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cleboeuf

Constant Behavior Problems

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I am the CubMaster of our pack, and a 12 year teacher. I run a tight ship, but I can't get one Webelo to comply to any rules. His mother does not see anything wrong. EX: this weekend, at a campout, I took a long burning stick away from him because he was swinging it around (safety hazard!). Mom found him a new stick. He continually ruins every outing...nothing deters his bad behavior/mealy mouth!

Any suggestions?

Thanks a million for any help you can offer,

Carla

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The mom found him a new stick? To light up again? Wow, I hope that wasn't her intent.

 

We are facing a similar problem, so I'm not offering help, just empathy. I'm looking forward to hearing other solutions though.

 

Welcome to the forums! This is a great place for support, help, advice :)

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Safety must be your top priority. Explain the rules up front so that all can hear (even Mom), e.g. "no playing with fire" and "only adults can put things in or take things out of the fire" (this prevents the empty bug spray can from exploding). Allow the group one warning. Then on the next offense, put the fire out. Period. For the rest of the weekend. Peer pressure can be a wonderful tool.

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Did you address the mother specifically to tell NO STICKS? Our pack has found we have to do that at times.

 

Does the boy have documented behavior/emotional problems?

Maybe sit down with the mother and explain the problem and ask for solutions. Ler her and son know that next time they will be asked to leave immediately.

 

On a recent campout, we had a 5 year old sister who kept wandering out of eyesight (behind the picnic pavilion). I finally looked her straight in the eye and said "if you are mad and want to walk away, fine, but you must be where i can see you. if you walk away again, I will ask your parents to take you home."

She understood immediately and complied.

 

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One more comment about the stick in the fire...this is a TOP rule with our pack -- up there with the buddy system, NO POKING THE FIRE, Scouts are to NEVER put ANYTHING in the fire. Never, never, never. We even tightly control marshmallow and hotdog roasting. Maybe with one or two kids it is possible to do, but with the scouts we have too many to do it safely.

 

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Constant behavior problems should be reported to the unit commiyttee. It is their responsibility to deal with the scout and the parent., so that you can focus on delivering the scouting program. the committee will determine with the parent what course of action is to be taken to insure the safety of the scout in question as well as the safety of others and the delivery of the scouting program in the unit. If neededd the committee Chair and charter organization representative can remove the scout from membership in the unit.you will find this process outlined in the Guide to Safe Scouting in the section on Membership Responsibilities.

 

Bob White

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While that is all well and good, Bob, it sounds like the problem needs to be dealt with on the spot. A Scout of any age weilding a firestick is unsafe & a mother or any other adult who let's a Scout do it needs to be dealt with on the spot.

 

Hopefully a simple explanation of the danger of his actions would suffice.

 

Ed Mori(This message has been edited by evmori)

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Let's keep in mind our role as scoutleaders and our responsibilities to the unit as a whole. This took place on a scout activity involving other youth in a stunt that could easily have injured others. The Cub is the parents responsibility as well as the leaders. If the parent does not show the judgement needed then the leader must act according to the scouting program. The G2SS says and the Cub Scout Leader Handbook says to send the scout home. Then, since the poster stated this is a "constant behavior problem" The G2SS instructs that the committee meet with the parents to determine the next course of action, up to and including revocation of membership.

 

As Ed poits out this advice is well and good. It also follows the safety policies of the BSA. Cleboeyf, you serve your scouts better by seeking BSA programs and methods whenever possible, rather than random opinions, no matter how well intended thay might be.

 

Bob White

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Sticks and young boys go together.like oil and water. We try to control the stick thing from the very beginning. If we hike, they can pick up a walking stick. If the stick get raised above the waistthen goodbye stick. They get the idea very quickly.

 

Sword play with the stick..goodbye stick.

Rocket play with the stick..goodbye stick.

Etc etc etc.

 

By the time we get to the campfire, the boys have a pretty good idea of what behaviors allow them to keep their sticks. After that we only have to deal with the running thing!

 

You said that the mom found another stick for the boy. When I have situations like this, especilly when safety issues are involved, I speak to the parent immediatly. If they don't or won't understand I will ask them to go home. I have not yet had to send anyone home, but I have spoken to a few of them. Many parents simply don't understand that this is not your family camping trip. They need to be made aware of the rules under which a CS camping trip happens.

 

 

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best method is too put the fire out. I nkow up at summe rcamp this year with my trrop someo of the new kids were throwing plastic bottles in. Scoutmaster gave them 1 warning and theyddid it againso he put the fire out and off too bed. Did the samething the next day and finally got the hint :). Mighttake a couple of trys.

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The stick and the fire isn't the issue. The problem is that the parent refuses to discipline her son and even undermines the DL's efforts to do so.

 

The parent needs to be dealt with directly. Correcting the Scout only to have the parent contradict the DL just confuses the poor kid. If I were DL, I would want to have at least one direct conversation with the parent, the point of which being that when I tell her son something she needs to support my instructions. Lead, follow or get out of the way.

 

But as Bob points out, it's ultimately the pack committees responsibility.

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So... what do you when it's the parent who has the constant behavior problems?

 

We have a parent who has two scouts in our pack. The boy in my den has missed more than half of the den meetings.He arrives in an untucked scout shirt that I gave to the mother for the boy. He has no neckerchief, slide, hat, etc. The mother has never bought the boyu a book therefore has obviously never participated in any of the activities within the book, at least with the boy in my den. When he does come to the den meetings he has no dues. The mother called the local council office and complained that we asked for registration for the boys. The council told us to let her slide and not pay the fee - for the 3rd year. Council did not give us financial support fot the boys fee. I don't know if they should have.

The mother has called me a few times to inquire about times, events. "See you at the meeting", she would say each time. So of course I would buy supplies for the activities for the boy for each meeting. Supplies are being wasted and the other scouts in the den are the ones who ultimately are paying for this wasted material.

 

Over the course of approx. 3 years since the family has been involved with our pack the mother has yelled at and disrespected quite a few of the leaders.

A quick rundown of the problems we have had with her - they have always involved her yelling at a leader - Last year she yelled at the leaders because the night of the den meetings was not going to work for her. The den leader had to accomodate times with the assistants and had to make adjustments (before meetings ever started for the year). She called and yelled at the assistant leader and called the leader many times ofver the course of one day, leaving nasty messages on the machine each time. This year she yelled at the leader of her other boys den over money being collected for an overnight trip. She thought she was asking for dues money and yelled and argued that she didn't have it. And that brings us to the situation with me.

The initial conversation started when I called to notify her of the cancelled meeting that evening (pack meeting). She mentioned that her son had not been attending because of his new afterschool activity, the times clashed. Remember I mentioned before at the start of this post that she would sometimes call and tell me they would be there next time. It took a turn for the worse when she was explaining once again why he has not been there. I asked her if he would be at the next meeting because I did not want to buy supplies if he would not be. Plan is to make red badge vests, somewhat cosltly and not willing to spend the other boys money. She said I guess I will call you and let you know. I told her she has done it in the past and doesn't show and that that was wasting materials and money. Told her she hadn't brought her son in 9 weeks and that I have supplied items each time. Parents had agreed at the beginning of the year to pay dues ($2/wk) even if the boy didn or attend that week. I mentioned this policy and she "freaked out" on me. She couldn't believe that I would be asking for this back pay, she was on a budget and could never pay it. She lashed out at me with the comment that if she can't afford it what are we going to do throw her son out? As she yelled at me I was trying to tell her that participating in fund raising events such as the car wash would earn the scout shares which in turn is like money. I'm sure she didn't hear me and it wouldn't matter because this has has been told to her on numerous occassions and never once getting any participation from her in anything. The conversation ended about the time that she "threatened" to call the local council to basicaly tell on me. I think she hung up on me, I don't remember saying goodbye.

As a leader I am also an active member in the committe. Phoned the cubmaster and he has taken steps to deal with it. He called council and explained the current situation. Council wants written statements from me and the other leaders about the events that happened with her. The plan at this point is to allow her to take her son to the other boys meetings, one level down in Wolves, and have the boy attend those. I don't know the attendance that the other boy has. The boy in my den (I was not the leader then) did not earn his wolf badge because he was never at the meetings and did not advance. This year I had him, along with the new scouts, earn the bobcat badge because I was not sure he had ever legitimately earned that.

In my opinion I think that the family should be asked to leave our pack. The parent has not followed the rules and guidelines in the parent agreement as stated in the scout application. And in the entire time the boys have been enrolled in our pack the essential aims of the program have not been, and are not being persued. Far to much time has been wasted on dealing with this parent when the time should be spent on the boys in the pack and den.

Is it wrong to remove them from our pack. Are we somehow required to follow council rules that might be in place for something like this? Does council even need to be involved? My suggestion is that they could always find another somewhat local pack/den to belong to that maybe is able to better fund them.

(Oh yeah, the after-school activity that the boy belonged to started in Nov. quite a bit of time after scouts. It cost $30 to join. Doesn't it seem as though this money should have been budgeted to the program that they joined first?

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nosretep,

 

Mom obviously has some person issues. You are not going to change mom, or solve her problems. But that's Okay, because that's not what you are supposed to be doing.

 

Scouting (and your Den meetings), for all we know, provides the best moments in this boy's life. So what if mom can't afford scouting, she does want her son to be there for some reason. Is it possible she didn't have the funds for the afterschool program either and was subsidized for that as well?

 

Explain the problem to the pack and ask them to sponsor this boy in scouting. Is it so bad to have some red felt left over in order to befriend this boy? (By the way two bucks a week is twice what any pack I have ever known charges for den dues, just something to consider).

 

So what do you do about the parent? Nothing. Do for the boy, you could be his hero for the rest of his life, and give him the care and the character that he is missing at home.

 

Bob White

 

 

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If he is never there then how can we posibly become some kind of hero to him?

And actually and unfortunately I bought all the felt there was in the store, the whole bolt, and then some, and as it is I have to figure out some way to get the 10 I absolutely know I need out of it. I am 2 yards short and have to somehow perform a miracle. The store can order it but it would take 3 weeks. So am I supposed to go so far out of my way - believe it or not, the only other place to get the material I would need is 40 miles away - to become this hero?

 

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I thought you said he was at fewer than half the meetings, now you say he never comes. If he never comes then why even wory about the material.

 

Cubbing is not about the "stuff", and it's not about mom or dad. It is about what you can bring to the cubs through the methods of the cubbing program. The store will get more felt soon. Do something different until then. The cub resource books are filled with fun inexpensive activities that will help the cubs in their advancement.

 

Mom is more likely to bring her son if she feels that she and her son are welcomed because you like him, not because his absence is an inconvenience to your budget. You are allowing mom's personal problems to distract you from your purpose.

 

Focus on the fun you have with the kids. KIMIF..Keep it simple make it fun.

 

BW

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