Home > child safety, moderation, moderator, online community, screener, Uncategorized > “Level with your child by being honest. Nobody spots a phony quicker than a child.”

“Level with your child by being honest. Nobody spots a phony quicker than a child.”

Thanks for that, Mary MacCracken.

Okay, ladies and gents, I’ve just got to say it: some people have it, and some people don’t.

Have what, you ask?

Well– have the ability to garner attention freely given by a child. Some people use props to try and make up for the lack (but only come off looking like creepy clowns, pervy ice cream truck drivers, or over-compensating soul-suckers who use puppies as bait for attention)… and some people think by changing the tone of their voice that they’re soon to succeed (Hey there wittle guy… Gramma whammy thinks you have to go tickle-tickle!). I’m sorry, ladies and gents, that’s just not the way it works.

Being a Screener/Moderator, etc, is a job meant for two types of people.

1) The person who is totally cool with him/herself (a great sense of humor is a nice addition)
2) The person that can play… who has an imagination and isn’t afraid to use it.

The lucky are the people who have both qualities.

Kids are like bees. Bees smell fear. Kids smell weakness. If you are coming at a kid with any kind of weakness, they’re going to eat you up, spit you out, and manage to wrangle a few cookies out of the deal too. Kids are no dummies. They’re taught early on about trust– especially the stranger danger rule. If you’re not sincere about your objectives, then chances are you’ll be spotted and noted and no longer trusted. Granted… kids do like free stuff. So those people who come toting toys to cover up their lack of kid-coolness WILL get some attention. Who DOESN’T want freebees? Just remember– it’s the toys that are cool, the presents that rock… NOT YOU. So don’t be one of those people. It makes you pervy.

Type 1 moderator/screener
Okay… these people usually carry one tone of voice, but can interact with many. They are representatives of a personality that kids personally feel identifiable with. Cool goth, cool sport, cool goofy, cool big bro/sis, etc. They’re the people who aren’t focused on kids, but instead– are just there to hang out, maybe teach/guide an activity, chill out, and keep on keepin’ on. They understand that their job is to maintain an environment– like an RA, or a counselor. Kids gravitate towards this mentality. Who doesn’t want to know the cool kid? All that self confidence in who they are, with mod power too– it’s something you want to be some day.

Type 2 moderator/screener
These people are able to act and not come off like pedo-creeps. They’re there for the role playing, or the game… not for the kid individually. Of course, they understand that kids are the job… keep them safe and entertained, but this is done by continuing the imagination. Clowns play AT kids (hence their scary, soul-sucking freakishness). Type 2 plays WITH kids. They can balance creative-freedom in imagination with responsibility of protecting kids, and they remember that play is ONLY play… When things get intense (as sometimes they do when imaginations run amuck with strength) it’s type 2 that knows to pull back and restart the game, or pause for a breather.

There are many different variations of these two types of people… but isn’t that the case with everything? No neat/clean answers.
But for all you people who want to work with kids… be honest about who you are, and your intentions (god help us– make them honorable and pro-kid safe!)… lying to a kid, or even lying to yourself is just trouble waiting to happen… and it WILL happen. Missing cookies will be the least of your worries.

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