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  • Aggressive Parent

    Here we go. My wife and I run Wolf and Bear Dens that meets same time, church, as the GSUSA troop that our 3 daughters are in. Our 2 GSUSA leaders were our friends before they started the troop. We have had a successful symbiotic relationship as little girls usually have little brothers. Last year a new girl scout and mother arrived. She was a former leader in a troop that folded. She joined with out much incident other then here 14 yr old son tagging along and causing issues with the cubs every now and again. He Karate'd a wolf in the face by accident. She got a little ticked when I told her he couldn't hang around the boys . At the end of last year she voiced her concerns that the troop was not that dedicated to the organization and pointed to the lack of cookie sales by the girls (her daughter sold hundreds of boxes alone) She wanted the girls to wear white polo shirts with khakis along with there vests. As well as participate in more national and council events. Our Leaders relented on some things hoping to appease her but she's made other "requests". She wants the Girls to breakdown into age groups for meeting, Juniors, 1st yr Cadette, 2nd yr Cadette. and have them work on separate try-its and awards. All girls need to do silver award! She's mentioned that her idea's are just suggestions and activity considerations should have nothing to do with the fact she's raises the most money during fund raisers (You can't make this up.)
    She considered leaving end of last year because "she didn't think it was a good fit", but decided to stay. Her weirdest concern is joint activities with us the Cub Scouts. She doesn't understand why we meet together and go on field trips together etc. I thought we have explained this several times already. We actually had our first parent meeting in the 5 years doing this due to her concerns. The response was her politicking with each of us outside of meetings. Our leaders feel she is being subversive and going behind the back but they are to politically correct to confront her about her behavior.
    It's getting to the point where my 2 youngest girls want to try American Heritage Girls. While my oldest is looking through Junior and Cadette badge books to try and line up activities they can do together. The girls as a whole basically give her the eye roll every time she interjects in meetings.
    She doesn't want to be a leader, but she pushes for changes against the wishes of the troop as a whole. Makes me wonder why her other Troop folded? How do you deal with aggressive people like this? Am I wrong for suggesting to the leaders to lay the Smack-Down on her and tell her we appreciate her ideas but the girls like what they have. She can stay or kick rocks.

    Yours In Cheerful Service
    Tim

  • #2
    I have been told my daughter was not a fit for the troop.....And to go look for another.

    Your with in your right to do that

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    • #3
      You know, there are folks who just can't stand it when something wonderful is happening.
      The kids having gobs of fun is not sufficient evidence that you're doing something right.
      The pull out reams of quotes from some adult oriented guide in an attempt to shame you for not operating by the book.

      Non leaders sit on their hands, period. They don't suggest. They listen to what's needed to be done and they support it. They offer time talents and cold hard cash where needed at the leader's approval. They stop doing what the leaders disapprove of.
      How complicated is this?

      PS I know nothing of what latitude your GSUSA council will give you.

      It would be a shame to slight the girl because of the parent.

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      • #4
        Having flaky parents is no reason to separate a girl from a troop. It sounds like she's just a first class complainer and needs to be in charge so that everything is her way. I would nicely encourage her to form her own troop or find service unit/area volunteer jobs to keep her out of my hair.

        Does her daughter like the troop? Is she happy?

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        • #5
          Why is the parent at the meetings if she is not a leader?

          Someone (your Troop leaders!) needs to remind this woman that the Troop belongs to the GIRLS. That it is the GIRLS who decide how it is run, and what they do.

          She needs to be told that 1) it is her DAUGHTER who should be doing the cookie selling; 2) if she feels her daughter (her) is doing to much fundraising then by all means please cut back; and last but certainly not least, 3) she needs to BUTT OUT.

          Again, it is the GIRL'S Troop, not hers.

          Good luck!

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          • #6
            She did not leave last year because she felt her daughter needed the social interaction. Many times if the girls don't vote the daughters way she removes herself for a period of time. Kinda passive aggressive.
            When she brought up the multiple ages meeting together and that they should be separated, I informed her that that is exactly what Boy Scouts does. It forces kids to interact outside of age segregation that they are in all week long and it provides a leadership and mentoring opportunity for the older girls. She kinda gave me a blank stare. I would never want to kick anyone out or exclude any kid from the program. But when it effects the kids enjoyment of the program, I think the leaders need to get more vocal. I volunteered, but the wifey says that would just drive a bigger wedge in the joint Cub/Girl Scout matter.
            Your in Cheerful Service,
            Tim

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            • #7
              Update: Just found out she is the Treasurer of another service unit, Same one here old troop folded in. The plot thickens!

              Tim

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              • #8
                What was it that Dear Abby, or was it Ann Landers, used to say all the time? No one can walk all over you if you don't let them walk all over you?

                This is very much a time for the leaders of the Girl Scout unit to decide if they are going to be walked all over or not - a simple "thank you for your suggestions, we have decided to continue as we are - we love having your daughter in the unit but if it's not the unit for you and your family, we'll understand if you feel the need to move on" and then continue doing what you're doing. If she gets defensive, walk away. If she gets agressive, walk away. If she trys to pull the "my daughter sold more cookies than anyone else" routine, walk away. No one has to engage - just state your piece and leave it at that - no defending the unit, just envision Miss Manners and as soon as the defensiveness comes in, just say, Yes, well..." and walk away.(This message has been edited by calicopenn)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Tim,

                  Do consider that what New Mom wants is what is a little more standard for a Girl Scout troop--not the uni though. However, as ScoutNut pointed out, it's the girls' troop. If they don't want to do the things New Mom thinks they should, and new Mom is unwilling to bribe and coax them (Let's go to the Zoo day and stop at ColdStone Creamery after!) to do new things, then New Mom needs to zip it.

                  Could it be that New Mom is just not good at being diplomatic and/or your leaders and parents are just so comfortable with the way things have been that y'all aren't being as open as you could be? I would probably be making the same suggestions if I suddenly joined your troop, but I'd also be making more of an effort than you've presented to help effect those changes. Girl Scouts is not set up the same way as Boy Scouts, for better or worse. There are big program differences and emphases between the age levels.

                  Is she being aggressive or is she just piping up?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    - I think it was more the manner in which she goes about it, which is hard to paint a picture of through text. I have a Mom in Scouts who is from NY, and is very blunt to say the least. One thing to say is she is honest and will tell you her thoughts to your face. I respect that. Anytime I need an honest opinion she's the first I seek.
                    - We all about trying something new, and change our activities constantly. But when your idea is voted against by the girls. How long do your beat the dead horse. They are not interested,move on.
                    - If you suggest to the leaders changes you would like to see and they unanimously say no thanks, would you invite the mothers out on one-on-one outings only to bring up the ideas again and try and drum up support for them?

                    - After the girls say no thanks to splitting the group, would you invite only the 1st year Cadets for ice-cream after a meeting with out informing the leaders?

                    - Would you threaten to leave a group if the changes weren't made.

                    - Would you ever say that you don't want your opinion to sway anyone on money use only to bring up your kid brings in the most money?

                    - The leaders feel like back stabbing and politicking against them is occurring. The Leader is a super lady and has always said her job is to find a good fit for you and your child. Whether it is our Troop, another unit, or a different group like AHG. She helped establish our Cubs with no child in the program. Can't say enough good things about her.

                    - We operate as a Group which is a Troop of combined ages according to GSUSA. Would you say we need to split up into 3 Troops but not volunteer as a leader?

                    She says she loves the Moms dedication to the Group. Which I feel is partly her reason for staying. She just wants to tweak it to her version of what we should be. I think it's our human nature to want to change things to what we are familiar and comfortable with. Guess I can see her side. But what people want from these programs varies and you need to find a group with similar wants/needs.

                    Yours in Cheerful Service,
                    Tim

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                    • #11
                      You've got a mean, manipulative mom there alright and her daughter is picking up on it all.

                      I think all your troop can do is stonewall her, and hopefully she'll eventually find a weaker troop to turn into her ideal.

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                      • #12
                        Time to throw her out.....

                        Inviting only one group out when that isn't how you operate....

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                        • #13
                          Is this mom's daughter a first year Cadette?

                          How is the daughter? Shy/quiet, pushy, or somewhere in the middle? Does she agree with her mom's agenda items? How does she get along with the other girls?

                          The fact that the folded Troop she was a leader for was in a different Service Unit (SU), and that she is still the Treasurer for that SU, tells me they live in the SU. It also suggests that she could find no Troop/Group in that area that she felt was a "fit" for her daughter, or more likely, since as Treasurer the area leaders all knew her, could find no Troop/Group willing to take her on.

                          From her actions, it sounds like she is trying to get the girls at her daughters level to break off into their own Troop (with her as the leader of course).

                          I think the leaders need to have a heart-to-heart talk with this mom.

                          For the record, if I was a non-leader parent who had suggestions for the Group/Troop, I would talk to my daughter, and suggest she talk to the other girls if she liked my suggestions. What happened after that would be up to daughter, and the other girls. I would NOT push it with the other parents.

                          I did that with my son when he complained about his Troop's program being boring. I told him to talk to the other Scouts, PL's, SPL, etc. A few things improved, but most stayed status quo until they got a new, younger, SM.

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                          • #14
                            Tim

                            You and your wife are Cub Scout leaders not GSUSA leaders. It is nice you do some joint activities together but it is not your place to confront this parent you should let the GS troop leadership handle it. All you will do is exacerbate the problem and damage the GS troop.

                            Learn where your boundaries are and keep to them.

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                            • #15
                              I think as parents of two girls who are getting fed up with the politicking, they have a say.

                              But BP has a point. The best way to redeem the situation is to put the girls in touch with their leaders. It's really hard for a kid to complain about another adult. They want to be respectful. Plus, they may have recently acted like this adult (leaving not much room to throw stones). So you don't want the girls to feel like they have to complain about the person. What you want them to discuss with their leader is how they want what they say to be respected, and how they are afraid of certain program changes that may occur if the youth are ignored, and how the whole thing is robbing you all of a little fun.

                              I'll endure a lot of crotchety old parents, but if a youth tells me that they are feeling bad about a situation, I'm stepping in.

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