Scouting offers parents and their kids the chance to make the most of their time together. That’s what they’re grasping for in these days of hectic schedules filled with work, school, sports and other time-intensive activities: quality experiences for their children that entertain, build character and teach skills that will take them into adulthood.
A recent Business Insider article, “Science says that parents of successful kids have these 7 things in common,” points to a number of interesting factors that are said to predict success in children when it comes to their parents. One of these, “avoiding junk time with kids,” is one I would like you to think about as you consider what we can achieve for today’s young people and provide for parents through the methods of Scouting.
More than a century of serving America’s youth has taught us that parents want quality experiences for their children. We know that as parents ourselves. Making Scouting part of children’s lives gives them the chance to participate in a wide variety of fun adventures that parents may be unable to provide on their own.
According to new research cited by Brigid Schulte at The Washington Post, the amount of time that moms spend with kids between ages 3 and 11 does little to predict the child’s behavior, well-being, or achievement. Rather, it’s the quality of that time or – as Business Insider candidly puts it, “avoiding junk time.”
Scouting can do its part to reduce junk time by expanding our scope to focus on the fun activities kids want – whether outdoors or indoors – and that’s just what we are doing:
- Our den-based adventures in our reimagined Cub Scouting program often focus on skill-building, exploration and health and fitness.
- STEM Scouts – our expanding initiative which encourages youth to explore their interests in science, technology, engineering and math – provides another opportunity for parents to make the best of their available time with their children. STEM Scouts brings together Scouting’s longstanding values and ideas with the innovations of our future, while offering fast-paced, thought-provoking and fun activities.
Ultimately, the ability of these and other Scouting programs to provide quality time in today’s family timetable depends on our millions of volunteers who share their time and talents to deliver fun and life-changing experiences at unit meetings and other Scouting events. And for that, I thank you for your commitment to that mission and this movement.
Watch for my next blog on what this research says about the ways kids and their parents think about success.
Yours in Scouting,