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How do you deal with people that push there sons?

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I work on the district committee in my district and one of the parents on the district told her son that he had no chance about whether or not he wanted to get his Eagle. She told him either he gets it or he won't be able to date or get his driver's license (or as we refer to them as Fumes Disease). The big problem is I talked with my district executive about the situation because we had a meeting with the parents of the upcoming Webelos about crossing over and the mother showed up and talked and went off in the face of one of the parents like it was her son and she was telling him he either got his Eagle Scout or else and my district executive said that it is they she did it with her son's. I don't believe that you can make a child get his Eagle Scout. I believe the child has to want it themselves or they are just doing it for there parents. I hate to say it but I have seen boys that don't want to be there and their parents make them so they tend to act out during there time in scouts. What should I do about this since my district executive agrees with the mother??

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Just to be clear, the problem parent had words with someone else regarding a boy who was not her son? Obviously, she is way out of line to stick her nose into another family's business.


And unfortunatly, so would you should you comment on how she handles her own family.


And its up to the other parent to handle the issue with the problem parent. I don't see how its your business to get involved with this...


I don't think there is anything at all that you can do about this... some people are just difficult and based on your description, I can't see how you getting involved is going to change her attitude. I would venture to guess that there are deeper problems in that family that are bubbling up through Scouting.


I can see how concerned you are and how you would like to help, but I don't see how you can do that much. I would suggest the best thing you can do is to lead by example, promote the program, and be the best Scouter you can be.








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CA is right, there is not much you can do about it.


It is sad that some parents value the "piece of cloth" of the Eagle badge more than the KNOWLEDGE, EXPIERENCE AND FUN that the Eagle REPRESENTS.(This message has been edited by Herms)

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I have one parent who is constantly asking about her son's advancement status, what does he need to do to achieve the next rank etc. For the most part I politely answer her questions. A parent has a right to know where their scout stands.


However, when she has questions about MB requirements, paperwork, etc., I politely tell her, "Johnny should call so&so, the MB counselor and find out. I can give him the phone number at the next meeting."


I know she gets frustrated with me, but while she is entitled to know where her son stands, she is not entitled to do the basic work involved with getting the MB. I'm impressed with her interest in her son's scout career, but would like to see her encourage her son to do more for himself.


I don't know if we've had any parent "force" their son to earn Eagle by witholding a drivers license. I'm not sure that would work. Ultimately, I agree, advancement has to be something the boy wants to do or it won't get done. That doesn't mean a scout might not need to be prodded along a little, but they need to do the work.


SA(This message has been edited by scoutingagain)

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I have seen several boys whose parents pushed them to get their Eagle. Once it was earned, these boys didn't even want a ceremony, and dropped out of scouting shortly after. The boy has to want to earn it in order for the accomplishment to mean anything.

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This is one of those times we often just have to grin and bear it. Well, you don't have to grin about it if you don't want to. I've seen many parents push their kids. Usually it's because their kids are "more talented, gifted, athletic, popular, etc.... " than the others. They need to get this "checked off" so they can move on. I hate it, but as long as they are meeting the requirements (including the scout spirit stuff), then there's not a lot I can do.


I've got one lad that I've heard the parents want him to hurry up and get Eagle and drop out. The parents don't like me (or any one else for that matter). It's not the boys fault. My main concern now is that HE does his Eagle project, and not his parents.

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I thinks Scoutingagain's last post rings true.




- is something a boy has to want to do

- might need to be prodded along a little

- (work) must be done by the scout


I have seen some parents being very competitive with their child's achievements: getting tutors when their grades fall, doing their science fair project for them, enrolling them in sports summer camps and traveling leages. Having their son advance as a scout is just another one of those thing for them to push.


I really don't know what to say to these people. To me, scouting is not a competitive sport; there are no winners or losers. You can't "bench" a scout for not showing up at a meeting before a campout. We don't "grade" a scout on his performance.


Boys who are being excessively pushed by their parents are not learning to make decisions on their own. I have some younger scouts in my troop who can't tell me what trips they want to go on - they are waiting for their Mom or Dad to tell them what to do. Some don't even bother listening to announcemnents because of this! Their attitude is: if it's that important - my parents will tell me.


I guess I deal with these people by just doing my job as Scoutmaster - to get these boys to think and do on their own - to help them take on more responsibilities and to make the right choices. They will become adults whether their parents want them to or not.











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Is this parent a troop leader?


If she (or he?) is, then I would suggest he go through some leadership training to know where his/her place is as an adult, to motivate the scout more positively in situations like these. Remember, you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar ;)

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When we start questioning peoples motivation or the reason why they do what they are doing we run the danger of setting ourselves up as judge and jury.

In another thread Eagledad (Barry) said how important it is that we communicate what Scouting is all about.

Parents know what the Eagle Scout Rank is.

They know that we go camping and help little old ladies across the road.

But they need to know about the vision and mission, the aims and the methods.

We as adult leaders do over the years get to know the Lads.

There are Scouts who are Merit Badge Hounds. They like working on Merit Badges, they enjoy the recognition they bask in the glory. I'm more than happy to help that Lad as much as I can.

Some Scouts think that they can do this and cut corners. I'm happy to share with him that this is not the way things are done.

If a Lad really is unhappy being a Scout, I would hope we would focus on the things that he does like and I would try and sway him around by doing what ever is possible to provide him with the fun, adventure and challenges that he needs. I know that there is no way I'm going to retain every Lad, but I sure as heck will give it my best shot. For him not his parents.



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I push Kevin to a certain extent. Do I force him to do things. NO. He earned Life in December. Got his Eagle Packet, talked to the SM about what he wanted to do for his project. He has talked about getting started on his project the other day. I reminded him that until he has approval from the group he is working with and approval from the District Advancement committee he can't do anything. Well this weekend he was sick. Spent all day Sat. in bed. When I got up Sunday morning I heard something, I went in the check on him. He was sitting at his desk working on the paper work on Eagle. He now has it written up and wants to call about presenting his idea to the group he had talked to this Saturday. I will there to take him out there.

I think we need to push our kids a little. But they also need to be enjoying what they are doing.

It looks like Kevin will finish his Eagle by Sept.or Oct. He will be 13 by then. I would prefer he had waited until about 14-15. But he wants it now. He wants to earn as many Palms as he can. Then be an AJSM. He will make a good one.

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"Driving is a privilege. Prove to me that you are responsible enough to drive by accomplishing something on your own. Eagle Scout would be good but there are other things you could do that would demonstrate responsibility as well. While we're on the subject, start saving for a car now. I'll double whatever you save to help you buy your first car."


What is wrong with that?

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Eagle97_78 et al....

gosh such bad, bad people...wanting their sons to get Eagles...can you say "get a life"...not to be a pain here but lets be real...people are people- most of us have "warts" of some sort or another. This mom may be the real wicked "witch" of the north...or she may just know what motivates her son...(duh?!)


"Bribery" or motivation can be a valuable tool...

Competition can also be a good thing...

and they can also be terribly distructive if mis-used.


We are scout leaders- not family councilors -we do our best by the boys and we to try to educate the parents as to what our program is then we stand back...with only the "lightest" hand on the reins...and your job is to assist the boys not parent them...


sorry to say but IMHO if anything you- not mom, are 'out of line' (except for the 'going off in someones face" part)...You have absolutely no right to instruct or judge anyone elses interfamily dynamics...


Offer the program and support the boys but keep your nose out of other folks family life unless you are invited "in"...Would it be so wrong for the boy to get eagle? At least he gets introduced to a large part of our program and some of it might just 'stick'. Can you say any 10, 12, 14 year old boy knows- (really knows) what the Eagle is 'about' when he starts the trail? Heck...how many Eagles have let "us" down; when as Adults they break the law etc?...Can you say these 'crooks' knew what or why they "got" the Eagle...really?


As most in these forums know, I am a big believer in "mature" eagles...and personally, in my experience, I have never been face to face with a thirteen year old or even a fourteen year old Eagle who I would want to go on a hard trek with or even follow on a long hike! (before you go off on me...it's just MY experience...I am sure there are others who justifiably hold a different opinion).


More to the point, again- only my limited experience- every young eagle I've ever known has dropped scouting like a virtual hot rock shortly after get the darn thing...I much prefer 16-18 year olds staying with the program because they like the program and "oh yes, the eagle is nice too!" Our troop has awarded 5 Eagles in the last twelve months to an "aging" patrol of 16 to near 18 year olds. Many have "aged out" recently ...but I am very proud they stayed in our program - because it was fun! Fun even when they were in High School!


But even after saying that- I still believe a particular scouts motivation and speed of advancement is not mine to judge or slow down...I am in scouting to help, not to hinder and certainly not to judge...

advice..? bite your tongue and do your best by the boy...

You can not save the world...just do your best by the boys.



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I see where everyone is coming from. I grew up in the program and have been an assistant scoutmaster and now I am a district committee member. I know while growing up in the program I saw a lot of boys that were there because there parents made them be there and they told them that they were going to get there Eagle. I love to see people get there Eagle but why force someone to get it when they don't want to be there. It isn't the parents job in scouting to force there child to get there Eagle it is their job to be a encourager. That is what all adults in the Boy Scout program are suppose to be doing,but do we always do what we are suppose to do"NO". We do need to strive to be the best that we can be. We are leaders and we are suppose to be setting the example for the boys and ho do we set exaples when they see leaders like this mother screaming in the faces of other parents and leaders telling them that they should do what she did with her son to there son's. It doesn't look good on us when the boys see this going on.

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Sure, we all want boys to earn their Eagle because THEY want to. We also want them to wash behind their ears, say please and thank you, eat their vegetables, make good grades in school and cheerfully get up and go to Sunday School each week. When they don't, we push them to do the "right thing" or else. It is a natural part of parenting I'm told. ;)

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