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A I B U To ask the Mother of the ringleader why her son keeps knocking on my door and running away and to stop him

(16 Posts)
flowerfriend Thu 13-Dec-12 19:11:38

It started about ten months ago. There was a knock on the door and when I went to answer it there was no-one there. It usually happened three or four times in succession. It went on for a couple of weeks. Then because of the position of my house I could see that they were doing it to a frail old 84 year old. Because of that I mentioned it to a member of the older generation in the village to whom it might have happened but no it hadn't. But after this it did stop happening to me. I wonder if he had mentioned it to ring leader's mother. He employs her on a casual basis to type for him as he is a writer.

A week or so ago it started again. This evening when they had knocked for the fourth or fifth time I went upstairs to my darkened bedroom and saw them approaching the house yet again and opened the windows. They initially ran away and then came back to do an obscene dance.

I'm scared by them now. What might they do when I am away. Maybe they will just come up one evening and instead of knocking scratch my car. My wee Twingo.

I am contemplating going to see the ring leader's mum. Should I? Any helpful suggestions welcomed and by the way, I have brought up three boys of my own and maybe they did this sort of thing but I hope not.

CHEELU Thu 13-Dec-12 19:26:41

Hi flowerfriend. When I moved into a new house a few years back I got children throwing eggs at my door, it really upset me at first but then I became angry. What I did was when the boys came to my door I would see them approaching and I would push the curtain to one side and give a very scary stare, I would do that everytime they did it, it didnt stop them straight away but it slowed right down and did stop soon after. My motto is dont be scared be angry.

Nelliemoser Thu 13-Dec-12 19:55:46

I used to do that. Cherry knocking we called it! It was "fun" at the time but I am not proud of it now. I don't think young children realise just how it might upset more vulnerable people. If someone had calmly explained that to me I think I would have felt dreadful about it. I wasn't a delinquent just an ordinary child from a very law abiding family. My parents would have been horrified if they had known.

It obviously depends what the mum is like whether or not you can discuss it with her and if she could then deal with it sensibly with the child. You could also try the local community support officer. That is the sort of stuff they should deal with. Good luck!

flowerfriend Thu 13-Dec-12 20:02:17

Ringleader is 13. Isn't that a bit old for this sort of thing. I live in France. Boy and his single mum are french. I could have a word with the mayor. I do speak to his mum and call her by her first name.

CHEELU Thu 13-Dec-12 20:08:25

It will settle down flowerfriend, try not to let it get the better of you. It can do no harm to mention it.

merlotgran Thu 13-Dec-12 20:11:01

Could you try ignoring them, flowerfriend? They might lose interest if they think you are taking no notice of their silly antics. If the ringleader is 13 hopefully girls will soon take up his interest and he'll stop being such an annoying pest. flowers

Anne58 Thu 13-Dec-12 20:13:23

Perhaps go and speak to the mother while the boy is also there? She will probably read him the riot act (well, let's hope so).If he is there, even ask him what he hopes to achieve by his actions?

grannyactivist Thu 13-Dec-12 20:22:35

I wouldn't ignore this. I would call at the boys home when he is there and ask to speak to him in his mother's presence. I would describe how I feel and ask him to respond. If you are able to address this in a calm manner and explain to the boy the effects of his actions then I would be very surprised if the boy didn't feel remorse.
My husband's grandmother was once the subject of identical pranks so I waited with her one evening and (literally) caught the ringleader as he knocked on her door. His accomplices ran away, but came back when I called to them. I remained calm and explained that they were terrorising a granny of 90+ years who had become very, very afraid in her own home. They were all mortified and apologised profusely, one or two tears were shed and we all agreed that their actions had been thoughtless, no more. For Gran to see the culprits like this took away her fears and the outcome was very positive.

Ana Thu 13-Dec-12 20:25:04

I would be cautious about speaking to the mayor without exploring all other avenues. I know that in this country going to the authorities could be seen as underhanded if you haven't tried speaking to the parent first.

vampirequeen Thu 13-Dec-12 20:26:41

Is his mother someone who is sensible or a 'my son would never do that nutter'? Maybe you talk in general terms to her about it rather than directly accuse her son.

Around here it's called 'knock on ginger'. When we played it in the olden days we had reason to run because if we got caught we got a clip around the ear and if we'd complained to our mum's we'd have got another clip.

Mishap Thu 13-Dec-12 20:57:01

How difficult.

Ignoring it would seem to be the best thing if possible - it is really no fun if there is no reaction. It just becomes boring.

Or there is always a bucket of water! - I once did this to some children who kept being a pest - they did not do it again!

Is there a cultural element to all this? Is it to do with not accepting English people or is it simply boyish pranks? Would the mother resent what you have to say? I suppose I am just trying to think what might be best for you in the long term - you do not want to be making enemies.

CHEELU Thu 13-Dec-12 21:00:51

Grannyactivist that was so nice of you to do that for your husbands grandmother. She was very lucky to have you.

gracesmum Thu 13-Dec-12 22:36:30

I was thinking along the same lines as Mishap , but I am equally sure they "only do it to annoy because they know it teases".
Maybe injured innocence or "Oh, your son was at my door the other afternoon/evening, but ran off so quickly before I could answer it - was there a problem? Do you know what he wanted? Do ask him to wait a little longer next "

flowerfriend Fri 14-Dec-12 08:58:30

Thank you all for your input. I do feel better this morning. I have a letter prepared which I shall take and hand to the mother if it happens again. This way she will understand, perhaps, how I felt yesterday evening. It frightened me and before when it has happened I was merely cross.

dorsetpennt Fri 14-Dec-12 09:30:33

How about renting some CCTV equipment and film them in action. Then present it to the mother as evidence. A friend told me of a elderly old man being terrorised in this way, when the mother was approached she did the 'not my little boy' line. However, once presented with the evidence she did do something about it. Make it clear it's a copy and if it continues you will give it to the police. The boy can be given an ASBO to keep away from you and others - this action of his will evolve into something worse in time if it's not nabbed in the bud. Little so-and-sos angry

Marelli Fri 14-Dec-12 10:00:11

We go to bi-monthly Community Police meetings and our Community Police Officer has asked that we report any problems to him through the local police station. That way he can keep on top of things becoming worse. There was a time a couple of years ago when 3 young girls who were in the last year of primary school were tormenting a lady who lives alone just a few door up from us. She has a degree of learning difficulty and was really quite afraid. Then, they began doing the same with my next-door neighbour, thinking probably, that because she's also elderly, that she was a prime target. She would often be looking out of her top window, and they would jump about in the field just over her garden wall, doing 'obscene' actions. She contacted the police and they dealt with it really quickly. The policewoman went to the school's headmistress and also to the parents of the girls. There was never a problem after that.
I think that if I knew the parents of the offending children I might approach them and complain, but often, as has already been said, the parent may not be interested - or just say "well, it's what kids do, eh? Just a bit of mischief". angry