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A mother speaks about her offending children

By johnboy 31 May 2013 35

A comment in overnight on a story from earlier in the year was worth a wider audience IMHO.

#62
Imperfect_parent
10:20 pm, 30 May 13

As the mother of these two boys I feel compelled to reveal some facts, not as a defense to their actions, but as an imperfect parent.

The house was abandoned and 10 teenagers (including my sons) decided it would be great on a Friday afternoon to get someone to buy them alcohol and hang out in an empty house…one teen kicks a whole in the wall, others follow, they go way too far and cause over $10,000 worth of damage.

Neighbors see kids leaving, call police. Police attend and most of the kids do a runner from my home where they all ended up. Make it clear to my boys that try need to own their behavior and face the consequences of their actions.

It was aggravate burglary due to entering premises with another. Boys are interviewed and charged, spend the night in the watchtower and are released on bail conditions and curfew. Court has been ongoing for months, restorative justice was attempted in order for my boys to face the impact of their choices-the owners are not willing to go down this path as they live out of state, which is fair and reasonable.

The boys have had an ok childhood, their dad and I split when they were 1 and 2, he is currently a methamphetamine addict in jail, in an out of their lives constantly, ignoring orders and assaults my 14 year old the day before the incident-was my 14 year old angry? Probably…does it make it ok?

Definately not! Am I ashamed of their behaviour? Absolutely! Do I still love and support tem and hope that they learn something from this? Yes, I’m their mother…they have a roof over their head, food in their mouths, love, support and understanding. They don’t have I phones, I pads and all the things they want, but they have all they need.

They made a sequence of very poor choices an try have pleaded guilty awaiting a verdict. They have been referred to external suppor services (a lot easier to get into after they get in trouble), they are taking responsibility for it and they will have to face the consequences. They knew better, they chose not to follow their values and they will suffer the repercussions. I’m a single mother, I work full time, I don’t live in public housing, I don’t har $10,000 and I dont see the parents of the other children involved contributing. My boys chose not to ‘dob’ on their ‘mates’ (no longer friends btw) so they are liable for the whole amount. They have a bank account, $10 per week since they were born for car/overseas trip when they finished school. That sum will be significantly reduced now. They are learning a lesson on the effect of their choices. They are learning about consequential thinking and outcomes. There is some positive in this for them, as there is in everything in life. I do not condone what they did, I am somewhat relieved that they have owned their behaviors and will make amends as much as they possibly can. Does not make it easier for the home owners or anyone else involved.
Hurts to hear people refer to them as grots and scumbags…their past choice do not define who they are, rather how they handle this is what will make or break them. I am also not naive enough to think that this will be their last stupid choice, but I know they have a newfound awareness of consequential thinking that will hopefully give them the courage to realise that it is possible to do the right thing ad have a fun life. I also know that not every decision my children make is a reflection of my parenting-those who do and jump to statements about sterilization and foster care really don’t have empathy as adults.

I am doing the best with what I have, I love my children in all their flaws and realise that no one is perfect-no one makes all the right choices in life…I do not take away from the massive negative impact that their choices led to, just trying to provide some insight into the incident.

What’s Your opinion?


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A mother speaks about her offending children
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wildturkeycanoe 7:35 pm 01 Jun 13

Gotta have a say about this after reading for a few days now.
Why do kids who have had “bad childhoods” use that as a defense when they get in trouble for bad behavior? I have known teens who have had physical and mental abuse all their lives. Two being siblings had different outcomes, one becoming a working member of society, raising children and not a hint of trouble with the law. The other started out drinking and smoking weed at a young age [about 14], went on to a life of the same, theft [from family of all people] , more drugs and several abortions due to unwanted pregnancies.
These two individuals had the same support group, but one ended up going south. Can the bad seed blame their mistakes on their past when the other just took it end their stride, dealt with it and got on to a productive life? I don’t think so. I see it as a way of dodging any responsibility in life and blaming anyone else but themselves. Sure alcohol contributes to this mania, but surely a parent can know where and when their children are and who with. In the case presented to us by the OP, it is stated the “mob” ended up at her house. Surely she knows who these people are, but probably knows the other parents and doesn’t want to get into a fight with any of them.
I think it is extremely sad to see teens drinking at 13 or 14. They are too innocent – or at least should be – for this kind of thing. Society as a whole can be put to blame for this, when the parents are stripped of their rights over controlling their teenage kids. Seeing 12 y.o. children having courts give them the right not to be punished and to do whatever they want without any parental discipline can only lead to what we have degenerated into. Laws only get weaker, penalties become more like a cuddle to make the perpetrators feel better about how they feel, whilst victims get nothing but excuses. The whole world needs to wake up to itself.

IrishPete 6:18 pm 01 Jun 13

Tooks said :

I disagree with you on your previous comment, but we’re in agreement on this one. And they don’t even have to plead guilty on their first mention. They can plead not guilty, wait to receive the hearing brief, THEN plead guilty and get the same discount. It’s wrong.

The discount is adjusted for how late in the proceedings they plead guilty.

Responding to someone else now: Cooperating with the police and providing information that results in different charges, or immunity from prosecution, is a totally different process, and as far as I know has nothing to do with the courts. it’s something the police and prosecutors arrange. Sometimes when I’m feeling really cynical I rail against the whole plea bargaining and charge bargaining situation – I used to talk of it being a triple discount, but I can only remember two now: negotiate with police and prosecutors to get the charge seriousness reduced, or the number of charges reduced, in exchange for a guilty plea; then when you’re sentenced, the Magistrate/Judge gives you a discount for pleading guilty. But you pleaded guilty to lesser charges than you could have been tried for. It’s Americanisation of the criminal justice system, and it stinks. This is how someone arrested for attempted rape ends up sentenced to a GBO for indecent exposure (slight exaggeration). I doubt anyone ever asks the victim(s)’ opinion.

IP

Tooks 1:57 pm 01 Jun 13

bundah said :

@ Tooks

Given you claim that we’ve been given a sanitised version of the truth do you know something that we don’t know in relation to this incident?

Sorry, but I’ll leave it at that.

Masquara 11:36 am 01 Jun 13

someone said :

what the others have said – it sounds like you’re raising two decent kids who are willing to step up when they do the wrong thing.

i can absolutely see how something like this happens, and i’m really impressed with how your family has handled this.

Could you be more equivocal on right and wrong? You are doing this family a disservice by tolerating this disgraceful behaviour. The law and society should come down on them like a ton of bricks, with no “blame the others”. Decent kids don’t trash houses when they get drunk. Just like there are happy and sad drunks, you have to be pretty vile to get this violent on alcohol. There’s something badly wrong with those kids and their friends. I knew some pretty feral, hard-drinking kids during my adolescence and not once did anything remotely like this happen among them.

bundah 11:30 am 01 Jun 13

@ Tooks

Given you claim that we’ve been given a sanitised version of the truth do you know something that we don’t know in relation to this incident?

Postalgeek 10:54 am 01 Jun 13

magiccar9 said :

I actually died a little inside with the horrendous attempt at spelling 5 lines in.

good 2 no. will rite like this mor often. carry on dieing.

Tooks 9:38 am 01 Jun 13

IrishPete said :

p.s. entrenched in our legal system is a “sentencing discount for guilty plea”. I’ve never liked it, because often the offender pleads guilty but doesn’t tell police or the court where the proceeds of the crime went, who the co-offenders are, who they bought the drugs from etc. We should have “sentencing discount for cooperation”, pleading guilty shouldn’t be good enough on its own.

IP

I disagree with you on your previous comment, but we’re in agreement on this one. And they don’t even have to plead guilty on their first mention. They can plead not guilty, wait to receive the hearing brief, THEN plead guilty and get the same discount. It’s wrong.

Tooks 9:36 am 01 Jun 13

IrishPete said :

My sympathies to mum, and to the owners of the house.

Solely in the interests of being pompous and arrogant, I here repeat the first post I put on the other thread:

“A couple of kids broke into a house and did some puerile damage. Now they’re charged with Aggavated Burglary and are labelled “young men”.

Hands up anyone who didn’t break the law when they were a teenager. Yep, breaking into a house is probably at the more serious end, but they’re hardly mass murderers (though The System might try to fix that).

It would be interesting to know who phoned the police and said “I’m reporting an aggravated burglary”. I sounds like it was Aggravated only by dint of there being two of them. It used to be that Aggravated meant “with violence” or “armed”. Now the majority of burglaries are classified as Aggravated because the definition has been widened so much.

IP”

Where do I claim my prize for being right all along?

Admittedly I wasn’t quite so sensitive in later comments about the kids’ family, but I plead provocation.

IP

Right about what? You’ve lost me. In fact, you’re wrong in saying most burglaries are aggravated. Everyone is suddenly fawning over this mother for some reason, when she’s telling a very sanitised version of the ‘truth’.

bundah 9:33 am 01 Jun 13

IrishPete said :

p.s. entrenched in our legal system is a “sentencing discount for guilty plea”. I’ve never liked it, because often the offender pleads guilty but doesn’t tell police or the court where the proceeds of the crime went, who the co-offenders are, who they bought the drugs from etc. We should have “sentencing discount for cooperation”, pleading guilty shouldn’t be good enough on its own.

IP

Actually you would be aware that there are many instances where informants have received sentencing discounts and or immunity from prosecution in order to bring down those involved in organised or opportunistic crime.As far as sentencing discounts for pleading guilty are concerned while it saves money,court time etc it’s a trade off that i’m ambivalent about.

Tooks 9:05 am 01 Jun 13

wrigbe said :

Tooks said :

Conan of Cooma said :

All teenagers get up to no good like this.

Most teenagers aren’t charged with aggravated burglary.

Though clearly eight more Canberran teenagers should have been.

1) You’re assuming she’s telling the truth about there being 8 more offenders (hint: don’t believe everything you read).

2) If the primary offenders won’t name these other offenders, and there were no witnesses to these other offenders, then how can they be charged? Most teenagers aren’t on the forensics database either, so any samples from inside the house are unlikely to come up with matches (yet).

chewy14 7:44 am 01 Jun 13

IrishPete said :

p.s. entrenched in our legal system is a “sentencing discount for guilty plea”. I’ve never liked it, because often the offender pleads guilty but doesn’t tell police or the court where the proceeds of the crime went, who the co-offenders are, who they bought the drugs from etc. We should have “sentencing discount for cooperation”, pleading guilty shouldn’t be good enough on its own.

IP

I fully agree with this.

And I don’t think these kids can think its unfair that there was eight other kids involved whilst simultaneously being unwilling to tell the police who they were.

IrishPete 9:16 pm 31 May 13

p.s. entrenched in our legal system is a “sentencing discount for guilty plea”. I’ve never liked it, because often the offender pleads guilty but doesn’t tell police or the court where the proceeds of the crime went, who the co-offenders are, who they bought the drugs from etc. We should have “sentencing discount for cooperation”, pleading guilty shouldn’t be good enough on its own.

IP

IrishPete 9:13 pm 31 May 13

My sympathies to mum, and to the owners of the house.

Solely in the interests of being pompous and arrogant, I here repeat the first post I put on the other thread:

“A couple of kids broke into a house and did some puerile damage. Now they’re charged with Aggavated Burglary and are labelled “young men”.

Hands up anyone who didn’t break the law when they were a teenager. Yep, breaking into a house is probably at the more serious end, but they’re hardly mass murderers (though The System might try to fix that).

It would be interesting to know who phoned the police and said “I’m reporting an aggravated burglary”. I sounds like it was Aggravated only by dint of there being two of them. It used to be that Aggravated meant “with violence” or “armed”. Now the majority of burglaries are classified as Aggravated because the definition has been widened so much.

IP”

Where do I claim my prize for being right all along?

Admittedly I wasn’t quite so sensitive in later comments about the kids’ family, but I plead provocation.

IP

wrigbe 4:43 pm 31 May 13

Tooks said :

Conan of Cooma said :

All teenagers get up to no good like this.

Most teenagers aren’t charged with aggravated burglary.

Though clearly eight more Canberran teenagers should have been.

Imperfect_parent 4:37 pm 31 May 13

Right. So if the father is a meth addict who assaults one of her sons, why does she continue to leave the child subjected to that sort of treatment? If she is, as everyone is making out, such a loving and caring mother, how can she justify it? Surely, no matter how tight money is, you would do everything possible to protect your loved ones from violence.

Call me heartless but I don’t buy this sop one bit.

Had AVO on kids father, he breached it…hence the jail term

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