably wait until science has peer reviewed this study or there have been many more such studies in order to corroborate the findings. ;)

 

It is published in the Lancet, one of the premier medical journals in the world.  It's been peer reviewed - or it wouldn't have been published in the Lancet.

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The difference between banter and bulling is the degree of trust and respect between the two.  

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It is published in the Lancet, one of the premier medical journals in the world.  It's been peer reviewed - or it wouldn't have been published in the Lancet.

 

So I suspect you missed this quote then:

 

"The study, led by Professor Dieter Wolke from the University of Warwick, UK, is the first of its kind to directly compare the effects of maltreatment (by adults) and peer bullying in childhood on mental health outcomes (ie, anxiety, depression, self-harm, suicidal tendencies) in young adulthood."

 

Something that is the first of its kind usually means that there are no other similar studies to corroborate the findings. For all we know the study size may be too small. The devil is in the details.

 

Now don't make the leap from my comment to think I condone bullying (as I suspect some might). I just am skeptical when I see studies that are the first of their kind until we see additional studies that have similar findings.

 

Ironcially, Richard Horton, editor of the British medical journal The Lancet, said:

 

"The mistake, of course, is to have thought that peer review was any more than just a crude means of discovering the acceptability—not the validity—of a new finding. Editors and scientists alike insist on the pivotal importance of peer review. We portray peer review to the public as a quasi-sacred process that helps to make science our most objective truth teller. But we know that the system of peer review is biased, unjust, unaccountable, incomplete, easily fixed, often insulting, usually ignorant, occasionally foolish, and frequently wrong."  --  Horton, Richard (2000). "Genetically modified food: consternation, confusion, and crack-up"MJA 172 (4): 148–9.

Edited by Mozartbrau

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This subject comes up now and then and I don't usually get too involved because it embarrasses me to see many of us have lost common sense and have become helicopter adults. There are some scouters who actually believe in their heart that singing happy birthday to a scout hurts him more than the bond of his brothers congratulating him.

 

Barry

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The difference between banter and bulling is the degree of trust and respect between the two.  

While I like what you said, sometimes bantering occurs during the build of the trust. The difference between bantering and bullying is the motivation of the heart. That can be measured by the scout law.

 

Barry

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As with many activities, the purpose of bullying is important to consider in it's defining.   Why does the "bullier"  act the way he/she does to the "bulliee"?   Why does the bully demand certain behavior from the recipient?  

Often, it is about making the bully feel better about their own situation. Often it is about class position, the "pecking order" in the social group.  Often, it is about a sick pleasure in seeing others suffer.  It is rarely about "education", as in teaching a boy not to lose his pocket knife.

The behavior can be "used" (poor choice of words, that) in seeking to make the recipient feel part of the group, as in fraternity  hazing.  Is the recipient "worthy" of belonging?   See "Cognitive Dissonance". 

I once had to decide if I really wanted to belong to an organization/club that wanted me to do what they asked me to do.  When I questioned this, the club ultimately changed their requirements.  They had "educated" me, but I realized later that I had educated them.   The club became a better one (this was in high school), and the teacher/sponsor talked to me later about it.  He said he was glad that he had not had to "tell" them what to do, that they had been led to decide  to end the "requirement". 

As Scouters, can we recognize when it is time to counsel our Scouts about their (or our?) behavior?   Can we judge our behavior against the Scout Promise and Law, really?

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As with many activities, the purpose of bullying is important to consider in it's defining.   Why does the "bullier"  act the way he/she does to the "bulliee"?   Why does the bully demand certain behavior from the recipient?  

 

You are right, most of the time the bully is the loneliest guy in the room and doesn't know of any other way of easing that pain. We have had a few scouts that behaved badly just to get some attention from the adults. 

 

Barry

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You are right, most of the time the bully is the loneliest guy in the room and doesn't know of any other way of easing that pain. We have had a few scouts that behaved badly just to get some attention from the adults. 

 

Barry

 

Hmmm. "Most of the time"?

 

My experience has been different. It is usually a group of people who feel entitled to belittle and bully people. As individuals they may be lonely and have low self-worth, but I have found they usually band together and go on their tirade that way. Strength in numbers.

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Hmmm. "Most of the time"?

 

My experience has been different. It is usually a group of people who feel entitled to belittle and bully people. As individuals they may be lonely and have low self-worth, but I have found they usually band together and go on their tirade that way. Strength in numbers.

Umm, yes. Getting scouts to gang up with you is how to ease the lonelyness.

 

I concede  I am not expert in behavior psychology, but I learned through the years that giving these scouts responsibilties that gave them a positive image from the other scouts changed they way they acted out toward others. Worked in most cases, but not all.

 

Barry

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This subject comes up now and then and I don't usually get too involved because it embarrasses me to see many of us have lost common sense and have become helicopter adults. There are some scouters who actually believe in their heart that singing happy birthday to a scout hurts him more than the bond of his brothers congratulating him.

 

Barry

First of all, I cannot be a helicopter parent, for I have no kids. I would be careful to label other Scouters here as helicopters (JBlake a helicopter? Lol.)

 

Second, your argument is a straw argument. Nobody made any statement about singing happy birthday being bullying. 

 

The difference between somebody losing their stuff and singing versus the troop singing happy birthday is intent and results. Can somebody be embarrassed by the singing of happy birthday? Sure. Is it the intent? No. What is the intent of making a scout sing for lost items? Can it be accomplished without needing to use humiliation as the tool? The answer to that question is yes. 

 

I'd argue the intent of making a scout sing for lost items is to humiliate them so they won't lose that item again. It's an intentional infliction of humiliation by authority figures. It's not a casual by product, it's the main tool. There are better ways to help Scouts learn how to keep track of their stuff than by using public humiliation as the method. 

 

Again, children and teenagers don't challenge authority as much as society pretends they do. A scout will probably play along with anything in order to not stick out and be harassed for being soft. 

 

I'll concede that in the grand scheme of teenagers and bullying, this type of behavior isn't very serious. It doesn't need PSA's done about it, nor being added to youth protection. While some of us don't mind having to sing in public, the principle of using humiliation remains, and I doubt any of us want to be publicly humiliated for mistakes we make in different manners. 

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The difference between somebody losing their stuff and singing versus the troop singing happy birthday is intent and results. Can somebody be embarrassed by the singing of happy birthday? Sure. Is it the intent? No. What is the intent of making a scout sing for lost items? Can it be accomplished without needing to use humiliation as the tool? The answer to that question is yes. 

 

 

Intent is only part of the equation. I think any reasonable person would agree that ANY action intended to cause embarrassment and humiliation is wrong. Those who cannot see that will be blind to any other such argument.

 

HOWEVER, as we have seen, there are other well-meaning things done in Scouting (hat removal, OA tap outs, and even I would argue singing for lost stuff) that causes unintended embarrassment. The intent, if you ask the scouts, is not to embarrass people. We asked our scouts this question recently and the answers we got we "tradition", "because" and "because it's fun" (note they didn't say "funny" but "fun").

 

So you cannot always apply your interpretation of "intent" to a situation. There are unintended results from well-intended actions; the results can be the same those intending to embarrass. 

Edited by Mozartbrau

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Will give the article a read over coffee. The the obvious crux: which scenarios in the long tradition of scouting constitute bullying.

 

One observation in our shop ... the pattern seems to cut both ways. That is, kids with depression are vulnerable to future intances of abuse ... even if they had not been abused in the past. :(

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First of all, I cannot be a helicopter parent, for I have no kids. I would be careful to label other Scouters here as helicopters (JBlake a helicopter? Lol.)

 

I said adult, not parent. And as for JBlake, we have never witnessed how he walks the walk.

 

Second, your argument is a straw argument. Nobody made any statement about singing happy birthday being bullying. 

 

I didn't use bullying and singing happy birthday in the post, much less the same sentence. I think you are being a little too sensitive, which is causing you to be a little too creative in your defense. 

 

The difference between somebody losing their stuff and singing versus the troop singing happy birthday is intent and results.

 

It can be yes, but my point is that some adults are willing to prevent a good intent (like positive recognition in public) at the risk of the result (embarrassment) and I suggest that is helicoptering. 

 

I'd argue the intent of making a scout sing for lost items is to humiliate them so they won't lose that item again. It's an intentional infliction of humiliation by authority figures. It's not a casual by product, it's the main tool. There are better ways to help Scouts learn how to keep track of their stuff than by using public humiliation as the method. 

 

Anything can be carried too far, but how is your last statement different than using peer pressure to motivate action. In fact, peer pressure is often used here in other terms like Patrol Method for using the group or team pressure to motivate a specific actions. Advancement is a very popular expected result of peer pressure. 

 

Again, children and teenagers don't challenge authority as much as society pretends they do. 

 

Well I'll disagree; we don't call it challenging as much as we call it rebelling or misbehaving. It really is more a matter of how the authoritive figure reacts to the challenge. I will give you a very popular challenge by scouts to authority, "Wearing the Correct Uniform". What is the intent of the results when a scout doesn't wear the uniform as expected. That is one example, but we can come up with challenges by scouts against the authority all the time.

 

I'll concede that in the grand scheme of teenagers and bullying, this type of behavior isn't very serious. It doesn't need PSA's done about it, nor being added to youth protection. While some of us don't mind having to sing in public, the principle of using humiliation remains, and I doubt any of us want to be publicly humiliated for mistakes we make in different manners. 

 

I agree, but it depends on the intent. I think if you spent more time teaching scouts to use the Scout Law in the actions of intent instead of demonizing specific actions, you will get a lot better responses. 

 

Remember when National came out against using holding scouts up-side-down during the Bobcat ceremony? National said they  took it out because the intent was hazing, but it was the adults who got hazed when the scouts heard it was taken out. Don't judge actions in a vacuum, judge each individual action by the intent within the parameters of the scout law. That will help you more consistent with the scouts.

 

Barry

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