I hate Halloween!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Marguerite, Oct 31, 2011.

  1. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Sorry to bring you guys down, but this is a classic example of cultural differences again. Tonight I saw one small band of poorly attired little kids being escorted around the neighbourhood searching for sweets. We'd bought a bag of mixed lollies, I split the bag with mother in law so we would each have enough. About a dozen items, and it turned out that this one band only used about half what we had. And that is a good year...

    Meanwhile, it is ice cream truck night tonight (once a fortnight). The driver is from India and is a very nice man. He sells bulk boxes of ice creams once a fortnight.

    Tonight I saw him pick off a water bomb from his truck. He said he got egged as well and would have to clean the truck. Not impressed but he was not going to go to the police about it. I can understand this - he does not want to antagonise customers by being oversensitive.

    Then tonight a young friend of difficult child 3's, another spectrum kid who friended me on FB, has bragged on FB about how they waterbombed the ice cream truck. Then ensued 'charming' (not) exchange between him and his cronies which I got all of (because everything going to my friend, goes to me). When one of these kids (whose names were all there for me to see and identify, I know where they live!) talked about his regret at missing "the curry-muncher" I had to respond. Told the kids they had done a bad thing and I was very disappointed in them.

    These kids, by the way, are all a lot younger than difficult child 3, they would be no more than 12, 14 at the most. Of course, their age on FB is stated as 20. Not true, I know.

    Some of these kids are serious problems in the making. Some of them are decent kids in with the wrong crowd. And some are in between.

    I have taken a screen shot of the thread in entirety and plan to drop in on their parents tomorrow. Or at least drop in a copy along with my own note about the possible dangers their kids could have been involved in. I did call the cops, but well - it's Halloween. I did say to the cop that if there are ANY other complaints of vandalism of tis sort from the street I named, that I have them admitting to it in writing on FB.

    I really, really hate Halloween...

    My current plan is to write a note, from me, reminding the parents that it is NOT harmless fun to throw projectiles at a moving vehicle. Also to remind at least one of the parents, a tradesman, that if kids like this pick on one businessman's vehicle they will pick on another's. They say they don't care - would the parents care if it was THEIR work vehicle?

    husband gets very nervous when I get stirred up by this sort of thing. But I really hate racism, I really hate injustice, and I really, really hate this attitude of "I can do what I like because I said so" and nobody is game to speak up for fear of reprisals.

    Right now I'm wondering what I can do with the screen shot I have. Pint it to the village noticeboard? It has the culprits' names on it as well as the very unsavoury things they were saying, as well as their admissions of guilt.

    Tempting...

    And yes, at least one of these kids, probably two or three, were in the group that physically attacked difficult child 3, unprovoked, two years ago. That's of the ones who wrote on FB. There would have been a lot more of them who did not post. So it seems no lessons learned there.

    What would you guys do?

    Marg
     
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    It'snot just cultural. Halloween has always been the only holiday I loathed and it had more to do with my kids than other kids. Sonic has always had a weight problem and he didn't need all that candy. I used to throw a lot of it away. And JUmper, being Ms. Social, would always be all over the neighborhood, even when she was very young, with me running around looking for her (she'd get way in front of me). When SportsFan, y 33 year old, was a child, I lost him trick and treating freaked out so badly that I called the cops. They found him, sure enough, and he came to me in the back seat of a cop car. With tears in his eyes, he got out and sniffed and said, "Well, you didn't have to get me arrested!"
    Halloween! BAH! Humbug!
     
  3. keista

    keista New Member

    As tempting as it is to do that, you would probably find yourself un-friended very quickly, AND if anything more serious transpired, you would not get the inside scoop. So, I would hold off on that. Also, don't know what a chat/letter with the parents would do, if you don't think they would be receptive. Again, and easy way to get un-friended very quickly.'

    You called them out personally on FB, I think for now it is enough. NO, their actions were not OK, but no serious damage was done and if cops won't do anything at this point, then not much point in pursuing this. in my opinion, as a FB friend, you are in a much better position to monitor future, potentially more serious, activity.
     
  4. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Yes, I tend to agree with keista. I think a "public naming and shaming" would not be wise. It is perhaps good to separate out the (understandable) intensity of your feelings in terms of hating racism and the equanimity you need to deal with this effectively. Yet another for the ESTD file...
     
  5. buddy

    buddy New Member

    If I knew a parent personally I might say something like I'm just telling you because if it was my son I'd want to know ... but I would not make a public stink. It's a boundary issue for me. If the business man doesn't want a fuss its his decision to make. I would be a great customer and I would personally support him. He is not a vulnerable adult in need of advocacy. This would be hard for me because I too am a right fighter. Especially if some part of me wanted to get those who hurt my son. But I've worked hard on the concept of "whose problem is this? " so...
    Of course u do what u feel is best. But since u asked...(smile!)
     
  6. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    My favorite part about Halloween is hiding out and not answering the door. I don't turn on lights outside, and try to keep inside ones off. I own a black cat. Need I say more?!

    I used to make husband take the kids out begging. Now, I take Jett - out of our city - but only because he wants to go with the BFFs' kids...
     
  7. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Halloween itself doesn't really bother me. November 1, when the kids are coming off the sugar rush and the total upset of the day, is a day I dislike. I refuse to sub for a stranger on November 1, and try not to work at all...but my favorite office manager got me for tomorrow afternoon.
     
  8. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    I'd give a copy of the screen shot to the ice cream man. If he still doesn't want to press charges then leave it. Unless you know the parents then I'd do as Keista suggested.

    I don't like Halloween either.
     
  9. ready2run

    ready2run New Member

    how come you already had trick or treaters? i don't get it, halloween is today.
     
  10. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    I suspect the answer to that question, ready2run, is the same one as to why Christmas starts about two months before the 25th December...
     
  11. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Truthfully I have never seen or heard of "tricks" being used by any kids. Guess I've been lucky to live in areas where it has just been fun to get "treats" and be out after dark. We live in a low traffic residential area and some years we have pickup trucks bring chlldren to our neighborhood knowing treats will be pleniful. Those kids from poorer sections of town are equally as thrilled with the evening and equally cute and polite. Even the teens don't get in trouble. DDD

    PS: My instinct would be that those kids likely come from homes that tolerate words of discrimination so sharing the info would be for naught.
     
  12. cubsgirl

    cubsgirl Well-Known Member

    Marg is in Australia. It's tomorrow there!
     
  13. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Oh, yes, of course! Clever you, cubsgirl :)
     
  14. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Here too. We never have tricks. I am sure there are a few bullies who steal candy or something, but not a night of bad behavior in any of my or my sister's neighborhoods. Not even when I grew up as an "inner city" girl. Kids nearly always have adults with them so maybe that is why it is always cute.
     
  15. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    I don't like Halloween either! It used to be so much for for the little kids but it's all changed now. Any more a lot of people don't take their small kids around to trick or treat, it's an excuse for the teenagers to vandalize the neighborhood, and one more excuse for the adults to get drunk and party. One more really fun thing that the adults have ruined for the children!

    And Marg, I think too that it might be a good idea to give your screen print to the ice cream man and let him decide what to do with it. It may not do much good to talk to the parents and could stir up a lot of trouble. Usually when children exhibit racism, they learned it at home!
     
  16. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Every year in our village, a few young hoodlums (mostly male) use Halloween as an excuse to throw eggs and other projectiles at various people. It's not the same kids every year, as the kids get older they either graduate to bigger crimes (including drug trafficking) or they clean up their act. Then younger kids step in to replace them. Often younger siblings, but sometimes just younger kids who have witnessed the 'fun' and want to have a piece of it. And so the problem continues, and has done for far too long. I've had a gutfull.

    I have to go out this morning. I know I will find a lot of debris, eggshells, etc in the street. I can name for you the houses that will have been targetted. In past years our house was often targetted, mostly because of difficult child 1 attracting unwanted attention. difficult child 3 being home-schooled (sort of) means he is off the radar of many of these kids now, so they don't think to have a go at him unless they see him. He doesn't go for his afternoon walks any more, hasn't done for two years since the attack. So I don't think our house got egged last night (we weren't home anyway, we went out just after that one bedraggled party of trick or treater arrived).

    Two years ago after difficult child 3's attack I went out with my camera and took photos of the egg-throwers congregating before they attacked the house of a friend of mine. The targetted guy is a local ratbag, not popular with a lot of people, but he gets beaten up at times and his house is attacked every year and he does not deserve that. This incident last night was actually not near his house, although I suspect I'll see eggshells there this morning.

    When I've taken photos of the egg-throwers, they see the camera and scatter. It's the same location where drug deals happen. I hate the thought of these kids mixed up in this crud.

    No, I won't post this on the local notice board. But I'm not keeping quiet about this. Three of the families (including the family of the kid who told me to remove myself, in sexual terms, from the FB thread) are known to me. Two are friends of mine. One is a close friend (the family of the kid who friended me). When I go out this morning, I plan to drop in a letter to at least two of the families. What they choose to do with it is up to them. I'm not telling them what to do, only telling them of the exchange last night and my concerns that
    1) it was bragged about publicly and left their kid legally wide open; and

    2) this is not "boys will be boys" but the beginning of their kid being involved in serious neighbourhood vandalism and nuisance behaviour, to the point where it can become very dangerous. It could have been very dangerous last night, if the truck driver had panicked.

    If the kid unfriends me, I won't be sorry, frankly. I nearly blocked him last night. I nearly reported it to FB last night, the vitriol was so unpleasant. Plus they have broken a lot of FB rules, not the least being lying about their ages. Although most of them would be over 13 now (FB's minimum age).

    One possible different direction - a neighbour across the street knows all these kids, is on closer terms with the parents. Her son is a decent kid but could get caught up in this crowd. They are friends with difficult child 3, the mum commented that difficult child 3 hasn't visited them lately. I think I will talk to her about my concerns also, ask if her son was present (I am sure he wasn't). Let her know that if he was, having any member present later brag about it on FB is risking prosecution for all, if not this time then at some incident in the future.

    Here in Australia, especially near Sydney, we have had too many incidents of kids throwing stuff (especially rocks) at cars on the road. People have been killed through foolish pranks. Now when you drive through most of our main roads, all overpasses (whether pedestrian-accessible or not) are being fenced in so nothing can be thrown or dropped. If you're a driver on the road and you see something coming towards your windscreen, what would you do? How many drivers would instinctively duck or swerve, especially having heard of the cases of innocent people killed by getting windscreens shattered by a rock? An egg or water bomb won't break a windscreen, but it takes a few more seconds for the driver to realise that the missile is harmless. This time.

    Also a concern - the racism. We live far too close to the location of race riots a few year ago that were reported around the world. These kids go to the high school in that very suburb (those that are in high school - remember, high school starts at age 11 here). The community is working hard to turn around the negative image the world has of us, as being racist pigs who will attack anyone who is different while we use the Aussie flag as a weapon and an excuse.

    I've slept on this (not well) and I'm calmer (believe it or not!). But I can't let it go.

    One thing - if any of these kids include difficult child 3's attackers, and also any kids who are friends of ours, they will KNOW that if any of our family become targets because of my response, the police WILL be called. Because they got spoken to by the cops back then, and the neighbourhood all knew about it, after the last attack. And anyone attacking me personally - an obviously crippled woman - will not gain any kudos from it whatsoever. It would be like bragging about killing a dangerous spider, only to present people with a shrivelled daddy-long-legs.

    I don't think my speaking out will lead to any physical response. What I plan to say is polite but concerned. But if I do/say nothing (because what I posted to these kids last night did not have any impact whatsoever) then I will lose respect for myself.

    So - no to the bulletin board in the village street. But yes to talking to at least two of the parents. Plus my neighbour. If I can make a point of keeping it "in-house" then we may have more chance of getting at least a couple of parents on-side. Let them share my letter more widely with the other parents if they choose to.

    I've got about two hours yet, to print out the screen shot and copies of my letter. I'll carry an extra couple, but at this stage I'll only drop in on two places. Happily, one of these is the kid whose mouthing off was worst. From what I know of his reputation, I suspect he's the ringleader. He is the oldest, as far as I know - almost difficult child 3's age. And his mother owes me for past support of this kid. His dad's business here depends on the goodwill of adults in the village, so I suspect that that set of parents will talk to their son.

    Marg
     
  17. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Okay, update.

    I rang good friend, difficult child 3's Speech Therapist, also her daughter is same age as some of these boys. She (the mum) dropped in to visit me last night but left when she couldn't get an immediate response (I was on the phone). Said she high-tailed it out of town because she was scared of the large group of boys chucking stuff. She also agreed, this shouldn't just wait for the driver to make a complaint. This is dangerous to others.

    So I rang the cops. I made the point that if the driver were killed, he wouldn't be able to make a complaint then.
    "That would be a different crime then," the cop said.
    I told him I had names and written admissions on FaceBook. He finally asked me for the names, I said other people were scared by this too. Also that difficult child 3 was beaten up two years ago by a gang which could well have included some of the same kids. That this sort of behaviour continues (I used the word "meme" - I don't think the cop understood me) and needs to be addressed in order to prevent it cycling through. One lot of kids grows up, they each get a brain and stop doing it, then younger ones pick up the slack and begin behaving badly. All because nobody stops it.

    I told the cop I wanted to know if they would do anything, because if not, then it was up to me. He didn't like the sound of that. So I emailed him the screen shot, with a covering note.

    Then I went out (appointment). I left early to drop notes in to two families I know well. Both were out. I wrote on the first, "Please call me, M, to let me know you got this. Just keeping you in the loop." The next one, I know I don't need to. The kid is autistic, he's too honest. Also gullible, though.

    M rang me a couple of hours ago. Friendly to me, ropable about her son. She thanked me for letting her know, said her son had only just recently been given a bit more freedom. it's about to be curtailed. She will also tell the other parents on the dump printout.

    My FB friend's mother won't get home until about 5 pm, I know she will be on side with me. So my FB friend plus the two worst offenders will be in trouble with their parents. So that will make me happy. I want this to hopefully change attitudes at least a little. Safety attitudes, social responsibility attitudes and racism. I'm seriously thinking of offering to cook a curry for the boys! A really good one, with poppadoms. And watch them try to say they hate it. Because I make a darn good curry. THEn let them call someone a "curry muncher"!

    Brats...

    Got to dash. Heading back down the road to see the doctor (routine). This means I will be in the main street when the school boat gets in. Oh, joy...

    Marg
     
  18. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    Marg, you are very good at trying to change things. I hope it works the way you want it to.
     
  19. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Thanks, Liahona.

    I just got back from the doctor. diagnosis - hay fever, not clogged ear wax. And I didn't meet any schoolkids other than the decent kid from over the road.

    Just as I got to my driveway, decent kid's mother pulled up (just going out). She had heard I'd been trying to get in touch with her, because her son is friends with some of these kids. So I gave her a copy of the FaceBook dump. Her daughter was there, mentioned a few more names she had heard at school of kids who had been part of the attack. She also mentioned that she had been chased by these boys who threatened to pelt her and her friends with eggs. I told her that if that ever happens it is assault and the police will intervene. But only if she didn't also start anything by throwing any eggs back at them! The girl listened to her mother and me discussing the dangers of missiles thrown at cars. We also talked about the dangers of telling everybody on FaceBook as well as the problem of kids having FB pages when they're too young.

    I found out a bit more - the kid I thought was 16, is actually only 14. Most of the kids are about 10 or 12. So yes, they sound like the same group that attacked difficult child 3 two years ago.

    My neighbour said, "What if they come after you in reprisal for telling their parents?"
    I said, "If they think it through, they will realise that anything happens to me, there is a list of names here where the cops can begin asking questions. If they don't think it through and choose to attack me, they will deserve whatever happens to them because I WILL call the cops. Again."
    Neighbour lady chuckled. So did daughter. She kept a copy so she can talk to her son about the dangers of doing the wrong thing, and then about the dangers of social networking.

    So far, only good stuff.

    Phew!

    Marg
     
  20. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    I also dislike Halloween but that is more based on the origins of the day. I don't like the celebration of evil. I know almost no one thinks about the true meaning of Halloween and it has become just a fun make believe day of dress up and trick or treating but it still bothers me. I down play it as much as possible.

    One thing you may want to try is a more positive approach for the FUTURE. I do agree to give the evidence to the truck driver and he can take it from there. Also speaking with some of the parents is good - even if they pretend to not care or listen, they might deal with it in private or atleast give them food for thought of what the kids are up to. My idea for the FUTURE is to make it a public community event next year to make the stand that this violence is not acceptable. I think you stated that there is a common area for this behaviour? Call the police a week ahead or so and ask that security be hightened in those parts of the village.

    Do you know enough adults willing to "patrol" the streets that night? The kids may think twice about doing things in the presence of adults? (and then maybe not but you can try).

    Write letters to the editors of your local newspapers to print within days of Halloween asking for everyone to be on guard against vandelism. Start a movement to take back the streets on Halloween.

    We don't have vandelism in our town. Parents do chaporone the younger kids around earlier in the evening. I honestly don't know what the older kids do but perhaps get together for private parties but egging or other vandelism is not accepted by anyone here. Any kid caught would be taken into custody. difficult child feels too old to trick or treat and spent the evening at a friend's house. Being a school night they were done at 9:30 to go home.

    Are there special events for the younger crowd? Around here sometimes organizations will hold Halloween parties. Work on finding ways to make this a postitive holiday for the kids instead of the vandelism time it sounds like it is evolving into. To do so, you will need lots of other adults willing to step forward and I think you can find those adults.
     
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