Jump to content
epiieq1

Advice on Dealing with Committee Chair's Unruly Bear

Recommended Posts

Hello All. My little den is chugging along, but myself and others have noticed a growing issue. Our Committee Chair's youngest (a Bear) has been increasingly difficult to deal with, and is intentionally getting younger scouts into trouble. He'll go up to them and encourage them to do something they either don't know is against the rules, or have been told not to, but will mimic him when he violates the rule after which he rats them out after they copy him. At gatherings he's always running all over the place and interfering with the kids that are trying to accomplish the goal for the day, and interferes in clean up. Mom (CCh) NEVER says a word and it's getting beyond irritating to myself and other parents. Any advice on how to deal with this situation without rocking the boat too much? I've never been great at diplomacy in situations like this...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What would you do if you saw this behavior in a Bear whose parent was not present?   Who would address the behavior?  The den leader?  

Perhaps the mom is wanting to wear her CC hat and not her mom hat in this situation.   It was a different organization, but with Brownie girl scouts we moms/leaders learned to differentiate between wearing the Mom hat and wearing the Troop Leader hat.  And at Brownie events a different leader (not the problem Brownie's mom) would deal with any typical kid behavior issues. 

Are you the den leader?  Maybe the mom is hoping you will say something to the Bear, and wondering why you are not doing so?  Perhaps you could discuss with the mom which one of you will address the behavior?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I still remember my 1st grade experience of getting spanked for talking in class because I tried to shush another trouble-making boy (specifically because he was always getting in trouble). The humiliation of being implicated along with the troublemaker was far worse than the spanking. We kept our distance after that.

They have more exquisitely humiliating punishments these days (time outs, denial of privileges, ..., the moral equivalent of solitary confinement).

Whatever the negative reinforcement you all use. Be sure that all malefactors (not just the instigator) bear the brunt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"In Loco Parentis".  

As a sub teacher,  if a student was not following the class rules (well known by all students!)  I would confront the student and IN FRONT OF EVERYONE ELSE (!) remind the student.  Since I was a teacher, I could not lay hands on the student (except in case of imminent injury), but being a big adult, I had no qualms about putting myself in his/her way, so to speak.  

As a Scout Leader,  I have also done the same.  Inappropriate behavior is the same , it only depends on what adult is in the authority role.  Hands on?  Perhaps.  If appropriate.  Limiting behavior?  As appropriate.  "You're not my mommy, I don't have to do what you say ! ! !"  Oh, yes you do.  

Quote the Scout Promise and Law  liberally.   Sit the whole Den down and make them part of the solution to the problem.  What kind of behavior is NOT Kind, Courteous, Obedient ? ?

Can we have fun if everyone is running around? Can we get the packages wrapped for our Homeless shelter visit if someone is trying to do something else?   Right.  

Another tactic.  Put yourself in front of the attention wanting Cub , look him in the eye and say, "You don't have to remind me you are here. I know you are here.  " and then go on with the activity.  Do not worry about the CCh mom.  YOU are the Den Leader.   Unless the Cub has a real Attention Deficit Spectrum issue, you should not involve the mom.   If you do, you may reinforce the Cub's control idea.  And he is in control, until YOU take it.

Reward marble jars, candle burning, candy, pizza party at the end of the month/year,  behavior rewards all tried, all possible. "It depends".   

Do not, under any circumstances, make any threat you are not willing to carry out.  If, for instance,  you give them "three strikes" count the strikes and then do what the result is.... Sit down, quiet time,  Ultimately, removal from the Den, removal from Scouting? 

You can do this.  Remind your parents that these kids will ultimately choose the parent's Assisted Care Facility.  

See you on the trail. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is the CC mom at the meetings? We have a parent sit beside the scout during the meeting. It usually only takes one meeting for the scout to figure it out. 

I'm not a psychologist, but I played one as a parent from time to time. This kind of behavior is usually "looking for attention" behavior because they aren't getting enough attention from their parents at home. Negative attention from mom and dad is better than no attention. 

Barry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the hardest things for me to get used to was reprimanding other people's kids in front of those parents. Especially other leaders' kids. Like @Treflienne mentioned, maybe someone needs to step in and do what everyone has been hoping the mom would do. In fact, maybe the mom is hoping for exactly that.

We have a sort of un-written rule in our Pack: Whenever possible, another leader intervenes in a situation with a scout who has a parent leader in the Pack. So in my Den, if my ADL's kid is acting up, I step in before the dad/ADL does, whenever possible. It helps reinforce the roles of leaders, I find my own son is more likely to behave because he's learned that being the son of a leader gets him no benefit in terms of getting away with anything. He sees that another leader is always nearby, and dad can't save him from trouble. :)

Treat this scout like any other, including a scout who doesn't have a parent present.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, SSScout said:

Quote the Scout Promise and Law  liberally.

Better yet,  get the offending scout to quote it to you, and stop him at a relevant point which you then discuss with them.   (I use to do this with Brownie and Junior girl scouts.)  Worked well for many scouts.   Did not work so well for the Brownie who really did not want to be a Brownie and would have preferred do be doing almost anything else.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, FireStone said:

Treat this scout like any other, including a scout who doesn't have a parent present.

That!  

I realize that sometimes we worry about stepping in when a parent is present. We don't want to do something to that makes the parent uncomfortable. But as adult leaders, we should always look at these scouts as ours in our capacity as the adult leader. 

The other thing that I've seen happen is some form of retaliation when the parent is in a position of authority or power. That's another mess. As "adult" as we all are, it happens. I'm more of a binary type of guy dealing with an analog world. It's either "this or that" to me and I struggle all the time with the points in between and outliers around in my "this or that" mindset. But as long as you are consistent in approach, directing teaching moments equally and applying the "you shouldn't" fairly, it keeps the heat off mostly. But never completely as some parents are just plain mean. 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Buggie said:

I realize that sometimes we worry about stepping in when a parent is present. We don't want to do something to that makes the parent uncomfortable. But as adult leaders, we should always look at these scouts as ours in our capacity as the adult leader.

I would always rather risk upsetting one parent than making the rest of the parents feel like we have no control over kids who are acting badly. And I've seen it happen that way, parents start voicing concerns about the ability of leaders when no one steps in to stop bad behavior.

I think we often are tempted to worry about upsetting one parent and maybe even possibly losing one scout as a member of the den/pack, but we have to think about the broader group, and the potential to lose a lot more parents and scouts if they start to see us as ineffective when it comes to crowd control and discipline.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×