18 answers

Disrespectul Parents in Girl Scout Troop

I have been a GS leader for 4 years. There is one mom who has always questioned everything I do.
I always include all the girls in all the decision making. However, this mom loves to say that I don't let the girls pick anythong.
It has gotten worse in the past couple of months. This mother has been hounding me with rude comments, telling other leaders that I am doing things wrong, etc. I have gotten her envolved with the service unit - thinking that this would help her to understand how much work the leaders do. But this has only made it worse - now she tells more people how bad I am.
I am at my wits end on what to do - I don't want to quit but the bully is pushing me that way.
Help!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I cannot believe all the wonderful ideas everyone has!! Thank you so much for taking time out to respond to my question. I am going to try a combination of everyone's suggestions - kill her with kindness AND ask a 3rd party to sit down with us. And I will do my best to respond to her in a calm, strong manner.
I'll be sure to let you know what happens!
Thanks again!

Featured Answers

I liked Peg M.'s response, but I would do it with someone higher up in the GS organization present. That way you have a witness. Also document everything.

Please don't quit, it sounds like you are a good leader for the girls!

K. Z.

3 moms found this helpful

I feel for you. I know that the few times I have been in a similar situation, when I calmly bring up the issue with the person, I have been shocked at their responses. People like this are not used to people confidently standing up to them so it catches them off guard. Just know that she would probably be that way with most people. If you can separate this from being a personal matter, you will handle her better. You have been given great suggestions. Hang in there, it is tough dealing with parents at times, but the children are the ones that we are there for----hang in there.

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers

I'd want to have a private chat with this mom. Don't be defensive. Acknowledge that you hear she's unhappy with your leadership. Ask her whether there are specific incidents that she's unhappy about. If so, you can carefully and respectfully rephrase her "concerns" so she'll know you heard and understand her. Sometimes just making that open-handed effort can shift someone's attitude toward you.

If you can, try to find the need she's expressing, such as, "So, I hear that you're worried your daughter's ideas don't get much respect in this group, and you'd like to see her choices honored more, is that right?" Allow some back-and-forth until you agree on what the woman's concern actually it – she may not be too clear.

Then make a request of your own, for example, that if she'd be so kind to offer concrete suggestions, you'll be happy to take her advice under advisement.

These are variations on the wonderful process called Non-Violent Communication, which you can google for descriptions, examples, books and classes. It's a fabulous process, and might even be worth having your GS troop explore together.

9 moms found this helpful

Tell her you won't be able to attend the next 3 meetings and she will be the substitute leader - don't give her an option just tell her how things will be. Then walk off...

The parents of our Cub Scout troop don't mind putting in their 'negative' two cents until they are asked to take the position of leader. All of a sudden, their complaints stop.

just a thought...

5 moms found this helpful

Don't quit because of one bad apple! You are obviously a great GS leader who has put up with a lot. I would tell her that her daughter is still very welcome in the troop, but she is no longer welcome in the meetings/activities until she can be a good example to the girls. Be specific, calm, and non-judgmental with her, but let her know that her behavior is not acceptable and is negatively impacting the troop. If you quit, she just gets to keep bullying, and the girls lose a good leader.

5 moms found this helpful

I am sorry you have to deal with a bully. I never know what to do in these situations, but what comes to mind is that you should document what she is doing and then talk to someone above you in the girlscout chain. Or, confront and stand up to her.
My daughter's girlscout leader does a wonderful job and I can see how hard she works and how much time she gives to the group, I would never think of treating her with anything but gratitude and respect.

Thanks for the time and dedication that you are providing to your troop!

Good Luck

5 moms found this helpful

I liked Peg M.'s response, but I would do it with someone higher up in the GS organization present. That way you have a witness. Also document everything.

Please don't quit, it sounds like you are a good leader for the girls!

K. Z.

3 moms found this helpful

I agree with some of the other posters. Document what and when things are happening. Consult the Service Unit Leader and see what they suggest. You can also schedule a one on one w/ an unbiased third party (someone above you in the Scout hierachy). It could come down to this other option "I understand you are not happy. Would you like to switch to another unit?".

PS...I was a Cub Scout den leader so I feel your pain.

3 moms found this helpful

I think you need to call your Service Unit Leader and let her know what is going on and ask that you three sit down and have a face to face meeting. You need to put all your cards on the table and ask her what is it about you that she finds so offensive that she feels it is OK to slander you to others.

Be point blank about it with her while being polite.

3 moms found this helpful

I feel for you. I know that the few times I have been in a similar situation, when I calmly bring up the issue with the person, I have been shocked at their responses. People like this are not used to people confidently standing up to them so it catches them off guard. Just know that she would probably be that way with most people. If you can separate this from being a personal matter, you will handle her better. You have been given great suggestions. Hang in there, it is tough dealing with parents at times, but the children are the ones that we are there for----hang in there.

2 moms found this helpful

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