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Why is it always the leader's kid?

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


Pretty much the same.  I haven't heard any bad reports, and haven't seen it in the other leader's sons. BTW, by leader, I mean SM and ASM, not MC. 

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Well of course, some of us are blessed with those "perfect" kids

I figure it's like a bell curve

a few just don't know how to be good for whatever reason

some are like Eddie Haskell and are just smart enough and fast enough to never do the bad stuff where they get caught

some are good kids that trip up often and make mistakes

I'd guess that more fall in that upper-middle zone, being really great kids that trip up slightly, once in awhile

then you have a few that are truly just good eggs that never seem to get it wrong.... we have a few leaders with kids like that

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In our unit I'd say most of the leaders' kids are held to a higher standard than other kids, but the father and by the other adult leaders. The kid with the shortest straw nearly always your own kid.


If you leaders have a different standard I'd find another troop. No one likes a leader that lets his kid get away with stuff.

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well no, in my case it is a lot alike you describe.... they're being held to a higher standard perhaps....

which means that the scout gets called out on the issue

AND he gets an earful on the ride home

but that doesn't change the fact that the deed was done.... no matter how small.

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lots of great points brought up by all

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. 

I think your comment about their being more comfortable pretty much nails a huge part of it!

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.


and @@MattR, your observations about the scout rebelling against being pushed might very well be the best answer yet.


Although I would say that in the cases I have observed, it's not overt pushing as you described.... for Eagle or whatever...

But more likely an almost subconscious thing.  

I certainly have no designs on my son making eagle..... I do want him to make 1st class and would be proud if he truly earns Eagle.  I can honestly say that I'm not pushing him in that way.  Don't think the other leaders in my example are either.


what we all ARE doing, is a bunch of little things like making him go to meetings.  Where some other kids might have an easier time of skipping a meeting now and then, for example.... the leaders kid doesn't really get that choice.  We are going to the meeting anyway, so we sort of drag him along. (not kicking and screaming I mean... more subtle than that)

Also, we leaders know what's going on in the troop, better than an 'average' parent might.....  So, we are much more likely to give little reminders and nudges here and there....


So, in a way scouting is not their journey and their journey alone.  As much as we might try not to, we just can't help but make it "our" journey as we travel along WITH our sons.

In a way, it's helpful as our sons are more likely to stick with it, at least to a point.... but in a bigger way perhaps, we are cheating them a bit, by our volunteering and efforts to give!


So, I feel like you touched on what might be the core answer to my question!

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I've experienced the dynamic that Matt suggests - the rebelling son.  I've experienced the "preacher's kids" dynamic where they aren't rebelling against mom or dad but rather the expectations that they're supposed to be an exemplar of how Scouts should behave (the thinking goes if a Scout is a Scoutmaster's son, then he should "know better" and be a bigger role model for the Scout Oath and Law than a "normal" Scout - big shoes to fill if he's 11 or 12 and is expected to behave better than a 16-year old).


What I've seen a lot lately is the parental "Don't you dare discipline my kid" approach leading to kids believing they can at up at any time (not suggesting that's the case here).


I've also seen parental over-reactions where their sons are acting no differently than the other Scouts, in a non-harmful way, and parents freaking out on them because they think their son should be better than that. 


It's a tough line to know where folks stand.  My best advice is that if you aren't leading the workshop or whatever it is, leave it to the workshop leader or presenter to deal with it - they know their own limits and a lot of experienced Scouters have learned how to let snarky comments just sit there and die (sometimes the worst a leader can do is bring attention to it).  You're there to support that Leader/Presenter in his disciplinary decisions (unless of course they're really going overboard).  It's not to play backseat driver (not that you personally would, as we see by your thoughtful post).  On campouts, its up to his PL or SPL to handle it (unless its something that needs an adult to handle - and in that case its the SM).


My last piece of advice is that once "discipline" has been meted out for something as minor as this, leave it - it's done unless your son wants to bring it up. 

Edited by CalicoPenn

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A fellow scouter had a recent incident. Scout was out of control and in need of constant adult intervention. Dad was on camp out. Clearly father's son. Scout did something requiring an immediate and long-term punishment. At first dad agreed. Next morning dad was wondering if the punishment wasn't too hard, whereas the night before he could not be more contrite.


At the end of the day no matter who's son it is, personal accountability means everything.

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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"


Funny, but I think my sons would say the opposite.  "I know you will be hard on me, Mr. Scoutmaster, because my Dad is your buddy and your right hand man, and because I've known you since I was 7."

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