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Eagle94-A1

Dealing with Helicopter Parents

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Neither me nor my father cared about getting the Eagle.  We seldom even talked about scouting while I was in the program.  It was more the fact that I hung out with the group of friends I made in grade school with and eventually went our separate ways when we graduated from high school.  Yes, while we were in scouts we were our own patrol for the full 4 years.  When we left scouting, we left together and went together to a different youth program.

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My unit doesn't have scouting families. We have scouts and scout leaders. Some of them are related. Some aren't.

 

OK, semantics.  You have scout parents.  Or, families of scouts.  How are your relationships evolving over time?  

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Agree that there are many different Scouting journeys and that there are many different ways to learn and grow in Scouting.

 

The younger boys, like my 11 and 13 year old are absolutely in a "still learning" phase.   

 

This weekend they are going cabin camping on a leadership outing.  Now, packing.  They have been through packing a few to several times, and I can send them with a list to do their own packing.  I can also not check their bags.  I can tell you my husband will want me to check their bags, so we'll see how that goes.  Last outing my middle son insisted he had extra shoes, but he did not.  It was not the end of the world.

 

This weekend has been described as -- the kids will be busy learning so the adults are doing all the cooking.  It does not sound like an "ideal" outing, but for now, I'm thankful that there is an outing happening and hopefully the kids will have a good time.  Kids who went to NYLT will be leading, I think.

 

As for the helicopter parent thing, I wonder if Scouters can pick some of their battles (priorities) -- for example, prioritize the patrol stuff over the merit badges... of course, barring any craziness like having parents sign off on their own kids' blue cards. 

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Neither me nor my father cared about getting the Eagle.  We seldom even talked about scouting while I was in the program. 

 

Seldom talking about Scouting with my father would have been difficult for me, since he was a leader in every Scouting unit I was ever in as a youth, while I was in it. (As an adult he was always an active Scouter - 67 years I think including his time as a Scout - regardless of whether any of his sons were yet, or still, in the program.)  Including being SM while I was SPL and then JASM.  So Scouting discussions ensued.  He had been a Star Scout and wanted to see his sons make Eagle.  He did not pressure us, he did not hound us, but it was clear that that was what he preferred. Fortunately he got what he wanted in the form of my youngest brother.  I think I made up for my non-Eaglehood in his eyes by graduating from law school.

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My parents stayed out of my advancement and I liked that. I would have hated having my mom track stuff for me. And yeah I forgot stuff on camp outs that I told my parents I had but it was the first thing packed next time.

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As for the helicopter parent thing, I wonder if Scouters can pick some of their battles (priorities) -- for example, prioritize the patrol stuff over the merit badges... of course, barring any craziness like having parents sign off on their own kids' blue cards.

Scouters do that, in fact I think that just about every human activity involves picking one's battles.  As for parents signing blue cards, if the parent is a registered counselor for that merit badge, it is not prohibited, though the conventional wisdom is that it should be kept to a minimum and if other counselors for the badge are readily available, it is best to avoid it.  Following that principle, my father was my counselor for Architecture MB, and none of the other badges he counseled.  In our council, multiple MB's earned with a Scout's parents (or actually, many badges with any single counselor, parent or not) would raise eyebrows at an Eagle BOR.

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Learn from our failures.  Works every time. 

 

I have a sneaking suspicion that parents that are afraid of failure and are high achievers pass that along to their children because somehow that gets translated in if my kid doesn't make Eagle, I have failed as a parent.  Let me assure everyone that that isn't the correct conclusion.  If your child grows up in scouting, gets to 2nd class quits and goes on to graduate school and provides well for his family and raises kids like their parents did.  Ya done good!!!

 

On my first deployment with the Red Cross, I was expected to commit 2 weeks.  Well I packed for 2 weeks.  After 3 weeks, I mailed half my stuff back home.  On my latest deployment, I packed a carry-on bag and a small rucksack backpack for a 4 week commitment.  They have laundromats in flooded Houston, who'da thunk!  Even at 67, I'm still learning from my failures!

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Learn from our failures.  Works every time. 

 

I have a sneaking suspicion that parents that are afraid of failure and are high achievers pass that along to their children because somehow that gets translated in if my kid doesn't make Eagle, I have failed as a parent.  Let me assure everyone that that isn't the correct conclusion.  If your child grows up in scouting, gets to 2nd class quits and goes on to graduate school and provides well for his family and raises kids like their parents did.  Ya done good!!!

 

On my first deployment with the Red Cross, I was expected to commit 2 weeks.  Well I packed for 2 weeks.  After 3 weeks, I mailed half my stuff back home.  On my latest deployment, I packed a carry-on bag and a small rucksack backpack for a 4 week commitment.  They have laundromats in flooded Houston, who'da thunk!  Even at 67, I'm still learning from my failures!

 

For once I agree with you on something.  And if you were overprepared for your recovery mission, that sounds like an inconvenience, not a failure.  Underprepared would potentially have been a failure.

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Regarding learning, as my grandfather onme told me, 'the day you stop learning is the day you die."

 

i would not consider a 13 year old a new guy. most of the PLs growing up were 13-14. I was ASPL at 13. And really, Anyone First Class or higher, regardless of age, should be able to handle themsleves, and teach others. dad should not have to double check.

 

Going off on aside, I honestly beleive the problem stems somewhat from society.Let's face it, some people consider 25 year old children. At work, I have parents contacting me not only for their high school aged children, but also college age young adults, and in one case college graduate. Parents to not let their kids take responsibility for themselves.

 

One of teh reasons I think Boy scouts is needed now more than ever.

 

  In our council, multiple MB's earned with a Scout's parents (or actually, many badges with any single counselor, parent or not) would raise eyebrows at an Eagle BOR.

 

Sadly national will approve the Eagle anyway. We had an incident 19 years ago just like it. The bulk of the MBs were earned using Mom, dad, and grandpa as MBCs. Long story short, family was pushing paper for him to earn Eagle, and when discovered at the Eagle BOR, the family petitioned an appeal, and the appeal went to national. national agreed there were irregularities, but " we cannot penalize the Scout for the mistakes of teh adults involved." or words to that effect. That district advancement committee resigned in protest. 

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For once I agree with you on something.  And if you were overprepared for your recovery mission, that sounds like an inconvenience, not a failure.  Underprepared would potentially have been a failure.

 

I wear a vest with everything I need, pens, flashlight, keys, knives, compass, phone (2) charger,  etc. Be Prepared.  Well, I hit the TSA at the airport and got pulled aside.  I knew I wasn't carrying anything improper, but TSA found a Boy Scout jackknife and fingernail clippers in my first aid kit I had thrown in as I always do, scissors and needles in my "housewife" (sewing kit),  and here I stood with my Red Cross ID on.  Fortunately the TSA gal made the connection between Red Cross and my scouting background and helped me arrange having my knife mailed back home.  She ignored the scissors and needles and told me to do better to "Be Prepared" for airport TSA.  :)  And the lessons go on and on.   

 

Maybe not a failure, but definitely an embarrassing inconvenience. 

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i would not consider a 13 year old a new guy. most of the PLs growing up were 13-14. I was ASPL at 13. And really, Anyone First Class or higher, regardless of age, should be able to handle themsleves, and teach others. dad should not have to double check.

 

This depends on the kid, and you'll have to trust me that I know my own kid. :)  He's been in Boy Scouts for 1.5 years, he's a 2nd class, and he has ADHD and is less mature than some other boys his age.  He does not have it all together at this point, but we're seeing him make progress, little bit by little bit.   He's definitely gotten more experience through going to many troop outings, and that's great. 

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I have high adhd. My parents gave me check lists and taught me how to make my own. It helped a great deal and I was independent pretty darn fast. I was PL at 12 and SPL by 15. All I needed was to learn.

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That's great, BackPack.  Glad you were able to take on leadership positions early.  Right now my oldest isn't interested in leadership positions, and he seems to be still working on fitting in the group and learning to follow.  His first year in Scouting was a big transition, and this year he appears more settled in the group.  He likes the Troop and is doing pretty well on the outings, and we're pleased with how he's doing with that. 

 

ETA: My middle son was an Asst. Patrol Leader right away, for two terms, but then his patrol was merged and he lost his job.  It seems he would like to be in a patrol leadership position again and he has interest in that.  Although, when his first opportunity to go to a patrol leader meeting came up he didn't want to go.  He complained -- I don't want it -- give it to (other boy)!  He worked it out.  

 

Each kid is a little different, sometimes they are very different! 

Edited by WisconsinMomma

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Question for ya @WisconsinMomma,  what was the Webelos program like for your 13 year old? Did the DL treat it like a continuation of Cub Scouts, or started treating it more like a Boy Scout patrol?

 

I ask because it seems from my experience that how the DL treats the Webelos is what makes the difference. Dens that begin transitioning Webelos I see have better rates of Scouts staying in the program, adapting to Scouts better etc. I know the dens my older 2 were in did just that, and there are no problems with them. Ditto with new Scouts who were in one of my Eagle's den. Cub Scouts in a good Webelos program should not have a big transition to make their first year.

 

 

 

I have high adhd. My parents gave me check lists and taught me how to make my own. It helped a great deal and I was independent pretty darn fast. I was PL at 12 and SPL by 15. All I needed was to learn.

 

 I too have... SQIRRELL :) 

 

Seriously, I too have ADHD. Those checklists were, and continue to be a Godsend. 

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Maybe he ought to learn leadership first.  Anyone can follow.

 

As a ADHD, I know from experience many of them can be high achievers if given the opportunity.  Start with focusing on the part of the Scout Law -....help other people at all times....  If he can master this, he will be sought out by every patrol on the planet.  Everyone wants those that help with anything and everything.  People seek out these people and want them near.  They like to be with these kinds of people and while he's helping other people at all times, he is not focused on himself, but on others and looking for ways to help them with their struggles.  Does this sound like a follower or a leader?  Clue: it's called servant leadership and it wields great power.  If everyone is looking to him for care, and he pulls out and walks away, the group is in big trouble.  Why?  Because they can't function without their true leader, the one that takes care of them.

 

By the way I am ADHD as well. 

 

One might think ADHD people are incapable of doing things because they get distracted.  But if one can focus them, they will do amazing things.  One of my non-medicated ADHD scouts ran the popcorn fundraiser for the troop.  At age 13, he pulled off the most successful year the troop ever had up to that point.  Everyone of the boys got their order sheets in on time, they received all their prizes and this young man hounded them relentlessly.  I as an adult could not have motivated the boys the way this scout did.  I love having at least one ADD/ADHD scout in my troop, they are like gold.

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