scouts-l Mail Archive for June of 2000: Re: Care and Feeding of Parents...
Peter Farnham (pfarnham@ASBMB.FASEB.ORG
Thu Jun 01 2000 - 13:06:36 CDT
Pete and all,
It sounds to me like Fla-Pete handled the situation just fine. Overzealous
and over-protective parents are a very common problem around here, where we
have a lot of "Type A's" who expect their sons to excel in everything and
woe to the adult who they perceive to be standing in their son's way or
subjecting him to any sort of stress whatsoever!
Several days ago, in fact, I got a call from a local troop's advancement
chair, who wanted to know if I would work with her son and two other boys
on Lifesaving merit badge, for which I am a counselor. I said sure, but
for the BOYS to give me a call, as this wasn't cub scouts anymore and the
boys needed to learn that THEY were supposed to make these arrangements,
not their moms. I explained why, but a clear lack of understanding
emanated from the other end of the phone even so. Still, the mom said she'd
have them call me. Well, it's been three days now, and no call. We'll see
Anyway, I have found this frequently inappropriate parental involvement to
be so common that I developed a hand-out called "care and feeding of
parents", which is used at our scoutmaster fundamentals course. I have
taught a 15-20 minute unit on this the past several courses.
It's in two parts: one is called "Tips for Dealing with Concerned
Parents". This part consists of maxims--a list of do's and don'ts that
should be pretty obvious to most of you (although I've often found that
anything is obvious after someone points it out). The second part is called
"Possible Problems (and Solutions)". This is a collection of actual
sentences that were uttered to me by various parents over the years I was a
scoutmaster, and some suggestions on how to deal with the issues raised
(not that I was always able to say or do the right thing in the heat of the
moment, of course).
I'll be happy to send this to anyone who would like it. It's in RTF
format; if your system can't accept attachments, let me know and I'll send
it as text. It may be a week or so, as I'm out of town starting tomorrow.
But I'll take care of it when I get back.
I used to be a Scoutmaster...(and a Beaver)
Colonial District, NCAC