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Parents- what is OK at a group for children?

Holy moley...

Posted by MrN on 2003-11-06 09:44:42

You who work with children aren't allowed to hold them? wow, this sounds terribly cold, what if the kids need a hug? Are you americans insane? Are you so terrified of what your peers might think/guess/speculate wildly about that you refrain from showing your kids affection? Even so, perhaps there's a reason for that, when you see this poll, and under what category it's placed... I understand the need to protect the kids from actual abuse, but from affection? Man, no wonder George "Church and state unite" Bush can be voted prez, you lot are frighteningly dim. Hope your kids make it unscathed, though I have no illusions as to that effect... with tripidation MrN

Posted by Juniper8 on 2003-11-15 01:28:50

Number one: What on Earth makes you think I'm American? I used English spelling, my email address ends with .ac.uk, I compared child protection in Bulgaria with child protection in the UK, and referred to English kids rather than Bulgarian kids. And for the record, when George Bush comes here on Wednesday I'll be protesting with everyone else. Where are you from? I always thought of holy moley as a bit of an americanism myself...

I thought controversy/morality was the most appropriate category for the poll because it is essentially about protecting kids from paedophiles, and about the level of touching that would be considered 'normal' and what people would raise an eyebrow at. I thought that could get quite controversial because people would have different views on what the people who were looking after their children should be doing with them. This turned out to be the case if you look at the results. Also, what other category would it have gone in? School life is mainly aimed at people who are at school, and since I was talking about young children who mainly don't know about paedophilia and child protection (except for vague stuff about 'stranger danger') it was parents' responses that I wanted. Miscellaneous is mainly stuff about what sort of pirate you'd be or whether you like custard and stuff, so it didn't seem the place for a serious poll.

I started the poll because I thought there was a big discrepancy between the rules in different situations. In my current group the rules seem quite strict- being allowed to hug kids has the potential to be abused, but tigging??!! I really don't see how games that constitute a small amount of touching could be considered child abuse. Certainly it doesn't seem to bother the kids, and some even seem to prefer it if the adults get involved. On the other hand, in Bulgaria, the orphanage staff just accepted 3 unknown volunteers with no formal checking, rarely even looked at the activities we were running, allowed us to go off to the sports field up the road with the kids, go to their rooms, pick them up, do whatever we wanted really. I daresay if any of us had wanted to do anything untoward, it would have been pretty easy. But as I've never had kids of my own, and feel a long way off doing so, I don't really feel it's up to me to judge whether the rules in my group are too strict or if the organisation that I went to Bulgaria with was too lax. I wanted to know where parents stood on the issue- some amount of touching makes the group easier to run and as you say, can even be viewed positively by the children, but where do you draw the line between allowing that and letting paedophiles take advantage of the situation? I tried to include every sensible situation where an adult might touch a child in the first part of the poll, and put down every view I could think of on the later questions, whether I thought it was sensible or not. Indeed some people have ticked options that I was thinking/hoping no-one would tick e.g. that only parents should be leading the group, that my conduct at the Bulgarian orphanage was so bad I should never go there again, that you should never put pictures of children on the web, that parents shouldn't be allowed to come along to a meeting unless they are regular leaders (?!), that an adult's sexuality affects what they should be allowed to do in the group... so it seems I was justified in putting options like that on the poll. I think the results so far are showing that people do indeed have very varied views on what is OK and what isn't, but it seems the majority tend towards a more lax attitude than my group currently has. So perhaps I'll try and lead the trend towards joining in the games soon. It seems that if kids are being annoying and not sitting in the circle I still can't pick them up and put them there though- that would save so much time! Ah well.

Hugging is a bit more of a grey area- maybe I should edit the poll again and put in a question specifically about hugging. It's a bit hard to tell from that first list. I'll not do that so soon after I edited it the first time though.

Sorry for rambling a bit, Rosa.

========== In Reply To ========== You who work with children aren't allowed to hold them? wow, this sounds terribly cold, what if the kids need a hug? Are you americans insane? Are you so terrified of what your peers might think/guess/speculate wildly about that you refrain from showing your kids affection? Even so, perhaps there's a reason for that, when you see this poll, and under what category it's placed... I understand the need to protect the kids from actual abuse, but from affection? Man, no wonder George "Church and state unite" Bush can be voted prez, you lot are frighteningly dim. Hope your kids make it unscathed, though I have no illusions as to that effect... with tripidation MrN

Posted by MrN on 2003-11-20 09:31:00

Rample on love. I must of course apologize for my preconcieved notion that you be a US citizen... my biases thought ahead of me there.. and I'm danish btw. be well Rosa, greets from MrN

========== In Reply To ========== Number one: What on Earth makes you think I'm American? I used English spelling, my email address ends with .ac.uk, I compared child protection in Bulgaria with child protection in the UK, and referred to English kids rather than Bulgarian kids. And for the record, when George Bush comes here on Wednesday I'll be protesting with everyone else. Where are you from? I always thought of holy moley as a bit of an americanism myself...

I thought controversy/morality was the most appropriate category for the poll because it is essentially about protecting kids from paedophiles, and about the level of touching that would be considered 'normal' and what people would raise an eyebrow at. I thought that could get quite controversial because people would have different views on what the people who were looking after their children should be doing with them. This turned out to be the case if you look at the results. Also, what other category would it have gone in? School life is mainly aimed at people who are at school, and since I was talking about young children who mainly don't know about paedophilia and child protection (except for vague stuff about 'stranger danger') it was parents' responses that I wanted. Miscellaneous is mainly stuff about what sort of pirate you'd be or whether you like custard and stuff, so it didn't seem the place for a serious poll.

I started the poll because I thought there was a big discrepancy between the rules in different situations. In my current group the rules seem quite strict- being allowed to hug kids has the potential to be abused, but tigging??!! I really don't see how games that constitute a small amount of touching could be considered child abuse. Certainly it doesn't seem to bother the kids, and some even seem to prefer it if the adults get involved. On the other hand, in Bulgaria, the orphanage staff just accepted 3 unknown volunteers with no formal checking, rarely even looked at the activities we were running, allowed us to go off to the sports field up the road with the kids, go to their rooms, pick them up, do whatever we wanted really. I daresay if any of us had wanted to do anything untoward, it would have been pretty easy. But as I've never had kids of my own, and feel a long way off doing so, I don't really feel it's up to me to judge whether the rules in my group are too strict or if the organisation that I went to Bulgaria with was too lax. I wanted to know where parents stood on the issue- some amount of touching makes the group easier to run and as you say, can even be viewed positively by the children, but where do you draw the line between allowing that and letting paedophiles take advantage of the situation? I tried to include every sensible situation where an adult might touch a child in the first part of the poll, and put down every view I could think of on the later questions, whether I thought it was sensible or not. Indeed some people have ticked options that I was thinking/hoping no-one would tick e.g. that only parents should be leading the group, that my conduct at the Bulgarian orphanage was so bad I should never go there again, that you should never put pictures of children on the web, that parents shouldn't be allowed to come along to a meeting unless they are regular leaders (?!), that an adult's sexuality affects what they should be allowed to do in the group... so it seems I was justified in putting options like that on the poll. I think the results so far are showing that people do indeed have very varied views on what is OK and what isn't, but it seems the majority tend towards a more lax attitude than my group currently has. So perhaps I'll try and lead the trend towards joining in the games soon. It seems that if kids are being annoying and not sitting in the circle I still can't pick them up and put them there though- that would save so much time! Ah well.

Hugging is a bit more of a grey area- maybe I should edit the poll again and put in a question specifically about hugging. It's a bit hard to tell from that first list. I'll not do that so soon after I edited it the first time though.

Sorry for rambling a bit, Rosa.

Posted by Brian Was Here on 2004-02-14 21:21:29

Why did you say "You americans" you racist $%!@.

========== In Reply To ========== You who work with children aren't allowed to hold them? wow, this sounds terribly cold, what if the kids need a hug? Are you americans insane? Are you so terrified of what your peers might think/guess/speculate wildly about that you refrain from showing your kids affection? Even so, perhaps there's a reason for that, when you see this poll, and under what category it's placed... I understand the need to protect the kids from actual abuse, but from affection? Man, no wonder George "Church and state unite" Bush can be voted prez, you lot are frighteningly dim. Hope your kids make it unscathed, though I have no illusions as to that effect... with tripidation MrN