Dealing with disruptive/ trouble making youth

Ideas, thoughts, approaches and material to equip our adult volunteers to deliver the youth programs.
bgilchrist
Posts: 25
Joined: Sat May 28, 2011 6:10 pm
anti_spambot: 7

Dealing with disruptive/ trouble making youth

Post by bgilchrist » Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:52 am

Does anyone have any well-tried methods for dealing with trouble making youths? I have two youth in my section that seem to feed off each other, they are disruptive, rude disrespective and generally un-cooperative. The flip side is that they will readily admit that they want to be there and you can see that when they are on task they are getting benefit from the programming.

I have mentioned to the parents that there are behaviour issues. One does take medication and at one camp he did not take it before coming. I told the parent the youth would not be allowed to attend future events if he does not take his medication.

This behaviour is also becoming noticed by the other youth and they are becoming frustrated wit it as well. I'm going to suggest to the parents a one warning policy, where if I have to warn more than once, I'll call the parents to pick them up. I've also toyed with the idea of making parental accompanyment mandatory for all outings.

I'm worried that unless I can think of something to address it, this behaviour will end up with the parents being told the youth are no longer welcome to come to meetings.

Oh, the youth are 3rd year scouts.

User avatar
Kaylee Galipeau
Posts: 98
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2009 5:04 pm
anti_spambot: 0
Location: Edmonton, AB
Contact:

Re: Dealing with disruptive/ trouble making youth

Post by Kaylee Galipeau » Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:55 pm

My discipline approaches come mostly from my teachings as an educator, but I find that "student centered" management styles work well also as "Scout centered" management styles. Consider holding a "Classroom meeting" (Troop meeting) to sit down and have a discussion on what the rules are and what the consequences will be. Let the Scouts come up with the rules themselves, (with hints if needed) and write them together, and also have them come up with logical consequences. Talk with them about how we would police this- is it up to the youth themselves to admit to wrongdoing? Or are the patrol leaders or leaders in change of implementing it. It may take some practice, but if students/scouts have ownership in their behaviors and consequences they are far more likely to follow them. Give the scouts the opportunity to take ownership of their behavior- at this age approval from peers is very important so if done together it can help make for a strong bond between the youth when they all have high expectations of themselves and others.
YiS,
Kaylee Galipeau
National Youth Commissioner
CJ2013 Special Events Manager

User avatar
whuggard
Posts: 75
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:17 am
anti_spambot: 7

Re: Dealing with disruptive/ trouble making youth

Post by whuggard » Wed Oct 26, 2011 1:02 pm

A one meeting time out. If they really want to be there they will change their ways.
Will Huggard
Akela - 1st Crestview Cubs
Winnipeg, MB

Sam Wallis
Posts: 719
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2011 6:46 pm
anti_spambot: 7

Re: Dealing with disruptive/ trouble making youth

Post by Sam Wallis » Wed Oct 26, 2011 2:01 pm

if one is on medication is that a disability issue? my pack has had autistic youth in the past, and while they can be chalenging they do require a different comunication strategy, as comunication is the root of their difference. going over and tapping them on the shoulder, then directly speaking to them seems to be better, however I am not the expert on this. if you would like one of our leaders is an expert with autism and I could put him in touch with you.
Truth is a perception, and a individual perception is their truth

bgilchrist
Posts: 25
Joined: Sat May 28, 2011 6:10 pm
anti_spambot: 7

Re: Dealing with disruptive/ trouble making youth

Post by bgilchrist » Wed Oct 26, 2011 2:18 pm

It's not autism, it's ADHD.

We've actually tried talking about beaviour/consequences as a troop. We did a behaviour charter as a group the beginning of the year. We talked about what was acceptable behaviour and what would not be allowed. All the scouts signed it. When it came to the two that we have issues with, one scribbled a small line and the other scribbled large circles over the remainder (1/2) of the sheet.

I'm not sure how much support I'll get from the parents, they seem to smile and meekly say 'don't do that' when they see the same type of behaviour.

Angus Bickerton
Posts: 562
Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2011 1:55 pm
anti_spambot: 7
Location: Brockville, Ontario

Re: Dealing with disruptive/ trouble making youth

Post by Angus Bickerton » Wed Oct 26, 2011 3:32 pm

bgilchrist wrote:It's not autism, it's ADHD.

We've actually tried talking about beaviour/consequences as a troop. We did a behaviour charter as a group the beginning of the year. We talked about what was acceptable behaviour and what would not be allowed. All the scouts signed it. When it came to the two that we have issues with, one scribbled a small line and the other scribbled large circles over the remainder (1/2) of the sheet.

I'm not sure how much support I'll get from the parents, they seem to smile and meekly say 'don't do that' when they see the same type of behaviour.
Do you have an active Court of Honour? A CoH is vital to a good program anyway, and having the youth handling the problem both teaches them about conflict resolution, leadership and might serve to handle the problem better than you can by a leader-generated "ruling".

If you don't have a CoH, institute one, and note the violations of the code of conduct the Troop agreed on earlier this year. Deal with the breaches by letting their peers arrive at solutions (carefully guided by the Troop Scouter and other leaders). In essence, let it be grassroots, instead of top-down discipline. At the age of 13, youths tend to care much more about what their peers think of them than what adults do. They are craving to be a part of the group, but not of adult society. Before doing this, I would first have a closed CoH meeting with Leaders and PLs , not the two youth, to discuss how to resolve the problem. Ask, at all times, for youth input. At the CoH meeting, have the PLs and APLs involved (moral weight).

I would be blunt to all of the youth at the CoH: what might be acceptable at home, is not acceptable in society, or in your Scout Troop. There are consequences for actions. The two you complain of are being disruptive because they are being faced with a problem that they don't want to or can't solve (for example, a kid throws a tantrum and yells at his parents when they tell him to do his homework because he has trouble with that homework, not because his parents are mean for making him do it). I don't know what that problem is, but if you can identify it, you will be half way to resolving the issue before taking any disciplinary steps. That should be, at first, the primary focus of your CoH hearing.
Angus Bickerton
Troop Scouter
Brockville Troop
1st Brockville Group Committee
1st Gilwell 2011 (Colony) 2013 (Pack)

There is no armour made that can withstand the truth - Karsa Orlong

Sam Wallis
Posts: 719
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2011 6:46 pm
anti_spambot: 7

Re: Dealing with disruptive/ trouble making youth

Post by Sam Wallis » Wed Oct 26, 2011 5:06 pm

bgilchrist wrote:It's not autism, it's ADHD.

We've actually tried talking about beaviour/consequences as a troop. We did a behaviour charter as a group the beginning of the year. We talked about what was acceptable behaviour and what would not be allowed. All the scouts signed it. When it came to the two that we have issues with, one scribbled a small line and the other scribbled large circles over the remainder (1/2) of the sheet.

I'm not sure how much support I'll get from the parents, they seem to smile and meekly say 'don't do that' when they see the same type of behaviour.

I know much less about this (not that I knew much about autism) so will sit back and watch. good luck. I am sure there are some here who can help. Sounds like the parents enable rather than reduce the behavior.
Truth is a perception, and a individual perception is their truth

ayates
Posts: 642
Joined: Tue May 12, 2009 6:48 am
anti_spambot: 7

Re: Dealing with disruptive/ trouble making youth

Post by ayates » Wed Oct 26, 2011 5:37 pm

While I am certainly no expert on dealing with problem kids, I did have one kid with ADD from Cubs right through to Venturers. I found with him as long as he was kept active he was no problem at all. In fact he was one of my best kids, and still is. Just don't sit him down to teach him map & compass :)

Hawkeye3
Posts: 236
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:10 pm
anti_spambot: 7

Re: Dealing with disruptive/ trouble making youth

Post by Hawkeye3 » Wed Oct 26, 2011 7:56 pm

I agree, keeping him busy will help. Also, giving him pre-warning of what will happen help. For instance, say "next week, we are going on a hike" or "tonight, we will be doing X". Then, give clear choices "do you want to go on the hike or stay with your parent?" Plus, give him the chance to lead (with warning). For instance, "while on the hike, we will need to take a bearing. Would you like to try?" If yes, "would you like my help?". This let's the others rally around him.

When the temper tantrums happened, I asked "Is this how we act" or said "I can't help you right now. You aren't using your words. When you are ready to tell me what you would like, let me know."

I did this in Beavers for an Autistic child and it helped.

Remember, with all youth, they act they way they are expected to act. If you set the expectation and publicly reward positive behaviour ("Good job, you used your words!"), that usually helps.

My apologies if my answer is too Beaver-centric. With a name like Hawkeye3, I guess it's to be expected! :)
Tom

Angus Bickerton
Posts: 562
Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2011 1:55 pm
anti_spambot: 7
Location: Brockville, Ontario

Re: Dealing with disruptive/ trouble making youth

Post by Angus Bickerton » Thu Oct 27, 2011 8:09 am

Some mighty good suggestions on this page...
Angus Bickerton
Troop Scouter
Brockville Troop
1st Brockville Group Committee
1st Gilwell 2011 (Colony) 2013 (Pack)

There is no armour made that can withstand the truth - Karsa Orlong

ayates
Posts: 642
Joined: Tue May 12, 2009 6:48 am
anti_spambot: 7

Re: Dealing with disruptive/ trouble making youth

Post by ayates » Thu Oct 27, 2011 8:44 am

Find the book by Michael Burdo at the Scout Shop. It is reportedly good on how to deal with kids with issues.

Angus Bickerton
Posts: 562
Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2011 1:55 pm
anti_spambot: 7
Location: Brockville, Ontario

Re: Dealing with disruptive/ trouble making youth

Post by Angus Bickerton » Thu Oct 27, 2011 9:34 am

ayates wrote:Find the book by Michael Burdo at the Scout Shop. It is reportedly good on how to deal with kids with issues.
That is great advice, Allan. I'd forgotten about that book (got it and read it twice). Mike Burdo spoke at my WB II last spring. He is an amazing speaker, and great to talk to one-on-one. The book is easy to read, and provides methods that are easy to put in practice.

As the parent of an ADHD child, I must say don't let the ADHD be an "excuse" for the child (which the parents in your scenario appear to be doing). A child with ADHD must be managed differently, firstly by making sure that under- or over-medication is not an issue (how many kids come to camp without medication?!?), and secondly, by limiting the choices as much as you can, so that anxiety does not set in, which makes the neurons fire faster than any medication can keep in check. ADHD kids need to be just as accountable, if not more so, than other kids, and giving them a job to focus on is vital, which is the positive way of saying "limit their choices". My daughter is ADHD, and she is a sixer and bringing badges home by the fistful every week. She has something to aim at: Six Stars and Eight Awards, and she aims at it each week by getting a particular badge or requirement on the way to that goal. An ADHD kid without a goal is like a loaded gun without a target: they can go off and the results can be tragic. So, give them a target, remind them of the target constantly, and reward them for best efforts in aiming at that target. Positive reinforcement for good behaviour is your best weapon in this struggle, as is the responsibility side I posted on above (actions have consequences).

All of the above being said, talking about this issue is much easier than actually dealing with it. Good luck, and good Scouting!
Angus Bickerton
Troop Scouter
Brockville Troop
1st Brockville Group Committee
1st Gilwell 2011 (Colony) 2013 (Pack)

There is no armour made that can withstand the truth - Karsa Orlong

bgilchrist
Posts: 25
Joined: Sat May 28, 2011 6:10 pm
anti_spambot: 7

Re: Dealing with disruptive/ trouble making youth

Post by bgilchrist » Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:41 am

Thanks everyone, for the wonderful replies. I’ve also run this scenario by my wife, who is a teacher, to see how she would deal with something like this.
One thing that I think is very important to remember is that while steps need to instituted to address this behavior in scout meetings, the focus needs to be on the program and the scouts as a whole as opposed to the individuals in questions. What I mean by that is that because the program works for a majority of my youth, I’m not going to alter it drastically (or in the case of last year, not participate in or undertake events) because of two youth. Nor am I prepared (or trained for that matter) to develop disciplinary methods for the parents to use with these youth. My focus has to be on ensuring that the programming gets delivered, the meetings run smoothly and that a system exists to inform the youth of acceptable behavior and the consequences of unacceptable behavior.

I think what we are going to do (given that we have developed a behavior agreement already) is as follows:

At the next meeting (next week) review the behavior agreement and explain that there has been behavior that is not acceptable under this agreement

Discuss and develop consequences to this behavior with the scouts (I suspect there will be minimal participation , if any from the two youth in question at this stage), ensuring that consequences are fair, incremental and suitable to ensure that the youth know that they don’t have the leniency in this aspect that they did in previous years.
Inform all the parents in writing both of the initial agreement (and esp. the list of unacceptable behavior) and the consequences.

Inform the parents of the youth in question specifically of the issues we have had so far this year and that the consequences have been developed by the youth.

FOLLOW THROUGH ON CONSEQUENCES (I’ve been having a problem so far with this)

As for the individual who I suspect did not take his medication, talk to the parent to confirm this. If he did not take his medication, inform the parent that this has been discussed with them previously, and stress that he needs to be on his medication to come to events. If we find out he is not on is medication, is parents will be required to pick him up from the event, and he will no longer be allowed to attend events unless parents confirm that he has taken his medication for that time frame

’ ll let you know how this works out.

Hawkeye3
Posts: 236
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:10 pm
anti_spambot: 7

Re: Dealing with disruptive/ trouble making youth

Post by Hawkeye3 » Thu Oct 27, 2011 11:35 am

Good day,
I really hope you don't give up on these Scouts. I know they can be a pain. Trust me, in Beavers they have even less self control.

Before the code of conduct is created, I would like to ask some questions about it:
-For this age group, will they be able to create such a code?
-Given the impulsive nature of the Scouts in the 10-13 age group, what affect will the code have on Troop behaviour?
-What happens when you have an incident that doesn't violate the code but is still wrong?
-Are there any senior members of your troop (or Venturers) who can help with these Scouts?

As for the medication issue, I 100% agree. Taking them off meds for a weekend is likely unhealthy for them and dangerous for you. You are right, no meds should equal no trip.
Good luck,
Tom

bgilchrist
Posts: 25
Joined: Sat May 28, 2011 6:10 pm
anti_spambot: 7

Re: Dealing with disruptive/ trouble making youth

Post by bgilchrist » Thu Oct 27, 2011 1:58 pm

It's not so much the impulsive one-off behaviour that's a problem. It's the consistent lack of respect and rudeness. I’ll give some examples:

Leader speaking to specific youth. Youth looks at leader, does the talking had motion and replies ‘blah, blah, blah’ to the leader

Youth told very nicely by other scout that it was time to wake up as breakfast was ready. Youth’s response was to scream “Screw You” as loud as he could

Leader went to remind youths that they had been reminded that breakfast was being served. Before leader reached shelter area, you stated screaming (yes screaming) ‘We’re naked , pervert, pervert’,( of course they weren’t naked)

When queried about what steps are to accomplish a task ( i.e. what do you do first), youth’s normal response is ‘breathe’

Youth lied on several occasions during camp

Youth also refused to follow and ignored simple requests from scout leaders ( please go and take down your shelter)

I’ve had youth before in other organizations and with beavers and cubs that have been a bit of a handful, but have never seen the level of disrespect as I have from these two( essentially everything short of being told to f-off)

ayates
Posts: 642
Joined: Tue May 12, 2009 6:48 am
anti_spambot: 7

Re: Dealing with disruptive/ trouble making youth

Post by ayates » Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:44 pm

I have no tolerance for attitude like that. Anything remotely akin and the youth would be on their way home; a second occurrence and they would be gone for good. I can deal with exuberance, aka ADD, but not insubordination.

On another note, the movie Mecury Rising does a very good job of showing a kid with autism.

Angus Bickerton
Posts: 562
Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2011 1:55 pm
anti_spambot: 7
Location: Brockville, Ontario

Re: Dealing with disruptive/ trouble making youth

Post by Angus Bickerton » Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:52 pm

Given all that garbage, I would really first try to lay this at the feet of your Court of Honour. This has got to be getting the other Scouts angry, and them being part of the solution is a form of natural justice. If their decision is too harsh, you have the authority to temper it. If too lenient, you can later say it didn't work. But peer discipline, as opposed to peer pressure, can be much more effective than leader-based discipline, and it might keep your two troublemakers in Scouting, and turn them around. It is worth a shot, anyway.

And you're right. I would not tolerate that behaviour for one more moment, which is a total violation of the Scout law. I won't take it from my own children, and I sure as heck will not take it from someone else's.
Last edited by Angus Bickerton on Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Angus Bickerton
Troop Scouter
Brockville Troop
1st Brockville Group Committee
1st Gilwell 2011 (Colony) 2013 (Pack)

There is no armour made that can withstand the truth - Karsa Orlong

Hawkeye3
Posts: 236
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:10 pm
anti_spambot: 7

Re: Dealing with disruptive/ trouble making youth

Post by Hawkeye3 » Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:55 pm

Wow. I apologize. I did not understand the scope of the issue.

It seems these Scouts have found which buttons to push (those would do it for me too) and are pushing. So, why are they in Scouts? Do they want to be there? I do not believe that this behaviour is related to their ADHD. That is just bad behaviour.

I would ask them what they enjoy about Scouts. If the answer is sarcastic or “nothing”, ask why they still come. If the answer is that they are forced to, I’d ask what they can do to make it enjoyable (and be ready with the follow ups “would anyone else enjoy that?” and “would you really enjoy that?”). You are right though, enough is enough. I’d say it’s time for a parents-leaders-Scout discussion.

Good luck.
Tom

scouterguider
Posts: 132
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 2:52 pm
anti_spambot: 7

Re: Dealing with disruptive/ trouble making youth

Post by scouterguider » Wed Nov 02, 2011 2:09 pm

bgilchrist wrote:It's not so much the impulsive one-off behaviour that's a problem. It's the consistent lack of respect and rudeness. I’ll give some examples:

Leader speaking to specific youth. Youth looks at leader, does the talking had motion and replies ‘blah, blah, blah’ to the leader

Youth told very nicely by other scout that it was time to wake up as breakfast was ready. Youth’s response was to scream “Screw You” as loud as he could
..........
And what consequence is given when they do these types of things? It sounds like whatever happens is not something they care about (ie, their bad behaviour/attitude "pays" them more than the consequence "costs" them.

You've been given some suggestions that look pretty good - It is a time for a leader-youth discussion with them on whether or not they want to do scouting.... (as suggested), and also time for a CofH to discuss consequences that may work better. I have to also agree, that in my troop for something like that, we did the (figurative) "2 dimes and a nickle" method... we just used fakes ones instead of real ones.... First infraction, they are given a dime. 2nd infraction, another dime. 3rd infraction, a nickle, and they are taken to the pay-phone to call their parents for a ride home. For a couple of the things you mentioned, I think I'd have gone right to a quarter.

Sam Wallis
Posts: 719
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2011 6:46 pm
anti_spambot: 7

Re: Dealing with disruptive/ trouble making youth

Post by Sam Wallis » Wed Nov 02, 2011 4:29 pm

I like that idea.... now of course you cant find a pay phone and in AB you get an extra strike since a pay phone is 35 cents, but a good idea.
Truth is a perception, and a individual perception is their truth

Post Reply