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Behavior problems: What is expected, how to deal with?


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#81 Beavah

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Posted 23 May 2016 - 11:47 AM

 

My boy doesn't really seem to care which troop he belongs to; he is happy doing anything active with any group of boys. He's pretty easy to please. But he seems to see the difference, and likes the more pleasant troops he has seen. I worry that he could become attracted to the rougher boys, because he always gravitates to wherever there is energy and action, even if it is negative or even dangerous. He's a bit immature in some ways still, and I think good peer role models are important for him.

 

 

Yah, trust your instincts, @Grubdad.   You know your boy better than any of us, eh?

 

In middle school/boy scout age da people who have the most direct influence on kids shifts, eh?  Elementary school it's parents who have da biggest influence, but as kids move to adolescence and teen years peers take over as da biggest part of their lives.   If your instincts are that your lad will be a bit of a follower and soak up da peer influence around him, then choose da program where you think the peer influences are good ones.

 

If your boy doesn't have a strong preference, I reckon da parental choice is a no-brainer. 

 

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#82 Stosh

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Posted 23 May 2016 - 01:53 PM

YOUR SON (emphasis) has to do what he has to do. You just need to let him make the decision since it is his scouting career.

 

A little background, my son visited a troop very familiar to yours. He wasn't too thrilled and looked around. Troop he wanted to join went Trails Life, so we are on choice #2. Things started out OK if challenging, troop was restarting and not enough adult support. In 2 years, troop has tripled in size, but with the tripleing came issues, specifically the new NSP came from 3 different packs and 5 different dens. And they were at various levels of preparedness for Scouting. Now we have some leader issues, and 2 of the 3 "challenging Scouts" come from the leader's old pack.

 

It's always interesting with the mixed den/pack situations.  I have 3 packs we can pull from but there are three troops vying for their attention. The really interesting thing about this whole thing is with the packs being weak and the boys coming in haven't formed many bonds with each other on the den level.  My boys do surprising well with getting along even before they have joined up with the troop.  Although they are technically Webelos boys, they did a service project, worked well together at camp doing a project for the camp.  Last Saturday they took on a service project getting a cemetery ready for Memorial Day, this Tuesday we will be placing flags on veterans' graves.  Memorial Day they will march in the parade and the following day they will cross over into Scouts.  All this with just 2 older boys in the troop drawing from 2-3 different packs.......It can't be done?  Yeah, right, tell my boys that.


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#83 Eagle94-A1

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Posted 23 May 2016 - 02:44 PM

Not saying it can't be done.  I too have seen this done.  What I am saying is that part of the issues with the NSP was preparedness for Scouting.   The three packs had different ways of doing things, and that has affected the dynamics of the patrol.

 

1 pack starts the transition process in May of the 3rd grade year, essentially when pack moves up a level. They are active in the summer, and they are acting like and treated like Boy Scouts.

 

1 pack starts the process essentially between October and January of 4th grade.

 

Both of those packs generally move the Scouts up in December of 5th grade.

 

The pack that one leader came from, and the 2 challenging Scouts were in, I have no idea when they started the process of transitioning. Whenever it was, it was too late. That or they are so dependent on their parents, they cannot cope with being a Boy Scout. Or it may be a combination of the two.

 

So to go on a tangent but dealing with behavior problems, How do your Scouts deal with younger Scouts who don't want to listen to other youth, telling folks to "deal with it" when they are corrected,  cry and complain when it is their turn for KP, etc? And yes I do mean cry.


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#84 Stosh

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Posted 23 May 2016 - 02:59 PM

Not saying it can't be done.  I too have seen this done.  What I am saying is that part of the issues with the NSP was preparedness for Scouting.   The three packs had different ways of doing things, and that has affected the dynamics of the patrol.

 

1 pack starts the transition process in May of the 3rd grade year, essentially when pack moves up a level. They are active in the summer, and they are acting like and treated like Boy Scouts.

 

1 pack starts the process essentially between October and January of 4th grade.

 

Both of those packs generally move the Scouts up in December of 5th grade.

 

The pack that one leader came from, and the 2 challenging Scouts were in, I have no idea when they started the process of transitioning. Whenever it was, it was too late. That or they are so dependent on their parents, they cannot cope with being a Boy Scout. Or it may be a combination of the two.

 

So to go on a tangent but dealing with behavior problems, How do your Scouts deal with younger Scouts who don't want to listen to other youth, telling folks to "deal with it" when they are corrected,  cry and complain when it is their turn for KP, etc? And yes I do mean cry.

 

This is one of the problems with mixing up the boys.  If one has 5 boys that are causing problems, what's the sense of having one in each patrol?  They were probably feeding off of each other and now they are split up to feed off the different patrols.  I'm sure they wouldn't be too impressed with being split up either.

 

After all, I see this as a common sense issue.  Why take a bad situation and spread it throughout the troop.  Why not just focus it into the new patrol and work with the problem at a single source.  So, one has 2 boys, very immature and need a bit more attention than the rest.  One either has a choice of making two patrols deal with the problem or leave them together and work the problem from there.  NSP?  only with a seasoned TG.  TG would need to be someone the two troublemakers view as a DC.  As a matter of fact because the situation is rather unique, the NSP might need to be a bit of a Web II for a couple of months. (with the TG as DL)  Maybe two TG's, one for the NSP and an "assistant" TG that works with the two immature boys directly.

 

I'm just thinking that if one were to just toss them into an older patrol, they wouldn't get the attention needed to break away from mom and dad and connect up with the other scouts.

 

Every situation is unique and sometimes it takes a bit of out-of-the-box thinking to make it work for the various boys.  I see my role as SM to figure these things out and support the PL's, TG's, etc. with getting these boys up and running in Boy Scouts.  These boys need to grow up just like any other boy and it appears mom and dad aren't ready for that process yet.


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#85 sst3rd

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Posted 23 May 2016 - 03:00 PM

Stosh,

 

    I know you and your two active scouts have been working towards these new scouts moving into your current troop. I hope all of them come from all of the packs and give your two scouts the opportunity to show how an active proper patrol scouting program is done.

    No doubt you might lose a few to the more adult oriented troop programs, as they are easier to participate in. But they wont know what they're missing. I find at this age, they still will blab to their non scout friends what a great time they had on their camping trips. I never had our pack graduate Webelos consistantly to our troop (as our pack came and went with adult leadership), and in my area, every pack was linked with their troop, period. We picked up friends one at a time, and we grew from there.

    You have a great opportunity for your program, and I know you wont let them down. I'm sure your two current scouts are excited about the challenge.

 

Party on........

 

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#86 Stosh

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Posted 23 May 2016 - 04:34 PM

We lost at least half of the available boys to the husband/wife eagle mill troop in the area.  Oh, by the way, I used the term "lost" not in any negative way..... :)


Edited by Stosh, 23 May 2016 - 04:35 PM.

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#87 Eagle94-A1

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Posted 23 May 2016 - 08:19 PM

We lost at least half of the available boys to the husband/wife eagle mill troop in the area.  Oh, by the way, I used the term "lost" not in any negative way..... :)

 

You never know. We had a Scout growing up switch troops and 2 years later came back to us.

 

 

This is one of the problems with mixing up the boys.  If one has 5 boys that are causing problems, what's the sense of having one in each patrol?  They were probably feeding off of each other and now they are split up to feed off the different patrols.  I'm sure they wouldn't be too impressed with being split up either.

 

After all, I see this as a common sense issue.  Why take a bad situation and spread it throughout the troop.  Why not just focus it into the new patrol and work with the problem at a single source.  So, one has 2 boys, very immature and need a bit more attention than the rest.  One either has a choice of making two patrols deal with the problem or leave them together and work the problem from there.  NSP?  only with a seasoned TG.  TG would need to be someone the two troublemakers view as a DC.  As a matter of fact because the situation is rather unique, the NSP might need to be a bit of a Web II for a couple of months. (with the TG as DL)  Maybe two TG's, one for the NSP and an "assistant" TG that works with the two immature boys directly.

 

I'm just thinking that if one were to just toss them into an older patrol, they wouldn't get the attention needed to break away from mom and dad and connect up with the other scouts.

 

Every situation is unique and sometimes it takes a bit of out-of-the-box thinking to make it work for the various boys.  I see my role as SM to figure these things out and support the PL's, TG's, etc. with getting these boys up and running in Boy Scouts.  These boys need to grow up just like any other boy and it appears mom and dad aren't ready for that process yet.

 

Challenge was that the rest of the patrol was suffering, and suffering miserably, because of these two.They would not listen to their PLs or their TGs, only to adults. Now grant you, we had one TG who became a challenge himself, and my son whose philosophy was to let them learn the hard way. But the adults, one in particular, would either come to their rescue or start yelling at his son. Funny thing is son does better when dad is not around.

 

Originally the plan was to place them with one or two older Scouts who would not take the garbage and could be someone more imposing. But more on that.


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#88 Stosh

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Posted 23 May 2016 - 08:34 PM

With dad jumping in, sounds like there are more problems here than just two boys.

 

Obviously if the boys would only listen to adults, why didn't the adults tell these boys to straighten up and fly right? 

 

It sounds like the boys causing the problems know how to work the system quite well to their advantage. 

 

By the way, your son has the correct course of action.  These two boys need to be held accountable for their actions and until they are, they will keep doing what they are doing.


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#89 Eagle94-A1

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Posted 24 May 2016 - 04:59 AM

Yes, more problems than just these two as my other thread shows.  Multiple adults told them to get their act together. Heck I even commented about performances at BORs for them. But the Gunship swoops in. And they are working the system quite well as dad is a facilitator.  In one case, Scout sneaks in phone and calls mom at 1AM saying how horrible summer camp is, and momma drives over and picks ups first thing. Going to get interesting this camp since we are going to be about 1:30-2:00 away one-way instead of 45 minutes.


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#90 Tampa Turtle

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Posted 24 May 2016 - 09:45 AM

I always told my Webe families to "shop around". All Troops have different cultures...not always which is the 'best' question but 'best fit' for family in scout. Usually the choice is based on friends or a loved adult leader crossing over but sometimes ourdoor program or how spit and polish. In my part of town there are 4-5 Troops nearby so there is a choice. They all naturally wax and wane a bit in quality. 


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#91 Beavah

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Posted 24 May 2016 - 10:09 AM

This is one of the problems with mixing up the boys.  If one has 5 boys that are causing problems, what's the sense of having one in each patrol?  They were probably feeding off of each other and now they are split up to feed off the different patrols.  I'm sure they wouldn't be too impressed with being split up either.

 

After all, I see this as a common sense issue.  Why take a bad situation and spread it throughout the troop.  Why not just focus it into the new patrol and work with the problem at a single source.  ... I'm just thinking that if one were to just toss them into an older patrol, they wouldn't get the attention needed to break away from mom and dad and connect up with the other scouts.

 

Yah, hmmm....

 

There are different philosophies and different approaches to these sorts of things. 

 

One of da approaches is the adult-run school approach, eh?   Yeh track the kids.  Put all da problem kids together.   That way the problem kids don't slow down the bright kids, and yeh can keep da problem kids in jail with fewer jailers.  Hopefully they drop out, and yeh view that as a good thing. :(

 

The alternative approach is that you divide and conquer, eh?   Yeh don't concentrate the problem, yeh diffuse it.   You use da strong youth leaders yeh have built in each patrol to take care of one part of da problem.   Those youth leaders come together and brainstorm with each other on how they're handlin' their challengin' scouts.  

 

There's a huge difference in what the challengin' scout experiences through each approach, eh?   In the first, he's with other boys who misbehave and reinforce his own misbehavior; he's with other boys who don't care and reinforce his own not caring.   If he's just immature or homesick, he's with boys who make him more homesick.   In the second, the kid who needs more support is with a patrol where most of da rest of the boys are doin' well.  All da other youth in the patrol can provide support.  Homesickness isn't reinforced.   Da culture doesn't enable misbehavior, it works against it.  Culture teaches boys a lot more than an individual teacher can, eh?  That's the point of Scoutin'. 

 

Plus, in da second case the older boys get real challenges of leadership, eh?  They get to work on takin' care of their homesick lad or dealin' with their problem member.  That's not taken away from 'em by an adult.  And as we see in several of da examples, adults as often as not enable da bad behavior, eh?  They undermine da youth leaders and substitute lectures for consequences.

 

There are some reasons for tracking, eh?  If yeh don't have strong patrols or good youth leaders yet, then givin' 'em da added challenge of a member that needs more support might be too much.   Or if yeh have too many challenging boys, so that they overwhelm da patrol's culture.  This should be a temporary thing, though, eh?  The adults should be buildin' strong patrols, and the adults should be mindful of not takin' on too many problems until they do.

 

Beavah


Edited by Beavah, 24 May 2016 - 10:19 AM.

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#92 Tampa Turtle

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Posted 24 May 2016 - 10:55 AM

No hard and fast rule. Sometimes the pack of trouble makers can make a good patrol if re-directed--I've seen it happen if they like camping and they want to be there. I have also seen clumps of trouble makers broken up and distributed to 'good patrols' who then felt they were being punished. And all of this is the slippery slope of adult manipulated Patrol assignment a bad habit my Troop keeps falling into.

 

One needs to look at the Trouble makers and see who is who. There often is one who quietly manipulated or eggs on the others. And before doing anything ask some trusted boys for opinions as they usually have a better idea of the personality of the boys better than adults do.


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#93 Stosh

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Posted 24 May 2016 - 12:12 PM

No hard and fast rule. Sometimes the pack of trouble makers can make a good patrol if re-directed--I've seen it happen if they like camping and they want to be there. I have also seen clumps of trouble makers broken up and distributed to 'good patrols' who then felt they were being punished. And all of this is the slippery slope of adult manipulated Patrol assignment a bad habit my Troop keeps falling into.

 

One needs to look at the Trouble makers and see who is who. There often is one who quietly manipulated or eggs on the others. And before doing anything ask some trusted boys for opinions as they usually have a better idea of the personality of the boys better than adults do.

 

As a group they can be isolated and focused on resolving their issues.  5 troublemakers in one patrol.  Won't listen to anyone.  A TG is assigned to merely watch them for safety.  What are they going to do?  If they are 300' from their nearest examples and one lone TG just sitting there, they will eventually look to him to provide something like what the other boys are doing.  As soon as they ask that question, the learning can start.  Now they will listen.

 

I just don't know what it is, but for some reason I really never have had to deal with situations like this so I'm kind of at a loss to help.  I've had my ADD boys, my ADHD boys, my broken family boys, my Asperger's boys, my at-risk boys and for some reason They don't give me trouble.  I'm suspicious that what I dish out is not the same servings that most people do.  If one has problems, I guess suggesting that they keep doing what they're doing is not going to be very well received.


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Stosh

 

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#94 Tampa Turtle

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Posted 24 May 2016 - 01:43 PM

I favor the group if they want to stay as a group. We had such a group...little savages they were...all 8 of them. Poorly uniformed, forgot gear on campouts, etc. But they liked to camp (however chaotically), hiked hard (if profane), were great at making fires (had to be watched) and catapults (had to be watched) and lashing (had to make sure they didn't tie up the others). But they were very competitive and would work hard at games and competitions. Five years later, even though some moved else wear we got 5 Eagles out of them. 

 

At the same time we got another patrol of 9  nice boys, all A students, beautifully uniformed. Always worked together, nice uniforms, did a lot of Merit Badges. 2 of the nine were great scouts and Eagles. 3 dropped out and 4 are on the way to Eagle but never liked to camp, had parents hovering all the time and doing end runs to the Council and generally were out for their own advancement over the Troop. But they were at 1st very easy to manage.

 

Looking back those troublemakers were closer to more 'old fashioned' scouts and more fun to go on adventures with. They were worth the hassle.


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#95 Stosh

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Posted 24 May 2016 - 01:49 PM

There's nothing adventurous about sitting quietly and paying attention to the speaker.  I, personally, have always like the ones that are a bit rough around the edges. 


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Stosh

 

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#96 Eagle94-A1

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Posted 24 May 2016 - 06:25 PM

I favor the group if they want to stay as a group. We had such a group...little savages they were...all 8 of them. Poorly uniformed, forgot gear on campouts, etc. But they liked to camp (however chaotically), hiked hard (if profane), were great at making fires (had to be watched) and catapults (had to be watched) and lashing (had to make sure they didn't tie up the others). But they were very competitive and would work hard at games and competitions. Five years later, even though some moved else wear we got 5 Eagles out of them. 

 

I wish my challenging Scouts were like that. They I know how to handle. Probably because that was me and my troop growing up.:)

 

 

At the same time we got another patrol of 9  nice boys, all A students, beautifully uniformed. Always worked together, nice uniforms, did a lot of Merit Badges. 2 of the nine were great scouts and Eagles. 3 dropped out and 4 are on the way to Eagle but never liked to camp, had parents hovering all the time and doing end runs to the Council and generally were out for their own advancement over the Troop. But they were at 1st very easy to manage.

 

That's the challenge: how to get the kids to get away from always going to mom and dad. I handed out camp schedules last nite, and one of the two immediately went to his dad to give him the schedule.


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#97 Stosh

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Posted 24 May 2016 - 07:14 PM

I had two Eagle Scouts, in my Venturing Crew and big time in OA that had mom maintain their calendar for them so they knew where they had to be. 


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Stosh

 

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#98 ThomasG-from-Brazil

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Posted 25 May 2016 - 10:11 AM

My friends and I agree there needs to be a better system based on bad consequences for bad behavior. The excuses I hear, though, are that nobody wants to be the "heavy", or that "it's no better in any other Troop". Nobody wants to be the one to confront the parents of a Scout with unacceptable behavior.
What policies and procedures are in use to address this sort of thing?.

I have not read all the replies in this thread. But do you have a strong PLC (or what I would call a Court of Honour). In my group we have historically maintained a strong aura, or "wow" factor around the Court of Honour. If a scout is invited to a CoH, then he has done something pretty serious. Bad behavior has to be dealt with by the boys. If this person cannot even respect a CoH decision for him to pipe down, then the last courses of action are to call in the parents and maybe request his removal.

Edited by ThomasG, 25 May 2016 - 10:14 AM.

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Patrol System, always

#99 Grubdad

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 11:30 AM

Hope nobody minds, but I wanted to post a follow-up update to this thread I started last year.

 

Summer Camp was the straw that broke the camel's back. Constant fighting, bickering, negativity, conflict with other troops, insubordination, etc, with no consequences. After returning home, the six of us dads whose boys had all crossed over to this troop together that year had a meeting to discuss it. This was in July. All except me decided to state our concerns to Troop leadership and committee, and then wait until the end of the year to see major changes. I decided to give them a month. At the end of that month, after seeing zilch from the Troop leadership and committee, my boy and I moved on to another Troop, one of a couple we had been visiting and researching.

 

The change was and is dramatic. Like 180 degrees different. It was almost a foreign experience to see boys playing together without fighting, to see them work together without bickering. They are typical teenaged boys, with all the harmless mischief, "coolness", and zaniness that includes. They are far from perfect. But they have a positive attitude, are a true pleasure to be around, and I have spent a lot of time with them at campouts and activities.

 

The Troop adult leaders allow ZERO crap from them, and a couple sometimes seem to ride them pretty hard, and sometimes the tone seems a bit negative, although the boys don't seem bothered by it. But I try to do the opposite, and be Mr. Positive Reinforcement. Another new dad is a really good guy, and feels the same way I do, and treats the boys in a positive way. So we are hoping to find that correct balance.

 

We just returned from a four day campout, and it was a pleasure just to tag along with these Scouts on their various activities and watch them interact and have fun together.

 

So sometimes the best thing to do is just to move on. It sure was for us.

 

David


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#100 Col. Flagg

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 11:36 AM

Curious, but how boy led was Old Troop versus New Troop?


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