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Flyingfish

scout cursing about a leader

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I'm with Eamonn regarding the cell phone thing. And isn't the real issue here the potty mouth girl?

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Yes, the potty mouth is an important issue. Perhaps the only redeeming thing about situations like these is an opportunity to help a kid manage better when they are frustrated. I just had to ding a former scout for cussing on his FB status. So, this never ends.

 

On the other hand, if I'm ever out of line, I know there are a bunch of boys who will call me on it! :)

 

The other issue is: can you work with this mom? If so, have a heart-to-heart over a cup of tea. Settle differences and move on.

 

The final issue: are you willing to give ground on the cell phone rule? (A lot of us have.) How about on the shoes? If you are, that's less "up front" stress for you. Of course when some parent is upset that an $80 piece of equipment got ruined, you have to pull out the "not my problem, next time read the what-to-bring list" line.

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My .02 worth:

 

1. I would start with a serious discussion with the mother and daughter about why such language is prohibited and about needing to follow the troop rules. They both need to be made aware that such behavior is unacceptable, and that it will not be tolerated. Involve your council leaders if you need to do so, but make it clear that an apology is required for this child to allowed to do any more activities. In addition, this child and mother need to be made aware that rules are expected to be followed by everyone. There are no exceptions to the cell phone or improper shoes policies..if your daughter did not have the proper shoes (because she left them at home in her closet, for example), you would apply the same effect to her--no participation in that activity.

 

If the child refuses to apologize, then she does not participate in any more activities until she does so. If she breaks another rule, then she is done with this troop. Put it in a contract, and get it signed by both of them. If they refuse, then the girl is done. Make sure they have a copy, a copy is sent to council and a copy for yourself. Use your council (if the area director won't help, you can always go above her).

 

Rules exist for protection of not only the youth, but the leaders and the councils as well. If this child had dropped her phone in a lake, the mother may expect the troop to pay for a replacement. If this child had twisted her ankle on a hike, because she was wearing flipflops instead of tennis shoes, the mother may expect the troop to pay the doctor bill. Both situations are easily avoided by the parent/child following the rules.

 

2. If you lose the event director mom, well, someone else will need to step up. But so be it. You cannot allow this child and mother combo to dictate what can and cannot happen in the troop.

 

3. The co-leader would have a meeting with myself and the council contact, and made aware that rules must be followed. They are same for everyone, not just for daughters of non-leaders.

 

Allowing the different rules for the leaders kids will cause nothing but problems down the road.

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Ms F.Fish:

 

I am surprised that it this take has not yet been mentioned.

 

"I will do my best to be

honest and fair,

friendly and helpful,

considerate and caring,

courageous and strong, and

responsible for what I say and do,

and to

respect myself and others,

respect authority,

use resources wisely,

make the world a better place, and

be a sister to every Girl Scout."

 

How does the Scout's behavior and language square with the above?

And how does the mom's behavior support the Scouts' (plural) adherance to the above?

This is where I would begin my discussion and counsel.

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Not meaning to stir the cell phone pot either, but if you are clear on the rules up front having a clear agreement that cell phones are not allowed why should this adult be surprised? The swearing and refusal of direction in a safety issue from another adult leader is acceptable in what way?

Im not encouraging any conflict between a child and an adult parents are going to go off the deep end over it, as this one did regardless of how egregious the event(s) was. This is a tough call and hind sight is always 20/20, but maybe a better approach would be to either summon the mother or go find her and explain the situation and that she needs to come back and address. Less confrontational, less public, and hopefully the mother will see you are trying to show her some discretion about the situation but also let her know what her daughter is doing without her around.

Please remember that as well as you may think you know the daughter and mother - you may not know the rest of the story. There may be many things going on at home / school / elsewhere that the mother is struggling with and the confrontation undermined her in the eyes of her daughter; maybe the cell was a compromise she made just to get her to go along could be a million reasons for the reaction of Mom as odd as it may appear on the surface to the rest of us.

Not a good situation at all, but as a fellow leader, I think maybe she shouldve been given the benefit of the doubt and notified earlier. As was suggested, go invite the mother for a coffee one day and talk it through.

 

Just a different perspective.

 

JTS

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