Re: Scouts Who Don't Care
Steven G. Tyler (sgtyler@EROLS.COM)
Thu, 6 Aug 1998 16:41:08 -0400
Anthony J. Mako wrote, in part:
> I encountered a rather nasty situation at our meeting tonight. I have two
> Scouts who are brothers. One, the youngest has ADD and occasionally shows
> signs of Torretts. His brother is older by two years. Both have very little
> self-discipline, pay no more than lip-service to Scouting ideals, and have
> no respect for peers or adults (including their parents).
> This evening, on two occasions, myself and one of my SAs
> attempted to talk to [the older] Scout about his violent outbursts and were totally
> ignored. After the second occasion, I quietly mentioned to the Scout that
> the SA wanted to talk to him and was answered with "No, I don't want to."
> As we were cleaning up after the meeting (after at least two more attempts
> to stop his activities) I confronted him the only way he left for me.
> Directly, and openly in front of several other Scouts. I was calm, but firm,
> and explained to him that the next time I caught him hitting his brother (or
> anyone else for that matter) his parents would be called. His response was
> "I don't care."
> Right now, I'm trying to work out what to say to the boys' parents as I feel
> the next step is to meet with them and talk about the situation. My problem
> is that I've never been in a situation quite like this before. I've dealt
> with a lot of "problem" Scouts before but none like this. Of course, my
> problem is complicated by the fact that I don't want to give up on this boy.
> So, here I am asking the list for any ideas.
Anthony, you've made a good start, IMHO. Now, you need to follow
I'd start by discussing this with the parents (if a casual meeting can't
be arranged, I'd ask them to a separate meeting), with an agenda along
the lines of your post: I'd focus on the observed behaviour, and why it
was and is necessary for you to take action; I'd be clear about the
actions you've taken and will take; and I'd ask for their cooperation
and support, listen to their reaction, and respond accordingly. If
they're on board (and most parents of ADD children will welcome
appropriate assistance, in my experience), great! If not, they need to
be clear that, objection or not, the measures you've outlined will be
Then, follow up *exactly* as you've outlined to the Scouts and their
parents. It may not be necessary to jump on the very first instance (a
reminder may be in order first), but if you've said you will call, call.
You may need to plan other measures as well -- the second call can be
for the parents to pick up the Scout, or missing the next activity, or
whatever. The key, IMHO, is that your responses to their misbehavior
should be planned and known by all parties ahead of time, and that you
follow through, even at the risk that one or both of these Scouts might
drop out (or at least bluff).
YIS, Steve on Cattail Creek <Steven G. Tyler>, Severna Park, MD, USA
"The Computer Counselor," Technology Consulting for the Law Office
Advancement Chair and de facto Webmaster, Troop 339,
Baltimore Area Council, BSA (http://members.aol.com/troop339/)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City