Author Topic: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.  (Read 16758 times)

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Green Bean

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Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
« on: May 25, 2013, 07:22:31 AM »
BG: I'm a Daisy GS troop leader (currently first graders). When we have an opening in our troop, we are supposed to take a girl from the wait list (if there is one) before we add other members. There is one first grader from our school in the official wait list, and two other parents we have spoken with directly but officially on "the list". The formal process anything but clearly communicated, and I'm the only leader/volunteer from my troop that was even aware of it. (We also started the middle of the school year so we are all learning the ins and outs of this whole scouting thing.)

BG 2: the girl on the wait list is the "class mean girl". My daughter and others call her a bully, but I think that term may be too strong. I can tell you that for a 7yo, she is a piece of work. Even my daughters teacher said she us "mean" when I had to address some issues this past year. This girlives on our street and i know the mom. i really like her even, but never spoke to her about issues with her daughter (avoidance was easier). End BG.

Our troop has 2 girls leaving us st the end of this school year (next couple weeks). So, in an attempt at inclusion and hopefully some positive role modeling, (and a desire to follow the rules) my co-leader and I are going to invite all three girls that have expressed interest to join our troop. This will put us one over our self-imposed maximum if 12 girls to keep the number manageable.

My question for eHell: is there something I can say to the mom about concerns I have with her daughter when I extend an invitation? We currently have a great group of girls with involved parents, but they are starting to get to that age where we will have to deal with drama. I'd like to minimize any that we, the leaders, actually invite. (Secretly, I'd hate to lose great girls because the rules dictate we can't exclude known trouble makers.)

Wow! This is a lot to write on a phone. Congratulations if you read the whole post.

bonyk

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Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2013, 07:31:15 AM »
The Girl Scout Law

I will do my best to be
Honest and Fair,
Friendly and Helpful,
Considerate and Caring,
Courageous and Strong, and
Responsible for what I say and do,
And to
respect myself and others,
respect authority,
use resources wisely,
make the world a better place, and
be a sister to every Girl Scout.


Put that on the invitation to join, and include a check off box, 'I understand that my daughter must act in accordance with Girl Scout Law and will help her to do so.'  Then if girl acts mean, you can refer to the Girl Scout Law.

SPuck

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Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2013, 07:35:04 AM »
Respond to firmly to actual occurrences that might happen, don't bother with what happened in the past or heresay. Also don't bring up anything with the mother it will just put her on the defensive. It is your job to be neutral until something actually happens (unless she has done something that is horrendous that has ben publicly noted), and to respon firmly, give consequences, and document if something occurs.

There is nothing you can do in a situation like this, some girls just change the dynamic of the group. When I was younger and in girl scots there was a girl who joined the group (whose mother eventually became in charge of the group) that cause members to start dropping like flies.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2013, 07:40:04 AM by SPuck »

weeblewobble

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Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2013, 07:36:52 AM »
More than likely, your girls and their parents know about the rules. And they know that you're supposed to allow the Mean Girl into the troop before taking new members on.  And yes, it stinks that the rules mean you have to take one someone who's known to cause trouble.  But this is a great opportunity for you to serve a good example for your girls in terms of:

1) That it's important to follow the rules, even when you don't agree with the rules.

2) That it's important to give someone a chance.

3) That it's important not to hold grudges.

The troop could be a chance to turn this girl's behavior around.  I wouldn't "poison the well" by talking to her mother about her past behavior before she gets there.  Be very careful to go over the rules with all of the girls about appropriate behavior and your expectations about how they are to treat each other.  Go over the consequences for being mean/bullying.  If/when Mean Girl breaks these rules, talk to her mother about the issues and remind her and her daughter of the consequences. If the bad behavior continues, enforce those consequences.  This will serve as a reminder to the other girls that it's important to stand up for yourself when someone treats you badly.

Redsoil

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Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2013, 07:37:44 AM »
I think bonyk has  great idea!
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YummyMummy66

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Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2013, 07:49:33 AM »
As a former Girl Scout leader, no, I would not say anything to the mom about concerns of her daughter at this point.

What I would do is write a decree or something that clearly outlines your guidelines and rules, expectations and consequences, etc. of your troop.  This should be signed by mom and daughter at your first official troop meeting for the year.

(In our first meeting, we usually went over our expectations for the year, etc. with girls and parents).

State your consequences clearly....first warning will be:  second warning will be:  third warning, sorry, you are no longer a member of this troop. (Also, you will probably have to be specific.  Anotherwords, make sure that each warning is not related to one specific problem, but could be anything that goes wrong that is deemed serious enough for said warning).

This way you have back up.

magiccat26

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Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2013, 08:12:33 AM »
Your council/service unit must be different than ours.  In our council there is no formal rule that you have to take girls from a wait list in a specific order.

I have been a troop leader for 5 years now.  We started in Kindergarden with just 7 girls.  Five of the seven were hand selected by myself and my coleader.  The other two were sent by the SU registrar.  Over the years, we have only lost girls who moved out of the area (3) and we only added girls who were brought by another girl with a parent recommendation.  I no longer accept girls that are provided by the registrar.  I currently have a 9 girl troop with space for 1 more.  My girls are happy, they have a great dynamic.  The teachers are impressed with their leadership skills and their ability to be inclusive at school.  I do not want to change that by bringing in a child who will destroy the harmony of these girls.  Girl Scouts should be a safe place for girls to explore and develop life skills.  Bringing in a known bully will change your dynamic.  While she might change over time, during that initial phase the majority of your time and energy will be focused on the bully, leaving your other girls feeling unsafe or resulting in them no longer having fun.

Many will slam me because this is not the GS way, but I was once a Girl Scout who was part of a troop where the leader's daughter was the bully.  She made our lives miserable and ensured that I did not have a good scouting experience.  When I was approached, as an adult, to lead a troop...I agreed and made my girls a promise.  I promised them a safe environment where they would be able to explore and have fun, without fear of their sister scouts.  I think the fact that all my girls re-enroll every year, that all my girls look forward to meetings and make it a priority to attend (putting other activities second), and that my troop is recognized in the community as an outstanding group of young leaders and role models proved that what I'm doing works.

Council and the SU offer many guidelines but very few rules.  As a troop leader you are tasked with managing your troop to the best of your ability and with the best interest of your girls your priority.
“If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning.” — Catherine Aird

Snooks

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Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2013, 08:18:32 AM »
Bonyk's given a great suggestion.  I don't know how it works in the US but in the UK you attend for a little while before making your promise so for all three of the new joiners you could spend some time going through the Girl Scout law before they take their promise.  If she continuously causes trouble you should speak to her parents and if necessary suggest that Girl Scouts isn't for her.

medowynd

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Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2013, 11:05:17 AM »
If the teacher calls her a mean girl and you have had to address issues with her, why would you want that dynamic in your troop?  Don't these girls already deal with her on a daily basis?  Why invite the "mean" into your troop?  I have seen the devastation a mean girl can cause to others, at the age of 6-7.  It is hard to explain sometimes to young children.  Because this is a small troop, that doesn't involve an entire classroom or large group, I would stick to inviting the two girls that will fit into the group.  I am sure the troop members will have many years ahead of them, dealing with this girl in school and perhaps other social occasions.


*inviteseller

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Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2013, 11:29:11 AM »
If the teacher calls her a mean girl and you have had to address issues with her, why would you want that dynamic in your troop?  Don't these girls already deal with her on a daily basis?  Why invite the "mean" into your troop?  I have seen the devastation a mean girl can cause to others, at the age of 6-7.  It is hard to explain sometimes to young children.  Because this is a small troop, that doesn't involve an entire classroom or large group, I would stick to inviting the two girls that will fit into the group.  I am sure the troop members will have many years ahead of them, dealing with this girl in school and perhaps other social occasions.



The girl is on a wait list, meaning she was signed up, and just because the kid isn't someone others like to be around (and the teacher should never have said what she did IMO) you can't discriminate in allowing her in.  I have had to deal with the mean girls too for my DD's (and it amazes me how young they are when they start) but excluding her is wrong.  This isn't a play date or birthday party at your house, this is an inclusive organization.  I agree with the others who say she and her mom need to be explained rules and consequences up front (that apply to all the troop, not just her) and it might help to tell mom that she has to stay with her for a few meetings just so she understands they meetings and to make sure her DD is ok with the group.  Her mom probably knows she is a mean girl but doesn't take it seriously (I know one of them, she thinks she is a 'leader').  If the girl does act up, because you have the rules and consequences you can deal with it swiftly.  It also might be a good thing for the girl to be able to learn how to work with the other girls and maybe learn how to act appropriately.  I have had to coach a mean girl 2 years in a row...no one wanted this kid on their team so I got stuck.  I expected her to follow the rules and if not, she had to sit and the other girls did not put up with her stuff and because she was not able to be the queen bee she left on her own.

LeveeWoman

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Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2013, 11:30:12 AM »
If the teacher calls her a mean girl and you have had to address issues with her, why would you want that dynamic in your troop?  Don't these girls already deal with her on a daily basis?  Why invite the "mean" into your troop?  I have seen the devastation a mean girl can cause to others, at the age of 6-7.  It is hard to explain sometimes to young children.  Because this is a small troop, that doesn't involve an entire classroom or large group, I would stick to inviting the two girls that will fit into the group.  I am sure the troop members will have many years ahead of them, dealing with this girl in school and perhaps other social occasions.

I agree. I don't see why anyone has to invite a toxic influence into a small group.

Docslady21

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Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2013, 11:40:16 AM »
BG: I'm a Daisy GS troop leader (currently first graders). When we have an opening in our troop, we are supposed to take a girl from the wait list (if there is one) before we add other members. There is one first grader from our school in the official wait list, and two other parents we have spoken with directly but officially on "the list". The formal process anything but clearly communicated, and I'm the only leader/volunteer from my troop that was even aware of it. (We also started the middle of the school year so we are all learning the ins and outs of this whole scouting thing.)

BG 2: the girl on the wait list is the "class mean girl". My daughter and others call her a bully, but I think that term may be too strong. I can tell you that for a 7yo, she is a piece of work. Even my daughters teacher said she us "mean" when I had to address some issues this past year. This girlives on our street and i know the mom. i really like her even, but never spoke to her about issues with her daughter (avoidance was easier). End BG.

Our troop has 2 girls leaving us st the end of this school year (next couple weeks). So, in an attempt at inclusion and hopefully some positive role modeling, (and a desire to follow the rules) my co-leader and I are going to invite all three girls that have expressed interest to join our troop. This will put us one over our self-imposed maximum if 12 girls to keep the number manageable.

My question for eHell: is there something I can say to the mom about concerns I have with her daughter when I extend an invitation? We currently have a great group of girls with involved parents, but they are starting to get to that age where we will have to deal with drama. I'd like to minimize any that we, the leaders, actually invite. (Secretly, I'd hate to lose great girls because the rules dictate we can't exclude known trouble makers.)

Wow! This is a lot to write on a phone. Congratulations if you read the whole post.

Do not address the mom. Take this opportunity to lead her. There are tons of Girl Scout resources that address bullying that you can use with your entire troop. This is what Girl Scouts is for--helping little girls grow and learn to become strong young women. It's not supposed to be easy, and part of your growth as a volunteer and a leader comes with meeting challenges and overcoming them--same for the girls. Enter the new year with a positive spirit toward this little girl, you may be surprised at what a supportive, kind community can do for a struggling child.

I guess what I am saying is don't borrow trouble. Have her join and address issues as they arise. But don't implicate her until you have a chance to see her in action and attempt to resolve it on your own.

citadelle

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Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2013, 11:52:09 AM »
If the teacher calls her a mean girl and you have had to address issues with her, why would you want that dynamic in your troop?  Don't these girls already deal with her on a daily basis?  Why invite the "mean" into your troop?  I have seen the devastation a mean girl can cause to others, at the age of 6-7.  It is hard to explain sometimes to young children.  Because this is a small troop, that doesn't involve an entire classroom or large group, I would stick to inviting the two girls that will fit into the group.  I am sure the troop members will have many years ahead of them, dealing with this girl in school and perhaps other social occasions.

My daughter might be called the class mean girl. She is 9 and has no friends. She has definitely brought some of these problems on herself, but she is trying and she aches for friends. Please, please include this girl and help her facilitate friendships. She's only 7 and she needs support and guidance.

Hillia

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Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2013, 11:55:44 AM »
It rubs me the wrong way to exclude a girl from GS when she has yet to do anything wrong in that context.  As others have mentioned, GS may be the thing that turns it around.  I know it helped me quite a bit - I wasn't a mean girl, but I was pretty self centered and thoughtless, and some of the gentle smackdowns I got were very helpful in jarring me out of that and causing me to re-evaluate myself.  Yes, even in 6th grade.

The first part of the year is a slower time for the scout troops I've been in.  So why not use that time for a short session on the Girl Scout way of doing things?  Go over the laws, the pledge, the slogan; talk about what they mean and how we live them in our daily lives.  We always spent the first meeting coming up with rules for our troop activities; talk about being fair, being kind, being helpful.  And talk about the consequences of not following the troop rules with both girls and parents.  It may be that you or your co-leader have to monitor the new girl's behavior closely for a bit to ensure that she's fitting in, and be ready to step in with consequences immediately if she causes a problem, but don't write her off immediately.

Girl Scouts is supposed to be inclusive, and that sometimes means working a little harder to help a girl to fit in.  I can remember a section in my old Cadette handbook for patrol leaders, talking about how to identify a member who was having a hard time and strategies to include her.  I totally agree that Scouts should be a safe place, but that does not mean to make it safe by excluding someone based on what they 'might' do.  If she definitely causes disruption and disharmony, that's the time for her to be removed from the troop for the specific behaviors.  But she deserves a chance. 

You would be surprised what young children take in from things that adults kind of brush past.  When DS was 7 he joined Cub Scouts.  One night he sprayed cologne in his eyes (don't ask  ::) )  On the way to the emergency room I was trying to get him to keep his hands away from his eyes, and I could hear him muttering, 'Akela, we will do our best!' over and over - he'd learned it in the first meeting the previous week.  What I'm yrying to say is, your problem girl may hear the GS laws and really take them to heart, and have something new to base her behavior on.

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Coley

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Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2013, 12:13:17 PM »
If the teacher calls her a mean girl and you have had to address issues with her, why would you want that dynamic in your troop?  Don't these girls already deal with her on a daily basis?  Why invite the "mean" into your troop?  I have seen the devastation a mean girl can cause to others, at the age of 6-7.  It is hard to explain sometimes to young children.  Because this is a small troop, that doesn't involve an entire classroom or large group, I would stick to inviting the two girls that will fit into the group.  I am sure the troop members will have many years ahead of them, dealing with this girl in school and perhaps other social occasions.

My daughter might be called the class mean girl. She is 9 and has no friends. She has definitely brought some of these problems on herself, but she is trying and she aches for friends. Please, please include this girl and help her facilitate friendships. She's only 7 and she needs support and guidance.

I have to agree about the idea of excluding this girl. This is an opportunity for her to improve her social skills. That won't happen if people give up on her. And she is still very young.

When it comes to bullying at the elementary school level, I highly recommend the book "There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom" by Louis Sachar. It's a good novel for kids (and parents) about bullying.

ETA: I like the idea of setting ground rules for behavior at the outset. I wouldn't make a special effort to approach the mom at this point.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2013, 12:16:17 PM by Coley »