Brownie leader needs your help: This is more a parent question but there always seems to be good advice here. This will be our first year as Brownies. I decided to become a Daisy leader because my daughter was having trouble socializing. Her teachers have said she is very quiet and doesn’t interact with the other kids. We are seeing the school psychologist who suggested smaller groups would help her. In daisys she tended to stick close to me rather than the other girls. I have tried several things such as assigning buddies, working in groups, asking her to shadow my 02 but no of it seems to improve her overall confidence. Anyone have any other ideas I can try in or out of scouting?
Our Facebook Leaders shared their advice:
Shalina’s experience: My daughter was a painfully shy girl when she started scouts. She literally sat on my lap while doing crafts. My recommendation is give it time. The more she became comfortable with the girls and the leader, the more space I could put between us. I was finally able to work separately with a group of older girls. Now over 7 yrs later, she is a 2nd year Cadette and can’t wait for GS Residents Camp every summer. And will tell you she is more comfortable at GS than she is anywhere else. I’m going through the same thing now with my just finished her 1st year Daisy… who has been attending meetings since birth since I’m the leader. When she finds her way to me, I give her a hug and send her back with the Daisies. It’s a process but I love GS for being a safe place for girls that need to truly build their confidence and social skills.
Malia’s idea: Get them outdoors – take them to a camp or day use facility and bring lots of interactive items and then have adults sit far away enough to watch – but have the girls just go play. No badges or planned activities – just play! Our first camping trip was Daisies in a dorm and all of the moms were impressed with how the girls just played. Try to keep her in the play group – keep adults out of sight enough to supervise but not seen where they can run back and stay with them and hopefully they can all make that friend bond together!
Ginger’s help: Keep at it-no quick fix here, just keep encouraging her. I was a scout leader for 25 yrs, one young lady would literally pull her hair out, she was so anxious away from her mom. I think she was a junior when all our efforts started to show. Now she’s a college senior and lead singer in a rock band. She still gets a little anxious in some situations, but a huge improvement.
Angie wrote in: Assign each girl a job and stress how important each job is. My daughter was the same shy girl until recently. I would tell her, for example, “we can’t do this awesome project without your help! Can you and Clare count out what everyone needs and give it to them?” Start small and have the jobs grow and become something she needs to think through on her own. This probably won’t be a quick fix, but I noticed small changes in confidence after the 1st year of making her my helper. She starts 8th grade this fall and I never thought she’d grow to be this confident.
Tracey: Time. I’ve been a leader for four years and am amazed at the changes in my girls. The scouts who were shy and had trouble participating in small groups are now outgoing and amazing public speakers. Just keep encouraging them and setting them up for success.
Larissa’s approach: If you have a co-leader, maybe getting together outside of a troop setting with that co-leader and her daughter, for a playdate, shopping, quick lunch at a fun kids place where they don’t just have to sit and look at each other, but they can play and interact with less stress. Once she feels like she fits with one of the girls she might open up a bit more during GS events with the other girls in the troop.
Michelle’s troop management: In our troop we try to divide up in groups for activities, just to make them run more smoothly, and mothers do not work with their own daughter’s groups. If one of our daughters is having a hard time interacting or engaging the other leader steps in like she would with any other girl in the troop who was having the same issue.