Leader Question: Leader does not know what to do? Basically I am wondering if any troop leaders have ever asked a girl to leave their troop due to behavior? We have a little girl in our Daisy troop who is mean, disruptive, doesn’t pay attention, and does things like taking extra cookies and then lies directly to my face about it. I have tried everything including talking to the mom who doesn’t see what the big deal is. Mom backs her daughter up on everything.

I have at least one girl who wants to quit the troop because of her. Another mom has asked that I not pair her daughter with this girl for any activities. I feel very sad and sorry for this child. She needs some structure and boundaries in her life. But she’s making me not want to be a leader anymore! I know it’s hard to believe one child could be so disruptive…but she IS.

Our Facebook leaders were quick to help with what to do with a disruptive girl scout:

Cindy’s help: Many parents put their daughters in Scouts and think somehow WE will teach their child to behave correctly. lol Seriously. I wouldn’t be so quick to give up on this little one. She’s only 5 or 6 and she’s acting out to GET attention, good or bad, it’s still attention. Her mother will not EVER correct this behavior. If she could or wanted to, she would have done it already. And to push it off on another PARENT to come into the meeting to correct the behavior isn’t fair to them. Pull this little one aside when you have a few minutes alone with her and ask her if she will HELP YOU in a special meeting. Put her in charge of teaching something, reading a book, have HER become “behavior monitor” in the meetings. I don’t know what all you’ve tried already, but that would be my first attempt at getting her focused and involved. I know it’s difficult at that age, but I would try everything under the sun before sending her away. It won’t help her at all, to have even GIRL SCOUTS turn her away and give up. My best advice is to react differently than everyone else to her bad behavior and she will LOVE you more for it. I wish you all the luck in the world.

Christina’s input: Have each parent and child review and sign behavior contracts, you can find generic ones for Girl Scouts online, I always added things into contracts like general meeting rules to help reinforce the Girl Scout Law (Respect Authority as an example) and make sure it clearly states that disruptive behavior will not be tolerated. Having all parents and girls sign it won’t single anyone out. Make sure you report everything this child is doing and any problems with mom directly to your membership specialist. If she can’t control herself, mom needs to be there, your a troop leader, not a babysitter.

Bridgett: It’s possible she may have an undiagnosed mental, emotional or behavioral health issue. Mom may be in denial or embarrassed by the issues. Or lack of guidance and structure. Let the mom know you are more concerned about the well being of her daughter and that while Girl Scouting is designed to help girls discover their inner greatness you also have to insure everyone else’s well being. Let her know that maybe you can assist her in connecting her with social services or counseling that may help but unless she addresses the behavioral issues she can’t come back to the troop.

Emily thinks: Be firm in your troop rules with all the girls, and lay down the law that anyone not following the rules will have to leave the meeting/ activity or will have to sit to the side (like a time out). If she doesn’t change her behavior to follow the rules, you being firm and consistent will make her too uncomfortable and they will probably leave the troop. Either way, you are providing a great life lesson for her. One result is she reaps the rewards of appropriate behavior. The other is she learns that if she doesn’t act appropriately she looses opportunities. Don’t let it ruin the experience for you and your daughter. Time is precious, there aren’t any do-overs when it comes to quality time with your children.

Betsy wrote in: Old school… when the behavior pops up, she goes to sit in the corner away from the activity. It continues, call the mother to come pick her up early from the meeting. You are not a babysitting service. You need to tackle this head on. Council isn’t going to do anything but try to place her in another troop. How many troops are there to do this? Maybe one? I say this because I have a special needs child in my troop. I am also a mother of a special needs child. If the child is to continue, the mother needs to be there. Done.

Deanna’s help: Dealing with a disruptive Girl Scout is very hard! Whatever you choose, as I have seen a lot of great advice here, make sure you document and ALWAYS have a witness to discussions. Don’t try to talk with parent on the phone as it can become she said… she said and you have no one to verify what each of you said. You need to protect yourself. Good luck and I hope it works out.

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