Scoutmaster Minute – Understanding Parents – Rules

So, we continue with Scoutmaster Minutes that help you understand why parents and other adults act the way they do. Tonight we ask, “Why do parents have so many rules?” Of course, the most obvious answer is because they don’t like you, so they want you to be miserable. However, that’s not usually the case.

In fact, it’s just the opposite. Parents have rules because they want you to be safe and happy. To help you understand this, I want you to pretend that you have a new pet puppy, and you take it somewhere to play. The first time you let the puppy off the leash, you’re going to watch it closely, make sure it doesn’t go too far, and make sure it does what you tell it to do, like come back when you call it. If it does all of those things, then next time you’ll trust it to go farther and do more things. But, if it doesn’t, then you’ll watch it even more closely and work harder at getting it to learn to listen to you so that it won’t go get hit by a car or get lost and starve.

Well, for your parents, you’re their puppy, only ten times more precious. So, they watch you and set healthy boundaries to keep you safe. Sometimes they will make sense, and sometimes they won’t. So, what can you do if they don’t make sense?  First, talk nicely with your parents about why you think they could loosen the rules a bit. You might get them to change their mind or you might not.  Second, and more importantly, just like the puppy, SHOW them that they can loosen the rules a bit by following the rules and building up their trust in you.

Scoutmaster Minute – Understanding Parents – Set In Ways

So, my next several Scoutmaster Minutes will help you understand why parents and other adults act the way they do.  Tonight we ask, “Why are parents so set in their ways?” You think you have a brilliant idea, but your parents insist on doing things the way they always have.  There are at least 2 reasons for this.

First, the human brain actually goes through some development phases. You are all still in the sampling and testing phases. So, you are open to all kinds of wild and crazy ideas – anything goes. However, once you reach about 20 years old, you start going through a concluding phase, where you kind of solidify the basic ideas you will keep for most of your life. Since most of us parents are well past 20, that goes for us.

Second, your parents have more experience than you. What seems new and exciting to you is often similar to something we already tried and found not to work well. In general, we have learned, if it’s not broken then don’t fix it. So, unless you can show us that your brilliant idea will make a big difference, we won’t be inclined to see the point in changing.

So, what do you do about this? Well, first keep in mind that newer is not always better. So, if you have a new idea where you need your parents’ help or permission, then really look into it and round up the details. If you still think it’s worthwhile, then respectfully show them what you have done. If you’re really on to something, then, who knows, you may just teach an old dog new tricks.