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OK folks, I have this child (P.C.) in my den (Wolf) all through out the year my Wife and I had to deal with; 1.P.C. hitting another child. Mother was present at meeting. When child approached P.C. mother, child was told to sit down and listen. Kind of hard to do when your kid is the problem. 2. Pinewood Derby: P.C. beats this other cub scout first reaction "your a loser, your a loser". Had the talk about good sportsmanship prior to race. 3. Pinewood Derby: We conducted the Pinewood Derby in a Gym so we had areas that were off limits. P.C. decided that didn't mean him so he got on the equipment. When asked by the Scout Master what he was doing he made the comment I don't have to listen to you. He had said the same thing to my wife during a meeting. So when is enough a enough. Now I take the boys on the Bear trail, I have informed the committee that I will refuse this boy(P.C.) But it gets better P.C. has a older brother who is a Webelo. The Webelo leader calls me last night and informs me that P.C.'s mother wants us to lower the standard on her sons in scouting due to they have both been told they have ADHD. So what do we do.

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Standards in Cub Scout do not need to be lowered for a child with ADHD. That would probably just make things worse.


I think a few adults need to sit down and talk to the parents. Lay out the rules to the parents and then to the boy. I'm sure others on this board can explain this better than I can. You may want the parents to stay at the meeting, if that helps. Some kids are better without the parents there.

Explain in very finite terms where the limits are and the consequences of going over the limit. When P.C. does something wrong -- nasty remarks, going where he shouldn't be, etc. --- he will be told to stop. He must stop immediately. If he doesn't he is to leave to have a time out -- in a quiet place to calm down (like right outside the door, but supervised). Any hitting means he must go home immediately and can only attend the next 3 meetings with his parent.


ADHD children need very clear rules and consequences. Talk to him firmly without yelling. Use as few words as possible. He must do it because you said so.


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I don't know if this will help you or not, but in my den we have a code of conduct. The boys helped to write it and agreed to follow it. Also at the beginning of the year I gave each parent a letter stating what was expected from the boys and what would happen if they could not follow the rules. If the boy has to be corrected twice the parent is called or asked to take the boy home. The next time he is asked to leave he is not allowed to return untill the boy and his parents meet with the den leader and the cubmaster. I have two ADHD boys in my den, while they do require extra handling I haven't had too much problems with them. I do not lower the standards for them, I also be sure to praise them when they do behave.


You also might try asking the parent to just drop the boy off and not stay, some boys act better when their parents aren't around.

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Hello Kevin and Welcome,


First for the hitting. That's a no-no! If he can't control himself with respect to hitting then he stays home. Period.


There are many techniques for dealing with ADD & ADHD children. Youll find some helpful ideas here in the forum. However if the boy is truly disruptive to the den and disrespectful to the leaders, you can insist that the parent accompany the child to all activities. Furthermore, you must inform the parent about just how much control you want the parent to exercise over the child. Every leader has a different threshold, every child has different behaviors, and every parent has a different idea as to what good behavior/discipline needs to be. You need to guide this in a direction that is comfortable for you and respectful of the other boys in your den. If the boy(s) is on meds, you might want to ask the parent about adjusting them to accommodate your meeting times. Regardless of how you chose to handle this, the parent should be reminded that this boy needs to be at each and every meeting. These boys need routine and structure; he will not get that by attending every third meeting.


As for the standards, you dont need to lower any standards. One of the great things about BSA is that it allows us tremendous flexibility in dealing with children that have disabilities. The boy needs to Do His Best. If he has done that, then he has succeeded and you can in good faith acknowledge his achievements. Having said that, you should know that many ADD & ADHD children are exceptionally bright. They have the ability to master anything that the other children can. They just need to do it in smaller pieces.


It's always possible that this boys condition may be such that he does not belong in a regular den, or perhaps he needs a den leader that is more familiar with handling these boys. I'm no psychologist, but the behavior (hitting)and language (negative/defiant) you described seems to indicate something other than just ADD/ADHD. Maybe mom's holding something back. Good luck.







(This message has been edited by fotoscout)(This message has been edited by fotoscout)

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If your Council offers a training course in "Dealing with Special Needs Scout," take it. As you and your wife are, I have to deal with ADHD scouts in my Troop (3-5) and my Den (2). Please don't lower the standard; as a matter of fact, raise the expectation for the boy, ie. give him more responsibilities ... keep him busy. There is a great topic on this (ADHD) that sctmom and several others who are very well versed in the topic and can give you some insight. I found that asking the parent to help with her son is probably the best course of action. Sctmom is correct, you need to sit down and talk with the parents. I did that with mine and they were very receptive to the idea. It is not fair for other scouts in your Den if all the attention is diverted to handle the special needs scout.


As for the behavior issue, this again is the Den's rule that the boy need to abide and the parents have to agree to. Ask your CM for assistance in this arena (talking to the parents, that is). Something that we as leaders need to realize, all boys are not created equally; however, they all deserve the same chance to be taught correctly and to enjoy what scouting has to offer. One of my more problematic, ADHD cub is now in boy scout. Eventhough he has his ups and downs (most the downs is during his "crash period"), we all have learned to function as a patrol with him as a great participant.



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This is not a problem child, this is a problem parent. I am tried of hearing parents EXCUSE their kid's bad behavior on ADD/ADHD problem. Before anyone jumps in my stuff about not knowing what I am talking about let me give you a little history.


Nine years ago my wife and I took into our home her niece(5 at the time) and nephew(3 at the time) because their mother was a drug addict and was neglecting/abusing them, the father was in jail at the time and was not much better. When we got the kids the following behaviors where normal in our house, hitting each other, hitting my wife, yelling/screaming, throwing/kicking stuff and any other destructive violent behavior you can imagine a kid of that age range doing. This was not occasional behavior, this was every day and they would take turns. I would sometimes have to stand there and hold the bedroom door shut to keep them in their room when sent there.


A few years of my wife and my not giving into the behaviors, our nephew was tested for ADHD and was judged to be borderline ADHD. The main reason, I believe he did so well was because we expected him to behave no matter what and enforced that with appropriate punishment (I know I have used a very bad word here, but it works).


We now have two normal kids who are excellent students. Our niece is a little shy and has trouble keeping her room neat (what 14 girl isn't and doesn't), but also has a wicked sense of humor. Our nephew was the first one from the group of Webelos to crossover to get 1st class and he recently was selected as one of two students of the year from his school.


By the way how did I know what to do with them. Simple it was the way my mother dealt with her ADD child that would read a book in math class and then correct the teacher. She may have not gotten as good or results, but it taught me what worked and what did not work.


My suggestion to you is to talk to the parent and tell her that her son is not welcome back to your Den meetings until the behavior stops. If the Pack committee refuses to support you, remind them that they are responsible for providing a safe environment for ALL scouts and if they refuse to do that you will resign as a den leader and move to another pack.


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A lot of the ideas I have done. And the Pack leadership is knowledgeble of the problem. I would have to agree with keeping the kid from meetings until he is willing to follow the the rules. The parents are part of the problem. The dad doesn't come to meetings and mom looks like she is drugged up most of the time.

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Hi Kevin,

Welcome to the forum.

It kind of sounds that you are at your wits end.

While there are a lot of real good ideas in this thread, there are a few that I am not so sure about.

First Scouting is not only for good little boys, and just wearing a Scout uniform, does not make a boy good - This takes time, and will not happen if we stop the little fellow from coming to our meetings.

It sounds to me as if this little guy needs all the help that we can offer him - Again he won't get that if he is not at the meeting.

We have to start by remembering that WE are Scouts.

As Scouts we have made a promise to Help Other People.

I think that you need to take a look at your feelings for this boy.

Maybe once you have them in order, you can go forward to provide the program that he needs. I feel sure that there is some way of doing the right thing.

Baden Powell, was no angel as a boy - And look what he managed to get us into.

Please don't give up on this Lad, he really does need your help and all kids need to feel that they are important to someone. Maybe you could be that someone?

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Your compassion here is admirable, and I certainly wouldnt advocate removing this boy before I felt that I had given it my best, and, that the boy was given a good opportunity to adjust.


However , I would avoid keeping him on in the den as a personal challenge or even worse, keeping him in the den to the detriment of the other boys, if over some period of time, (a few weeks), he could not control himself within an acceptable standard. First and foremost in my book is the self esteem of all the boys. If this boys is hitting, then he is negatively impacting the self esteem of the other boys. Worse yet, little Mikey wont come to his den meeting because PC hits him or constantly says bad things about him.


We have to be careful here about trying to do too much. Youre right in saying that this boy needs what the program offers, probably more so than the other boys. But we cant, and I believe shouldnt, diminish the CS experience for all the boys in order to satisfy the needs of one individual. As you suggest, this boy may be looking for someone special and Kevin certainly has the opportunity to be that someone. If Kevin chooses to follow that path, he may, again I say may, have to find a way to do outside of the normal Den Meeting.

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Random thoughts -


I agree with fboisseau, this is a problem parent. If she can be put to work in another area during your meetings, thus allowing you and your wife to deal with her son directly, I would be willing to bet that it will help. It's the same concept as having her drop him off but without the exclusionary message.


Code of conduct - absolutely a great idea. The shorter the better. "No hitting. No spitting. No namecalling. Signs up, mouths shut." Consequences listed. First offense, second, etc. Written apologies are good consequences for serious boy-on-boy violence or insults. Require complete sentences, although short is OK, and no returning to the fun until done.


Then be careful to enforce it on your "good" kids as well as your God's Gift child. You'll be surprised at how often namecalling shows up, and you will be surprised how often it comes from your "good" kids. (Yer a baby!) All the Moms and Dads need to know that bad behavior, particularly disrespectful or mean behavior, is simply not tolerated in cub scouting, from any child. A big sign on the wall should communicate it pretty well to everyone. You can then read it to P.C.'s Mom if necessary.


You can keep a VISIBLE tally mark on the wall for the meeting on how many infractions of the code you've observed each night, and if the number is low offer verbal recognition and thanks. "Wow, guys, only two marks tonight! Ya'll did great! You know, I sure have more fun when you guys are nice to each other." I realize that many teachers and leaders offer tangible rewards (stickers and candies and so on) but I personally disagree as it fosters the What Will You Give Me If I'm Good attitude.


A normal cub den WILL- I might go so far as to say SHOULD - exhibit loud and/or rowdy behavior. Within limits of good sense relating to safety and the muffling capacity of your earplugs this is not a reason for concern. You do carry earplugs, do you not? NO? Essential equipment for anyone working with kids under 12...you can actually hear conversation just fine, but don't tell the kids. If you never have rowdy meetings, you should probably find some new games and activities, you're missing some fun. But rude and disrespectful behavior is NOT ok, period, I don't care what the diagnosis is. My son had issues that came off looking disrespectful at times - he shuts down - and we always, always, always have removed him from the scene when these occur. We didn't necessarily punish him as the behavior was not under his control, but we never told any volunteer they had to deal with it either. Any activity where it might come up, one of us attended. (His school teachers were paid for it, that's different, and we did everything we could to help them too.)


Do you have a reasonably mature den chief available, or another parent (not mom) that would be willing to keep an eye on him for you? The example of an older boy might help. Especially valuable would be one with an ADHD diagnosis himself, if you can find one.


There is no need to lower the ESSENTIAL behavior standards for ADHD children. Most are perfectly capable of being good cubs and good scouts. Standards that should not be modified include those regarding hitting, respect, namecalling, and bullying. "Standards" that may be worth negotiation include whether to sit, stand, or sprawl on the floor for working on a task, or opting to work with a small group rather than a large one. I've written ad infinitum on the subject in other threads, so won't repeat myself here.



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Gotta agree with fboisseau - problem parent.


I have had ADD & ADHD kids in my Troop. One earned his Eagle lst year. The parents told their son the rules of the Troop apply to everyone & backed us whenever needed. Another is having his Eagle BOR this month. Same story as the other one. One left the Troop. Why? Mom felt everything must be tailored to her son & no matter what we did, we didn't handle anything properly. Even when her son admitted to stealing from a fellow Scout.


Problem parents. Problem Scouts. Makes no difference if there is a medical condition or not.


Ed Mori


Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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Why is everyone so fast to take swipe at the parents? I see this comment over and over again in this forum, Its a Problem Parent not problem child, or some variation of it. I think thats presumptuous and disrespectful of any leader that takes this position from the get go.


First off, these parents bring their son(s) to Scouting because they want what we want for our children. There motive is the same as yours, they want the best for their children. They want their child in an environment where they can flourish. In addition, child development experts typically recommend that ADD/ADHD children be kept in structure activities, like Scouting. Some of these children are in the program because the parents are following Dr.s instructions/ recommendations. I think thats indicative of good parenting, dont you?


Second, not all parents are created equal. Some, like fboisseau, have the ability to take charge of a difficult situation and turn it into something positive. Others do their best, but simply dont have the god given tools to handle the situation. Does that make them a problem parent?


This is one of the classic examples where the parent and leader have to work together in the boys best interest. Discounting the parent, tagging the parent as Problem., or telling the parent to stay away will not help the situation. Give the parent as much of a chance as you give the child!


In this particular situation maybe mom is a problem, on the other hand, maybe dad works the late shift, and mom is under doctors care, and what appear to be drugs are really prescription medication.


Sure there are occasions when the parents are the problem, but usually it involves a happy heathy normal child. Parents of children with a disability , especially if they care enough to put their kid in Scouting, are more often very proactive with respect to their childs disability and should not be so quickly discarded.


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Scouting is supposed to be fun, not just for the boys, but for you also.

If you have exhausted yourself with the parents and the pack committee, then you have every right to turn this boy away from your den. You have not kicked him out of scouting, you have place the responsibility for this boy back onto the parent as well as the committee.

If you are not having fun, I can guarantee you your boys are not having fun. Remember, you are a volunteer and a parent, not a psychologist, a sociologists, etc. Scouting provides the program by which the boys develop and have fun. It provides the support for you the leader through training, as well as program activities like a pack or a district. No where does it say you have to put up with nonsense because of higher calling. Yes, earplugs should be part of the uniform as cubs should be loud and energic. Use that chaos as a positive reinforcer for quiet behavior. Never lower the standards.

I do not write this to suggest that we turn away AHDD/ADD kids, the previous posters have addressed this beautifully and, since I know personally, how hard it is to lose a kid, I also know personally how much everyone suffers when the leader is having no fun.

If the parents won't deal with it (evidenced by your statement of P.C.'s mom witnesses physical hitting and doing nothing and that this is not an isolated incident, but rather an example of specific on going behavior) than it is not your responsibility to fix P.C.

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I do not look at a child who has behavior problems and immediately point the finger at the parent and say they are the problem. I instead look at how the parent handles the behavior problems. If the parent says sorry about his/her behavior, but he/she is ADHD or some other condition, and we can not do anything with him/her then the parent is the problem. There are always solutions to behavior problem including commitment at a treatment facility (I know this is extreme, but my family is providing emotional support to someone who this was the solution). When a parent will do anything, short of abuse, to work with their child to correct behavioral problems, then the problem is not with the parent, but when a parent says sorry we can not do anything then the parent is the problem. This parent is taking the latter approach.


As Scout leaders we are not trained to deal with kids with these types of problems. We are trained to provide a fun and safe environment that can be used by parents to reinforce what they are teaching at home including how to behave.


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