Am I over or under reacting? 10YO, friends, HOA (Update post #59, HOA calls me back) - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
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#61 of 70 Old 05-15-2010, 01:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Um, wow. It sounds like they already have your son pegged as a trouble maker and are just waiting for him to "screw up".

I would contact them again and tell them if that is the strongest evidence they have that your son is causing trouble then maybe they need to re-think their suspicions.
LOL Yeah. Or, maybe, they are sure those "other" kids are doing it, and the "evidence" (more pictures??) will show them doing it, and not ds. Because, you know, those "other" kids are "different."

Goodness, I'm getting all pissed off thinking about this again.

Mom, wife, full-time student.  And tired.  DH, DS#1 (9/99) and DS#2 (9/09), and 2 dogs.

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#62 of 70 Old 05-15-2010, 01:31 AM
 
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I think the lady is right about talking to your son to make sure he isn't trespassing and to try to find out if he is part of the group that is vandalizing if you can do this without sounding like you are accusing him. Sometimes kids this age get caught up with wanting to be cool and they do things that they normally wouldn't do. It sounds like they weren't caught doing things that are too serious, but some of the disregard for other people's property would worry me if it was combined with fighting and possible vandalism. I know that it is horrible to have someone tell you your kid might not be behaving in the way you have taught them to behave, but kids really do experiment with what they can do when they are away from you sometimes. When I was this age I had a friend who was just a bad combination. We got into all kinds of trouble together that we would never think about doing on our own.

I would also be worried about someone taking photos of my kid without my permission, but the law probably doesn't protect your kid if he is out in public. In our city if you are where other people can see you there is nothing to protect you against being photographed.
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#63 of 70 Old 05-15-2010, 03:39 AM
 
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Have you had a chance to talk much to the other parents about what's going on? What do they think about it?
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#64 of 70 Old 05-15-2010, 09:30 AM
 
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In a lot of ways, the neighbor is between a rock and a hard place. No pictures - no proof. Pictures - he's creepy and possibly a pedophile. What I would take away from the pictures would be that, while my kid may not be doing anything wrong, he's hanging out with kids who are at least flirting with being a problem. And that's something I would address with him - who are these other kids, how does he know them, and how is it he's ended up playing/hanging with them?

Sitting on a sidewalk in front of a driveway. Am I the only one who has come home ti find kids doing just that and refusing to move? Or else taking their sweet time? Or getting ready to go out, and there they are! Looking at you like you have three heads when you ask them to get out of the way, please.

Cans in the bike spokes. No problem, for the most part. Until the cans come flying off and end up on my lawn, for me to go out and pick up. Why should I pick up someone else's trash?

I would suspect this neighbor has had more than his share of problems with kids and his property - and has had enough. Not sure if I can blame him.

I also wouldn't restrict my kid from going to his friend's, but I would tell him that I'd prefer if he didn't hang with the other kids coming from elsewhere.
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#65 of 70 Old 05-15-2010, 10:06 AM
 
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While some of the "infractions" may be valid and kids need to be reminded not to go on other people's lawns without their permission, etc., none of these incidents demonstrate any association with vandalism - just kids being thoughtless about their behavior and how it impacts others, not at all the same thing as kids going out to terrorize the neighborhood and intentioanlly create a nuisance. And I would be hopping mad about the racist undertones to this whole affair. Sounds like your neighbor does not want to see AA kids in his neighborhood and your son was "caught" with them. I would give the HOA a piece of my mind - the accusation that your son (or any of the kids) are vandals is beyond the pale. I would tell them that they need to cease and desist with these baseless accusations and threats or you will be contacting a lawyer and they can address any concerns to him/her.

Apparently doing it rong and ruining it for everyone, but I don't give a crap anymorebanana.gif

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#66 of 70 Old 05-15-2010, 11:35 AM
 
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Without living there and knowing your area it's hard to know how large a roll the racial issues are playing in this. I would be very careful about how I spoke to my son about watching himself around these "other" kids from "elsewhere." Obviously you don't want your child to get involved with children who push him to do things that he shouldn't that he probably wouldn't have done on his own. But I would just hate for your DS to get the idea that he shouldn't hang out with these kids because they are black and/or from another neighborhood. And it didn't seem to me that there was any evidence that these were "bad kids" or anything.
Could your son possibly get a hold of these other kids and you could invite everyone over for pizza or something? Or meet up with them at the pool?

Also, I understand that you are in a tough position but it seems a shame to severely restrict your son's going out time (assuming you believe that he does understand which behaviors are not acceptable- and especially that if there is any start or talk of vandalizing he needs to make an excuse to his friends and come home immediately!). So many kids don't want to or don't have the chance to play freely outside and it is so so important for their development and wellbeing. I don't think this one neighbor should be able to hold your child hostage. Get a clarification on the rules from the HOA, go over them with DS, and beyond that I wouldn't live in too much fear from the HOA. If he does something that was actually, explicitly against the rules and the HOA fines you, then make that DS's responsibility.
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#67 of 70 Old 05-15-2010, 12:00 PM
 
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I haven't read all of the responses, but ITA with Sharon about this being weird! I mean, to me most of what they did falls under the "kids will be kids" category. The only one I can really see maybe saying something about is the riding bikes through people's lawns. And even that is just kids being kids, but I could see talking to the parents about that. Just nicely asking them to ask their kids to stop riding on lawns. And maybe if it continues, then MAYBE asking the HOA to step in.

And maybe I'd suggest they tell their kids to not sit at the end of driveways, but that would be for their own safety.

It's like this is Dennis the Menace, and this guy is an even grumpier version of Mr. Wilson.

It reminds me of a time that my friend and I were at the pool and she breastfed her baby. There was nobody else in the pool at all. But this creepy woman walked out of her house and up to the pool fence. I moved to block her view, and she moved to get a better view. A few minutes later the HOA head lady person showed up to ask my friend to please cover if she's going to NIP. Another case of, if you don't look, it can't bother you. Same for some of what the kids were doing! Just ignore it, and it won't be your problem!

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#68 of 70 Old 05-15-2010, 12:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Rico'sAlice View Post
Without living there and knowing your area it's hard to know how large a roll the racial issues are playing in this. I would be very careful about how I spoke to my son about watching himself around these "other" kids from "elsewhere." Obviously you don't want your child to get involved with children who push him to do things that he shouldn't that he probably wouldn't have done on his own. But I would just hate for your DS to get the idea that he shouldn't hang out with these kids because they are black and/or from another neighborhood. And it didn't seem to me that there was any evidence that these were "bad kids" or anything.
If this were my kid, it would have nothing to do with their race. But these are kids that Mom apparently doesn't know, and there's been an issue - justified or not. So... I would want to know where he knows them from, and how they all ended hanging together.

I've had kids in our neighborhood that I'd barred my kids from hanging with. They're trouble. And I'm not going to go there.
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#69 of 70 Old 05-15-2010, 05:18 PM
 
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Or the HOA rep could be judging the AA kids as "bad" because of their race and like the rest of it, it is unfair to Sharon and the kids. Unfortunately it is not that far fetched of an idea that someone who is distanced from the situation would judge a kids behaviour as "bad" instead of just a minor nuisance because the child is a different race.

The HOA rep said "maybe it's the company he keeps" when no one in the company is doing anything horrible (maybe a little inconsiderate) and then implies the kids are responsible for vandalism. I'd wonder if racism was playing a role in the initial complaint and/or the HOA's actions too. I mean, seriously, who complains that kids are riding their bikes on the street? In Canada that's the only legal place to ride your bike in a neighbourhood.

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#70 of 70 Old 05-16-2010, 11:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mtiger View Post
If this were my kid, it would have nothing to do with their race. But these are kids that Mom apparently doesn't know, and there's been an issue - justified or not. So... I would want to know where he knows them from, and how they all ended hanging together.
As kids get older, we don't know every one they know. My DD is about to turn 12, and half the kids she invited to her party I couldn't pick out of a line up.

Quote:
I've had kids in our neighborhood that I'd barred my kids from hanging with. They're trouble. And I'm not going to go there.
for us it comes down to behavoir. Luckily, we live in mixed neighborhood with nice kids and neighbors who are usually reasonable. The situation in the OPer's neighborhood sounds very icky to me.

I'd be clear with my child about behavoir that is and isn't OK, but I'd want to stay far, far away from implying that they shouldn't be friends with AA kids because if they are people will think they are up to no good. It's not the 50s.

I'd encourage my child to watch their step because Big Icky Neighbor is watching, but I'd want them to get outside, ride their bike, and enjoy their friends (even new friends that I hadn't met yet)!

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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