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Cubmaster Mike

How many chances do you give a boy before he is asked to leave?

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It seems everyone is making the biggest issue on the ADHD side of the situation and not what could truly happen to better the experience. I don't believe in drugging any child simply becuase he or she may be high strung. I have a child in my Tiger den that, no matter how hard he tries, can't stay still and can't resist commenting on every word said during a meeting. When in a pack meeting, I have sit beside him constantly saying, "Be still", or "Shhh." In my experience with high-strung boys it seems to always come back to a lack of dicipline in the home. Someone previously wrote to show that you are in charge and I couldn't agree more. Think about a child around the age of two. He or she will slowly attempt something while keeping an eye on mom or dad to see what the boundries are. If you don't respond they begain attempting it with no regards and become upset when disciplined. With this in mind speak to the parent about discipline during the meetings, and whatever is decided, BE CONSISTANT. You will not get this kid to stay still and silent (that will take until 30) but you can get some control over the situation. As for the remaining scouts, they should be disciplined anytime they single him out or shun him from the group just as you would for any other scout. You are a den and should function as a den, pull the den together and heal as a family.

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J_Prewitt, I'm sure I'm not the only one who disagrees with your statement: "In my experience with high-strung boys it seems to always come back to a lack of dicipline in the home."

 

In my experience, there are boys who cannot sit still, pay attention, and be quiet no matter what kind of discipline they get at home. We've had a number of them in our pack, including my own sons. I have one with ADHD, and medication has made a tremendous difference. Another son has a mood disorder and takes a different kind of medication with equally great results.

 

Lack of discipline at home or other problems that can't be treated with medication can affect children's behavior as well, and we den leaders can't know exactly what the cause of a child's misbehavior is. But I don't think we should let one boy ruin the cub scout experience for everyone else. Last year, one boy and his dad caused us to lose most of a den. This year a boy was asked to leave because of his behavior. It's regrettable that this kind of thing happens, but volunteer leaders can't be expected to put up with intolerable behavior.

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Mbscoutmom, you can't say that good home discipline would not solve a lot of the behavior problems. I have four sons ranging from 7 through 1 and two of them are truly a handful, yet I would dare someone to tell me they need drugs to fix their behvior. I also coach soccer and two seasons ago I had a player with so called ADHD. When he wasn't sedated, yes he was all over the place and really wouldn't listen to anything his mother would say but then they would pill him up, and I'm not exaggerating, it was all I could do to get him to walk ten feet. I have encountered many of these kids where you can clearly see that they have severe discipline problems and the parent will do no more than say, "Please stop now," or "Thats not a very nice thing to do." Some may choose to just scream at them but it still generates the same effect, the child sees no actual punishment and feels free to go as he/she pleases. My children know that if they show their butt that it's probaly going to become sore or have the possability to not see green grass for awhile. This doesn't apply to a child that clearly has a mental disability, but as for the rest, parents have to take accountability for their kids and quit making excuses for their misbehavior. Scouting is also to help kids grow into curteous, patriotic, and God fearing youn men. If we don't work with those who truly need our help then we miss out on our greatest opportunities.

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OK - So what you are saying is that it is not good to give your child medication prescribed by his doctor, but it is just fine to beat him?

 

Alrighty then.

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I read over and over all of posts on this subject. Here is my 2 cents worth...1st post "single mom", this has no relavance to the young mans problems. Then you go into the posts about what intelligence level ADHD kids may or may not have. This was only a brief mention in the post made by ScoutmomAng, where there was much more said than just this simple 2 liner. Oaktree, came back with a long explanation where he/she even went and did research on the 2 liner to discredit the statement. These things don't help this boy. Who cares what the intelligence level of ADHD kids is. It's not relevant to this situation and isn't helping the leaders. I'm trying to see the big picture here. Is the leaders frustration and agravation with this boy picked on by the other members of the pack (adults and boys)? Most people aren't even aware that this is happening. They are too frustrated and tired of the behavior to see that it shows whether they mean it to or not. If you think for one second that the other members in the pack don't pick up on and react towards the boy what they are sensing from the others in the pack you are mistaken. One of the reasons the boys shun him the way they do is because they are showing the same frustration that they pick up on from the adults. No one else likes him, so why should they. The ADHD boy is also reacting to the frustration that he is sensing from everyone around him. All kids react to peer pressure good and bad. The other boys should be encouraged to use peer pressure in helping this boy with his outbursts not only during meetings but in and out of school as well. Does he have any friends at all? I can't even imagine where this boys self esteem is. Okay, mom may not be doing the best job to try and help her own son, she's probably just as frustrated with him as everyone else. Which he picks up on as well. My feeling is medication or no medication he needs proofessional behavior modification. If mom doesn't understand how to help him, the leaders and other adults don't understand him or his needs, the question is what as scout leaders is our contribution going to be to this boys success in life. How much can you personnally as a scout leader give to him? He needs a professional who does understand his needs to help him with behavior modification and once he begins to get that he needs the complete support of his peers and adults in his life to help him be successful and grow up to be a respected upstanding citizen in this judgemental world we live in. Do you as a scout leader have the control to send him in the right directions so you can be a support base? Not really, his parents need to be the ones to take the first step,(single or not) but she needs to know that she has support from the leadership in this organization to maybe help her to take that big step. It's hard for parents to admit they need help, and hard for them to put everything else in their life second and do what is best for their child. We have no clue as to what other personal issues they as a family could be dealing with. What is their priorities? You have a tough choice here, but please think about the damage you will do to this child if you make the decision to send him away. Make sure you have exhausted all of your options. I don't believe that any child is a lost cause. There is someone out there who can make a huge contribution to this boys success, the question we as leaders need to ask ourselves, is what will our role be in his life? Are the members in your pack going to be the ones that help him move forward or are you going to be like everyone else has been and turn away from him? Your unit as a whole needs ask themselves this before you make your final decision. Good Luck to you and your unit, and best of luck to the young man your concerned about.

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J_Prewitt, good discipline helps all kids, but it doesn't completely solve their problems. We have a very structured home, with discipline approved by our sons' therapist--that doesn't include spanking, btw. It has made a tremendous difference in their behavior, but still there are den meetings where my 8yo gets out of control. He, however, does not disrupt meetings so much that people want him to leave.

 

As I tried to say before, there are lots of reasons for kids to misbehave. Some can be helped with better discipline, and sometimes that's not enough. As den leaders, it's not our job to solve these kids' problems. It's great to want to help a child who's having difficulties, but it's not fair to the other kids in the den to have to put up with intolerable behavior.

 

By intolerable behavior, I mean the kid who constantly acts inappropriately and disrupts meetings. I have several in my den who have trouble sitting still, following directions, and paying attention. That's not intolerable. We had a kid at day camp last year who left me utterly exhausted at the end of the day with trying to keep tabs on him. You had to watch him every second or he'd wander off, or point his arrow at somebody, etc. He's not in the den anymore because he moved, not because his behavior was intolerable. By intolerable behavior, I mean the kind that keeps you constantly focused on him--keeping him on task, dealing with his meltdowns, keeping him from fighting with the other kids or doing inappropriate things. This is a kid with special needs, and he should be in a den or pack for special needs kids. Volunteer leaders in a regular den should not be expected to know how to deal with these kinds of problems.

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If this boy really is a special needs case, he should be in a pack or troop that works with special needs boys. We are really amateurs here. This child sounds like he needs professional help.

 

I have to say that I have asked the parent and grandparents of one boy to keep him home until he learned better behavior. He tried to provoke an older scout to a fight. He destroyed another scouts property. He did not take care of his messkit. He repeatedly violated camp rules. He referred to another pack as "ghetto people" because they were racially mixed. When the SM and I sat down to discuss these problems with him, he looked me in the eyes and told me that he and my son had been discussing how they would like to kill me for the way I was acting. This all happened in one day. We returned him to his grandparents along with the committee decision.

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Many of you are referring back to a child that has been violent or destructive in some way. This was originally about a boy that was simply disruptive verbally and had problems pestering his peers. The two situations aren't the same and actions taken would have to be more severe for a boy who harbors ill-will towards his fellow den mates.

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The original post described the boy as special needs. Whether violent or not, a special needs child may need more than a regular den provide. It's not only a matter of safety, but also the well-being of the child. The kind of behavior described alienates other people and lowers the child's self-esteem. Unless he can get it under control, it may not be in his best interest to put him in a regular den with kids who are going to react negatively to him.

 

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We have a Webelos II Scout that sounds alot like the scout in the original post. He is ADHD, on meds, and comes from a single mother enviroment. His dad's in and out of thier life and jail.

 

He never fit in with the other scouts in the den. We have 8 scouts in this den.

 

We the adult leaders have heard all the things this scout has done from his mother. But we have never had any behavior problems out of him.

 

Until...

We all went to Webelos camp this summer and there was incident. It was hot (real hot) and the boys were playing with the water coolers, boys splashing water on each other, which they were told to stop. Next thing you know this kid is attacking another kid with his hands around his neck. Which I did not see, I turned around and saw another boy in a karate stances facing this kid. When I figured out the situation, I took him to the den leader, and the scout who had been choked to his mother.

 

On the way, this kid told me he was going to hit me with a stick. He didn't.

 

We had a talk with the scouts, applogies were made and those two were fine for the rest of the day.

 

The next morning as I crawled out of my tent I was informed that there was a problem and this kid had hit, kick and spit on a couple of the boys and had went to look for something to hit one of them with.

 

I found him and had a talk. The karate stance boy had decided to tease him and cuss at him. I resolved it and talked to him about getting an adult instead of hitting. After this we had no more problems at all.

 

I thought this was resolved until the parents of the karate kid approached me and the other leader and asked if the kid will be coming back. To which we said yes. The committee is now deciding that we should kick him out for fighting. (And I feel like it's because nobody likes him anyway)

 

My question then is what are we teaching the den if we kick him out? Many of them dont like him, teased and provoked him to which he responded with violence. He made a bad choice, so did most of the other scouts for teasing (verbal assault).

 

I feel like the committee is rushing this for a first time offense and resulted in no injuries.

I feel like we should make this an opportunity to learn from thier mistakes and make better choices in the future. What do you guys think?

 

Also there is some confusion over whom we should have reported this too? At the time? After? We talked to the parents of the scouts in the fight (one of which was there) and thought it was resolved but the committee said we should have made it a prority to inform them in case anyone asked about it. By the way, we don't have any written policy on this, they just decided after they found out about the fight.

 

 

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Sounds like the karate stance kid started the last incident. Is the committee looking to boot him, too?

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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As it stands, karate kids parents are the ones making a big deal out of it.

 

So far the committee is only planning to boot the kid that nobody likes. One of the committee's reasoning is "What is he getting from being with boys that don't like him, don't want him there, and now are "afraid" of him."

 

 

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One of the committee's reasoning is "What is he getting from being with boys that don't like him, don't want him there, and now are "afraid" of him."

 

And what is this boy going to take away from this? It's always his fault. Not a good thing.

 

If more than one was the instigator, then they should be dealt with equally.

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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Wow, some really strong feelings on this thread.

 

We have a 14-year old boy with Asperger's Syndrome (high-functioning autisim) in our New Scout Patrol. I think it's ok to bring this up in a Cub forum because a long time ago, he was in the Pack where I was a CM.

 

At times, the boy can have some pretty tough behavioral problems and some social difficulties. Our CC and SM met with his parents and asked a couple of questions like, please describe his condition and how can we best serve him? His parents have been very good about volunteering on the Troop Committee and being at outdoor activities like Summer Camp.

 

We are fortunate that some of our senior Scouts have taken an interest in him and make sure he is included in the troop activities. They channel his energy towards activities where he can exhibit good behavior. So for us, things seem to be working out.

 

One thing I had to do was counsel the 11- and 12-year old Scouts about his condition and promote a little understanding. Even though they are still intolerant of his behavior at times, they are much more understanding.

 

If the behavior tends towards violence, that's unacceptable and we can't ask any volunteer or Scout to "deal with it."

 

To keep this short, I would recommend you reading threads on the "Scouts with Disabilities" forum - that's where I learned about Scouts with autism.

 

Hope this was helpful - I know how frustrating that can be.

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I have always been an advocate of keeping boys in scouting at all costs. There has been much talk in this thread about ADHD and how that affects a child. But, from my experience, the medication works wonders so my guess is that the condition isn't the problem, unless he is not getting his medication.

 

That leaves the boy at just being a royal pain and troublemaker. When I was a Den Leader I had 8 boys from Day 1 to Grad. Half were good kids, half were perennial troublmakers. (two of each "group" were ADHD). I eventually got to the point where I had to ask all parents to remain at the meetings and help control their boys because I and my ADL felt we could no longer run an effective program. We asked all parents so as not to single any boy out, although everyone knew the reason for the request.

 

Every boy gradutated into Boy Scouts, each earning their AOL. The four aren't model citizens and, as far as I know, still get into trouble at school. But I cling to the idea that once they get older and grow out of this stage, they will fall back on some of the values that my ADL and I taught them.

 

Jerry

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