Re: Backfire (long)
Geary Morrill (A91VIGIL@AOL.COM)
Sat, 16 Nov 1996 08:17:01 -0500
Came upon this thread a little down-line, so if I'm covering old ground,
Does this young chap normally get a lot of attention in other venues?
Perhaps he is suffering from a "different form of ADD". I'm talking about the
need to *have* some attention, not *pay* attention.
A dear friend of my spousal unit (a friend now departed) once called this
"having fans in one's ears", referring to a severe need for attention
characterized by disruptive behavior in an effort to be noticed.
Unfortunately, if the behavior demonstrated is getting attention being sought
by this young man, he may likely continue on the same path. Sometimes, just
attention, not the nature of the attention, is what matters most. This could
be confirmed if the same behavior is demonstrated in other areas of his life
I'll assume you've had a discussion with parents where you've shared your
concern(s), and inquired if the same behavior is being noted in school or
elsewhere. If not, that might be a good next step.
You may also have already tried the "giving of attention" when behavior that
is suitable (no matter how small) is displayed, coupled with
"non-acknowlegement" of unsuitable behavior when not disruptive to the
balance of boys.
If not, this may be worth a go if it seems attention from you is what is
being sought. (Please keep in mind that causing you visible frustration is a
form of getting attention, too). It's basic Pavlovian, but if the stimulus he
provides (disruption) doesn't get the desired response for him from you, and
an alternative (positive) stimulus does, you may help model for him what
acceptable behavior that will get your attention for him is.
You haven't mentioned whether this behavior is troubling the other youth
troop members. Have they came to you with complaints/concerns? Or is it just
something that gets adult members goats? If it's the latter, he may be
getting "put up to it / encouraged" by the other youth just to see your
reactions. Once again, if this gets him the attention he desires from them,
he'll gladly do it even if he "gets in trouble" over it. At 12 1/2, peer
acceptance/attention is most important.
You may also want to study up on "reflection" techniques in Jr. Leader
Training Kit and SM handbook to utilize in this issue. It'll be
self-explanatory when you review it, and the Ethics in Action materials for
Bottom line, though.. if it's more important for him to get attention
disruptively than to be a contributing member of the troop, he may need to
leave. It's no good for the others if this is the case, and as a volunteer,
you can't be expected to provide the program for someone who repeatedly shows
he just doesn't want to play the "game" of Scouting.
Remember, time you've already spent together should have provided some
positive role modeling and values... what he does with them from here is HIS
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City