Monday, July 12, 2010

You Make The Call: neighborhood punk edition



Welcome back to You Make The Call-where Mrs. Hall has an ethical dilemma and you can help her with it!

There a number of kids in my neighborhood, including my own-- Pancake (girl age seven), Mac (boy age 3.5). Two houses down there are a few boys, ages 7-8, heavily into skateboarding and even have a ramp in their driveway. None of these kids are the local punks.

In fact, I would love it if Pancake hung out with the boys. But they are rough and skateboard and well, Pancake is ok with roller blading and riding her bike, but really, my girl enjoys playing then stopping and looking at flowers. The boys down the street are go go go go go!! So, hmm.

THEN there is Chris. He is ten. And becoming attached to Pancake. We have always had reservations with Chris. Chris is always outside, always running around in the neighborhood. His mother, who is fat and large and lazy, often will stop by looking for him. Because she doesn't know where he is half the time. I don't think she cares. Which is fine. Everybody comes from somewhere. And sometimes where we come from-- is not so nice.

Except Chris is sometimes not so nice. You can tell the boy has no training or social grace. I often find him playing in the street, walking around not being careful for traffic. He'll just walk into our house if the door is open. He will ring the door bell six times. We've told him several times this is not acceptable behavior. And he comes over a lot. Every day, at least 2-3 times a day. Because his Mom doesn't want him in the house during the day. He asks for meals.

There have been questionable behaviors. Like when he bummed a dollar off of Pancake to buy something at a garage sale. This is no good. But he tried to make up for it by giving Pancake one of his Wii games from his house. When we opened it, there were bugs inside. Dead bugs, but still.

Then THEN there is his little sister Autumn. She is five. She is often with him and uses Mac's tricycle because she doesn't have her own. Their fat, lazy Mom doesn't watch her either. All day they are outside, being ragamuffins. And beginning to latch onto us. And for the most part, I've let them. I feel soo sorry for those kids. At least for Autumn.

Until yesterday.

Yesterday Chris had a run-in with the other boys down the street. He took one of their skateboards and tried to hide it. Then he tried to burn it in his fireplace. He was either trying to destroy the evidence that he took it or he was trying to destroy it because he was mad.

blink. blink. blink.

He was on our front porch when I heard the skater boys yell out to Chris, "Next time you take my stuff my Dad is calling the cops!" The Dad must have been really pissed.

And really, this shook me up something fierce. Because Chris is following the trajectory of mini-criminal. Because--if don't have parents who care and nurture you, you don't learn how to care for you or the things around you. So if you get mad, or if you want something, you just take it. And if your Mom doesn't bring down the wrath of God for such an act, you don't learn that stealing and burning stuff is wrong.

He will learn though. Contact with the police is a very good way to learn.

SO here's the dilemma. What the hell do I do with Chris? He hasn't done anything wrong with Pancake. He hasn't taken anything of ours. And. He responds to us. He responds to Mr. Hall. He craves a Daddy and Mr. Hall has some to spare.

Plus, Pancake likes him. She enjoys hanging out with him and Autumn.

meh.

it's tough.

thoughts?

9 Left a message at the beep:

Mrs. Hall said...

I've noticed that Mr. Hall has been locking the doors lately.

all because of some punk kid.

baah.

B.E. Earl said...

I don't blame Mr. Hall. Rude behavior needs to be addressed one way or the other. This is a tough one, because my nephew...well, he's kinda like Chris (hopefully not his real name). My sister isn't lazy, she's just overwhelmed. Lots of reasons I won't get into here that may be the cause of his behavior, but yeah...sometimes he's a bad kid.

I don't know what to tell you, except that it's net an easy thing to deal with. On either side of the equation.

Mrs. Hall said...

yeah, sometimes moms do get overwhelmed. but this Mom, bah.

And I say this, the boy has responded to us, so that means he responds to normal social interaction. He has adjusted his behavior because of our input and expectations. And he tries to be Pancake's friend, trying different ways. Which means he cares about something besides himself.

ALL OF WHICH IS PROOF THAT HE'S NOT RETARDED. All of which is proof he is malleable. And the Mom only has these two kids five years apart. And her car is in the driveway all day. Plus she's 280 lbs. She can't be that busy. So if she just steps it up a little, she can mold him.

Don't get me wrong, parenting is hard, even harder if you have a child who is tough to parent.

BUT THAT'S YOUR FRIGGIN JOB. Get the fuck to it.

I mean, he wasn't even grounded after the skateboard incident.

Anyway.

gah. I judge, I judge. I know.

But, this kid is on the House of Hall turf. I think we need to put some boundaries and behavioral expectations. Like not coming over all day and acting all pouty when we say, come back in a few hours, we are having family time.

And yeah. The doors will stay locked. :)

ok. good times :)

Christine said...

Yikes... this is such a hard situation to be in. I immediately want to say, "Call the authorities!", but that doesn't always solve the problem and can sometimes make it worse.

What ever you guys decide to do, I'm sure that you'll keep the best interest of the children in mind when you make your decision.

Slyde said...

arggg... i hate hearing stories like that.

i am always amazed at how some parents let their kids behavior be so shitty.

this weekend, a friend of my son's was over and, after losing a game on the ps3, punched my son in the chest and made him cry. i wanted to kill the kid.

when the kids parents came to pick him up, i told the parents and all i got was "oh, kids!".

fuckers.

Slyde said...

arggg... i hate hearing stories like that.

i am always amazed at how some parents let their kids behavior be so shitty.

this weekend, a friend of my son's was over and, after losing a game on the ps3, punched my son in the chest and made him cry. i wanted to kill the kid.

when the kids parents came to pick him up, i told the parents and all i got was "oh, kids!".

fuckers.

Heff said...

Give Chris a swift kick in the ass toward the general direction of HIS home. The kid's NOT going to get any better (BUT PROBABLY worse), and you guys shouldn't have to suffer through his B.S.

Heff has spoken.

Mrs. Hall said...

Christine: Well, he hasn't stolen anything of ours . . .yet . . but if he does, the police will be called.

Slyde: FUCKERS indeed! It just kills me, I mean, here I am training my kids to be good kids. Being there for them, then they encounter kids with no training, with shitty parental guidence where random violence, acting spoiled and and theft is just 'BEING A KID'. ger.

guess that's why your kid is karate too eh?

Slyde: Ditto!

Heff: I think that is the answer. Limit the contact. We need not suffer because we feel bad for the kids.

SO

the answer to our dilemma will be tomorrow!

Bruce said...

Young girls are always attracted to the bad boys.....and so the saga begins......(time to send Pancake to boarding school)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...