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Constant Behavior Problems

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Yes Sireee Parents can be a real pain. In all the time that I have been in Scouting I have yet to have a youth member phone me and complain. I have had adults that feel that they are at the end of their thither. Most of the time not with the youth but with other adults. I have found that at times like this Tea is good. You make yourself a nice pot of tea and sit down and really think about where the real problem is. Why is this little fellow not coming to the meetings? Could another parent give him a ride? If the funds are needed for the meetings and he isn't paying can the money be found else where? They were the easy ones the ones that follow are tough.

Am I allowing my anger to prevent me from doing my job? Am I doing my best? What about Help Other People? We can all at times fluff these questions off and become very defensive, at times we may not like the real answers. Once we have looked at how we are feeling we can take steps to make things better. We might want to improve the way we communicate. We could look at how we are managing conflict.

While there is a lot to said in kids being kids, we can never allow safety to be compromised. If a Lad is doing something that puts others in harms way. We have to get him away from the activity as fast as possible. We may need to explain the why we did that to the parent and if they can't see the error of their ways we ask them to leave that activity. Then pass this on to the unit committee.

It is funny that I have never seen a Cub Scout eat a marshmallow that was toasted in a fire, in my experiance by the time they have it toasted it is more like a molten lump of sugar.


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Before I made the decision to become Cubmaster many moon ago, I talked to a lot of experienced Scouting people. They all told me many different things but they all did tell me the same thing. You can only be there for the boys who are there. If they don't show up, you can call & remind them but you can't force theme to show up. If they want to be there they will. Sounds like this is sort of the situation you are in. You have gone out of your way & bended over backwards for this kid & he still show up very infrequently. I think you said he missed 9 den meeting in a row! You have done your job. If he show up he does. But it doesn't sound like he will.


Ed Mori

1 Peter 4:10

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nosretep - The suggestion to see if your Pack can subsidize the boy (& possibly his brothers if they are having problems as well) is a good one. One of the reasons the boy does not come to den meetings may be because the mother is embarassed that she does not have the money for dues, books, uniforms, etc. If your Pack committee can't find the money in their budget for BSA registration, a book and den dues have them talk to your Charter Organization. Your CO might be willing to help pay for financially needy boys. By the way, the den leaders, parents, and Cubmaster should not be going to the council with these problems. These are problems that should be addressed by your Pack Committee and your Charter Organization.


I also would not sweat the lack of proper uniforming. You can encourage the boy to wear the uniform parts he has properly, but a uniform is not necessary to belong to BSA. As others have said, you can not force the boy to come to meetings. The most you can do is keep them informed and try to make it possible for them to want to attend. You said that he never earned his Wolf rank. That is a shame, and it looks like he might not earn his Bear rank as well. But keep this in mind, maybe earning the patch is not important to him. Is he having fun at the meetings he attends? Is he learning new things when he shows up? If you answered yes to these 2 questions then the boy is still getting something very useful out of Cub Scouts.


Work on your Charter Org and Pack Committee to fund this family. In the meantime, make a copy of the Wolf requirements and electives from the internet.






Give them to the boy and his mom and ask them to work on whatever rank requirements they can. The mom can initial next to the ones her son has finished.


Waiting to do the vests until you can get an adaquate amount of felt is a good idea also. If you don't want to wait, there is no rule that the vests must be felt. Check out other red fabrics that might work. Also, did you ask your fabric store manager if they could give you a discounted cost on the felt because it was for Scouts? Try it, you might be suprised at how many stores are willing to help out!


Do Your Best!


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A couple thoughts:


First of all, to be brutally honest, you may be putting more into the preparations for den meetings than you should -- financially, emotionally, whatever. In over four years as a DL, I've never had a den meeting where it was a big deal if one kid didn't show. (One year, for a variety of reasons, my son and I were the only ones to show for a den meeting and got stuck making all our den's B&G banquet decorations. But no big deal.) Getting hosed over and over by the same family is frustrating (especially when the mom is a jerk on top of it all) but in the scheme of things the additional prep time and expense isn't really that much.


Beyond that, all the suggestions the others have made are good. Was it Eamonn who said to take a deep breath, have a cup of tea and really consider what is best for this boy and all your Scouts? That was especially good advice.


But let's say that at the end of the day, you've decided that dealing with this twit of a mom is just more that you should fairly have to endure. Getting yelled at by some nitwit was not what you voluntered to do. There is nothing in the world wrong with going to your committee chairman and asking that this boy be assigned to another den. A good CC is first going to try and solve the problem, but it sounds if you've been up and down that ladder already. It should ultimately it be your call as to who is in the den. If the CC disagrees, he or she has the option of finding a new den leader.


I frankly think you have done your job in trying to accommodate this family and that this problem should now be in the hands of the pack committee. As a committee chairman myself, I don't think my den leaders should have to deal with such problems. A den leader gets chewed out by a parent, it's in my court from there on.


As a committee chairman, I going to look at the problem with a strong eye for taking care of my voluneers. Hopefully, we can solve the money problems. There may be a good reason why they miss meetings at the last minute. But then again, the woman may just be inconsiderate and not care how her actions impact others. At minimum, if you've gone to the trouble to call and ask if they are going to attend a meeting, this family owes you the courtesy of a phone call to let know if their plans change. If the mom can't extend basic courtesies to the volunteers who are trying to help her son, perhaps Scouting is not the best place for them.



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  • 2 months later...

Behavior problems that rewarded by the parent/s only get worse.

And the only way to effectively deal with the problem is to face

the parent and say "this will not be tolerated during the meetings.

If the behavior continues, he will have to go home (or miss the next campout, etc)." My son's troop had a bully who ran off most of the kids, and kept all Webelos from joining. We actually had moms tell us that their son's were not joining our troop because of this Scout! The bully was raised by grandparents. Grandma thought whatever he did was cute, and unintentional. She was manipulative, and put money into the troop as a way to keep our SM from doing anything about the kid. My son was being hurt, as well as 2 other kids. My husband and I complained to the Scoutmaster and he didn't do a thing. It got so bad that the entire troop wasn't advancing, because it was in chaos. Grandma got mad that SM wasn't advancing her grandson, and transfered him into another troop. Now our troop has grown from 6 boys to 35! My husband is now SM and says that kid will not return while he is SM. The former SM is CC now, and he wasn't happy to hear my husband say that he'd turn away a kid, but there is only so much damage a family can do! Take control of the problem and chances are if you tell the mom little Johnny cannot come to the next campout due to disobeying of the rules... God Bless!

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