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My son Danny, age 11, just got back from his first full-dress football practice. The coach was a local guy who's been football-coaching kids for 25 years, and is a grand master at it. To my great pleasure and delight, he was MEAN. If a kid wasn't paying attention when Coach was talking, Coach went up and YELLED at the kid in his face, like a USMC drill instructor. If a boy carried out some drill half-heatedly, Coach made him do push-ups. (One lad didn't have his mouthpiece in for a drill. Coach made him do 15. The lad started doing them with his mouthpiece still not in. Coach: "PUT YOUR MOUTHPIECE IN SO YOU REMEMBER WHY YOU'RE DOING IT!") All this, in 90-degree heat.
This is great stuff. I've been taking my kids to various "activities" for years, and got very weary with all the happy-clappy, kumbaya, let's-sit-down-and-talk-about-this-shall-we? sludge that's been tipped into their poor little heads by the ed biz establishment. Here's a guy who YELLS at them! I love this guy.
It's also great, as in boxing, to see my son being egged on to ASSAULT someone with physical force. Though Coach made a point (also painstakingly made by Danny's boxing instructors) of telling them all afterwards that while he wants lots of controlled violence on the field, they shouldn't take that off the field with them.
I'm beginning to regret being so clueless about American football. It really looks like a great game.
This, however, is outside-the-home socialization. Role models are great; kids likely need role models; but neither thing necessarily has anything to do with parenting...