Jump to content

Menu

If you knew...would you tell


Recommended Posts

If you knew your neighbor’s teen was regularly climbing out a window late at night, would you tell them?  Whether you knew them well or not at all?

Not me, but an acquaintance just brought this up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, saraha said:

I think I would try to find a way. I would hope someone would let me know

I would hope the same if it were me.  But what if the parents or one parent is abusive.  I don't know.  Without knowing the family at all, I would wonder if I was making something much worse by saying something. 

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, saraha said:

I think I would try to find a way. I would hope someone would let me know

I agree.  I would want to know if it was my kid so I would try to figure out a way to do it.  I find it sad that nowadays we don't want to be village when raising kids anymore.  How different it would be were raising our kids in a village. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would and have with a 13-yo girl.  The response was, “Oh, they’re probably just running around being silly, nbd.” Fair, ok, I used to sneak out at night at that age and I’m fine.

One year later, her dd was fine, but friend was hardcore into drugs by then and has struggled ever since.

I would almost certainly say something at this point, in this neighborhood, but anonymously.   Now that I said that, I realize that I would totally confront the kid if I saw them.  In a friendly, situation-assessing way: Hey, sneaking out, eh?  Big party? Hot date?

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If I knew the family at all, yes, I would let them know. 

If I didn't know them at all, then, no. Probably not. Or, if it were super ongoing, maybe I'd work on getting to know the family and then be able to say something. 

But our neighborhood is pretty "it takes a village"-y, so saying something would probably go over okay with most families here. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would want to know if I were the parent, so probably.    

My now 17 year old used to sneak out and we caught him a few times and I contacted the parents of the kids he snuck out with.

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
46 minutes ago, lulubelle said:

If you knew your neighbor’s teen was regularly climbing out a window late at night, would you tell them?  Whether you knew them well or not at all?

Not me, but an acquaintance just brought this up.

Yep. In a heartbeat. My kids know I’m a snitch and I’ve empowered my neighbors to approach us as well. It takes a village and my neighbors are great. I’ve been known to report HORRIBLE behavior on school field trips too (8th grade band outing at local amusement park…most kids were great. A handful from one school made the experience less great). If it were my child, I’d ABSOLUTELY want to know.

Edited by Sneezyone
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

I would not. It’s none of my business and who knows what’s going on in that house? If the parents are so strict that the child feels the need to sneak out of a window, how would they react if you told them? 

I would have been mortified if someone had told my parents silly things I was doing (which occasionally involved sneaking in late, although I used doors 😉).

I would probably mention to the kid that the escapes had been observed and let kid decide what to do with that information.  You could also post something to the neighborhood listserv, if there is one and if the kid wouldn’t immediately be identified, mentioning that this activity was taking place. Or mention it to a neighbor who is closer to them and could discuss it with either the kid or the parents.

Edited by bibiche
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd either speak to the parents or say nothing at all. Speaking just to the teen creates a shared secret, which is a dynamic I'm not comfortable with.  As a parent, I'd rather be told than kept in the dark (while another adult keeps secrets with my teen). 

  • Like 5
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, I’d speak to the parents.  I’d hope they’d do the same, for me.

If I knew there were domestic issues going on in the house, or suspected, my reaction might differ.  
 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 minutes ago, regentrude said:

No. Not if these people are strangers and I have no idea about the family dynamics. If anything, I would speak to the kid.

I would say something if I were friends with the parents. 

This. I have a friend who climbed out the window to escape an abusive stepfather.  So I would be sure I really knew the situation first. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I live in a small town and while we have only been here a few years and are not well connected everyone else knows everyone it seems. Many of the people in my neighborhood grew up in the neighborhood. A lot of the adults here all went to school together and grew up together. What I would do is tell my friend who knows everyone and their situations and she would take it from there. 
 

I know that is gossipy and sounds like a bad way to go about things but I just wouldn’t get involved not knowing the people. Some people here are really defensive and particularly suspicious of anyone they don’t know. If I said something I might get yelled at or accused of being nosy or creepy watching their kid. I don’t know. People are hotheads and I just wouldn’t get involved with a situation I don’t know more about. Now, my friend knows everyone, and could probably deliver the same message and get gratitude and not the aggression that I might get as an outsider. She would also very likely know whether it is a bad situation in the home or not. 
 

I don’t think anyone around here can sneak around with much for very long. People are very in each other’s business. So if it went on long here I would kind of assume everyone is ok with it. We were new in town and my teens couldn’t get away with anything without it getting reported to me. For the people that all know each other I don’t think secrets keep long. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, bibiche said:

I would not. It’s none of my business and who knows what’s going on in that house? If the parents are so strict that the child feels the need to sneak out of a window, how would they react if you told them? 

 

I just can't even imagine what this means.  Only so strict parents have children who sneak out of the house?  

Teens are impulsive and immature and sneaking out of the house could have deadly consequences. I absolutely would tell.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

I just can't even imagine what this means.  Only so strict parents have children who sneak out of the house?  

Teens are impulsive and immature and sneaking out of the house could have deadly consequences. I absolutely would tell.

IME kids who have very restrictive parents are more likely to sneak around and/or lie than children whose parents are less restrictive. 
 

And I’m not remotely surprised that you would absolutely tell. 😉 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yep, I would tell the parents, immediately. 

And if I discovered that another adult knew such a thing about my teen and didn't tell me, I would be extremely unimpressed with them.

  • Like 7
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, bibiche said:

IME kids who have very restrictive parents are more likely to sneak around and/or lie than children whose parents are less restrictive. 
 

And I’m not remotely surprised that you would absolutely tell. 😉 

Well, sure kids parents who let them do whatever ever they want probably don't have a reason to sneak out.  That doesn't mean the parent who has limits on their teens are somehow abusive.  That is quite the reach.

And I am happy that my character is predictable even if you are trying to insult me.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If I didn't know the neighbors?  I would be very hesitant.

1) How old is the teen, and how do you know that?  If we're talking about a 17yo my actions would probably be different than if it's a 13yo.  And FTR I was carded at age 31, so you really can't tell age by looking.

2) Is it an abusive or neglectful home?

Full disclosure, I snuck out the window when I was a kid (closer to age 10), along with my older & younger siblings.  We were not having sex or doing drugs.  We weren't doing anything smart either ... mostly just flexing our "freedom," though my brothers supposedly snuck into some pools (very dangerous, I know).

If I believed it a good idea to tell the parents, I think the way I would handle it would be to "accidentally" encounter the teen in the middle of her escape / return and loudly converse with her, e.g., "hey Suzie, how ya doing?  Surprised to see you out here so late.  What stores or libraries are open at this hour?  Did you forget your house key?"

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Also, full disclosure, but I wouldn't exist today if it weren't for a then-17.5yo sneaking out a window at night.  (Not my mom or dad FTR.)  I don't recommend it, but I am not sure at what age I would consider it a personal decision.  I guess it would depend on the teen.  Will I let my teens come and go as they please at 17.5?  They will be in college at that point.  I was certainly allowed out of the house (all hours) at that age.

Edited by SKL
Link to comment
Share on other sites

49 minutes ago, regentrude said:

No. Not if these people are strangers and I have no idea about the family dynamics. If anything, I would speak to the kid.

I would say something if I were friends with the parents. 

This exactly, word for word. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

I just can't even imagine what this means.  Only so strict parents have children who sneak out of the house?  

Teens are impulsive and immature and sneaking out of the house could have deadly consequences. I absolutely would tell.

Kids with non-strict parents will say "Hey, I'm going to ______, I'll be back in at ______."  So, there is no reason to sneak.

I may or may not tell the parents about a sneaking kid, depending on what I know about the home situation and if I know what the kid is doing while out.

Edited by fraidycat
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

Well, sure kids parents who let them do whatever ever they want probably don't have a reason to sneak out.  That doesn't mean the parent who has limits on their teens are somehow abusive.  That is quite the reach.

And I am happy that my character is predictable even if you are trying to insult me.

I wasn’t trying to insult you. I am not surprised cos you post on here all the time about being all up in people’s business, whether you know them or not. It’s one of your more remarkable qualities.  And I didn’t say that restrictive parents are necessarily abusive. 

Edited by bibiche
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, bibiche said:

I wasn’t trying to insult you. I am not surprised cos you post on here all the time about being all up in people’s business, whether you now them or not. It’s one of your more remarkable qualities.  And I didn’t say that restrictive parents are necessarily abusive. 

Good gravy.  You don't think that is an insulting thing to say to me?

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, Scarlett said:

Good gravy.  You don't think that is an insulting thing to say to me?

Nah, just an observation. Maybe it was the colloquial manner in which I phrased it. How about “Scarlett, I remark that you are very interested in the welfare of others, whether you know them or not.” I didn’t imagine it was something you weren’t proud of because you have countless posts mentioning your involvement in other people’s affairs. No offense meant.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, fraidycat said:

Kids with non-strict parents will say "Hey, I'm going to ______, I'll be back in at ______."  So, there is no reason to sneak.

I may or may not tell the parents about a sneaking kid, depending on what I know about the home situation and if I know what the kid is doing while out.

Yes, but most kids do have limits and some kids just can't tolerate any limits.  Thus sneaking out without having abusive parents.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not sure whether I would tell or not.

To me, it would make a difference as to whether the teen were 13 or 19.  

Also, what is in the neighborhood?  That might make a difference for me, too.

And, what time of day?  Eleven p.m.?  Four a.m.?

I guess my answer is "maybe".

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, fraidycat said:

Kids with non-strict parents will say "Hey, I'm going to ______, I'll be back in at ______."  So, there is no reason to sneak.

 

I only snuck out when I was up to things I shouldn’t have been doing (mostly watching while friends vandalized people’s yards—I didn’t feel comfortable participating, but I’m now horrified I was there at all). I would hope most parents wouldn’t be cool with hearing their kid was going to go vandalize someone’s house at 2am and be back at 4am. 

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

A bit of detail: girl is 14, adopted, parents separated, older parents (55+) seem to be permissible type of parents, no idea where or with who she is going. No personal information beyond that.

Wealthy suburbs.

Edited by lulubelle
  • Sad 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, lulubelle said:

A bit of detail: girl is 14, adopted, parents separated, older parents (55+) seem to be permissible type of parents, no idea where or with who she is going. No personal information beyond that.

I would lean toward telling in this circumstance.  Though it is hard to advise without knowing them at all.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, lulubelle said:

A bit of detail: girl is 14, adopted, parents separated, older parents (55+) seem to be permissible type of parents, no idea where or with who she is going. No personal information beyond that.

I can't imagine not telling.  Imagine how your friend would feel if something happens to that girl. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 minutes ago, lulubelle said:

A bit of detail: girl is 14, adopted, parents separated, older parents (55+) seem to be permissible type of parents, no idea where or with who she is going. No personal information beyond that.

Wealthy suburbs.

Since I think it’s extremely likely she’s having sex with someone way too old for her, if not being trafficked, yes I would absolutely tell. 

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

Yes, but most kids do have limits and some kids just can't tolerate any limits.  Thus sneaking out without having abusive parents.

You're adding details that I did not include. 
Strict =/= abusive. Strict = strict.

I was speaking only about strict vs. permissive parents because that is the question you asked.

In my personal experience, both as a teen, and as a parent of teens, the strict parents had the sneaker-outers and the permissive parents were at least mostly  aware of who their kids were hanging out with. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

25 minutes ago, lulubelle said:

A bit of detail: girl is 14, adopted, parents separated, older parents (55+) seem to be permissible type of parents, no idea where or with who she is going. No personal information beyond that.

Wealthy suburbs.

In this case, I'm in the probably would let the parents know category.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Junie said:

I'm not sure whether I would tell or not.

To me, it would make a difference as to whether the teen were 13 or 19.  

Also, what is in the neighborhood?  That might make a difference for me, too.

And, what time of day?  Eleven p.m.?  Four a.m.?

I guess my answer is "maybe".

 

 

With the additional information: Yes, I would tell the parents.

She is very young.  And in a suburb, there is really nothing to do in the middle of the night except meet up with someone.  Now, the meet up might be innocent, but, imo, if it were innocent the child wouldn't be sneaking out.

Edited by Junie
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Probably I would.  Depends on what I know about the neighbors and the kid.  The age of the kid also matters to me.  

My older brother’s sneaking out escalated to him running away and ending up on the street.  He got involved in drugs and crime and nearly died of a drug overdose. If my parents had known sooner, they might have been able get him help sooner when that help would have been more effective.  He was sneaking out starting around age 12-13. 

  • Like 2
  • Sad 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

With the added detail about age, I’d definitely let the parents know.  I’m not sure what significance “adopted” has here - is the assumption that she’s in more danger because she was adopted?  I’m not following that part, so going on just the age … yes, I’d let the parents know.  
 

In a random, “we all view posts like this through our own lens” sort of comment … I initially imagined a scenario that involved an older teen (19 or so).  Probably because we’ve had new neighbors move in fairly recently who are not friendly, and it’s been hard to meet them. Their older teen (post high school age) often climbs out a window and sits on a flat part of their roof with a friend when the parents are not home.  This post immediately made me picture that. I haven’t told the parents because he’s older, and I don’t see any danger to anyone.  A younger teen, actually leaving the property … I’d definitely talk to the parents.

Edited by Spryte
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is a hard one, but I think it would be worth mentioning. This actually just brought up a memory. A few years ago, a neighbor I never met came to my door with my child, who'd been riding her bike up and down the street with friends. It was a hilly street, and my daughter didn't look before crossing and nearly got hit by a car. The neighbor saw this and told me what happened. I was very grateful, and I went over bike safety again with all the kids. I knew the guy was only concerned and didn't want to see something tragic happen. So obviously it's not exactly the same situation but I can see some parallels. That girl might not have any idea how dangerous what she's doing can be, and I am sure her parents would want to protect her. 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, lulubelle said:

A bit of detail: girl is 14, adopted, parents separated, older parents (55+) seem to be permissible type of parents, no idea where or with who she is going. No personal information beyond that.

Wealthy suburbs.

In this situation, I would tell.  I was definitely envisioning an older teen.  I just would want to feel with some level of certainty that the parents were not abusive and had the girl's best interest in mind. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Spryte said:

With the added detail about age, I’d definitely let the parents know.  I’m not sure what significance “adopted” has here - is the assumption that she’s in more danger because she was adopted?  I’m not following that part, so going on just the age … yes, I’d let the parents know.  
 

In a random, “we all view posts like this through our own lens” sort of comment … I initially imagined a scenario that involved an older teen (19 or so).  Probably because we’ve had new neighbors move in fairly recently who are not friendly, and it’s been hard to meet them. Their older teen (post high school age) often climbs out a window and sits on a flat part of their roof with a friend when the parents are not home.  This post immediately made me picture that. I haven’t told the parents because he’s older, and I don’t see any danger to anyone.  A younger teen, actually leaving the property … I’d definitely talk to the parents.

Adopted could mean attachment issues.  Which I am not diagnosing, not knowing anything more about the young person.  I am just answering why it could be relevant in some situations. 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is it possible to let them know anonymously?   Yes, that's cowardly, I know.   But if these people are worried that it might seem like they're 'confronting' the parents or that the parents might be upset with them, then maybe a nicely worded short letter in the mail?  
'Hi!  Just wanted you to know that BobbieJo is sneaking out some nights, a very common thing for 14 year olds, by the way!  No judgement!  Just thought you'd like to be aware! '   Yes, like I said that may be cowardly and even weird, but no confrontation, no awkwardness, and a nice word about how very common it is.   This, of course, would only possibly be appropriate if the parents are known pretty well.   

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, lulubelle said:

A bit of detail: girl is 14, adopted, parents separated, older parents (55+) seem to be permissible type of parents, no idea where or with who she is going. No personal information beyond that.

Wealthy suburbs.

Mmm, hmm...yep. Parents definitely need to know. They probably have no idea what this kiddo is doing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...