Re: How to Handle an Incident
Michael F. Bowman (mfbowman@USSCOUTS.ORG)
Tue, 18 Aug 1998 22:17:17 -0400
Being a parent and a leader is always a difficult situation. We as
parents have a first duty to our children and that's pretty natural. We
tend to be pretty defensive, watchful, and caring. We also tend believe
in the good things we see when the child is around us. That is what we
observe, know and understand. The reality is that most young folks
behave a little differently when away from a parent - some better, some
not exactly better. I know my folks thought that I was angel most of
the time because I behaved well when in earshot or line-of-sight. When
out of sight and earshot, the "halo" disappeared more than once. I
guess what I'm trying to say is that as a parent it is almost impossible
to be impartial in trying to observe or understand a situation involving
your own child. You just can't do it well.
In such cases the best thing is to allow the leadership of other adults
to be exercised and live with the results understanding that most will
try their best to be fair.
Later in life each of these boys will be judged by outsiders based on
what they see. This is a good time for both to learn that when something
goes down, folks will try to understand what happened, but can only go
on what the evidence shows. Here there isn't a whole lot of evidence
other than "he said" type stuff. It may be that the matter is properly
dropped for want of evidence of any misconduct and if so let it go.
Instead focus again on your role as leader and that of other adults in
your unit. How can you coach better? How can you help the PLC to cope
with problems? How can you work harder to instill good values? Are
there learning experiences that can be developed from this unfortunate
circumstance? How can it turned around into a positive learning
experience for both boys so that both move on with better character?
These are hard questions that require soul-searching, but ones that
probably should be asked.
Is there a way that the two can be put to working on a project together
where they will have to learn to get along and maybe form bonds instead
Michael F. Bowman --- Professor Beaver NE-CS-41
Speaking only for myself in the Scouting Spirit
from Alexandria, Virginia - email@example.com
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City