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It's totally unreasonable for a parent to yell at me at beavers

(73 Posts)
ChoudeBruxelles Wed 06-Mar-13 21:08:40

Because her little darling didn't get a badge as he didn't do the work towards it?

I volunteer ffs to help run it.

Springdiva Thu 07-Mar-13 15:51:49

Don't the Scout movement produce a flier each term to remind DPs that those running groups are volunteers and that they also value their spare time so could DPs please pick and drop off on time. If they don't they prob should.

TheSlug Thu 07-Mar-13 16:16:01

it's horrible when you get parents like that. Luckily, now I'm guides only, most of my parents are wonderful. but while I was at brownies I had several run ins with parents! I felt like saying if you think you can do it better- be my guest! Hope the apology was genuine and you feel better now.

As a parent I would be ashamed if I behaved like this. DC is a Cub and DD a Guide, and I am grateful to all the leaders who give up their time for this.

I can't commit to a regular time at present, but I help out when I can (and it looks like I'm being tapped to teach some craft stuff to the Guides soon, perhaps because I do card-making and jewellery making as a hobby grin)

I know that the parents I see at Cubs and Guides are really nice, shame it's not like that everywhere.

NigelMolesworth Thu 07-Mar-13 18:24:59

YADNBU (another Rainbow Guider here). Recently we have had a spate of parents behaving like this and it drives me mad. The most recent one was a moan about not knowing about the arrangements for one of our sessions. Parent says 'well it would have been useful if you'd sent out a note to tell us'. My response 'we did last week. And the week before. And it was in the newsletter at the beginning of term.' Quite satisfying!

The usual parental complaint we get is that they have to wait to join because we are full and there's a waiting list. My usual answer is 'oh I agree that it's not good enough. We don't have enough adults at the moment. Can I put your name forward to the commissioner as someone who'd be prepared to start a new unit?' grin Usually they back right off...

exoticfruits Thu 07-Mar-13 19:20:22

Funny that one NigelM-they quickly back away!
I did just that-started a new unit.

kerala Thu 07-Mar-13 19:28:06

Shocking. Makes me so mad when people treat VOLUNTEERS who are doing things to benefit their DC as if they are sub standard staff (not that its ok to treat paid staff this way but even worse if you are giving of your time). My friend runs a guide pack and got an email of complaint about something really petty signed by both parents. Bastards.

I do stuff for the school and often get people "suggesting" I do extra things or moaning - my response is to assume they are volunteering its such fun to watch them scuttle off grin

Cakecrumbsinmybra Thu 07-Mar-13 19:32:35

Oh poor you OP, how horrible. I don't think I could handle that kind of thing gracefully, which is why I would probably make a rubbish scout leader!! DS has just joined Beavers and I feel such gratitude towards the lovely people leading the group (all just other mums and dads) for being so nice to him, and giving up their time. So yes, of course YANBU and I am sure you are doing a fantastic job.

ll31 Thu 07-Mar-13 19:33:05

well at least she apologised, maybe she didnt know How they get badges.. never been in scouts but i've lost s lot of leaflets

DonderandBlitzen Thu 07-Mar-13 19:41:38

I think a letter should go out to all parents saying what Exoticfruits suggested. Doesn't matter that she left the whiny apology. (I help at Rainbows every week.)

I love Nigel's answer "'oh I agree that it's not good enough. We don't have enough adults at the moment. Can I put your name forward to the commissioner as someone who'd be prepared to start a new unit?'" grin

NigelMolesworth Thu 07-Mar-13 19:43:21

We got one lovely lady that way exotic but I think she is the only one in 12 years!

DonderandBlitzen Thu 07-Mar-13 19:44:50

Sorry should have said that the letter could be sent to shouty mum rather than all parents.

Budgiegirlbob Thu 07-Mar-13 20:06:25

I am an assistant cub leader, and I have to say that the majority of parents are great, helpful and appreciative. But of course there are always one or two that just don't realise the effort that goes into running a pack/troop/unit.
One of our scout leaders must have been having a hard time with parents, as when I arrived to a meeting one evening, a version of this link had been pinned to the door.
www.scoutscan.com/gtrsi/onlyleaders.html

Permanentlyexhausted Thu 07-Mar-13 21:41:18

I like that Budgiegirl - think I might make a note of it for possible use later!

Budgiegirlbob Thu 07-Mar-13 22:31:17

It made me smile when I read it, permanentlyexhausted, I particularly liked the line "forgive us if we are not the kind of leader you would be of only you had the time".

lurkerspeaks Thu 07-Mar-13 23:58:13

I'm not currently involved in scouting or guiding but have been in the past.

YADNBU. I would write acknowledging her apology but saying that if there was a repeat incident her child would no longer be welcome at Beavers. You might need to get the support of your District Commissioner.

Parents will never cease to amaze me. One mother told my sister who was at the time keeping the local guiding scene going practically single handed - running the rainbow unit, helping at guides and managing the senior section that she was an unsuitable leader. Her crime - she has some tattoos. This was in a middle class little village where there is a massive waiting list to get into rainbows and a significant proportion of the local girls never get the chance to join as volunteers to help are like hens teeth. Most of the parents would rather chuck money at the unit than actually help out.

My sister told the woman that if she didn't like her as a role model she had tow choices: 1) her daughter stopped coming to rainbows and one of the other 30 girls on the waiting list would get a place or 2) the mother got her own warrant, set up her own unit and dealt with all the admin to enable her daughter to have a rainbow experience.

Her daughter stayed in the unit with no further issues.

exoticfruits Fri 08-Mar-13 06:52:21

I love the notice Budgiegirl, if I was still a leader I would pin it up.
I always hated the fact that parents would always prefer to chuck money at the unit rather than help out. It was so hard to get time from anyone.

RobotLover68 England Fri 08-Mar-13 07:23:51

Cub leader here - I would get the GSL to speak to her, apology or no apology - as an aside, I've been announcing just before badge giving "if you're not getting x badge tonight it's because you still have a small amount of work to do so come and see me after and I will tell you what's to be done" this has been working really well for us. Some can be bothered and some can't so it's up to them really

adeucalione Fri 08-Mar-13 09:06:00

There is no excuse for rude or unsupportive behaviour, but I was one of those parents who 'chucked money at the unit rather than helping out'.

This was because I worked full time and, with three DC, ran around all week to about 12 different activities - most of whom regularly asked for time commitments from parents.

What I did was choose the 2-3 things that I felt I could help with, and supported the others by being on time, paying promptly and saying 'thank you' often. I am sure, after reading this, that I would've been one of those parents who were grumbled about for 'dropping and running'.

I think there is a tendency, when volunteering, to make assumptions about those that haven't chosen to volunteer in the same capacity that you have, but may well be doing their bit elsewhere.

RocknRollNerd Fri 08-Mar-13 09:27:43

I sympathise hugely over demanding twattish parents, but I have to say I don't particularly like that 'We are Only Leaders' notice. It comes across as a bit smug and lumps all the supportive parents in with the randome twats. Don't get me wrong I understand the sentiment and feelings behind it but if I saw that pinned up at one of DS clubs I would be somewhat peeved. I believe in what Scouting/Guiding has to offer however I also believe in what the sport I coach has to offer too and I'm pretty damn sure I'm coaching kids of our Scout/Guide leaders at 9am on a Sunday morning.

I do think many organisations and volunteers suffer because people don't realise/appreciate that we give up way more than the 1.5/2 hours we have the kids. Two common misconceptions I encounter are that 1) I'm paid for what I do and 2) I have no qualifications (doesn't help that I coach a sport which is still very much seen as a boy's sport) I'm 'just' a well meaning mum helping out.

I crossed swords the year after I took my coaching exams with a parent who decided to stir himself from his Sunday papers and coffee and shout over that I was doing it wrong and his kid was missing out. He kept going even when I'd explained that I knew exactly which kids had done which skills/position and everyone would have got a go by the end.

The final straw came when he complained loudly that there appeared to be no organisation and system to what I was doing. I stood in the middle of the game and asked him to repeat it as I hadn't quite heard...he refused so I called him out on it, repeated it back (I am a child of PE teachers, genetically I apparently still have the voice that can carry across 50 kids on a sports pitch!) and then got all the kids to sit down and stop what they were doing. The guy kicked off as to why I'd stopped the game and I politely explained he was clearly unhappy with the coaching provision so the safest thing was for me to stop the games and I would go to the other pitch and get the head coach so he could make a complaint to him. The guy shut up at that stage and said I could carry on shock. I was very lucky in that our head coach is a total star and when I told him at the end of training he went over and called the guy out on being a twat. The guy and his kids didn't appear for 3 weeks, then they came back and to his credit the guy came over at the start and apologised. That said, part of his explanation was that he 'hadn't realised I was a proper coach' which left me a bit hmm.

Groovee Uruguay Fri 08-Mar-13 11:17:57

I dread opening my brownie email, dreading what delights one parent needs to say to me behind email and not face to face.

I know ds hasn't done all the clauses for some badges but we're working with his cub leaders to get the clauses ASAP.

MrsHoarder Fri 08-Mar-13 15:06:03

adeucalione I never judged parents who dropped and ran and said thank you. I judged the ones who ranted at me for not doing enough (and on one memorable occasion, not being a man. Not sure what I was supposed to do about that.)

Don't worry about it, we all do what we can.

exoticfruits Fri 08-Mar-13 15:14:32

You appreciate that parents are just as busy elsewhere-however, in my experience, the ones who moan or criticise are the ones who don't do much themselves.

Emilythornesbff Fri 08-Mar-13 15:43:22

Well she wbu to yell at you, but I guess she knows that as she apologised.

Whojamaflip Fri 08-Mar-13 15:52:37

Had a lovely parent last night who dropped her beaver off 15 mins late and then had the nerve to complain that her ds had missed the warm-up song as it was his favourite bit shock

I explained that Beavers started at 5.30 and if her ds wanted to do the song, it would be an idea for her to get him there for that time!

This is the same parent who is regularly late picking up and doesn't seem to notice that we are stood by the door with all the lights off in the hut ready to lock up....

I have also had verbal abuse from a parent because his ds hadn't gained his chief scouts bronze award before moving to cubs but his 2 mates had - that might be because said ds had been absent at least 2 nights a month and as a results had missed half of his badgework - I am not going to award badges just because their mates are getting them

YANBU

YANBU (another Beaver leader lending support).

If she's properly apologetic next time you see her, can you suggest she helps out next time you're doing badge work so she can see the sort of things they do and she can help him complete missed weeks at home?

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