Total Disrespect - Try at scouts was a disaster

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by OpenWindow, Oct 9, 2007.

  1. OpenWindow

    OpenWindow Active Member

    How do you handle the complete disrespect. He does it to me nightly, and I've sort of become numb to it. He gets consequences and we hope in time he'll learn, but I'm beginning to doubt it. Usually he leaves the worst of the disrespect for me. Last night, he went all out on a cub scout leader.

    He begged and begged me to let him join scouts. He's been getting along at school better than last year, but probably because he's in a self-contained classroom most of the day so there's just less interacting. Against my judgment, I took him to a scout meeting last night. I thought maybe I was wrong and everyone else was right about him handling other kids better. Only took him 10 minutes to get into an argument with a couple of kids, and decided he wanted to quit.

    The scout leader sat with him to try to talk to him. difficult child was so disrespectful to this man, I couldn’t even believe it. He had a smart aleck comeback for everything this man was saying. Like when he said “sometimes life doesn’t go the way you want it and you just have to do things you don’t want to do,” difficult child said, “Yeah, and I bet you had to walk 4 miles to school both ways when you were a kid. Another lie adults tell kids.” He's acted this way to me and to teachers he knows well, but never someone he's met for the first time.

    I had my doubts, but never imagined it would turn out as bad as it did, and as quickly as it did. When we got home, he calmed down and we talked a little. He can tell me exactly how he should have handled it, and could tell me why is what so bad that he talked to this man that way. He knew he embarrassed me, he said he disappointed me and himself. That’s what is so hard. He knows how he is supposed to act, and he can even see how it effects other people, and he feels bad about it. Why can’t we get through to him when he’s in the middle of a confrontation, why can't he see it before he does this?

  2. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Hmmm... Scouts is a very cliquish thing. At 11 he should be joining Boy Scouts rather than Cubs. Many of the Scouts at that age have been together in Scouting for 6 years, so coming in at that age can be a disadvantage.

    There are special Scout Troops for special needs boys. I don't know that it would be useful in your case if your son wanted to join in order to be with a particular group of boys, or if he just embarrassed himself so badly that he doesn't dare to show his face again.

    I'm sorry that he was so awful. Eleven is an awful age. He sounds a lot like M.
  3. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    sorry that it went so bad last night at scouts. We tried it to when my difficult child was about 9. He thought it would be all soap box derbies and games. Didn't know you had to sit and learn and listen as well! Fortunately I just bought the hat and kerchif and wasn't out a lot of bucks!

    Sorry I have no words from wisdom for you. It's tough finding things that our difficult children to do outside of home and school.

  4. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    I don't have any words of wisdom either, just hugs and support.

    The only way that my difficult child was able to get by in cub scouts when he was that SO was the Cub Scout leader, so he was there at all the meetings and was able to keep difficult child somewhat in control.
    Even then it was a struggle.

    My difficult child has a similar diagnosis to yours, and they do tend to have a lot of trouble with group activities.

    I've grown pretty numb to the disrespect too, and I think that's the answer. difficult child is pushing for a fight...he seems to thrive on confrontation...and not letting him have one is often more punishment for him than all of the other consequences put together.

    All the best,
  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Travis wouldn't have lasted 10 mins in scouts. He just couldn't do the group thing at that age. And all of the activity, needing to follow direction, ect would've have him in a state of constant agitation. Too much stimuli.

    He did, however, do very well in soccer. But then, I was also his coach with my close friend the asst coach. lol Since we were used to him it worked out well. But he only managed a year. After that the other boys had zoomed so far ahead of him in social and maturity it just wasn't going to work.

  6. Linda,

    I'm so sorry that you had to go through this experience. I would say though, if there is a troop in your area that works with special needs boys you might want to check it out. Boy Scouts was a wonderful experience both for easy child and difficult child. It took husband or me being there for every meeting, trip, etc for difficult child. He had some wonderful experiences that he would have never had otherwise and made some lasting relationships (at least on his level of relating).

    It's hard to come in as a new guy if the troop has been together for years. Especially for a difficult child. I'd try to find another troop where he can have a fresh start. It sounds like he was really overwhelmed by the experience and the behaviors started.

    Good luck!
  7. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    All 4 of my sons are in scouting and it is generally a very positive thing.

    My second son, 13, was a true handful when younger, he was the difficult child who brought me to the board 7 years ago under a now long forgotten other name. Believe me when I say that I did not think he would live until middle school, let alone boy scouts. He was a horror in cub scouts, so H and I were essentially his leaders. He is now 2 years into Boy Scouting and is almost an Eagle Scout.

    The main difference between cub and boy scouts is that in the latter, there is so much more personal responsibility and expectations on a boy. For my son, the realization that adults trusted him and relied on him was life-changing. At age 11, he was elected (by his peers)to the Order of the Arrow and was the youngest boy to attend the national convention (1,000 miles from home and without a parent) last year! The only complaint we got was that he didn't like to shower every day!

    I would talk to your council about a special needs troop or about seeking out a leader who can work with difficult children. I would also, since he is 11, put him in Boy not Cub, scouts, The older boys can be a settling influence. My difficult child behaved because he wanted the older boys to like him and not think he was in a pain in the butt. He didn't care what younger kids thought (another plus, he does now and is even an assistant leader for a den of third grade boys).

    Many times the meetings can seem disorganized and that makes a difficult child act out. One of my friends does not bring his son to pack meetings but he enjoys his smaller den gatherings. You can make a choice about what to do.

    However, I wouldn't give up after just one try.

    Good luck.
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    If scouts didnt work you and you live anywhere near a suburb or the country, try 4H. They are more laid back and hands on from my experience with them. Personally if they could handle Cory, they can handle anything!

    My boys were in 4H from age 6 up till gosh...I cant remember...maybe age 12 or so. They loved it. They raised chickens, rabbits, goats and all sorts of things. dont have to do all that. They do other sorts of things too. They even have camps in the summer. Cory went to his first overnite camp when he was 6! And the camp survived Cory!!!
  9. OpenWindow

    OpenWindow Active Member

    There were only 6 kids at this meeting - it's a new troop forming in our small town. Most of the kids are new this year. I had a talk with the scout leader beforehand who said they had a few ADHD kids with behavior problems,he was fine with trying.

    difficult child is ready to try again next week, I just don't know if I am! The leader said as I was leaving that he would welcome difficult child back next week if he wanted to try again. I will be out of town so I get to put it off another week. I'm not sure if there's a special needs boy scout troop in the area, but I'm going to look into it if difficult child still wants to try.

    I've also been told about 4-H by a few people and am looking into it.

    difficult child has been in soccer, karate, dance and he just has a really hard time. I don't want to tell him he can't try, but he just doesn't seem to learn with each new experience.
  10. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Linda, I think if the Scoutmaster is willing to give it a try again then maybe you should let your difficult child try again too. With a talk, of course, about expectations of behavior. Maybe a one on one with the Scoutmaster without the entire troop sitting there waiting for him? It seems like our kids are rarely given a second chance.

    I would suggest that you consider contacting your District Council office, and ask them for guidance in helping your son with Special Needs Scouting. They have a volunteer who can come into your troop (usually a therapist or a doctor, someone in the know) and help your son to integrate into the troop. That would be a really wonderful thing.
  11. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Well-Known Member

    Kudos to the scout master for being willing to take him back. He must really love kids. I'm with Witz, I'd try again. But I'd also talk to difficult child about how the leader may have felt, and the fact that he isn't giving up on him. Maybe... difficult child can start to learn some empathy from this situation. {{{Hugs}}}
  12. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    I have avoided scouts like the plague. It would just be sensory over load for difficult child, or he would want to show off for everyone and then disaster would strike. If he wants to try again and the leader is willing, let him try. As long as you can handle him trying
  13. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm sorry it went so badly. Interestingly enough difficult child asked today why we didn't sign him up for boy scouts. I know for him it would never work. Luckily I was able to tell him we didn't sign him up because he hadn't asked.
  14. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I'd give the scout leader a big hug for trying again and being so understanding. I'd definitely try again.

    My thoughts when I read his response to the scout leader was that it's a defense mechanism. Low self-esteem, anxiety, a combination or whatever...when he feels like he's being put on the spot, he's going to put up that wall and 'get' you before you 'get' him...that tough guy exterior to hide the fragile guy on the inside. If it is at all related to that, success in a group - this or another - might help him with that. If a group this size is too much, look for a smaller group, a special needs group or even something like Big Brother's.

    Of course, I could be way off base here. It was just my initial thought.
  15. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    My difficult child tried scouts when he was in 1st grade. EF named B was into Scouts. EF's dad was the assistant leader. Mom's were supposed to let go and leave the kids there. Dad's could stay, but EF's dad wanted it to be "guy time" as lots of the kids never got time iwth Dads, or other adult male influences.

    EF's mom (who I liked) called after the 2nd meeting. Said she needed to talk, and hoped I wouldn't get upset.

    I knew at that point things hadn't gone well!!!

    Apparently my lovely, precious, adorable difficult child started rolling around on the floor while they tried to teach them something. Then started marching around telling them he would not recite any pledge and they could not make an "automoton" out of him. I think I spelled it wrong. The dads all thought my son was extremely disturbed (none of htem knew he was jsut using a big word for robot - at least in his mind)and rather scary.

    Your son is not the only one who has a hard time, my son never again tried the scouts, though many people tried to talk me into trying it again.

    At least your son sees what he did was not appropriate. My little dictionary reading 6yo would NEVER have admitted that to me. He truly felt he was smarter than these men, and so he would never have admitted his behavior was wrong.


    Susie in OK
    me- 37- fibro, migraines, depression, on new medications including lidoderm patch, pain medications managed by doctor, and prozac.
    husband 48- works an hour away. Great Hubby!
    difficult child-son-15-, lives with Gma and Gpa. Is on medications. doing very well. Driving, EEK!
    easy child-dtr-12-PTSD, Absence Epilepsy, Keppra, Midrin, Sweetest kid on earth!
    difficult child/easy child-son-7-Sensory Integration Disorder (SID), brushing, allergy medications, always keeps us laughing! 2nd grade!! Magician in training!

    Just lost our beloved Freckles at age 15.
    Kitten named Gracie lou Freebush, total card!
    Cockatiel named Goldi who has major attitude
  16. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts


    My husband earned his Eagle Scout badge. He's been a troop co-leader for wm's troop.

    Having said that, scouts was a environment that wm just could not handle. The same disrespect & wm's inability to maintain for any given period of time made it impossible for him to continue.

    husband was sorely disappointed & sad for wm. We gave it an honest try; wm was in a troop with about 4 other special needs boys. The parents were all real "troopers", if you will.

    We're still looking for something that wm excels at that he can join. Unfortunately, like your difficult child, wm's mouth makes it nearly impossible for him to find a club, organization or sports activity that can tolerate this level of disrespect & defiance.

    I'm sorry for your difficult child - I hope things work out better at the next meeting.
  17. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Linda, you asked, "Why can’t we get through to him when he’s in the middle of a confrontation, why can't he see it before he does this?"

    Linda, I think the reason is in his diagnosis. Normal, expected behaviour simply doesn't get picked up by these kids. Where we teach 'normal' kids, and they learn a lot simply from being around each other, kids anywhere near the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) scale simply DO NOT LEARN social interaction the same way. They cannot pick it up by osmosis.

    You view this as disrespect. I do not. And I think you need to stop seeing it as disrespect, and begin seeing it as difficult child simply not able to understand, without detailed, on-the-spot instruction over and over, PLUS consistent example being shown which matches what he is told, on what sort of behaviour rules are required.

    I think this wonderful scoutmaster sees this, or he would not have wanted difficult child back. Witz, that volunteer suggestion is a really good one. As I see it, difficult child basically needs an aide, in this setting, at least until he gets a feel for how it works. That scoutmaster sounds like a gem, definitely hang on to him.

    We do tend to be hypersensitive to our kids out in public. We feel easily shamed by their behaviour, as a reflection on our ability as parents. But with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) kids you need to ignore that and keep your focus on what the child is thinking and feeling, in order to eventually lead that child to where other people are thinking and feeling. By always thinking of your own shame caused by difficult child, you're not helping him understand.

    Why is this not disrespect? To answer this, you need to understand what respect is, from difficult child's point of view. What have you tried to teach him about respect? What do you feel his understanding seems to be? Think about his behaviour in a number of situations, as you consider this. You have your own definition, he certainly doesn't sound like he meets your definition at home. Why? Kids do not choose to be disrespectful unless there is something in it for them. Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) kids as a rule are very law-abiding. The catch is, it's THEIR laws they tend to follow as a priority. And you can't change that merely with your words.
    Think about his environment. What influences are more important to him, in teaching him about how to interact with others? We'd like to say parents are, but only up to school age. He's now 11. He goes to a mainstream school? So how does he get on with the other kids? How does he get on with the teachers? How does he cope in class, with the noise and distraction? Some Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) kids do better than others. If his class social group are fairly bright, gentle and decent kids, then his personal rules should be closer to what you've tried to teach him. But if those kids are like that then that is very rare. More likely, difficult child has experienced a fair bit of teasing and bullying. Unless the teasing was ALL dealt with immediately, effectively and appropriately by the teachers, then difficult child has learnt different social rules. He has also learnt "Do as I do, not do as I say." And THIS is what you are seeing as disrespect. What is happening, in fact, is he is following the rules he has developed for himself. He IS being law-abiding.

    These rules can be changed, but only by increasing his experience of appropriate justice.
    An example of learning wrong rules: A child with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) in a mainstream setting is TOLD, from the beginning, "Do not hit others. Do not be mean. Do not tell lies." and so on. They're also told, "If someone hurts you, or is mean to you, tell a teacher and they will fix it."
    Then the child observes - while SOMETIMES a teacher will intervene, most times the teacher will not (because the teacher is not present). The child sees (or experiences) a child hitting, and either nothing is done or our Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) child is punished for hitting back. Meanwhile, the kid who started it gets off scot free. And this happens over and over. Our child learns - you CAN hit back, but you mustn't get caught. Or he learns, "Pete can hit me, but I can't hit anyone back because I am the one who gets into trouble."
    A very sad event from difficult child 3's elementary/middle school experience - we had just changed schools because he had been so constantly bullied, and always got punished often for just defending himself. His attitude to other kids was increasingly hostile as he had developed his own understanding of behaviour patterns - first a kid yells insults, then he starts to hit you and maybe gets his friends to hit you, then difficult child 3 gets into trouble for fighting and the other kids call him names about it and laugh about it.
    So at his new school, day 1, a kid bumps into difficult child 1 and says, "Get out of my way, you retard."
    difficult child 3 follows the kid into the playground and says, "Aren't you going to hit me now? Why aren't you hitting me?"
    The other boy, to his credit, runs and gets a teacher. The other boy thought difficult child 3 was asking him to hit him ("Go on, I dare you,") but in fact difficult child 3 was simply puzzled as to why the usual rules he had learnt, had not been followed (rule - first the name calling, then the hitting).
    When difficult child 3 was questioned he said, "I wanted him to tell me why he wasn't hitting me. Because they always hit and I just wanted it over with."

    Your difficult child has developed his own rules, because what he has been taught verbally by you, by his teachers etc simply does not match what he has observed for himself, in the rough and tumble of life. As he gets older his rules can become more complex and he can slowly be made to understand that yes, some people break the rules (which is wrong) but he is not permitted to. Part of his mind will still wonder why they aren't punished for breaking the rules (and he will be very resentful of this).

    We had to change the way we dealt with difficult child 3. We found that the more we tried to rule strictly, the worse he got. When we increasingly heard our voices coming back at us from him, we began to get the message. When you hear your child say, "Because I said so, that's why!" or "When I said I wanted a drink of milk now, I didn't think I'd be still waiting for it half an hour later. What have you been doing with your time?"
    We interpret this as disrespect, but in reality it is what he has received from those in authority - they are showing him how to behave, by their own behaviour. And he is NOT doing this with a twinkle in his eye to show you up - he is doing this in the belief that this is how people are supposed to relate to one another - because that's how people relate to him.
    I've noticed with other Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) kids too, not just mine - they don't seem to distinguish between children and adults. They do not recognise authority. They DO recognise scholarship - someone who is clearly an expert in their field will get their respect, while dealing with that field. But again an example from difficult child 3 when he first started school - a teacher at that school uses her authority to bully kids. She uses sarcasm far too much. She also should have know better, than to suddenly begin to ring a loud handbell, right behind difficult child 3.
    He turned and shouted at her. "EXCUUUSE ME!" (She's lucky he didn't swear at her, but he hadn't been at school long enough at that stage to have picked up the bad language).
    The teacher said loudly, "No, I'm the teacher, you're supposed to excuse ME!"
    Most kids would have withered at her tone and stance, but difficult child 3 had by this point turned around and walked away (to get away from the loud bell). The teacher had tried to make an impression and ended up with egg on her face. I was gleefully told about this by other kids present, who really enjoyed seeing this teacher put in hr place (apparently) by a little kid who really had no idea he'd just been rude to anyone. In his mind, she started it by making a loud noise and scaring him. In his mind, she needed to be told to not be so rude.

    We've learnt (the hard way) that there are a lot of things you should NOT do to an autistic child. You shouldn't use sarcasm. You should be very clear in what you say. You shouldn't use any tone or language or attitude to a child that you would find unacceptable coming back at you from that child. So if difficult child 3 is throwing a tantrum, we stay calm and say, "Why are you shouting? I'm not shouting at you."

    You can still be firm. You can still be strict. But you need to almost turn the usual parenting methods upside down, because what works for a "normal" kid can be absolute disaster for a Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) kid. But when you get it right - it's almost magic. You will still have problems, simply because their social maturity is often stuck at the toddler stage. difficult child 3 has made amazing progress - he is almost 14 and now has the social maturity level of about an 8 year old. For him - this is almost miraculous. About a year ago I'd have been calling him my 5 year old genius.

    We do follow Ross Greene - it helped us the most. And we learned to leave the social stuff very much in the background, only deal with a tiny part of the whole problem, or we would overwhelm him and us in our attempts to fix everything.

    Our other kids were given high standards to follow, in terms of showing respect. We've learnt to not go there, with difficult child 3. However, at last it's on the agenda for us, as long as we take care again to not overwhelm him. He's learning the new rules, the ones we always wanted him to follow. And he's learning them because they now do, in fact apply, as his own observations of life around him tells him.

    Given time and support your difficult child should do well. Try and get into his head and don't react to what you see as disrespect - ignore it and move on until he's back into the group. THEN maybe talk it through, role-play it. Ask him where he learnt to respond in the way he did. But ask quietly, calmly, as if you want him to teach you. Learn to back away from a confrontation, then go back to what you need to deal with when you can. Only work on a very small number of issues at a time, never an entire catalogue. And if something you're working on with him is getting nowhere, chances are it's simply beyond his capability at that time. It can be surprising what our kids can't do, when they seem so capable in other ways.
    difficult child 1 was unable to use the telephone at 11 (hey, even years later). I told him he could invite his friends to see a movie with us, but HE had to ring them up. He was in floods of tears over his inability to over come his fear. We finally had to compromise - I made the call, ensured the correct person was on the phone, then handed ti to difficult child 1 who then talked over the phone.

    You can motivate a kid; you can punish a kid; you can lecture a kid; you can rally tutor a kid; but if they simply are not capable of doing what you want, you will not succeed. And you ALL will feel like failures, including difficult child. Instead, value the successes and praise them. Know that this is a long hard road but if you've made a start in the right direction you WILL get there. It just takes longer and there is some unexpected scenery on the way.

    Good luck with scouts next meeting!