Daisy Leader Wants to Know: Do parents stay for scout meetings? We got a lat start for our first year in February. The number of moms that stayed during the meetings surprised me. They probably stay because we only meet for one hour. Mostly they just sit away from the girls and chit-chat but I have mixed feelings about this.
Troop leaders from our Facebook page shared their ideas about when to give a certificate:
Laurie finds parents a distraction: We have been a troop since September and made the mistake of not asking to just drop the girls off. Please give me some nice ways to tell the moms to go or at least go into another room. It has been very distracting for our Daisies.
Lauren spoke with troop parents: 1st they ALL have to be registered for them to be there, 2nd I dealt with the same thing. I told my parents I didn’t mind (as long as they registered), but I told them a lot of troops don’t have parents hanging around. The girls have more room to grow and to express themselves without mom sitting there watching. It also avoids girls always looking for mom’s help or approval on things. A lot of my parents got what I was saying. The parents that still wanted to stay, I got them to help cut or get the things we needed ready for our next meeting.
Veronika lets the parents know when it’s time to leave: If you need help with a badge, project or craft, ask just a few to stay and help. Otherwise usher them out and say “OK parents, we‘re ready to start. See you in an hour.” The chit chatting can be distracting to you and the girls. But those that stay should be registered adults that have had background checks and possibly some training on proper scout conduct.
Kristen asked parents to trust the system: Do you stay at school with your kids? No. You trust your kids teacher and trust that they are safe. It is the same with scouts. Parents are distracting during troop meetings. Just as they would be sitting in the classroom at school. Trust the system and know your girls are in safe hands. They will become strong independent girls!
Laura suggested: If the parents are bothering you make them leave or put them to work.
Rebecca shared her experience: I work with the Daisies in a mixed troop. The parents that do stay, usually aren’t the ones we want. There was one mother who would also bring two teenage siblings! One of the girls brought her boyfriend! We found the three of them goofing off in the girls room! They would leave a trail of chips and soda bottles wherever they sat, and I found them defacing the church property. So I told the girl – if they want to stay, you need to help, this is troop time, not hang out with your family and friends time. And then they never came back.
Lisa had a different opinion: The girls in Daisy Scouts are still really little. I think it’s irresponsible parenting not to attend at least some of the meetings. As a mom of two Daisy Scouts, the leaders of their troop were perfect strangers to me. I’m not going to just drop off my girls with anyone until I’m satisfied that they are competent and trustworthy. I think that leaders of Daisies just need to deal with the inconvenience of having the parents around.
Tamika tried both: It is completely up to the leader whether the parents stay or go. In my experience, the kids, no matter the age, act better for the leaders if the parents are NOWHERE to be found! First year we had Brownies and only parents helping stayed. Not too bad we could have used a bit more help. Second year we had Daisies and Brownies with parents hanging around. The girls were up and down from Brownie Circle asking “mommy can you help” and mom then DID whatever project we were doing. This year, we had three different troops, different leaders, Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors. All leaders were in agreement, our meeting place was entirely too small for parents to stay. We had one leader and a Junior volunteer at every meeting play gatekeeper, having the parents sign girls in/out. Smooth like budda!
Paula appreciated the parent help: Be thankful you have parents who love their daughters and want to be involved in their lives. Our troop had 7 daisies and 6 moms that stayed. I did have to remind them on a few occasions to help maintain the girls attention I needed them to be quiet or play along. For me it was more frustrating to update the one mom later than to deal with all those wonderful volunteers standing around.
Amy found a compromise that worked for her troop: The moms in our troop used to stay and chat. I had them move to another room in the church where we met and put them to work. They cut out craft pieces, sorted badges, filed paperwork, etc. As the girls got older less of them stayed (my girls are Juniors now) but I still have about 4 of them and they are happy to stand in as an additional adult if need be, but they know to stay out of the meeting otherwise. I did have a rule that if parents stayed they had to be registered and background checked.
Christine shared: Parents don’t stay for meetings. I list times for meetings as drop off and pick up times. Most understand that. However, if the parent wants to stay I just let them know I will need them to help out and ask that there are no quiet conversations in the room as they are distracting.
Stacy had parents rotate: For parents who wanted to hang around, I created a sign up sheet for the year to allow the parents to decide what dates they were available to help.
Kathy offered a suggestion: Ask these moms if they have any special skills or hobbies that they would be willing to share. Let them help with meeting planning by setting up dates for them to share, taking some of the pressure off of you.
Tammy responded: I have a couple of moms that will hang out for a meeting while others leave and come right back. I’ve been leading for 13 years and noticed Daisy parents will stay more than parents of girls in older levels. I tell them if you stay, you may be put to work. I prefer parents leave, except to satisfy adult/ child ratio, because they talk and interrupt what we’re doing.
Martin’s response: The parents might be a distraction during the meeting. When you are trying to explain something, a parent will inevitably call out “Are you sure about that” or “That’s not how the girls or I did it in the past”. If you have a large number of girls attending, the addition of parents will mean in certain circumstances, you have too many people in one building for fire regulations. In wealthy areas, the parents may not attend, but send the foreign au pair who isn’t police cleared.
Donna found responsibilities for parents who stayed: If your parents stay at troop meetings you should put them to work helping. One can organize snacks while another distributes information to other parents. Other jobs include historian, taking attendance, etc.
Dusty reminds us it may not be practical for parents to drop off: My girls are starting their first year as Juniors (we’ve been together since Daisies) and 90% of moms still stay! We meet in an area large enough that it really doesn’t bother me plus I can ask them to help if needed. We live in a rural area and there really isn’t anything close enough to go do. Some drive a good ways from home just to get to the meetings. I think it is absolutely fine that parents stay. Wouldn’t we all want to see the fun things our girls were doing if we weren’t leaders?
Emily finds the girls are different without parents present: I specifically told my parents that they could not stay. The girls act very differently when their parents aren’t there and they will be more adventurous. I would tell them that it is a distraction to you and the girls.
Char gives one parent perspective: It was allowed by our leader. Now the girls are going into 6th grade and act just as rudely as their mothers by chit chatting all through the meeting. Stop the madness now!
Peggy responded: They need to be registered if they stay and siblings get in the way. After years of scouting I have found the girls need to bond and work together without a lot of distractions. I had one parent that would try and sit by her child and do her projects for her. At one meeting all the extra moms were talking so loud that I took the girls to another room and they didn’t even notice. As the leader you are there for the girls. You do ask parents when you need help. Actually, you are supposed to take out non member insurance out with your council if non-registered people are attending.
Shalina has parents work with girls other than their own daughter: Staying with my Daisy is what led to me becoming a scout leader. Now I’ve started my own set of troops and my daughter is about to begin her 2nd year as a Junior. I was not comfortable leaving my small child with adults I didn’t know. But the leader, Jennifer, assigned us jobs and tasks to complete. The moms spent most of the meeting in the kitchen preparing snacks or working with a different grade level.
Gail shared her experience: I have Daisy and Brownie troops. It is a pain sometimes when the girls are distracted by mom being there. Only registered moms stay at meetings and help. If moms are there I try to make sure they have a job. Parents are there to help someone else’s daughter not their own. I have a few moms that will take over for their daughter and daughter doesn’t learn how to do it.