To have parents at a troop meeting or not

United States
January 9, 2008 3:40pm CST
I recently had a troop meeting where all the parents stayed - which is fine. I don't mind them there as long as they let the girls do their own project and make their own decisions. But there was two parents that would not stop talking (they were bored) and it was so difficult to keep the kids talking. It wasn't a real exciting meeting because the girls were planning their goals for the cookie sale, but one mother actually said she was bored. Then there was another mom that was txting the other two. I was highly annoyed. I did find out the next day that she was txting them to be quiet. It wouldn't have been bad if we were in separate rooms, but we were all in the living room together and my living is not that big. Would you let the parents stay next time or tell them to go out and get a coffee (or something else)?
2 people like this
4 responses
• Pakistan
15 Jan 08
exhibition of bad manners. i think you should convey the point to the concerned people in writing. that would be a decent way. anyways better luck next time?
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Jan 08
You said it - bad manners. Thanks for your comment!
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Jan 08
Use your resources wisely. You have all these parents. Have them help you.
• United States
27 Feb 08
When there are only 10 girls with 9 adults there is only so much for the adults to do. Besides, some of them don't want to help, they came to talk to their friends. I am also used to working with 30+ kids at a time with not much adult support, so my meetings are pretty organized.
@lucgeta (925)
• France
14 Jan 08
It's about girls scouts, I can see the interest now. That's always tough, the presence of the parents could inhibit the girls couldn't it? Case they want to be there to share with the kids, no problem, so why the cross talking? The point is the parents should know that it is not their meeting, it's the girls. If you have plenty of room, okay, they can talk as long as they want and interact with the girls when needed. If they just in the way, you'd better tell them politely. Good luck.
• United States
15 Jan 08
Thanks! One of the things my coleader and I decided to talk about manners during a meeting and include the adults as well.
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Jan 08
Have one of the parents teach the Manners badge. This way the parents get the message as well as the girls.
@royal52gens (5380)
• United States
14 Jan 08
Before offering some advice, let me ask what troop level are the girls? Daisys or Brownies?? Have you had a parent meeting? If not, plan one and clearly state that parents are welcome to stay at meetings but the focus is on the girls. Parents should be quiet and perhaps, should bring a book to read while waiting. Let parents know that it is okay if they go do other things while the meeting is going on but the child needs to be picked up on time as you are not a babysitter. Put your foot down gently but put your foot down so future events will be more enjoyable. I did this 10 years ago with my parents and I have enjoyed 10 years of Girl Scouting.
• United States
15 Jan 08
We are actually a 3rd year Brownie troop with 2nd and 3rd graders. We've had parent meetings before, but it's been a while since we all know each other. Which is why some of the adults talk with each other during the meeting. I guess they feel it's a time when they can catch up. I am used to working with youth where no parents show up and so I have a hard time keeping so many occupied at once. So this is a complete change. I know I shouldn't complain because I know that usually it's hard to get parents to help. I will definately incorporate some of what you said into out next troop meeting. Thank you for your advice. Are you still active in Girl Scouting?
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Jan 08
Yes, I am still active in Girl Scouts. My girls are Seniors. I have had them since kindergarten and now they are in high school. Since you have your meetings in your home, you might try having the parents in one room and your troop in a different room. Another option would be to have your meetings at the school or local cafe's conference room. You might also plan a few outings. We have our meetings in the conference room at the local cafe'. We had a few meetings where the girls gathered and we immediately walked down the street to a different location to learn about a business. We do not tell anyone a head of time that this outing is happening. We let the parents know right before we leave that we will be back in a little while and then we leave quickly. We have been to the flower shop, the quilting shop, the newspaper shop, the bank, a thrift store and a restaurant. We spend about 30 - 45 minutes at the business and then come back to our meeting place to discuss the business. We have also had speakers come in to speak to the girls about what opportunities are available to women. The parents have to be quiet for that.
• United States
16 Jan 08
Almost all the parents see this as bonding time with their daughters. I have done the separate room thing before and will have to do it again. My dinner room was just a mess that day so we all sat in the livingroom. We do outtings too - more now that they are older. I think I'm going to pull out Safety Wise as well and tell them that only so many adults may go. That is as long as we have enough drivers. I also have a cultural needs of the families as well that need to be included. I will definately be firm at our next troop meeting with the parents. As my co-leader tells me, I have a lot of patience and sometimes thats not always a good thing. I really appreciate your comments - thank you.
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Feb 08
i would tell the parents to get coffee, unless they are there to help, they would get in my way
• United States
27 Feb 08
What I ended up doing was having the activities in one room and the non-helping parents in the other. I have even told the parents to go to the other room if they start talking or if they are not helping. This week we started playing a game in the front yard, then moved inside. The adults that didn't want to help stayed outside talking in my driveway for the duration of the meeting. Whatever works!