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To be fuming about this!

(71 Posts)
LyndaW Thu 14-Sep-17 08:54:22

Yesterday afternoon I was walking our dog when I saw a group of teenage girls throw rubbish on the ground. I tapped one of the girls on the shoulder and said that she shouldn't litter. They all looked at me like I was dirt and started jeering. One of them asked what I was going to do about it so I said if you're not going to pick it up yourself I'll do it but you should be ashamed. And you should also be aware it's illegal and you could get fined. They continued to make fun of me and of course I ended up having to pick up the rubbish and threw it away when I got home. Couldn't sleep last night I was stewing over it so.

seadragon Thu 14-Sep-17 10:49:06

I was out in Torquay wearing a wide brimmed sunhat and sun glasses when I was hit in the face by a drill bit. Looking up I saw a group of boys with a fishing rod attached to the drill bit laughing at me from the gallery above. I walked along to the stairs, took off my hat and glasses (which had saved me from injury) and went up to the group to explain that the could cause serious damage to a person not protected as I was. They continued to laugh and jeer. They were all about 13 or 14, I'd say well dressed and fit looking with 'cultured' accents. It was clear they planned to continue so I took out my phone and said I would call the police and made as though to take a picture of them too. They started to move off then but continued to shout abuse calling me a paedophile and and old hag etc (some of it too vile to repeat). No-one helped me though the gallery was busy, but the boys did leave and one turned round and apologised so I know it was worth it. Never saw anything like it again. That was about 3 years ago and I'm still outraged ...... and sad.... in equal measure.

GoldenAge Thu 14-Sep-17 10:52:51

Brave of you to tackle this group of girls. It's all a question of how they are brought up by their parents or significant others. Parents are the role models and although peers are very powerful in forcing norms of behaviour, if parents have brought their children up to be polite, then rudeness to others, especially those more senior, will not come easily. I have a friend whose daughter allows her two year old to run riot, pushing and kicking everyone and everything in her way. The child takes temper tantrums at the drop of a hat and the mother does nothing apart from cajole the child to behave. It wins every time. I'm not advocating a slap on the hand but there are ways of teaching young children what is and what isn't acceptable. Recently, in my home this child opened a drawer pulled out a knife, threw it on the floor and then slammed the door closed. The mother did nothing other than issue a wimpish 'oh that's not nice'. The child repeated the action with another drawer, again no reprimand. This time I told my friend's daughter that if the child did that again I would chastise her and was told to 'go ahead'. The child promptly opened a cupboard having been told by me not to do that, and in sheer defiance pulled out a box of washing powder and threw it on the floor. I shouted loudly at her, took her hand and marched her out into my back garden where I left her to stamp her feet. The mother was clearly uncomfortable but I told her that if she didn't make a stand now the child would become a dreadful teenager with no respect for anyone. Eventually the child stopped banging its head against my patio door, stopped kicking it, and just sat and looked at us all. I opened the door, let her in and said quite firmly that if she went into any of my drawers or cupboards again I would put her back into the garden and she would not come in until it was time to go home. She behaved. Most behaviour is learned behaviour and as adults, especially older ones, we have a duty to indicate to younger parents whether they are managing the parenting properly. I'm sure lots of people will tell me I should mind my own business but when it's in your backyard, it's perfectly appropriate to expect children to work to your rules.

nipsmum Thu 14-Sep-17 10:55:36

My difficulty is with adults many of them university students who leave litter on the pavements and gutters. Just last night I picked up a half full ice cream drinks carton and put it in the bin 10 yards from where it had been left in he middle of the pavement. We have 3 food takeaways on the corner and it's not unusual for people to eat their food in the car and open the door and leave the remains on the ground. Unfortunately street wardens don't work at night in our area.

Imperfect27 Thu 14-Sep-17 11:04:47

Lynda I would have done the same. We have to live with our conscience. These girls supported one another in their bad attitude through safety in numbers, but you set them a right example and who knows, it may have an effect on one or two of them in the quiet of their own homes / space.

Shinyredcar Thu 14-Sep-17 11:14:12

I read all these posts with a deep sigh. I have for years cleared the litter in local country lanes, and am baffled by the way most of the drinks cans are diet versions. If people care so much about their appearance, why can't they think about the local area?

I am sometimes joined spontaneously by small children if I tidy up in the village or local town. They want to help, but I thank them and refuse because it is a potentially dangerous or unhealthy thing to do. They seem to lose the idea about the age of 10.

Police Community Support Officers have gone the way of austerity and Police Officers are too busy with serious matters to respond to callouts for littering. Why bother having it on the statute book as a criminal offence, when there is no means of enforcing it?

Dog mess is top of any councillors list of complaints. Why do so many people have dogs when they are not prepared to clean up after them? Again, we can't enforce the law.

The mood of the posters here seems to be that we should be firm but that it is too difficult. Scary, and even possibly dangerous.

The parents of these unco-operative children are our children. Food for thought?

vampirequeen Thu 14-Sep-17 11:19:26

Well done. You did the right thing.

I used to teach primary. We made a big thing (both in and out of lessons) about not dropping litter. The children were very receptive and the school was very tidy (well litter free). However, at home time their parents took over and many times I saw children being told to drop their litter by the adults. Parents created those teenagers and sadly they'll pass it on to their children.

The other problem is that some parents no longer want to be parents but want to be their child's friend. You can't do that because to be a proper parent there are times you have to say, 'No' and mean it. Every parent's evening I used to hear the same phrase at least a couple of times. 'But if I don't let him/her do......he/she cries'. So what? Let him/her cry. If you're stopping him/her from doing something that inappropriate so be it.

sarahellenwhitney Thu 14-Sep-17 11:38:11

Shysal. The type you witnessed will be part of our future adult population. I consider myself fortunate not to be around when that takes place.
Shoot me down, whinge on about human rights and if you can think of any other way, but I recall my late father on witnessing a gang of rowdy individuals in his road at 11pm ,kicking a foot ball around, jumping into peoples gardens regardless of damage they caused, smashing beer bottles against walls saying 'Pity national service was ever abolished'.
Yes there are those youngsters who work hard to get on in life and make something of their lives but there are also those who think the world owes THEM a living and can do as they like .

Jaycee5 Thu 14-Sep-17 11:39:25

I have stopped people throwing the wrappings from takeaway food away. One man threw it on top of a hedge at the front of a library that had been recently trimmed. He laughed at me so I stepped in front of him. He tried to go round me so I stepped to the side and pointed to the rubbish. He did pick it up still laughing but I don't know what he did with it then.
I did the same thing to two teenagers boys and the one that threw it went back and picked it up but they were very cross. A car pull in to the kerb and a woman said something to me that I didn't hear so I stepped towards her and she said 'He could have stabbed you' which I thought was a bit over the top.
I haven't done it for a few years because I am a bit more anxious generally nowadays. I would be much more reluctant to approach women or girls for some reason.
I can remember being told off in a park for dropping litter (which was definitely something I was taught not to do) and I was really embarrassed.
There are so many rats and mice around nowadays especially in London that takeaway rubbish particularly annoys me.

FarNorth Thu 14-Sep-17 11:46:24

It may seem over the top Jaycee but could easily have happened. Even a violent shove could result in an injury to you.

TriciaF Thu 14-Sep-17 11:50:11

This thread is so depressing - especially your post, Seadragon.
Is this trend due to lazy parenting? afraid to say 'No'?

vickymeldrew Thu 14-Sep-17 11:51:29

A while ago I was walking on the pavement through a local shopping centre. A woman in a car parked alongside me suddenly opened her car window and threw the remains of her hamburger meal (fries with sauce, burger and half a carton of fizzy drink) straight into my path. Without really thinking I picked it all up and threw it back into her car. How she explained it to her two young children in the car I don't know. It was one of my 'proudest moments' but I'm not sure I would do it again !

icbn2802 Thu 14-Sep-17 12:13:32

My children are by no means 'angels' they're bedrooms often leave a lot to be desired and I do get very frustrated and upset by the state of 'their domain' but can also take a certain amount of pride that they would never drop litter outside. Their bags and pockets can sometimes overflow with wrappers but I feel I've done a pretty good job of leading my example.......

Mauriherb Thu 14-Sep-17 12:15:07

Well done Lynda. I'm not sure that I would be so brave but I really admire your courage. I'm just sorry that they were so unpleasant to you

radicalnan Thu 14-Sep-17 12:15:57

I live at an intersection of country lanes and often get the entire contents of epople's take way neals thrown into my driveway, last week a few baby wipes too. Who are these pe ople who just don't think or care?

Some of the groups of male cyclists, who rush through our village at weekend using foul abuse at the top of their voices, think they are on thr Tour de France slinging water bottles as they go.............grrrrrrr

Marmight Thu 14-Sep-17 12:19:43

We have 2 schools in our village which used to be termed List D but are now termed ' for the emotionally and socially damaged'. Over the years there have been countless incidents of damage within the area from pupils who have gone AWOL. Last week, our award winning Station garden was, yet again, the target. The greenhouse with its contents was smashed to bits. The culprits were from the nearest school, but as usual they will get away with a tap on the wrist and the village will, yet again, have to bear the cost of replacement. We all feel the boys should be made to help with the repair. This never happens and it won't be long before the next lot are roaming and damaging property. If the authorities don't take the lead what hope for these young disadvantaged people in
the future. It gives them carte blanche to continue to run riot... angry

sarahellenwhitney Thu 14-Sep-17 12:29:28

Sunseeker .Your comment on the child being allowed by his grandparents who appeared to see no wrong in the way their charge was conducting himself, a bl*** little monster, reminded me of my incident
A similar child charging around the store with an empty trolley on the day I was pushing my loaded trolley just happened to collide..
On turning my full trolley into another aisle, empty of other customers, was a child possibly no more than six years of age charging towards me with an empty trolley. I immediately stopped The child didn't stop and at his pace with no control over his trolley he came to an abrupt halt on hitting mine.The handles hit his forehead.His screams brought who I assumed were the grandparents , on the scene.Fortunately an assistant had witnessed the whole thing.This ended up with the grandparents apologising to me.grin

Teddy123 Thu 14-Sep-17 12:40:20

You definitely did the right thing Lynda. It definitely takes some nerve so well done you!

A couple of years ago I was walking through the lovely ornamental gardens which lead to the pedestrianised town square. In front of me were a group of teenage girls walking along handing out flyers for something or other when one of the girls dropped a bundle of them & carried on walking.

I wasn't quite as polite as you! Instead I said "Oi!!! go back and pick up that lot now. Do you honestly think you're going to leave them there?" She walked back & picked them up!

I was expecting some back chat but none. I think she saw a 'grandma' and thought I had better do what I'm told!

curlilox Thu 14-Sep-17 12:47:36

I have phoned our local high school about their pupils throwing litter into my garden and verbal abuse when I spoke to them. I was told they could only do something about it if I gave them the names of the pupils.

lovebeigecardigans1955 Thu 14-Sep-17 13:02:06

How horrible for you. Myself, I would have felt annoyed as I hate litter but I wouldn't be bold enough to point it out, especially to a group of adolescents. But then I admit I'm a coward.

minesaprosecco Thu 14-Sep-17 13:31:01

Yes, it's annoying, yes it should be challenged when it happens,but is it really necessary to tar all youngsters with the badly behaved brush? After all, on the vast majority of days, the vast majority of us don't come across spoilt toddlers throwing tantrums, or teenagers (or adults) dropping litter. Maybe it would be better for our stress levels if we checked in at the end of each day with ourselves to say it was good because we didn't notice anything anti-social? Then when we do we can see it in perspective.

Legs55 Thu 14-Sep-17 13:42:22

Takes courage to tackle a group of teenagers. Dropping litter is one of my pet hates, when I was a child we always had a tin with a plastic lid in the car for sweet wrappers & a carrier bag for bigger rubbish. I hate the way people throw rubbish at a bin & just leave it where it falls.

Teddy123 Thu 14-Sep-17 13:50:49

Vickymeldrew I'm soooo proud of you! A brilliant response!

Coconut Thu 14-Sep-17 14:05:30

I worked with teenagers and this is just how many of them are I'm afraid. This is really a no win situation and the absurdity is that even you tapping one on the shoulder can be classed as an assault these days ! If you speak to them you can get a tirade of abuse which can be upsetting, if you ignore the situation you feel guilty. Either way it makes you fume. I always pick my battles, would the police have time to respond to litter being dropped ? As I said, no win ..... they will grow up one day and then will be replaced by others !!

acanthus Thu 14-Sep-17 14:25:17

I'd like to think I would have done the same as LyndaW but I do think that physically tapping someone on the shoulder to express your disapproval is somewhat asking for trouble. Youngsters nowadays seem very well versed in turning the tables viz. Getting on to a bus recently an older man tutted at some schoolgirls pushing to the front of the queue. Their loud retort was "An old man is talking to underage girls" - the poor man looked very embarrassed. As for litter dropping, I have witnessed several people picking up the offending article and saying politely "I think you've dropped this." It seems to work.

BRedhead59 Thu 14-Sep-17 14:38:15

Litter has now become a major issue. I live in a pretty lane and people come to eat their lunch in their cars because it is a calm place to sit. They then invariably chuck the rubbish out the window. My husband picks up bags of it as he walks the dogs. What is wrong with people that they can't see automatically that this is wrong. Respect for elders is one thing what about respect for another human being? The last point - I tackled some teenage boys once and they told me to go forth and multiply!