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Thread: Role play ideas - causality and consequences.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    According to some parents, they're exactly the same at school. And there's me saying to them "I know you know how to behave, because you do it as school..." I now understand why that falls on deaf ears.
    Scouts is not school. Kids behave in different ways in different environments - their behaviour at school, at home, on the street with their mates is all different, different (unwritten) rules apply. This is why they can get all silly in a new situation - they genuinely don't know how to behave, they don't know the rules. We mark out Scouts as a different place, with uniform, opening and closing ceremonies. In that place and time different rules apply - our rules. We can change their behaviour within that place and time without having to drag their entire lives into line, although hopefully setting an example that will filter through into other situations. We lose that opportunity to set the rules as soon as we try to relate to school.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon.md View Post
    I dislike this approach. Sending them home is fair enough - but only if they have done something wrong. You seem to be suggesting sending the entire group home regardless of if they have all misbehaved.

    I do not accept that a Scout who has decided to change their behaviour and done nothing wrong that meeting is just as bad as the ones who have misbehaved.
    If the problem is a problem with group dynamics then "it wasn't me - this time" is not a valid excuse. They have the opportunity to call a halt to this, washing their hands doesn't get them off the hook.
    John Russell
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    Cubs don't care how much you know, but they need to know how much you care.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnR View Post
    If the problem is a problem with group dynamics then "it wasn't me - this time" is not a valid excuse. They have the opportunity to call a halt to this, washing their hands doesn't get them off the hook.
    Nope - I appreciate this is hypothetical but you could have a scenario where one decides to turn a new leaf and behave whilst the others aren't interested. Changing their behaviour for the better absolutely should get them "off the hook", this is what we want them to do.

    If the argument is that the one Scout who has decided to behave should have brought the others into line as well and their failure to do so makes them culpable I would point out that the leaders are also unable to get the rest to change their behaviour.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnR View Post
    Scouts is not school. Kids behave in different ways in different environments - their behaviour at school, at home, on the street with their mates is all different, different (unwritten) rules apply. This is why they can get all silly in a new situation - they genuinely don't know how to behave, they don't know the rules. We mark out Scouts as a different place, with uniform, opening and closing ceremonies. In that place and time different rules apply - our rules. We can change their behaviour within that place and time without having to drag their entire lives into line, although hopefully setting an example that will filter through into other situations. We lose that opportunity to set the rules as soon as we try to relate to school.
    I'm aware Scouts is not school (only been doing it for 25 years...) My point is, they know - or I thought they knew - how to behave. There are certain standards in terms of manners that are universal - and unless a kid has some sort of diagnosis, then one can assume they have a rudimentary understanding of social norms.

    Scouts is not a new situation for them, they've been here for months. Its also not that different from school; there is a beginning and an end marked by some form of ceremony (schools may not drop a flag, but they don't all just drift away). There are adults who are there to teach new skills within the confines of a syllabus... Its not that different at all. They even have uniforms...

    That they don't know how to behave isn't down to them being in a new situation, its because mob psychology is taking over, and if the school isn't/aren't able to deal with it, then what hope do we have.

    I would argue that we can't change their behaviour in an hour and a half slot if the rest of their lives (especially when the context is so similar) is all Lord of the Flies. You're troop might run like that, but I suspect, you've always been strict and orderly and you simply don't get the kind of kids we do. Our troop is known for being wild, I'm doing my best to change that so we don't automatically only attract the arseholes. You get the kids your leadership technique deserves, but it takes a new leader months (years even) to change the tone of a Scout Troop, and the initial mountain that needs climbed is a tough one, or so I'm finding out.

    I was a youth worker for years, worked for social work, education and comm services.. I did a lot of work with some seriously troubled kids, individually and in groups. As time passes by, I feel with some of the kids we have now, that I'm travelling back in time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon.md View Post
    Changing their behaviour for the better absolutely should get them "off the hook", this is what we want them to do.
    Certainly - if it's permanent. Not if the dynamic hasn't changed but they just didn't happen to be involved that time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon.md View Post
    If the argument is that the one Scout who has decided to behave should have brought the others into line as well and their failure to do so makes them culpable I would point out that the leaders are also unable to get the rest to change their behaviour.
    The Leaders are outside the group.
    John Russell
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnR View Post
    Certainly - if it's permanent. Not if the dynamic hasn't changed but they just didn't happen to be involved that time.
    This is a really subtle but important point.

    Even if there are kids who are normally involved, but happen not to be on this occasion - but are watching and observing - by doing so, they're still enabling the behaviour. A lot of bad behaviour (in any form) occurs because there is an audience. While I don't agree with joint enterprise per se - there is an argument for it in this context.

    If a group of five kids are standing in a circle but only two are going at each other, part of the reason they're doing so is because the other three are watching to see what transpires. Nothing ever happens in isolation when it comes to groups of kids, its all posturing and jostling for position.

    I couldn't in good conscience send a kid home who I knew wasn't involved in a thing. But I'd sure to explain the above to them, and while I wasn't sending them home, they wouldn't be getting tuck shop, or to use knifes the following week. They need to remove themselves completely from that group dynamic and do so for a decent period of time before I'd let the off the hook completely.

    This is part of the problem, kids get things to easily, I'm not just talking about material stuff. They are forgiven too easily, so responsibility has little or no meaning. They behave poorly but know, if they say sorry or maybe don't do what ever it is they doing all the time, then the adults in their life will go easy or even reward them for their good behaviour. Imagine that, where we reward kids for not being horrible while the decent kids fall by the way side because we're so busy monitoring the trouble makers in case they don't do something bad.

    Someone should write a paper on this...


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    Are we saying that decimation - in the Roman sense of the word - is a little over the top?
    John Russell
    ex-CSL now ACSL 1st Pinhoe Exeter Devon
    Cubs don't care how much you know, but they need to know how much you care.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnR View Post
    Are we saying that decimation - in the Roman sense of the word - is a little over the top?
    I think Red Six argue quite the opposite.
    Last edited by ianw; 13-09-2017 at 01:16 PM.
    Ian Wilkins
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    Mmm, I think decimation (while attractive) is a little OTT.

    I've long thought, part of the problem is, we don't take enough time to individualise and humanise ourselves in front of each other. Meetings are so frenetic, we just see a mass of kids and they just see disposable, rechargeable children's TV presenter cum teacher type drones.

    I think tomorrow night, I'm going to ask everyone (leaders included) to bring in something that is special to them, they can show it off and explain what it mean to them. Maybe that'll encourage all of us to treat each other with a bit more understanding and respect.

    Or is that too soppy?


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    Mmm, I think decimation (while attractive) is a little OTT.

    I've long thought, part of the problem is, we don't take enough time to individualise and humanise ourselves in front of each other. Meetings are so frenetic, we just see a mass of kids and they just see disposable, rechargeable children's TV presenter cum teacher type drones.

    I think tomorrow night, I'm going to ask everyone (leaders included) to bring in something that is special to them, they can show it off and explain what it mean to them. Maybe that'll encourage all of us to treat each other with a bit more understanding and respect.

    Or is that too soppy?



    So soppy I had to say it twice... /edit

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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    Mmm, I think decimation (while attractive) is a little OTT.

    I've long thought, part of the problem is, we don't take enough time to individualise and humanise ourselves in front of each other. Meetings are so frenetic, we just see a mass of kids and they just see disposable, rechargeable children's TV presenter cum teacher type drones.

    I think tomorrow night, I'm going to ask everyone (leaders included) to bring in something that is special to them, they can show it off and explain what it mean to them. Maybe that'll encourage all of us to treat each other with a bit more understanding and respect.

    Or is that too soppy?
    Dunno. I've sat down with my explorers and came out straight with it, that I'm not really enjoying explorers at the time, and why, have a bit of a heart to heart with them. Seems unlikely to work with scouts though. And some of them wouldn't give a ...um.... two hoots that you're not enjoying it.
    Ian Wilkins
    Farnham District Explorer Scout Commissioner

    Jambowlree - World Scout Ten Pin Bowling Competition
    All sections, all countries, runs December 2016 - May 2017
    http://www.jambowlree.org

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    Quote Originally Posted by ianw View Post
    Dunno. I've sat down with my explorers and came out straight with it, that I'm not really enjoying explorers at the time, and why, have a bit of a heart to heart with them. Seems unlikely to work with scouts though. And some of them wouldn't give a ...um.... two hoots that you're not enjoying it.
    Frustratingly, individually they do.

    We have one kid who is up there with the worst of them, we've told him/them we're not enjoying it. But at the end of the night, as nice as you like, he comes up and says thank you. Its not even because either of his parents make him, he does it entirely off his own back.

    Its a bit odd.

    (My Explorers are great, they're never any bother. If anything they're a wee bit too stand-offish.)

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    I've always been a fan of finding things to do that can be done as small groups without time pressure. So 2 leaders and 8 kids invited to do archery one evening, bit of archery, making tea and toast in the kitchen. Different kids invited when another evening comes free. Weekend camps for the younger kids, or the older kids, or those in the Pipe Band (in your case maybe - although I have thought about inviting the kids who are learning guitar and drums down to the hut for a day and see if we can start a rock group).

    I'm not sure it makes any difference. It's just nicer to know a bit about the kids as people.
    John Russell
    ex-CSL now ACSL 1st Pinhoe Exeter Devon
    Cubs don't care how much you know, but they need to know how much you care.

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    Why roll play and act when you have the real deal? The next time they start pushing buttons and some kid explodes stop everything and use the problem as an opportunity.

    Something I did when a patrol exploded: I first reviewed the Scout Law and Promise with the scouts. We then talked about how what happened reflected, or didn't reflect, the law and promise. This includes the part about standing up for those that need help. i.e., nobody was innocent. That was a good time to bring up the fact that it shouldn't be the adults having to sit with them to keep them quiet.

    I didn't need to judge them, they did enough of that on their own because they saw a lot more than I did. All I needed to do was ask questions to get them talking. They were honest and polite. The fact that I wasn't out looking for who to blame (everyone was at fault, after all) made it a lot easier for them to open up. Well, that and that they knew I wasn't going to throw them out of the troop. After that topic was covered I then asked them what they were going to do to prevent this problem in the future.

    Have you also considered the possibility that they're annoying each other because they're bored? Maybe they really just want to get up and run and burn some energy off. As long as you're asking them about how they're going to prevent problems how about asking them what they think of the activities?

    If I were in your position I'd consider John's idea; the next time this patrol goes off the rails everyone goes home. Or everyone calls their parents. Or whatever sounds like a good way to let them know that they are all responsible for each other.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MattR View Post
    Why roll play and act when you have the real deal? The next time they start pushing buttons and some kid explodes stop everything and use the problem as an opportunity.

    Something I did when a patrol exploded: I first reviewed the Scout Law and Promise with the scouts. We then talked about how what happened reflected, or didn't reflect, the law and promise. This includes the part about standing up for those that need help. i.e., nobody was innocent. That was a good time to bring up the fact that it shouldn't be the adults having to sit with them to keep them quiet.

    I didn't need to judge them, they did enough of that on their own because they saw a lot more than I did. All I needed to do was ask questions to get them talking. They were honest and polite. The fact that I wasn't out looking for who to blame (everyone was at fault, after all) made it a lot easier for them to open up. Well, that and that they knew I wasn't going to throw them out of the troop. After that topic was covered I then asked them what they were going to do to prevent this problem in the future.

    Have you also considered the possibility that they're annoying each other because they're bored? Maybe they really just want to get up and run and burn some energy off. As long as you're asking them about how they're going to prevent problems how about asking them what they think of the activities?

    If I were in your position I'd consider John's idea; the next time this patrol goes off the rails everyone goes home. Or everyone calls their parents. Or whatever sounds like a good way to let them know that they are all responsible for each other.
    Firstly (although I don't think it matters really), its not a patrol, its several Scouts across the entire troop. Secondly, they never explode/burst in to tears during the night, they wait until they get home.

    Talking about the law and promise would be the same as talking about a code of conduct. Most of the kids are fine, but there is a core group for whom laws, promises and codes of conduct are entirely moot because they get so over-excited, normal rules go out the window. Its even more basic than that, in order for the laws and promise (etc) to take hold, there has to already be a level of order - and among this core group, it slides. Its pure mob psychology.

    I already take the time to speak to the kids individually one to one when ever I can. I've been doing everything I can to humanise all of us in each other eyes in order to kick start any empathy they might have. We sat down on Thursday there and asked them all what they knew about leaders and what they thought leaders knew about them. We also talked about causality and bullying - and how if they pick and nip at each other, then go home, burst in to tear and claim bullying - that it isn't bullying. They understood and it was a far calmer night.

    It was a good night, mostly because a couple of the key players weren't there. (But also because we had some sobering news earlier in the week about an ex-leader...)

    What seems to be transpiring off the back of these talks we have, is that no one seems to be teaching them about responsibility. I suspect that, due to how they live these days, that there now needs to be specific instruction in this area - where-as before previous batches of kids maybe learnt it more organically? All of us are agreed (kids included, where they have the self awareness anyway), that this seems to be the issue. Even a couple of the kids who tend to act up were nodding their heads thoughtfully at this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    What seems to be transpiring off the back of these talks we have, is that no one seems to be teaching them about responsibility. I suspect that, due to how they live these days, that there now needs to be specific instruction in this area - where-as before previous batches of kids maybe learnt it more organically? All of us are agreed (kids included, where they have the self awareness anyway), that this seems to be the issue. Even a couple of the kids who tend to act up were nodding their heads thoughtfully at this.
    By learning organically I assume you mean something like touching a hot stove? Or in this case picking on someone and then they slug you? I'm curious, how many of these scouts don't have siblings? In general, I've seen that scouts without siblings have a harder time figuring out how to deal with annoying scouts. Those with lots of siblings can just walk away. Anyway, I hate to say it but organic learning is the only way to learn these things at their age.

    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    Firstly (although I don't think it matters really), its not a patrol, its several Scouts across the entire troop. Secondly, they never explode/burst in to tears during the night, they wait until they get home.
    Maybe sitting by patrols might help? The problem scouts would be separated.

    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    Its even more basic than that, in order for the laws and promise (etc) to take hold, there has to already be a level of order - and among this core group, it slides. Its pure mob psychology.
    Agreed. Split the mob? Or maybe just suggest that the ones that aren't the "key players" may want to separate from them. It might reduce the problem size. By the way, Lord of the Flies is a great read they might like.

    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    I already take the time to speak to the kids individually one to one when ever I can. I've been doing everything I can to humanise all of us in each other eyes in order to kick start any empathy they might have. We sat down on Thursday there and asked them all what they knew about leaders and what they thought leaders knew about them. We also talked about causality and bullying - and how if they pick and nip at each other, then go home, burst in to tear and claim bullying - that it isn't bullying. They understood and it was a far calmer night.
    That's good to hear. After about 20 iterations they'll get it. Then hopefully one day in about 6 years they'll come and thank you.

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