Schools today - training our kids to be wimps

Discussion in 'Random Thoughts' started by purr1n, May 29, 2019.

  1. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    So went to the elementary school open house and got to see what the 4th and 5th-grade kids were playing in the schoolyard: Butts Up.

    This was a game I played when I was a child in Santa Clara County (which according to Wikipedia did have its own variant up to the mid 80s). Basically, a ball (tennis ball) is thrown against a wall by a thrower. Any person can attempt to catch the ball after the ball bounces off the wall and hits the ground at least once. If the catcher mishandles the ball, any other person can retrieve the ball and "peg" the catcher to get the catcher out. The Santa Clara County variant includes a punitive phase for those who get thrown out. They get to stand hands against the wall and the thrower lobs the ball trying to hit them. If they get hit, they get a letter. Upon a full B U T T S U P, they are out of the game. If they look back, then the thrower gets an overhand throw as hard as possible. Sometimes, we'd be dicks anyway and throw it overhand, especially to the Cry-Baby-Club kind of kids.

    Now I observed two things with the kids playing this game in 2019:
    1. No punitive phase. OK, I get it. Might be too cruel or humiliating.
    2. No pegging at catchers who mishandle the ball. Instead, they throw against the wall, and if the ball arrives before the catcher touches the wall, then the catcher is out. L A M E ! ! !
    Anyway, I just thought it was strange and rather dull. It seemed a lot more fun when I was a kid and had to worry about something beaning me in the back of the head or on the back of my thigh while I was running toward the wall, especially if the thrower happened to be one of the kids who had a great arm and was a star pitcher in Little League.

    --

    A friend of my son got hit in the head a few times by freak accident (three times in four days) near the wall. As a result, the Principal instituted new rules into Butts Up whereby the kids must be at least a certain distance from the wall. This action took away risk-award from the more aggressive players who chose to stand closer to the wall. Although my son is a more the more risk-averse side, he thought this government mandated rule change was lame.

    --

    My daughter's science teacher in middle school (he's the son of a well-liked and very respected old science teacher at the same middle school) asked who in his class was ever spanked by their parents. My daughter and her friend raised their hands. No one else did. The science teacher remarked this was interesting because my daughter and her friend also happened to be the best behaved in their class. I'm sure some people might be horrified that I've spanked my kids. I'm rather proud that I have. I'm sure California will pass a law against this when my kids are older and have their own kids.

    As an aside, the science teacher got reprimanded by the school administrators for sending two disruptive kids out from his class into the playground so they could shoot baskets instead.

    --

    Elementary school camp changed this year from the usual vetted location (King Gilette Ranch) because of the recent Malibu Canyon fires. It seemed the kids had a crappy time with retarded counselors who did not know how to maintain discipline and the showers were scalding hot causing injury. I think a lot of moms complained. Shortly after the camp, the Principal issued a robocall to all the parents telling them something to the effect of "resilience". I'm scratching my head on this one.

    --

    I fear future generations of 'murica may be doomed.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2019
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  2. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    P.S. I was practicing playing Butts Up with my kid. When he mishandled the ball trying to catch it, I pegged him. Totally by instinct. (I'm surprised how these things get ingrained, ever after 40 years). Haha. I didn't throw it hard. The idea is to get rid of the ball quickly and accurately. A full windup for a hard throw doesn't work because there's not enough time. The pegging variant isn't as bad as people think it is. Of course, if you are one of those people with modern QB arms...
     
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  3. JustAnotherRando

    JustAnotherRando My other bike is a Ferrari

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    The Australian version was simply a bunch of kid standing against the wall, and other kids pegging tennis balls as hard as they could at them. None of this complicated bouncing or spelling stuff.
     
  4. dmckean44

    dmckean44 In a Sherwood S6040CP relationship

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    That's the version we used to play too, but we also played tackle football on pavement.

    The no spanking thing is ridiculous. It's no wonder we've raised two generations of complete and total assholes now.
     
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  5. LetMeBeFrank

    LetMeBeFrank Won't tell anyone my name is actually Francis

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    I'm only 30, but when I was a kid we played outside, rode our bikes to our friends houses who lived miles away, got into fights, played red ass (a hackey sack version of your butts up), and all the other stuff that teaches you to interact with other humans.

    At what point did a tablet playing cartoons become an appropriate babysitter? Kids being born right now are going to be so socially inept, it will be a miracle if there's any new children in 20 years.
     
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  6. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    Ahaha, we called it buttball and played it after church growing up. No spelling. If someone mishandled catching the ball, they had to drop it and run to touch the wall. Anyone nearby could pick it up and try to hit them with it. If they did, before they tagged the wall, the person who got hit had to stand at the wall and take a shot as hard as the thrower could. Sometimes you got lucky and they missed. This game was never about winning. It was about punishment!
     
  7. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Just got back from school grounds. Kid pegged me good a couple times in the back. He really enjoyed this version and wants to introduce it to his friends. However, he fears "Mr. Foli will take the ball away".
     
  8. spwath

    spwath Collegiate hijinks master

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    As a "young" person, I feel like a lot said in this thread sounds like old farts saying "back in my day...", Though a bunch I do agree with. The amount of little kids I see now with tablets and phones seems stupid. When I was a kid I was allowed a certain amount of screen time (and only with the tv or computer, as no smart phones/tablets) per day that was pretty low, and I would always go biking with my friends and such.

    Though some things I take issue with in this thread:
    Spanking isn't always nessisary, I am not opposed to it, but I was never spanked and I think I turned out ok.
    I was never in fights or anything, and I didn't know anyone who was. I feel like that just isn't a thing anymore and that's ok. The closest I came to a fight was probably last year when I was going to take some dudes girlfriend to formal (like a dance or something you take a date to), but she cancelled last minute (boyfriend probably told her to) so the guy never needed to fight me. He definitely would have though if she didn't cancel.


    Edit: maybe I didn't turn out completely fine, I can be a bit socially inept, especially when it comes to women...
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2019
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  9. LetMeBeFrank

    LetMeBeFrank Won't tell anyone my name is actually Francis

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    I think it also depends on where you grow up. Fights were extremely common in my junior high and highschool, and after school on the walk home was even worse.

    A little scrap here and there when you're young can teach you allot about yourself. The thing about adversity and pain is it teaches you a strong, lasting lesson.
     
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  10. elmoe

    elmoe Friend

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    Maybe if you had ever gotten spanked youd have gotten into a fight with that kid, beat his ass, and taken his girl.

    My daughter could whoop you.
     
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  11. Lyander

    Lyander Too sensitive for SBAF

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    Addendum: my personal experience in no way invalidates that of others, but the reverse also holds true. Just another data point with too many variables to isolate.

    From the perspective of a younger millennial bordering on Gen-Z (btw, Gen-Z is what comes after millennials @Luckbad :p) that was raised with values somewhere between "be kind, you don't know what people are going through" and "stop being such a fucking pansy":

    I get why people are being taught to act more kindly. Current research draws causality between experiences of aggression and tendency to act aggressively, for one, and speaking from personal experience it's the kids who get abused (be it at home, at school, or elsewhere) that end up being the more sadistic bullies. Kids imbibe a lot more of their environment than previously thought, and it's far better to enable them to do good than the inverse. Thing is though, the countermeasures people are enacting nowadays might be a step too far. I'm all for safe spaces and gender equality, among many other things, but when these stamp out meaningful discussion and begin establishing a type of bigotry of their own then that's a danger; I'm all for freedom of speech and despise censorship, but when speech becomes a platform for hate, intolerance, or Lord alone knows what else then fuck it up the ass with an ice pick.

    There's a great body of literature on the topic of resilience as it relates to positive psychology, and studies on how people in less favourable conditions do end up with "thicker skin", to use a colloquialism. I recommend Seligman's papers, and Caldwell-Colbert. I've got some other papers I might recommend on my PC at home, but those are off the top of my head; too lazy to look up now.

    I was personally spanked and had stuff thrown at me a lot when I was a kid. One time I got pissed at my kid brother who was maybe 4 at the time, I ended up throwing a (plastic) chair at him. I was a teenager at the time so old enough to think, and that gave me pause for thought. I was bullied a lot at school because of my demeanour and skin tone (pasty skin in a tropical country, woo!), and that's a fundamental reason why I have strong SJW tendencies and a strong hated of discrimination of the unnecessary sort. Not conflating bullying with corporal punishment, but part of what dragged me into that cycle was the fact that I was an inconsiderate buttfuck to begin with, besides the social anxiety etc.

    I've punched holes in cabinets, the fridge has a nice dent in it in the shape of my knuckles, I've fucked up public property and even once stabbed someone near the neck with a mechanical pencil when they pissed me off back in high school. I'd like to pretend that's the worst of it but it isn't— I've been in more fights than I care to remember. It'd be unfair to attribute this all to corporal punishment, but it'd likewise be ignorant to say that there's no causation here whatsoever. Could be due to the "having stuff thrown at me" bit and not the spanking though :))

    I'm currently at school and taking a break from running around collecting signatures for clearance and I nearly fell into a panic not an hour ago worrying about not getting everything done in time— no prizes for guessing whether or not I've been given grief for fucking paperwork up when I was younger.

    I've told this story on-site once ages back I think, but I worked a pretty shit desk job for a while and one day stormed out because I was fucking done with it. I was close to just decking someone if they gave me a shit look on my walk. I ducked into a fast food joint and queued up, still storming. The guy in line ahead of me smiled and waved me ahead because it seemed he wasn't done thinking about his order— I was just about able to keep a straight face but that dispelled my foul mood and I was left feeling very silly, close to tears at the thought of someone actively not being an asshole to me out of nowhere for no good reason. I still have trouble with people being nice to me dammit. This was back in 2014 or 2015, I've long forgotten what I was so angry about but I remember exactly how I felt being on the receiving end of a minor kindness. It's part of why I tend to keep bad days to myself— the fuck if I know whether someone's having a shit time of life or not, better not to risk it, and it costs me nothing anyway.

    Yes facing adversity can foster growth in the same way exercise can reinforce one's body, but overdoing the tough love can leave them a bitter, fuck-everyone-else bastard or a neurotic mess who feels immense guilt whenever he thinks he might be acting like an asshat. I'm professionally and morally obligated to say that spanking should never be used as a parenting tool, even if my personal thoughts on the matter are unfortunately very much ambivalent (all things in their own time, in appropriate measures, etc etc).

    By way of a thought experiment: barring natural calamity or similar situations where being "human" is detrimental to well-being and regressing to a more primal, egoistic state could well aid survival, the only purpose growing a "hard" (yeah, yeah, jokes about penises ha-ha) personality could serve would be in response and relating to other people; if one grew up encountering no assholery then one would likely have no reason to act similarly for their personal benefit, or .
    even safety.

    Stupidly idealistic perhaps, but it's only a thought after all.

    I'd actually love to see that, but whether or not ass whooping needs to happen in the first place is another matter entirely.

    P.S.
    +1 to the "played before computers were a thing" generation! I've still got scars on my arms and legs from days spent going batshit crazy outside and I'm proud of them :)) They make for fond memories now that I don't have much choice outside of spending ages in front of a PC, and while arguments could be made that the internet is a communication medium much like any other, it does inhibit the development of certain social functions only learnable out "in the wild".

    The problem is that loads of developers know kids are an easy hook and could grow up to be whales*, so loads of apps are designed to be addictive as hell to nurture a dependence on the electronic environment.


    *On whales: https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2017-10-20-interview-with-the-whale

    Edit: my mental math sucks and I got ages wrong.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2019
  12. Skyline

    Skyline Double-blindly done with this hobby

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    That's exactly what this is.

    Thankfully I'm starting to hear it less from my fellow teachers as the old dinosaurs move on and the younger teachers move in. But, it used to be a common refrain. OId, miserable educators shaking their fists and shouting "Kids these days...!".

    Kids these days are amazing. And, when they do have issues, it's more often than not due to their parents screwing them up as parents always have done and always will do.
     
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  13. crazychile

    crazychile Eastern Iowa's Spiciest Pepper

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    You may have unknowingly triggered an underground, fight-club style wave of Butts Up. This is healthy. Kids need a way to blow off steam.

    I'd never heard of Butts Up. Being a 1970s grade school kid we played dodge ball using those textured red rubber balls that you could get a good grip on and really zing it. They stung when you got hit which was proper motivation to not get hit. I played dodge ball with some high school kids a few years ago at a church youth group. They used those soft foamy balls that you cant even throw straight because they're so light and imbalanced. They told me that those red rubber balls were outlawed for dodge ball long ago. That's a shame.
     
  14. elmoe

    elmoe Friend

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    @Lyer25 that was tongue in cheek, my daughter is 1.

    Boomers have raised a generation of frustrated participation trophied millennials who now have trouble coping with the fact that they aren't all that special compared to everybody else.

    They're also fairly nice for the most part, but they typically have unrealistic expectations of the world around them and tend to overestimate themselves because they were never told they sucked at anything.
     
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  15. Lyander

    Lyander Too sensitive for SBAF

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    I actually remembered you had a one year old from the Bottlehead Crack thread, but thought you had another kid! I'm laughing at the thought of spwath getting decked by someone maybe 5% his height now :))

    One thing I'm reasonably confident saying about not-kids my age is that while we did grow up being told we were all special and that we'd be able to change the world for the better if we put our minds to it, it didn't take long after entering the workforce (for those of us lucky enough to get a traditional education and a job after) before we were disillusioned. I can also confirm that it sucks hairy cat balls.
     
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  16. elmoe

    elmoe Friend

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    Yep, I can also confirm it (I'm in my early 30s, just the one daughter for now but she will be taught to deck one out if required :D ). I think it's ok to teach your kid that the world is full of wonder, to be kind and accepting of others. It's also ok to teach them they're not better than anyone else, and just because they feel strongly about something doesn't mean the world will agree or even accept them/praise them for it. Alot of the time you'll get shit on. Learn to brush it off and move on, there's plenty of people with varying degrees of opinion/context/circumstance out there and chances are most won't agree with you, how you handle it and make it work for you will define your level of success.

    If you don't like your desk job it's OK to quit. It's also ok to double down and work so hard you're indispensable, then negotiate better position and pay and move up in the world. Too many millennials in the workplace take things personally. So what if your boss and some co workers are assholes? You're not BBQing with them every Sunday, you're there to get paid. And sure, dealing with that sucks, but when you start realizing that you got nothing to prove and their opinions don't matter, you work hard and get shit done, you'll force them to recognize your worth whether they want to or not and that's a lot more satisfying than being a quitter. It's very constructive to develop a sense of humor and be able to turn things to derision.

    I empathize with you, I have little patience for bullshit and that tends to offend a lot of people because I no longer make an effort to filter my thoughts too much or be politically correct. Office politics bore/annoy me, and I've wanted to deck my boss and some co workers more time than I can count. I boxed throughout my teens/early adulthood and sometimes decking someone is definitely an urge I have to grit my teeth and take a deep breath to get rid of, but I think that's the lot of most desk jobs out there. Learning to not let it matter is an artform that kids would benefit from being taught. Being cocooned and led to believe the majority of the world out there is going to share your morals and values is detrimental to the development of a well rounded adult.

    Tldr: sometimes there's value to getting decked in the back of the head with a ball.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2019
  17. supertransformingdhruv

    supertransformingdhruv Almost "Made"

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    We had this game but with the larger rubber ball you'd use for dodgeball in our state-mandated middle school P.E. class every now and then. I actually remember it pretty vividly... probably because the first time I saw a white person's ass was when some kid got his gym shorts blasted off by the ball during the butts up portion. It was disturbingly pale.

    I'm curious if this is a city/rural thing. Back in college, a lot of my new friends from larger cities were confused by my high school stories. One of the things was that kids fought. If they weren't visibly hurt, most of the time there wouldn't be consequences. We had all the zero-tolerance policies but they weren't exactly enforced. A coach/teacher once told 14 or 15 year old me I needed to stand up for myself more, and that doing so would probably get me hit but "God gave you two hands to hit 'em right back with." Things are pretty much the same there today, but everyone's afraid weird loners nowadays.

    Not that I'm saying that this was a good thing in any way-- getting out of that town was the best thing that ever happened to me-- but I'm curious if, like with so many other things, city/rural is the divide. For context, this was rural coastal NC and I'm in my mid-twenties.
     
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  18. DigMe

    DigMe Needs a baby bottle

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    We played just like @shotgunshane too. No lobbing and no spelling. One time I was on the wall waiting for a free peg from an older, very athletic kid. It was taking forever so I started to turn my head which happened to coincide with his throw and took a racquetball to the face at his maximum velocity. I remember my face going numb for a bit after the initial pain.
     
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  19. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    The teacher in my baby care class warned me that angry, elderly people, such as you lot, are one of the biggest dangers to my child.

    "Anyone old enough to have ever comfortably listened to the HE1000 will probably try to forcefully throw dangerous, red, grippy balls at them, claiming their generation is too soft and needs to toughen up! Do not leave them alone with your baby!"

    Second on the list was electrical outlets covered in peanut butter.
     
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  20. Lyander

    Lyander Too sensitive for SBAF

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    Nah I definitely agree with that, only I err on the side of being a softie SJW now because I knew there were a lot of crusty old curmudgeons here who would beg to differ; I can argue either side ;)

    Left the job two years back now I think, been a grad student since and aside from some RA work and odd jobs with the family business etc I've been technically unemployed. Less cash for gear, but I've got friends who make $$$$ that let me listen to their nice toys from time to time, haha. It also helps that they're on the ins with one of the bigger local audio shops so I get to hang out there.

    Segued again. Dammit.

    Just for context I don't personally believe in being BFFs with your boss when you sign up at a small company or wherever unless it happens organically— too much Bolshevik where bosses in SMEs (small to medium enterprises) put on a facade of being family when it's obvious they're playing by the manual of "how to make the most of your new millennial employee". I singled millennials out again because it seems to be a running joke that we've got all these special needs (which I emphatically deny).

    I appreciate your candor, even if I tend to get all cantankerous when I think people are beginning to whine about prices again (hah!). Always good to have a proper conversation, as it were, and it's an excuse to exercise one's stoicism. Also, shit like that makes for fun discussions.

    @Hands pshh, I licked an outlet WITHOUT peanut butter when I was a kid and I'm still kicking (I really did, don't ask, I'm an absolute idiot).
     
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