Homepage Forums Cub Scouts Disruptive Parents

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    • #65440

      I’ve often seen complaints that BSA does not stand for “Baby Sitters of America” in regard to parents who are not active participants and just drop their kids off and leave. Well what do you do if they just drop their kids off, but DON’T leave? Some of our dens have a problem with parents attending the meeting but just hanging out socializing and not being part of the program. I got a report from one of our den leaders that last night, not only did they not help out with their unruly child (during a guest speaker’s talk no less) they ignored the leader when she specifically asked for help! We meet in a one room hall, so having people talking in the back is a big disruption to the meeting, with flag and talk time activities being particularly difficult to keep focused. We have tried addressing this in general, but when we bring it up at pack meetings the worst offenders are off in the corner not listening anyway. Any tips or advice on how to get them to either participate or leave?

    • #65461

      Sounds like time for a one on one conversation with the parents. One of the issues may be that expectations for involvement have not been well-communicated?


    • #66908

      Private conversation! How about: Hey Mary/Mike – ‘I’m going to need your help with your Scout sometimes. Especially if I specifically ask during a meeting. We,the adults, should all be trying to model helpful, friendly, courteous, and kind with the Scouts. So, if you could help with this it would be great. Also, I’m going to need you to be part of that during a Den/Pack meeting whether your in front with me or in the back with several other parents politely chatting. Also, if the chatting becomes disruptive to what we’re doing up front, I’m going to have to ask that we focus on helping the Scouts to ‘do their best’ during the meeting. Is there something I can do or answer so that you can help me with that when it comes up again?’

    • #69914

      This is one of my pet peeves. For the den meetings, the den leader can remind the grown ups to keep conversation low. Also, learn the parents’ names and give them jobs. Amy, will you please line the boys up for the obstacle course, Jack, will you please be the timer, Bob, will you please be the scorekeeper, Scott will you grab stray balls from the ball toss? Etc.

      Some people are just chatty. You can ask them to talk more quietly or to cease talking or to go in the hall, or outside, etc. Do it with kindness every time, because you want these parents to enjoy Scouting and stick with the program.

      For the pack meetings, the grown-ups should be the audience for the flag ceremony, and participate. So your Cubmaster can open the night by saying something prior to the flag ceremony — Welcome to tonight’s meeting everyone – thanks to all the families for supporting your son’s Scouting journey. Tonight the Tigers will be our color guard, please give them your attention and support.

      So encourage it, and give directions during activity transitions — kids, you are doing X, parents and family members, please do X with your Scout, or do y or support your scout, etc. etc.

      Also, don’t be afraid to nicely ask a parent or give them a little tap on the shoulder. Very nicely, and with a smile.

      It’s great that parents become friends in Scouting and their interactions with each other can be a great thing. I love that my Den parents are close and support each other and cheer for each other’s kids. They have become a strong tribe. They know you have work to do and want you and their kids to be successful so just guide them kindly the best you can.

    • #74677

      What do you do when the most disruptive parent is also on the pack committee? The Den Leader is new and at every turn this parent instigates drama. The Den Leader is close to resigning and many others have observed the parent’s harassing and aggressive behavior. The pack knows clearly how disruptive this parent is but is so short for volunteers, they refuse to address the situation. Regrettably, this parent has chased away many good volunteers and membership is at an all time low. What do we do?

      • #75953

        Oh the “bad adult” scenario… happens too often and is never fun.

        Facilitate a dialog (always be friendly and positive!), but keep in mind that ONLY the Charter Organization can hire/fire adult leaders if it comes down to that. It’s not up to the Committee, unless the CO has delegated that authority down the chain.

        Engage the parent in a conversation and make sure to loop in your COR. Talk! Don’t send heated or epic-length emails. Ask for their help, explain exactly what that means, and then if it remains a problem, don’t be afraid to ask them to move along! Better to over-task 5 good people than have 10 chuckle-heads screwing things up. Remember, a “good” program will make it easier to recruit more volunteers, but NO ONE wants to be part of chaos.

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