Friday, 18 January 2013

The Things Kids Do

It has been a fairly productive day - walking dogs, clearing snow and doing numerous chores. I had arranged to see one of my friends today but we made the mutual decision to reschedule because of the forecast of heavy snow. I think that was a good decision - no use risking life and limb if it's not necessary and to be fair I've had a week fairly heavy in enjoyment.

I have just been looking out of the window surveying the snowy road. Whilst contemplating the scene a group of adolescents passed the house throwing snowballs at each other. Then one comedian decided he would throw a snowball at the window. This seemed to fill them with glee and then laughing they scarpered. I guess you could consider it fairly harmless. But is it? Firstly, it's an act of aggression, and they knew it wasn't appropriate or they wouldn't have run away. Secondly, it could have damaged my property. Thirdly, it could have been frightening. Now I don't want to sound like a killjoy. Kids are kids and they are entitled to enjoy their high spirits. I guess what I don't understand it's why it has to be at the expense other people? If I had been able to get my togs on quickly enough I would have gone outside to ask them. As it is I am left wondering about their motive and whether as we grow older it's inevitable that we become the victim of such pranks?


  1. I don't think kids 'target' older people. They probably didn't know who lived in the house. (yours) Which, in many ways, is worse. That 'don't give a damn' attitude is something too prevalent in young people in the UK these days. Where does it come from? Who teaches kids that it's acceptable to frighten people in their own home?

    If a snowball had gone astray and it accidentally hit your house, one could understand that and put it down to a thoughtless accident. If deliberately hurled at someone's window that constitutes anti-social behaviour - which is a criminal act.

    We too have had snowballs thrown at windows at night whilst we were relaxing watching telly. Apart from the sudden deafening sound, it's the shock that is upsetting. Invasion of your privacy. I remember feeling quite agitated when it happened out of the blue - and I'm a fairly calm person. Imagine if I'd been an elderly person on my own with no one to turn to?

    This kind of thing isn't as prolific in other countries. There is a respect for other people; not in the UK. I can remember French exchange students reacting in horror to how students spoke to each other and teachers. They genuinely had never seen such rudeness and disrespect.

    What's the answer, Babs? Better parenting? Should schools be teaching youngsters how to behave in society?

  2. I think we need to address the issue of anti-social behaviour as a society in various ways including better parenting and education. It feels to me that we're experiencing a sort of swing. When I was a youngster back in the dark ages. We seemed to be very aware of what was acceptable & what was not. Parents expected their children to behave in public and if you didn't you were reminded that you were doing wrong by a neighbour, or even a perfect stranger. We had such respect for adults we complied and stopped what we were doing. Of course we did things like knocking on doors and running away but it had minimal interest - we had better things to do. I don't think there was malicious intent back then. I think kids do it now because they can. Adults have been told not get involved by the police because it could be too dangerous and it seems to me we are not interested unless it impacts on us personally?

  3. I think that is very true. We moved once to escape a neighbour's children and her dog's constant howling when she went out for hours. The children would play football in the front garden; it would not only hit the car, but occasionally smash into the front window.

    Despite going out to talk to them, they were unbelievably hostile and rude. In fact, we often overheard them referring to us rudely when we were relaxing (!) in the back garden. And they started throwing their litter/chewing gum over the short fence that divided our driveways. The mother? Did nothing. It was a relief to move away. The council were not that bothered either, although did offer to send them a stern warning if the situation didn't improve. That would have only angered them even more.

    Discipline 'should' start at home. But what options has society got left if the parents themselves have a lost a grip?!


  4. I am sorry Nikki you have had such an unpleasant experience. I know from other stories I have been told that yours isn't an isolated incident. I do not understand why someone would want to be unpleasant to a neighbour. I do not understand why a parent/s would encourage their child's anti-social behaviour. I do not understand why the councils aren't more responsive in defending their good tenants. I do not understand why we aren't giving our police a mandate to deal with it. I guess it comes down to apathy & funding but imo it is not acceptable.

  5. Agreed. Apathy or turning blind eye has resulted in standards slipping. People see you trying to sort a situation out in a friendly with suspicion, and would rather defend their actions than amend them.

    This afternoon, a boy has spent the best part of 3 hours revving his petrol scooter and tearing up and down the road the other side of the allotment. (our house faces the allotment) In a quiet village with very little through traffic, the constant droning has completely ruined my day - to the point where I am shortly going out to see where he is. If I confront him, I run the risk of abuse or worse. If I ring the police, they won't see it as serious...

    If someone doesn't start tackling issues soon, I fear for the future - I really do.

  6. sounds horrendous Nikki no wonder your day was affected. Could you marshall support in the village? I'm sure other people must feel like you.

  7. People often keep themselves to themselves. That 'community spirit' is disappearing. Perhaps that's another reason why children act as if they can do what they like? No one holds them accountable and they don't feel part of the wider community?

    Interesting debate. Now must let someone else have a crack at it! :-)