Re: co-ed oa
Jason P. Meyers (JPMEYERS@MTUS5.BITNET)
Tue, 10 Apr 1990 15:16:53 EST
Dear Joan and anyone else with a similar problem,
The first thing that I noticed is that the big problem is not the scouts'
behavior, rather it is the parents' attitudes. In a situation like yours
a lot of what happens depends upon the parents. If the parents won't back
you up, then that makes your job much more difficult. It sounds like the
typical case of parental denial saying, 'OUR Johnny can't be doing that!'
The best thing that you can do is to 'lay down the law' and then stick
to it. The second part is the most important part. If you say that you
are going to punish certain behavior, then by ALL means do it! And do it
to EVERYone equally. You can't be soft hearted because they will notice that
and take advantage of you. You must stand your ground. Sooner or later
(hopefully sooner than later) the boys will begin to realize that they won't
get away with the things that they have been doing. It may take a while but
it will happen. Also you will notice that they will begin to behave
differently while around you then when their parents are around as well. This
is because the boys know that Mom and Dad will let them get away with more
than you will. There is nothing that you can do about that.
As for whether they should be allowed to participate in den activities,
that all depends on how big the control problem is. I would lean towards
letting them continue participating. But make it VERY clear to EVERYONE
that you will not tollerate ANY misbehavior from ANYONE. It is important
that you included everyone in this so that the boys don't feel as if they
are being targetted. This may sound a little harsh in the beginning but
the boys will come to respect you in the end. It may also be the best thing
that happens to some of them. Along with telling them that you won't
tollerate improper behavior, explain what the punishment will be. This
will help because then everyone will know what will happen to them if they
don't behave. Also the punishment should be the same for everyone. An
example of godd punishments are not letting them participate in the next
den activity, writing a letter to the person/parties they offended/hurt,
have priveledges temporarly removed, have a conference with the parents
and the son all together (it is a good idea to have the boy confess to
the parents because the parents are then more likely to believe that it
really happened.). Also, it is a good idea to establish stiffer punishments
for repeat offenses.
Another thing that is eqully important as ensuring that you don't tollerate
their bad behavior is to explain to them the seriousness of their disobedience.
It is important for them to understand why they are being punished. They
probably realize that they aren't supposed to be doing what they are but they
don't always realize how dangerous their actions could be.
Another thing to be aware of is that they are most likely doing these things
just to obtain attention. You could also help them out by making sure that
everyone gets equal attention within the den. It is really amazing how kids
can easily pick up on unintended favoritism and feel left out.
I hope that everyone realizes that these are only my opinions that I have
formed from my own personal experience. By no means am I an expert in
child psychology. However, I hope that you will get some ideas from what I
have to say. Also, realize that what I have said applies to ALL levels of
scouting from tiger cubs all the way through to Eagle scouts.
Virtually in Scouting,
Jason P. Meyers
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City