I read an article yesterday about a mother taking some youngsters to task over making fun of her autistic son, and my hat goes off to her.
It nudged a memory, though in a totally different context, of how we handled a particular situation that was unacceptable to us.
Hubby and I don’t have kids.
That’s a blessing (for them) as we do not tolerate bad behaviour especially when it involves a threat to ourselves, the dog or our home, and two teenage girls came into the firing line of our ‘discipline’.
We’d first seen these girls on our way back from the woods and witnessed them putting large obstacles in the middle of the road which could have caused a nasty accident.
We stopped, wound down the window, and suggested they remove them before someone got hurt.
After a bit of grumbling, they did but we saw them in the rear view mirror watching us as we drove down the road and turned into our driveway.
Later in the afternoon, we saw them go past our front window a couple of times trying to look in, then disappear into the village hall car park. Suddenly we heard some almighty cracks as stones were being lopped over the fence against our bedroom windows.
Hubby was outside like a shot, and caught the little minxes, one in mid aim and the other sniggering to her friend having scored a direct hit.
He ‘invited’ them to proceed him down our garden path to the front door. There, he took their photograph and got them to write their names, addresses and telephone numbers on a piece of paper while I phoned the police.
Just a little note here:
We were on very friendly terms with the local Bill and Community Services Officers, and there had been a lot of similar trouble in the village recently.
The girls were now snotty-nosed and snivelling on my doorstep (I supplied tissues), terrified that they would go to prison, and blaming each other for ‘the dare’ that had got them in this predicament in the first place.
We packed them off home saying they may get a visit from the CSO later.
Next thing we knew was a guy knocking on our door practically falling over himself with apologies for his daughter’s actions. We invited him in and said we had no intention of causing trouble or pressing charges as no damage had been done, but we hadn’t been prepared to just let them get away with it.
The family had a visit from the CSO, but just as a bit of a wakeup call before any real harm or serious trouble could occur.
The CSO came to see us the following day and over the usual cup of tea, told us what had happened.
The daughter’s friend had been sent home, and the sleepover weekend treat abruptly cancelled, birthday or no birthday. The father was in the forces and very high on discipline, grounding her for a month with no pocket money or allowing her to visit any of her friends, or have them visit her.
We thought maybe we’d overreacted but the CSO didn’t think so, and said taking the photo was a great idea (though what the girls thought we were going to do with it was anyone’s guess).
The next day, the blonde girl knocked on our door, full of her own apologies and remorse, and promised she would never do anything like it again.
We thanked her for calling, and emphasised that we were not taking the matter any further, but perhaps she’d think first before trying to impress her friends next time.
I don’t think she held it against us, as afterwards if ever we saw her, we’d get a wave and a smile, although the latter was a bit shaky at first.