Rebellious Teenagers

by admin on May 3, 2012

I am thoroughly disgusted.

Today I, like many Australians, attended an Anzac day march.

For those who do not know what it is, it is a memorial day to remember those who fought in wars in defense of our country, celebrated on the anniversary of the Gallipoli landing, April 25.

I was standing near a family that I know consisting of a mother, father and 16 year old daughter, SB. They were there to cheer on the mother’s father on the last ANZAC march he planned to take part in, due to age and poor health.

From the moment the March started all anyone nearby could hear was SB complaining. Admittedly, it was a cool morning but it was not raining and we were lucky enough to be in the sunshine for most of the time. “It’s too cold, I’m bored, I want KFC (at 9.30 am), I want…,” and so it continued through the national anthem and into the commentary of the march. Mother and father ignored her.

When her Grandfather (a WW2 veteran) was about to march past us, SB started yelling “Gimme the keys! I want to go home! Who wants to watch these old F…rs anyway.”  At this her father turned and told her to walk home or to be quiet. Her response? “F… Y…!”  Her Grandfather looked heartbroken hearing this but marched to the end with his regiment. SB then started abusing anyone and everything around her. The language even shocked some of the returned sailors!

After the march was over, and the service was about to start, SB cranked her behavior up a notch. She walked across the street, interrupting the ceremonial wreath laying, with her phone stuck to her ear and talking loudly about her friends and comparing sexual exploits. When SB reached the curb she turned around and started to walk back again. A police officer tried to talk to her but after being verbally abused she took SB by the arm and led her away.

Through the whole matter many people tried asking SB to be quieter, giving her hard looks and shushing her. I and several others were told where to go and what to do when we got there.

Was there anything else we could have done?   0425-12

Children like this are a shame to their parents who, frankly, have parented them to this point of complete selfishness and disrespect for others.  As a parent myself, I may choose to not create more drama in public by confronting her but there would be serious ramifications for her upon arriving home, such as terminating her cell phone service, cutting off the internet to her computer, no car, no parties,  zippo/nada for a looong time.

There was nothing else you or anyone else could have done.  Someone alerted the police who took action so it appears that it ended as best as can be expected.


{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

PLG May 3, 2012 at 4:23 pm

Being an aussie myself that is just disgusting!

The rural town I used to live in always made a HUGE deal out of ANZAC day with full dress dawn and afternoon services, parades, sausage sizzles with all proceeds going to various veterans charities and games of two-up played everywhere with people of all ages all day. I know for a fact no one in my old town would have allowed such behavior to get that far. If the parents didn’t do anything prepare for full public shaming of both the child for their disrespectful behavior and the parents for not taking control of their child and doing their job of being a parent.

I pretty much only saw such happen a tiny handful of times, but it sure as heck worked on and quickly drove the offenders away under the angry glares of the surrounding public, but it sounds like that particular little self-centered brat was well beyond help. Hopefully that run in with the police officer will make her think twice, but some how I sadly doubt it.


Iris May 3, 2012 at 4:49 pm

I don’t think there is anything else the OP could have done here. The girl needed to be escorted away by someone with the authority to do so. Since her parents either don’t have that authority or won’t use it, the OP could hardly step in.

However, this is not normal behaviour. It is not even raised-badly behaviour. I have witnessed literally thousands of teenagers at Anzac Day services (through school) and even the worst behaved and worst raised kids know better than this. The strongest discipline I have ever need to use in an Anzac service is putting a finger to my lips to remind them to be quiet. This girl, for some reason – whether it be mental illness, a poor home life, just sheer teen rebellion – was absolutely and deliberately doing whatever she could to attract attention to herself. I’m guessing if her parents had tried to escort her away she would have screamed and fought them and they probably knew it.


Echo May 3, 2012 at 4:57 pm

This is by far the worst story I’ve read on this site. Her poor grandfather 🙁 But I just want to speak out on behalf of teenagers, I came across dozens during my Anzac Day events and they were all incredibly well behaved and appropriately respectful. This girl is, hopefully, the exception, not the rule.


anonymous 2 May 3, 2012 at 5:19 pm

I have to start by saying that whatever the reason for the unfortunate outburst from the young lady, my heart goes out to her poor grandfather, who had every reason to feel proud on such a day and had that moment spoiled for him.
However, my heart also goes out to her parents, because I can only assume that based on their action (or inaction) there was a reason for allowing this to happen… I can tell you from experience that it is unfair to simply label something like this as the result of poor parenting.
There are many, many reasons a perfectly well-raised teenager could behave this way, and unfortunately one of them is drugs. Drug abuse can create a personality in a growing child (and the teenage brain is still growing, will not fully mature until the 20’s) which can be far removed from who they were, and extreme disrespect as well as borderline violent outbursts can be some of the signs of drug abuse. Another consideration is some type of oppositional defiance disorder, which is also something about which parents can have little control at times, even in spite of seeking a multitude of outside help. Depression in teenagers is also different — most teens react with disrespectful, self-destructive behavior, rather than a more adult response of classic depression (eg. “feeling down” etc.) Being the parent of such a child — either drug addicted or suffering from ODD or depression — can be a very lonely place to be. Even friends can desert you, thinking you have failed as a parent, even if you’ve raised your child in the exact same fashion and all that differs is a path your child chose to take or an issue deep within the part of his/her brain causing depression or poor behavior.

Do I know that these parents face something like that? No…but I won’t assume that they *don’t* and thus condemn them to harsh judgement. I used to be much more judgmental, to my shame, until I learned better. To paraphrase loosely — it’s easy to keep throwing rocks until your own house turns to glass…

Apologies if I sound harsh – I truly don’t mean to. I know it’s only human nature to judge others to some degree, and I am not judging anyone who jumped to a conclusion, or anything like that. I mean only to offer an alternative view, fwiw.

I could very well be wrong, and this young woman may simply be an extremely disrespectful child because she was allowed to be, but having seen “the other side,” I now know better than to assume, and I try my best to view all parents of such kids with compassion until/unless I have reason to believe otherwise. We simply can’t know what people are dealing with…


Electric Blue May 3, 2012 at 5:40 pm

Aussie here too…and I think that girl desvered a good smack in the face…


lkb May 3, 2012 at 6:51 pm

I must respectfully disagree with those who say a teen should not be forced to attend an event if he/she doesn’t want to. IMHO, there were two reasons here that she should indeed have “sucked it up” and gone:
1. Her grandfather. She needs to know that every event in life does not revolve around her. To all appearances this was her grandfather’s “last hurrah” and as his grandchild, she should honor that.
2. All vets. It sounds like Anzac Day is very, very important in Australia (I wish we honored vets as well here in the States.). Then, she needs to go to learn to honor these important people.

In my humble opinion, letting her stay at home and miss the whole thing would have served nothing. I’m rather glad she was escorted out by police — she may have learned something, albeit the hard way.
(I still do feel sorry for the grandfather.)


Amp2140 May 3, 2012 at 7:40 pm

You know, while I agree the behavior was appalling… I’m sure there was the missing backstory which showed that SB already expressed that she didn’t want to go. By forcing her to go, and I believe at 16 she should at least have some say in the matter, the parents didn’t exactly help themselves


Frosty May 4, 2012 at 12:29 am

I’m just curious if this is searchable. I mean if the police took her away, there should be some kind of blip.

I’m sorry but with out back up, this sounds seriously way too over the top. I’d really like to see some thing backing up the story before I judge a kid unfairly.


Lilya May 4, 2012 at 3:01 am

At 16 she should know she won’t have her grandfather forever.
I’m 24 and I’m not sure I like the “teens will be teens, you shouldn’t force them to do something they don’t want” argument. You can’t always do what you want in life and if you want your friends and family to support you, you have to suck it up and support them sometimes. Even if it is a chore, even if you’d rather be doing something else.

What am I saying, I’m sure this girl never, ever imposed on her friends and family, there’s nothing they’d rather do than enjoy her wonderful company and do all the things she likes./snark off.


Puzzled May 4, 2012 at 5:00 am

Ikb makes a good point; however, that probably is further evidence that the parents simply haven’t done their jobs correctly by teaching their child that the world does not revolve around her at an earlier age. These types of lessons are only effective if they are taught consistently from the time a child is small. Yes, teenagers can be very egocentric, but not usually to this degree. This is behavior that you would expect from a toddler. “I’m bored, I’m hungry and I will prove it by being obnoxious!”

I certainly understand that there may be some circumstances here that we may not be aware of, but the bottom line is that the parents did nothing to remedy the situation, and the police had to step in. I have to assume this means that they have never taken this child in hand consistently.

I was taught from a very early age to respect military and law enforcement. (Well, with uncles and cousins who were in every branch of the service with some medal winners thrown in for good measure, a grandfather who worked for the local county sheriff’s department, and an uncle who was the chief of detectives for the city police department, that was just a given. I was a VERY respectful child!)

Hopefully, this story will have a happy ending, and the child will grow up to one day be horribly embarrassed when she remembers this incident. I doubt it, but hopefully. That doesn’t make up for the fact that her poor grandfather will remember this as part of an event that should have brought him nothing but happiness. Unforgivable, really.


Green123 May 4, 2012 at 5:06 am

Shame on this girl’s parents for bringing her up to think this behaviour is acceptable, and shame on them for letting her carry on with it. If I had even THOUGHT about behaving like that as a child or teenager (and frankly, even now as a thirty-something!) my mother would smack me upside the head so hard I’d see stars.


Aje May 4, 2012 at 6:24 am

My aunt was a vetran and didn´t get out of her house often. One time she came to visit and instead of coming and saying hello immediately I waited. I was hiding from my cousins who were 4 years old and driving me nuts. My Mom thought I was hiding from my aunt, not showing her respect and I got in SOOOO much trouble. I was grounded for the rest of the summer- and it was only July!

I don´t even want to think about what would have happened if I´d acted that badly… (shudder)


Kate May 4, 2012 at 6:57 am

I’d like to think a child of mine (especially at age 16!) would understand that this behaviour is inappropriate. If I were SB’s mother, I would have marched her directly to the car and taken her straight home the minute she began making a scene, and there would have been consequences (loss of mobile phone, no internet access, grounding etc).

The parents probably should not have taken her along against her will. Teenagers can be disgraceful when they’re doing something they don’t want to do. It does not excuse her behaviour by any stretch of the imagination, but in future, I would probably not be bringing her along to these events.

My late grandfather was an Australian WW2 veteran, and was also very forthright. I would have loved to hear what he would have to say in this situation.


jena rogers May 4, 2012 at 7:01 am

IKB, I agree. Children need to be raised to understand that they will have to do things that they may not necessarily want to do; that’s just a part of life, and of being a part of humanity. Bringing them to such events can foster manners, respect, and tolerance. Just because a child doesn’t want to go is not reasonable cause for them not to attend. From where I stand, I’m seeing way too many parents give in to the whims of their children, starting at a very young age. It’s one thing to allow a child to voice an opinion about such things; it’s quite another to allow them to run roughshod over everyone else.


bloo May 4, 2012 at 7:15 am

Count me in with the ones that think a 16 year old can be expected to suck it up and go to something she’s not inclined to attend. It is up to the parents to instill the fulfilling of obligations to family and friends (and co-workers later) by expecting them to attend and be polite and certain functions. A minor can be taught to respectfully make their preferences known and the parents can decide to listen, validate their feelings, but ultimately in the end, parents get final say and the teen should respectfully follow along.

When SB is both 18 AND autonomous (in other words – NOT 18 AND nursing on the parental chests – so to speak) then SB can decide to not attend such functions which will be a relief to everyone else I’m sure. BTW is 18 the age of majority in Australia?

Another poster made a good point that it’s up to the parents to know what their kids can handle and how they’ll behave and make decisions accordingly; therefore if SB is just completely rebellious, unfortunately, one of the parents would have to stay home with her and this would spare the grandfather and other attendee from SB’s horrid behaviour.


The Elf May 4, 2012 at 7:54 am

You make a good point, AMP2140. Still, once forced to go (if that is what happened), she could have sulked in silence. At a minimum, after being spoken to by the police, she should have zipped her lip. To have STILL talked back then is truly spoiled and disrespectful.

A friend of mine is a police officer who worked a beat that included one of the wealthiest zip codes in America. Sometimes he had to arrest spoiled teenagers (we’re talking Veruca Salt level of spoiled) for vandalism, drugs, etc. Sometimes even for physically abusing their parents or siblings. He was always a little amused by the shock on their faces when they found out that police officers are immune to temper tantrums, screaming fits, and cussing. And trying to slap an officer like they just slapped their Mom? Bad idea. The word “No” does in fact exist, and they just found out about it the hard way. He said they were usually quite combative or argumentative right up to the point of being actually arrested, sometimes all the way to lock-up. This always amazed me. As a teen, I had my fair share of brat moments. I think everyone did; sort of goes with being a teen. But if the police ever had to step in? Oh, wow, I would have turned meek quickly. There are lines you just don’t cross!


Angel May 4, 2012 at 7:56 am

Post #54, that’s all well and good, I have heard of the ODD diagnosis and yes, there is such a thing–howEVER, why should other people be made to deal with it? This cannot be the first time the SB has made a scene like this. If the parents truly have no control over their own child they should not take her out in public. Sorry if I am being harsh, but they should have left her home with another family member while they were at the parade for a few hours. It’s not freakin rocket science. It’s just simple common sense. My bet is that they gave up on disciplining her a long time ago, and the rest of the family knows it, so they can’t find another soul who will actually put up with her enough to watch her for a few hours.


May May 4, 2012 at 10:05 am

I agree with Angel, post #67 – if they parents do not have control over her, they should not take her out in public, especially against her will. At age 16, she should have a little say in what she does and does not want to attend. IF she stated she did not want to attend and was forced anyway, that explains the bad behavior.

Just let me say that I understand the POV of the posters that said she should learn to suck it up, the world does not revolve around her and she should have more respect for her grandfather, elders, military, etc. but honestly, wouldn’t everyone have enjoyed the parade much more if she had stayed home? Surely, there was a less solemn event that they could have used to teach her the lesson. So her grandfather would not have his last march ruined by a sulky, bratty teen. When grandpa passes and she realizes what a horrible, rude person she was at that parade, maybe (just maybe) she will change her ways.


anonymous 3 May 4, 2012 at 10:18 am

FORCING someone AGAINST their will to attend an event they have no desire to be at IS wrong, especially at that age. Did it teach her a lesson? No, it did no! It forced many people to hear her whiney, shameful behavoir and spoilt the march for many others, including her GF.
I much rather have had an peaceful, ejoyable day honoring veterans than listen to a horrid teenager complain just because her parents wanted to teach her a lesson. No one should be forced to endure that.


NotCinderell May 4, 2012 at 11:47 am

I want to second what some posters have said about not dismissing an entire generation. I volunteer at a girl’s high school. There are a few bad apples in the bunch, but on the whole, they are lovely, wonderful people.


Cat May 4, 2012 at 3:27 pm

Depends on the local laws against child abuse. Sixteen is too late to start discipline with a child. Take away the cell phone and make it plain that, if you expect to put your sixteen year-old feet under my table, you will follow my rules. If you choose not to follow my rules, the door is on the north side of the house. Feel free to use it.

Would I run down to the police station and bail her out? I think not. If you fel you are old enough to break the law, you are certainly old enough to deal with the consequences. See you on visiting day.


lkb May 4, 2012 at 3:33 pm

I understand where previous posters are coming from when they say she should not have been forced to attend and that because she did attend she spoiled it for everyone, including the grandfather. However, I still disagree. It seems to me that the alternative would have been having the young lady home by herself — her behavior in a public place with her family present leads me to believe she would have gotten into even worse behavior at home.


anonymous 2 May 4, 2012 at 7:41 pm

Angel – My point was not that “others should be made to deal with it”, etc. I was simply saying: don’t jump to conclusions and judge parents if you have no idea what their reality is.
I’m curious, however…are you suggesting that depressed or otherwise challenged children be locked up/hidden away all the time just on the off chance they may have an outburst? Really? So, if someone’s teenager suffers from depression and is occasionally prone to outbursts, his/her parents should simply hide her away until she grows out of it or something? Doesn’t that seem a bit lacking in compassion? Seems a lot like “Be sick, but don’t inconvenience me about it.” It’s unfortunate when outbursts happen, but not always predictable, believe me. A little understanding goes a long way. (I’m sorry if I sound argumentative – I don’t mean to be, and I do respect your right to express your opinion).

Judging parents harshly without knowing anything behind the scenes is unfair. So often people condemn an entire family for the momentary actions of a single member, without having a clue what is really going on.
The situation the OP described was horrible for many reasons, and I am sure that the girl’s parents are still mortified on many levels. The behavior was awful, and regrettable. If she was simply being “a brat,” then she deserves punishment and an “attitude correction,” but since I don’t know the family situation, I won’t judge. It could have been caused by something else, for all I know. I will focus my reaction on compassion for the parents and the girl’s grandfather, as well as everyone else who was affected by her behavior, instead of condemning parents I don’t know.


Cat Whisperer May 4, 2012 at 10:38 pm

Anonymous 2 said “Judging parents harshly without knowing anything behind the scenes is unfair.” I’ll go a step further and say that judging a child/teen who is acting out without knowing anything behind the scenes is unfair.

One of the people I shared my office with while I was working was a mother of three, whose youngest child was acting out in ways somewhat similar to the girl in this story. I’ll cut to the chase on what the girl’s issue turned out to be: her mom’s live-in boyfriend had started sexually molesting her when she was 11. Daughter had tried to tell mom what was going on and mom had not believed her. The live-in boyfriend denied it, called the daughter a liar, mom decided that the daughter was in some way trying to break up her relationship with the boyfriend, and things went downhill fast from there.

The truth came out when her daughter was 16. Mom broke up with the live-in boyfriend because he cheated on her. The live-in boyfriend’s new girlfriend had a pre-teenage daughter, and the boyfriend molested her. This girl went to her mother and was believed. The mother reported the boyfriend to the authorities, and in the investigation, the boyfriend admitted to molesting the daughter of my office-mate. (Apparently he’d broken up with her mom when the daugher “aged out” of the age group he was attracted to, which was pre-teen and young teen girls.)

By this time, my office-mate’s daughter was using drugs, had dropped out of school, and was what most people would describe as a delinquent. Her behavior towards her mother was hateful and defiant, but I think if my mom’s boyfriend had been sexually abusing me and my mom refused to believe it, I’d probably have been hateful and defiant too.

When someone engages in behavior that is as overtly self-destructive as the girl described in this situation, there is something going on that isn’t normal. It isn’t necessarily physical or sexual abuse, although there’s a pretty good chance, IMO. The girl may be mentally ill and in dire need of help. What I am absolutely, positively certain of: this situation as described is not one where do-it-yourself solutions by the the parents, ESPECIALLY do-it-yourself solutions that involve only physical punishment, are going to work. You cannot use corporal punishment to successfully treat mental illness.

First stop should be a medical doctor to do a work-up on the girl and make sure she’s not suffering from a physical problem, and to get her a referral to a psychiatrist who can do a psychiatric exam to determine what is going on. And then recommendations can be made about how to try to fix this problem.

It always astounds me that people who will take their car to a mechanic because they can’t figure out what’s wrong with it are unwilling to go to a professional counselor when their relationships go wrong and they can’t figure out what’s wrong and how to fix it. Help is out there, you just have to be willing to get it.


OP here May 5, 2012 at 7:23 am

Hi everyone. I would like to follow up on some of the comments that have been made and some additional background.
SB was a late life baby for both parentsand as such she has been indulged and coddled for her entire life and her parents (now in their early 60’s) see any form of dicipline as too harsh. The word ‘No’ is almost a curse word to them. They even protested her teacher asking for an apology when SB deliberatly hit another student in primary school. The fathers reaction was well out of the norm for either parent.
To the best of anyones knowledge there was no substances being used or abused to cause her actions.
SB sat in the lock-up for the next few hours and no charges have been made.
Grandfather was distressed by SB’s actions and comments. The man is a true gentleman and held his stiff upper lip through the whole service and the ‘tea’ following it. At the moment he is refusing to mention the matter to anyone.
Several of SB’s classmates were at the service and have reportedly dropped her like a hot brick. While SB is often seen around our town, she is always alone and her friends, while near her or in the general area, do not include her in their activities.
May I make one point clearer? I am 37 and often work with and interact regularly with many teens in my area. I am not lumping all teens in SB’s pile. Most teens I know are nice people who will grow to be responsable adults. SB is one of only a few bad eggs in this area (fortunately).


Angel May 5, 2012 at 9:03 am

NO, of course I am suggesting she just be locked away. However, the a solemn occasion such as a veteran’s march is not the place for her to be. Period. And the moment she acted up, the dad should have taken her home. Rather than waiting for the police to deal with it. Which, correct me if I’m wrong, if the kid has a real mental issue, certainly time in jail can do more harm than good. Hmmm?


Angel May 5, 2012 at 9:09 am

And I read over my post and no where in my post am I judging the parents unfairly. I was simply stating a fact. If she behaves that badly, then chances are they just gave up on disciplining her and fighting with her a long time ago. I made no speculations about what happened when she got home. Maybe she got punished when she got home. Who knows? But if I am a spectator or a veteran marching in my parade, frankly I don’t give a hoot about the personal demons of the other spectators, I just want it dealt with and have them removed so I can enjoy the day. Just like church. If my kids act up I take them out. It ain’t rocket science just common sense. I hope when they are 16 I no longer have to take them out. But frankly I don’t expect the rest of the world to be sympathetic and understanding if my 16 year old is behaving so abominably that the POLICE have to intervene. So yes, in that case I sure as hell would expect them to keep her home.


Mabel May 5, 2012 at 7:03 pm

Even if she was forced to go, her behavior was appalling. She sounds like a spoiled brat to me. Only an entitlement baby would be so crass as to ruin her grandfather’s event like that. If she acts like that on a regular basis, I would have left her home so Grandpa would have some family there that actually appreciated him.


MioMyo May 7, 2012 at 6:46 am

I normally do not leave comments, but this story just gave a chuckle and a cringe. I am 35 years old, and I cringed just imaging what my mother would have done if I had acted that way! My mother never hit me (even when I deserved it) all it took was one look and I knew I was out of line. From my observations, parents these days treat their children as equals instead of what they are, children. I’ve seen families leave restaurants because children as small as 5 or 6 insisting they did not like anything on the menu. When I was younger, you ate what you and appreciated what you got!! Children do not get to dictate what families do, they need to learn to suck it up and realize in life you don’t always get to call the shots.


The Elf May 7, 2012 at 7:14 am

OP, your background story explains it all. The nerve of having to apologizing to a classmate you whalloped, as if they existed for another reason other than being your outlet for anger that day! No wonder she sassed back to the cops.


Angel May 7, 2012 at 8:54 am

OP, thanks for posting the clarification. I would have guessed as much, that is a real shame nonetheless. The parents are doing her no favors by allowing her to get away with that behavior–as evidenced by her having no friends to speak of 🙁 I am glad that she sat in lock up for at least a few hours. Still, a shame.


Wink-N-Smile May 7, 2012 at 10:41 am

Helen – #22 – Yes, it is unfair to say “Kids these days,” and dismiss the entire generation. I know lots of lovely teenagers who are bright and cheerful and respectful.

This particular one, no. She needs some discipline or her life as an adult will be miserable.

It is true, though, that our culture has changed. Where once we had neighborhoods where the neighbors looked out for each other, we now have a more private society. As people move more and more, they bond less and less with those around them, thus limiting the options for “village” parenting.

Also, the schools are tasked with more responsibility, but given less authority for discipline. It’s tricky.


Angie May 7, 2012 at 12:16 pm

Having her classmates shun her is probably a better punishment than anything else at that age. Thanks for the follow-up, OP.


Ann May 7, 2012 at 12:42 pm

Yes, thank you, OP. What you’ve described is clearly a case of non-parenting, a child crying out for help… and a community looking the other way.


The Elf May 8, 2012 at 12:23 pm

Ann, what can the “community” do? Would you rather have people tell the parents “Hey, you aren’t raising your child right?” Or to directly discipline a child that isn’t theirs? That’s a field of potential landmines right there.


Emz May 8, 2012 at 11:00 pm

I would like to just point out, I am of a age close to the teenager, and I would have NEVER acted like that. I think the parents should have left her at home, where she couldn’t have ruined it for everyone else.


Brockwest June 25, 2012 at 1:23 pm

Smile, if you want to see what HAS been done with such behavior at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, go to you tube and put in “Tomb of the Unknown Soldier,” and WATCH what happens when someone fails to stand, be quiet, or heaven forbid, stroll over the tomb. Simply awesome to watch people get their due!


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