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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
kengr
Sep. 11th, 2014 06:50 pm (UTC)
Tue, 04:39: polykins: stop the phrase “tattle-tale”. stop indirectly telling kids that if they speak up about someone... http://t.co/wpp1bCMyUG

You *do* realize that "tattletale" and all the rest of the things that go with it are *not* something imposed by adults, but rather an aspect of the "kid culture" for that age group.

There are several such cultures, mostly grouped by age, and they sare surprisingly uniform over wide areas (one classic example is a deliberately mangled version of the theme song to the 1950s "Daniel Boone" TV show showing up in Australia (where the program wasn't on the air yet) within weeks of showing up in the US.

It got carried by *one* kid when his family moved. The parody version (which, among other things changed "kilt a b'ar at the age of three" to "killed in a bar at the age of three" was sufficiently silly that it caught on in spite of the local kids not having a clue about who Daniel Boone was.

But kids games and a lot of "rituals" have been traced back *centuries*. This stuff gets passed from kid to kid with no adult intervention. Adults are sometimes aware of it, but more from remembering from when they were a kid.

"Tattletale" and related memes help bullies, but are almost impossible to eliminate because from the view point of the kid culture they are a vitally *necessary protection against adults.

They exist to keep adults from punishing kids for stuff the *kids* don't see as wrong. Protecting bullies is an unfortunate side effect.

As such, you are *never* going to root it out and shouldn't waste effort trying.

Instead, we need to help the kid culture come down on bullying (which kids other than bullying aren't real fond of anyway). It's just that anything involving adults in kid affairs is (rightly) considered a really bad idea because there's no telling where the adults will go with any info they are given.

As I (vaguely) recall there are at least three different cultures among kids in the English speaking world. And they (very roughly) correspond to preschool-early grade school, later grade school-middle school. And late middle school high school.

"teenage gangs" and a lot of older ones are pretty much carrying on the last "kid culture" with exaggerations and some relatively minor changes.

I daresay we might get much better results if we recognized these cultures and found ways to work with them.

They are inherently tribal anyway. I'd like to see what'd happen if we could find ways to get the less common sorts of kids together to form their own "tribe" (wouldn't be *that* different than busing kids to schools for other reasons)

If we could manage to also introduce a meme of "the other "tribe" is *different* but that doesn't make them better/worse/wrong alongside allowing controlled confrontations so each "tribe" could show (themselves, if nobody else) that they ere good at stuff, the results might be very good.

Or it could make Lord of the Flies look tame.

But trying to treat them as part of adult culture never works. At best, like any other minority stuck with control by a stronger group, they'll obey the rules only when they have to and keep on doing things their own way the rest of the time.

Hmmm. I wonder if decent AIs would be a way to steer the cultures?


fayanora
Sep. 11th, 2014 11:53 pm (UTC)
It also might help if childlike adults could be accepted into the kid tribes as honorary kids. There are potential problems there, too, but it might be worth a try.
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