Ex-husband Is Protesting Cub Scouts

Updated on June 25, 2011
E.T. asks from Carrollton, TX
18 answers

I have a 6 year old son who will enter the first grade in the fall. While my ex and I agree that team sports probably isn't his thing, he's really protesting cub scouts. He's saying that he (my ex) doesn't like "that crud <insert real word>" and all he remembers about cub scouts/boy scouts from his childhood was the boys getting picked on.

I have cousins in scouts and a co-worker's son who is in it, so I understand he's being really shortsighted. Plus, my ex grew up in a pretty backwards area of the south.

I think this is a great fit for my son. I think my ex doesn't want to do it because of his own preconceived notions. We currently do 50/50 physical custody, so doing this without his support would be very hard to pull off.

Not sure what to do about my ex...

ETA: I talked to my son beforehand and he's really excited about trying it. He's always been great with his hands and LOVES being outdoors, which is why I asked him about it. And no, he wouldn't be doing soccer or hockey (which are the team sports he's tried).

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Oklahoma City on

Just do it. If dad doesn't like it he doesn't have to take him to the weekly meetings or show up for the monthly parent stuff (awards and patches). If he doesn't want him to do it too bad. Unless he is with dad on the days they meet it should be no problem. If he is with dad on those days then he needs to find another group.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Biloxi on

Go do Scouts.
My son did it in 1st and 2nd grade and it was a great experience.
If Dad is that opposed to it, explain to the scout master that he may only be able to attend every other meeting. But, he can still work on his badges outside of meeting time.
I bet once Dad sees how much son loves it, he will come around.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Boston on

Not sure if this would work, but how about a trial period? Talk to your ex about signing your son up for scouts and agreeing to evaluate after the first month (or whatever timeframe you think would be good). This would give everyone -- you, your ex and your son -- a chance to "try it on for size" and see how it fits.

Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

ask your son if he wants to do it - if he does then it's HIS choice....

my kids loved cub scouts...my 9 year old will be a WeBlo this year...my other is now a boy scout


2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I think it can be good to try and see if he likes it, some like it when they are young and drop out later as they don't want to do the backpacking and hard stuff. Your husband may be right on the fact that there is a stereotype about who joins them and it is known as the Geeks and Nerds. I was a cheerleader way back yonder and that is what the people who were in the boy scouts were mostly. Not that Geeks and Nerds is a bad thing, they make a lot of money when they are older. My sons best friend was in the scouts and is very nerdy if ya will but very popular. My son is popular but very eccentric and tried the Scouts out but didn't like all the hard stuff you have to do. His friend went all the way to Scout Leader! The one thing I would be concerned with having a Criminal Justice Degree is that a lot of perverts get into the Scouts to just be around little boys so you have to be careful and if your husband doesn't support it, he wouldn't be there to supervise him. Many parents think that ---they all have background checks, while that may be true---many have never been caught so they don't have a record. An example is one of our dads which was a scout leader got arrested for trying to solicit a minor!!! It destroyed his whole family which was really sad. Just be informed and careful! Good luck to you !!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I am putting off having my son join the Cub Scouts too! I have 2 stepsons who have been in scouts their whole life, 1 has his Eagle and the other just got his Eagle project approved and is working on it...and I know first hand that Scouts just takes up SO much time, it is NEVER ENDING! Ugh!!!

~Sounds like you need to talk with your son then have a heart to heart with your ex...especially if your son has no other extra curricular activities, like sports going on!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Redding on

Your ex might be afraid that he will have to participate? Lots of times Dads are asked to go on camp outs and stuff, sounds like its not his thing. If you promise him he doesnt have to be involved in it and schedule visitation around the cub scout stuff maybe he'll think better of it?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

my son is in it & there are a lot of moms at the meetings, either they are single or dad works long hours....you can go to everything like the camp outs etc, in fact it's very family oriented & if my DH was working I would take my son along with my 2 girls.......so don't be intimidated just join in......you can still do this without dads participation & if your son has to miss some meetings it's no biggie

my girlfriends son was in it & his dad didn't have any part in it.....so my husband (who is a super nerdy ex scout) stepped up & helped with the pinewood derby & other projects that she wasn't sure about.....i am sure if you asked for help there would be tons of people to help you.

have fun with your son, don't let your ex hold you back!!!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Savannah on

I agree that it's your son's choice, really, whether to try it out or not. Not sure what the deal is, but when I mentioned it "for the future" with my boys, my husband hesitated and said "Well, I don't want him to be a nerd.....and of course I'd have to go to all campouts and stuff". I didn't understand the nerd thing too good (unless it's that the boys wore dinky uniforms to school or something, but they don't do that these days....at least not my friends' sons). My husband changed his tune when we took my bff's son (in his 3rd year of scouts) to the boyscout national headquarters and museum in Dallas (was local to us at the time) and we were kinda impressed with some things we saw. My bff's son is anything but a "nerd" (super social, loads of friends, girls crushing on him), but he is a cute, outgoing, honor role student who is also one of the best players on his soccer team and likes to do "tricks" with his skateboard and bike (although he bites at basketball, and the scouting mantra "do your best" came in handy then). Also, my little boy went as a "bug scout" ("sibling" too young to be a scout) to a couple events and had SOOO much fun. And he never wears his uniform except when he's doing something with the scouts; he doesn't need to wear it to school. I think that makes a big difference. Finally, since I spent most days with my friend's son as a "babysitter", we went through the book together (and my husband too), helped him with some activities, and it was a surprisingly good program. Since our scout doesn't have a dad, it's nice to see him still get to learn some things like camping, fishing, etc. My husband is totally on board now and is interested in being involved when our boys are old enough. Also, just from an outsider looking in: I think every den or whatever is probably different, but I was kinda impressed that the boys were nice to each other, though they were different and wouldn't really be "friends" in school if not for scouts. (Jocks, quieter guys more interested in Science, introverts and extroverts, etc).

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

You will need a male helper who can be with your son and support Boy Scouts. When your child is with his father, he will have to forgo the meetings unless your former husband will relent. Just let him know that you will not expect any of his participation unless he changes his mind and that you have a stand in.

Too bad he doesn't approve of Boy Scouts....it's a great thing for growing boys.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

It should be up to your son if he wants to do it. Maybe if your son tells his dad how much he wants to do it and for what reasons then he might soften up. You can always tell his dad that if your son doesnt like it after awhile, or that he gets picked on then he can leave and find something else.

It would be a good place to learn things, and be social with boys his own age.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Redding on

I know little boys that have really enjoyed Scouts. (Without getting picked on).
My son wasn't involved in it because he was so into swimming and baseball and there wasn't time for much else. However, several of my friends had their kids involved in it and they made buddies, enjoyed the activities, earning their badges. One friends son was on the hyper side and he really benefitted from the creative stuff. It gave him an outlet so that he was calmer at school and at home. He felt part of a team and really took it pretty seriously. The kid who couldn't remember to put his socks on before school was dressed and ready early for his scout meetings and events. Every single time.
This is a side note, but you might want to check out the movie "Man of the House" with Chevy Chase and Farrah Fawcett. You might not want your son to see it, but it's been on the Disney Channel. It's pretty funny.

Anyway, hopefully you can talk your ex into at least giving it a shot. Your son may really like it and if he doesn't, no harm done.
I was a Brownie leader and involved in Girl Scouts with my daughter and it was a pretty great experience. I'd have done the same with my son but he was more on the athletic side.

I hope you get it worked out.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

It's your son's choice not your or your ex. Let him sign up and try it. Tell your ex it's not about him or about what interests h likes it's about what makes your son happy. This what I did when we wen to court bc dad refused to take hs son to bday parties and sport games bc he didn't like going. I told the judge it's not about what dad enjoys doing it's about what makes our son happy. Going to friends parties and playing sports makes him happy :)
My advice if he does scouts is when you buy his shirt buy it big he needs the blue one for tiger, wolf, and bear.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

If your son really wants to do it, I would let him do it...your ex needs to realize that his experience is in no way the norm. He does not need to participate if he doesn't want to but maybe eventually he will come around. When my stepson was 7, he wanted to sign up for soccer in the worst way, but his mother would not allow it. Apparently it was because she didn't like the coach, and the way he treated my stepson's cousin (her nephew) who was on the team. We had to respect her decision but I couldn't help but feel she was being too overprotective. I would agree with the idea of letting him try it for a certain period of time and seeing how it goes. And trying to have a civil conversation with your ex, and asking him what he expects your son to do if he is not involved in sports. And trying to get him to see how much it means to him to want to be a part of this. Just because he had a bad experience growing up does not mean his son will. My brother went through the whole Cub Scout program and it was a fantastic bonding opportunity for him and our dad. And my uncle was a former Boy Scout troop leader, both his sons made Eagle Scout rank, and now my one cousin's son is Eagle Scout too. I don't have a son, but if I did, I would be trying to get him interested in Cub Scouts. I wish my stepsons had been signed up (another thing that their mom looked into, then decided against - now as teenagers they are not involved in anything, have accomplished nothing, and are not even considering college after high school).

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

go back to court and file something requesting if parents don't agree on Medical and/or education and social activities that YOU be given "final decision". That will solve that problem. In the mean time, email him and try to get him to reply back his reasons for not letting him go. this is the documentation you need for court. good luck.



answers from Dallas on

Cub scout age boys don't really get teased. I think he is confusing boy scouts with cub scouts. And by the time the older, most simply do not advertise they are in scouts. Most people know, it just like a don't ask don't tell sort of thing. I wish my son diddn't drop out.



answers from Sacramento on

I don't know what to tell you at this point. Maybe you and your ex can go to a couple of meetings before signing your son up, or he can meet some other cubscout parents to ease his mind.

If not, maybe you can talk to the leader and arrange for meetings to be scheduled on days you have your son... but if you have joint custody (which you do) you really shouldn't sign him up for something his dad is actually AGAINST, whether he has to take him to meetings or not.

That said, it's probably best, in future, that you talk to your ex and agree BEFORE you talk to your son. If you can't do it without his dad's support, then you can't do it without his support. You don't want your sweet little guy to start figuring out how to play one parent against the other ;-)

Good luck,



answers from Dallas on

My 17 year old son has been in scouting since 1st grade and it's been a wonderful experience. It's not perfect - sometimes they aren't as organized as I would like, etc. - but he has never experienced teasing or bullying. My son was not very athletic either but scouting gets a little more rigorous each year - especially boy scouts - which has helped my son. It also teaches a lot about teamwork, responsibility, character and achievement. At your son's age, the important thing is trying different activities to see what is the best fit. It it's not a fit, your son will convey that and you can try something else.

Cub scouts has very little camping and is basically weekly meetings and either quarterly or semi-annual blue & gold banquets. Most of the meetings are in the afternoon after school so the lack of support initially may not be a big deal. If your ex sees your son enjoying it and blossoming, he will join in. Plus there's the Pinewood Derby - - which most dads can't resist!

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions