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.

 

{ 87 comments… read them below or add one }

Raymee May 3, 2012 at 7:41 am

As both a New Zealand and Australia citizen, I am absolutely disgusted by this behaviour! I was at the Melbourne march and I thought everyone was lovely! And I was just so impressed to see our veterans marching despite the horrid rainy weather.
I hope you don’t think all youth are out of touch, because I’m twenty-one and although I’ve had no direct relatives serve, I was honoured to be a part of the day and show my respect.
For someone whose Grandfather served our country, I just don’t understand why SB’s parents didn’t emphasise the importance of ANZAC day.

Lest we forget.

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Bint May 3, 2012 at 7:41 am

“Was there anything else we could have done?”

Frankly I wish someone had forcibly removed her or slapped her bloody hard. I wish someone would. That is disgusting. And what did her father do on being spoken to like that? 16 or not, how could her parents allow her to go that far?

What a repulsive story. I feel so sorry for her grandfather – heart-breaking for him indeed.

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Coralreef May 3, 2012 at 7:48 am

As admin. said, this type of behaviour does not appear out of the blue one morning. It has been tolerated, even nurtured in a way, by the rest of the family. If the parents do nothing, what are the chances of strangers actually having any effect on this rude and self-centered girl? OP, the only thing you can do in this type of situation is hoping that you never, ever run into this person/family again. I feel most sorry for the grand-father.

Had my children behaved that way during any type of event (more so when it is honoring those who served) there would have been a world of misery on top of revoked priviledges.

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livvy17 May 3, 2012 at 7:51 am

wow, what an amazing brat. The only thing I could think of that you could have done (not necessarily that you should have done) would have been to ask the parents to do something about their daughter, or ask one of them to remove her from the area. (Though I doubt that would be considered polite, and if they haven’t had the guts to discipline their daughter such that she would do this, they probably don’t have the guts to stand up to her either.) Sigh.

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David May 3, 2012 at 7:58 am

There wasn’t anything more that you could do.

Unfortunately, the only ways to shush SB that had any hope of getting it through to her that she really needed to be quiet would be so far outside the boundaries of polite society that people could be arrested for mentioning them to her.

Hopefully SB had to cool her heels in a lockup for a while and her parents followed through on the ‘walk home’ threat. I also hope that her grandfather remembers this if/when SB has any milestone events. And I hope someday SB will remember what she did and be ashamed.

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MoniCAN May 3, 2012 at 8:04 am

Shame to the parents indeed. What could the proverbial “we” have done? Well, the parents could have let this girl know long ago there were consequences for such actions. They obviously have not.
Yes, good parents have bad children sometimes, but the fact that they ignored her complaining and never took her aside to privately remind her this day is not all about HER shows that she probably gets away with much worse at home. It would not have created more drama for on of the parents to take her to the car immediately so the parent who is the child of the marcher and all other participants could watch in peace.

I was at a friend’s house the other day, helping the mother of the family do a gigantic favor for her teenage daughter. The project we were working on was kind of stressful, but really, it was the teen’s responsibility to get it done, we adults didn’t have to be there. The mother called out the daughter on her poor planning skills (in a sweet teasing way) and the daughter proceeded to look her mother in the eye and say “Shut up, B—!” (and she meant it). The teen then turn back to the project like it was nothing. The mother didn’t even bat and eye, said nothing and continued to work like a slave for her teen daughter.

Had I done something like that to my mother, I would be DEAD. She would never physically harm me, but I knew my life as I knew it would be over if I ever acted that way.

There were consequences for my actions from the time I was little. Sometimes it was positive reinforcement, which made me learn to respect those who do good. And sometimes thing I enjoyed were withheld from me if I misbehaved.

Unless the girl in this story has a serious mental issue, a scene of this proportion (the cops were called for goodness’ sake!) should have been nipped in the bud before it ever had the chance to happen.

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J'smama May 3, 2012 at 8:04 am

She sounds a like a real peach. I don’t care if I was 16, if I would have pulled that kind of stunt the way she did, my mom would smacked me upside my head. What an ungrateful little twit.

I can just imagine the kind of bridezilla this girl is going to be when she is planning her wedding.

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LovleAnjel May 3, 2012 at 8:14 am

Wow. I can’t believe how disrespectful she was. I wonder if there was a fight to make her go to the observance, and she decided to make everyone’s morning h-ll in retaliation. I hope the police gave her a sit-down in a quiet cell for a few hours.

This sounds as though anything “polite society” would have tried would have simply upped the drama. If it were my child, I might have forcefully dragged her home and removed a number of privileges (car, internet, phone for starters – oh, and no lunch either Miss KFC). I can understand her parents wanting to see the last year granddad marched, and hoping she’d stay relatively quiet if they ignored her. This may be a case of permissive parenting, or the girl may have been one of those people who naturally don’t give a hoot about the rest of the human race.

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Angel May 3, 2012 at 8:24 am

The one I feel the worst for in this scenario is SB’s grand dad. I hope he denied knowing her if anyone asked! I certainly would have.

The time to address this sort of behavior would have been at the age of 2. Those parents are about 14 years too late. However, they must have had an inkling that she might behave this way before they brought her. In which case, I would have done a pre-emptive strike and taken the cell phone away BEFORE the parade took place. Told her that if she behaves herself at the parade, she would get it back at the end of the day. Period. And let her know in no uncertain terms that if she DOES misbehave, she’s in a world of trouble when we get home. But all this discussion of expectations needs to take place BEFORE the parade.

I am sorry, OP, that you had to deal with such clueless people. And I feel sorry for the police too–certainly they should be taking care of more important issues than a bratty teenager!!

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Enna May 3, 2012 at 8:35 am

We don’t know how this teenager was brought up – if her parents have brought her right then I wouldn’t be surprised if she had what Admin said waiting for her when she got back home. If she’s 16 she could have a criminal record for disturbing the peace.

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lkb May 3, 2012 at 8:46 am

I feel so sad for the grandfather. I also feel sorry for the granddaughter and her parents — someday her lack of respect will catch up with them all.

I gotta wonder if there are some mental/family issues here. It does sound pretty extreme.

My sincere thanks to all those who served.

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CaffeineKatie May 3, 2012 at 8:49 am

Talk about reaping what you sow! However, I think the father (since it wasn’t his parent marching) should have marched that brat offsite (using the car keys as bait if necessary) the minute she started whining and had the inevitable argument out of everyone else’s hearing. If she was being a brat to her family, they might have chosen to ignore it. But to disrupt a solemn occassion like that–no way! AND she should be on lock down/no phone/bread and water for a month, at least.

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Sam May 3, 2012 at 8:49 am

I have never been so angry reading a post! I can’t believe that girl could be so rude to our Diggers. I had so many friends who took part in vigils across Sydney some of those that went along to the vigils were that girls age and they knew respect.

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YellowRose May 3, 2012 at 8:51 am

I know had I done something like that as a teen, I’d have felt the unseen hand of retribution across my face. Yeah, Dad was that good (?!?!), and I’m a better person for it. I was brought up in a different time and place. Fortunately, my teen age nastiness never reached the appalling level SB displayed.

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Shea May 3, 2012 at 8:57 am

How horrible! I’m going to assume that SB stands for Spoilt Brat (though that’s a mild term for the likes of her).

One thing though, I don’t think it’s necessarily fair to say that her behaviour is entirely her parents’ fault, as Admin implies. It may well be that her parents are too permissive, but sometimes teenagers just behave heinously. Even good parents can end up with kids who are horribly self-centred during their teenage years. Her parents could (and I think should) have disciplined her more strongly at the time, but that would have meant interrupting the ceremony and further upsetting the poor veteran granddad. Hopefully the parents had the gumption to give her the punishment she deserved once they’d returned home.

I’m glad the police too her in hand, anyway. Maybe a stern talking-to by an officer will help, but I doubt it.

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Lisa Marie May 3, 2012 at 9:07 am

I agree that teenagers today are turning into selfish, think they are entitled, people with no manners.
While I do mostly blame their parents and how they were raised, I would like to point out the problems that parents have today. I am a grandparent by the way and my own children raised in the 90’s had manners or ELSE. But 20 years later, parents are hampered by the almost absolute need for both parents to work which leaves older children unattended for several hours a day. I am not saying older children need babysitting I am saying they need guidance and an adult around to keep them from doing what they shouldn’t. You can no longer spank a child even in your own home without fear of repercussions. The internet and television today shows adult content items to young children way before they are ready to handle them. Yes SB needed to be taken home and punished but you can’t always blame the parent for their behavior.

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Mary May 3, 2012 at 9:19 am

How absolutely horrible. I think the only thing you could have done is say something to the parents right away when she started up. But sometimes in those situations, it is rather difficult.

This makes me happy that we have taught our girls (from the moment they were able to stand up and were no longer in a stroller) at parades that they were to stand up when the color guard approached and put their hand over their heart.

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Wink-N-Smile May 3, 2012 at 9:20 am

You say you know this family personally? Then you have an option strangers wouldn’t have.

If you have a video-camera, start filming HER, and tell her that if she doesn’t shut up and act respectfully right NOW, you will post her shameful behavior AND NAME to as many websites as you can think of, including those you know her friends will visit. Nothing shuts up a teenager so quickly as the prospect of public humiliation.

She knew her behavior was bad. She simply didn’t care, because she also knew her parents would provide no consequences. But surely she has classmates who care about the day, and the people who served, and they would punish her in their own unique ways. Teenagers can make their peers’ lives absolute hell, if they choose to do so, and every teenager knows that. Granted, some of her friends would think it was no big deal, and may even laugh about it. But I guarantee someone she likes and thinks well of will shun her after seeing that, especially if you add some commentary about how she behaved previous to the filming, and the fact that her grandfather had served, was marching, and for the last time.

Oh, yeah. Peer pressure does wonders.

And those parents really ought to be ashamed of themselves, for allowing her to get that bad, in the first place.

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Library Diva May 3, 2012 at 9:20 am

There’s rebellious teenage behvaior. Then, there’s the way this girl acted. Yes, 16 is the age where anything that gets in the way of your friend time is just an aggravation, but a normal teenager would not be so out-of-hand that THE COPS had to get involved. I’m sorry her grandfather had to witness the way she was acting. He must have been so ashamed and heartbroken. It makes me think of the grandchildren from the film “Grand Torino” with Clint Eastwood, who show nothing but disrespect at their grandmother’s own wake and funeral, and only talk to him to ask if they can have his stuff. I cheered in the closing scene when he willed his car to the Vietnamese boy.

I, too, hope her grandfather does something similar to the Clint Eastwood character, but the sad thing is, she won’t connect it with her behavior. She’ll just think he’s being a jerk and punishing her for no reason. She needs to learn that she’s getting past the age where she’s simply an object of adoration, and that she needs to put some work into her family relationships if she wants them to remain strong.

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Lily May 3, 2012 at 9:34 am

Everyone does seem to be blaming the parents for her behavior, (and endorsing physical means of punishment on top of that). Who knows what happened after they got home. They might have done nothing out of sheer mortification while there and when they finally got home, proper consequences enforced.

Teenagers are a tough bunch that by nature buck authority, don’t have a realistic concept of risk verses rewards, and have an almost paranoid level of self absorption. Bad teens can grow up to nice adults. So cut the parents a little slack. Though I personally would have taken her phone away and “encouraged” her to put some volunteer hours in at a VA hospital or nursing home.

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Wendy May 3, 2012 at 9:41 am

One thing the neighboring people could have done is call the police earlier, in front of her. Loudly.

*sigh* Unfortunately, it’s not just teens anymore.

I hope, hope, hope the parents didn’t immediately run to the jail and bail her out. A few hours cooling her heels with a couple scary-looking cell mates might have done her a world of good.

MoniCAN: I think at that point I would have left.

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Helen May 3, 2012 at 9:43 am

Wow. While this behavior was extremely disgusting (I can’t imagine ever talking back to a police officer!), I disagree with the commenters who say “all teenagers today are selfish, entitled brats.” Every generation says “kids these days.”

Not all children are raised the same, and many grow to learn good manners on their own. Dismissing a whole generation based on the antics of a few is quite unfair.

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Wink-N-Smile May 3, 2012 at 10:05 am

If I had been SB, I can tell you how it would have gone down with my parents.

The first time I said I was cold, I would have been told to fasten my jacket, or get a blanket, or do something to alleviate the cold. My parents love me and want me to be comfortable.

The first time I said I was bored, my parents would have looked at me as if I was CRAZY. I learned at a young age never to announce I was bored, unless I really wanted to scrub the floor. Being bored meant you didn’t have enough chores to do. Being bored in public? I can’t remember ever admitting to that. They probably would have told me to stand still, fold my arms, and think about Jesus, as if we were at church.

If I said I was hungry at 9:30 in the morning, my parents would have handed me a granola bar, or some such. If I actually demanded a certain kind of food (especially from a chain that isn’t open, yet), my parents would, again, look at me as if I were crazy, and this time, they’d remind me that it’s not available, and even if it were, we were HERE, we were doing the march, and I can’t always have what I want. If you’re hungry, eat your granola bar.

The first time I spoke over the national anthem, my father (a veteran), would have glared at me, in that “You are SO GOING TO PAYYYY!”) way that he has, and as soon as the anthem was over, I’d be dragged by my ear back to the car. He would then make me sit alone in the car for the duration of the march, and I’d probably have to do without lunch, and possibly dinner, afterwards. We were raised to stand at attention

If I were to talk back to him, or heaven forbid, swear, at that point, well, that would be really bad.

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Marjorie Margarine May 3, 2012 at 10:11 am

I agree. Maybe the parents are fine, maybe she’s just acting out, we don’t really know. I could see mom and dad trying not to escalate the conflict while at the parade. If she was that out of control, maybe they were concerned it would progress to a physical struggle if they intervened.
What should have happened is that one of the parents should have escorted her out of there. It sounds like her behavior was bad enough to warrant that long before Grandpa’s unit marched by. This kind of thing is so solemn and requires such an attitude of respect, that I think any amount of loud whining/complaining would have called for her to leave, moreso than if this was just a regular day on the street or something. But others are there mourning the loss of loved ones, remembering sacrifices people have made for the country, and they deserve to not have to be disturbed by her bad attitude and outbursts. Perhaps Dad would have had time to go sit her in the car and still come back in time to see Grandpa.

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girl_with_all_the_yarn May 3, 2012 at 10:17 am

Wow. Had I behaved like this girl did my mother would have not only washed out my mouth with soap (because if your mouth is filthy it needs cleaning!) but I would have been grounded for at least a month. And I was 16 less than a decade ago.

And if I was doing it when the veterans were passing… whoa be unto the idiot who thinks that behavior is acceptable. In my hometown, you’d have gotten a huge bawling out by everyone in the vicinity and shunned around town. We take honor very seriously. Thusly, while many of my classmates were rude in many ways, I cannot fault them for their behavior around their elders and around our soldiers.

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Rachel May 3, 2012 at 10:24 am

Teens who act out want their parents to discipline them. Her parents were passive and useless and that’s why she acts this way.

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Roslyn May 3, 2012 at 10:25 am

This is a double edged sword. If we parents discipline a young child then SOMEONE takes it upon themselves to tell you not to “harm” your child. So parents get in trouble for the discipline. So they stop.

Fast forward 16 years and here you go, lovely mouthy rude teens.

My son was three, and three is worse than two in my experience. I had one errand to run at the local mall and he was tired, and I was tired. He wanted to walk through the toy store to just look (something we often did when we weren’t in a hurry, hungry or tired) and I said “no”. No means no where I come from and I stood my ground with a tantrum. I had a heavy package to carry, so that meant he had to walk for himself and he wanted to be carried. He was screaming in the middle of the mall and started the “throw myself backwards” trick while I was holding his hand. I got down on his level and told him (as much as you can to a three year old) how it was.

Needless to say that two “concerned” women approached me to tell me that I was harming him. One went so far as to tell me in a “sickening sweet sing song voice” that “he just wants to be carried, you should have brought a stroller for him so he would be comfortable” and then something about the harm I was doing TO him by EMBARRASSING him in a public place. I turned, looked her in the eye and told her “I will gladly spend the next ten years giving into his every whim and giving him everything his little heart desires, BUT, when he turns 13 I will then give him to YOU!!”

That shut her up.

That same darling little toddler is turning 20 this year. He has had ups and downs, but he is respectful of others, says please and thank you, is always complimented for good behavior by his teachers and wears all black clothes and pants with chains on them. I love that guy!! :)

I also have a lovely 16 year old daughter that is polite and respectful. She can do amazing things with the hair on her head, it’s an art project really. I had the same parenting policies for her as well.

We have to teach them from tiny babies. There are rules, and sometimes we can’t stand the rules or we think they are just stupid. Fine, then don’t participate. But at the end of the day there are consequences to each and every action you make. THAT is something that is taught very early on in life. My kids never had me scream at them in public. No. I would bend down and whisper in their ear. THAT is when they knew I meant business. When they got older I laid it out. Hey, you act like a twit then I can become a VERY EVIL BI*CH MOM. You behave and hey, I’m pretty cool. They like Cool Mom, so they behave. Win, win.

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Roslyn May 3, 2012 at 10:27 am

AND! Just because they turn 13, and they now can make their own frozen pizza, you aren’t done being a parent. You are just getting started.

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Susan May 3, 2012 at 10:28 am

I know a lady (GGM) who’s raising her great-granddaughter – GGD -(imagine how messed up a family is that the closest relative they can find is a GREAT grandparent! And, yes, this family is messed up).

The GGD has a mild learning disability, but nothing that justifies how spoiled she is. She is completely disrespectful to her GGM. If she doesn’t like what has been made for dinner, she insists that GGM order a pizza for her. GGM does it. GGM is in her 80s. When she is gone this girl is, as they said in the South, “in for a world of hurt.” No one else will put up with her garbage.

I’ve heard parents say that they have to choose carefully which hills to die on. As a parent of 2 now-grown boys, I understand. But I was old-school when it came to respect, and that IS a hill to die on.

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Rmmuir May 3, 2012 at 10:43 am

@Lisa Marie

With all due respect, it’s unfair to blame this on teenagers of today. This quote is attributed to the Ancient Greek philospher Socrates:

“The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for
authority, they show disrespect to their elders…. They no longer
rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents,
chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their
legs, and are tyrants over their teachers.”

And this one by Peter the Hermit in 1274:

“The young people of today think of nothing but themselves. They have
no reverence for parents or old age. They are impatient of all
restraint. They talk as if they alone knew everything and what passes
for wisdom with us is foolishness with them. As for girls, they are
forward, immodest and unwomanly in speech, behaviour and dress.”

People have been complaining about how bad youths’ behaviour is for a lot longer than the current generation has been around! Not that this in anyway excuses the sort of horrendous behaviour in the OP, but it always slightly irritates me when I hear people accuse my generation of being utterly I’ll-mannered when in reality, their parents probably said similar things about them!

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Wink-N-Smile May 3, 2012 at 10:46 am

Lisa Marie does have a point. Many parents struggle with high expectations and limited resources. It’s very hard to be there for and discipline a child when both parents are working hard outside the home, leaving the child under others’ care, or even alone once the child becomes a teen.

And whether or not you support or avidly oppose spanking (PLEASE let us not start that debate here), the fact that it is unavailable is an issue. Some parents who were raised with spanking do not know other ways of discipline, so if the tools they know are removed, they are left wondering what to do. Parenting classes may be available, but not convenient, or too expensive, or otherwise not do-able at the time. I’m all for alternate forms of discipline, and my parents got really creative. But let’s face it – a lot of parents today are not so creative, and just don’t know what to do.

Another thing to consider. For many of us, when we grew up, the other parents in the neighborhood would step in and help with the discipline. If I were raising trouble outside, the neighbors would yell at me, and then tell my parents, who would further discipline me. I couldn’t get away with stuff, because I always got caught. Today, however, that is rare. Even if the neighbors see, they do not report, so kids don’t “get caught,” even if they are actually witnessed.

I’m not giving the parents a pass here. They ultimately ARE responsible. However, SP’s behavior doesn’t mean the parents weren’t trying. They just weren’t succeeding. I think the whole family deserves our pity.

Hopefully, that girl will learn her lesson before she goes off on her own. She will have few, if any, true friends, if she continues this style of behavior.

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Anonymous May 3, 2012 at 10:48 am

Okay, there are two sides to every story–first of all, yes, SB was being a spoiled brat, and yes, what was her phone doing on at the march/service in the first place? However, I don’t agree with pre-emptively punishing SB by taking away her phone before the service, and making her “earn” it back by the end of the day–I mean, would you tell a child or young person, “You haven’t done anything wrong YET, but I anticipate you will, so I’m going to take away Valued Item for the day, and you can only have it back if you behave well at Important Event?” I wouldn’t–that just makes the child feel mistrusted and criminalized. Instead, I’d say, “We’re going to [Important Event], and it’s important to be respectful and quiet, and turn off all our electronic devices. I know you’ll do great.” If the young person messed up, then I’d take something away (probably the phone), and stress how the behaviour disappointed me, and hurt/inconvenienced others. That always motivated me more than external consequences, from a very young age, to this day.

Also, there’s the issue of the event itself–it sounds like SB was dragged along against her will, for whatever reason. Granted, her reasons were just being cold and bored, but even at that age, I wouldn’t have gone voluntarily to a war memorial. I mean, yes, the war veterans made a great sacrifice for the rest of their country, to protect their freedom, but I’ve long believed that wars shouldn’t happen in the first place, and if our world leaders still resort to bombing other countries and sacrificing innocent human lives to settle a dispute, there’s something wrong–so, I’m a pacifist. There’s actually a whole (small) movement about that in Canada, with white poppies for Remembrance Day, to symbolize peace. I haven’t been able to find one here, but if and when I do, I’ll probably hold onto it, in case I never find one again. Of course, that doesn’t excuse SB’s behaviour, but did anyone ask her if she wanted to go to this event, or why she didn’t? Sometimes, teenagers complain about one (superficial) thing, when they’re really upset about something else that they can’t articulate, because of embarrasment, fear of ridicule, or whatever other reason.

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Laurita May 3, 2012 at 11:01 am

I can’t say what would happen if my children behaved this way, simply because they never would. Don’t get me wrong, they are not perfect angels, but as someone pointed out, this behaviour does not just start out of the blue. If a small child acted out in public it would be understandable and correctable. At 16 it’s obvious the girl has been getting away with this behaviour for a long time.

Hope that you never see her again, and be thankful that she is not yours to deal with.

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Ashley May 3, 2012 at 11:04 am

I’m suddenly SOOOOO glad my parents raised me well. Even when I was that age, if I saw anyone acting like that at a place we were supposed to be polite and respectful, I was absolutely appalled. Like admin said though, we don’t know what was waiting for her at home. Hopefully she actually learned a lesson.

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Calli Arcale May 3, 2012 at 11:11 am

Shea — it’s possible that being led away by police will have had an affect. I know someone who, in the teen years, was rebellious and once went waaaaay over the top. A few hours in a holding cell can be a serious wake-up call.

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Cat Whisperer May 3, 2012 at 11:17 am

Honest to Murgatroyd, it sounds like this teenager had some sort of mental illness. Her behavior went so far beyond anything approaching normal that my assumption would be that she’s either got a mental illness or substance abuse problems.

When someone is that far out in their behavior, whether that person is a child, a teen-ager, an adult, or an elderly person, I think that all a stranger can do is stand back, keep out of it, be ready to call for help if things escalate into a physical confrontation, and give thanks that it isn’t your problem.

That said, I do have an issue I want to address: whatever this girl’s problems are, I would bet money that she made it plain long before she arrived at the Anzac celebration that she didn’t want to go. So why on earth did her parents bring her? Yes, I understand that once the issue came up, it’s a parental reflex to not give in to the protests and whining and outright rudeness and to show the kid who’s boss by making her go to the event.

But what did that actually accomplish? Clearly this girl was making everyone around her miserable and was ruining the event for everyone nearby.

I believe that when you’re a parent, you have a responsibility for knowing your limits. And you don’t bring a child whose behavior you can’t guarantee or control to an event where they might be disruptive.

In simple terms, that means you don’t do things like bring a tired and whiny toddler to a long, solemn church event. You don’t bring a boisterous and energetic 6-year-old to an event that’s geared to scholarly adults. You don’t bring a pre-teen who is trying to appear mature to an event that’s geared for younger kids. And you don’t bring a rebellious and out-of-control teen-ager to any event where she has let you know she doesn’t want to go and won’t behave if you do drag her along.

Yes, this means you may not get to do some things you want to do because of the kid. But courtesy to others demands that you don’t ruin the event for them. Sometimes being a good parent means that you don’t get to do things you want to do.

FWIW, the girl in this particular story is so far out of control that it’s astounding to me that her parents haven’t sought out professional help. What are they thinking? Clearly the girl’s behavior is beyond their ability to deal with. So they drag her to an event where she’s going to be disruptive to other people? Do they think that the presence of other people will magically induce the girl to behave? Are they counting on other people to jump in and make the their daughter behave? Are they milking the crowd for sympathy that they have such a monstrous offspring?

To me, the real etiquette offenders in this situation are the parents. They have a responsibility for assuring their daughter can behave properly in public– and if they can’t assure her proper behavior, they have a responsibility to the other people in attendance to remove the daughter the moment her behavior becomes a distraction.

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The Elf May 3, 2012 at 11:21 am

I agree, there was nothing to be done other than hushing and other such social corrections…. by a bystander. The parents, on the other hand, could have done a lot. Hopefully, they acted when she got home.

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Ann May 3, 2012 at 11:52 am

Her behavious was truly appalling. However, am I the only person here seeing some major acting out? Children don’t get like this through healthy levels of love and nurturing.

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wowwow May 3, 2012 at 11:56 am

Luckily these kids are few and far between –at least where I live. Of course, I see it alot of it on reality tv!!

There is nothing OP could have done. But, as important an event as this was in Grandpa’s life, mom or dad should have taken the child out and dealt with her. Many won’t agree with me on this, but as a mother of many, and NONE of them like this child, I know of which I speak. Sometimes we have to leave an important event, or something we paid money to go to, or the superbowl or a great restaurant or whatever and go deal with the child. It’s just part of parenting, and believe me, Grandpa would have far preferred that child taken out and dealt with, then have the family standing there humiliating him and every one else.

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German Shepherd May 3, 2012 at 12:07 pm

Rebellious is an understatement; SB is out of control! Ruining the ceremony, cursing out a police officer, and disrespecting those being honored. I feel bad that her grandfather’s important day was spoiled by her. I’m betting he feels very embarrassed because it was his own family member who caused the scene.

I know a lot of teens who would be angry and disgusted by her behavior.

OP – If you ever hear if SB was punished, please update!

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Angie May 3, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Since the parents were unwilling or unable to stop her behavior, I would be really interested to find out what happened after she was led away by the police. I hope she was charged with disturbing the peace or something. Please update us if you, hear, OP? ;)

I was a mouthy teenager too, but I was brought up to have respect for my elders and would never have made a scene like that, especially at an occasion involving my own grandfather.

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Jo May 3, 2012 at 12:32 pm

The fact that you know this child and her family does not mean that you have “more options.” Did the child come out of your uterus, did you adopt her, etc? No. I am blown away by the number of adults these days that think they can discipline other people’s children. Should she have been acting that way? NO. But you have no way of knowing that her parents did not plan to discipline her when they returned home and were simply trying, at the time, to see what they could of the parade. There was nothing else you could have done. If it had been my child I would have dragged her home, but if, for some odd reason, I didn’t…the stranger who slapped my child or told her to “shut up” would be the FIRST one to meet the backside of my hand. I completely agree with the admin and I DISAGREE with those saying you should have disciplined this girl yourself.

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Stacey Frith-Smith May 3, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Discipline of anyone is hard. Self-discipline, guidance for young children, mentoring for teens. It’s hard work and requires that all parties pay attention in order for the process to succeed. The young aren’t always inclined to pay attention so the adults in their lives have to be creative. I loved Roslyn’s comments and approach. It’s about impacting the behavior and hopefully the character, and that is a long term proposition, but one that is very “doable”. S.B.’s removal from the “scene of the crime” should have been the first order of business. Toys disappearing (cell phones, computers and cars) should have been next. No warnings and lectures. A short explanation if needed. No negotiating and no setting conditions to return the items. When you have a case of poor choices as exacerbated as S.B.’s, batten down the hatches and prepare for nuclear fallout. It’s imperative not to raise the stakes by yelling or lecturing, and not to undo the good work of a consequence by giving in. If parents and other adults can manage to have the discussion once (or as close to once as human nature will allow for, some young people require a repetition to check for consistency), the best possible results will have been achieved. All of this presupposes that the parents or adults have the child’s best interests at heart, are neither vindictive nor manipulative and excessively judgmental, and have factored in age, any exceptional needs , and the whole context before rolling out this type of response. If these are not hindrances in S.B.’s case, then the maladaptive behavior is best addressed now rather than ignored. If there are other factors in play, then there is an onus on the parents to get professional help as best they are able to in order to help their daughter mature.

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Stacey Frith-Smith May 3, 2012 at 12:39 pm

Oops, forgot to mention that toys should be returned if and when behavior and attitude has satisfied reasonable expectations by parents and society.

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flowerpower May 3, 2012 at 12:44 pm

Lisa Marie – I agree with you about the difficulties parents face. But you made quite a sweeping statement about teenagers. Just today I met an absolutely charming 18 year old who came to my house (I’m a music teacher, and it was his first lesson – I’m giving him help towards his school exams) who smiled, shook my hand, offered me all the help he could in assessing his level and needs, mentioned that he knew my cousin, and altogether behaved with the maturity and poise of a much older person. Also, it’s probably easier for teenagers today to get into trouble than they used to – greater access to technology, more money, more widespread abuse of drugs etc (among all age groups). Maybe previous teenagers would have been every bit as bad if they had the opportunities!

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StephM May 3, 2012 at 1:32 pm

@Anonymous: I’m not a Christian, but I still go to Mass with my grandmother when she asks me to. Even as a kid I hated going, but I respect her enough to do something I don’t enjoy for a few hours without complaining. SB’s grandfather was marching for the last time – she should be able to shut up for a little while. No matter why she didn’t want to be there she showed a complete lack of respect for her family and everyone around her.

On topic, if I ever acted like this in public at that age my mother would have grabbed me by the little hairs on the back of my neck and dragged me to the car. Once we got home she would have smashed my cell phone in little pieces, logged on to my Facebook and told the world about my behavior, and probably burned all but ten outfits. Even my books would probably go into storage. I’d be on the strictest lockdown outside of prison.

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Hemi May 3, 2012 at 2:34 pm

SB’s behavior was horrendous. As many others have stated, this is not the first, and will not be the last,time she has acted this way. Parenting is a bit harder now than it was when most of us were raised. My parents used spanking AND grounding for major offenses and restriction for less severe offenses. IF I had acted this way, I would have gotten a spanking (yes, even at 16) and major grounding. My father would have slapped me in the face at the parade as soon as I started complaining. He was major old-school.

As Anonymous pointed out, she was probably dragged along against her will. This does not excuse her behavior but maybe it explains it a bit. I have 2 boys, 19 & 15, and if I wanted to go to something such as this march/memorial day but my children did not, I would not force them. They would stay home or with friends or family until I returned. Forcing a teenager to go to something they don’t want to go to almost always ends up with some type of bad behavior. I think about all the things I did not want to go to as a teenager but was forced to. I knew better than to mouth off and complain, because there would have been punishment, but I remember thinking, why not just leave me at home and make me do chores ??

Let me reiterate-I do not condone SB’s behavior- it was bad, bad, bad and some type of punishment should have been handed it. I hope when they got home, she was disciplined.

A little off topic but if you want to read about a major parenting fail, look up Dear Abby and “good dad in cleveland”.

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badkitty May 3, 2012 at 2:40 pm

I like to think that it was the parents of SB who directed an officer her way. I certainly would have, if my boy ignored The Look and continued to behave in such a fashion. Thankfully, he’s only 12 and we can still haul him around if needs must, but at 16 she was well beyond such measures and the event described means that it’s time for the teen to understand that her actions now have real consequences.

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Shawn May 3, 2012 at 3:10 pm

Some may not agree, but if I had done something like that my dad would have made sure I couldn’t sit down for a week. With good reason. I think corporal punishment is indicated, and necessary for many of this generation’s youth.

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Jenn50 May 3, 2012 at 3:24 pm

Anonymous: Sorry, I don’t buy it. If my parents wanted me to go to an event, I went. If I was unhappy about it, I talked about it beforehand like a sane person. If they still made me go, I went, stood silently, and went to my mental happy place. This girl referred to her grandfather and his colleagues IN THEIR HEARING as “old f***ers”. That’s not about pacifism or beliefs. That’s about being a disrespectful, disgusting brat. Somewhere along the line, someone failed to teach this girl to a) dress appropriately for the weather and occasion, b) eat meals at appropriate times so that you’re not starving and rude when food is unavailable, and c) suck it up, and suffer a little for people who are important to you. I don’t believe for a second that this entitled monster was complaining because of conscientious objection, but even if she was, it was the wrong time and place, and she chose the wrong targets. If you want to protest war, a memorial for the veterans is not the place to do it.

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