neighborhood kids, teasing and difficult child

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by lmf64, Sep 25, 2009.

  1. lmf64

    lmf64 New Member

    I'm not really sure how to handle something that has arisen in the last month or so. Coincidently about how long difficult child has been being social and wanting to be outside and around 'peers'.
    There is a group of kids who seem to think harassing difficult child is perfectly okay and I don't know any of their names or where they live. They will come to the house, ask difficult child to come outside and when he does begin teasing him. They've thrown things at him, along with their mouths running. They will also stand outside difficult child's bedroom window when he's in there minding his own business and harass him. I don't know what exactly they say, but just not listening to me when I've told them many times to leave him alone is enough for me.
    Like I said I don't know any of the names of the kids or where they live, or I would call law enforcement and ask them to visit with them and their parents. Of course as soon as they see me they scatter. I am so afraid difficult child is going to have taken all he's going to and wind up hurting someone. At his age (almost 16) and size (6 foot, 240) he's liable to wind up really hurting someone and wind up in trouble with the law. Oh, and the kids who are doing it are like 12-17. So some of them are much smaller than difficult child. I can't always be here to stop him and he really doesn't want me here all the time lol.
    So, other than telling difficult child to ignore them what do you recommend?
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Uhmmmm....I think the best thing for a teenager is to learn appropriate ways to deal with this, without a parent stepping in- unless it turns into a fight or something in which case I'd call the police. Usually, a therapist or someone at school can give good tips to kids on how to handle this, even when it's happening outside of school. Soomeone (some sort of mentor) needs to talk with your son and get to the bottom of why kids are bullying him. I'm not saying it's justified- obviously it's not- but they have clearly singled him out. I think I would start though by having a heart-to-heart with your difficult child, if he's not too old to do that. LOL! If he'll talk, discuss getting him a male mentor to talk this over with and see who'd he be more comfortable with. Tell him you care about him but know that he needs pointers from someone who knows "men ways" of dealing with things. At least, that's the method that worked to get my son to open up to a male administrator at sd and a male therapist.
  3. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Can you snap some pictures of the kids? Then either go to the police and file a complaint and/or go to the schools and ask them to send a letter (that you provide) to the parents. If my children were doing that I would want to know so I could stop it ASAP.
  4. lmf64

    lmf64 New Member

    difficult child has a skills worker who lives in the area and spends a couple of hours a couple of days a week with him. I've brought it up to him (skills worker) and he's tried talking to him a few times. He (skills worker) also walks nightly and walks by our house and has seen them running off when they were caught. I don't want to get involved but don't want my son to wind up sitting in jail for taking all he could and wailing on one of them.
    He also, recently began seeing a male therapist. They are mainly working on self advocacy and being able to put a stop to their behavior would be a great skill for him to learn. I will talk to therapist about it.
    Triple J,
    I hadn't thought about taking pictures of them. I'll have to talk to difficult child again about not yelling when they are outside his window. I've told him we want to beat them at their game so he needs to come tell me quietly that they are there again. I can snap some pictures the next time. Thank you.
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    That's good! I'm not advising against calling police, but didn't realize that your son was making any effort to advocate for himself. If the kids throw something at the house, I would call asap. If they are harrassing your son, maybe talk to him about calling. If you call and police come over, will your son be willing to discuss the situation with the cops? Maybe that would be a good thing- so you can express your concerns and maybe the cops can give him some pointers and also reinforce the need for him to call them instead of becoming violent with them.

    PS the skills worker can vouch for the situation to the cops.

    Also, if ANY of these kids goes to his sd, call the principal. Most schools are very big on bullying these days, even if it's only occurring outside of school. My guess though is that something is going on at school, too.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Even if you have NO disabilities, it's hard to deal with multiple kids ganging up on you IN YOUR OWN HOME and keeping your cool. I used to be bullied so I have no tolerance for it. Adults doing this would be arrested.

    When the kids were outside harassing difficult child, without telling anyone, I"d call the cops. The cops will find out who they are and deal with them. I wouldn't expect this teenager to just ignore's not that easy. And five against one makes even the most sociable child or adult pretty helpless as the buddies will turn anything he says into taunting (been there).

    Even though he does need to learn social skills, nobody needs to learn how to accept harassment. Obviously, these kids do not know how to behave and THEY also need to learn the consequences of harassing somebody else.

    It's a pity he isn't even safe in his own house. I know some many disagree with me, but I don't believe that letting kids fight it out is the answer (or adults). This is against the law.
  7. lmf64

    lmf64 New Member

    thank you. I'm sorry if I sounded snippish in the other post. I'm just so frustrated with the situation. I have a child/teen who is finally wanting to be social and as soon as he tries to make friends they start in. I am so happy it's homecoming tonight. I don't have to worry about them starting in on him tonight anyway. Yes, his skills worker can vouch for him and so can his PCA, who last night was in difficult child's room while he was in the livingroom and they were outside his window thinking he was the one in there. She said she poked her head through the curtains and asked if she could help them with something. They took off right away and left him alone the rest of the night, but I know they'll be back. The majority of the kids would be in the middle school, but a few of them are at the high school. difficult child doesn't come into contact with them in school though. He has his own office (work area) and only spends half of the day in the building. The remainder of the day he's in the community doing volunteer activities or working out at the Y.
    Midwest Mom,
    yes it's a pity that he's not safe from harassment when he's in his own home. I've considered switching rooms with him, but I don't think that would make any difference since they're next to each other and of course with windows open they can hear what's on the television and I obviously don't watch anime, which is what difficult child would watch 24 hours a day if he could. Please noone tell him that if I added another cable package he could do just that.
    difficult child wants me to call the cops, but I'm trying to handle this another way. But, if they keep it up they are going to wish they were the ones sitting in their own rooms at home.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2009
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi again. I feel so bad for your son. Wish you lived in WI. My sixteen year old also has Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified/Aspergers. He's not always interested in socializing, but he's a nice boy and would probably hang with your son. He hasn't a mean bone in his body and would NEVER make fun of him.

    I think all spectrum kids obsess and like to watch unusual television shows. My son, who is very bright, still LOVES The Cartoon Channel. He also can obsess over certain videogames. We are fortunate that in our neighborhood, which is small, he is pretty accepted. At least, nobody picks on him.

    I sure wish your boy was close to mine...we could set up a play date. Sounds funny to set up a play date for sixteen year old boys, but Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) kids tend to be behind other kids socially and also often have to be helped along in these areas, even into adulthood.

    I hope you find a good solution. If not, since your son isn't protesting, call the cops.

    Take care.
  9. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    After reading more about this and learning that your son asked you to call, I would definiitely call the police- for a few reasons. One, it isn't a wrong answer. Two- it gives you a chance to brag on him for coming up with a good idea to deal with it. Three- it reinforces to him that if this happens and you aren't at home, it's best for him to call the police than to handle it in a bad way.

    My son was being picked on a lot by neighborhood kids a few years ago. It ended up with me getting a call at work by a cop standing in my kitchen. (I know my son was young to be at home alone but this was his big issue and he was ...well, it's a long story but he was only at home alone about 45 mins a day and we made 2 phone calls during that time. ) Anyway, I thought my son was in major trouble and got home in 10 mins. As it turns out, a kid had been banging on the door threatening to break in and harm my son. My son grabbed a kitchen knife, held it up in the window. The other kid actually crawled onto our screened porch and my son snuck out the back and hid in the crawl space. The other kid went home and told his mom that my son threatened him with a knife and she called cops on my son. Fortunately, when many cops were there and both us parents, the other boy admitted coming on our property and threatening my son. Since my son had only held a kitchen knife in the window in repsonse, then the cops found him hiding in the crawl space, it was not my son iin trouble. But, obviously,. this could have ended up with someone hurt very badly. The cop reinforced to my son that it was fine for him to call 911 when somehting like that happened.

    I'm now thinking this would be good for your son to set an example and hear these words from the cops, too.
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am so sorry. Why do kids act so cruelly?

    I would NOT expect a 16yo with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) to handle this. Esp because at his size the police will not be gentle if he hurts someone. You are going to have to call the cops for him.

    If the situation continues your son could lose his cool. So it is best to bypass that.

    If you have a video camera take video of these horrible brats. If not, use a camera to take picks of the kids. Show the pics to the officers. If you have double prints made let the police have them.

    Do NOT go to schools with pictures and letters. It is not appropriate and the school cannot pass them on to the family. They will tell the parents about some stranger trying to get a letter to them about their children.

    THAT is not what you want.

    If you can afford it, put a video surveillance camera (nannycam) where it will catch what is going on. Make SURE that difficult child does NOT react toward the little jerks. Asking them to leave is one thing, threatening to get them to leave is another. You don't want it turned around to show that your child cannot control himself.

    Take that film to the police. It is best if it has sound. Tell the police you want to press charges against the children. Insist upon it.

    I am so very sorry that you and your son are going through this.

    Many gentle hugs.
  11. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    I also agree a call to law enforcement is appropriate.

    I scolded a group of neighborhood kids (my difficult child included) when I found they had surrounded a much smaller kid in the neighborhood and were harrassing him. They were trying to get him to throw one of his famous temper tantrums so they could film it and put it on U-Tube. They thought is was o.k. to do because this kid has become a brat. He had chased my son with a baseball bat, called every kid a very nasty 4 letter word, etc. So, I gave them all a lecture about how they are not to harrass anyone, especially someone in the neighborhood. They are to work at protecting each member of the neighborhood like a family member.

    I also talk a lot with my difficult child about how ANYTHING he does will get him into trouble because he is so much bigger and older. Doesn't matter if the 6 year old's intention is to beat you with a bat, self protection will NOT be an acceptable excuse if you hurt him.

    So, continue talking to your son reminding him to keep control. Tell him not to answer the door and if the kids are hanging out near your home, call the police. Don't wait for them to act, the police need to meet them now, they have enough cause to visit with the kids without another incident.

    Also, how well do you know and get along with your immediate neighbors? I know in my neighborhood if this was happening, I can go to each of my next door neighbors, explain what is going on, and ask that if they see any of these kids hanging around to let you know. They may not feel comfortable making a call to the police so even if they just give you the day and time they are seeing things.
  12. tictoc

    tictoc New Member

    Oh, how I feel for you...No one should have to go through this.

    I, too, think videotaping the kids and taking it to the police is the most appropriate route, esp since your difficult child has asked you to call the police. He is a big guy and if he reacts physically the consequences for him could be very bad. The important thing right now seems to be to get the teasing to stop and then to follow up with some techniques to help your son in these situations. When your house is already on first isn't the time to teach fire prevention...Just put the fire out.

    Please keep us updated.
  13. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Maybe you could call and have an officer come visit with you and difficult child to help him learn how to handle the situation and to help him see the police as his allies, not his enemies.

    Just ask for an officer to come to the house to help you and your son figure out how to handle a problem. Usually it is no problem if you can give them a range of times (several hours) so they can come at a time that they are not dealing with a crisis.

    Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) kids often really like rules. something hard and fast to rely on. So have the officer teach him how to handle things so difficult child will not get into trouble and can get this problem to stop.

    It is nice to have cookies or something so it feels like a friendly chat to your son. If the officer cannot enjoy them, maybe pack up a plate to send to the office or for him to take home and enjoy. It really makes you stick in the officer's mind as someone trying to do the right thing and teaching your child to do the right thing. Chocolate is a wonderful memory aid, LOL.

    Seriously, the more senses you involve the more you remember something. So if you have brownies when the officer comes, then make brownies (or thaw them if you want to freeze a batch. Just wrap individually in plastic so you can pull out 1 or 2 for a treat.)and let difficult child have one after each time they bully him and he does what the officer says. Not so much as a bribe, but as a way to keep "the rules" the officer gave him in his mind.

    After you speak with the officer, future calls to the address may be sent to him, or to any officer. But if you have asked for help and are then following it, the officers will go easier on difficult child and harder on the kids. It has worked for us.

    Give difficult child a hug for me. It is SO HARD to have all the kids pick on you. been there done that as a child.
  14. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    The saddest thing about bullying is that it does terrible, permanent damage to ALL participants.

    I was on the recieving end all throughout my school years. I still have PTSD from those many years and am still working through it in therapy.

    Back when I was enduring the bullying, schools did nothing about it. A school counsellor even asked me what I was doing to provoke the bullies!

    Nothing I could help. I was extremely anxious, had physical differences, and obvious social differences due to my being on the AS spectrum.

    What to do? My dad finally had enough and decided to teach me to defend myself. Not an ideal solution, but the only one available. Neither the schools nor the authorities had anything to offer.
  15. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    We have been through this. difficult child 3 was bullied for years by kids both at school and at home. The school didn't handle it well and allowed it to continue, actually telling difficult child 3 (when he tried to tell a teacher) that he didn't understand what was really happening, because of his autism!

    Outside school the same kids would continue to harass him because if the school took no action, then surely that meant it was acceptable to do this? And he was such an easy target, always guaranteed to react.

    Even I was 'conned' by this, like a battered spouse begins to accept the beatings as normal. So when difficult child 3 was attacked and tey drew blood, that's what it took for me to call the police. The cops said, "Well, at least it's only an isolated incident."
    "No it's not!" I told them. "This has been going on for years - we go to any community fair and these kids threow things at him and call him names. And that his behaviour deteriorates."
    The cops then told me, "We can only use what we have in terms of reports. That means that in future if ANY kid calls him names or even looks at him the wrong way, call us. We don't always have to attend, but you can at least give us a report. Any information is good, we can build up a file."

    difficult child 3 has partial face blindness which means that bullies can get away with it by saying, "It wasn't me," and it's been difficult for us to prove anything.

    So I began carrying my camera. I took photos of any injuries difficult child 3 suffered. I found the log these kids had hit him with and took photos of that. And when there were other kids doing things like throwing rocks from a pile of spoil (and then claiming difficult child 3 had been doing this, when I knew he hadn't because he had been with me) I began taking photos of other kids doing the wrong thing. I then sent the photos to the school, to begin with.

    We have had problems every Halloween, except for the last couple of years. So I began my drive around the village before sunet on Halloween, visiting the places where the problem kids hang out and use as their base of operations. And I took photos of them so I could use it later to identify them. Any damage done to nearby property at about the same time, i was ready to produce my photos to show who was in the area at that time.

    We're still better off than a neighbour, whose wife used to teach at the local school. She wasn't popular and they keep getting their windows broken by local kids. The teacher's husband does, I feel, make things worse by getting verbally aggressive with the kids. Yes, he'sentitled to be angry and express it, but it only gives these kids a thrill, they successfully made him angry and that is fun. I told him he has to instal CCTV and send the files to police.

    Any kid on his own would have difficulty dealing with group bullying especially when it follows him home. But a Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) kid needs extra help.

    What finally did it for us - I used the network of other kids' parents, people we knew. I listend to gossip especially when parents were talking about who in te town is a problem. When I got a likely name I gave it to the police when difficult child 3 was attacked. And hit the jackpot - that kid WAS one of those present (not te ringleader though) and sang like a canary, gave names of all the other kids. So the cops visited all of them.

    Outcome - I nefer got te chance to talk to the kids or teir parents even though I asked the police to help this happen. But the gang got broken up anyway because a couple of parents moved their kids to a different school, organised some outside school activities etc so the kids weren't hanging around in shiftless groups getting up to trouble. These kids are potentially serious troublemakers, getting into trouble out of sheer boredom and lack of direction/supervision. The parents got a fright, some of them anyway. And it was enough - the gang is now half the size it was and also more closely watched.

    So the recommendation - take photos. Even if all you get is their retreating backs. Simply knowing you're doing this will scare them. Or get difficult child to take photos. If these kdis are on your property and harassing you or any member of your family, I think you could make a very strong case to the police for some sort of intervention.

    Talk to the police anyway, let them know of the problems. The cops probably have a shrewd idea who these kids are - such kids will be picking on a lot more people than just your son.