Tuesday, April 11, 2006

And the Band Played On

So, a lot of you have been very supportive (both here and elswhere) on my Parent Problem. I wanted to let you know what I've done about it.

I had several options: a) quit, b) get mad and let them know it, or c) be mad but continue to take it, just like I have been doing for the past four years. Now, I didn't want to quit. It's not the girls who are the problem, and they don't deserve to have me skip out on them. I didn't want to continue in the same old way by letting them walk all over me, so my choice -- really, my only choice -- was b).

After the whole ambush happened, I called up my mentor, who suggested that I write the parents a letter. It would outline how hurt and upset I was, while still suggesting a way in which we could come to a compromise. I wrote such a letter, pouring my heart and my anger into it. Even angry, I chose not to call names, not to make specific comments, and generally try not to make the issue into a one-on-one. Even angry, I was still trying to keep the peace.

When the letter was finished, I let my mentor read it, and she "approved" it. My co-leader thought that mailing that letter would REALLY anger the parents, and that I would alienate them even further. She may be right. It's out of my hands, though. I mailed the letters today, and I think I'm giving myself an ulcer in the process.

At this point, I'd rather risk making a few of them angry than to keep on as we are. I will no longer be a doormat. I can't force them to appreciate me, but I will no longer allow them to browbeat me.

8 comments:

Songbird said...

KLee, I hope the letter will help in the end. It's terrible when we give our time freely and have to deal with other people's misdirected weirdness.
(((KLee)))

liz said...

I'd still like to punch them in the collective nose.

Beanie Baby said...

Good for you. I'm proud of you.

And I'm sorry I missed this before, too.

Anonymous said...

Except for the ulcer-development aspect of it, I think that this is a healthy response to the situation. As you say, you can't force them to appreciate you but you can make them respect the fact that you are a person with feelings and opinions of your own. Good luck to you!

I just know that, if I had a daughter, I would count myself as very blessed and fortunate if you were her scout leader.

La Binsk

KLee said...

I still feel as if it's sort of a selfish reaction -- as if I should be above all this, but I can't help feeling hurt, too. I wish there was a better way to handle it all, but the basic two choices are the same -- either do nothing, and let it continue as it has for the past four years, or change it.

I don't want recognition -- that's not why I choose to give my time -- but I do want the parents to realize that they ASKED me to take on this position, and very few of them do anything to help. And for them to basically slap me in the face for something that they asked me to take on, well...I've reached my limit. I'm tired of being a babysitter.

ccw said...

Good for you! I am so sorry that something as benevolent as being a GS leader has come to this ugliness, but you certainly do not deserve to be treated poorly by these women.

I hope you get positive results from the letter and that in the end you are left with a much better troop.

Yankee T said...

This sounds like a great solution. When Older Daughter was in Girl Scouts, I was constantly amazed by the effort and heart her leaders threw into the troop, and by how under-appreciated they were. Some tasks seem thankless.
You're a good person. I'd quit.

Sue said...

good for you KLee!