Author Topic: Correct action or Over reaction?  (Read 14654 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

EllenS

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1368
Re: Correct action or Over reaction?
« Reply #105 on: June 25, 2013, 12:04:37 PM »
I don't think OP would have posted if she'd known it at the start.  It is normal to have ambivalent feelings about a situation, that crystallize when you hear discussion and feedback from multiple points of view.  Otherwise, nobody would ever get resolution.

Onyx_TKD

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1333
Re: Correct action or Over reaction?
« Reply #106 on: June 25, 2013, 12:35:57 PM »
I don't freak when 'strangers' talk to my child...happens daily.  But I do not like when someone, any gender, approaches my child without me standing there and offers her something.  He is a stranger...just because he drives by weekly doesn't make him someone I know.  He doesn't know me, I am not a customer of his, and he has never attempted this approach when I or older DD was in the yard.  I will concede I was sharper than necessary,  but maybe I woke him up to the fact that his selling technique could get him questioned about motives. But one thing I will not apologize for is trusting a feeling I had  of weirdness that for some reason, after 2 years of vending in my neighborhood, this man decided to suddenly decided he was going stop just driving by but to ask a small child who was no where near the street like his other customers.

The old ice cream guy never approached the kids..he waited until they waved him down.  And from the distance he was in a vehicle, if he saw wistfulness in her eyes, he has some great vision.  She glanced at him then looked back to me.

Actually, I think overreacting makes it less likely that he'll take your concerns seriously rather than writing you off as a crazy overprotective helicopter parent. If you'd said firmly and disapprovingly, "No, she does not want ice cream. Do not approach my child again. We would have approached you if we wanted to purchase something," then you would have made your point that you did not consider his approach ok, that it made you suspicious, and that he was not to approach your child again (and you would have indicated what you expected him to do--wait for customers to approach/signal him). In going straight to yelling and to the point of a statement like "Don't you EVER stop near my house again!" you make yourself much easier to dismiss as "that paranoid helicopter parent who thinks she owns the whole street" who can be ignored as an outlier rather than "that lady who thought I was trying to lure unaccompanied children" who could be representative of how parents in general might react to his approach. Making broader demands that you actually have a right to ("don't stop anywhere near my house" rather than "do not approach my child") also dilutes your actual valid complaint and makes it easier for him to argue to others (such as the company he works for, if there is one) that you shouldn't be taken seriously.

gen xer

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 519
Re: Correct action or Over reaction?
« Reply #107 on: June 25, 2013, 01:23:29 PM »
 I guess we have a different idea of "approaching".....sitting in his ice cream truck calling out just doesn't give me the same vibe although I realize I was not there to experience first hand.

I get that what you're saying is that it seemed out of character for what you're used to .....but unless we see every single interaction we can't know that he has never called out before or that maybe it was just an impulsive call out.  Haven't we all done things that are not entirely what others would have expected of us? 

I still say we have been conditioned to think of the typical pedophile as a greasy guy in a van offering candy to kids and we react to it accordingly....but it doesn't necessarily make it right.  He deserves the benfit of the doubt.....and I don't mean that you need to prove it by sending your child into a situation you're uncomfortable with - just that we don't need to always go into rabid mama bear mode whenever someone doesn't behave as you would like.

We can listen to our instincts without being rude to people in many circumstances.

All that is really necessary is a firm "no thanks" and maybe a private discussion with DD reminding her about never going off with someone without permission - stranger or otherwise.   

Stranger abductions are actually exceedingly rare.

JoieGirl7

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7332
Re: Correct action or Over reaction?
« Reply #108 on: June 25, 2013, 01:47:11 PM »
I still believe that no matter what, he should not be calling out to children or anyone trying to sell his goods.

It's a residential neighborhood, not the gauntlet of kiosks at the mall.  He is obnoxious enough with the music pumping out of his truck, je doesn't need to be  compounding it by calling out to people, let alone children who do not visibly have a parent nearby.

I can understand someone who is going door to door trying to find work mowing lawns or cleaning out gutters calling out to people sitting on their porch "do you need your lawn mowed?"  or something like that.  But, even they should not be striking up a conversation with a child nor asking if a parent is around so that he can see if his services are needed.

People who are at home, even if they are out in the yard should not be targets for salespeople.  It's not right.

There are plenty of places where people can drum up business.  If you are going to cross the line and come to where people live you must abide by some fairly strict standards, including how you dress and how you conduct yourself.

That applies no matter what you are there to sell.

I don't understand people giving a pass to this guy to bother a child who is minding her own business on her own property.  He has a way to attract people to come out to him.  The rest of them, he should leave alone.

*inviteseller

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1821
  • I am Queen Mommy
Re: Correct action or Over reaction?
« Reply #109 on: June 25, 2013, 02:00:48 PM »
I don't freak when 'strangers' talk to my child...happens daily.  But I do not like when someone, any gender, approaches my child without me standing there and offers her something.  He is a stranger...just because he drives by weekly doesn't make him someone I know.  He doesn't know me, I am not a customer of his, and he has never attempted this approach when I or older DD was in the yard.  I will concede I was sharper than necessary,  but maybe I woke him up to the fact that his selling technique could get him questioned about motives.  But one thing I will not apologize for is trusting a feeling I had  of weirdness that for some reason, after 2 years of vending in my neighborhood, this man decided to suddenly decided he was going stop just driving by but to ask a small child who was no where near the street like his other customers.

The old ice cream guy never approached the kids..he waited until they waved him down.  And from the distance he was in a vehicle, if he saw wistfulness in her eyes, he has some great vision.  She glanced at him then looked back to me.

No offense intended, but it seems like you made up your mind before you even posted this thread. I (and I'm sure others) wouldn't have bothered posting if I'd known this at the start.

I was more concerned of how forceful my reaction was and if I should complain to the owner of truck, than if I was right in thinking he shouldn't have stopped and called to my DD.  That, I feel, was wrong, but that is just my opinion.  But again, I will concede I was too forceful .  As far as yelling..I wasn't a screeching harridan, I was coming up the driveway, his music was playing and I wanted him to hear me.  But from now on,  I have (again) instructed my DD she is NOT to go to any vehicle and if any of them call out to her again, and I or other DD is not right by her, she is to go in the house.  Yes, I was OTT, heat of the moment was only excuse, but a poor one.  I will not apologize for being turned off by his slovenly appearance as he is a food vendor.  I also will not say anything in the neighborhood about his tactics..if the majority think he is just using a different selling technique, well, hope it works for him.  If I am asked though, I will share the details of what I encountered.

gellchom

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2164
Re: Correct action or Over reaction?
« Reply #110 on: June 25, 2013, 02:07:55 PM »
Although I personally don't think the encounter as described would have given me a bad feeling I understand listening to your instincts....but it is no excuse for rudeness when there has been no harm inflicted.  We may not like that he is slovenly or called out to a child....but he hasn't done anything to merit the treatment he got.

Again - I don't think the OP was intentionally rude but freaking out whenever an adult speaks to a child?  I think it's a shame that we have gotten this way....seeing evil intent in almost everything.....and frankly that's a "hinky meter" that isn't working well.  It's not that I think we should never listen to it....but that I don't think it is necessary to have the default setting so high.

Beautifully put, gen xer. You, too, Surianne.

OP, I'm sorry, but I have to agree that you were extremely rude to this guy who was just doing his job, and, in my opinion, not at all inappropriately.  His JOB is to sell ice cream to kids.  Calling from the truck and asking a potential customer, including a child on a porch although there is no adult in his sight line, if she wants to buy his product is not at all inappropriate -- and I doubt you would have thought so, either, had he been groomed and dressed like a country club member.  In fact, if your daughter and her friends ever set up a lemonade stand on the sidewalk, I bet they do exactly what all the kids in my neighborhood do every time a neighbor walks, bikes, or even drives by: "Lemonade!  Want to buy some lemonade?"

I won't argue with your "hinky meter" or comment on judgmentalness or snobbery, because I wasn't there, and your instincts are your instincts.  Nevertheless, no matter how loudly your meter was ringing, I see absolutely no justification for your rudeness to this guy, and, yes, I understand you weren't abusive -- but you were unjustifiably rude.  I'd be surprised if he didn't immediately feel that you were seeing him as a molester or kidnapper.  If you want him not to try to sell to your daughter again, you can ask that politely.  "No, thank you, and please don't try to sell to her again when you don't see me present.  Thanks." 

I agree with the poster who said that the way you handled it makes him less likely to consider that he may be dressing or selling in a poor way, and more likely to see you as a meanie who thinks she can bar him from the whole block.  His "hinky meter" may have been going off, too, you know, explaining his hasty escape; for all he knew, you had an emotional imbalance and a gun.

Finally, I think you have some repair work to do with your daughter, who witnessed your behavior.  It's fine to explain to her that you are so concerned for her safety that you behaved in a way that now you are sorry about.  But I think you should make sure to un-teach what she surely learned about judging people by their appearance, respect for the dignity of working people who aren't as lucky as she, and rudeness when courtesy would be perfectly effective.  It will teach those lessons especially powerfully, along with the equally important lesson of taking responsibility for mistakes and hurting others, if you have her with you when you apologize to this guy for your treatment of him (you can still ask him, nicely, not to sell to your child or approach her when she's alone).  And that's another time when you don't JADE, by the way.

*inviteseller

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1821
  • I am Queen Mommy
Re: Correct action or Over reaction?
« Reply #111 on: June 25, 2013, 03:23:35 PM »
Although I personally don't think the encounter as described would have given me a bad feeling I understand listening to your instincts....but it is no excuse for rudeness when there has been no harm inflicted.  We may not like that he is slovenly or called out to a child....but he hasn't done anything to merit the treatment he got.

Again - I don't think the OP was intentionally rude but freaking out whenever an adult speaks to a child?  I think it's a shame that we have gotten this way....seeing evil intent in almost everything.....and frankly that's a "hinky meter" that isn't working well.  It's not that I think we should never listen to it....but that I don't think it is necessary to have the default setting so high.

Beautifully put, gen xer. You, too, Surianne.

OP, I'm sorry, but I have to agree that you were extremely rude to this guy who was just doing his job, and, in my opinion, not at all inappropriately.  His JOB is to sell ice cream to kids.  Calling from the truck and asking a potential customer, including a child on a porch although there is no adult in his sight line, if she wants to buy his product is not at all inappropriate -- and I doubt you would have thought so, either, had he been groomed and dressed like a country club member.  In fact, if your daughter and her friends ever set up a lemonade stand on the sidewalk, I bet they do exactly what all the kids in my neighborhood do every time a neighbor walks, bikes, or even drives by: "Lemonade!  Want to buy some lemonade?"

I won't argue with your "hinky meter" or comment on judgmentalness or snobbery, because I wasn't there, and your instincts are your instincts.  Nevertheless, no matter how loudly your meter was ringing, I see absolutely no justification for your rudeness to this guy, and, yes, I understand you weren't abusive -- but you were unjustifiably rude.  I'd be surprised if he didn't immediately feel that you were seeing him as a molester or kidnapper.  If you want him not to try to sell to your daughter again, you can ask that politely.  "No, thank you, and please don't try to sell to her again when you don't see me present.  Thanks." 

I agree with the poster who said that the way you handled it makes him less likely to consider that he may be dressing or selling in a poor way, and more likely to see you as a meanie who thinks she can bar him from the whole block.  His "hinky meter" may have been going off, too, you know, explaining his hasty escape; for all he knew, you had an emotional imbalance and a gun.

Finally, I think you have some repair work to do with your daughter, who witnessed your behavior.  It's fine to explain to her that you are so concerned for her safety that you behaved in a way that now you are sorry about.  But I think you should make sure to un-teach what she surely learned about judging people by their appearance, respect for the dignity of working people who aren't as lucky as she, and rudeness when courtesy would be perfectly effective.  It will teach those lessons especially powerfully, along with the equally important lesson of taking responsibility for mistakes and hurting others, if you have her with you when you apologize to this guy for your treatment of him (you can still ask him, nicely, not to sell to your child or approach her when she's alone).  And that's another time when you don't JADE, by the way.

While I appreciate your insight, I must clarify that I never said anything to this man, or to my DD about his appearance.  Any conversation about appearance was done either here or im'ing a friend.  My older DD make the creep comment after my DD went to bed, and when the neighbor made the comment about unsanitary conditions, my DD was actually in school.  I have never told my DD we don't get ice cream because he's dirty or filthy or anything else.  What she was told, once, was that others had complained the ice cream wasn't very good.  So the only conversation I have to have and in fact did have was if anyone called to her to offer her something or get her to come to the road, she is not to even speak to them but, if myself or older DD was not right there, to walk into the house.  And, I do understand many people have no problem with ice cream man shilling to little kids like that,  but I have taught my kids that they never ever to go up to a stranger asking them a question from a vehicle.  Does that make me a helicopter parent?  If that does, then my propeller is spinning because I would rather have them be taught not to walk to any human they do not know in a car than have them be a news story.  There are too many stories in my town of kids walking to school, to the store ect with somebody approaching them with not such good intentions. 
And the ice cream truck just went by...with a completely different driver and did not say anything to the boys playing across the street..just driving carefully and playing their music.

Elfmama

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6130
Re: Correct action or Over reaction?
« Reply #112 on: June 25, 2013, 04:23:30 PM »
And, I do understand many people have no problem with ice cream man shilling to little kids like that,  but I have taught my kids that they never ever to go up to a stranger asking them a question from a vehicle.  Does that make me a helicopter parent?  If that does, then my propeller is spinning because I would rather have them be taught not to walk to any human they do not know in a car than have them be a news story.  There are too many stories in my town of kids walking to school, to the store ect with somebody approaching them with not such good intentions.
And the ice cream truck just went by...with a completely different driver and did not say anything to the boys playing across the street..just driving carefully and playing their music.
It DOES happen.   My daughters lost a friend that way.  Lisa was an only child, just 14. She was walking to school through the same little patch of woods that dozens of other kids take every day, and was found naked and strangled.  The perp probably had rape in mind and panicked when he heard other kids coming.  I'd say that was being approached by someone with not-good intentions. :(
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
It's true. Money can't buy happiness.  You have to turn it
into books first.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~