What would you do know(18 Posts)
I just wanted another opinion on this situation. My boys go to a well known organisation (X) once a week since they were 5. They are 9 and 12yrs now. My 12yr old was suspended once for swearing and that I fully agreed with. Since then there have been little niggles and comments from the organizers. I got the feeling that they wanted him to stop going to make their life easier. He sometimes prefered to sit out of activities that were uncomfortable for him and I was told that such action upset the other participants.
This week, out of the blue, they suspended my 9yr old. The resons they cited were he refused to say pardon me when he burped (once), he threatened to fire an elastic band (but didn't fire it) and tipped over a glue pot on purpose. I was a bit shocked by their harsh treatment of him and the shouting voice the head of the group used at one point when he was berating my son and I. I know my son can irritate on certain days like any child.
My 12yr old complained today about his treatment at X this week and he didn't know anything about his younger brother's experience as they are at different times. He said X had been very strict this week. He had asked if he could draw instead of do the task of write a newsletter and was dragged off to the boss for a telling off. Then he was disatisfied with his own efforts at writing and threw his work in the bin. He was ordered to retrieve it from the bin and he refused so he was ordered to sit in the corner all eve, being told that he "didn't want to be there(at X)".
They know he is dyslexic and panics when anything has to be written.
I get the feeling of having tried the softly softly approach of telling me that other participants were upset by my son they are now going all out to tell off my boys so that the boys will ask to quit. But I was not at the group to see how my boys behaved.
Have an idea of what to do next. Want to see if you come up withthe same response as I did when I'm thier obviously biased mum.
I think you need to tell us what sort of group is it - ie: is it a commercial organisation run for profit or something run entirely by volunteers?
I am involved in an organsation which is run by volunteers and I recognise that it does not suit all children; some children do find certain activities very, very difficult and if you are short of leaders it can be really challenging to know to get the best out of children, do you focus on those who need extra attention at the risk of ignoring all the others? We have had children in our group who clearly did not want to be there (their parents saw it as a 'good thing to do' and were not particularly supportive) - their behaviour can then disrupt the other children.
I am not saying this is the case with your child, but you would be amazed at the number of parents that assume al leaders are 'paid' to give up our time and energy to run these groups. If it is a volunteer organisation that your DS is involved with can you offer to go in and help?
Thanks for quick response Ragwort.
It is run by volunteers. Several years ago I complained that children weren't getting the badges they were earning. They used the excuse that X was run by volunteers. I resisted the urge to ask what the people had volunteered to do then and instead I volunteered to do thier admin for them. This lead to me being stood on the sidelines of the group each week with 'no admin to be done again this week' but I was welcome to stay. I stayed to show willing and helped run the games. Then a new lady took over the youngsters and ran it so well that I was thoroughly impressed. She won awards within X for running the group so well.
When my 12yr old began generating comments from them I offered to stay during the sessions but was brushed off. I asked whether I could access the material they were presenting to be able to go over the written stuff with my dyslexic son before or after the session. But no.
I really dislike they always bring up the fact that they are volunteers when I have offered my help. I think everyone should volunteer for something at some point in thier life, it is surely the norm to serve society in some way.
God, it sounds terrible. Is there another group that your children can join?
Oh my boys both want to be there. 9yr old always has enjoyed it and never had any trouble before, until this week. 12yr old went through a tough year at school and he did ask about leaving X some days and other days he wanted to go. We never forced or coerced him to attend. We solved his school troubles and he is so stress free now that he is a real pleasure to be around - and that's not just me saying it. He was quite shaken by the stict/harsh treatment this week but was able to talk to me calmly and maturely about it.
Can you speak to the leaders? They are going way over the top.
Our family lifestyle makes it hard to travel to other groups. This one is very close and we have invested 7 years in it as a family and introduced other families to it. Which makes it hard to cut our loses. Plus the boys want to go.
May be best to monitor it and see if things improve next week. To be honest, threatening to shoot a rubber band and knocking a tub of glue over is rather naughty. They do need to be accommodating to all abilities though, and if your child struggles to write they need to make allowances.
I was waiting for the official letter of suspension to arrive to see what reason they used. Then I was going to arrange a meeting. It takes me some time to think of questions so I didn't challenge thier decission on the night. But now I have plenty of time to formulate my questions and with some help from this chat room, hopfully won't miss any angles.
To be honest it is really worrying me. It would be easier if the boys wanted to quit but it seems I'm going to have to fight for their right to be there. I'm going to have to act fast before the strict rules campaign taints the boys' wish to be there. I should be asleep now but cant sleep.
Thank you for your honest reply on the naughty front.
Wait until the letter turns up. If the reasons are down to their behaviour, and are justified, then they need to work out where to go from here (either apologising, or leaving). I don't think threatening to flick rubber bands and knocking over glue is the greatest way for a child to behave, so he does need to face the consequences of this.
Wait for the letter, and get your younger one to write a letter of apology. Disobeying orders at 12 isn't wise either. Sorry. 12 is a funny age; children push the boundaries and start to assert themselves. Fully understandable, just not the best thing to do sometimes.
I would suggest you ask to meet the leader (without your children being there) for a discussion on the way forward - I wouldn't wait for a letter. Explain that you really value the organisation, would like to get involved again yourself and that your children really enjoy being there.
Perhaps then suggest that you have another meeting with your children there (separately) and agree a 'code of conduct'. Is there a senior 'Leader' or committee that you could talk to (if it is scouting this should be in place - also all scouting badges are on the internet so you can get an idea of what they are doing, apologies if you know all this .)
Thank you Ragwort, those are good ideas.
Boys weren't going next week anyway as they have another event that clashes. Therfore I am going to try to organize a meeting during the usual group time with the boss.
I help run a Youth Club for this age group and I would say that this is a bit harsh. We would suspend a child for swearing or for hurting another child or leader but what you have described is annoying but not very serious.
I think they made a snap decision having been thoroughly irritated by him. I wasn't there so worry about making judgments on them. They said the suspension was for threatening behaviour - he threatened to fire an elastic band. It sounds both a ridiculously mild 'threat' and on the other hand put in context could it have been serious?
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