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Creepy kid-am I overreacting?


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A kid I've never seen before came into our front yard and started recording my 9yo daughter and 7 yo son playing together.  I'd say he was about 12-13.  When I came out and asked if he lived in the neighborhood, whom he was visiting, etc he gave me answers that didn't add up.  Then he deleted the video.  I'm feeling like we dodged a bullet here, but maybe I'm off about the ability of a 12-13 yo boy to realize how incredibly inappropriate such a thing is.  What do you think? 

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I mean, it does sound weird, but I probably wouldn't be too worried about a 12-year-old boy unless he kept showing up. I don't think most tweens and teens actually do think that recording each other is 'incredibly inappropriate.' If he's just a tad younger than you thought he was, and he thought your dd was just a tad older, he may have thought he was recording this cute girl very discreetly, lol. 

Did he say hi to them or anything? I would think it much less weird if he talked to them at all. How did deleting the video come about? 

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I think there's not quite enough information in your post to make a judgement because your "he gave me answers that didn't add up" make a difference to me.  

My kids *LOVE* to record various "stories."  They make stuff up.  They narrate whatever is going on that they are recording.  NOW....my kids are not allowed to take their electronics outside like they and they don't have phones, so they wouldn't have a device to bring somewhere to record like that.  If they did however, I could see any one of them walking up to random kids playing, start recording it, not realizing it's inappropriate, and then when an adult they don't know walks out the door and starts questioning them.......they likely wouldn't be able to clearly answer due to being freaked out.  One of their favorite answers when they are caught off guard is "I don't know."  To a random adult, that might seem like an "answer that doesn't add up."

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He did talk to them and actually told my son to go in this box they had been playing with.  When I came outside my son told me the kid had been recording and then asked him if he was going to put it on youtube.  The kid said "no, I think actually I should delete it," and then pushed some buttons on his phone, which may or may not have actually deleted it.

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When you asked where he was from did he give any neighbors names you could follow up with?

Assuming your kids were just playing, I guess I wouldn't overthink it.  I could see my kids wandering around with a new phone trying out the features.  I think it would have been entirely appropriate to tell him he should never record someone or take their photo without their permission.  We have had to say this over and over at our teen co-op.  I wouldn't think this is creepy unless you thought an adult was behind it.  

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Just now, Syllieann said:

He did talk to them and actually told my son to go in this box they had been playing with.  When I came outside my son told me the kid had been recording and then asked him if he was going to put it on youtube.  The kid said "no, I think actually I should delete it," and then pushed some buttons on his phone, which may or may not have actually deleted it.

Oh, I would think nothing of that. 

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Just now, FuzzyCatz said:

When you asked where he was from did he give any neighbors names you could follow up with?

Assuming your kids were just playing, I guess I wouldn't overthink it.  I could see my kids wandering around with a new phone trying out the features.  I think it would have been entirely appropriate to tell him he should never record someone or take their photo without their permission.  We have had to say this over and over at our teen co-op.  I wouldn't think this is creepy unless you thought an adult was behind it.  

He told my kids he was having a birthday party at a relatives house, but wouldn't say how old he was.  When I asked him he told me he lived in (The name of a nearby municipality) and was visiting his aunt.  He couldn't name the street she lived on.  There were no houses with a large number of cars in the subdivision.  Plus, it seems unlikely he would leave his own birthday party and go off by himself.

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5 minutes ago, Syllieann said:

He did talk to them and actually told my son to go in this box they had been playing with.  When I came outside my son told me the kid had been recording and then asked him if he was going to put it on youtube.  The kid said "no, I think actually I should delete it," and then pushed some buttons on his phone, which may or may not have actually deleted it.

Again, depending on what "answers that don't add up" means.....that likely wouldn't creep me out.  I would however still have told the kid, gently, but in a teacher voice, that recording kids he doesn't know without their parent's permission is really not appropriate.  

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I have 3 older brothers.  2 of the 3 probably wouldn't have had a clue it was inappropriate if they had been in that situation today at that age. Honestly, tween and teen boys can be really clueless about some things.

Also, I don't think this is the day in age adults should ask kids they don't know where they live or who they're visiting. If a strange man or woman asked your daughter that would you want her to answer them?  No kid owes you that kind of explanation or information.  If he did live in the neighborhood or had just been visiting someone in particular in the neighborhood, would it have made you comfortable with him videoing your kids?  No. So when your issue is that a kid is videoing your kids, just say out loud in a pleasant tone, "Please don't video my kids and please delete what you're already videoed." Then move up to a firm tone only if they argue. If they flat out refuse, then it might make sense to ask them to get their adult so you can talk to a responsible party.

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5 minutes ago, Syllieann said:

He told my kids he was having a birthday party at a relatives house, but wouldn't say how old he was.  When I asked him he told me he lived in (The name of a nearby municipality) and was visiting his aunt.  He couldn't name the street she lived on.  There were no houses with a large number of cars in the subdivision.  Plus, it seems unlikely he would leave his own birthday party and go off by himself.

My kids have absolutely no idea what street their grandma, or any of their aunts or uncles live on.

 

Also, he may not have been leaving his own birthday party.  Most of my kids have birthday parties at my mom's house.  And they go out and play in the court, ride bikes up and down the street etc.  That's how our birthday parties work.    And since my parents house ALWAYS looks like a parking lot, cars for a birthday party wouldn't seem out of place lol.  

 

Given what you have posted, I don't think he was being creepy.  Inappropriate, yes, but creepy, no.  

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5 minutes ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

I have 3 older brothers.  2 of the 3 probably wouldn't have had a clue it was inappropriate if they had been in that situation today at that age. Honestly, tween and teen boys can be really clueless about some things.

Also, I don't think this is the day in age adults should ask kids they don't know where they live or who they're visiting. If a strange man or woman asked your daughter that would you want her to answer them?  No kid owes you that kind of explanation or information.  If he did live in the neighborhood or had just been visiting someone in particular in the neighborhood, would it have made you comfortable with him videoing your kids?  No. So when your issue is that a kid is videoing your kids, just say out loud in a pleasant tone, "Please don't video my kids and please delete what you're already videoed." Then move up to a firm tone only if they argue. If they flat out refuse, then it might make sense to ask them to get their adult so you can talk to a responsible party.

Well, I think if he's on my property recording my kids I can ask him whatever I want.  No, I would not want my kids to answer those questions with specifics, but I also wouldn't want them walking into someone else's hard and recording their kids.  I did want more info though because I was trying to determine whether a threat to my children existed.

Edited by Syllieann
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Ok - well it is covid times, it may have been a small family gathering.  And he may have seen kids on the street and thought cool, I'll go chat. Or maybe he panicked and made something up.  I wouldn't find it odd he didn't know the name of the street.  I don't think my kids know the name of any of the streets their grandparents or aunts or uncles live on.  Especially now that we're in a google map age, I don't memorize addresses either.  He might have been nervous - that was a lot of questions to throw at him when it really would have been better just to tell him the issue you were having straight up. 

I teach groups of teens and even GT teens.  Lots of them are super clueless and do stuff without thinking.  There are reasons kids are minors until 18 and some of them can use parenting beyond that.     This would not even been on my radar as an issue more than to tell him not to video or take photos without permission.  

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7 minutes ago, Syllieann said:

Well, I think if he's on my property recording my kids I can ask him whatever I want.  No, I would not want my dd kids to answer those questions with specifics, but I also wouldn't want them walking into someone else's hard and recording their kids.  I did want more info though because I was trying to determine whether a threat to my children existed.

Sure, you can ask whatever you want, but I think his 'answers not adding up' was probably a combination of him being a kid and not knowing or caring, and him thinking you were sure asking a lot of questions and maybe he'd better not answer them all. 

Your kids are probably just getting to this age, so you may not have encountered it yet, but randomly recording other kids is a common occurrence. I mean, your son had the awareness to ask if it would be on youtube, so I think it struck you more than them as unusual. 

I wouldn't think anything of this one incident. 

Edited by katilac
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He might have been dodgy with answers because you are an authority figure asking him what he's doing, and he's trying to avoid getting into trouble.  I would have been vague about details, too, if I was a kid in that situation. "Uh, I did a thing I'm not supposed to do and now there's an adult sternly asking me where I live and why am I here? Lie, lie, lie..."

It was inappropriate for him to record, but not necessarily nefarious.  

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9 minutes ago, Syllieann said:

 but I also wouldn't want them walking into someone else's hard and recording their kids.   

He may be from a neighborhood where nobody would think twice about a kid walking into a front yard where other kids are playing. That's how my neighborhood is; that's how the kids meet. If the kids who are playing seem friendly at all, they will just walk into the yard and talk with them. It sounds more like differing experiences and expectations than anything. 

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29 minutes ago, FuzzyCatz said:

When you asked where he was from did he give any neighbors names you could follow up with?

Assuming your kids were just playing, I guess I wouldn't overthink it.  I could see my kids wandering around with a new phone trying out the features.  I think it would have been entirely appropriate to tell him he should never record someone or take their photo without their permission.  We have had to say this over and over at our teen co-op.  I wouldn't think this is creepy unless you thought an adult was behind it.  

This was actually exactly what I was worried about.  We live in a corridor that has seen a huge explosion in child trafficking.

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15 minutes ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

I don’t think that it was your place to try to judge his motives or personal details. All you had to do was to tell him not to record your kids. He was wrong to do that without permission. 

Well, now I am going to disagree that it's not her place to judge.  I absolutely find it my place to judge the motives of people....even young teens/tweens....when it comes to my kids safety on my own property.  I don't think that she was wrong to question him at all.  I just think that, given what she shared of the situation....it wouldn't have me worried about my kid's safety.  But I think that how she described the situation and her reactions...are exactly how a person might go about judging whether the kids are in danger in such a situation.  

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4 minutes ago, Syllieann said:

This was actually exactly what I was worried about.  We live in a corridor that has seen a huge explosion in child trafficking.

Child trafficking would be like the farthest thing from my mind.

 

More concerning to me would be my kids ending up on youtube in a manner I wouldn't have control over.  Images used inappropriately, etc.  Presuming child trafficking seems a bit extreme to me, but that doesn't mean there are like zero reasons for concern at all.  

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I think my oldest absolutely would have known that was inappropriate, but he had some friends who didn’t. I am so glad I had his middle school experience, because he handled it well, but I learned how much 11-13 yr old boys still are learning. These were good kids from good families who filmed at inappropriate times. 
 

My current 12yr old is much more the type that I have to lay out all the inappropriate scenarios because his brain doesn’t make the leap on its own. And I can’t possibly tell him in advance all the things not to do. In his head,  he may have been making new friends and directing a video. He would have done that if he just got a new update on his phone and wanted to see what it did. I absolutely would believe it if my current 12 yr old did that. And no way would he know any address of a place he was visiting. 

I really, truly, didn’t realize how much tweens/teens don’t know until I had some of my own. So, when possible, assume ignorance over creepiness. 

Edited by lovinmyboys
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3 minutes ago, lovinmyboys said:

 

I really, truly, didn’t realize how much tweens/teens don’t know until I had some of my own. So, when possible, assume ignorance over creepiness. 

Generally speaking, I think this is a common problem throughout society....that we tend to assume some levels of maturity that actually isn't going to apply across the board.  Adolescence is a time of such a wide degree of variation in kids development.  

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We live in a corridor that has seen a huge explosion in child trafficking.

 

Are you saying that you know of multiple stranger abductions in your area? Because the phrase "child trafficking" is a weird phrase - legally, any minor engaged in sex work is "trafficked" even if there is no third party involved in the business. So "child trafficking" could mean "strange man kidnaps teen and forces them into sex work" or it could mean "teen runs away from abusive foster home, turns to prostitution to survive".

The latter is most common, and while it's tragic, it's most likely not something you need to worry about happening to your kids.

(Even when there are third parties involved, those are most often members of the child's own family or foster family - not strangers.)

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44 minutes ago, Syllieann said:

He told my kids he was having a birthday party at a relatives house, but wouldn't say how old he was.  When I asked him he told me he lived in (The name of a nearby municipality) and was visiting his aunt.  He couldn't name the street she lived on.  There were no houses with a large number of cars in the subdivision.  Plus, it seems unlikely he would leave his own birthday party and go off by himself.

Yeah..my son woudln't have given out personal info like age, etc to some strange adult either. And I'm positive that even now as 21 yrs old he has no idea what street his aunt lives on, despite having visited many times. And "birthday party" may just mean family sharing cake, given the pandemic. He got bored as the only kid and went outside. Seems normal. 

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4 minutes ago, Tanaqui said:

 

Are you saying that you know of multiple stranger abductions in your area? Because the phrase "child trafficking" is a weird phrase - legally, any minor engaged in sex work is "trafficked" even if there is no third party involved in the business. So "child trafficking" could mean "strange man kidnaps teen and forces them into sex work" or it could mean "teen runs away from abusive foster home, turns to prostitution to survive".

The latter is most common, and while it's tragic, it's most likely not something you need to worry about happening to your kids.

(Even when there are third parties involved, those are most often members of the child's own family or foster family - not strangers.)

It is mostly runaways, but they are also sometimes lured by men posing as boyfriends online.  There have been a handful of incidents in the past few months with children approached by strangers who attempt to lure the kids, usually middle school age, into a vehicle.  I know it's not statistically likely, but it's on my radar.

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4 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

he has no idea what street his aunt lives on, despite having visited many times.

My mom's house is about 140 miles away from mine.  My DD11 could sit in the back seat and give turn by turn directions almost like a GPS.  She would only be missing the "in 100ft....in 50ft....in 10ft..."  On the freeways, she actually could even give the names of the streets and/or the number of the exits.  But knowing the street my mom lives on?  Nope.  

 

Maybe we should start writing some letters.

 

 

THOUGH.......how terrible is this.  I just realized that right off the top of my head.....I can't even tell you DD24's address.  She's lived there for 2 years.  

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1 hour ago, Syllieann said:

Well, I think if he's on my property recording my kids I can ask him whatever I want.  No, I would not want my kids to answer those questions with specifics, but I also wouldn't want them walking into someone else's hard and recording their kids.  I did want more info though because I was trying to determine whether a threat to my children existed.

The bolded is ridiculous.  You most certainly cannot. Law enforcement teaching child safety would advise that kid and  parents to teach their kids to not answer that question even if the kid is doing something wrong like videoing or photographing without permission. If you think you have the right to over step boundaries because someone else overstepped theirs, you're wrong.  That's not how life works.  It's a 2 wrongs don't make a right scenario.  It's never appropriate for an adult to ask the kind of questions you did.  No responsible adult would ever advise a kid to answer those questions of a strange adult under any circumstances. That's rule #1 of child safety.   You know what creepy adults sometimes ask kids? What you asked him. Think about that.  If that kid tells his adult(s) that a strange adult was asking for that info, you're going to be labeled the creepy adult in the neighborhood.

The questions you asked are not in any way useful in determining whether or not your children are at risk in that scenario.  It's a tween boy and his device out in the open, which has plenty of plausible harmless explanations as you've read on this thread. You clearly have unrealistic expectations of what kinds of information a child would have in that situation, and even if the child did have that kind of info, he should never disclose it to you at all.ever.

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4 minutes ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

The bolded is ridiculous.  You most certainly cannot. Law enforcement teaching child safety would advise that kid and  parents to teach their kids to not answer that question even if the kid is doing something wrong like videoing or photographing without permission. If you think you have the right to over step boundaries because someone else overstepped theirs, you're wrong.  That's not how life works.  It's a 2 wrongs don't make a right scenario.  It's never appropriate for an adult to ask the kind of questions you did.  No responsible adult would ever advise a kid to answer those questions of a strange adult under any circumstances. That's rule #1 of child safety.   You know what creepy adults sometimes ask kids? What you asked him. Think about that.  If that kid tells his adult(s) that a strange adult was asking for that info, you're going to be labeled the creepy adult in the neighborhood.

The questions you asked are not in any way useful in determining whether or not your children are at risk in that scenario.  It's a tween boy and his device out in the open, which has plenty of plausible harmless explanations as you've read on this thread. You clearly have unrealistic expectations of what kinds of information a child would have in that situation, and even if the child did have that kind of info, he should never disclose it to you at all.ever.

Um.....this kid rolled up to HER property......she didn't roll up to his.  

OF COURSE she can ask him whatever she wants.  It is 100% NOT wrong to ask a person on your own property questions to determine who they are or why they are there.  

NOW.....the fact that the kid didn't or couldn't answer them doesn't mean that the kid is a creeper or working for a creeper.   But if a kid who appears to be older than my kids, of a teen/tween age, rolls up onto my property on his bike and starts filming my kids, you can absolutely bet I am going to ask the kid who he is, or what house he came from, etc etc.  

 

Our lawn kid is 12 and if he started randomly filming my kids on our property, I would absolutely begin to question him.  I would also tell him that what he was doing was inappropriate and he should have asked...AND I would text his dad (because of course I have his dad's number) and tell him that his kid was doing somethign that might be considered suspicious.  I wouldn't suspect my lawn kid of anything nefarious, because I know him, but that doesn't mean I do not have the right to question his motives for recording my kids on my property.  (and technically, this is not even my property....we don't own the house.)

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Several years ago...many...a guy parked his car in the street outside our house and started taking pics.  My kids weren't outside (at the time I only had one and she was in school.)  But, it's weird that he was in front of our house taking pics.  

SO......yep, went out and asked. Turns out.....the house next door was in forclosure and he was taking pics of the house for the mortgage company.  He totally had a right to be there......but I still had a right to ask and it wasn't bizarre or wierd for me to be concerned when someone I don't know parks his car in front of my house and starts taking pics.  

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2 hours ago, Syllieann said:

He told my kids he was having a birthday party at a relatives house, but wouldn't say how old he was.  When I asked him he told me he lived in (The name of a nearby municipality) and was visiting his aunt.  He couldn't name the street she lived on.  There were no houses with a large number of cars in the subdivision.  Plus, it seems unlikely he would leave his own birthday party and go off by himself.

I have a nephew that could have easily been at my house for a birthday party--just a family celebration on a weekend afternoon  There wouldn't be many cars--our cars, my sister's car, maybe my mom's car --depending upon if they rode together.  We have a small family and it would likely be that he was the only child--or only child close to his age at the party. 

He could easily get a new phone for his birthday and go outside to check out the video capabilities.  At that age, I remember taking pictures of neighbors in their yards when I got a new camera.  Or, when I got a cassette tape recorder, I went around the neighborhood asking people if I could record them.  

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To elaborate further....

As a current tenant, former homeowner and former landlord.....there are ALL SORTS of laws that protect people's privacy in their own home that say things like landlords cannot set up security cameras without tenants knowledge, etc etc etc.  Obviously those laws differ by state, but generally...yeah, people are supposed to be able to expect some measure of privacy in the place they live in.  It's not weird to not want others to record their kids when those kids are on the property those people live on....EVEN if they don't actually own the property.  Even googlemaps offers the option for people to blur out their property on the site when that street view car shows up.

I wouldn't expect a tween/teen to understand all that.....that's pretty much exactly what most folks have said in the thread.  But because that level of privacy is an expectation.....it's not WRONG for a parent to question the motives of anyone who starts recording their kids on their own home.  And it's not WRONG for that parent to ask the questions the OP asked.  Again.....the kid probably didn't understand that what he was doing was not appropriate and he probably needed a bit of teaching in that regard.  But that doesn't mean the OP did anything WRONG....given that she was in her own home.  (well on her own property.)

Edited by happysmileylady
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1 hour ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

The bolded is ridiculous.  You most certainly cannot. Law enforcement teaching child safety would advise that kid and  parents to teach their kids to not answer that question even if the kid is doing something wrong like videoing or photographing without permission. If you think you have the right to over step boundaries because someone else overstepped theirs, you're wrong.  That's not how life works.  It's a 2 wrongs don't make a right scenario.  It's never appropriate for an adult to ask the kind of questions you did.  No responsible adult would ever advise a kid to answer those questions of a strange adult under any circumstances. That's rule #1 of child safety.   You know what creepy adults sometimes ask kids? What you asked him. Think about that.  If that kid tells his adult(s) that a strange adult was asking for that info, you're going to be labeled the creepy adult in the neighborhood.

The questions you asked are not in any way useful in determining whether or not your children are at risk in that scenario.  It's a tween boy and his device out in the open, which has plenty of plausible harmless explanations as you've read on this thread. You clearly have unrealistic expectations of what kinds of information a child would have in that situation, and even if the child did have that kind of info, he should never disclose it to you at all.ever.

It is not creepy  or wrong to want to know how/why a stranger came to be on your property with your young children.  I hope he does tell his parents so they can explain what trespassing is.  I could never live with letting strangers on my property with my young children and having no idea who they were or why they were there.  He is certainly within his rights to not disclose that info, but then he can get the heck off my property.  I get that you disagree with me on that and fine, I'd advise you not to send your kids to my house unidentified.

Edited by Syllieann
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1 hour ago, happysmileylady said:

..it's not WRONG for a parent to question the motives of anyone who starts recording their kids on their own home.  

Asking what he's doing and why is not wrong. 

Asking him for where he's staying and where is lives is exactly the stuff kids are not supposed to tell strangers, so yes, that's wrong. 

20 minutes ago, Syllieann said:

It is not creepy  or wrong to want to know how/why a stranger came to be on your property with your young children.  I hope he does tell his parents so they can explain what trespassing is.  I could never live with letting strangers on my property with my young children and having no idea who they were or why they were there.

Are we seriously calling it trespassing when a kid on a sidewalk starts talking to other kids playing in the grass, and then walks onto the grass to continue interacting with them? I'm pretty darned sure that is NOT tresspassing. 

I swear, the world gets less and less friendly every day. 

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3 hours ago, Syllieann said:

A kid I've never seen before came into our front yard and started recording my 9yo daughter and 7 yo son playing together.  I'd say he was about 12-13.  When I came out and asked if he lived in the neighborhood, whom he was visiting, etc he gave me answers that didn't add up.  Then he deleted the video.  I'm feeling like we dodged a bullet here, but maybe I'm off about the ability of a 12-13 yo boy to realize how incredibly inappropriate such a thing is.  What do you think? 

I suspect it is more likely he recorded so he could make fun of them on the internet. Plus, with the cloud and all, he could have recorded and appeared to delete when it is actually on the cloud. I doubt a 12/13 yr old would have realized much about it being inappropriate, BUT, with all the cyberbullying going on these days, I would wonder why he would want to film people he does not know and that is what I would think.

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11 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

Asking what he's doing and why is not wrong. 

Asking him for where he's staying and where is lives is exactly the stuff kids are not supposed to tell strangers, so yes, that's wrong. 

Are we seriously calling it trespassing when a kid on a sidewalk starts talking to other kids playing in the grass, and then walks onto the grass to continue interacting with them? I'm pretty darned sure that is NOT tresspassing. 

I swear, the world gets less and less friendly every day. 

I was replying to the poster who said I was a wrong for asking him questions about who he was and why he was there.  I called it trespassing to emphasize my legal rights to my own property.  After he failed to give me any coherent answer I did ask him to leave.  It's not like I saw him there and rushed in to call the cops to report a trespasser.  We also have a large front yard and he was a good 20' into it.  It's not like he stepped a foot off the sidewalk.

Edited by Syllieann
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I don’t think there’s anything necessarily creepy about a young teen filming with his phone.  He’s not savvy enough to know to ask a parent first.

Just ask him to stop recording and delete it.

Pre-Covid, our house was The House.  We regularly had 11 - 15 kids in our yard, sometimes more.  It’s a kid thing, in some neighborhoods.  They wander up and play with any kids who are out.  They don’t always introduce themselves to the adults.  I made a point of getting to know them, and if nothing else, I’d hang out on the porch and keep an eye on things. Maybe this kid is from a neighborhood with that type of culture.
 

Hopefully you’re feeling better about it now.  He was probably visiting family, bored, went for a walk, recording things with his phone, and clueless that his actions might be perceived as nefarious.  Young teen boys are pretty clueless.

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are you SURE he was "only" 12-13?

You may well have dodged a bullet.  My sil's ex-dh's nephew was showing signs of pedophilia as a younger teen.  He was sentenced to life when he was in his 20s.

eta: I'm writing questions in spanish format . . .  fixed.

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If a kid is old enough to have a phone, it's quite likely that he's had discussions with a parent about appropriate behavior, and has certainly had discussions at school about internet safety. I'd be completely creeped out. I don't think you were wrong to question the kid at all. I would expect that MOST 12-13 year old kids would know that wasn't ok. 

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It's always nice to give benefit of the doubt, and some kids certainly are just clueless (but not all). but  . . . .mom-gut.

and if your area is a trafficking hotbed . . . . . 

30 years ago, my friend couldn't allow her kids to play in front because older kids were getting little kids addicted to drugs so they could use them as runners.  so nefarious stuff with "young teens" certainly does happen.  she lived in a suburb.

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It's entirely more likely that the 12 year old is just a weird 12 year old, and not a cyber bully or partner in sex trafficking. 

I'm not sure I agree it's wrong for OP to ask where the kid lived.  You can ask, but as I said before, the kid being dodgy in their answers doesn't mean he's up to no good.  

I have a kid that if you asked him where he lived, he'd probably start off with where we lived 2 moves ago and after a rather convoluted conversation path, he'd eventually get to "...and now I live at 1313 Mockingbird Lane".  That's assuming he didn't finish with "...but where I live now is none of your business". 

Seriously, most 12 year old boys are not good conversationalists.  Does no one remember how squirrely all the kids were in middle school, lol? 

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My guess, it that he is a bored and lonely kid who has an interest in Youtube videos or reality shows. He is just walking around playing by himself with his phone camera and was filming the action at hand. 

Some birthday parties aren't really about the kid's interests, they are more of a family gathering. I was the youngest of a large family and even all my cousins were much older than I was. Family parties were torture for me. My siblings all had like age cousins but I didn't, so I was always left out.  I am 6 years younger that my closest age sibling, and more than 6 years from my cousins. When I was 12, my siblings and cousins were all 18yo to mid-thirties!!  A party for me would look like  a houseful, but I was by myself most of the day.  One of my siblings is 22 years older than me!

 

 

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5 hours ago, Syllieann said:

He told my kids he was having a birthday party at a relatives house, but wouldn't say how old he was.  When I asked him he told me he lived in (The name of a nearby municipality) and was visiting his aunt.  He couldn't name the street she lived on.  There were no houses with a large number of cars in the subdivision.  Plus, it seems unlikely he would leave his own birthday party and go off by himself.

Ironically he may have been taught stranger danger about telling his age and address.  I tell my kids not to tell that stuff to strangers.  I must admit i wouldn’t assume innocent because of the age though either because some kids that age have been exposed to nasty stuff.  I’d keep an eye on what’s going on outside for a bit.

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5 hours ago, lovinmyboys said:

 

I really, truly, didn’t realize how much tweens/teens don’t know until I had some of my own. So, when possible, assume ignorance over creepiness. 

That's because when you are a teen/tween you know everything and you don't realize how dumb you must have been until you have tweens and teens of our own! I still wonder sometimes if I was just an unusually smart and savvy teen because I can't believe how clueless my kids can be. There's no way I was that dumb....or I didn't feel it at the time. 

I wouldn't have thought twice about the incident. 

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6 hours ago, Syllieann said:

He did talk to them and actually told my son to go in this box they had been playing with.  When I came outside my son told me the kid had been recording and then asked him if he was going to put it on youtube.  The kid said "no, I think actually I should delete it," and then pushed some buttons on his phone, which may or may not have actually deleted it.

I have to wonder why he told your son to go into the box.  Was he trying to keep him out of the video and just have your daughter alone?   There are plenty of pervs around who try to do upskirting videos, etc.   And with all the talk of that Cuties show on Netflix lately it wouldn't surprise me if it inspires some local pervs with cameras.  

 

 

  

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OP, I'd have asked him questions too. A kid comes onto my property and starts filming my young children? Nope. Questions will be asked. Of course, I wouldn't take the Spanish Inquisition route and would be courteous enough, while clearly stating that filming my young children was out of bounds for him. 
 

Speaking of kids filming everything - when my kids were around 15/13/12ish they'd each often have small clusters of friends over at the same time. The younger ones were *obsessed* with filming and/or photographing  the older kids because they wanted to make movie montages and text this stuff to other kids they all knew. What a mess. One of the moms didn't want pictures taken and/or shared of her daughter - *ever* - so my kids & I were in constant vigilance mode following the young whippersnappers around making sure they weren't sneaking photos of anyone else. 🙄 I don't miss those days. 😅 

As soon as the girl moved away, the young 'uns outgrew their filmmaking aspirations. Of course. lol

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8 hours ago, Ktgrok said:

 

Asking him for where he's staying and where is lives is exactly the stuff kids are not supposed to tell strangers, so yes, that's wrong. 

I am still going to disagree, because HE was at HER house.  She didn't randomly drive up to some kid playing somewhere and start asking those questions.  She wasn't at his house.  Because she's at home and he's at her house.....absolutely not wrong.   She has the right to ask those questions of a person at her house.

Of course....that doesn't mean the kid was wrong to not answer.  As much as she has the right to ask, he has the right to not answer.

If she had chosen to call the police instead (as some people who take things to the extreme will do....not saying that the OP would, but you know, people call for the weirdest things), those sorts of questions are EXACTLY what the police would be asking.

 

Now, to show my age......when I was a kid, parents would ask where the kid lives because they were going to march said kid back to his house and tell his mom with the kid standing there exactly what the kid was doing wrong.  

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