You did what you could under difficult circumstances.
Were there 37 other ways it could’ve gone down? Absolutely.
But you’re you, he’s him and you weren’t getting any assistance by the other adult.
But the other adult won’t get any flack for deferring to you but you take all the flack for taking responsibility.
You shouldn’t have had to handle it alone. There’s good reasons why there needs to be multiple adults in a situation like that and this is one of them.
If I were the leaders of that cub scout group, I would use this situation as an example of what happens when the pair of adults are not “in sync” on things.
Kids can get unruly and do the unexpected. Would I have wrestled the boy to the ground? I don’t know. I might have. Would I have tapped him in the side of the head so he’s stop the behavior? I don’t know. I might have.
Your responses were not unreasonable responses and you made the right choice in discontinuing this role in the future. You did not get the assistance you needed when you needed it. You *had* to handle it by yourself, even though you shouldn’t have had to.
I’ve been you and I’ve been the other adult. I can remember looking for help and getting none and having to make quick decisions that were effective but I may or may not have had I gotten some feedback from an equal.
I can also remember deferring and just letting someone who is a little louder and more “take charge” do everything, not understanding their looks of annoyance at me were because they were expecting me to step in and help.
I don’t like being in either position.
As you were functionally alone in the whole situation, you made effective decisions that accomplished the goal of getting everybody back safely.
Now, I would not write cub scout “how to handle kids” policy on this.
But do you deserve to be vilified?
Not at all. You made a set of reasonable, effective choices given the circumstances.
I made a post about this earlier and see if you can relate to this:
“If you’re not frightened of what you’re capable of on a daily basis, you’re very lucky.”
I think the only way I can look at this is:
Situation vs Policy.
In the case of “Is This Justifiable Given The Situation?” vs David Lowman, I rule “Not Guilty”.
In the case of, “Can We Use This As An Example of Good Policy?” vs David Lowman, I rule “Inconclusive”.
As a general rule, I don’t justify hitting or grabbing or yelling because it becomes ineffective when overused and it’s too often an abuse of the power differential.
BUT: It is precisely *BECAUSE* the general rule I have is “You generally should not do it”, that the times you *might* find yourself having to do these things, their effectiveness level is > 9000.
I don’t yell at kids most of the time and almost never curse. I don’t get in their face, pick them up, push them down, hit or any of those things.
BUT: when I have been in situations where I had to break my own guidelines, it was super effective. It was unexpected and the situation warranted it. I knew it was the right and likely only choice so I did what needed to be done.
After that, I went right back to my general rule.
I didn’t like the after effects when I’ve had to be brutal in one way or another.
Trust can be completely destroyed. Respect lost. Rebuilding can take a long time.
I don’t like it. I also don’t like it when my anger gets the better of me.
I know some of my own power and it frightens me. Everybody should be frightened of their own power. To kill is in your hands. To main and injure is in your hands. To cause permanent psychological harm is in your hands.
Of course once you realize what you’re capable of, you learn to tame yourself. You learn your boundaries. How far can you allow yourself to go where if you go further, you’ve jumped over to another level?
It’s not easy. Perfection is impossible. Sometimes you have to make impossible choices that go against your value system.
Regarding the OP:
I’m going to do something I don’t normally do here. Now that I’ve gone through my own philosophy about the subject, I’m going to say:
I’ve already said the “buts”, gone through it as much of it as I can think of.
If this means “Kenneth Udut says it’s good to hit kids”, well, at least I have my explanations ready now, although I sure wouldn’t want to ever find myself in a situation to have to use it. But I could if I had to now.
I can’t account for every possible situation to make an absolute rule whereby “this is never ok in any circumstance”.. I can only keep it at a level of “guidelines”.