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Thread: Poor Behaviour - Help!

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    Poor Behaviour - Help!

    Hi!

    I am Akela and I currently have an ACSL and BSL help with our pack meetings. We have 26 cubs.

    We run the yellow and red card system and should they receive 3 yellow cards in a term they will then miss a meeting.

    This doesn't seem however to stop their constant poor behaviour. I have read on another thread that people just 'wait' for their packs to be quiet - which I do, but in all honesty I could wait in excess of 10 mins and some of them really don't seem bothered. They have absolutely no respect for the children in the pack that do know how to behave and those that are getting very fed up with playing hardly and games and listening to others chitter chattering when they are doing as they are told.

    I have also used the hand up method and they will put their hand up and continue to move and talk, push and shove!!!

    I think that my problem may stem from not giving out enough yellow cards. Could you please advise me what other groups give out their cards for? I sometimes feel that when I am explaining their behaviour to their parents after the meeting it sounds as if I am just being grumpy with kids being kids. I just don't feel it's fair on the other children in the group to have to put up with this!

    This week was our first meeting back and whilst I appreciate they may be a little lounder and more talkative than usual they were horrendous! I resorted to asking them to sit in two groups, those that thought they could behave and those that thought they can't behave. Those that sat in the can't behave group were very proud of themselves for being so disruptive.

    I make them sit out of games and try to emphasise that they won't get to have as much fun if they can't behave, it just seems to make no difference. I have about 5 children like this!

    I am now thinking whether they are really even interested in being there or whether they are just there because their parents get them out of the house for an hour and a half!!

    Your advice would be appreciated please!!

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    I will give out yellow cards for swearing, being disruptive, being a risk to others etc.
    They will always be given a warning before hand and then if they carry on they get a yellow card.
    Yellow card then stays with them for a month, if they then get another one within the month they then suspended for anything up to 3 weeks - this includes meetings and events.
    If they continue getting red cards, then I would speak with my other Leaders & committee (no GSL at moment) and discuss where to go, from there I would speak with the parents - from here they could be banned from cubs.

    I did give out one yellow card and the yp did not come back again for the rest of term.
    Dave Stockford
    Holy Trinity Cubs - Yeovil District
    Southern Stars SASU

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    Senior Member Shaun's Avatar
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    Hi Pebbles - welcome to escouts.

    I would look at the pack behaviouras a whole and see what impact the 5 ring leaders are having on it.

    Depending on the age, I would look at splitting them up, one in each 6 and if necessary change my sixes to ensure that I had 5.

    If the ring leaders are sixers and seconders remove their stripes.

    I personally don't use the Red and Yellow card so my views now are purely theoretical.

    Sit down with your pack and agree a behavious contract with them, get them to decide what is acceptable behaviour and what would warrant a Yellow Card and what would constitute a straight Red.

    Once this is done, get it signed by each cub and send a copy home to the parents.

    Each transgression, issue the card - no discussion. When a Red is reached ban them.

    You may wish an ultimate sancion of 3 Red Cards and you're out.

    But if the rules and punishments exist then you must use and enforce them, regardless of what's in your programme. If it means they miss a really exciting night then so be it.

    It took me a while to get my pack's behaviour to where I wanted it and now I am able to pick off the trouble makers one by one, some leave, some don't, but I am clear when I speak to the parents before they join that I have high standards of behaviour at Cubs and that I am a lot stricter then they are used to at Beavers.

    Hope you get it sorted.
    Shaun

    SL
    Hanging Heaton Scout Group

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    GSL & AESL shiftypete's Avatar
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    You say you have the yellow card system but then say that people carry on talking when you have your hand up, are you actually using the yellow cards? A discipline system only works if you are prepared to use it. If the ring leaders think they will get away with things with no consequences they will carry on being disruptive.

    Peter Andrews AESL of Headingley Pirates ESU, Group Scout Leader & Webmaster of Falkoner Scout Group
    www.falkonerscouts.org.uk

    Previous Scouting Roles
    2003 - 2013 ABSL
    2017-2018 AGSL

    Wike, North Leeds District Campsite - www.wikecampsite.org.uk
    www.leeds-solar.co.uk
    Please note all views expressed are my own and not those of any organisation I'm associated with

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    Senior Member Kastor's Avatar
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    I think your yellow card system is a bit soft. It will take a while to get to 3 and even if they do they only miss one week. If you are not giving them out for talking over you then they are probably seen as irrelevant by the kids.

    Sharpen up on the cards, either

    issue them like confetti. Talk over me - 1st card, be cocky about getting card - 2nd card, give lip again - 3rd card and suspended next week.

    or
    switch to one yellow and red with months exclusion. They get one warning before issuing the card so its effectively two yellows. The advantage of this is its more immediate and a bigger punishment hence has more shock value. It also means less remembering how many cards you've issued and to who, and when. Also parents are likely to take more interest if their little darling can't go for a month. You would need to send the Parents a letter saying "due to behavior problems the system has be changed to ... and will be strictly enforced etc" so they have a warning. I would also formally tell a Parent when their child had been given a yellow so they can put pressure on child at home as well (if they have any real interest). It will need a couple of the kids to get reds for the message to get home but it will be worthwhile in the end.
    To get more kids we need more adults - are we getting the message yet?

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    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kastor View Post
    I think your yellow card system is a bit soft. It will take a while to get to 3 and even if they do they only miss one week. If you are not giving them out for talking over you then they are probably seen as irrelevant by the kids.

    Sharpen up on the cards, either

    issue them like confetti. Talk over me - 1st card, be cocky about getting card - 2nd card, give lip again - 3rd card and suspended next week.

    or
    switch to one yellow and red with months exclusion. They get one warning before issuing the card so its effectively two yellows. The advantage of this is its more immediate and a bigger punishment hence has more shock value. It also means less remembering how many cards you've issued and to who, and when. Also parents are likely to take more interest if their little darling can't go for a month. You would need to send the Parents a letter saying "due to behavior problems the system has be changed to ... and will be strictly enforced etc" so they have a warning. I would also formally tell a Parent when their child had been given a yellow so they can put pressure on child at home as well (if they have any real interest). It will need a couple of the kids to get reds for the message to get home but it will be worthwhile in the end.

    in scouts:

    I ban then from games for annoying me a bit. I ban them from meetings for annoying me a lot.

    I expect them to shut up if i'm talking, follow the simple rules i give out and not to bully.

    It's arbitary. I cannot point to individual incidents always. Sometimes i'll ask themnot to come the next week for just being annoying all night. If they need to ask for examples... that makes it worse.

    in cubs, I would be more lenient. But when i run cub meetings, I keep the rules simple. There is a circle on the floor, if they keep stepping off it... they miss the next game. If they interrupt me, I start the instructions again. do it twice and miss the games.

    The key thing is to make the punishment immediate and never threaten that which you will not do. You only have to send one kid home for the memory for that to last for a couple of terms.

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    Senior Member duncangray's Avatar
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    Interesting posts, as they often are on this subject.

    I've recently changed Packs. So far I've been prety appalled at behavior within the new lot!

    3 YP in particular seem to cause most dissruption. 1 of those in particular realy does just appear to see it all as 'sport' to wind up and ignore the leaders.

    Akela has run out of ideas or things to say to them. Last night he actualy appologised to me and asked if I had any other ideas. He realy dosn't want to give up on them , but they realy are ruining so many things for all the others.

    I've suggested we get together soon and try to put together a programme of how we are going to deal with behavior and attitudes in future. Present it to the Yp , then Parents , then stick to it !

    I'm going thruogh whatever I can find on here to put forward several 'formats' (?) and my own experiences. Then we ( he with his better understanding of the current makeup of the Pack , me with a clean sheet) can decide what we think we can best work within.

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    Take a no nonsense approach.

    Route out the ring leaders, easy to spot usually the pack comedian or the one with attitude. Stop them playing games or pull them up on every misdemeanor, they soon get fed up as you will, then you simply ban them coming the following week. Then if it carries on you ask them to leave. If they are that keen to be a cub they will sort them selves out and if they don't well they obviously aren't that bothered. Always be upfront with the kids and parents that you don't tolerate misbehaviour and anyone who can't abide by the rules leaves.

    As far as I am concerned I don't get paid to deal with misbehaving kids they either toe the line or leave. As I have a waiting list I can then easily find a replacement.

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    Get the Cubs to suggest suitable things to go on a code of conduct - most schools have golden rules, so they understand what it is about. You can then write a code of conduct based on that. Then get them all to sign it, and read it out regularly to remind them.

    You do need to be aware that some of your badly behaved ones are not necessarily bad when they are not with a certain other child, merely easily led. Spliting them up will work out the leader.

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    Senior Member wolfie's Avatar
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    Hi

    We have rules that the Cubs drew up themselves, and roles that we explain clearly to Sixers and Seconders (we have a 1 page sheet we go through and get them to sign, taking a copy home to Mum and Dad(which includes the fact their stripes could be taken away as easily as they were given)

    We do use the "hand in the air" technique and again it can be painful to start with but keep going as it does work in the end (especially if they miss out on a favourite game or food because they weren't quiet)

    We do use cards but equally award points for good behaviour, work, inspection etc. Peer pressure can work soemtmes, as when a Six realises they are loosing out on the prize they often exert pressure themselves (prizes may range from the winning Six not having to wash up at the next camp to a trip out). We use glass beads in palstic tubs so it''s easy for them all to see who is winning.

    Like other Packs we also award Cub of the Week (we have a badge) which works quite well.

    We have some Cubs that we never put together purely because they encourage each other / mess around when together - but are fine when apart.

    You might try swapping roles with a few, that can work well. So for that game / event you pick someone to swap places and be the leader while you act like a Cub. Pick the challenging ones and mimic their behaviour - they hate it and you can re-inforce you were only acting like them if they complain!

    As others have said you also need to "sit" on some ringleaders (not literally, although that might work...) Once they realise they get sent out every 10 minutes and miss the fun they eventually get the message.

    Main thing is keep going, as it will be worth all your hard work in the end.
    Louise

    GSL 1st Fenstanton & Hilton Scout Group www.scubes.co.uk


    TA - Cromwell District (Cambridgeshire)

    Media Manager - Cubjam2016

    We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.
    -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

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    Thanks for everyone's replies, I do think that we are too leinient on the cards although we are doing most other things suggested here. We drew up a code of conduct at the start of last term and they all signed to say they agreed.

    I am going to become tough akela!!

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    Senior Member wolfie's Avatar
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    Hi Pebbles

    In that case I'll lend you my "scary face" woggle then... works a treat with the Cubs!!! (which in case you wonder I am currently "surrogate" Akela for)
    Louise

    GSL 1st Fenstanton & Hilton Scout Group www.scubes.co.uk


    TA - Cromwell District (Cambridgeshire)

    Media Manager - Cubjam2016

    We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.
    -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

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    Senior Member CambridgeSkip's Avatar
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    I've found that the most effective sanction is the parents. If whatever you do at the meeting is not being effective then speaking to their parents will normally result in the parent being pretty embarassed and thus them putting the fear of God in their child to not do it again.

    Similarly once you suspend a kid for a while it sends a very powerful message to anyone else acting up.

    Obviously it's better not to get to that point in the first place but occassionally it's the only way!

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    Senior Member AdrianP's Avatar
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    We had behaviour problems a few years ago with our Scouts . I know it's not the same as Cubs but the problems are still there. Basically as has been described here, nobody would do what they were told, they'd start activities and then stop or run away, they wouldn't be quiet, stand still, behave, do as they were told... The usual problems.

    We had over 40 Scouts turn up each week in a hall that's really only big enough for 30. After a bit of reorganising in the group we opened a second meeting night and cut the numbers down. I was left with the poor behaviour but we now had a chance to deal with it. Some of the ways that we used were:

    - Moving the oldest Scouts to Explorers early. It helped balance the numbers as well as moving some of the problems away and splitting up conflicting Scouts. Obviously the Explorer leader needed to be involved with this but he helps at Scouts so could see the benefits on our side.
    - Standing and waiting. When I wanted quiet, I waited for it. The first time I wanted quiet for flag break it took 25 minutes. After a few weeks they got the message, and now a couple of years on we just have to stand at the hall at the beginning of the evening and pretty much get quiet. It'll take a minute or two but there's no real hassle.
    - I don't shout for quiet any more. I can shout louder than the Scouts, but it gets weary after a while! It's far easier to wait for them to work out that you're ready for them. Some bright spark will realise that they're missing out on something and eventually you'll get what you want.
    - If you're explaining something and you get disturbed by one of the kids, start again. From the beginning.
    - Get the backing of your leader team, otherwise you're fighting a losing battle. Trying to get the kids to be quiet when the rest of the leaders are stood chatting in one corner is almost impossible.
    - Make sure that you talk to your GSL about whatever sanctions you're putting in place. That way if anybody complains they already know about it!


    We ended up taking our programme right back to the basics and cutting out all of the adventurous and exciting activities as we couldn't trust the kids to behave or do what they were told. One or two of the oldest Scouts might have got bored but most stuck it out and the troop is much better for it. Some on this forum would say that our kids could still be better behaved, but I don't want 26 little angels, I like their character to show just a little bit .

    Adrian

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    Senior Member DonTregartha's Avatar
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    Another sanction to use is call the parent to take them home there and then.

    We only ever used it twice in 10 years.


    Don Tregartha
    Old Scouter
    1st Wing Scouts

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