Jump to content

Recommended Posts

This seems like a topic many of the single moms could benefit from addressing...Are there any single moms out there that were successful in getting their exhusbands to carry his weight with the kid's activiites. How did you accomplish this?


Laura and Sctmom, I applaud the time and effort you spend on your children! If only your ex's knew the extent of what they're missing, they'd be jumping right in. Have your sons fill them in on how much fun scouting is. Maybe they'll catch the bug.

Link to post
Share on other sites

When my son started Tigers, I was still married. My husband was the Tiger leader. He was excited as I was and our son was to be in Scouts. We got divorced during that school year. He lives only a few miles from me. We may not like each other but we are still parents. We continued to attend Scout meetings and other activities together, often riding in the same car.


In Tigers, all the parents are supposed to take turns being the "leader". The other parents didn't understand that (most don't, that's why they changed the program). My ex is not a natural leader. He had no support or help from the other pack leaders. He was so lost he had no idea what to ask. The other adults thought he was supposed to be gung ho about the whole thing.


That summer the other parents in the den decided one of them would be the den leader of a new den. All the parents followed that one guy. They never discussed this with my husband, never offered help, etc. Waited till a pack meeting to tell him of their decision and tried to pretend it wasn't personal. It was. At roundup, they gave him half the new kids, even though their den was now large. My son didn't understand why he couldn't be in the den with his friends.


End of second year, my husband had had enough. He quit. We all quit. We were all burnt out. I had tried to help him plan things, he was doing his best, but was in the dark and is not one to search out answers.


The beginning of Webelos I didn't like the direction that the other den was heading (my son was now back with the original group). The people who had take over control had begun to realize "this is not easy, this takes a lot of time". The den suddenly had 15 kids, I saw my chance and stepped forward to take my son, his friend and 3 new boys into a new den.


My ex doesn't like to camp, he went but wasn't happy. He sees how much I love scouting. He knows he missed the boat. He never caught on that he was also a leader of the parents in the den. He is not very good at adult relationships. He complains about things that intefere with watching sports. His idea of bonding with the kid is to take him to a movie. He did continue to attend pack meetings for the kid and attended the cross over, even though it was very difficult for him.


Some people still think we are married because we do attend functions together. Honestly my son sometimes doesn't want dad there. Dad can be very critical. He also has been known to throw temper tantrums in front of groups. Like as a baseball coach he threw his hat on the ground and stomped off at a game for 6 year olds! My son knows there is a risk that dad will embarrass him.


My ex had the chance. I made sure not to take over at first. I wanted scouting to be their "thing" together. He blew it. He knows it. I don't tell him that and I don't tell my son that. That is still his dad and dad has never been so mean that we should push him out of the picture completely.


I have volunteered with the Cubs again because I want every family to have a chance at scouting. Cub Scouting meant a lot to us. Gave us a chance to be with other families and have fun. I got to talk to adults, he got to play with the kids. It was like a big extended family.


I want my son to see not all men are like his father. There are many types of people in this world and my son can choose what type of person he wants to be. I want him to see what a strong, brave man looks like. Perhaps if my ex had seen one growing up, he would be one also.


Link to post
Share on other sites

ScoutMom - at least your ex tried some - mine never did.


I know all Mom's are biased - but my Jon is a terrific kid. He's funny and entertaining, ADHD and gifted, which makes for "unique" challenges, but makes for a personality that attracts kids and adults to him. he's a nice person, & simply fun to be around.


My ex & I divorced before Jon turned 2. Dad has not been to a school conference since 1st grade, or an event since about 4th grade. That year, Jon got to regionals with his derby car and Dad showed up and embarrassed Jon by picking a loud fight with the judges over the fairness of their decision in a race. Jon left in tears.


I cannot fathom why he shows so little care & interest in his own child, and yet, is so possesive of him. he hasn't got a clue as to what makes Jon tick, or what his interests, life and fears are. He has been notified, invited, pestered, & begged to come and participate in things - and never does. He is the most self-centered person I have ever known.


I grew up with parents who supported me in everything I tried My mom lead scouts and was the nature lady at Camp every summer - my dad & I learned how to cross-country ski together, and he taught me to canoe, taught me camp skills, and was the co-leader of my girl scout troop.


"Grandpa" has been more of a Dad to Jon than his real dad ever has -helping with homework, attending every concert, program, science fair and Cub and Scout award program. It was always Grandpa who supported Jon and picked up the pieces after Jon's Dad disappointed him, time after time.


Sadly, we lost my Dad unexpectedly, to a heart attack on Father's Day, 2001.


I have always had to be both Mom and Dad to my son. Being that I grew up in scouting, I wanted Jon to have the same opportunities that I did. and I wasn't going to let the lack of a husband or a "traditional" 2 parent family stop that.


It has often been really hard to be a single mom in Boy Scouts.


In Tigers & cubs,Everything I did was looked on with suspicion. This "exclusive male club" was very leary of a single woman entering THEIR territory. The guys didn't know what to make of me, and the women thought I was either strange or out to seduce their husbands, or both! But I was VERY determined that JON would not miss out just because his dad wasn't there for him.


Persistance & a positive attitude helped. That I have a great deal of outdoor experience helped ALOT. I took training I didn't need, to show I was serious and to get the credentials the pack / troop needed. I took the jobs no one else wanted. a unisex uniform, no makeup and no games, and TIME - eventually made the families realize that i was there for my son and theirs - that i could be friends with them AND their husbands without flirting at them on campouts.


I guess part of that is why I get so upset at the "no women on campouts" thread. It just perpetuates the struggle I had to go thru.


Scoutings values & ideals are terrific - but the operations of BSA are based on post WWII values and the traditional 2-parent family. The facts are that HALF of all children will live in a single-parent household at some time in their lives (from age 0 - 18). That number is growing, and real life is misleading - alot of the families in our troop are re- marriages and step-families, live-ins and grandparents raising kids! These are kids who REALLY NEED scouting - and parental involvement and archaic attitudes are telling them that they don't belong.




Link to post
Share on other sites

We have been very lucky while in Cubs. Even though the Cubmaster is married, he understands not everyone is. We have all sorts of families in our pack. Single moms with custody, single dads with custody, parents that share custody, grandparents raising the child, a single foster mom, married couples that both worked, married couples with a stay at home parent, parents that worked different shifts. You name it, I think we've seen it over the last 5 years.


The 2 Cubmasters I have seen in our pack said everything was open to EVERY family member. We have some parents that one trip dad camps, another mom camps --- both married couples and some divorced couples. We treat those non-custodial parents just like part of the family on the campouts. Luckily they act like adults too.


I've seen teenager siblings at the Halloween campout getting excited about the costume contest. Grandparents camp with us (including my own mother). Toddler siblings camp.


The troop my son joined said "sure we except women". I am welcome to camp with them. It is also a young troop. Right now half the troop is 11 years old. The others are 13 or 14. Yet there is still a subtle hint of "you can camp but we will work with the boys". There are enough males to do the work and I don't step past them unless truly necessary. Yet, many have no training and do some things that are against the BSA way. For example they really believe that troop meetings are for earning merit badges, the whole troop at one time.


My son still wants me to camp with them. As I said, he just needs that safety net behind him. I have told him that he must tell me if he doesn't want me on the campout. If it hurts my feelings, that is my problem. I refused to go to summer camp with them. Some parents were very amazed at that. They all thought for sure that I would go. No, that was one trip my son needed to do without me. He never really said he wanted me to go and I pretended I just could not take a week off from work. I know some moms and dads who would not let their child go unless one of the parents could go. I told them "that is great, but this is what my son needs, your son has different needs". Their sons are more mature than mine.


Again, we were so lucky with the pack. That's one reason I hate to see it struggle. I know some parents just can't or won't be den leaders so I will do that for the boys. I think every boy and family deserves the chance to be in scouting at some time. When the timing is right I will also volunteer with Girl Scouts for the same reason-- every girl deserves a chance. Something I never had growing up.


I know Boy Scouting is not family oriented like Cubs but if I have the time and skills to help, I should be able to. I hate that my son is dropping out. When we drove up to the meeting last week, one of the boys stopped in the parking lot, grinned, waved and said "Hello Miss L. How are you?" Warmed my heart. He's one of the boys without an involved dad and his mom has to take care of younger siblings.


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is interesting to read the prior posts from the single mom perspective. As a married male scouter, my perspective is necessarily somewhat different though sympathetic. These are boys who need scouting and need good male role models. It is a shame to the males of the species that so many divorced dads just step out of their kids' lives altogether. Actually I have been the target of some flirting on the part of single moms. I just quietly ignore that aspect of their behavior and it quickly goes away. The boys are the center of attention and that is where I stay focused in those situations. I have never found it necessary to say anything to anybody about this and everybody just moves on.


I never really perceived the pain these kids feel until the first time I coached a soccer team many years ago. These were 6 and 7 year olds. On that first team there was a kid who acted like a jerk most of the time, did not pay attention, and approached his playing in a lackadaisical manner. I was aware that he was living in a single mom household. Then one Saturday he played his heart out. He really turned in a strong performance. I couldn't understand what was going on. Only after the game ended did I learn that his father was there to watch him. Of course that was the only game the dad showed up for and the boy reverted to his regular habits after that.

Link to post
Share on other sites

We had a single dad in our pack the last few years. He had custody of his son. I don't know where the mother was or if the boy even saw her much. Never heard her mentioned but once. The father would quickly admit he was a trouble maker as a youth, but I can tell you he was raising one fine young man. They both were very polite and respectful. Scouting is what they did together. The boy was not involved in sports, so Scouting was their thing. I guess it still is at the troop level now.


It is sad to watch the boys who crave dad's attention and approval not get that attention. They are only children for a short while.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...