More on pushy parents
Gregory Benesh (BENESHG@BAYLOR.BITNET)
Wed, 2 Feb 1994 14:17:26 -0600
Thanks for replying to my note on pushy parents. I enjoy the
discussion, even though we don't agree.
Regarding the head of our chartering organization, he is hardly
a fount of Boy Scout knowledge. He is opposed to boy-led troop
meetings, for example. He feels that adults should run the
meetings with an iron hand. I feel that this control-emphasis
is behind his pushy-parent policy, too.
I feel your bringing up 'rights' is a distraction, and beside
the point. I never said that driving was a right -- clearly it
is a privilege. So is dating. So is having nice clothes, and
having more than enough to eat. How far would you encourage
parents to go to ensure that their sons get the message that they
are to finish their Eagle? At some point it ceases to be 'incentive'
or 'encouragement' and becomes blackmail. When my son was doing
his Eagle project, I assisted by driving him where he needed to
go, making suggestions, etc. So, I'm certainly not against
Your argument about getting Eagle and showing responsibility is
much like the old saw "All dentists are doctors, therefore all
doctors are dentists." If a boy makes Eagle without being black-
mailed, then he has shown some responsibility. (Whether this is
enough to get him a driver's license is another question.) If
the Scout is blackmailed into getting his Eagle, then all he has
demonstrated is that he can be blackmailed!
Perhaps, he really is responsible. However, he has been cheated
out of the opportunity to show it, or develop it, as the case may
be. The point many parents miss is that the goal is not to
advance in rank, but to develop character. I just think that
somewhere along the way we all have to shift gears so that our
Scouts are leading instead of being pushed by a crowd behind
them. The crowd should still be behind, just not pushing!
Best Wishes, Greg Benesh SA, WDL, RT Com, Heart O'Texas Council
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City