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Cub Scout Leaders- boys' behavior


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#1 thescrappyhomeschooler

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 07:43 PM

How do you handle out of control behavior in your den/pack? Tonight was recruiting night at our local school, and another mother (new Tiger leader) and I were in charge of games in the gym while the Cubmaster talked to the parents in the lunch room. I'd say about half of the kids didn't think they needed to listen to us at all and pretty much did whatever they wanted. The other leader who was with me, although she is a new leader, has an older son who has been in our pack for two years. One of her younger kids grabbed a bag of balloons out of my hands as I was trying to collect them, and started screaming "HA HA HA HA" at me. The mother didn't do anything. Her kids are totally out of control, but so are many of the other kids. I just took the bag back from him and didn't say anything, because it seems like I'm the only leader who has a problem with the insane behavior of some of these kids. The mother who was with me tonight has told me that her older son has ADHD, but in my book that's not a reason not to correct your kid when they are doing something rude or inappropriate. Should I just take a chill pill or what?

#2 Anne in CA

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 08:37 PM

I had a similar issue with ONE boy the year my son was a Wolf Scout and I disciplined him consistently until he wasn't having fun and got his parents to put him in a separate pack. My own son was the worst behaved Bear/ Webelo although I was his leader part of that time. He wasn't crazy, just occasionally beligerent. I was consistenly tough with him, but he is hard headed. He was a discipline problem until he was 12. I would look for a different pack, but that is me. I had a hard time with one boy whose mother wouldn't keep him in line. I couldn't do multiple boys who wouldn't behave.

#3 jenn-

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 08:44 PM

Our pack requires the parents to stay with Cubs for this reason. If your child starts acting up, they will have you step in and correct them unless imminent danger is posed.

#4 FriedClams

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 09:28 PM

It sounds like you need more adults. And, don't ever feel bad about having to go to the parents. Hold up your wolf ears too. Wait until there is silence. It does work.

#5 keptwoman

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 10:36 PM

It sounds like you need more adults. And, don't ever feel bad about having to go to the parents. Hold up your wolf ears too. Wait until there is silence. It does work.

I agree with both of these, but also we have spoken to children before who are very disruptive and explained that if their behaviour does not improve, they will have to leave.

#6 Lily_Grace

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 12:29 AM

One thing we found last year is we canNOT do big groups. It turns into chaos, no matter how many adults were present.
This year I'm invoking my "find yo mama" clause. I have the older cubs (Webelos) and I don't tolerate disruption to the group. They may sit out in the hall until I can deal with them or find their mother and sit with her until we can talk. But I do one warning. That's it.


I think it will take some time with the kids learning to work in a group again before we get back to large activities with the whole pack. The once a month meetings will have them sitting with their parents or arranged in their dens to help keep the crazy away.

#7 Renee in NC

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 04:38 AM

How do you handle out of control behavior in your den/pack? Tonight was recruiting night at our local school, and another mother (new Tiger leader) and I were in charge of games in the gym while the Cubmaster talked to the parents in the lunch room. I'd say about half of the kids didn't think they needed to listen to us at all and pretty much did whatever they wanted. The other leader who was with me, although she is a new leader, has an older son who has been in our pack for two years. One of her younger kids grabbed a bag of balloons out of my hands as I was trying to collect them, and started screaming "HA HA HA HA" at me. The mother didn't do anything. Her kids are totally out of control, but so are many of the other kids. I just took the bag back from him and didn't say anything, because it seems like I'm the only leader who has a problem with the insane behavior of some of these kids. The mother who was with me tonight has told me that her older son has ADHD, but in my book that's not a reason not to correct your kid when they are doing something rude or inappropriate. Should I just take a chill pill or what?


First, to address the ADHD part - my 10yo has extremely severe ADHD and he behaves himself, so that isn't a good excuse.:glare: And, yes, he behaves himself without meds, too, so that isn't it. I can't imagine him doing what that boy did or not dealing with it if he did.

It does seem to be somewhat normal from our experience with 4 different packs so far (over the past 10 years.) Some are worse than others, but it seems that kids aren't expected to behave in activities. My dc said it was the same in school. It really bothered my 10yo that some kids behaved badly because that isn't right in his book.:tongue_smilie:

Every kid has an off day, though. Large groups seem to make it worse, especially in boys. I haven't found methods that work and I refuse to be a leader for that reason. I will help with anything else, but if parents won't make their dc behave, I can't either.

Edited by Renee in FL, 09 September 2011 - 04:41 AM.


#8 thescrappyhomeschooler

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 06:31 AM

Our pack requires the parents to stay with Cubs for this reason. If your child starts acting up, they will have you step in and correct them unless imminent danger is posed.


It sounds like you need more adults. And, don't ever feel bad about having to go to the parents. Hold up your wolf ears too. Wait until there is silence. It does work.


See, this in another one of the problems. The parents don't discipline their own kids. They are required to be there, but they just watch as little Johnny climbs on the school's gym mats after he and his parents have been told a dozen times by all the leaders that the school asked us to stay off the mats. Just one example of the issues I have. I'd say about half of the parents are on top of their kids. We have a large pack with 55 kids. I have 10 in my den. At our last den meeting last year, we were talking about phone manners. I held the meeting outside, and had first done a scavenger hunt, a bean bag toss, and a relay race on small stilts, so they had been plenty active first. I asked them to write a nice way to answer the phone on the ground with sidewalk chalk. About half of them wrote nasty things, including the word penis. At that point, I got up and walked over the the parents who had drifted into a gabbing circle and told them I could not do this activity if the kids were not going to behave and I needed them to come and monitor their kids' behavior. Only one mother was truly upset with what her kid did. The rest just said something like, "Johnny, you know you're not supposed to do that."

Our pack is the most active in the area and I know of another Cubmaster who is trying to get out of her job because she can't stand the parents in her pack, either. I've looked into 2 other packs nearby, but they don't seem to do much, nor do they seem to be recruiting heavily. 2 of my nephews are also in Cubs, one in a different part of my state, and one in another state, and both of those packs are run extremely well, and it's all done by the dads. Ours is about half moms/half dads, and the dads are even worse disciplinarians than the moms.

I have 2 boys. I know what crazy boy behavior is. That's why I always schedule in breaks for some "wild" fun in our meetings. I know they have a lot of energy. I'm okay with that. I'm not okay with a kid completely ignoring you when you are directly telling him something. Like, when I was trying to gather up the balloons last night, one of the dads who had come into the gym was trying to get the boys who were still shooting balloons into the basketball hoops to stop and leave the gym. They just ignored him like he didn't exist. The Wolf Ear thing doesn't work. I could stand there for 20 minutes with the Wolf Ears going and the same "good" half of the boys would be standing there with me, while the non-disciplined kids would be running around and screaming.

When I've tried to bring this up at leader meetings, I get the "Boys will be boys, what can you do?" answer. I'm just so tired of it. I'll stick out this year, but then I'm done.

#9 SailorMom

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 07:16 AM

I was a den leader or CubMaster the whole time my kids were cubs/webelos.

The behavior of parents was what drove me out of CubMaster after a year. I expect kids to need guidance - but misbehaving parents was just too much...

Anyway - as a den leader, and then on a larger scale as a CubMaster, I actually did have to tell kids to leave meetings... Here are a few things i did to help...

I always started the Pack meeting or Den meeting on time, I never waited. At least those who were always late weren't adversely affecting those who were on time that way. After about a month or two, most of the chronically late ended up miraculously showing up on time :glare:

At the first two Pack meetings, I spoke directly to the boys about behavior, and that we would be unable to do any fun activities at the Pack meetings unless the listened to me. We had about 70 active boys at the time... There was one instance where I did have to tell the boys (there were about 15-20 that were a problem) their behavior had spoiled the fun for the rest of the kids. Peer pressure took over from there:001_smile:. At den meetings, I did have to ask a parent to take a scout home early and explained to them both exactly why. I also made it clear that he wouldn't be camping with us unless his behavior improved.

And rather than letting the parents continue talking even while I was trying to run meetings, I stopped and asked them to leave the room if they needed to discuss something - I did this at Pack and Den meetings. I think some of them just needed to be pointedly shown how rude they were being.

Sadly - I had to be a hard--- and give up worrying about offending a parent. There were certainly people who didn't like me for it - but the Pack/den sure ran a lot more smoothly :)

#10 joyofsix

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 07:25 AM

I was a den leader or CubMaster the whole time my kids were cubs/webelos.

.......
Sadly - I had to be a hard--- and give up worrying about offending a parent. There were certainly people who didn't like me for it - but the Pack/den sure ran a lot more smoothly :)

:iagree:
I've had to tell parents their son needed to leave and why. Sadly, I have found recruiting a couple of firm dads to keep things in check was the best policy. I'm firm but something about the dad factor....

#11 SailorMom

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 07:33 AM

:iagree:
I've had to tell parents their son needed to leave and why. Sadly, I have found recruiting a couple of firm dads to keep things in check was the best policy. I'm firm but something about the dad factor....


Yeah - I think it is their deep voices, actually. Thankfully, I was able to get around that. In fact, I was far more effective than many of the male leaders simply because I was willing to follow through and not worried about the parent's feelings.