Paul Barfoot (PBARFOOT@SUVM.BITNET)
Wed, 27 Oct 1993 13:38:34 EST
I haven't been following the list too closely of late - only
skimming the digest, so I don't know how much has already been
said on this topic, but seeing Olan Watkins posting on how to
deal with homesick kids has prompted me to put my two cents in.
It seems to me that telling a kid that there is no phone available
(unless there indeed IS no phone available) is not a good idea.
Lying, even a small lie, may get you out of the immediate
situation, but it will wear away your credibility (a most valuable
commodity in dealing with kids).
I also object to the idea of threats. The implied threat of the anger
of the other boys or of isolation as a punishment for not behaving
may be counterproductive. A boy who is feeling homesick is already
feeling alone and out of control of his life. I have found that
the "everybody has to go through this"approach and the repeated
assurance that everything WILL be okay work best. Give him some
choices of some things to do. Make sure that he gets included in
things, and encourage him to see it as a growth experience.
Nothing works for every boy, but honesty, understanding, and
encouragement generally work best in any situation.
Please don't take this as a flame, it isn't meant that way.
ASM Troop 1
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City