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A book on parenting long overdue: The Last Boys Picked

 
 
wmwcjr
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 May, 2013 10:15 am
@Chumly,
Gee whiz, Chumly! I wasn't going to post again in this topic of mine, but now I'm going to have to get involved in this mess again. (Seriously, I do appreciate your support.)

Careful, Chumly! I'm sure your moderate statement would upset some of the other members, who would wrongly take it as a personal affront.

Needless to say, I completely agree with you.

I got angry because I had simply called attention to a book that was written to help a particular category of hurting kids, but one respondent in particular proceeded to tear the book to pieces simply because it didn't fit her agenda. The book was not intended to be a political or social discourse. It really wasn't dealing with school bullying in general. It was merely instructional. The book wasn't written as a diatribe against school sports. After all, one of the interviewed author's own sons was a school athlete. The purpose of the book was to instruct the parents of these boys how to work around the popularity of school sports, not to rage against them. I'm sure they recommended ways their sons could feel better about themselves by increasing their self-esteem by means of excelling in some other endeavor. Possibly instruction about developing better social skills is also provided.

The negative reaction to this book expressed in this topic is irrelevant. I'm amazed by it all. Instead of addressing the problems of these boys, comments were made about different policies of schools regarding bullying. Those comments really had nothing to do with the subject of the book. In other words, they were beyond its scope. I suspect school policies were irrelevant to the authors of the book. I'm sure they were suggesting ways that these boys can help themselves without relying upon school policies. But the critic or critics of this book were only concerned about their own agenda and were not addressing the subject matter of the book. They sought to tear it down because it was of no use to them.

To repeat myself, I should have made my intentions clear in the OP. I was simply wanting to call attention to a book on parenting that would be of benefit to the parents of these boys. Not exactly a book of broad appeal, but necessary. I'm amazed at the negative reaction here.

The policy of compulsory sports in the schools never encouraged the nonathletic kids to become physically active. In fact, it discouraged them and frequently encouraged some of the worst bullying I've ever heard. Some members of this forum take this observation as a swipe at school sports. Nothing could be further from the truth. It's simply a critique of a system that really hurt some kids. I have no problem with the "old P.E." being retained as an elective.

I've noticed many of the members here (as well as the forums of many other websites) make no effort to understand someone else's point of view. If someone express a point of view they don't happen to share, the usual reaction is to post a snarky response. The assumption is made that the other person is a dummy. He couldn't possibly be intelligent or even decent; otherwise, he would agree with them. In other words, minds are already made up. Completely closed, not receptive to any new ideas. The attitude is not to learn from others, but to put them in their place for not conforming to the prevailing orthodoxy on the part of the majority of the members. (On the other hand, you and I probably have some sharp differences in other realms of thought; but I think we'd probably be able to discuss them civilly.)

By the way: Hey, Ceili, I suspect you've probably had a few hissy-fits of your own, wouldn't you say? I might as well say this now: In an old thread on a completely different subject, I said that the Catholic church did not change particular scriptures that did not conform to certain doctrines and practices of their own. My observation clearly was in the nature of a compliment, but you took it as an attack on Catholics and all but accused me of fomenting hatred against Catholics. What nonsense! I've always been concerned about human rights for all people, including Catholics when they were historically oppressed. I suggest you try to get to know someone personally (or at least ask for a clarification) before you make false assumptions about a complete stranger and go into attack mode. It gets to be quite tiresome. As the old cliche goes: When you point a finger at someone, three are pointing back at you.

Back to you, Chumly: Why is it that I have thrived in a health club atmosphere but dreaded mandatory P.E. with every fiber of my being? (Actually, I'm not asking you this question. It's directed to all those who support compulsory sports in the schools.)

Again, I apologize for losing my temper here (which is certainly more than can be said of some of the other members when they lose their tempers in other threads). I even sent PMs to Boomerang and Joe Nation to offer apologies.

This is my last post in this topic. I swear this is addictive, but I've got to stop. I've got too many obligations in that realm we call real life. You guys can savage me all you want in my absence to your own satisfaction, but I won't be here to take the abuse. Smile Wink
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 May, 2013 11:07 am
@joefromchicago,
I didn't say her experience wasn't valid. I just think that kids are going to bully each other over any perceived difference and if it wasn't sports it would have been something else. I personally don't think it does a kid much good to tell them that they were bullied for one specific aspect of their personality. I think it could send them down the path to having even less confidence in themselves if they're bullied for something they cannot or don't want to change -- like physical ability or what they're interested in.

The law in Illinois might call for PE but that doesn't mean that's what the kids are getting. I poked around through some of my education sites and found that 16 districts in Illinois have applied for waivers, or extensions of waivers, for PE classes for the school years 2013-2014, and 2014 - 2015. Most cite "inadequate facilities" and the fact that kids get recess/free time to run around (http://www.isbe.state.il.us/gov_relations/pdf/waiver-fall-12.pdf)

I also found that Chicago has had PE waivers since 1997 and only reinstated any type of PE next year:

Quote:
Since 1997, most of the city's 675 schools have waived the physical education requirement for many of its 405,000 students because of budget shortfalls.

But Chicago Public Schools plans to reinstate a physical education requirement for all high school juniors and seniors for the 2013-14 school year, said Frank Shuftan, a district spokesman. Recess will also return for all elementary schools next fall. He said that the vast majority of the system's students would benefit from the physical education reinstatement.


http://www.theroot.com/views/chicago-schools-making-healthy-moves

Additionally, students can get individual waivers for all sorts of reasons.

joefromchicago
 
  3  
Reply Mon 13 May, 2013 11:44 am
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:
I didn't say her experience wasn't valid.

I never said that you did. Indeed, I don't even know what it means to have a "valid" experience. But you did suggest that her experience was atypical.

boomerang wrote:
I just think that kids are going to bully each other over any perceived difference and if it wasn't sports it would have been something else. I personally don't think it does a kid much good to tell them that they were bullied for one specific aspect of their personality. I think it could send them down the path to having even less confidence in themselves if they're bullied for something they cannot or don't want to change -- like physical ability or what they're interested in.

I'm not quite sure I understand your point. If kids are getting bullied now because they're not athletic, then that's a problem. It's not a hypothetical problem, and it's not a non-problem just because those kids would get bullied regardless of the situation. If you're identifying bullying in general as the problem, that still doesn't mean that we shouldn't find ways to address bullying in particular circumstances.

Furthermore, it's rather naive to say that we might damage a kid's self-esteem if we tell him he's being bullied because he's not athletic. We don't need to worry about that: the bullies are already telling him. Honestly, do you think little Jason needs an adult to tell him that the other kids are picking on him because he sucks at kickball?
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 May, 2013 11:51 am
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:
I personally don't think it does a kid much good to tell them that they were bullied for one specific aspect of their personality.


they already know why they're being bullied. doesn't take a parent to tell them.

What a child and parent might benefit from is a resource (like a book, maybe) that can help the parent figure out how to help their particular child with a particular area they are being bullied in. A quick google search finds me books on how parents can help their child/ren when they are being bullied because of: weight/sexuality/race/intelligence/lack of intelligence/appearance ...

Do you object to all of those resource books?
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 May, 2013 01:32 pm
@ehBeth,
Yeah, ehBeth, I would have the same problem.

To me these books seem to be saying -- you're flawed in this way and that's why you're being bullied -- and I don't think the person being bullied is the one who is flawed.

They're being bullied because the other kid is an asshole who seeks status and the only way they know how to do that is by being a bully.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 May, 2013 03:43 pm
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:
They're being bullied because the other kid is an asshole who seeks status and the only way they know how to do that is by being a bully.


I think you're (deliberately?) missing the point.

Kids are being bullied.

How do you propose parents learn to help their kids when they are being bullied?
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 May, 2013 03:44 pm
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:
I personally don't think it does a kid much good to tell them that they were bullied for one specific aspect of their personality.


so what would help them and how can parents learn about it?
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 May, 2013 03:54 pm
@ehBeth,
I don't think I'm missing the point at all. I think I've been very clear: some kids get bullied because some other kids are assholes.

Nobody knows the secret to stop kids from being bullies, certainly not me. The best books that I've come across that addresses the question, albeit in an indirect way, is the book I've already mentioned on this thread -- "How Children Succeed" by Paul Tough.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 May, 2013 03:57 pm
@boomerang,
The question isn't how to stop bullies or why kids are being bullied.

The question is how to help kids who are being bullied.
wmwcjr
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 May, 2013 05:36 pm
@ehBeth,
Thank you very much, ehBeth! Smile (I'd give you a big hug; but, quite understandably, Setanta most likely would object. I hope that statement didn't offend anyone.) I simply appreciate not being misunderstood all of the time. Seriously, all I was concerned about was how to best help kids who are being bullied.

(Believe me, I would not have posted again; but another member informed me of the changed situation. So, I returned to post again, perhaps against my better judgment.)

Incidentally, as far as being tagged for "shamelessly plugging a book" is concerned, what benefit do I get out of it? It's not like I'm a book salesman or anything. I have no vested interest in the book. My interest in it is sincere. My parents could have used it.

As far as what school policies should be regarding bullying, I tend to have an open mind. I don't pretend to be an expert. As I've said previously, I don't favor "zero tolerance" policies because such policies can backfire to the detriment of the victim when he tries to defend himself. See, Ms. Boomerang, I actually agree with you on a point. Smile Possibly more than you realize . . .

No, I haven't read the book (since the subject matter affects me emotionally); but I seriously doubt the authors recommend that the parents petition the school board to do something like implementing a program affecting the entire student body. The welfare of these kids is the responsibility of their own parents, not the school board. If a victim of bullying is babied, he will end up with little, if any, self-esteem. I like Dr. Van Ornum's suggestion of guiding nonathletic boys into noncompetitive physical activities, thus providing an outlet for their own expression. In my own totally amateurish way, I'd even call it "masculine outlet." I don't believe the concerns of Boomerang are affected by this book. I'm sure what the authors recommend has no impact in the lives of other students, but simply have to do with the nonathletic boys building more self-esteem and, most importantly, self-confidence by achieving something themselves.

I don't know if that makes any sense. I'm not always articulate on the spur of the moment.

I'm open-minded about school's bullying policies and probably would agree with Ms. Boomerang's concerns. All I was saying was that I thought those concerns probably were not affected by the book.

Well, this certainly has been a weird thread. The twists and turns are like a decent Twilight Zone episode. I hope it begins to wind down at this point. I've got too much to do now away from my wife's former PC.

Look, guys, I'm just a normal human being. You probably think I'm a jerk or a fool or a creep and are perhaps sizing me up as the next JGoldman10 (poor guy! Sad ) as a new source of entertainment. No, I don't have horns, hooves, and a forked tail. Twisted Evil You possibly would like me if you met me in real life (not that I'm particularly notable). But I'm probably not suited for posting in forums such as A2K. The whole situation sometimes seems inherently confrontational, which really isn't my style. I prefer reconciliation and understanding to putting someone down. Sometimes my temper gets shorter online than it is in real life. Again, my apologies. So, no hard feelings. Let's just forget the whole thing, or you-all continue without me. (I think I've provided enough laughs with my inarticulate prose.) At least that's what I'm going to try to do now.

(Good grief, that was a terribly written post! Mr. Green )
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 May, 2013 05:40 pm
I went looking for reviews of this book on non-consumer sites and the only one I've found so far is from Publisher's Weekly.


Quote:
Psychologist Edgette is the mother of Jake, who, unlike his brothers and peers, simply did not enjoy sports. The talents and aptitudes of boys like Jake for other kinds of activities often go unrecognized, she says, because not only are they excluded from the popular crowd, their sexuality is called into question and bullying ensues. When she began writing this seven years ago, the Boy’s Movement was at its nascence, geek chic had yet to fully evidence itself, and nonathletic boys were overlooked by peers, teachers, coaches, and parents. She believes, however, that the problem persists, despite those movements, and that the remedy is for adults to step up and change the rules, challenging the status quo and applauding and encouraging the boys (and men) whose social skills are not formed on the playing field. In order to be effective, a parent can follow her instructions and stop the cycle of boy-against-boy aggression by exposing and making explicit the covert dynamics lurking behind certain bullying behaviors, but her approach follows the now familiar antibullying protocols being adopted in schools and on teams. While this is certainly an issue parents will encounter, and this book’s straight talk will help some moms and dads, a magazine feature would have sufficed.


I think that's the problem -- a lot has changed in the seven years it took her to write the book. These days the non-athletes give just as good as they get.
wmwcjr
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Jun, 2013 05:43 am
@boomerang,
Well, I finally gave in and checked most of the exchanges. It wasn't as bad as I had expected.

Ms. Boomerang, I'm a 64-year-old man -- both of whose children are girls, not boys. So, I haven't exactly been a professional observer of junior high and high-school social life as it affects teenage boys. I have never heard of this "Boy's Movement" that is referenced in your quote. Perhaps there have been some changes in the last seven years, but I need to see some evidence. Also, there's also the fact that different communities have different moral climates (for lack of a better expression). In other words, some school districts are bound to be worse than others in that regard. Also, as I was once informed by now-retired Coach Tim McCord (a leading proponent of the innovative PE4Life program), the "old P.E." still is a reality in some school districts. That would follow since this country doesn't have a uniform educational system.

Again, I apologize for losing my temper. Perhaps I had the wrong impression, but it seemed to me that you were discounting everything I was saying. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I was getting the feeling that you thought nonathletic boys weren't deserving of any consideration at all. Frankly, I was dismayed that my OP engendered any controversy at all. In fact, I didn't expect any replies. I thought the book might be helpful to a few parents. I previously had mentioned the book in just a sentence or two in a post submitted in a topic at www.democraticundergound.com. I got an almost immediate reaction. Two other members (both men) indicated they wished the book had been available to their parents. So, I thought I'd post an OP featuring this book in this forum. I now wish I hadn't bothered. It's just not worth the hassle.

I'm still trying to figure out how this exchange became so heated. I don't believe we have any major disagreements on the issue of bullying, although I'm having trouble what has apparently bothered you.

The reason I got upset was because I was actually touched that someone had written a book addressed to parents of a group of boys who have been traditionally denigrated. (There's no denying the denigration of nonathletic boys as "feminized" wimps is a cultural phenomenon. For example, check out a copy of The Feminized Male by Patricia Cayo Sexton, which is a hateful screed directed against nonathletic boys and men. When I first read through this book, I was able to identify with blacks and Jews who examine racist and anti-Semitic literature even more than I had before. By the way, since I work out at a health club, I'm not exactly "effeminate." I simply object to demeaning stereotypes.) I got upset because this sort of exchange touches upon issues that have been "hot button" issues for me for years. (And some of them, incidentally, have nothing to do with bullying.) I'm sure you have your own "hot button" issues, but I don't know what they are. My intention was not to upset you or anyone else.

I'm not sure what you mean when you say "the non-athletes give just as good as they get."

Again, I apologize. No hard feelings.
wmwcjr
 
  0  
Reply Tue 25 Jun, 2013 06:31 am
@wmwcjr,
P.S. I think it's funny how we got into a heated exchange over a book neither of us has read! Smile Laughing
0 Replies
 
wmwcjr
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Jul, 2014 01:40 pm
http://www.athleticbusiness.com/more-news/study-kids-bullied-in-gym-sports-avoid-future-activity.html
Quote:

Study: Kids Bullied in Gym, Sports Avoid Future Activity

by Lois M. Collins, Deseret News January 2014





AthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.



Copyright 2014 The Deseret News Publishing Co.
Deseret Morning News (Salt Lake City)


When kids are bullied during physical activities like PE classes and sports, they tend to withdraw from being physically active -- not just in class, but in general. A year later, kids who are picked on are less active, according to a study led by BYU researchers.

That's true of both overweight and healthy-weight kids, the study found. The research is published in the Journal of Pediatric Psychology.

The research touches on two different factors in child well-being that concern experts. First, physical activity -- or its lack -- and the resulting weight gain have serious ramifications for both present and future health, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics and others. Research suggests that only 8 percent of school-age children get the recommended one hour of physical activity a day that federal guidelines say they need. Obesity is considered by health officials to be a national epidemic that includes children.

At the same time, the U.S. Department of Education's National Center on Educational Statistics noted that at least 13.5 million episodes of bullying were reported in 2011, ranging from insults to threats and physical harm. It's not a count of how many students were actually bullied, since some students were likely bullied in more than one way and other students probably never reported incidents, but it is suggestive.

Intrigued by earlier research that suggested kids who are bullied by peers may become more sedentary, the researchers in the BYU-led study decided to look at what happens when the bullying itself involves physical activity. "Kids may be teased about their physical skills, ostracized when teams are chosen for sports, or criticized for their physical appearance when they wear exercise clothing," said lead researcher Chad D. Jensen, assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at Brigham Young University.

Sitting it out

"Children who have been criticized for their physical skills, chosen last and ridiculed seem to avoid physical activity, perhaps because from previous experience they figure it's punishing and they'll stay on the sidelines," Jensen said.

The researchers asked 108 students from several Midwest grade schools questions that ranged from what their diets were like to how they were treated by peers. The research focused on a "constellation of physical, psychological, emotional and academic functioning," Jensen said.

Using two surveys, they asked about health and activities, feelings, whether the children had problems with other children and how they felt about and performed in school. They also asked about bullying, although they didn't call it that, measuring things like feeling put down and perceptions of how others see them, as well as how upset the child felt as a result of how he or she was treated.

They found that even a year later, children ages 9 to 12 who had been teased during physical activity were less active than those who had not been teased. The finding was especially true for healthy-weight kids a year later, he added. Overweight children who were teased experienced a decrease in their health-related quality of life, including physical, social and academic well-being.

Activity matters

"Children's early experiences with physical activity can influence their exercise habits well into adulthood," Jensen said. He cites the benefits of an active lifestyle: reduced risk for obesity, depression, diabetes, sleep problems and other physical and mental health issues.

The American Academy of Pediatrics "Bright Futures" report notes that "physical activity is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle and must begin in infancy and extend throughout adulthood. Regular physical activity increases lean body mass, muscle and bone strength and promotes good physical health. It fosters psychological wellbeing, can increase self-esteem and capacity for learning and can help children and adolescents handle stress."

Jensen hopes the study will serve as a call to action. It highlights how important it is to prevent bullying in schools and on the playing field. "We encourage educators and other adult leaders to intervene if children are being teased during physical activity and to consider physical education classes and recess important domains for bullying prevention," he said.

The other researchers were Christopher C. Cushing of Oklahoma State University and Allison R. Elledge of University of Kansas.

EMAIL: [email protected], Twitter: Loisco



January 26, 2014



Copyright © 2014 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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