Girl Scout Helicopter Mom.... vent!

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Girl Scout Helicopter Mom.... vent!

Post by tegansmom on Fri Mar 19, 2010 5:56 pm

I need to vent about a situation that is coming to a head with a mom in my Girl Scout troop. I lead a 1st grade Daisy troop with a co-leader who's an ex-teacher and now substitute teaches. We've been meeting since the girls started kindergarten twice a month.



I love leading the girls and they have a great time at the meetings and field trips, but there's one specific mom who refuses to leave her daughter's side at every meeting and event. Her daughter is almost a year younger than all the other girls, but because of her parenting, she throws fits like a 4 year old and doesn't interact with the other girls because she's always by her mom's side. Her mom stays at the meetings supposedly because she needs to be there in case her daughter throws a fit.



Well, at the last meeting, this particular girl started to cry and throw a fit because another girl accidently colored on her coloring sheet. She cried for almost 5 minutes with her sitting right next to her mom. So I pulled the girl aside and asked her what happened and told her that she needed to calm down because it was an accident and it shouldn't be a big deal. She calmed down for a few seconds and turned around, ran back to her mom and proceded to bawl at the top of her lungs. After a few more minutes of her mom ignoring the situation and not dealing with it, I asked the girl to come into the room next to our meeting room. I explained that this room is your "crying room" and you can come in here if you need to cry. I also explained that whenever she was ready, she could rejoin the troop. I went back into the room where her mom was sitting and told her mom that I hope that works. She looked up at me and said, "I let her cry as much as she wants." To which I explained that I didn't tell her she couldn't cry.



At this point the mom went into the other room with her daughter and I needed to get some business done with another parent.



When I was finished with my business, I went to go find the girl to see if she was ready to join the troop in a game. It took her a minute to think about it between sobs, but she came with me outside to join the girls and immediately stopped bawling and was running and laughing with the other girls immediately.



Now this mom is totally mad at me for taking her daughter into the other room to cry and bawl so she wouldn't disturb the meeting any further. She's talked about her daughter having sensory issues, but she hasn't said anything to us about how to deal with these issues. We also have another girl with the same sensory issue and she doesn't act this way and her mom drops her off and will only stay if we need the help.


As with any girl in the troop along with my own daughter, we pull the girls aside if they are disturbing the meeting to the point where we can't get things done and talk to the girl about how she needs to behave and let her rejoin the troop. To me this is the same issue, but this girl can't seem to control her sobbing/being loud so I tried to make a room for her to go to if she needs to do that.

This girl's father brought her to a meeting and spent the entire time in the "crying room" with his son doing homework and the girl was fine during the entire meeting without her father or mother.

Whew. Ok that's what happened. Now what would you do?
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Re: Girl Scout Helicopter Mom.... vent!

Post by Lori on Fri Mar 19, 2010 6:30 pm

Ask her if daddy can bring her from now on? Seriously, it sounds like you dealt with it in the best possible way. In no way should your meeting be disrupted because of one child. If she keeps it up I think I'd ask mom to rethink if her DD is ready for a Brownie troop. Helicopter moms are not doing their kids any favors. It would be less stress on both of them if mom stayed away. Mom could relax, and child could learn some social skills.

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Re: Girl Scout Helicopter Mom.... vent!

Post by thebigscott on Fri Mar 19, 2010 6:40 pm

Stick to your guns. If need be, make it an official policy that parents are not to attend the meetings (my daughter's gymnastics class has that policy and says it's to 'foster independence') or that members who disrupt meetings will be asked to leave the room, leave the meeting, or whatever suits you and your co-leader. I also wouldn't accept the special needs as being the problem. If her mom says she has special needs, tell her that you can't treat her differently from the other girls unless she can document it. Then type up a letter for the girl's Dr. to sign. Just something simple saying, "Susie Jones has sensory issues and requires the following interventions: Must not be disciplined, tantrums must not be interrupted, parent must always accompany her." See if the can get a Dr. to sign THAT! But make sure it says that if these are not the appropriate interventions that the Dr. can cross them out and write down the correct ones. That way you'll know how she really is supposed to be disciplined.
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Re: Girl Scout Helicopter Mom.... vent!

Post by chelle on Fri Mar 19, 2010 7:47 pm

THIS is why I dont deal well with idiots. and dont like kids....

I'm with Lori, you did great.

And karens idea has some merit to it... LOL I love the 'dr excuse' Smile

Now, I do stay anytime I can to watch my children. I explain to the leader/coach whatever that I dont put up with sillyness, and they are to take charge of my children. I stay for a while, to learn if they will, if they WONT and let them act like morons, or not pay attention, then I will step in and gt them in line.

Which is why I have been dugout mom since my kids started playing baseball... I make them sit and shut up. LOL

I think this woman does need to either let dad bring her, or maybe step back.. dont know how you will aproach that with mom, but it needs to be done.

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Re: Girl Scout Helicopter Mom.... vent!

Post by tegansmom on Fri Mar 19, 2010 7:58 pm

I agree with all of you and appreciate your support. Sometimes when someone comes at you with the "what the H*LL do you think your doing look", it makes you question if you were dealing with things the right way. I'm not going to deal with this topic this year, but I think next year should be a transition year for everyone since the troop will be bridging to Brownies. That makes a good excuse to change things. Now, I guess I've gotta figure out how I'm going to deal with them. I'm thinking right now that I'll sit them down at the beginning of the year and explain how things will work. I can't believe that I'm going to have to tell someone NO parent involvement! That's just crazy when it comes to Girl Scouts. Every leader I know is constantly complaining about not enough involvement.
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Re: Girl Scout Helicopter Mom.... vent!

Post by chelle on Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:21 pm

But what is her involovement? sitting there making everyone uncomfertable? Enabiling her daughter to the point that noone else can do their craft?

IF she is getting up and helping other kids, talks to others or is 'involoved' then by ALL means, keep her, just steer her in a more productive direction, but I doubt she is. and your right- its hard enough to get parents there, to have one that is breathing good air and doing nothing makes it THAT much worse!!

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Re: Girl Scout Helicopter Mom.... vent!

Post by edbson on Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:29 pm

YOU did the right thing, and as a parent of a kid with Sensory issues, I am saying this kids most likely does not have Sensory issues(If she did dhe would react no matter who is there with her). Sounds more like "spoiled brat itis"
I would speak to the Mom one on one, and ask her specifically what are the kids problems. I am betting she cannot be specific.

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Re: Girl Scout Helicopter Mom.... vent!

Post by tegansmom on Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:35 pm

Chelle:
But what is her involovement? sitting there making everyone uncomfertable? Enabiling her daughter to the point that noone else can do their craft?

The parent helps .... her daughter. Mostly makinig the craft for her. Apparently she can't do anything herself. Shocked
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Re: Girl Scout Helicopter Mom.... vent!

Post by trax on Fri Mar 19, 2010 9:08 pm

sensory issues are what? is it sensitive to people, rules, regulations, riots, chocolate?
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Re: Girl Scout Helicopter Mom.... vent!

Post by tegansmom on Fri Mar 19, 2010 9:16 pm

trax wrote:sensory issues are what? is it sensitive to people, rules, regulations, riots, chocolate?

Laughing
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Re: Girl Scout Helicopter Mom.... vent!

Post by briteasafirefly on Fri Mar 19, 2010 9:20 pm

i think you handled it very well. The mother is not doing anything to help the situation and it might be better for the father to be there or be parentless for a meeting and see how she reacts. Giving the girl a place to go so she doesn't disturb the others is a great idea...make it a rule for the entire group that if they are going to be a distraction to the group, then they will be spending some alone time in that room.
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Re: Girl Scout Helicopter Mom.... vent!

Post by tara on Fri Mar 19, 2010 10:34 pm

I feel your pain. I co lead a Kindergarten Daisy troop twice a month. We had two attached to moms leg and another mom that just liked to sit in the middle of everything and interrupt us and throw in her 67 cents regularly.

Two meetings ago we had a group of cadettes come in and work with the girls on a project and we asked the moms to go out in the library or home or whatever. ALL of the girls were engaged and happy. The ones that didn't talk and acted like your girl were talkative and happy. So the nest meeting we gathered them all in and said look. The last meeting was by far the best and most productive so from here on out no more parents. They grumbled and moaned but they all stayed out.

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Re: Girl Scout Helicopter Mom.... vent!

Post by bizzeedee on Fri Mar 19, 2010 11:12 pm

not to make light of the situation, but as Pooh would say, "oh bother" ...

And Chelle, you can't tell me you don't like kids... you've got a housefull and you love em all to death!
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Re: Girl Scout Helicopter Mom.... vent!

Post by Lori on Sat Mar 20, 2010 12:03 am

Another way to get rid of her might be to start giving her jobs and responsibilities. Shoot, if she's an adult and she's there, act like she has volunteered to co-lead the group. That should scare her away real fast. Ask her to bring stuff, help plan stuff, help the girls out...no excuses from her since she's an able body.

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Re: Girl Scout Helicopter Mom.... vent!

Post by thebigscott on Sat Mar 20, 2010 12:10 am

trax wrote:sensory issues are what? is it sensitive to people, rules, regulations, riots, chocolate?

It's one of the newer things they diagnose kids with (as opposed to when we were kids and it was rare to be diagnosed with anything). In genuine cases, common sounds and sensations are overwhelming to the kid. Like my husband can't stand the sound of paper being creased. He says it's as bad as fingernails on a chalkboard. When he was a kid they told him that it wasn't bothering anyone else and he'd have to just get over it. Today they would have diagnosed him with Sensory Integration Disorder and wanted his family to practice coping techniques. For kids who really are being driven crazy by things the rest of us don't notice, those techniques help them calm down and try to tune it out. But for kids who don't really have a problem, it's a handy excuse for their parents to throw out there to explain why their kids aren't behaving
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Re: Girl Scout Helicopter Mom.... vent!

Post by Lori on Sat Mar 20, 2010 12:21 am

My youngest has always been very sensitive to loud sounds, be it thunder, music, movie theater audio, fireworks. Not afraid of them, really, just hyper-sensitive. I would be inside the house on the 4th of July with him on my lap and him with his hands over his ears...watching, but not listening.

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Re: Girl Scout Helicopter Mom.... vent!

Post by thebigscott on Sat Mar 20, 2010 12:25 am

Lori wrote:Another way to get rid of her might be to start giving her jobs and responsibilities. Shoot, if she's an adult and she's there, act like she has volunteered to co-lead the group. That should scare her away real fast. Ask her to bring stuff, help plan stuff, help the girls out...no excuses from her since she's an able body.

That's what we always did when Scott and I lead the cub scouts. Adults were not allowed to sit around or just interact with their own kids. They either had to leave or be in charge of helping all the kids with one aspect of what we were doing. We made metal wind chimes one time and had to solder them and drill holes, etc. Every parent came (even the ones who had never done anything like that) and they got a brief tutorial while the kids had their dinner. Then they ran the program while Scott and I cleaned up the dinner.

We always had dinner rather than a snack because the only time we could all meet was after work. So they all brought their whole families (we only had 5 kids in our den) and the brothers and sisters did everything the cubs did. It sounds like a ton of extra work, but it wasn't. We took turns bringing dinners, ate pizza or KFC or mac 'n cheese and bagged salad off paper plates, and then there wasn't any stress about people having to rush home for dinner. We only served juice so no caffiene to cranck the kids up, and since we were meeting in a facility that had folding tables and chairs and a sink, it wasn't too hard for one or two parents to put all the tables and chairs away while the kids did their projects. The little brothers and sisters were old enough to do almost everything the cubs did, and when they weren't, they were so busy playing with each other that it wasn't a problem to keep them out of the way.

But the point is, the parents weren't just sitting there with their own little darling. They didn't have time. They were too busy running the show.
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Re: Girl Scout Helicopter Mom.... vent!

Post by tegansmom on Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:47 pm

Thanks everyone, you've made some great suggestions. I may have to rethink how I do things and delegate a bit more at the meetings.

Thanks for all the support also! It takes me awhile to really decide how I want to deal with a situation and it helped to have all your input. Now the whole situation just makes me mad because they treat thier daughter like that and I have to deal with them more than I'd like.
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Re: Girl Scout Helicopter Mom.... vent!

Post by Lori on Thu Apr 01, 2010 8:26 am

Best of luck to you, tegansmom. Dealing with other people's kids is really frustrating.

I had a problem boy in cub scouts. Eough time has passed that I can laugh about the time his mom came to pick him up from a meeting and he was running wild while I dealt with some paperwork. I told her to get him off the chairs and she came back to me and said "He says you told him to stand on the chair???" LOL I just looked at her like WTF? And my SIL took a Sunday School class and was reduced to tears over the behavior of some of the kids. She felt so bad that she couldn't handle them, but again - other people's kids. She never volunteered to take a class again.

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Re: Girl Scout Helicopter Mom.... vent!

Post by thebigscott on Thu Apr 01, 2010 12:54 pm

It's a hard situation because some people not only don't discipline their own kids, they become offended if you do.

But if you're the one doing the work, I believe you have a say. Feel free to ignore me and do what's right for you, but I think life will be better if you don't back down.
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Re: Girl Scout Helicopter Mom.... vent!

Post by tegansmom on Thu Apr 01, 2010 1:06 pm

Karen, I agree. I know the line will need to be drawn and then enforce the what is decided. I definately don't want to have to deal with this again in the future, since we'll probably add some girls to our troop next year.

Once I make up my mind about what to do with the situation I'll be able to stand my ground. Next year is sure going to be interesting!
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Re: Girl Scout Helicopter Mom.... vent!

Post by thebigscott on Thu Apr 01, 2010 1:14 pm

It probably will, but I bet in the long run you and the girls will enjoy it a lot more. Just take your time thinking about what you really want and what other parents and kids need to be doing for that to happen. You won't make everyone happy, but you'll make 90% of the families happy and that's better than everyone being miserable to please one person.
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Re: Girl Scout Helicopter Mom.... vent!

Post by tegansmom on Thu Apr 01, 2010 6:37 pm

I think I'm going to work on options for this parent for next year so I can present them to her and let her decide how she's going to participate. Here's the options we came up with:

1. Let her become a leader and take on responsibility.

2. Drop her daughter off at the meetings and then leave. If there's problems, she can decide how she wants us to deal with them. (Pick up her daughter, let us deal with the problem at the meeting, or perhaps a combination of the two)

3. Let her Lead another troop of Daisies. I have about 8 girls right now waiting to get into a troop. She could then do things the way she wants.

I think she needs to be told the options and have the entire option laid out, but I think all the options will work. I honestly don't think she's the type of parent to do ANY leading, so I don't know how she's going to deal with any of these options. Should be interesting though. I'll let you guys know how everything goes after we talk to her about this. I'm going to get together with her some time next week to go over things. We do have a meeting tonight and I'm curious how things will go tonight!
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Re: Girl Scout Helicopter Mom.... vent!

Post by bizzeedee on Thu Apr 01, 2010 7:06 pm

kudos, great options to present... and from all I've read, she won't pick leading a group of Daisys.... which would be a blessing to any girl in a troup she might lead, especially if her daugher were in the group. I would just be sorry to hear she chooses none of the above and pulls her daughter out. As a lifetime member of the Girls of the USA (and worked for them in a council for 10+ years) it would be a real lose for the child. I totally believe in the program.
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Re: Girl Scout Helicopter Mom.... vent!

Post by Lori on Thu Apr 01, 2010 7:30 pm

I can't wait to hear how it goes tonight.

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