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Jameson76

And yet more changes - even Pedro is not spared

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25 minutes ago, Saltface said:

By taking that position, BSA would be tacitly supporting the belief that truth is relative. It's a slippery slope...

 

A slippery slope that even a sure-footed mail carrying burro like Pedro would have trouble with.

 

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22 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

But if the BSA is out of the morality definition business it's not. 

The BSA will never be out of the morality definition business.  The BSA has a moral code:  Trustworthy loyal helpful friendly courteous kind obedient cheerful thrifty brave clean and reverent. Duty to God, country, others and self.  Be clean in our outdoor manners, etc.  Those are all moral values.  One might even say, "Timeless Values."  Some of the definitions within those basic precepts have changed.  "Clean" does not necessarily mean what some people once thought it meant (and what the BSA told the U.S. Supreme Court it meant.)  But I don't think we should let the 2 percent (my estimate) of the "values" that have changed obscure the 98 percent that have not.

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20 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

But if the BSA is out of the morality definition business it's not. 

It would be BSA saying it's your job to figure it out.  As I tell my kids sometime - "not my job"

 

The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law. Without a moral compass, we're just the nation's largest camping club. 

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24 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

Why on earth would the BSA want to get in the middle of that?

BSA got in the middle of that because it once believed in that.

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When I was a DL,, I recall problems with family tree requirements in Cub Scouts. Some branches had bad apples which others readily exposed. Why embarrass the scout and his family?

Back in the day, one never talked about family finances outside the family and rarely within.  We had an expectation of privacy and that expectation would be respected.

I only knew about MY finances as that was my business.

MYOB BSA.

My $0.02

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3 hours ago, RememberSchiff said:

When I was a DL, I recall problems with family tree requirements in Cub Scouts.  Why embarrass the scout and his family?

Jeff Foxworthy was in your unit?

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11 hours ago, ParkMan said:

... Take this discussion of family structure.  Why on earth would the BSA want to get in the middle of that?  The merit badge should talk about the role of parents and how they help the family.  Getting dragged into whether it should say father, mother, two mothers, two fathers, single parent, whatever doesn't help the BSA at all.  The expectation ought to be that the BSA finds generic language that permits you and your community to reinforce the morals that are appropriate there.

Generic language? I have never had any of my kids call me "Parent, dearest."

Now that the grass is tall, everyone expects me to mow the lawn. They aren't looking at Mrs. Q to do it. Same for Son #1. Not only that, Son #1 and I are somehow expected to know how to fix every motor in every tool my father-in-law acquired at his lake house.  Moreover, when a family from church needed help getting their lawn mowed, neither of our Mrs. was copied on that Email.

Did I mention that DiL and Daughter can assemble anything? As in factories and mills and derricks. But, when remodeling needs done, they pick the colors and tell us boys to "Make it so." Son #2's GF was scrubbing deck chairs, not running the power washer Saturday.

Family free of sex roles? Imagine that. Because that's the only way I see it ... in my dreams!

As to when BSA decided to get their noses in this stuff, Family Life was first issued in 1991.

 

Edited by qwazse

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56 minutes ago, qwazse said:

Generic language? I have never had any of my kids call me "Parent, dearest."

Now that the grass is tall, everyone expects me to mow the lawn. They aren't looking at Mrs. Q to do it. Same for Son #1. Not only that, Son #1 and I are somehow expected to know how to fix every motor in every tool my father-in-law acquired at his lake house.  Moreover, when a family from church needed help getting their lawn mowed, neither of our Mrs. was copied on that Email.

Did I mention that DiL and Daughter can assemble anything? As in factories and mills and derricks. But, when remodeling needs done, they pick the colors and tell us boys to "Make it so." Son #2's GF was scrubbing deck chairs, not running the power washer Saturday.

Family free of sex roles? Imagine that. Because that's the only way I see it ... in my dreams!

As to when BSA decided to get their noses in this stuff, Family Life was first issued in 1991.

 

 I may be wrong but I don’t think BSA specifies any specific answer.  I think it makes sense for the question to change with the addition of girls, but otherwise no change is need.  If I were the MBC I would just look for a thoughtful answer and discussion.  If a scout believes a mother should cook, clean and take care of the kids and the father should work outside the home and do home repair.... no problem. If a scout believes both parents should coordinate and decide how to divide activities and the father could be stay at home and mother worn fine.  If both work fine.  If the focus on the answer/discussion is that the roles are about guiding kids fine.  My main thought is that the key is the scout starts reflecting about their own beliefs, understands that you should find a like minded partner (if the plan is to have a partner) and only then start planning on having a family.  Many different family structures work, the best are those with parents that plan appropriately (care, financial, beliefs, etc) before jumping in to have kids.   

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Maybe the BSA should get out of the family structure business. I just learn that 51 percent of children in our state (Oklahoma) are being raised by ltheir grand parents. FIFTY ONE PERCENT! 

I'm told drug addiction is the main cause and it is a huge rural problem, suggesting low income levels. Still, I work in a PHD rich department and I remember thinking 20 years that maybe education can be too much for some people because a 3rd of our department was raising their grand children.

My faith teaches that family is the beginning of a moral righteous community. But, I'm seeing that confusing national cultural values can overwhelm the community, which can directly effects the dynamics of a weak family. We used to have pretty good debates on this forum. One of those debates was whether the only source of morality is god, or God in my case. National is struggling because they are finding themselves loosing god as the foothold of moral values, which is directly related to the family structure. Mention morality and family structure together in this forum and it brings out the worst in us. The American culture is becoming more anti religious (which naturally defaults to anti family in my opinion) and that challenges the BSA default fallback suggestion of "discuss this with your parents". Which parent! I had scouts with three step dads and moms. 

Over the years, Qwazse has posted his observations of the differences between American youth and European youth. I paid attention because I was curious of why youth in Europe are more mature. We just got back from a 3 week trip in Italy and Qwazse was on the mark. The big difference we saw is that the family structure is still very strong. The community is a reflection of the family, not the other way around. My wife and I have noticed lately in our local restaurants that it's common to see each family member at a restaurant quietly focused on their cell phones. We didn't see any of that in Europe. I know that is a little think, but it sure stuck out to us. 

Ironically, I believe building a unit of scouts worth multiple religions and multiple family structures was easier before becoming a family program because the scouts didn't really care about backgrounds all that much. Now that families are more in control (parents), units might become more inclusive. I'm can't say that is a good or bad thing. Seek out a unit that fits your style. But it will have it's challenges. 

Barry

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On 5/30/2018 at 10:28 AM, blw2 said:

 

Well aren't they inferior?

No of course there are exceptions.... a family with an abusive father is better off without that father

but generally speaking single parent families are a real shame.  Nothing wrong or shameful about them...hey, it happens.... and it is awesome that one parent goes that extra mile to raise the kids....but they are a sad situation and should not be looked at as a good goal to shoot for....IMHO.

I guess I feel the same about "non traditional families".  Sure some work well perhaps, and a kid raised in one of those is much better off than they would be in a abusive or otherwise broken "traditional" family....but again IMHO it's not the goal to strive for.  And besides....you might even argue that in many cases Latin Scott's "rules" still apply in at least some cases, probably most as far as I know, that of the non-traditional parent takes on the father role and one the mother role, regardless of gender. 

...and no, in a healthy family the roles are most definitely not interchangeable.  I don't mean that in the ways that there are women's jobs and men's jobs.....  I do the dishes most of the time in my family which is a traditionally "women's job" & I'm a dad.  No, men and women are inherently different and both of those very different roles are healthy for kids...IMO

I’ve thought carefully about how I want to respond to this.

I’m a single mother— I got divorced when my younger son was three months old.  My boyfriend lives with us now, and has for nearly a year.  My boys rarely see their father— he lives several states away.  I never felt like our family was inferior, nor do I feel that way now.  I did, however, have many resources at my disposal that many single parents do not have— I’m well-educated, able to support us on one job, was able to afford high-quality daycare when my kids were younger.  I’m confident in my parenting.  I have a close circle of friends who I am able to reach out to for both emotional and logistical support when needed.

When my boyfriend moved in, my boys and I all grieved the loss of our “trio”.  We are very close, and, while I would never say one family is better than another, I do believe the closeness that comes in a single parent family is different.  In a Boy Scout context, I’d say my sons are more likely to be comfortable and confident leading (and failing) because they have seen me figure things out.  They understand that a failure doesn’t mean you give up, it means you make a better plan and try again.  They’ve seen me learn to grill, struggle to keep up with laundry, worry about my job, return to school for a second Masters, etc.  I think they see my vulnerabilities more than most children in two-parent homes do— there’s nowhere for me to hide, so to speak.  And so they see what it means to share your vulnerabilities and weaknesses and still be loved, respected, and valued.

As to the specifics of the Family Life merit badge— enh.  My older son is the least motivated Scout (as measured by merit badges and advancement) EVER, and he has begun this badge.  He did it in a small group.  He said he excused himself to the restroom when they asked each kid to talk about the father’s role.  He wasn’t particularly upset by it, but the last time he lived with his father, he was three. He just doesn’t have a lot of thoughts about it.  If girls are going to do it, they should probably change it to father/mother.  

However, it’s not a bad thing for kids to think about.  My boys are, realistically, going to be fathers, not mothers.  I don’t want them to define that through negatives (“I won’t be like my dad”). I think the badge and the question pushes boys to think about it in a positive sense— what do I want to be like? How/why is that important?  I think, if it is broadened to just parent, that specificity of thought is lost. 

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12 hours ago, Eagledad said:

Over the years, Qwazse has posted his observations of the differences between American youth and European youth. I paid attention because I was curious of why youth in Europe are more mature. We just got back from a 3 week trip in Italy and Qwazse was on the mark. The big difference we saw is that the family structure is still very strong. The community is a reflection of the family, not the other way around. My wife and I have noticed lately in our local restaurants that it's common to see each family member at a restaurant quietly focused on their cell phones. We didn't see any of that in Europe. I know that is a little think, but it sure stuck out to us. 

Ironically, I believe building a unit of scouts worth multiple religions and multiple family structures was easier before becoming a family program because the scouts didn't really care about backgrounds all that much. Now that families are more in control (parents), units might become more inclusive. I'm can't say that is a good or bad thing. Seek out a unit that fits your style. But it will have it's challenges. 

Barry

Interesting point, but I think you might have the order of things a little backward, families are weakening because of the failure of our communities (religious, neighborhood, civic, fraternal, labor, etc.). Strong communities support the family. I think there are several reasons for this (more demands on time: driving the kids everywhere, working longer hours, more scheduled activities, etc.), but we are much more fragmented then we used to be. Even the communities we belong too are more fragmented and dispersed. When was the last time you got together with most of your neighbors? Even the BSA changed this. It used to be you joined the local unit, your fellow scouts all lived in the same neighborhood, and probably went to the same school. Most of the scouts and parents already knew each other (met at the local block party or the neighborhood BBQ). There were some good reasons for this changed, but it had some negative side effects.

I share your concerns about families in units. I worry it will make boy-led much more difficult.

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9 hours ago, Rick_in_CA said:

Interesting point, but I think you might have the order of things a little backward, families are weakening because of the failure of our communities (religious, neighborhood, civic, fraternal, labor, etc.). Strong communities support the family. I think there are several reasons for this (more demands on time: driving the kids everywhere, working longer hours, more scheduled activities, etc.), but we are much more fragmented then we used to be. Even the communities we belong too are more fragmented and dispersed. When was the last time you got together with most of your neighbors? Even the BSA changed this. It used to be you joined the local unit, your fellow scouts all lived in the same neighborhood, and probably went to the same school. Most of the scouts and parents already knew each other (met at the local block party or the neighborhood BBQ). There were some good reasons for this changed, but it had some negative side effects.

I share your concerns about families in units. I worry it will make boy-led much more difficult.

Depends on where you live.  Many of the changes/losses you describe still exist and thrive in small-town middle America.  There's been some impact but not nearly like I see in larger towns/metros.  

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