Devestated - Boys almost get arrested

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by JJJ, Jan 24, 2007.

  1. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I don't even know how to say this but since I'm lying awake and really need some support, I'll do my best.

    We were at the rec center today (privately owned facility two towns over). The boys were running around with the other kids. I would check on them periodically to make sure they were being good - as do most of the parents. I guess I didn't check often enough because Eeyore broke into one of the arcade games and he and a group of kids (including Tigger) took out all of the tokens.

    There was minimal damage down to the game (they weren't sure if they'd need to replace a part or just twist it back the way it was suppose to be). The cops were called and, of course, the only two kids grabbed are mine. We are now all banned from the rec center for life (not just the boys, but husband, me, the girls). The cop said I should be grateful that they weren't pressing charges - that he could cuff the boys and take them to juvie right then.

    I have so many emotions running through my head

    ...embarrassment as this happened in front of many of our friends and a few of our enemies (you know, the ones who don't believe in mental illness)

    ...fury that my girls are going to suffer because of something their brothers did; they don't even know yet that they can't go back, I couldn't bring myself to tell them, they love their class there

    ...anger at myself that I didn't keep a closer leash on the boys

    ...anger at the boys for doing something so wrong and stupid

    ...fear that Eeyore showed little if any remorse (he actually backtalked the cop!!!)..the only hope I have is that I did look down at him later and he did have tears in his eyes and looked sad, we had a psychiatrist tell us that he though Eeyore was too damaged to save when he was 4 (coming out of foster care), please God don't let him have been right

    ...concern about how this impacts Tigger, of course he has his own issues but I'm beginning to believe that Eeyore has been far more a negative influence than we realized

    I just can't stop crying...
     
  2. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    They banned your girls too?

    Geez!

    I'm so sorry. :9-07tears:
     
  3. Allan-Matlem

    Allan-Matlem Active Member

    Hi,
    The problem with events like these is that they throw us off track, and we then start to look for quick fixes. Education is a long process and there are going to be bumps in the road. The center is privately owned , also in another town , so they can decide what they like even if they are being unfair to you. At least they have not being kicked out of school, just a private club. I think if you see this event as a window of opportunity to have a dialog with the kids , not in an accusing way , not showing the consequences of their actions in terms of what's in it for me, what will be done to me or what will I get , but rather the consequences of our actions on others , taking perpectives , how to problem solve and meet needs in appropriate ways and make a commitment to try and be successful in what we do and in our relationships you can go forward. Try involve them in some prosocial activity , or something that will make them feel good about themselves. Kids in the main , take off in a positive direction , having experienced some success , feel understood and respected. If you feel more positive about yourself , you will be able to uplift your kids. ' Failure is not in the falling , but not getting up. You need happiness , music and celebration now , to help you take advantage of this window of opportunity , so start by treating yourself.

    Allan
     
  4. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    JJJ,

    I'm sorry that your difficult children made such poor choices. It's unfortunate that the entire family was included in the consequences.

    While, as Allen stated, it's an opportunity to learn for your difficult children, there will be a negative backlash on your other children's parts. Siblings tend to be less forgiving of these types of choices, especially when they weren't the ones involved.

    You cannot take what psychiatrist said to heart this far in the game. Any psychiatrist who would make that damning a statement regarding a child isn't worth a great deal, in my humble opinion. That's far too early in a child's life to give that type of prognosis. No one knows how maturity, skills training & such will impact a child.

    What's the next step for difficult children? I'm thinking hard labor (scrubbing floors behind appliances, comes to mind), because if your difficult children are anything like wm, the ban from the rec center will make little difference. An out of sight out of mind mentality is in play here.

    Take a long warm bubble bath with a glass of wine & a good book.
     
  5. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    I'm sure you are heartsick. I can imagine how it feels to have your child so publicly fall out of acceptable behavior boundaries. They humble us over and over. We live with their consequences and they live with the consequences.
    As far as the innocent siblings, you have to keep the family balance. One child doesn't get to have all the attention especially with negative behavior. You don't want the easy child's to be left in the dust. Hugs. Nothing will make it better but they are young. Tomorrow starts a new day.
     
  6. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I still can't get my head wrapped around this. I think I'm most devastated about the consequences being imposed on the girls, husband and I and the total unfairness of only my boys being punished. As far as the boys are concerned, they are in therapy, this is yet another thing to work on...

    It just hurts.
     
  7. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    JJJ,

    Sorry about this. I can so totally understand your embarrasment. Wonder what the other moms felt when they got home and found their kids had stolen tokens in their pockets?

    Sorry the girls are going to suffer - life with difficult children.... /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/919Mad.gif

    Sharon
     
  8. KFld

    KFld New Member

    Too bad they banned your girls also. They shouldn't have to suffer the consequences. It may be a good lesson for the boys to see what effect their actions have on others when they don't think about what they are doing.

    The showing no remorse brings back memories of my difficult child's first arrest. He was I think 12 or 13 and him and a friend were shooting paintball guns in the street at other kids and houses. Someone called the police who showed up at our house and I was appalled at how my son talked to them. I think being his first experience, he had no clue the authority the police have and I think he really believed he could manipulate them and turn the situation around by being sarcastic. He was put on probation for quite awhile through the juvenile courts. Not that any arrest is good, but I believe it taught him the importance of respecting the police when he was arrested for much bigger things as he got older. They don't realize how much worse they can make a situation by backtalking to a police officer.

    Yeesh!!!!
     
  9. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Karen - is telling me that he'll learn the proper way to be arrested suppose to make me feel better??????

    With Eeyore, multiple short conversations always work better than one long one. We had our first conversation this morning and I did focus on how his action hurt each and every one of us. I told him that he is going to have to stand in front of his sisters and tell them what he did and what it cost them. He's also going to have to write a letter of apology to everyone hurt by his actions (the rec center, husband, I, the girls, and the girls instructor). We have known this instructor for years, if fact we were one of his references when he applied for the job at this center. I was so excited about him moving closer to us as we used to drive over an hour to get to him.

    I still can't stop crying. Today is going to be very hard.
     
  10. FlowerGarden

    FlowerGarden Active Member

    Sorry that they banned the whole family. Maybe you can contact the owner and ask if they would reconsider letting the girls attend since they had nothing to do with it.
     
  11. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    I am going to make a suggestion that could protect your difficult child's from future bannings such as this. Have them join a club where your difficult child's are not members. Keep them seperate in their public activities so they do not have to deal with the disappointments that difficult child's behaviors bring upon them. When difficult child's complain tell them it is the natural concenquences for their illegal actions. -RM
     
  12. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Our therapist is so awesome. She reassured me that Tigger was way too young to be arrested in our state and that Eeyore is borderline (would get arrested for violent felonies but not for stealing, he'd get a ticket instead). She also said that she doubts the center will insist on the tresspassing order because it is so draconian. I'm giving them until Monday and then I'm going to call and try and talk to someone rational.
     
  13. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    a couple years ago my easy child got a ride to an amusement park with a school acquaintance. Once there easy child bought a season pass with her own money and went on her way, with plans to meet back up with the acquaintance at the end of the day. At the end of the day, P was coming out of bathroom near gift shop and entrance, and acquaintance was coming out of gift shop. Acquaintance got stopped----both girls wound up getting detained, searched, acquaintance had stolen a $4 ring from gift shop. easy child had not even been IN gift shop----
    BOTH girls got their passes to park pulled, altho acquaintance only had a one day pass, easy child had a full season pass.
    Both girls were issued a very high fine, by the amusement park (I still do not understand how the park could demand payment of a fine without police or court)
    I got a phnoe call and was told our whole family was now permanantyly banned from ALL of this companies amusement parks, YIKES.
    2 weeks later I got a formal letter from their lawyers. The letter said paymnet of the huge fine would not guarantee formal charges being filed in court. HUH?
    I called a lawyer. Explained situation. a few hours later I got a call from someone at amusement park. They DID ban my easy child from the park for that season and they did not refund her cost of season pass, BUT they did not ban the rest of the family at all, in the end, and we also did not have to pay the fine, and no charges were brought against easy child.

    Maybe if you talk to someone - maybe they might reconsider?
     
  14. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    JJJ,
    I'm sorry you are having to deal with all of this. It does seem unfair to ban everyone in your family. I'm hoping when you talk to someone they will reconsider. Sending many hugs for your hurting heart. :smile:
     
  15. SunnyFlorida

    SunnyFlorida Active Member

    I'm not sure I'd call them. Why not wait a week...let the emotions calm down, write the facility and explain your situation. You can take responsibility for a momentarily taking your eyes off the boys, you can take responsibility for any monetary damages. Then you might ask for a 6mo suspension for the boys but request that your girls not penalized for the actions of children with documented mental illess. If this facility is the one you like, don't forget to compliment the many things you like about it. If you sandwich your suggestion between the good things and what you'll take responsibility for...they may at least have a dialogue with you.
     
  16. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Here is the letter I am drafting. I am also trying to decide whether to send it via e-mail or fax.

    Opinions?

    Dear General Manager:

    I am writing to you regarding the incident on January 24, 2007 involving my sons. First and foremost, I apologize for my son Eeyore's behavior. It was inexcusable. The area supervisor was unsure it he had actually caused any damage to the arcade game. If the center did have to pay to have the lock fixed, please let me know and we will have Eeyore earn the money to cover that cost. Eeyore is also being punished at home to reinforce the severity of his misbehavior -- including grounding, loss of favorite toys and the enclosed letter of apology. In discussion with our sons, it became apparent that while Eeyore alone broke into the machine, he handed the tokens out to a group of children (the supervisor said she saw 4-5 other children but was only able to identify mine) including Tigger. Tigger is also being punished at home for accepting the 4 tokens when he knew his brother had not been given money to purchase any.

    Additionally I apologize for not keeping a closer eye on my children. I was checking on them frequently as do most parents at your facility. Obviously, they have demonstrated to me that they need much closer supervision in the future.

    I understand your need to protect the facility, I understand the area supervisor's anger on that night. She told the police that our entire family -- including my husband and older daughter who weren't even there that day and my younger daughter who was in her class at the time -- are banned from returning to your facility.

    I am asking you to please reconsider. Jonathan is only 11 years old and is diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified/Aspergers which means that he is developmentally about 8-9 years old. Yes, he made a rather large mistake. Yes, he deserves consequences for his actions. But for our entire family to be punished forever for the mistake of a child? Please reconsider.

    I'm asking that you reduce Jonathan's ban to 6 months during which he will complete the punishments we have imposed at home, work with his Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) therapist to specifically address this incident, and to earn the money to pay for any needed repair. I'm asking that Matthew's ban also be reduced to the next 6 months with an exception that he may enter the building for his classes during that time provided he is directly supervised by an adult while inside the facility and he only remains there for his class. I'm asking that the ban be lifted on the remainder of my family as no one else was involved in the incident.

    Our family enjoys our time in your facility and our children have greatly benefited from their classes. I hope we can continue to work together.

    Sincerely,

    Mrs. JJJ

    (Enclosures - apology letters from both boys)
     
  17. Lori4ever

    Lori4ever New Member

    I think your letter is a good idea, and is well put. I do hope they recondider this. I'm so sorry this happened.
     
  18. Stella Johnson

    Stella Johnson Active Member

    The letter sounds great to me. I'm so sorry you had to go through all of that. Our kids do bring us to our knees. :9-07tears:

    steph
     
  19. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think the letter sounds really good! Let us know what happens.
     
  20. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    JJJ,

    Send the letter - it's good. I hope that after the "heat of the moment" the rec center will reconsider their decision.

    Maybe you & husband can trade off on the visits & staying home with your difficult child.
     
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