Problem Child

Administering the troop, solving problems, building on success, and using key program elements like the Patrol Method.

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Problem Child

Postby Mrw » Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:20 pm

We currently have a boy who has developed a track record for bullying, both verbally and sometimes physically. He has even managed to get into trouble when we required the mom to attend the last campout with him, when her back was turned.

We have documented the instances and the pattern is definitely there. The CC will be speaking to our DE about options sometime this week.

Any comments on a appropriate way to deal with this kid? We hate to remove him from the troop, but also don't want him to actually hurt someone.
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Re: Problem Child

Postby cballman » Tue Sep 15, 2009 10:33 pm

If this problem child is not reigned in quickly and still left in the troop then the parents of the other children might leave and you will be left with the problem child. If his actions are that bad then sometimes the Troop outweighs the child. Been in this situation before and if this child is left unchecked then you will lose quite a few kids because they dont want to be picked on by anybody.
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Re: Problem Child

Postby fritz1255 » Wed Sep 16, 2009 7:31 am

Amen on the response above - this is a situation that cannot be ignored, or the Troop will suffer. We had the same situation (actually in Cub Scouts). In addition to worrying about the kid hurting someone, I was concerned that one of the parents would lose control and go off on him - his behavior was that bad. While we did not have to formally kick him out, he was strongly encouraged not to rejoin at the beginning of the next school year, and fortunately neither he nor his parents pushed the issue. What I have noticed is that most kids with notable anti-social behavior do not stay in Scouts very long.
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Re: Problem Child

Postby alex gregory » Wed Sep 16, 2009 1:41 pm

It sounds like you have a safety issue that requires immediate suspension of your problem child from troop and patrol activities. I suggest SM, CC and COR all get together on the same page, and let the Scout and his parents know that he cannot participate in activities with other Scouts for at least 6 mos. If he wants to work on advancement and merit badges he can continue to do so if he makes necessary arrangements with unit leaders etc. I agree with the observation above that once you suspend him from the troop it is very unlikely that he will come back. I suspect that this is his way of telling his parents he is not interested in being a boy scout.
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Re: Problem Child

Postby FrankJ » Wed Sep 16, 2009 2:26 pm

Pretty much agree with above. MRW, judging from your posts over the years, you have probably already given the scout multiple chances. One big question: does the scout understand the issue and want to change? You can only help those that want the help. The change ultimately has to come from within. Sounds like stay or go, he is beyond help by amateurs and needs professional counseling.

As you probably know, the DE might be to provide suggestions, but staying a member of the troop is a troop decision, not his.
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Re: Problem Child

Postby Mrw » Wed Sep 16, 2009 2:57 pm

Thanks guys! We are on the same page here, but it is good to have some outside confirmation that we are acting reasonably.

We know the boy and his mom are in counseling over his behavior, but we don't want to be liable for him actually hurting someone.
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Re: Problem Child

Postby deweylure » Sat Sep 19, 2009 10:30 am

I would suggest ask the parents to speak with the counselor on this for his/her professional opinion. Sometimes parents may not be forthcoming with all info to the counselor. You will have to sign a release for the counselor.
Have a meeting with parents ,SM,CC and write out the specific problems,make sure the counselor gets a copy.
In therapy the counselor may be able to help with the issues.
Is your troop big enough that an ASM can be assigned to this scout to mentor them,not babysit.
Yes you do have to watch out for the other scouts. Can the father come to the meeting,outings etc instead of the mother?
Maybe its and issue with the parent.




We had a previous scoutmaster who actually was the cause of 4 boys to leave leave the troop. He used a 6 month vacation for issues he thought were serious along with the input of misinformed parents and other leaders with no patience.The reason being some parents did not want their children in the troop with someone diagnosed with ADHD ,bipolarism etc. I myself did not have an issue with the scouts,never had a problem at meetings. I stayed firm with my directions to the scouts and firm with my objections to removing scouts. Naturally I became the bad guy.

I guess some might think I am a softy ,I just do not like the idea of forcing a boy out of scouting with out try all remedies. i have seen former problem children succeed . they earned Eagle,went on to college and had agreat sucessful career and family. dewey
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Re: Problem Child

Postby evmori » Mon Sep 21, 2009 7:19 am

WOW! Sounds like this kid is just looking for ways to agitate! While Scouting would be an excellent program for him, if his parents can't reign him in I don't think Scouting has much hope. Counseling sounds like the best option.
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Re: Problem Child

Postby AquilaNegra2 » Tue Sep 22, 2009 3:42 am

ITA Ed. Scouting isn't for every boy. It's for boys who can abide by its rules.

Suspend the kid, give the parents a list of what he needs to do to return, and leave him on your email list.
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Re: Problem Child

Postby Mrw » Tue Sep 22, 2009 10:55 pm

So for now, the boy and his mom were told tonight that he is permitted at scout meetings where he can be closely supervised, but not at other activities.

We will be providing him with a specific outline of what we need to see to allow him to return to other activities.

The CC talked to the mom, who was a bit defensive about her son. She asked whose decision it was and he said it was his and that he had talked to the DE who had said we were entitled to suspend him completely for as long as we wanted. She asked about who to appeal to, and he said the committee, but told her we had already discussed the on-going discipline issues and were in agreement.

He also asked he to let us know if there are specific things the counselor the boy is seeing suggests as a way to be helpful and consistent with him.

We will see how this goes, but it is really his last chance with us.
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Re: Problem Child

Postby wagionvigil » Wed Sep 23, 2009 7:05 am

The mother is defensive? I have seen this so many times while teaching. There will be very little if any change IMO. Until mom agrees there is a real problem. Also these parents will do anything they can to get " Johnny" out of their hands for even a couple of hours. Time will tell so please keep us informed.
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Re: Problem Child

Postby Mrw » Wed Sep 23, 2009 7:58 am

Both mom and boy are in counseling over his behavior, so she does realize there is a problem with her kid. And she is usually around at troop meetings although (fortunately) not really involved with the kids or the committee.

Nice lady, but utterly clueless and as apparently ADD as the boy.
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Re: Problem Child

Postby FrankJ » Wed Sep 23, 2009 8:33 am

Minor pet peeve: Bullying & ADD are two separate issues. :)
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Re: Problem Child

Postby wagionvigil » Wed Sep 23, 2009 8:42 am

Parents use ADD to justify antisocial behavior. As I showed the parent the Knife the young man had in his book bag I Heard the FOllowing " Well you know he is ADD and you cannot suspend him for this" I said "Tell that to the State police that are coming and the Board when you have your hearing." One year expulsion Now fast Forward 8 years NewsPaper head Lines "Young man arrested for 21 counts of arson". Some people just do not get it.
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Re: Problem Child

Postby Mrw » Wed Sep 23, 2009 10:06 am

FrankJ wrote:Minor pet peeve: Bullying & ADD are two separate issues. :)



We are in no way justifying bullying because of ADD. But the whole family is out there, and we do need to keep that in mind when dealing with both the boy and the parent.
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Re: Problem Child

Postby cballman » Wed Sep 23, 2009 10:17 am

Some of the main problems with parents these days is that their kids can do no wrong. When you have a problem with a child the parents will say there is nothing wrong with little johnny but the problems are with the leaders. I had a child that went to summer camp a few years ago that threatend to commit suicide or walk home. He was sent home by the camp health officer. After camp we met with the parent of the child and he said that the problem was with us leaders and not his son. I then refused to go on a outing when that child was going. Parents said that there was nothing wrong with the child to send him to a Therapist. Have not seen or heard anything about that child since then. This is just one of the many we have had to deal with over the years. Yes parents make excuses because most either cant or wont control their children and then expect us to teach them. Also I am a proud parent of a child with ADHD so yes I have lived, breathed and taught it.
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Re: Problem Child

Postby FrankJ » Wed Sep 23, 2009 10:51 am

MRW, I really was not pinging on you. It is clear you know how to separate the two.

Parents use ADD to justify antisocial behavior.
That is true with some parents as well as some administrators. That is why I am on a mission to separate the two. Everybody has their gifts and handicaps. But if people accept "Oh he does that because of he has ADD", the next thing will be a ban on people with ADD because of the perceived dangers. So when people use ADD to justify certain behaviors I tend to call then on it.
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