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Are We Raising a Generation of Wimps?

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This thread got the little gray cells in movement.

I started thinking about Tough Love.

I feel sure that we all love and care very much about our kids, in my case just the one.

From day one when that little person wearing a silly hat was placed in my arms, I knew that part of my role as a Dad was to protect him from harm.

This protection business isn't always as easy as it sounds.

A very big and important part of growing up is being able to look at things and decide if you can manage the risk.

As a parent the hard part is being able to allow that person you care so much about and love so dearly to take the risk.

Looking back, I remember Child-proofing the house so he wouldn't get into things and places where he might get harmed.

When he was two years old the word I remember saying the most was "No!"

A lot of the smaller risks, now that he is in his twenties are forgotten. The big ones like learning to swim, riding his bike without the training wheels, him having his own knife are and I think will remain with me forever.

Seems that we only talk about tough love when it has to do addiction.

I can't remember the reasons but I do remember my mother saying "As long as you live under my roof, you'll do as I say." I made a vow to myself that I'd never say that. I did well up until he reached sixteen. There were times when both he and I were able to sit down and discuss why he wasn't going to do something or why he should do something. There were also times when there wasn't any negotiations I just said what he was or wasn't going to do.

Much as I wanted and maybe even yearned for him to be my best friend, I wasn't able to push aside the fact that I was his parent. The parent card trumped the friend card each and every time. Even though it hurt me.

I never had any laid down ambitions as to what he might become.

To be honest I thought that the education he received wasn't as good as the one I'd received. But not having been educated here in the USA , I was willing to just tag along. While ensuring that he was able to read, write and understand basic math.

More importantly I wanted to be sure that he knew right from wrong and was able to work this out for himself. I wanted him to grow up to be someone who cared. Cared for himself and cared for others.

He was a normal everyday boy. He got into his share of fights and his share of mischief.

When he was about fourteen him and his mother seemed find fault in anything and everything each other did. They argued all the time.

Me? I'm far too lazy to argue and way to self-righteous, I think the word might be smug? While his mother made all sorts of idle threats. I was as good as my word. When I said that you are then he knew he was. He didn't know how much it hurt me.

My parenting has now moved on to another level a level I have to admit that I'm unsure of. I was hoping that the day would come when I would be able to say that I was done. But I'm starting to see that no matter what I'm going to be his Dad until I'm no longer here.


Most days I leave the jail where I work at about lunch time. A lot of times there are people in the waiting area waiting to get in to see their loved ones. As I leave I look at the older people as a rule dressed in their Sunday best. I don't know for sure but I suppose that they are the parents of inmates. My heart goes out to these people. Sitting waiting to get into a jail to see their kid. It must be tough to love a kid that has let the side down. I also see the young kids. I'm not sure if these kids know where they are? It must be tough to grow up loving a Dad that isn't around.

I have a new vow. One I hope that I'll keep. It is that no matter what one where every-time I leave or part from my son I say "I love you."

Maybe I'm just an old wimp?


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As a 30 something dew drinking programer, you probably do have ADD......



But a 3-5 year old who does not have deadlines, a boss, financial stress, facebook or things we fill our lives with that are unimportant..... Instead boy drinks moms dew and eats an entire bag of m&m's on top of the apple juice or kool aid he has been drinking all day, the sugar ladened cereal he had for breakfast.......


toss in the fact that the kids are not allowed to play outdoors and burn off the energy.....of course they are hyper and acting like a kid.


In our instant fix society give that kid a pill.....it is easy no discussion, mom says that kid is hyper doc responds....no problem we can fix that....If this pill doesn't fix the problem call me and I will call in a script for a different one.


I believe there are a small percentage that need the meds to function....but of the current folks on I believe maybe 1% SHOULD be on them.....


Education for Eamon......I am a product of a rural public school system and my son an urban school. my son's education is better than mine.......He is doing things at his current grade level that I was doing as a junior and senior in high school. I was a victim of my teachers whims and interests..... I don't have a problem with teaching to the test.......At least most of the kids will at least have this base knowledge...... Free thinkers and problem solvers.....naw....most of the kids just need to be able to hold a job....

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Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the room; they contradict their parents, chatter before company; gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers. - Socrates (according to Plato)

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I think younger parents just really don't understand that kids are able to do things at a much younger age than Mom and Dad think they can.


I was floored last year when my then-Wolf scout went to a Cubs activity where they were carving soap.




Actually, I was mad. You can't carve anything with plastic cutlery, for one, and for two, those boys should have earned their Whittler's Chip and carved with real pocketknives. It actually would have been safer, IMNSHO. Sharp knives are much safer than dull ones.




I've since become an ADL - and found that the other den leaders thought that boys shouldn't be allowed to use knives.


They've been shocked and surprised at my attitude ("Let the boys do it! This is Boy Scouts, not Mom Scouts!") because they genuinely don't understand that kids can do a lot more than they are generally permitted to do. They have been constantly asking me, "Do you think we should? Do you think they can do it?"


I'm much older than the other DL/ADLs. They are in their 20s/early 30s - I'm a grandmother, with my last child in Cubs, with 5 kids, 7 younger siblings, 2 grandchildren, and a whole crew of nieces and nephews. So perhaps they really don't understand how capable children are, or perhaps it's the current culture of being overprotective and under-disciplined.


Or I could be completely wrong.

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Kids are - for the most part - as tough as you let them be.


When my son was 4 and 5 years old, you'd almost thought he was a vitim of child abuse. Bruises and cuts and scrape every where. Constantly running, jumping, and crashing into everything.


So how tough was he?


WEll, if he was running around and fell or crashed into something while I was watching him, I'd look at him and ask: "Did you hurt that wall ( or whatever it was he ran into)?" He'd laugh it off and keep right on playing.


When my wife would be there or watching him, as soon as he tripped, fell or ran into something, the mommy voice came out: "OH my poor little baby! Come let mommy make it better!"


And just as sure as death and taxes, my son would take a few seconds to let his face crinckle up and he'd run crying to her arms.


You know, he used to milk her and her sympathy for a long time. Got away with all kinds of stuff.


Now, I'm not saying I ignored him getting cut or breaking an arm, just saying that every little bump or fall was not a trauma case national emergency.


My son learned alot from this.


And of course, when we go camping, I enforce hygene to the point of being sanitary when eating or at least not smelling so ripe you don't run everybody else off.


My wife? She's one of those chase you down with hand sanitizer and moist towletts. She must think we have full scale showers/spas every 15 feet throughout any camp.


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LOL, Scoutfish - I think the ladies I'm working with in the den are like your wife.


I'm like you. "Well, you're not going to do THAT again, are you? Why was that a bad idea? If you're still conscious and not gushing blood, you're fine..."


I agree - kids are as tough (and responsible) as they're expected to be.

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My kids are more fit and athletic than me and to keep up with them I have had to get in shape and more physical. So I, and many of my peers, seem wimpier. So I say thank God for scouts!


The comment about having raised a generation is correct in that we have lost a generation of campers. Folks getting soft and all that. Was that one of reasons Baden-Powell (and others) started the scout movement?


On the whole the boys (in the collective sense) seem less independent but we feed them programmed activities and less free-time. My sons seem to be contrary to that trend. So again, thank God for scouts.


I think the pressure on them, at least in middles school, and the emphasis in reading in Elementary is much, much harder than when I was in school in the 60's and 70's. They seem really stressed out at an early age. So I hate it when I see BSA starting to "teach to the test" in merit badges.


I talked to the wise one (my wife) last night on the evening walk. She does Sunday school programming and we like to compare notes. She thinks the BSA Risk Management issue is like when she was a programmer and you tried to boost word recognition in a speech recognizer from 98% to 100%...it was HUGELY expensive to close that gap and it usually was not practicable. So trying to remove almost all risk starts to get a bit ridiculous. None of us want our boys to get really hurt...

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Kahuna, as a fellow Airman, thanks for posting that--yellow cards in boot camp is an urban myth that just keeps living....


Are we raising wimps? Depends on where you live, and what you do. I see examples pro and con.


In the situations where the kids are wimps, this is more of a reflection on the adults than the kids. The kids are capable of incredible accomplishments. Given the right training and environment to succeed or fail, they will amaze adults, and themselves, all the time.


But many adults have never pushed their own boundaries, or had them pushed by someone else. So they take the template for their life, and expectations, and pass it along.


Scouts are made of much stronger stuff than most give them credit for. That includes kids with learning disabilities and medical conditions.

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She thinks the BSA Risk Management issue is like when she was a programmer and you tried to boost word recognition in a speech recognizer from 98% to 100%...it was HUGELY expensive to close that gap and it usually was not practicable. So trying to remove almost all risk starts to get a bit ridiculous. None of us want our boys to get really hurt...


Tampa, it's even worse than expensive and impractical. It actually starts to become counter-productive and additional poorly thought out risk management increases the chance of injury. Every additional rule that is added is one more thing that the people engaged in the activity have to think about and remember. Every additional thing they have to think about and remember means that much less brainpower available to focus on the actual task. Lack of focus in a dangerous environment is the leading cause of accidents. Every rule costs a little bit of focus, so if it doesn't produce significant returns in added safety, it is counter-productive. RichardB's rules are counter-productive. He is not fit for his job.


Beyond that, the other elephant in the room when you're talking about Scout-aged boys is that they are prone to want to test themselves, to prove themselves, and they will engage in risky behavior to do so. It's part of growing up. One of the benefits of Scouting is that it gives them a reasonably controlled and supervised environment that still gives them the challenge they are compelled to seek out. If BSA continues down the road RichardB is hell-bent on driving down, there will be no more challeng in Scouting and it will not attract boys. So instead of risking falling off a tractor trailer with a handcart during their Eagle project, they will be racing dirt bikes, or experimenting with drugs, or hanging out with questionable groups - all unsupervised and without any risk management at all.



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I agree. With too many rules the really important ones get buried and ignored. I just can't keep track of that much stuff--so will I ignore them all or just avoid that activity altogether? Maybe BSA should just release a list of super-safe activities one could do.


I think some of this is the typical Home Office-Field Office conflict.

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If I didn't have Scouting, I would have never learned how to use a chainsaw, sweat copper pipe, or do anything with electricity. My father wasn't mechanically inclined even thougn he was a topnotch machinist/mold maker and could grind something to within .0002". I always tell Scouts now that the men I had as leaders helped teach me things that I couldn't learn from my dad.


Now we have kids that center their activities indoors. I couldn't wait to finish my homework so I could go outside and play with my friends. We also have a majority of parents of Scouts who have never camped. If camping and the outdoors aren't important to the parent, they're probably not going to be for the Scout. I fear that we have a program that is slipping into an entitlement phase. As in, every Scout is entitled to his Eagle Scout and we're all here to push him along. Bullcrap. I push them to First Class and then let them figure it out. We've doubled the number of Eagle Scouts awarded each year and National seems to be proud? Lunacy. Numbers don't necessarily equate with quality. Just go to WalMart for evidence.


Ranting about the ones that are disrespectful, wimps, etc makes us miss the ones that are just absolutely amazing in their behavior and leadership. That one kid is what makes it worthwhile.

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While a few adults are making excuses not to act, it was a refreshing to read of scouts jumping into action. Yes this was dangerous, but they used their heads. and likely saved lives - what scouts do.


Boy Scouts help at collapsed house


... saw the building collapse on a man in a white shirt...the group started using two-by-fours and cinder blocks to pry up sections of the collapsed building and help those inside to escape.

...positioned cinder blocks so that another man could move his head.


It was hard. There was a lot of frustration. It was really heavy too, said Libordi. Ive never seen a building collapse like that before. It was crazy.


Mitch Cornish said the men trapped under the rubble were having a difficult time breathing.


They (3 victims) were in pretty bad shape, said Cornish, assistant superintendent of Public Works in Hornell. We couldnt move them. I think their injuries were pretty bad.


Property owner Harold Hill (no not the Music Man) was demolishing a section of the single-story, multi-family apartment complex with a backhoe and was on the west side of the building when it collapsed toward the east side.


I saw it starting to come down, but I didnt notice the people inside until I turned around and got there. I heard Noah say there were guys inside, and I started getting my adrenaline going up, said Argentieri, 12.


The scouts estimated they were at the scene 10-20 minutes before emergency personnel arrived at the scene. (No they did not just call 911 and sit safely off-scene and wait for adults to come!)





My $0.02, Good job Scouts!(This message has been edited by RememberSchiff)

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