View Full Version : I'm so glad we don't neglect our son (Warning: a LONG vent)

08-20-2008, 03:06 PM
Last Friday, I shared with you about our "big talk" with our son over brushing his teeth. Some people might have seen that as we were being too hard on our kid.

OK..... Fast-forward to today.

I'm sitting at my desk at work. My office is on the second floor. I have the window open to let some fresh air in, and I wanted to listen to the birds outside. Some punk-a$$ kid from downstairs (there's a "troubled-youth" program downstairs) decided he'd take a water hose and spray it upwards and into my office.

Yeah. Got my window sill, my desk, my computer, part of me, soaked. Fortunately (and, unfortunately) my computer monitor shielded my face, so really, only the top of my head was soaked.

I yelled, "Stop it! Who's doing that?" No reply. Again, I yelled "Cut it out. Who is doing that?" I heard a man downstairs say, "Oh, we're sorry." I said, "Who did that? Why are you spraying my window?" (I didn't know if they were cleaning windows and if I needed to shut mine. Still, you would think they would warn us first.) Then, I heard this punk laughing. Then, I kicked into mommy-mode. Oh, no you didn't!

I said to the man who apologized to me, "Was he the one who sprayed my window?" He says, "Yes, ma'am." The kid is laughing harder now. I said, "I would like to ask both of you to come upstairs, please." The man says, "Yes. We'll be right there."

I met them at the front lobby. The staff are now all asking "What the heck is going on?" I give them a Reader's Digest version of it. They're all ready to watch a throw-down. The kid and the youth-counselor assigned to him show up at our door. I let them in, and I say, "Why don't I show you what you did to my office." He's snickering.

We get into my office. I ask the kid why he felt he needed to spray water into my window, and he says he was just trying to have fun. I told him that he got everything on my desk wet; and if my computer and phone are damaged the expense is coming out of his pocket. He says he didn't have to apologize for "nothin'" (nice language, huh?) I said to him that I would be contacting the Program Director and I was going to make sure he "pays for any damage he caused." Then, I said, "Just because nobody's paid attention to you; and you hate the world doesn't give you the right to get away with what you did." (Afterwards, I thought maybe I shouldn't have said that because I was still at work). So, I just thanked the youth counselor for coming upstairs and letting me talk to the kid. The counselor said he was really sorry.

After they left, I called the Program Director and told her we would be writing a report on this; and asked her if they would do the same. She was embarassed and apologetic; and kept repeating that she would be willing to do whatever it takes to make it right, including taking action with the kid.

So, what did I get from all of this? As much as some parents don't want to admit it; many times kids end up like this because of something "broken" in the home. Either this kid grew up without parents "parenting" him; or he was abused; or somehow, he was crying for help, and he didn't receive it. I feel sorry for this kid. It makes me feel that all of the times I've been stern with my son, and I felt bad for being stern....well, that is what "parenting" is all about. You love your kid enough so you'll make sure they're respectful to others, and that they'll be reponsible citizens. I feel bad for this kid because at some point, some adult should've stepped in and got in his face, and set him straight. Some kids really do need the "tough love" approach. This kid had better learn 'now' that there are consequences to his actions, or else his attitude is going to land him in jail someday.

(Thanks for letting me vent. It's not even 1 PM, yet, and already I feel like going home and blowing off steam.)

08-20-2008, 03:18 PM
I'm glad you did something Ethel. Many people would have not done anything and then the kid would have gotten off again! I strongly believe that discipline is something many parents neglect now a days. Maybe because they're both working and are too exhausted to play the tough guy or too guilty or too something. Good for you for taking a stand.

08-20-2008, 03:28 PM
Good for you Ethel! Hopefully in years to come he'll remember you as the one who cared enough to really talk to him about actions & consequences.

BTW, have you thought of keeping some crafting supplies in your desk so that you can unwind at lunch?

08-20-2008, 03:29 PM
Poor Ethel, you have really had a time of it this past week! Here's hoping things start going better for you.

08-20-2008, 03:32 PM
Wow! What a little ... well you know! So glad you got to confront him even though it sounds like he wasn't nearly as apologetic as his counselors. Working with troubled youths has got to be one of the hardest jobs out there. My DH tried it right out of college and quickly realized that it was not the job for him. At that age and given their circumstances, those kids just don't have any regard for others.

08-20-2008, 03:50 PM
I'm glad you brought him up and made him see what he had done. He may have been laughing and snickering as a defense mechanism. He has probably had a hard life and has a tough guy shield up so he doesn't get hurt anymore. You did the right thing and you shouldn't feel badly about it at all.

08-20-2008, 04:03 PM
You go girl! It's hard to have guts when it comes to our youth!

08-20-2008, 05:08 PM
I'm sorry this happened to you but way to go with dealing with it. You are AWESOME!!!!

08-20-2008, 05:16 PM
Oh I definitely believe in being stern when it's appropriate - my kids will hopefully thank me later when THEY see so many disrespectful kids in our community. I mean there are kids that walk or ride their bikes down the middle of the road, turn around and look at you, and just continue talking to their buddy in the middle of the road. THey expect YOU, in the vehicle, to go around THEM. Well I'm sorry, I don't budge! That is simple disprect for your elders, I don't CARE about the whole "pedestrian has the right of way" thing. Get OVER on the side of the road when a car comes!

Yeah, Ethel, I know exactly how you feel! ;)

08-20-2008, 05:24 PM
You did the right thing Ethel. Unfortunately many kids never have to face consequences until it's too late and they end up in prison.

I'm a firm believer in community service too, and picking up trash off the road sounds like a good job for him.

08-20-2008, 05:44 PM
You did the right thing Ethel. Unfortunately many kids never have to face consequences until it's too late and they end up in prison.

I'm a firm believer in community service too, and picking up trash off the road sounds like a good job for him.

What I really, really, really wanted to do was make him stay in my office, clean up the everything that got wet; clean our entire office, vaccuum, clean the hallways (vaccumm), dust our entire office; clean the kitchen, throw out the trash, clean all of our bathrooms..... basically, clean for us until I was 'satisfied' that our office was spotless. Then, I'd make him come back tomorrow and have him clean again. Maybe, that might give him time to think twice before doing something idiotic like this, again.

If this was my house, and some deliquent did this in my house, that's what I would make him do. But, no, this is where I work, and, unfortunately, I can't call shots like that.

08-20-2008, 07:12 PM
I think you did exactly the right thing here and I agree with Jan, that there are too many kids that are not held accountable for their actions. They grow into irresponsible adults. I'm glad you talked to him in front of the counselor, too.

Sorry you got wet. Go down and get in your car, turn up the radio and scream!!!!

08-20-2008, 07:54 PM
Oh Ethel, I am so glad you did that. It really hurts me to think how many kids don't have any parental influence in their lives. It is so sad...this kid may have not responded very well to you, but I am sure he will think about it. Maybe, it's just what he needed.

Kreative Dryve
08-20-2008, 08:24 PM
Too bad you couldn't have made him and his parents clean up your office.
I would have been just as mad.