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To want to say F*** off to all the Beaver parents and throw the towel in?

(298 Posts)
DippyScout Mon 19-Feb-18 20:30:22

Sorry sounds dramatic but my goodness I am at my wits end. I run a very well established Beaver group. I work bloody hard to make sure we have vibrant, engaging and exciting activities every week that link to all the badges and all children can achieve in. I reckon in total I put around 4-5 hours a week into the admin, setting up, running etc of this colony, all for the sake of the 20 Beavers who come each week and really enjoy it. I am a volunteer, a volunteer who has a full time job, children of my own, many other commitments. I do this because I really believe it benefits the children and I adore the children.... however their parents - well that's another thing! On large they simultaneously refuse to help out or support, but expect the moon on a stick and constantly complain and whinge. I have some parents who will help out when asked, but others, particularly a couple of them, who are causing me so much hassle I am tempted to throw the towel in. I don't want to kick their children out (lovely children who love the group) but the parents complain continuously about the nature, style of activities not being badge focused enough (all activities built around badges), complain if I organise trips, complain that we've made the group more inclusive (apparently they don't 'pay' (voluntary subs) for their children to not have full attention), and the list goes on. Over the years I have noticed volunteer support from parents dropping each year, and less and less support. I am a volunteer, it is wearing me down! My children have been and gone from Beavers, I only now do this because I enjoyed it. I've spoken to them, addressed issues clearly and firmly, but they are sapping all the joy from this role! I've been doing this for over 5 years and right now I want to throw the towel in!

Saturnday Mon 19-Feb-18 20:32:33

YANBU. And when you quit, tell them why.

lilyboleyn Mon 19-Feb-18 20:33:21

YANBU. It’s the nature of anything working with other people’s children. There’s always some twat for whom nothing is good enough that wants to make you feel like shit. And that always overshadows the many more lovely people who truly appreciate what you do.

chickenowner Mon 19-Feb-18 20:34:08

I would be tempted to throw the towel in too. Some people expect too much and will complain about anything and everything.

shakeyourcaboose Mon 19-Feb-18 20:34:16

YADNBU absolutely end this, are you getting enjoyment or is it causing you more stress?

grasspigeons Mon 19-Feb-18 20:35:45

Just smile sweetly and thank them for volunteering to lead a badge - pass them the badge book as you do it. Say its so nice that others feel like you do and want to help as so many other parents take the piss.

Then watch them try and wiggle out of it.

LadyLance Mon 19-Feb-18 20:36:54

I think you'd be totally reasonable to quit!

However, if you wanted to give it one last chance, maybe ask someone above you to draft a letter explaining you are a volunteer and if they want a say in how beavers is run, they should volunteer too. Perhaps the letter could also explain what the subs cover (cost of hiring the hall and materials for activities?).

Ultimately, if the choice is between asking a few children to leave and stopping all together, might it be worth asking the children to leave? At least then, some children would get to benefit from beavers?

DippyScout Mon 19-Feb-18 20:37:36

I still love my time with the group and enjoy the sessions, especially in summer when camps etc are on. I love how much the Beavers grow in confidence and skills. But I begin to dread the start and finish of all sessions and opening my emails - knowing there will be something from them! I don't want to close the group, I genuinely think that no-one else will step forwards at this point, and don't want to disadvantage so many of the children - but it is causing stress!

AvoidingDM Mon 19-Feb-18 20:41:43

Remind them that you are a volunteer. And the subs are to fund activities.

My LO loves Beavers unfortunately at the moment we are not in a position offer much help. But I'd hate for his amazing leader to quit because of some ungrateful parents.

TellMeItsNotTrue Mon 19-Feb-18 20:44:30

Maybe you should do an art project for some sort of badge, one about the phases of the moon, they could draw them and then cut out and stick to lollipop sticks grin bonus points if it just so happens to take place around mothers day/fathers day grin

Or, maybe not, but hopefully it's at least given you a smile smile

redexpat Mon 19-Feb-18 20:44:43

Do you have good support from other leaders or district commissioner? Our venture group folded when our leader quit not because of the parents but after a cub leader said we were a bunch of wasters.

madrose Mon 19-Feb-18 20:46:42

This happened with our Beavers - the exec got involved, the chair called a meeting of the parents and explained that the leaders were volunteers and vital, however parent involvement/help/co-operation was vital. And that anyone was welcome to help. Now every year at the AGM - parental involvement is alway emphasised. Since then parent involvement has improved big time, it is made very clear, without parental help there would no help no beavers or cubs (scouts - plenty of leaders).

get your exec involved - or Group leader. What you're doing is amazing and it's about time your parents (of beavers) realised!!

anxious2017 Mon 19-Feb-18 20:47:06


I left Guiding for the same reason and I'd been a leader for 21 years. I deal with shitty parents in my job all day and I didn't need it in a voluntary role too.

Such a shame for the children. It never used to be like this.

mickeysminnie Mon 19-Feb-18 20:47:07

I would take a break. Explain that you are jnable to run it for the next 8 weeks and need others to step up and run it for the 8 weeks.
Take the 8 weeks and see if tou really want to continue with it. Sometimes the best thing to do is to take a step back.

Thistlebelle Mon 19-Feb-18 20:47:43

I think you need to be really honest. My DH was a Beaver leader for several years. In the end they politely told difficult parents some home truths.

outofmydepth45 Mon 19-Feb-18 20:48:00

Leading these groups is a thankless task, if you shut down they will continue to whinge. Maybe respond with sorry you don't agree with x,y,z as you know the waiting list is huge so I agree it's best to allow another child to have the space then smile.

Notevilstepmother Mon 19-Feb-18 20:48:29

Speak to your district commissioner. It is unacceptable for parents to be so rude and ungrateful when you are a volunteer. Your DC needs to find a way to manage the situation and take the pressure off you.

I wouldn’t be entertaining whiny emails and comments about your programme if it’s not justified. Do these parents understand you are an unpaid volunteer?

I’d ask for the DC to find someone to visit at the beginning and end of meetings for a few weeks, possibly ADC Beavers, but in any case someone who will have no qualms about very politely but firmly telling the parents to help out or shut up.

Please talk to your DC or ADC.

Ragusa Mon 19-Feb-18 20:49:57

Sheesh. Some people are awful. It's sad for their kids but I think you need to tell them, tactfully. But clearly trhat they are no longer welcome.

"Ms/Mr x, I'm not sure this colony is suiting your child as you seem unhappy and I need the full support of parents to make this work. Have you considered looking for another colon that meets your particular needs better?".

Feel no shame. These parents are piss takers and you should not bother about offending them. They do not care about you.

thefudgeling Mon 19-Feb-18 20:51:16

How horrible that people are complaining about you making the group more inclusive! Perhaps there needs to be an 'including everyone' badge (for the parents)!

But in answer to your question, no, YANBU.

Ragusa Mon 19-Feb-18 20:51:25

Arf! Epic autocorrect fail. But perhaps these parents would be better sticking their head up another colon smile

Justwanttosayplease Mon 19-Feb-18 20:51:41

I blame Thatcherism.

DippyScout Mon 19-Feb-18 20:51:51

This is the annoying thing - we've had a meeting with them all about the need for support and very little resulted - and our waiting list is huge! I could open another colony, everyone wants their child to come and no-one wants to help. It's thankless, but that I can deal with, it the causing stress and constant complaining that you're not good enough that gets me down. I deal with a lot of stress in my job day to day, and don't need it now. In the last six months I've been reduced to tears more than once (which is a very rare state for me!)

shouldwestayorshouldwego Mon 19-Feb-18 20:52:05

At our beavers there is a parent rota. Every term you have to do a shift. I am sure there are valid excuses for not being on rota but haven't discovered them yet grin. From Easter everyone has to do a shift. Make it clear to those who are more reluctant that if they don't come no one will be able to do X as need minimum volunteers. If they miss two or more parent rota dates then their child will have to leave Beavers. If they have a problem with a date then they have to arrange their own swap.

Are the awkward parents all friends? Suggest that they might like to co-ordinate over a few weeks one of the badges. Give other parents chance to get involved too in running a few badges.

Make these terms crystal clear to any new joiners.

borlottibeans Mon 19-Feb-18 20:54:11

I volunteer in an organisational capacity for something non-children-based and sometimes I feel like sticking a sign on my head that says I DO NOT GET PAID FOR THIS THIS IS NOT MY JOB

Actually now I'm starting to put it into words it would have to be more of a large decorative hat with an essay written on it about how IF YOU WANT IT DONE DIFFERENTLY WHY DON'T YOU FUCKING DO IT THEN

I don't know if YABU because I've only been doing it a year and I still love doing this thing that I think is important more than I hate the people who complain about how I choose to get it done. I don't know if I'll feel the same 5 years down the line.

DippyScout Mon 19-Feb-18 20:54:16

shouldwest yes the ones who cause me problems, they are all friends.

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