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mashmaster

Another day that makes me want to take a walk

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I had to deal with a situation with a scout at our meeting this week.  My conversation with the scout went fine as far as I knew.  The scout was using inappropriate sexual preference remarks to other scouts repeatedly, the other scouts spoke to him about this at prior activities and told him he needed to stop and that it made them feel uncomfortable.  When it happened again, the other scouts came to me asking me to help.  I was proud of the other scouts taking the initiative to solve the problem themselves.  But knew I needed to have a discussion with him.  I talked to another leader who had overheard this previously from him and the scouts trying to handle it.  So I talked to the young man, it went well.  He understood what he was saying and how it wasn't appropriate.  Blamed it on his friends, so we had a conversation about how friends can sometimes lead us to make bad choices.  Overall, a good conversation.

Of course, I get a text from Mom and Dad today about how they needed to be present if I am ever to reprimand him again.  And that while he understood what I was saying, I didn't listen to his side of the story. Sigh.....

I know I did the right thing, and I hope it helps him in the long run.

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Yeah, tell the parents that they need to be present when their son scandalizes scouts with his foul mouth.

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Hopefully, his behavior will change and he will have learned despite his parents.

I'm certain that the rest of the scouts in your troop appreciate what you did.

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7 hours ago, mashmaster said:

He is a good kid and well intentioned.  I am hopeful that he will change his behavior.

Yeah, it's not the kid who's makin you want to walk away. It's the folks on the sidelines yelling at the ref for calling out of bounds.

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@mashmaster - Sorry to hear about the incident with the parents.  Yes, it's remarkably frustrating to feel that parents are constantly putting up obstacles to you making the right decisions.

I think I'd simply ask the parent "why?".  My note would be something like:

  • As Scoutmaster, conversations like this are pretty routine.  A big part of why their kid is in Scouting is to benefit from being with other youth in a constructive environment.  But, as kids are trying to figure out their own path they will make mistakes.  Part of being Scoutmaster to let the kids know when they've crossed a line.  We do it promptly and directly with the Scout to make the feedback have the most impact. When it happens, you try to do it in the most constructive way possible.
  • You'll call parents for something significant, but in most cases you give the Scout feedback and trust he's learning from it.  This is entirely normal and part of the development process for teens.  
  • Is there something special about this instance that you, the parents, feel is important enough to warrant a request to be present in the future?

 

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This is new for me. I would have to think about my response, but it would be along the the lines that developing character requires accountability of choices without the parents in the room. However, and I have asked this of parents, if they insist being present with theirs sons accountability, then they have to attend 100% of their sons activities. We had a few families leave.

Barry

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16 hours ago, mashmaster said:

He is a good kid and well intentioned.  I am hopeful that he will change his behavior.

This is why you can ignore the parents. The scout might just turn out okay.

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20 hours ago, mashmaster said:

He is a good kid and well intentioned.  I am hopeful that he will change his behavior.

Is he really?   He is a manipulative brat who has learned to play his game his way.  He gets a rise out of his fellow Scouts.  He knows if he couches his story the right way (oh, he told the truth all right, his version) his parents will always come to his defense.  He wants his parents'  attention, no matter how he gets it.  Language, topic?   He learned it from the same people anyone learns language, dad, (mom?) Uncle,  TV ( which the parents do not censor). He likes the sexy talk because it makes him feel grown up and superior to his "baby" fellow Scouts.  He has learned how the "he=men" talk.  Locker room talk will be his forte.

I was once a sub teacher who accepted a Full Time assignment as a "Special Tutor"  for Certain Kids.  The Assistant Principal sat me down and explained that he had a few kids that had learned to play the system. Case #1: Cheryl was in 7th grade, a smart young lady, who was constantly acting up in class. Asst. Pr. calls a meeting of Cheryl, BOTH her parents, and ALL of her teachers, and me , the new guy.   He read several official reports of her misbehavior, noted that it wasn't just one or even two teachers, but ALL SEVEN !  the  parents could not deny their cherub's  culpability.  Chery sat there silently, said nothing.  The Asst. Pr. noted that Cheryl would be in my charge for at least one class, we chose English.  The parents sat there and silently fumed, starring at Cheryl, A.P. and me in turn.  The other teachers gave stories in turn.  The A.P then told the father  HE had homework, for he was now the  "homework checker".   He had to sign every homework assignment, that the SpecialTutor(me) sent home.  

Three months into this, Cheryl was making all As and Bs in every class, and had been re-assigned back to her regular English class.  

By all means,   make sure the parents of your Scout (BOTH OF THEM) attend any SMConference. Any SMConference, the bad ones and the good ones.  You cannot modify the Rank Requirements, but you can insist on conditions for your SMConference(s).  This is an excellent example of how Another Adult (teacher, sport coach, Scoutmaster? ) can have an effect on a kid.  Make standards, hold the kid  to them and Make The Consequences Stick.  Oh, and ALWAYS have another adult Scouter with you whenever you speak to these people.  YP 102.

You want to be liked?   Be likeable.  You want help when your in trouble? Help somebody when they need it ("naw, I ain't going to do dishes....").   Need to be believed?   Tel the truth in ALL things.  You want your parents' attention and approbation?   Give them GOOD reasons, and then you can learn it ain't your fault if they ignore you, it's their mistake.   

Be consistant. Be vigilant. Scout Promise, Scout Law.   

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On 11/9/2019 at 9:58 PM, mashmaster said:

Of course, I get a text from Mom and Dad today about how they needed to be present if I am ever to reprimand him again.  And that while he understood what I was saying, I didn't listen to his side of the story. Sigh.....

We had something along those lines from some parents, "hey you are being unfair, not listening to their kids side, we should have involved them, etc etc".  Honestly was surprised because we, as you seemed to have done, approached the issue (and it was not the first one) as a teaching moment, this was leaders to Scouts and the NEXT step if this persisted would been to have a sit down with Scout and Parents.

Sooo they came in and we sat down, talked about some prior challenges, they asked why they were not looped in.  We reminded them we had in fact touched on some of the challenges with Dad at a few of the outing return times...Mom looked at Dad...dad looked at the floor, but again we wanted the Scout to grow and take responsibility.  They had some pushback, Scout sort of looked smug like he may be winning this and we were being put in our place (honestly my opinion of the Scout changed through all of this process).

We then pivoted on the family and explained that we understood their concerns, going forward one (or both) obviously needed to be at meeting, outings, summer camp to be available if there were challenges, no phone would not in fact work.  They would need to get back with us.  A few weeks later moved to another troop and actually got tossed out of that one for some behavior.  Understand from some of the Scouts he had some School challenges also

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20 hours ago, SSScout said:

Is he really?   He is a manipulative brat who has learned to play his game his way.  He gets a rise out of his fellow Scouts.  He knows if he couches his story the right way (oh, he told the truth all right, his version) his parents will always come to his defense.  He wants his parents'  attention, no matter how he gets it.  Language, topic?   He learned it from the same people anyone learns language, dad, (mom?) Uncle,  TV ( which the parents do not censor). He likes the sexy talk because it makes him feel grown up and superior to his "baby" fellow Scouts.  He has learned how the "he=men" talk.  Locker room talk will be his forte.

 

You have no evidence for any of this.  You are making assumptions about a kid you have never met.  You have no idea what his motivation is (you offer a single possibility).  It is possible that his parent's would have come to his defense no matter what.  He could have been 100% truthful with his parents and they could have still reacted like this, some parents do this with teachers no matter how bad their kid is.  You don't think scout age kids learn language from friends at school? I certainly did.  

I went through a similar stage around my early years in scouts.  I had a wake up moment during an interaction with some good friends and a good teacher who called me out.

Assumptions without evidence is 90% of what is wrong with the discussion on the internet. 

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It is important to instruct the other scouts not to tolerate a pervy mouth being the goal is to grow the youth into respectable citizens.  I'm not suggesting the scouts give a weak whisper of disapproval, but a forceful shut down.  Many crap stirring kids enjoy the power of disruption, and seek to turn a group of youth south, or against the adult leadership. However when the figurative knives come out within the peer group, such behavior looses its appeal quickly....and yes, sometimes the whole group needs to suffer for the deeds of one if the group is enabling.  My wife has been teacher on the district level, and employs certain tactics often.  Said tactics work.

 Perv mouth talk may seem like harmless watercooler talk to some, but I've noticed that when such behavior is tolerated, Troops struggle with membership, and risk complete implosion.   Causation or correlation?, maybe both.  It's a culture thing.

 

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6 hours ago, Onslow said:

It is important to instruct the other scouts not to tolerate a pervy mouth being the goal is to grow the youth into respectable citizens.  I'm not suggesting the scouts give a weak whisper of disapproval, but a forceful shut down.  Many crap stirring kids enjoy the power of disruption, and seek to turn a group of youth south, or against the adult leadership. However when the figurative knives come out within the peer group, such behavior looses its appeal quickly....and yes, sometimes the whole group needs to suffer for the deeds of one if the group is enabling.  My wife has been teacher on the district level, and employs certain tactics often.  Said tactics work.

 Perv mouth talk may seem like harmless watercooler talk to some, but I've noticed that when such behavior is tolerated, Troops struggle with membership, and risk complete implosion.   Causation or correlation?, maybe both.  It's a culture thing.

 

The scouts were pretty vocal about it, not weak.

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Total hogwash.

If I had to have parents present every time I discussed with a scout about his behavior or remarks or actions being incorrect, parents would have to be present 100% of the time at every meeting, campout, etc..

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