Have u had success with- cub scouts & difficult child?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by lovemychocolate, Feb 20, 2009.

  1. lovemychocolate

    lovemychocolate New Member

    I think team sports are out for difficult child. I'll sign difficult child up for golf this spring, but for now, I had been contemplating cub scouts for the boy activities. We've been to several meetings and difficult child has actually enjoyed being around other boys. He hasn't wanted to participate in all the activities, but has enjoyed some. The other night some of the boys were getting some patches and difficult child got upset that he wasn't getting any and wanted to leave--we did, but really only becasue it was late and he was tired and I wanted to head off a potential melt-down.

    I'm wondering if other mom's have had any "luck" matching an ODD difficult child with- cub scouts? I'm really new to scouts, but I'm thrilled with the all boy aspect of it. I'm still feeling the whole thing out and am on the fence right now.
  2. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    My difficult child had a great time in cub scouts, and fared very successfully. However, husband signed on as a cub scout leader, and was with difficult child for every meeting, every jamboree, every cookout and camping trip.

    Without husband's presence, I think it would have been a disaster.

    difficult child has a severe case of attachment-dependent functioning with husband. In husband's presence, he can function at near-neurotypical levels for many tasks and activities. Without husband there to act as his rock and centre-point, he's a mess.

    Just my experience. Hope the information helps.

  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    My difficult child caused all sorts of confusion for his 1st grade troop leader. His wife was a friend and was so scared I would be mad when they called to tell me he was REALLY out of line (rolling around on the floor yelling "I will not be an automaton and you can't make me!" while the boys were learning the Boy Scout Motto and what have you. - I can ROFL at it NOW, but then it was mortifying!)

    thank you, who has some real difficult child moments, esp in group activities, is doing wonderfully with the exception of the bullying the other week (He got bullied, he didn't bully anyone.). With thank you it is mostly sensory stuff and social issues. I strongly feel the troop/den/whatever leader is the best predictor of whether a difficult child will do well in a troop. Our troop has a number of difficult children in it. It does help that most kids have a parent there to help out during meetings. Not every troop has that.

    All I can suggest is to try it. Let him see - but maybe hold off on buying the uniform unless you can find it used. Lots of the activities for badges are done at home, so kids who don't want to do them in a group can still earn the badges on a number of things.
  4. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Our cub scout troop has 12 boys and about half are difficult children. The leader is great about letting the boys do what they can and modifying whenever it is needed. We also have 4-5 parents that stay and help every meeting. I usually go with Tigger but husband has taken him a couple of times as well. We don't leave him alone. Cub Scout camp was long and we didn't make it the whole week but it was fun.

    I would make sure that difficult child earns at least one award each pack night. There are a bunch of Academic and Sports awards that they can earn on their own (with family). You can modify as needed for special needs.

    I was very nervous about joining but so far it has gone really well.
  5. compassion

    compassion Member

    My son has had a good experince with socuts but I chose troops that would best fit him (very active). A lot of troopsare Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) like so I am sure there is a fit. I also was always there as a cub and very active as a boy socut. He got his Eagle this fall and is now assistant socut master. The trrop he was in though for a lot of it was veryout of the box. Cubscouts are much more familly friendly than boy socuts.
    I do think though indiviidual sports are the best outlets, espeically martial arts. They allow movment but are ritualistic. My son loved the sport of feincing and he still does. We did soccer for 9 years but really tem sports was not the best.
  6. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    My difficult child barely tolerated cub scouts but went because his friends were there.

    In grade 5, he moved up in to Boy Scouts and now, at 14, he is a few merit badges and a project away from earning his Eagle Scout. I never thought he'd make it but the structure of Boy Scouts just meshed with him. He has become a leader, an instructor, one of the youngest scouts (11) ever chosen to be in the Order of the Arrow (and he's at the second of 3 levels so far and is not in long enough to move up again yet).

    The success he felt in scouts finally showed up in school. His grades improved and he was placed in honor level classes. Scouts taught my anxious perfectionist that it's ok not to be perfect the first time out and that it's ok if other people are better than you at certain things as long as you give it your best effort. For instance, he stinks at knot tying but he's the fastest firestarter around (except maybe for Carrie!) so he works with other kids on knotting skills and tasks and helps other with fire making. Our scoutmaster is a great guy who really relates to all of the kids.

    Ironically, I have found that the difficult children in my son's troop are doing better than the neuro-typical kids. My 7th grader is bored and not advancing as quickly as his brother. The difficult children crave the structure and the camaraderie of scouts and they know nobody will tease or judge them (at least in this troop). I have also found that many Boy Scouts (and I have had 3 myself) are more out of the box than normal kids.

    Individual sports are nice but you have to get the kids to want to do it. My difficult child hated martial arts and barely tolerated team sports. In his scout troop, he plays dodge ball and goes on hikes and bike rides. He's also doing better in gym in school. He actually got an A this quarter (last year they called us complaining because he ran the quarter mile in 20 minutes! on purpose!)
  7. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Duckie was a Daisy and is now a Brownie. What I like about scouting is that there tends to be variety of kids and respect is really stressed. I think it's important to look for a troop that you child with find comfortable. Duckie is in the "slacker" troop in our area. They sell cookies and do a few booths and work on their badges but it's not real intense. It works for her. Some troops do things every weekend, we do a few special things a year. I think it's also important to find a sympathetic leader that doesn't think your child is just bratty or difficult and is willing to patient.
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Sorry, we barely made it through. difficult child could not focus. He only did well when they had physical activities.
    He did pretty well at camp, though. And it gave me a break!
  9. lillians

    lillians lillians

    for our daughter who is now 16 all clubs were out if she had to follow instructions at a higher level than she was able which lol is all,,all crafts all songs in brownies or guides,, just to challenging,, as she got older she did play spec olympic sports a tad,,
  10. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    All you can do, in my humble opinion, is give it a try. Don't start unless a parent can be there on a regular basis AND you have spoken to the leaders to make sure they don't expect easy child behaviors all the time. Parents with easy child's honestly can't be criticized for expecting top behavior....those of us with a mix of easy child and difficult child kids understand the difference.

    One sport that has been endorsed by a bunch of CD parents is bowling. It is a sport that allows activity, gives frequent rewards and although in teams allows individuality. That was most successful with my last difficult child. Good luck. DDD
  11. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    We tried soccer, martial arts, and cub scouts. difficult child, especially when younger, just didn't do the whole group thing well. He wasn't a team player. Perhaps he would do better now, but he exhibits no desire.

    We try to do some of the physical stuff here like riding bikes, skootering, and taking him to the gym to swim. He's met a couple friends at the gym and he seems to prefer the free play, "do whatever", rather than the "now it's time to.." approach. And, since he's doing so much better in school lately, I just chaulk that up to his structured time and leave the rest for his dictate (within reason of course)!

  12. My difficult child is in Cub Scouts and doing well most of the time. However, husband is always there -- we don't just drop him off. He doesn't actually behave worse than many of the boys there. Heck, you have a room full of small boys and you'd have to expect chaos, anyway!

    I think it's good for my difficult child to have social opportunities in places other than school. Scouts works perfectly for that, and as he gets older, I think we will be able to let him go unsupervised. [We are talking years, though!] But for now, husband goes every time ... and occasionally hauls him home early.
  13. Scouts are great if it will work. We did sports for a few years, but difficult child is now offically retired.

    Let him enjoy what he wants if it's purely a social thing and it works for everyone; I made the mistake of taking away difficult child's guitar lessons because he refused to practice at all and didn't want to go to most lessons (only about half) - but he did enjoy it when he went. He won't even touch his guitar now. In hindsight, I wish I had just paid the $20 a week - regardless of we went or not.