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pushy parents

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I have one parent in our den that holds issue with just about everything and everyone.For instance:At our fish rodeo he thought our lake parameter was two small and because the side was rocky..he had a safety issue..Well he made a scene with the director.And thus notified the council..He always analizes the wolf book for instance.he said that the boys shouldnt have to memorize the Law of the Pack because it says to "say" it not memorize it.....Needless to say he thrives on confrontation.He is also notorious for going to the local papers{as he did with the rodeo OH by the way..}with his school issues also. He has definately been a thorn in our SIDE.We are "Doing our Best" to pacify him.And letting him do things to feel important,cause I feel he just wants the attention.Hes a single father of two.and does help out and never misses a function or den meeting..I am in the process of getting the info. on commisioners, maybe if our cubmaster agrees he can help in leader ship????I really need some input on this leaders

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I would suggest several things... but for the most part it sounds like you are doing all the right things...

 

1. 1st and foremost usually the best thing to do is keep them as involved as possible.

 

2. Get the individual to go through training

 

3. Make sure the individual understands that Scouting has been adventurous for almost a 100 years and that you as leaders (I hope) have been through training and thus know how to keep activities that could be dangerous safe

 

4. Listen to what the individual has to say and have that same individual suggest do-able fixes

 

5. Don't give up - remember we are there for the boys not the BS... have faith and it all will work out

 

I don't know how much this helps, as this is probably my weakest area. I may be way off the dot - take this as ideas from a fellow scouter. Good Luck.

 

InsaneScouter

http://insanescouter.com

webmaster@insanescouter.org

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Get this guy to training. After that if he is still as picky, then I would get your Commissioner involved. It sounds like this guy wants to rewrite the Cub books. Wait till he gets to Boy Scouts!

 

I wouldn't give him too much slack. It could lead to more problems down the road.

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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I would tell him that I welcome and appreciate all ideas, advice and assistance from the parents to help make the den/pack a fun experience for the boys. Then explain to the parent(s)that after reviewing all their input I come up with a meeting or outing agenda and guidelines and as the leader I expect everyone follow.

In addition, if you have a coat rack at the door of your meeting room try posting the following sign. (sometime it sinks in):

Please Leave All Criticizing, Condemning and Complaining at the Door. They may be Picked up on the Way Out.

Good Luck.

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This dad needs something to do! Find a job that he can dig into for the pack (not the den) and let him at it! Every pack needs a couple of Asst. Cubmasters - and one is responsble for YP and GSS. Or how about running a new derby (Raingutter Regatta, Space Derby) that your pack hasn't done in the past? Organizing summer pack activities. Maybe he's the guy to get BALOO trained so he can organize a Pack campout. Perhaps he's the next Committee Chairman and doesn't even know it, yet! I can name a dozen unwilling, uninvolved parents in my pack I'd trade for just one dad like you describe. Remember, the glass is half full, not half empty. YIS

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the side of the lake is too rocky and dangerous? Oh my! Well - here's a big sack - why don't you take a couple of boys and go pick up all those nasty rocks........and when you're done, perhaps you can use your media influence to get someone to donate a retaining seawall to stop the erosion on that side of the lake, after all, we don't want the lake shut down completely, do we?

 

I'm being silly, of course -

 

But USE him. I think you're on the right track to try to get him into some kind of position. If he gets in and gets trained, he's likely to find that there are reasons for the "rocks" in the system that he was previously unaware of. Complainers often can't (or won't) see the big picture. If they are made responsible for part of it - he'll either buckle down and be of some help, or he'll burn himself out chasing imaginary problems. Either way it's better than listening to the whining!

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We all like to think we can make lemonade out of every lemon. That if we just give this guy a job, that he will see how much work being a volunteer really is and lighten up on everyone else. My experience is that people like this are rarely willing to put their money where their mouth is. Even if he takes responsibility for a job and does it well, chances are he's still going to be a hypercritical pain-in-the-you-know-where.

 

Leader, you didn't say what your position is, but I'll assume it's den leader. Personally, I don't think my den leaders should have to deal with these kinds of problems. I, as Committee Chairman, and the Cub Master (and possibly the Chartered Organization Rep) should handle it. (That's why we get the big bonus checks at the end of the year.)

 

At best, this guy is making your job difficult and undermining your position. At worse, he's running off a good den leader. Along with my Cub Master, I would take the dad aside and tell him that you are a good, well-trained leader and that you run a good den program. That it is our responsibility to supervise you and we are please with how you run your den. His criticism and negative attitudes are creating a problem. Unless it is a matter life or limb, we would appreciate that he keep his criticisms to himself. If he's not comfortable with that, he should possibly look for another situation.

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No two situations are alike, but I had a similar one when I was a Cubmaster. Very critical, complained about the program delivery, pack meetings too boisterous (huh?), pack meetings on a bad night, ad nauseum. As the Cubmaster, I thought it was my responsibility to have the den leader's back and take on these "distractions" so he could focus on the program. I tried everything with this guy, but he was too busy to help, wasn't interested in training, and I couldn't get to a win-win with him.

 

After talking with my unit commish, I called the guy and told him I'd like to have a minute of his time at his son's next den meeting. I took a district list of all the packs in the area, with contact information, and a transfer form. When we met, I told him we're volunteers doing the best we can with the time and resources we have available. If our best isn't good enough for him, I would help him find a pack to transfer to, and fill out the paperwork for him. For reasons I can't explain, he didn't transfer, and was much less disruptive after that. I was surprised, because I thought he'd leave.

 

Sample of one; as they say on TV, "your actual results may vary...".

 

KS

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