Author Topic: How to handle this situation?  (Read 5341 times)

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Ezio

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How to handle this situation?
« on: March 24, 2013, 01:36:37 AM »
First time poster here.  8)

A woman and her kids moved in down the road from me about a week ago. The area is heavily wooded and I am generally at work during the day so I hadn't noticed them before.

I was walking my dog and this swarm of kids came out of nowhere and mobbed the dog. I got them off my dog and tried to get them to back up a little and listen to me. The kids appeared to be in between 6-10 and the oldest ran to get tattle on the youngest for "running in the street". The mom comes to the door and yells at them to "Get out of the street and stop pestering the man." It takes her yelling for 20 minutes for them to comply.

That was the last time I saw the mom leave the house, usually she just yells out the door when she wants them to come in and eat/shower/go to bed and they spend the time between those events wandering freely.
My fear is the fact that we have several sex offenders in the area and two are less then a mile from this woman's house. Both are charged with crimes against minors. I'm also worried that they could get hit by a car, attacked by one of the many loose dogs or get hurst some other way.

My closest neighbor (houses are a distance apart) who just had his third grandkid born dreads what could happen to them. He is 5'10, 220lbs and is friends with the area Bandidos. He has told me that "hell will come down" on anyone who touches the kids. He is involved in various charity runs  (St. Judes, ToysForTots) and is the defacto "gaurd" of the neighborhoods kids. Everyone knows him and feels safe when he's around. He's a big guy with the heart of a teddy bear.

Is there any polite way I can warn the mom about the dangers?
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katycoo

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Re: How to handle this situation?
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2013, 04:02:56 AM »
No.  Unless you think these children are being abused or neglected, it is none of your business how she chooses to parent.  She may very well already be aware of anything you plan to warn her about.

If, however, her children are bothering you personally, you could approach her about that.

cicero

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Re: How to handle this situation?
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2013, 05:11:55 AM »
unless she was living on a deserted island before, she has to know that there are dangers out there in the world. whether it's a registered offender, an offender who hasn't been caught yet, an unleashed dog, a car...

It's possible that they lived in a more sheltered neighborhood before where kids *could* roam freely and not worry about cars and dogs. you *might* want to say something along those lines - not in a "you're a terrible parent" kind of way, but more a head's up "you know i noticed your kids running in the street. you should be aware that we get a lot of traffic/crazy drivers around here - i know you are new here so your kids may not be used to this" or something like that.

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Slartibartfast

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Re: How to handle this situation?
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2013, 05:18:42 AM »
Is she doing anything that would have been frowned on fifty years ago, in terms of letting her kids run wild?  If not, I wouldn't say anything.

Ezio

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Re: How to handle this situation?
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2013, 11:08:20 AM »
Is she doing anything that would have been frowned on fifty years ago, in terms of letting her kids run wild?  If not, I wouldn't say anything.

If the kids just played/explored the woods in and around their place it would be fine. They are wandering quiet a distance from the house and they are climbing/exploring an area with deep ravines and snakes. Another neighbor down the road breeds horses, two of which are in pens in his front yard. The two are breeding stallions. They are nice and friendly horses, but when they smell a mare in heat they become nasty. Both me and the owner are worried the kids will want to "pet the pony" and they will get bit or worse.

Also, the way the ran up to a stranger with a large dog was kind of concerning. They don't listen to anyone but the mom and I just want them to be safe.
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JenJay

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Re: How to handle this situation?
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2013, 11:16:42 AM »
I would go up, knock on her door, and tell her about the sex offenders. Just in a "You're new to the neighborhood so I thought you needed to know" sort of way. I'd probably even write down a description of which houses they live in & what they look like so she can tell the kids who to stay away from. That's the best you can do. As for the neighbors with animals, if the kids come onto the property and pester the animals then the owner needs to approach the mom. I wouldn't get involved in that.

The Wild One, Forever

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Re: How to handle this situation?
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2013, 11:32:18 AM »
Is she doing anything that would have been frowned on fifty years ago, in terms of letting her kids run wild?  If not, I wouldn't say anything.

I am all about free-range kids, and have raised my child that way.  However, fifty years ago,we were not as aware of sex offenders, nor did we have the information available to us that we have now.  Therefore, I think a friendly heads-up to the mom would be OK.  It verges on a "safety trumps etiquette" situation,IMHO.
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snowdragon

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Re: How to handle this situation?
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2013, 05:28:15 PM »
Is she doing anything that would have been frowned on fifty years ago, in terms of letting her kids run wild?  If not, I wouldn't say anything.

If the kids just played/explored the woods in and around their place it would be fine. They are wandering quiet a distance from the house and they are climbing/exploring an area with deep ravines and snakes. Another neighbor down the road breeds horses, two of which are in pens in his front yard. The two are breeding stallions. They are nice and friendly horses, but when they smell a mare in heat they become nasty. Both me and the owner are worried the kids will want to "pet the pony" and they will get bit or worse.

Also, the way the ran up to a stranger with a large dog was kind of concerning. They don't listen to anyone but the mom and I just want them to be safe.


By snakes, I take it you mean something poisonous, that is worth warning her about, as are the horses and the bothering you and the dogs. These are all risks to the safety of the kids.  And in the case of the horse and dog, dangerous to the animals... I would not want to risk the consequences to the animals if the kids spooked them

katycoo

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Re: How to handle this situation?
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2013, 07:13:24 PM »
What do you know about the sex offenders?

I ask, because it doesn't take much to get yourself placed on that list, and unless they're known to be child predators, I wouldn't worry her.  People are paranoid enough these days.

LeveeWoman

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Re: How to handle this situation?
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2013, 07:34:24 PM »
What do you know about the sex offenders?

I ask, because it doesn't take much to get yourself placed on that list, and unless they're known to be child predators, I wouldn't worry her.  People are paranoid enough these days.

I don't know about elsewhere in the U.S., but here we have a Web site giving each one's name, address and offense.

MOM21SON

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Re: How to handle this situation?
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2013, 07:56:37 PM »
What do you know about the sex offenders?

I ask, because it doesn't take much to get yourself placed on that list, and unless they're known to be child predators, I wouldn't worry her.  People are paranoid enough these days.

I don't know about elsewhere in the U.S., but here we have a Web site giving each one's name, address and offense.

Yes, there are several sites available.  And the Internet is free lots of places.  And the local authorites also have a list.

As far of the other dangers, that is up to her.  Everyone parents different and she may be fine with her kids exploring those dangers.

doodlemor

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Re: How to handle this situation?
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2013, 08:08:49 PM »
I would go up, knock on her door, and tell her about the sex offenders. Just in a "You're new to the neighborhood so I thought you needed to know" sort of way. I'd probably even write down a description of which houses they live in & what they look like so she can tell the kids who to stay away from. That's the best you can do. As for the neighbors with animals, if the kids come onto the property and pester the animals then the owner needs to approach the mom. I wouldn't get involved in that.

POD 

Some cookies or brownies would go well with this too, as a welcome to the neighborhood.

MommyPenguin

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Re: How to handle this situation?
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2013, 08:18:22 PM »
Are the kids sticking to public areas, or are they actually going onto other people's property?  Because if they're sticking to public areas, I don't see that the horses would be an issue at all.  And at the 6-10 age range, they're old enough that they should be able to be somewhat independent and explore the neighborhood, etc.  If there are specific dangers that you think the mom may not know about, due to being new to the neighborhood (snakes and how to watch out for them, dangerous dogs and where they might be, locations of any sex offenders that seem like they might be a particular danger to children (in so many cases, somebody seems to be on the child offender list because they were under 18 and had relations with somebody too much younger than them, but both were in high school, or what-not).  Not so much as a, "So, you shouldn't let your children roam," thing, as much as a, "I noticed that your children are out and about a lot, and I wanted to make sure you knew what to warn them about."

MOM21SON

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Re: How to handle this situation?
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2013, 08:51:38 PM »
What do you know about the sex offenders?

I ask, because it doesn't take much to get yourself placed on that list, and unless they're known to be child predators, I wouldn't worry her.  People are paranoid enough these days.

POD.  Geez, you can breathe sideways and be placed on a list of somekind.

sweetonsno

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Re: How to handle this situation?
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2013, 05:31:28 AM »
I vote for going over to introduce yourself first. Meet the kids, give her your contact information, get her phone number, etc. That will put you in a much better position to give her advice.

I would *not* give her a heads-up about dangers unless you see the kids behaving in a way that is problematic or you see a near-miss. If you know that there is a particular part of the neighborhood that is hazardous because of snakes, hornets, or a particularly unfriendly dog, then yes, give her a heads-up. However, it sounds like you're feeling tempted to tell her not to let her kids play outside unsupervised. I don't think that's a good idea.

As for the sex offenders, I'm rather torn. On the one hand, I do think parents should have a right to know if there is a potential predator in the area. On the other hand, not all people on the registry are going to be predators. Take "sexting" for instance. If a girl sends her boyfriend a naughty text, he technically is in possession of child pornography (and she has been producing and distributing it). A couple of kids who decide they want to fool around together are technically guilty of statutory rape. In neither case would the perpetrator be likely to go after neighborhood kids.