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My son is a helicopter parent !

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Wow you blew that way out of proportions. No offens to anybody else on here.


Started as a joke (trying to lighten kids mood cause hes had a reall tough couple days) till you made a point of Report means Written. We know very well from school and other that a report can be verbal as well. We even found a dictionary that specificly said as much.


Also think about the report you got. He has some writting difficulties like my bestfriend.


Came up in conversation with my father because it was intresting. Should we talk about the boring events of the day instead? how often does that happen? he even said it was a gray area. We were not trying to get you in trouble or fired. At that point we were more trying to understand because our knowladge of "report" would indicate that you were adding to requirments which would be a no no. His answer was it was a grey area.


I made other jokes through the course of the meritbadge session too even during the whole report thing.


Maybe i should have left the room i did have other stuff to do too but i wanted to cheer him up and make sure there was 2 deep leadership.


Please Come talk to me Before posting negitivly about me in the future with out all sides and all facts.


P.S. I barely have 2 pennies to rub together.

(This message has been edited by MoosetheItalianBlacksmith)

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2-deep leadership is not needed when counseling a merit badge. All that is needed is that the Scout doing the badge bring one "buddy" along so there is no 1-on-1.


A merit badge counseling session is not the time for a group of friends (who are not there to work on the badge) to be joking around. If you wanted to "lighten his mood" it should have been done on his (and your) own time, either before, or after, the Scout's merit badge session.


It should certainly not have interrupted the Scout and MBC working on the badge.


And as a point - yes, technically, either a verbal OR written report would work.


HOWEVER, it is the Merit Badge Counselors call, NOT that of the Scouts "buddies", which type of report is needed.


If the Scout has a disability that makes writing difficult/impossible, that should have been brought out by the SCOUT (again, not his "buddies") at the very beginning, and discussed with the MBC.



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ScoutNut they were providing the buffer for no one-on-one, not the two-deep leadership. They were the buddy, or the parent, or other leader..


Sorry MIB, others did see it more negitively then I.. I was slightly miffed by it, but as stated, it was up to me to maintain the order at the session, state it had gotten out of hand, it was up to me to have told you guys to move to the other room. I did neither, so in that sense the fault rests with me.


As I stated it did start out as humorous, it just went on too long, and became less so.


Nor did I state you were seriously trying to get me fired. Just get your father to agree with you and possibly tell me I had to do the Merit badge per how the scout interprets it rather then how I interpret it..


The main question was if you were right or not, to insist I take the interpretation of the scout. The answer is, it is up to the MBC to interpret the way they see it, and my interpretation was not out of line.. It only would have been had I interpreted it to mean he do a 10 page essay typed.


The scout is very intelligent, He handed me everything else on a worksheet as if he prefered to write rather then discuss. What he had handed me in writing was very intelligently written (seemed a little too intelligent) but when I had him verbalize on the points through discussion I found he talked as analytically as he wrote.. His report, though short, was not something that made me question his writing ability. Had it, I would have asked, and been fine with an explanation of his disability.


Again sorry, for the thing making you look negative on the forum. Just except we all make mistakes.. This one just started out light and humorous, and snowballed into one, due to my not maintaining control of the situation.

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I'm sorry that we upset/miffed you.


I just wish that:

1. you gave an indication that you were done with the conversation, (if you did then I apologize I did not see the social cues)

2. You had talked to us personally instead of posting this on a forum (it sort of reminded me high school drama that I'm trying to be quite done with)


As for my actions in the submit a report conversation:


My goal was not for you to change your mind (and again I'm sorry it came out that way) but my goal was for you to see there are other options besides a written report when being asked to submit it.

I am constantly surrounded by the idea we are here for the boys, (and for my case, my students as well) so for me it tells me we're here to help the boys in the best way possible, and the scout did vocalize that he had an IEP (which detail information is not suppose to be disclosed to those not specified in the IEP) and that it would be easier for him to verbalize then write on the spot. So in my mind, to be in the best interest of the scout was for him to verbalize the report.


Just wanted to give my reasoning and apology.


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MIB, ask yourself this: if it hadn't been your friend and your parent, if they had been complete strangers or (at best) bare acquaintances, would you have done this the same way?


Give your mom the respect that is due to other adult volunteers who are doing their best and donating their time and talents to a common cause.


I get the sense that your family (like mine) enjoys a bit of contention. But many other people are not like that, and would have found this extremely awkward. Consider for a moment that your friend probably knew he had to get your mom's signature at the end of the day. Should he side with you, as a friend? Should he side with your mom, whose approval he needs? Should he stay out of it and let you essentially lawyer through the requirements for him? Although your intentions were not malicious, you undermined the MBC, hassled your mother, and put this scout and your friend in a pretty awkward position. Apologies are probably in order for the unintentional problems that could have resulted.






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I want to thank MIB and T/S all for putting yourselves (or getting put?) out there. The rest of us have the advantage of anonymity in the sense that we don't look any of the posters in the eye the next morning. (Or if we do, we don't know it!) In spite of the emotional back-and-forth, we all are learning from this sort of thing.


I think it's a good scouter who gets wrapped up in the success of their youth. We need our boys to be in the hands of the caring adult who has to think real hard about hanging back and letting another adult have complete sway in a situation. That other adult might ignore cues (like a writing impairment), but in the end that may help challenge the boy to work beyond a limitation. The hardest part of adult leadership is allowing that to happen.


The second hardest part is finding the time and venue to evaluate one another and figuring out what went well, what didn't go so well, and what we'd do differently. ;)

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On reflection, yes.. I probably should have said something, but you left with the scout.. And again, I really figured more people would call me out on not controling the situation better, as I was the one in charge. The only reason it got as far as it did was because, I did not call a stop to it.


As for the scout saying anything about an IEP.. I did not catch it, perhaps someone else was talking at the same time?.. Because had he said that I would have had to ask what an IEP was.. Sorry, I am not a teacher or health professional.. IEP doesn't mean much unless utilized around other context that would have me figure out it is what peopel used to reference as "being coded". I would have also questioned why he chose to use the Worksheet and just write all his answers down rather then just come for a discussion if his writing ability was that much of a challenge.


Well even coded, it would have to be severe problems to have me change from written to verbal. I just don't expect a great report from someone with writing problems. He showed none in what he wrote for me.. It did not take him a absurd amount of time to write it.. And it was so complete, I really did not have to discuss or clearify what was written. If he has an issue, it was not noticable in what he produced for me. If it was a small challange then that is fine, a challenge in a merit badge is not a bad thing..


It has been discussed on these forums before when you alter things and when you do not.. Normal concensis is it is not altered unless the disability is severe.. Have the scout rise to the challenge. If writing was a challenge for this scout, he rose to the occasion beautifully.

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OK, I have read all sides and as someone who knows the player in "real" life, I have some observations, MIB, Moosetracker and their respective other halves are a great bunch of Scouters who all have a scarcastic sense of humor when dealing with each other and those they know can "take the heat". Having been on the receiving end I can attest to the great fun and sense of humor in the family. My suggestion would be similar to what qwazse suggested, remember that even though she is "Mom" she is still the MBC and the District Training chair. In her professional capacity she deserves your respect and deference to her "authority", for lack of a better term. If you disagree with her way of handling a situation, it should be brought up in private, not in front of everyone. Thank you for all you do and Keep on Scouting!! ;)

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Typically I would agree with all of you and even if Im the other part of "no one on one" I stay completely out of the conversations.


There was just awkward tensions rising from the room from the kid cause of the days hed had.


The discussion only happened while he was writing the report and he actually thoroughly enjoyed it. he threw in info on both sides But in the end it actually let him relax and enjoy the scouting experience.


I also look at this guy more as another leader....hell be 18 in less than a week and Ive never seen him in a role other than a leader.


So in most cases yes you are all right and no this would not be the correct time or place. Ive learned there are shade of grey but it should be a smaller section between the black and white and not overpower them.


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Yah, hmmmm...


Can't say whether to cheer yeh all for havin' this conversation in public or raise my eyebrows and shake my head. ;)


I'm not fond of silly amateur legalisms in a scouting program, because I just don't think it teaches character and values. Debating the meaning of what "is" is was deservedly mocked when it came up in the legal case of a former President, but that sort of lack of character originates in debating what the meaning of "report" is in a youth program, eh? The better value to teach is not to argue balls and strikes with the umpire in a game, especially when you are asking for that umpire to spend time with yeh on a very short deadline.


There's also an aspect of the Golden Rule among leaders. If you want fellow scouters to stick by you when you get challenged on your judgment calls, yeh have to be willing to stick by them. Even when yeh think they might be wrong, just as you'd hope they'd trust you even if they think you might be wrong. The same rule applies when the two of yeh eventually become parents, eh? It is healthiest and happiest for your kids if you support each other in all your decisions about the kids, and if yeh support the other adults in your kids' lives - coaches, teachers, babysitters, scoutmasters. Yah, yah, there are always exceptions in extreme cases, but not in this kind of trivial crap.


Yeh can find all kinds of things to joke about to build rapport with the lads or lighten the mood without doin' it at the expense of other leaders. And as teacher/scout knows, it doesn't matter if you're closer in age to the 17 year old than to moosetracker, the bright line of demarcation is when yeh are in a supervisory position.


Not to worry, this is a mistake we all make. Hopefully we all have friends and families who call us on it, because it is one of those things that can get us in real trouble if it becomes a habit.




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As self appointed Commander of Helicopter Parent Squadron One, I have to tell you that this promotion to the ranks of Helicopter Parenting that you claim for your son is invalid based on the information you've provided so far. None of what you describe qualifies him to claim the title Helicopter Parent.


For starters, he is not the boy's parent nor do you let on that he is the boy's guardian. Unless there's some parental type relationship, I'm afraid your son is disqualified from serving as Helicopter Parent for that Scout.


Also the behavior you describe is NOT the behavior of a Helicopter Parent.

In fact, the behavior you describe contains three serious violations of the UCHPJ, which serves as the guide for appropriate Helicopter Parent behavior. Those violations are:


1 - Failure to have the Scout earn all the MBs he "needs" early in his scouting "career."


2 - Quibbling with the MBC.


3 - Failure to sufficiently monitor the Scout's work and challenge him to exceed requirements


Let's discuss these violations a little:


First there's violation number one - This Scout is nearly 18 years old and is still earning MBs? Still "needs" MBs? No son of a good Helicopter Parent would be in such a situation. Helicopter Parents know that ideally a Scout should be "done" earning MBs that he "needs" before he ever pins on Star. That way the Scouts "career" as a Star, Life, and Eagle scout is focused primarily on learning to be - and being - responsible for more than just himself - he should be thinking of ways to help others - service, responsibility, leadership - not MBs. He can earn MBs but he doesn't "need" them; they're incidental electives by that point. Any Helicopter Parent worth his salt will motivate his son to complete or nearly complete all required MBs by the time the son reaches age 14. If he's still a 1st Class Scouts at age 14, that's perfectly OK... as long as he has earned most of his required MBs and is ready to starting putting a lot more attention and energy into service projects and service in PORs.


Next there's violation number two: Quibbling with the MBC over whether or not the report to be submitted should be written or verbal. Helicopter Parents do not quibble with MBCs over the interpretation of MB requirements; to do so is disgraceful and undignified; one does not quibble with junior personnel. A good Helicopter Parent lets the MBC do his job and if the MBC is seriously deficient, he removes his sons from the MBC's MB program... he does not quibble. And he does not spend a lot of time correcting the MBC... he delegates that responsibility to the appropriate level... just as the General does not spend a lot of time quibbling with the Captain; he's got Colonels who have Majors to handle that for him.


I certainly did not become Commander of Helicopter Parent Squadron One by quibbling with MBCs (I did it by inventing the thing and appointing myself commander - but that's a whole nother story).


The only time you might say I quibbled with an MBC... that MBC was me. Now here's a little confession... while I am confident that I am good Helicopter Parent, there is one area of Helicopter Parenting where I have not excelled... in fact far from it; and that is being my sons' MBC. The shameful truth is that although each of my sons has earned more MBs than he is years old, I have only been MBC for one of their MBs and that was at their SM's request. It was for that MB that I nearly succumbed to the temptation of quibbling with the MBC (myself, that is). This is because in addition to being MBC for my own sons, I was also MBC to several other Scouts for this MB. (yes this was one of those dreaded organized MBC classes that Helicopter Scouters warn us are corrupting the purity of the "uphill in the snow - both ways" school of MB involving adult association with the least conveniently available adult imaginable - but that's also a whole nother story - so quit trying to get me off on tangents and pay attention, please.) So anyway for the other scouts, if they met the requirements as written, I signed them off. But when it came to signing off my own sons I... um... well... darn it, I know they can do better than that... for my sons I didn't want to add to the requirements exactly, but, you know... just sort of "interpret" them to be a little more exacting that some folks might read them to be. In the end though, I resisted that temptation - my sons met the requirements as written and as I figured most would interpret them, so I signed them off just like I did the other Scouts.


Lastly, there's that third violation: Failure to sufficiently monitor the Scout's work and challenge him to exceed requirements.

A good Helicopter Parent would have been well aware of the requirements for that MB (because it's a required MB and it covers material that a Helicopter Parent knows is important. Such a parent, seeing a requirement to submit a report would want the report submitted to him (the parent) as well... and he'd insist that the Scout write a thorough written report and be prepared to deliver it as a verbal report as well - that way, however the MBC "interpreted" the requirement, the Scout would have nailed it and be ready to reproduce or redo or handily demonstrate that he knows his stuff and has done his homework.(This message has been edited by Callooh! Callay!)(This message has been edited by Callooh! Callay!)

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Wow! Your a tough Sarge type of helicopter parent, aren't you..


Well, I will admit this scout is a little long in the tooth for any helicopter parent to be hovering over still.


Also your are right, a good helicopter parent should have looked over the MB well before the scout started it..


But if the push to get the scout to over-acheive is the only thing that helicopter parents do.. What labels should be given to those who hover over the child to make sure the road to success is as easy as possible.


The parents who not only want the MBs done by 13-14 but the whole Eagle rank, because leading others is only required for a few months during 1st class, Star, Life (and it were not for those darn waiting periods thier son could be done much earlier)..


The parents who want to figure out how to get around camping requirements without having son really have to sleep in a tent.. I guess you are right my son as this type of parent failed here also. He should have not only known the requirements, but been happy with the report one, because he (as parent) could have done the report for the son, so son wasn't bothered by it. If the MB requires discussion, then the parent comes to the session, and tries to bud in and do the discussion with MBC rather then scout.. Most likely this parent also tried to make the initial contact with the MBC and anything else that might slow down or hinder the quick progress of son getting his Eagle.


If these parents are not in the helicopter camp.. Then what title do we give these parents? Forgive me, I did not know the official helicopter Parent league had to be a approved and register under strict code of conduct..



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Well, this is an interesting point you bring up. I guess there are parents whose active involvement in their sons' development is aimed more at putting honors on them rather than building honorable qualities in them.


I certainly can't dictate what you call them; my authority over Helicopter Parenting does not extend beyond HPS1 - and even then I often have to answer to the Wing Commander (although not being the "yes-man" type of subordinate, I do insist on broad authority to run Squadron level activities according to my own judgment rather than hers... and she's OK with that.)


I would suggest calling these parents of whom you speak parents who wish for their children to have big hats, but no cattle - or maybe Bling parents... or something like that.


From what you describe, there may be some overlap in the behaviors of these parents and those of Helicopter Parents. For example, there are a number of circumstances in which a good Helicopter Parent will be the first person to contact his sons' MBC. One is that the HP happens to be the first to meet someone who'd be a good MB for something the son is interested in or something the parent expects the son to learn - and a good Helicopter Parent is always aware and recognizes opportunities for his son.

Another circumstance might be for MBs in which the MBC must be especially competent and reliable for safety reasons - in which case the HP may wish to vet the MBC himself before having the Scout start the MB - for example: let's say a boy has indicated he wants to earn the Scuba MB (or alternately that a good Helicopter Parent has decided that his children should all be SCUBA certified and that since the kid is going to be certified anyway - he wants to add the MB to his Scout stuff. PADI will certify boys as young as 11 as Junior Open Water Divers (they must dive with a pro or a certified parent/guardian if they're 10 or 11 and with a certified adult if they're 12-14 - maybe this is the "Helicopter-Diver" level of certification.) If the boy is only 10 or 11, a good Helicopter Parent is extremely unlikely to allow the boy to do a PADI cert course in a Scout Camp semi-mass production environment. Swimming MB? No problem... the good Helicopter Parent has already taught his sons to swim and to handle swimming emergencies before his sons were scouts anyway... getting the swimming MB is a mere formality - they should do it at camp their first year where it's convenient. But SCUBA, unless the parent is a competent SCUBA instructor, is a different story. Even for an older boy, the Helicopter Parent will likely want a very small, perhaps even private class for his son's diving certification course - not a gaggle of Scouts who don't know each other well. And the parent himself may even want to take the course with the boy as a review/refresher for himself... diving safety, like first aid, and emergency preparation, is one of those things you are never "done" with... it can stand regular review and regular practice - and anyway if the parent doesn't constantly keep up with developments in the field there may be things he doesn't know that have been learned since he was certified back in the days when Jacque Cousteau was a corporal. In such a case, the Helicopter Parent would not only insist on selecting the MBC himself... the Helicopter parent would want to meet and size up the instructor before asking the instructor if, in addition to teaching a cert class for his son and allowing him to attend as a refresher course, he'll register as an MBC so that the class also serves as that purpose.


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