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When your son is SPL and You are the Scoutmaster

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  • When your son is SPL and You are the Scoutmaster



    When you are the Scoutmaster and your son is elected SPL what is the best way to handle this? To what degree do you step aside none, some or a lot.

    I missed his first PLC and I did not get much out of him when I asked.


  • #2
    Pretend he isn't your son. If you were SM during another Scout's tenure, just act similarly and don't push more than you need to, otherwise it could annoy him both at home and Scouts.

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    • #3
      I missed his first PLC and I did not get much out of him when I asked.

      Well, welcome to the world of the parents that don't go to the PLC.. Same with school, Don't know if it is in-one-ear-out-the-other syndrome, or they are building up the walls of what they wish to communicate or not.

      With the "Good" SM's of our troop, they definately didn't stop being SM, so attending PLC's and Troop Meetings, Events was still a go..

      But they backed off with the guidence usually.. Either they would have the ASM do the guidence, or they would bounce the thought process off of an ASM to make sure it was a true SM reaction rather then a Daddy reaction (a sounding board), before approaching their son themselves.. Even when son was not the spl, this usually was their reaction with their sons while SM.. They wanted no doubt in any of the other boys minds that there was favortism.. There is also the other side, where you are too hard on your own son, much more so then the others, and you then run the risk of alientation your own son from wanting to be in scouts..

      When the SM doesn't proceed this way, and the boys pick up an any sort of favortism, you can bet it is noticed by all, and not appreciated, and can under-mine the cohesiveness of the group.

      Some people on the forum state they can be impartial when it comes to their sons, and they treat all equally.. I have never seen that in real life. But, it is respected the the SM shows he is trying to be as fair and impartial as possible, by utilizing the ASM's when dealing with his own son.(This message has been edited by moosetracker)

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      • #4
        I have to admit, I probably expected more from my son than I have with the others, but I got more too. It's possible that what I need to do is expect more form the others also. I am unaware of any charges/thoughts of favoritism toward my son but I do know that he also used me more as a sounding board than any of the others have - of course he had real 24 hour access(of course had he tried to use any of it between 11pm and 6 am he would have gotten the same answer any of the others would - call me in the morning).
        No matter what claims I make of being available, my son believed he had the access.

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        • #5
          Don't envy your situation. I know I have a hard time with my son being the "den leader's kid." Good advice so far.

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          • #6
            I used a small trick that helped. If I was talking to my son, I called him by his name. If I was talking to the role, I called him SPL. He would do the same, leading to some fun exchanges.

            "SPL - is the Troop ready to leave for the campout?"
            "Scoutmaster - all set. Dad - did you grab my messkit when we left the house?"
            "Son, yeah, its in my camping box."

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            • #7
              I really liked having my son as SPL. Mainly because I had easier access to the SPL.

              Mostly in my role as SM I just ask a lot of questions. "Have you thought of X?", "What do we plan to do at activity Y?", "Does that plan look to be complete?", "Are we ready?" - and I could treat my own son just the same as any other SPL in that regard. It helped that he was pretty good at the role.

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              • #8
                >>I used a small trick that helped. If I was talking to my son, I called him by his name. If I was talking to the role, I called him SPL. He would do the same, leading to some fun exchanges.

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                • #9
                  "I have to admit, I probably expected more from my son than I have with the others, but I got more too. It's possible that what I need to do is expect more form the others also."

                  Gunny has the right idea. Just because one's son is the SPL why does he get the extra help that others don't? Yes, the added attention of dad being the SM is nice, but it's a double edged sword. SPL son gets more attention than does Joe average SPL. This isn't fair and the other boys will pick up on this.

                  On the other hand, the SM that holds back on his son isn't doing anyone any favors either.

                  This balancing act brings to light the problem. Shouldn't all SPL's be treated as if it were the SM's son?

                  Stosh

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                  • #10
                    Stosh, I think I'll agree in principle with where you are going here.

                    But I don't really think it's possible to develop the relationship with every SPL that I have with my son. Should it be more like that?, I can easily see how it could be argued that it should. But I'm not sure given what time I've invested in my son "over a long period of time" how I could or could even expect to get that kind of time invested in each Scout.

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                    • #11
                      Son was SPL for 2 consecutive terms while I was SM. Good at some times, not good at other times.

                      Story: SPL/Son gets ready for campout, SM/Dad sees no sleeping bag in the car. I (Dad) throws it in there for him but I hold onto it until 9pm at night before I give it to him. Hopefully I've taught him a lesson. WRONG. Next campout, same thing, except this time I (SM) do not throw the bag into the car. SPL/Son has to sleep fully clothed until a blue tarp the entire weekend. Never forgot sleeping bag again. This time we BOTH learn a lesson.

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