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Why is it always the leader's kid?

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I think most of us has noticed it's always the leader's kid.  Not usually seriously bad, mostly just snarky answers when having a group discussion... or the one disrupting the group just a little when doing some activity.

 

Just attended a youth leader training class today, and of the three kids that made these types of disruptions, all were son's of scouters in attendance.... Sad to say one was my son.  Nothing too bad, just being a little silly, but still....

 

On the way home, I started with a discussion of why that wasn't the best thing to do.... but then I asked him a serious question.... the one I'm asking here.

 

Why is it?  Why does he think this is?  What was going through his mind?

.... of course all I got was , I don't know....

 

SO... why do you think it is?

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Let's give this some thought @@blw2, son wittily puts himself out there with off-the-wall remarks.

Wonder where that came from. :rolleyes:

 

Lighten up. If you can't handle your kid being a snot, tell someone else's dad to keep one eye on him for you and leave the room.

 

Apologize to your son right now for busting his chops, and tell him you'll try to do better next time.

 

In our troop, we make a pact, that we'll not run herd on our own boys.  Sometimes we actually assign each other our kids. That way, they know when the assigned Mr. X leaves his coffee mug to convey some sense of disappointment, they have let their troop down as opposed to merely wrecking the old man's ego.

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Seriously, I could not tell son #2 one thing about leadership. He had what he figured was his style and by golly he was gonna use it. And he never watch a single episode of McChale's Navy!

 

When he became SPL, I begged SM "For all that is right and holy, don't put me in the middle, but please take him down a peg!"

 

Nope, he was working great with the troop. Boys were getting taken care of. The lazy ones were nudged along, the angry ones were contained, the ADD ones called to earth, and the weak ones were respected. If something didn't get done he owned it. SM was happy.

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Let's give this some thought @@blw2, son wittily puts himself out there with off-the-wall remarks.

Wonder where that came from. :rolleyes:

 

Lighten up. If you can't handle your kid being a snot, tell someone else's dad to keep one eye on him for you and leave the room.

 

Apologize to your son right now for busting his chops, and tell him you'll try to do better next time.

 

In our troop, we make a pact, that we'll not run herd on our own boys.  Sometimes we actually assign each other our kids. That way, they know when the assigned Mr. X leaves his coffee mug to convey some sense of disappointment, they have let their troop down as opposed to merely wrecking the old man's ego.

 Oh boy did you misinterpret  what I was trying to say!..... I must not have wrote it well....

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Oh boy did you misinterpret  what I was trying to say!..... I must not have wrote it well....

Oh, I probably blew it out of proportion.

Although, I do think the stuff that gets us to step out and lead is the same stuff that worries us when we see it in our kids.

Regardless, asking a boy why he does anything is usually an exercise in futility.

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I tend to be more critical of my son than of the other Scouts.  Probably because I see him more.  It's something on which I've been working.

 

Another theory - they are more familiar with you, and therefore more comfortable, relaxed, etc.  This leads to not always their best behavior. 

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Lots of possible reasons.  With the CS den and the youngest, he hated sharing my attention with the others. Kinda jealous that the others had their parents or grandparents working with me and the Cubs, and he had to share. Didn't matter that we would do a lot together at home.  I admit he was one of the reasons why I went to Boy Scouts early, because he would behave and learn more without  me there. And I was right.

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I tend to be more critical of my son than of the other Scouts.  Probably because I see him more.  It's something on which I've been working.

 

Another theory - they are more familiar with you, and therefore more comfortable, relaxed, etc.  This leads to not always their best behavior. 

 

Those are the two things I thought of.... but they don't add up .  At least in the situation that prompted me to start this thread.  

Well maybe teh 1st one a little.  Well a lot in terms of me expecting and demanding more.  I've spoken with other leaders in the past that all agree with this..... But in my case this time at least, while it's possible that I just didn't notice the other kids doing it, I'm fairly sure that wasn't the case.

 

The thing about comfort with me being there.  Well,at first in writing this response I was thinking that because there were many other leaders in the room that these boys would have not been so much more comfortable just because a parent was there....  but now taht I think, maybe the parent being present is a safety net in some way.... bit doesn't the kid know taht if he does something wrong taht he's gonna know about it later!

Lots of possible reasons.  With the CS den and the youngest, he hated sharing my attention with the others. Kinda jealous that the others had their parents or grandparents working with me and the Cubs, and he had to share. Didn't matter that we would do a lot together at home.  I admit he was one of the reasons why I went to Boy Scouts early, because he would behave and learn more without  me there. And I was right.

yeah, something I'm really trying to remember... and is why I didn't correct him like I would have in cubs.  I fully intend to do my best to miss a fair share of meetings and most camping.  We'll see if I can pull it off  ;)

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Why do scout leaders always make assumptions? :)

 

Just to clear things up, it is not always the leader's kid.

 

blw2, this is your oldest son? who is about12 or 13?

 

If so, you're in for a ride. It might not be your son so much as it's you. Your son is doing what all boys do at that age, they start to split away from mom and dad.

 

This may sound crude, evil, mean, or just plain wrong, but hear me out. I've seen something happen over and over again and scouter fathers can't believe they're doing this. Maybe this is you, only you can answer this. These dads love scouts and want their son to share that love. Without even recognizing it they start pushing. It may be for their son to get Eagle, or be SPL, or be the best scout in the troop. It can be pushing hard or it can be pushing a little. The problem is the son needs to learn how to live on his own more than he needs any of this. Dad's pushing is not letting him grow up. Son pushes back. He probably doesn't even think about. He just does it. Dad wants an Eagle scout, so son starts screwing around. Dad wants Philmont, so son sabotages his gear. Dad wants a model son, so son starts flipping off people. Dad expects his son to get Eagle so son says screw it. I've seen a lot. If dad doesn't recognize this it turns into a power struggle and has nothing to do with reason, especially not what dad thinks is reasonable. It ends either with the boy leaving scouts or dad giving in. I've seen both. I've also seen the boy decide, after dad has backed off, that he does indeed want whatever dad was pushing.

 

I was fortunate with my son. All I wanted was to have some fun with him. If I ever got more than 15 minutes of his time on a campout I felt blessed. We had a ton of fun. We gave each other a lot of grief, we wrestled, and made a lot of good memories. I explicitly told him do not get eagle for me. I didn't care. One good memory was watching him teach the younger scouts at summer camp, where he worked. He had a talent for it. Turns out he didn't know his skills so well when he started and the first day he worked there some other SM let him know. He took that seriously and went and practiced his skills. The point is, I was never the hard ass. I did ask other adults to watch him and they had my permission to correct any bad behavior. But me, I was there to enjoy my time with my son. I never pushed him. When he asked for help I helped him. Maybe I was just lucky.

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Dont know if this is the case or not but I have seem a few scouters sons act up in scouting much more that they do in other venues.

 

Perhaps their thinking goes " you wont be too hard on me, Mr. Scoutmaster, my Dad is your buddy and your right hand man"

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In my first troop where I was an ASM we kept an eye on each other's kids and if one got out of hand, someone other than dad stepped in. 

 

In my second troop I was SM and  the biggest pain in the butt was the former SM's son.  I've related the story in other threads but as soon as dad stepped aside, things changed.  The chip on the shoulder disappeared really quickly.

 

I haven't had a son in the program now for almost 20 years now, but being in the SM position makes it easier to deal with ASM's children, I just "pull rank" on the ASM.  :)

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The unwritten rule in our troop is you discipline other kids scouts but not your own.  If you kid is acting up, you go and get another ASM. 

 

I tried to make sure that my sons were aware of upcoming events.  I let them make the decision to attend or not.  I made sure that they had all the needed gear or supplies for the event available to them but left it up to them to pack and select what they actually took with them.  They learned some lessons by leaving equipment at home.  Only can think of one or two times they came to me mid event asking for some gear/equipment to cover their anatomy.  They sucked it up an suffered thru rather than have me bale them out.  Probably because they figured I would tell them tough.    

 

I was the designated NSP patrol advisor and spent most of my time reviewing their activities. I was available to my sons if they needed me.  I would usually stroll by once during a slow period to just say Hi.  Got a few brief words, a occasional hug or more likely a nod or the head and was off.   While scouting is "my thing", I let them know that it was up to them to advance as they saw fit.   Well, once they became Life scouts I did check the calendar to see if it was possible to earn Eagle.  I did remind the older boy a few times since he was pushing the age limit. 

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yeah, MattR

there's very likely a little piece of what you say going on.... but again

the instance that prompted me to start this thread wasn't as much my son as it was some worse things done by other leaders' sons.

 

None of us are overt pushers... but then again.....  We are there every week so how can we not be?

 

Are they being pushed?  Yeah, in some ways at least.  They all have great attendance, likely mostly because the parents are going.  But that is very likely a factor too, just as you say...

 

We are probably reminding them about things fairly often.... likely more, but not necessarily more than any other average parent/scout... especially the helo parents.  In a way, those of us that volunteer might be considered the V-22 Osprey's of the helo parents.  Most of us all make pretty good effort to keep our distance, to not push, etc.... but it's just nature of the beast because our close contact with the program.

Bad, sure, but also the boys whos parents are involved seem to be much more likely to stick with the program.

 

One thought i had this weekend, and indirectly touched on by some of these responses.... I plan to discuss with the SM adn ASM's to make sure we are on the same page regarding discipline.  If i'm in attendance, I'd appreciate their addressing any issues with my son.  I want to make sure they aren't sitting over there thinking, why doesn' that guy do something about his son?

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I think most of us has noticed it's always the leader's kid.  Not usually seriously bad, mostly just snarky answers when having a group discussion... or the one disrupting the group just a little when doing some activity.

 

Just attended a youth leader training class today, and of the three kids that made these types of disruptions, all were son's of scouters in attendance.... Sad to say one was my son.  Nothing too bad, just being a little silly, but still....

 

On the way home, I started with a discussion of why that wasn't the best thing to do.... but then I asked him a serious question.... the one I'm asking here.

 

Why is it?  Why does he think this is?  What was going through his mind?

.... of course all I got was , I don't know....

 

SO... why do you think it is?

 

Well, my general observation is the opposite. The leaders' kids are the ones that stay in line, and do what they are supposed to do, at least in our troop. 

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Well, my general observation is the opposite. The leaders' kids are the ones that stay in line, and do what they are supposed to do, at least in our troop. 

:) but what do they do when you're not looking?  :)

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