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Guru Guide

All that we share.

Am I Nostradamus – Able to predict that this time every year our boys (and subsequently parents) begin to grapple with the ongoing issue of popularity?

Research (Wiseman, 2013) affirms that the breakdown looks something like this: 10% look like they fit into the ‘stereotypical popular Australian male’, 75% make up the general population, 10%’ hang out at the bottom and 5% satellite around everyone else. There are individual roles within each group:

‘The Ringleader’ is good at figuring out people’s weakness and decides what is ‘cool’ and ‘uncool’.

‘The Associate’ looks similar, is much more talkative and well liked and interested in what advantages he and the Ringleader can get.

The Bouncer’ is prepared to take the fall for the Ringleader and Associate and is always eager to show his loyalty.

‘The Entertainer’ defuses any tension by being willing to make fun of himself and do awkward things. He finds it hard to stop the jokes.

‘The Conscience’ worries about getting caught and can be annoying to the group. Sometimes he will get sick of the nice-guy reputation and make a poor choice to prove he is one of the boys.

‘The Punching Bag’ is the guy who constantly cops the ridicule.

‘The Fly’ is the boy who hovers outside the group and doesn’t know how annoying he is. The others can tolerate him for a while but can lash out at him as a result of their frustration.

‘The Champion’ is respected by all, can take criticism, doesn’t make people choose friends and intervenes when there is an injustice. He holds his own opinion but listens to others.

So what? In our roles as staff and parents on this journey of support of your son, we should heed the following advice:

1. We have to get out of our denial
2. There’s always a good reason in his mind for what he did
3. He acts differently around his friends than he does around us
4. He reveals and hides different things with us than with his friends.

Despite this, there is more that brings people together than we think. This insight challenges all of us to be guides not gurus along the rollercoaster journey.

View the video “All that we share”. below.

Conor Finn, Dean of Formation
finnc@atc.qld.edu.au

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