Should I force my son to stay in Cub Scouts?

Lori - posted on 01/03/2011 ( 16 moms have responded )

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My son has been in Cub Scouts for almost a year now. I am his Den Leader and we are in a small pack. He has lost interest and doesn't want to continue. Should I force him to continue? I don't want to instill in him that it's okay to quit things, but if he doesn't like to go...what do I do?

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Melissa - posted on 01/03/2011

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I remember when I was young wanting to quit dance so badly. My mom was a big part of the studio and forced me to continue to many years. It made me start to resent dance. When I was 17 I finally stopped. After quitting I wished I could go back because I missed it. I think that if she would have just let me quit originally I would have realized on my own very quickly that I wanted to continue dancing. So my advice is to make him finish the term (or whatever commitment they make..maybe school year?) to instill in him that it's not okay to quit activities in the middle of his commitment. But let him quit after that, and have him join a different activity that he is interested in.

Sherri - posted on 01/03/2011

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No!! Why would you?? He tried it and doesn't care for it I would make him finish out the the year but would not resign him up if he doesn't want to do it anymore next year.

Mercy - posted on 01/05/2011

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Children too need to be heard.It boosts their ego and confidence to know their opinions are heard,have a talk with your son and get to hear his side of story why he doesn't want cub scouts anymore.You might be shocked he may change his mind when you both air your views about the matter.Do not insist if he doesn't agree.Let him follow his heart as he might do it out of obligation and never be happy.

Candi - posted on 01/05/2011

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Thats a tough one for me. My son is a Boy Scout. He has been in since he was a Tiger. When we lived in TX, he got involved with acting and auditions were pouring in, but that included driving during rush hour to Austin a few times a week. This often caused my daughters to miss their dance class. I told my son he had to choose acting or scouts, but my sanity couldn't handle both and the sacrifices the girls were having to make for both were unfair. Without hesitation he chose scouts! I was so happy. He loves it still. As a boy scout, they go camping every month, do a week long camp in the summer, and earn merit badges and just do so much more. Imagine how his college app will look with Eagle Scout written on it. Or if he wants to join the military. Scouting is a great organization and I encourage ALL boys to give it a shot. If he doesn't like it though, let him stop after this year, but make him take up another activity or try to do an outreach or recruiting night to get more boys to join.

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User - posted on 01/25/2012

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I'm a first year Bear Den Leader. My son was getting tired of me 'practicing' on him during the week. So now I keep the activities a surprise and it does help that I can cater to his special needs. The more active activities are tamed down and I try not to do writing as group, save that for 'homework' that he can type.

Carolyn - posted on 01/07/2011

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I don't think you should force him to stay in something he's not interested in anymore. It will probably make both of you very unhappy. Let him try something else, a different activity that can still teach him some values. Like softball, karate, soccer, track, basketball, music... there are so many things to try. I would not limit him, kids do take a while to figure out what they really like. They also may take many different paths before finding the one that's right for them. If you like the Cub Scouts that's fine, but don't push him into it. I would not look at it as quitting, just changing. Which he will do a bunch of as he grows up. Best of luck.

[deleted account]

personally, I think cub scouts is awesome for our little guys! My son was in for 5 or 6 years. he started losing interest as he got older and bigger - wasnt the 'kool' thing to do!! LOL but the scouts were a wonderful outing for us... our family made many great lifelong friends! maybe if you as a den leader could find more fun activities to peak the interest again...talk to local churches about bringing other kids on...or if your den is really small could you combine meetings with another near by.
As a Mom I never encourage my children to quit anything (EX thinks it is fine) but get into agreement with you child. ask him what we can do to make it fun. and talk to you scout leader they may have some exciting ideas.
hope this helps... remember they have minds of their own, and if their hearts are not n it then why make them. sometimes it may be easier to move onto to another. try and try again til we find what is in them!! good luck!! Keep God First :-)

EILEEN - posted on 01/06/2011

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HOW OLD HIS YOUR SON ,DOES HIS PALS GO TO .Maybe he just wants to do other things as some boys do grow out at been a Scout do you go away on CAMPS with him

Candace - posted on 01/05/2011

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Hi I also was a Den Mother for my son since he was a Tiger threw Boy Scouts. If he can not relate to these boys after the year is up see if there is another pack that you both can join. Is your husband involved, it is more a father related. When I was in the pack my husband was the Assistant Cub Master. At one point he wanted to quit but I made him stay for the year and then he continued. He can learn so much if you have the right people there. They would prefer some one who excelled in Scouting then sports for college interviews. Since my two are in college I can tell you... I was there on one interview and I heard it with my own ears. Very grateful that I took that path, let your son know the value behind this. It would not hurt to mention college at this point and the benefits that can occur if he goes threw all the steps of scouting. It teaches more than what sports will teach. So what level are you? I can help you with ideas we had a great den and always made things interesting for the boys. Do you do skits at the pack nights? @ Blue n Gold? Its time for the pinewood derby too. we also do the boat regatta races they were cool too! We made go carts ( no motors ) to race at the picnic that we had over the summer.. did he do the laundry and cook dinner and clean up for the belt loops? I am glad that I took that step early for they can both cook. clean and do their laundry.. and it all started with the scouts.. a great experience for all.. good luck let me know if I can help you with ideas..

Lori - posted on 01/05/2011

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Thank you so much for your advice and words of wisdom. I decided that he and I will stay in for the remainder of the school year and he can choose to leave at that point. I spoke to the Cubmaster and we all agreed that we need to find out what activities the boys really want to do so that they can stay interested. So I think that with asking what he wants to do and reinforcing the idea that he must not quit mid-stream, we will be okay.

Thanks again!

September - posted on 01/05/2011

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If he's lost interest then no! Why force a child to continue doing something they don't enjoy? I would suggest getting him involved in something he does enjoy. Good luck!

Claire - posted on 01/05/2011

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you cant force him to stay if he doesnt want,find out why first but if his mind is set,he'll only resent you for it

[deleted account]

First I'd find out what can be done to make it more enjoyable for him and see about doing it. He needs to finish out whatever time commitment has already been made, but after that I'd let it be his choice.

Candi - posted on 01/05/2011

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If you are the den leader, he sort of has to be there right? Find out what belt loops he wants to go for or what go sees he wants to participate in. Are the meetings boring? Are the boys earning anything? Make sure to have a plan to earn pins and belt loops so the boys will keep wanting to come back and stay interested. My son had a terrible leader in TX then a friend and I took over when he became a Webelo 1. Our boys were earning things left and right while the other Webelo 1 den had nothing for the whole year. Its frustrating for the boys. Plan field trips and go sees that the boys will be looking foward to. ASk your son what he would do differently. If you get a child's perspective on it, it may make things more enjoyable for them. Not saying you're a bad leader, but maybe change things up a little

JuLeah - posted on 01/05/2011

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Find out why he lost interest. I don't really like to see kids quit things. If it is at the end of the year and a natural break, then okay, but mid year and will plans still on the table .... use this as a chance to teach him a valuable lesson. There will be classes, jobs, and other things he wants to quit, but changing your perspective, figureing out what is not working about the situation and imporving that, can make all the difference.

Laura - posted on 01/05/2011

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Good advice so far! Tell him that he needs to at least finish his commitment for this year. After that give him a choice of either Scouts or another activity. Let him choose and go from there!

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