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Bald Eagle

My son wants to quit Scouts

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Hey anarchist, off topic but I have to ask. What cave was that and how do I get to it? Please tell me more.

P.S. good conversation

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My oldest made Life four months after turning 12, however, he had been in Boy Scouts for two and a half years. He becamse SPL. He was not prepared. Burn out settled in. I did not push him from a rank perspective but looking back, I did push a little from a leadership perspective. He found interests in OA and JLT training. Fast forward two years. He is in high school and low and behold, manyof his classmates are Scouts. He met some via his marching band contacts, National Jamboree, etc. He doesn't see Scouts as "uncool" anymore. He is a very mature 14 year old now.

 

My second oldest, currently a 13 year old (7th grade) Star Scout battles me every meeting about the uniform (why do I have to wear the socks, the neckerchief is stupid, etc.) and complains that I "make him go." I don't but I realize that much of it is a stage that many go through at this age. It doesn't make it easy but don't lower your expectations. Also, make sure that there is not some underlying problem that may be turning him off (bully, can't swim well, self conscious about his body) or just a lack of program. I must admit, I do find it hard to try and figure out what excites the boys at this age which makes it vital to having them control the program. Good luck.

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Another thing that accelerates at this age is the boy's desire to be more independent from his parents. So another question to ask yourself is whether that is happening in Scouts? Does he feel that you are always looking over his shoulder? I've seen a few cases in which it seemed like the whole involvement in Scouting was really for the dad, and not for the boy--or at least the boy may have perceived that to be the case.

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I will suggest to look at relationships. Maybe on the outside he apears to enjoy the company of others in his patrol but on the inside he doesn't care for them. Maybe consider a different patrol.

 

 

 

 

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Ol' Baldy,

 

You got great advice here. Just a word of encouragement to help your son make a thoughtful decision and respect whatever he finally decides. While scouting can be a very important part of his life if he wants it to be, the most important thing is supporting him in his personal interests wherever they may lie. Best of luck to you and your son.

 

 

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Thank you to everyone for your advise. Every sitution is different I guess and I appreciate hearing from others who have been through this. He's a good kid and I think peer pressure is big factor. Scouting just doesn't have a good image among the rank and file teenager these days. I just hope the fun and exciting parts of Scouting will continue to outweigh the dorky parts for another year or so until his outlook can mature. Teenagers are tough.

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Can I put two cents in the pot?

 

My 12 yr. old daughter, a Cadette Girl Scout, has decided twice now that she didn't want to be in GS...I knew it was because of the kids at school. It was hard to keep her going. The first time I said, "Look, I can only tell you what I know and that is this....when I was a kid, "scouts was not cool... it was for dorks". Nobody told me that, its just what I thought...now that I'm a leader I'm so glad I'm getting to do the things that I missed out on when I was a kid because of what "I thought". I thank God everyday for you, because you put me into Girl Scouts and I've done things that I would've never done on my own" That changed her mind for a while...then it started all over again.

 

She has been dressing in all black, which I know is a phase and I still know she is a good kid because I watch her every move. She's smart and gets awesome grades. So when she came to me again this year and said, "I hate GS..I want out!!! Why can't I get out and you stay in?" I told her she could get out, but first she had to tell me WHY she really wanted out and if she got out she had to find something to do besides tv, and computer and talking on the phone. (She's not a "girly girl" so the latter wasn't really an issue). She hesitated to tell me but I finally drug it out of her. Again, it's because of the kids at school (she's in 7th grade this year). I asked her this, "When you started dressing in all black and wearing the things you wear didn't people ask you why and make fun of you for dressing like that?" Of course her answer was yes. I asked her, did that make you want to change the way you dressed? She said, "No...it made me want to do it more!" I said, "well then, why would you care what "big head Billy" says about GS when he's never done it and has no idea what it's about? And won't he look silly when he's still flipping burgers and you are working a wonderful job because you went to college on a free ride because of GS"...it has worked for now.

 

Kids this age just want to fit in, and if most of their friends aren't doing scouts then they don't want to either. My advice, and I asked my daughter the same thing, bring a friend on a really cool outing, or even a troop meeting. Let the friends find out what it is really all about. Maybe they will even join!

 

sorry...just my two cents.

 

Ang

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When this problem arises my advice to parents in our troop who have it is....You're the adult, the boy isn't. You're in charge, he isn't. Be the adult. You can try all the psychology and mind games you want but the bottom line is the boy's going to be a Scout. If you let him quit or have his way because of peer pressure, lack of "cool", uniform or whatever else he doesn't like you are teaching the wrong lesson. Does he get his way with everything? If not where do you, parent, draw a line in the sand? Most times he is just "testing the water" to see what his boundaries are. You are teaching and fostering a culture of quitting not the ideals of Scouting if you let him quit. You are teaching him that all he has to do is whine a bit or have a bad attitude and he can get his way. Is that what you want the boy to learn? That's what you're up against. It's your job, parent, to teach and foster the right stuff not the wrong stuff. What the boy wants is interesting but not compelling. Sometimes a little "tough love" is required.

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2eagle,

 

I get your drift, but I respectfully disagree. My son has his limits and he knows what they are. We make our expectations of him clearly known. That is part of a parents job. However, making them do something they don't want to do only teaches them that mom and dad force him to be part of something he doesn't want to do. We have two boys in our troop who don't want to be there. One didn't want to be in cub scouts, but his mom made him. He crossed over to the troop with the majority of his fellow webelos. He doesn't want to be there either. As a result, he takes every opportunity to buck authority, misbehave, disrupt and make as many people miserable as he can. Frankly, I'm tired of having little talks with him and while I hate to see any boy drop out of scouts, my life would be easier and more pleasant if he would. His mom wants scouting to provide what she and his dad are not willing to supply or enforce at home. We have another who was really in to scouts as a cub and thru most of his first year of scouts. He has decided that he doesn't like it either. His dad is one of our ASM's and is trying everything he can think of to keep him interested. The boy recently ran for PL and won. However, he is putting no effort into it at all and also bucks authority at most every opportunity. As opposed to the other boy, he is salvagable and I hope it is just a phase he is going thru. Forcing them to stay in the troop isn't going to solve the problem unless it is just a phase that we can ride out. The problem is the example they set for the new boys coming into the troop and the general trouble they cause for us adults. I voluteered for this job because I love it and believe in the program. But, I'm a busy man with a lot of responsibilities and I could easily spend my valuable free time doing something I enjoy instead of corraling a kid who's parents make him be there against his wishes. You may want to teach your kid the value of sticking to something, but you are doing it at other people's expense. Scouting is different from sports in that it doesn't have a season. My son played baseball for four years or spring and fall seasons. I told him at the beginning of each season that I'd never make him play, but if he ever decided to quit, he would have to honor his committment and finish that season. He knew up front what the committment was and that he would be held to it. If a boy is in a position of leadership in a troop, then he has an obligation to do the job and finish it. But if he really wants to quit, forcing him to stay is doing so at the expense of hard working voluteers. Let him quit. Leave the door open for him to return. Once he is out, he might find he misses it. The better tactic is to tell him that when he quits, he has to replace it with something else that requires a committment. TV and video games are entertainment between his obligations only and stick to it. He'll get the same message without being forced into something he doesnt want.

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My oldest made Life four months after turning 12..

My second oldest, currently a 13 year old (7th grade) Star Scout

Life at age 13..

 

 

After reading this thread I was surprised about the rank advancement.

It has been thirteen years since I got out of Boy Scouts at the age of 18 (earned my eagle just as I aged out.) I remember hearing about a few scouts getting Eagle at 13 and 14 but thought that was rare. In my old troop we never pushed rank. It was always up to each individual scout to earn it. Now the Senior Patrol did teach the skills for the younger scout to learn and earn rank but that was it. The average age in my troop for Life scouts was 15 to 16 years old and 17 yrs old for Eagle. Are troops now a days just pushing the scouts to earn rank and burning them out or was my troop a rarity?

 

Mark Maranto

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SR540Beaver took the words out of my mouth: As a parent, I want to let my kids choose their activities--but choosing to do nothing is not one of the options.

Also, a parent will sometimes want to cajole, urge, or even bribe a child to continue an activity. You might be able to see the big picture better, and realize that their current dissatisfaction is likely to be temporary. My own son declared before baseball season that he didn't really want to play and that this would be his last season playing; however, now he's playing well and is saying how much fun it is. So while I don't think a parent should say, "You're staying in Scouts because I say so," a parent might well say, "I hear what you're saying, but why don't you stick it out until (some future event) and see if it gets better?"

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When my kids were younger we signed them up for lots of stuff. We did ask them 1st and told them if they were signed up, they would have to see the commitment through until it was time to re-register. This worked well. There was a time my son wanted to quit football and we reminded him of his commitment. We told him he didn't have o play next season, but he made a commitment for this season & had to see it through. This helped teach our kids what a commitment meant.

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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SR540Beaver,

I don't disagree with much that you said. However, sometimes I find that I have to include the parents in the "talks". That usually works well. If the parents are fighting against you though, not enforcing standards at home and the kid is a discipline problem then you should probably let them all go. But, I find that, usually, normally, kinda-sorta-always, a boy that started off liking Scouts and is essentially a good kid, can be brought back from the brink. A trick I have tried in a couple of cases that worked is to put the boy in charge of something vital to the Troop. It was risky but in both cases the "light came on" when they were given more responsibility.

I think we do disagree, however, in some fundamental approaches. While you believe that forcing a kid to do something he doesn't want to do is negative teaching and only proving that mom and dad can force him to do something, I say, exactly the point. Assuming, based on my experience, that I know what's best for the boy I view it as my job as a parent to, if necessary, force him to do things he may not want to do. I may have to force him to go to school, I may have to force him to do his homework, I may have to force him to change his attitude, clean his room, do his chores, etc. In the big bad world the young man, if he is to be a functioning member of society, will often have to do things he doesn't want to do. He will have to pay taxes, he may have to follow a businesses dress code, he may have to conform and perform to certain expectations or standards, he will have to obey societies laws and norms and have respect for authority or pay the consequences. One of the posts here says their kid is dressing in "all black" and it's a "phase". That is strange to me. I set the dress standard in my house, not the kid. I buy the clothes, not the kid. I decide what's best for my kid not the other way around. My pressure is far greater than "peer" pressure. It's my job as a parent. Better to learn all of this now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2eagle,

 

We don't disagree on much. I agree that doing things you don't like is a part of life and kids have to learn how to deal with it. When it is things like language, rushing teeth, doing homework, etc., you bet I can resort to the old "because I said so" if it comes to that. Scouting is great. I love it. I believe in it. I wish every boy could experience it. It is not the be all, end all of growing up though. I won't force my son to play baseball, learn to play the violin or be a part of scouting if those are things he has no interest in. Those are extracuricular activites and there are many many activities available to kids that teach discipline and character. Some kids simply don't like the outdoors and/or camping. It is kind of hard to participate and advance in scouting without doing some things outdoors. In that case, find something the boy IS interested in and set your expectation of commitment to it and make him stick to it. Sitting around isn't an option. Like I said, forcing a kid to stay in scouting for years against his will is doing no one a favor when he could be participating and growing in something he likes.

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