Scouts-L Mail Archive for April of 1999: Re: Eagle Court Parent Dilemma
Re: Eagle Court Parent Dilemma
Tue, 13 Apr 1999 22:49:00 -0400
Wow - what a difficult situation for you! It is always difficult you have a
natural parent and a custodial parent who are the "Mom and Dad" to the youth
and a second natural parent, who by law has visitation rights which may
include the right to attend award ceremonies. The potential is always there
for the adult to bicker, fight, and otherwise ruin the spotlight that would
have focused on the young person.
It sounds like you've done the right thing personally by gritting your teeth
into a smile and working hard to make sure the ceremony is still for your
son and that things don't spoil it.
In each case though the adults have a tough time with how to handle things
like parent pins. Should the custodial parent get one and the natural
parent be left out (the one who is not the primary caregiver)? Should both
get a pin? There is no right answer and no easy answer. However, I have
found that the following may be helpful:
1. Consider having a family meeting with all three parents (even via
telephone) with a counselor or facilitator to keep focus. See whether the
parents can all come to an accord on how things will be handled. - Doesn't
always work, but always an option.
2. Consider not having any public "pinning" ceremony if the ceremony would
detract from the primary ceremony of presenting the Eagle. While it is very
nice and usually appropriate to recognize the parental contribution, the
ceremony is about the young man and recognizing parents is not required.
You can have a perfectly fine ceremony that is all about the young man.
Later on the young man can present pins privately as he wishes in a way that
may mean much more to the individual parent. Heck, I'll admit that it would
mean a lot more to me to have my son or daughter present me with something
at home from their heart than it would to have a ritual presentation of an
item because they are told to do so.
I'm sure there are other solutions and many of them. Hope these two help.
Mike Bowman, Vice President
U.S. Scouting Service Project, Inc.