A couple of weeks ago, I was parked in my car at the side of the road waiting for a friend of mine to arrive home. After being stuck in traffic for over an hour, and as it was a hot day, I decided to have the roof back and the windows down. Little mix were signing away on the radio and I began to play on a game on my phone to pass the time.
Ten minutes passed and as Jessie was at her climax of the song I overheard 3 “young adults” on the opposite side of the road making loud noises and just generally irritating the population of Hindley, Wigan.
I glanced up and saw two girls and one boy. They must of been at least 15 years of age. Well, the only evidence of this is the way they spoken to each other. Surley a child would not be capable of using such aggressive and vulgar language? Could they?
Anyway back to the story!
So there I was minding my own business playing “Clash of the Clans” and a car pulled up at the side of me. The car slowed down and then began to make their first attempt of doing a parallel reverse into a tiny space. There is no way I would ever be able to do that, and with a few choice words to myself I would of driven off sheepishly. The driver of the vehicle was a lady, in her late 40’s, with a gentle look on her face. I could clearly see that she isn’t the kind of woman who would like confrontation. She smiled at me as she slowed down giving a polite hello and a ‘please don’t watch me park’ look.
The first girl I noticed that day had swag about her. She was the leader of the pack. Clearly, the desperation and need to be loved by her followers, oozed from within. The girl demanded and controlled her other friends by offensive language and the wave of her arms and hands. The girl carried a poorly done ‘designer’ containing a bottle of Euro shopper Coca Cola. She spoke with a deepen vocal, with a slight attitude note. She stood with her hands on her hips and her head held high. She owned them. The friends she had were hers. In effect her minions.
The other two remained quiet, slowly following the brave Queen, giving small gentle footsteps not to step into her personal space.
I began to form my personal opinions about these 3 within seconds of clasping my eyes on them. At 32, I have seen my fair share of these “little Darlings”.
The language from the leader got louder. Every possible offensive word slipped out of the sewer she had for a mouth.
I felt sorry for the other two individuals. I could see the embarrassment written all over their faces. They had their hands covering their humiliation, begging the girl to move on up the street.
So as all this was going on around me, the lady of the car began to reverse.
All of a sudden the leader thought it would be funny and gain her popularity by running behind the reversing vehicle. This caused the lady to break suddenly and of course like any driver, this would cause you to become anxious, concerned and worried you’ve hit another car, or worse a person. As this happened I put my phone on the seat at the side of me and glared over, hoping they would see that the lady was not on her own.
Now the lady remained still and began to look around. She stayed within her space where I believed would be safe. Clearly she knew it were the 3 “young adults” misbehaving and wanting to find something fun and dangerous to do. The main girl of the pack then began to scream some words even I didn’t know I existed.
All sorts of question began to pop into my head….. Are these people capable of such behaviour? Where have they witnessed these thuggish act before?
I couldn’t believe what i was exposed too!
They lady slowly got out of her car, cradling her handbag close to her chest. Eyes glued to the pavement, not wanting to look up and lock eyes with the evil trio.
As I sat there bewildered, I wondered what their parents must think of these three little beauties. Are they sat at home bragging on the telephone to Aunt Margaret, how lovely Chantelle is getting straight A’s in school, or how wonderful Bradley was scoring his first goal in the under 16’s football team, or quite possibly how the darling Whitney has just completed her first solo on stage, playing Mozart on the grand piano.
A clear indicator that these three wanted trouble, is when the lady began to walk to a house and they started to use offensive language aiming at her body. and getting close to her inner circle. The word fat must of been used at least twenty times. Not to mention the word beginning with C and ending in T.
Ask yourself this, what would you do if you had this happening right before your eyes? How would you react?
A case I read whilst studying for the Open University is a perfect example of Human Behaviour. A woman called Kitty Genovese lived in New York. She was brutally murdered outside her Apartment in Queens. During the investigation, police interviewed 38 people who witnessed this crime taking place. And not one of them called the police or made possible attempts to save Kitty’s life.
This is called the Bystanders effect or Genovese Syndrome. Most of us have been a bystander at some point, we Justify this by saying it’s a natural curiosity to stand and stare at something out of the ordinary. We question what would happen if you put yourself into a situation I wouldn’t be able to handle, but at the same time your predator instinct urges you to help. Sadly too many stories in the media show that getting involved in something that “doesn’t concern” you ends up in tragic stabbings and murder.
What if you take that risk and become the interferer? Well this is what I did when I thought enough is enough, and my days I got some hell of a stick from the lovely girl that i call Chantelle.
I felt the words just slip out of my mouth, and I got the sinking feeling of what the hell I have just done. “Excuse me, enough of the bullying will you”, thats all I muttered, forgetting the roof was back and the windows were down, my voice echoed and she heard. I awoke a sleeping dragon, a menace to society roared and spat her vile words to everyone including to two friends who suddenly thought enough is enough, we are going.
She came storming up to my car and pushed her face into me. What do you say to this individual, how do you reason or calm a teenage girl with no respect or manners? She had this strong aura, a sense of not caring for danger. I simply asked her not to be bullying the lady for no reason. It was like the girl was possessed. She had not a care in world. No dignity, no decorum….nothing! What came out of her mouth next completely shocked me to the core. “ come on then….. there is nothing you can do because if you hit me I’ll get you done”. Those were literally her words.
So this takes me to me second thought of the day, Why are children allowed to behave this way? We are a nation that is divided into two camps.. The first camp believe that children today are allowed to roam the earth without a care in the world, getting away with poor behaviour because your not allowed to smack them without the fear of being arrested and be seen as a child beater. The second camp judges you when you say you have smacked your child, and completely believes in nurture v nature.
Are children getting away with too much? Is this the new age where adults are the ones scared of their children?
Are we too afraid of judgmental individuals who stare with such a shameful look while stood in a supermarket while your children throws a tantrum for no reason other than hearing the word “no”?
No one can tell you how to raise your child. Each family is completely different to the next. However I think everyone would agree that its vital to inject some manners into the little soldiers, before its too late. We then can be divided by saying that you can not control your child while they are out. But this simple trick would certainly give you peace of mind knowing while your sat in doors your child isn’t threatening some poor lady for no reason than having a good laugh amongst their friends.
So here I was being screamed at, being told I am not to do anything or I would see myself sitting on a blue run down mattress in a cold and tiny cell. I was called a pervert and a pedophile for trying to to aid this lady to safety of her own home.
It terrifies me that this girl thought it was sociably acceptable to do this without facing any consequences. She didn’t care some 32 year old man told her to stop. All she wanted to do was humiliate some defenceless woman and me the bystander.
It’s sad to say that this happens in every town, and from this children do get bad publicity. However we need to see the bigger picture. I am proud to know some very respectful young individuals who wouldn’t dream of hurting another human being. I have seen how children behave in public, well mannered, staying close to mum, not running around causing havoc. I see how politely some children sit at a table and eat lunch. They say “please” and “thank you”.
These children are demanding to be treated like “young adults”. They want to make their own choices, they want the respect. You wouldn’t expect a child to behave in such a way. Only an adult is capable of demonstrating such aggression, so what do you do? Let them grow without guidance or from early years, drill it into them that you should respect people and behaving like this, is socially unacceptable, do you blame other people or do you blame yourself as a parent for allowing your child to grow into a person who bully’s and think its fun to mock and laugh at people?
We also have to take the law into consideration here, at 16 children are seen to be “young adults” they can make their own decisions about life and can legally have sex - which personally I feel should be 18. Having sex is a mature intimate thing to do. You as a person chooses to have it or not. Is a 16 year old capable to choose to have sex, and then show immaturity to do this to an innocent lady just parking her car? We aren’t allowed to hit children anymore, we aren’t allowed to protect ourselves when confronted in a large gang hanging around bus stops and shopping complexes. So this gives them the freedom to become horrible and nasty creatures.
We now see Medical terms for children who have poor behaviour. i’m not saying that a child who suffers from ADHD is just a kid with poor parenting skills, what I am saying is that maybe it gets used as an excuse, when we all no that smashing a vase on purpose is wrong, not because he/she has ADHD. Do we have too many excuses that can justify a childs behaviour?
Other reasons to why children behave like this could be seen as a sign of neglect. Recent studies have shown that children bully others or haven’t got the fear of consequences is because of social factors happening at home. They may feel neglected and not to be felt important. Some children decide to pursue a talent to make their parents proud, others will lash out and become cruel to seek attention.
It’s an open world, nothing is kept hidden anymore. Children are exposed to many things, they see violence on TV, they have peer pressure from their friends. However, who shows them right from wrong. It has to be the parents right?
Some kids are just more aggressive, dominating and impulsive by nature. It doesn't always mean that they are bullies, but because we all like a good story to criticise, we only get to see and read stories about children who cause mayhem in their neighbourhoods.
I didn’t get a thank you that day and neither would i wanted too. But i’m sure like me, she was confused to why she was targeted for a practical joke, running behind a reversing car making her break hard.
It’s a question on everyones lips when confronted like this. Do you walk away or do you react back to flare a reaction. Either way the biggest question is, what is Nature v Nurture?