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WisconsinMomma

What would you do (if you were me) in this situation?

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Hi Scouters,

I am a parent of two Scouts, a 2nd Class and Tenderfoot.  They went to a winter cabin camping event this past weekend.  My older son has ADHD and he takes social skills classes, overall he's not perfect, but he's doing well and making good progress.  My husband, who is an ASM, observed at the end of the day, my son approached two older scouts who were playing a card game and he politely asked if he could join in.  The older boys said no and continued without him.

This has happened once before on another winter outing, last year or the year before -- my son asked to be included in a game and was turned down.

My husband did not intervene, it sounds like he feels like the older boys have the right to say no to my son, at the same time he is troubled by it, and was awake at night thinking about the situation.  When we got home, my husband told my oldest son that he was proud of him for asking nicely if he could play and he's sorry that the older boys left him out. He says he said something about scout skills (which is entirely too vague to mean anything) at the roses and thorns, but he means, that the older boys need to be more welcoming.  Friendly, and all that.  One of the two boys who said no is the ASPL.   

If you were me, the mom, or my husband, the ASM, what would you do?   Nothing?  Mention it to someone?  

Thanks for your help, I appreciate it!

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If it were me, I would suggest to my son that he find a buddy his own age and/or in his patrol to play cards with.  Presumably your son was not the only boy who was not playing cards.

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5 minutes ago, WisconsinMomma said:

If you were me, the mom, or my husband, the ASM, what would you do?   Nothing?  Mention it to someone?  

As a mum? I'd worry about it, and feel a little sad for my son.

From the details given, it could anything on a scale from the other scouts just being in the middle of a game and not wanting to think of a 3 handed game, to them deliberately excluding your son because he's special/different/they don't like him, in the middle there's being a bit selfish, or a bit un-scoutlike. Truth is somewhere on that scale. If your son's not bothered by it, it's not really a problem. Maybe if there was an opportunity not long after I may have had a quiet little word with the two boys, but only if I'd observed it and was not a parent of the lone boy. More an open question to them "why didn't you want to let Bob join in your game chaps?" and see where it led.

My gut says it *seems* like no big deal, so no big deal should be made of it. Certainly the time to act was then, now is too late.

Painful for a parent to observe though. No-one wants to see their kid rejected by others.

 

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Rejection happens. Good preparation for the larger rejections to come - dating, applying to college, job interviewing...

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5 minutes ago, NJCubScouter said:

If it were me, I would suggest to my son that he find a buddy his own age and/or in his patrol to play cards with.  Presumably your son was not the only boy who was not playing cards.

I think the thing is that they were playing a particular card game with a specialized deck that he really enjoys.   Both of the older boys are in his patrol  (about 2 years older than he is).  

I am not concerned because this happened once, I am concerned that it's happened twice, but it feels like there is not much I can do.  But would you mention a concern to the SM to perhaps keep an eye out for exclusion? 

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Sounds like next camp out he needs to bring his own deck of cards and find a buddy. 

 

If your Husband observed them being rude in response, then it would warrant a different response.  Just saying no isn't a crime.  You also this has happened once before, but a year or two in the past, so this isn't considered a pattern yet.

 

Big props to your husband for staying out of it and not running to "defend" your son.

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It's also possible that it is a long-running game between the two other Scouts. Who wants to stop down their grudge match?! More tact could have been used in their response if that was the case, but it's still a possibility.

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Yeah, my husband doesn't want to be the adult that interferes for his kid.  My oldest is 13, and the other boys are probably 15 and 16 or 17.

In the social skills classes, he has learned to observe people and choose the people that he has things in common with to be friends with, and I get the impression that my son would very much like to be friends with both of these boys, who are in his patrol.  (My son and another boy are the two youngest in the mixed age patrol, but I don't know if the two of them have found much in common.)  ETA: my son's issues are minor, it's not a big obvious disability, but he has an IEP at school and in a group he will sometimes stand out as being a little different.  

Oh well, hopefully in time as a patrol they'll get more opportunities to build rapport. 

Edited by WisconsinMomma

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22 minutes ago, WisconsinMomma said:

... but he has an IEP at school and in a group he will sometimes stand out as being a little different.  

My apologies if this seems flippant, but I've got sons with IEPs.  I swear schools use IEPs to manage the number one disease that schools can't handle anymore:  being a boy.   

 

22 minutes ago, WisconsinMomma said:

... My oldest is 13, and the other boys are probably 15 and 16 or 17.In the social skills classes 

There is huge maturity differences in those two / three years.  Jobs.  Cars.  Dating.  I'd hope those kids would want to include your son, but I can also understand their wanting their own time.  

35 minutes ago, WisconsinMomma said:

Both of the older boys are in his patrol  (about 2 years older than he is).  

SIDE DISCUSSION - Pray I don't take us off topic.  It's why I don't like mixed age patrols.  Mixed age patrols work well in many ways, but I'd rather see scouts initially grouped by age or when they join.  THEN, let them stick together or switch patrols to be with friends.  I just don't see the purpose of a patrol if a scout has to go visit other patrols when he wants to do something.  The best experiences my sons have had is when they had scouts in their patrol that were good friends because then patrol meetings actually planned things they wanted to do and the patrol actually went out together and did things.  

RECOMMENDATION - When he goes on a camp out, make sure he has a football, game, book or other that he can use to fill time and/or play with other scouts.  If they won't include him, then set him up such that other scouts want to join him.  


 

Edited by fred johnson
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38 minutes ago, Tampa Turtle said:

@WisconsinMomma ...and I am off to son#2's IEP meeting. More pushing around CYA paperwork than actual help. 

So so true.  I question the value of IEPs ... except that parents need to make sure they get listed in the IEP accomodations they want.  If it's not in the IEP, it's no where. 

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Just found this post now. (I hate this new software.)

I’m a current youth as most know. I’m saying flat out that it’s most likely not because he has ADHD or is taking classes (which is great that he is helping himself). Scout Troops have the amount of drama as school has, including the same issues. 

Older scouts usually want to play games with older scouts only, or want to play with their friends. I’ll admit I’ve said no before since I wanted to play with the older scouts & my friends.

I wouldn’t take this personally, I over think everything as well. I would’ve thought the same thing at night, but it’s something has helped me with rejection, and will most likely help your son.

As said before, usually everyone has a group of their friends in a troop, mostly around the same age of them. 

I would have him connect more with the younger scouts and it’ll probably work out better since younger scouts are “new”, and want to try new things.

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The SM should know that your husband is picking up a pattern of behavior. There's not much to do about it, but it's always good to see if the older boys widen their circle or narrow it. Boys who widen their circle to other scouts are likely engaging the program. Those who are narrowing their circle may be disengaging and might soon be on the way out.

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When my oldest Scout was young this happened to him often on campouts. As he got older, he and his friends got tighter and they didn't spend much time with the younger scouts. It happens with age and they need some time by themselves. I try to remind my wife that you won't always be there to pick all of the pebbles off of the road of life for our boys. Scouts have been the best thing for both of them because they can grow up, make mistakes, and learn from their mistakes without an adult telling them what they are about to do wrong. 

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Bear with the following, it'll come together in the end.

My son is the oldest in the troop now. We have been in 3 different troops over the years (various reasons for switching, not pertinent here). When we were in our first troop he was one of the youngest scouts in a mixed age patrol troop. He tried several times to make friends with the older boys but they had no interest. The 'fumes' thing really make a difference between 11 year olds and 16/17 year olds. The young ones stuck together regardless of patrol. It was just the way it was. On occasion at the urging of the SM both groups and the one in the middle, 13-15 year olds, would do things together. Every now and again a young one would strike up a relationship with an older one. It was rare. 

In the second troop everyone was pretty much the same age. The issue here and what ultimately drove us away from it was groupings of scouts by schools. Since my son went to a different school than the rest he was constantly left out of things. Trips were planned based on 1 school schedule not that of the group. The guys hung out with each other, went to school together, played sports together, they were a patrol in the true sense. They weren't interested in adding a new guy, no matter how hard he tried. Facebook just made the 'being left out' even worse.

We finally found a home in troop 3. He was an older boy and Eagle in a troop that was rebuilding. He's a good teacher and the younger guys flocked to him. He also had friends that moved troops with us so he had peers to hang with as well. Unfortunately, some of the parents of the less popular middle and older boys decided that it was inappropriate for older boys to be friends with younger boys. They caused crap and actually broke up the troop. 

So, in my experience, no matter what type of troop you're in there is always going to be issues with boys getting along with each other. It is a good lesson for life. Learn to deal with interpersonal relationships in a safe monitored space. If parents step in to solve/fix their child's issues they rob their child of a lesson to learn, IMHO. At the extreme of parental stepping in a troop can be destroyed. 

My advice, do nothing as far as the troop goes. Teach your son about rejection and arm him with tools to help himself. I like the advice above - take a ball, book, your own deck of cards, etc.

 

 

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