It seems like I can’t get on social media anymore to be nosey in military spouse type groups without large amounts of complaints. Facebook groups have literally turned into unofficial ICE customer service outlets for the digital age. Chief among the complaints I have seen are mischievous children on military installations. Now that we’re in the month of the military child, I wanted to honor the little critters. It’s not easy being a military kid. Here is why:
Complaint: “Oh my gosh, there are some really disrespectful teenagers out here talking about inappropriate things.” Uhh..Okay? I think most of us cannot tell a lie and say we weren’t potty-mouthed teens at some point. As an adult, it’s also not unheard of to do a spot correction on children if they are using inappropriate language around smaller children.
Complaint: “There is a group of children outside who keep on tracking dirt onto the sidewalk and making so much noise that I can’t even keep my window open because they are disturbing my darling poodle, Beaver.” I see this one a lot. I mean, kids go outside and play…it’s what they do. I know it might be a little less tolerable for those without children, but I think for parents it just comes with the territory. I’ve had friends complain to me about being waken up at 8am by children playing outside. All I could think was, “You’re able to sleep that late??”
Complaint: “If you’re the parents of either of the teenagers showed in this picture that I very creepily obtained by low crawling through the grass that housing doesn’t keep mowed very well..you might want to let them know that holding hands and kissing is disgusting.” Okay, come on. I think we can all look back with some nostalgia at being young and in love. I also wouldn’t advise people to post pictures of other people’s children without consent. I mean, back in the day people parented without social media..
Complaint: “These kids are out of control! They’re out playing ding dong ditch again and I can’t take it anymore. Who raised these kids? My infant will never be this way because I will raise him to be an angel who comes home, does homework, and sits down to crochet with me. If your kid plays ding dong ditch, I just assume you don’t love them.” This is always my favorite complaint because it sparks a huge debate every time someone complains about it. Kids will be kids, folks. Part of childhood includes ding dong ditch. I do agree that it’s disrespectful. Again, I won’t pretend that I didn’t play it when I was young. It’s part of mischief that kids get into. I will say that the source of this complaint usually doesn’t have children that age of their own so they can’t relate.
Complaint: “These crusty behind kids keep on running through a corner of my unfenced, bare government-issued housing yard and I’m not having it. Tell your kids to learn respect for people’s property.” The yards in question are never fenced in and share an invisible boundary with common areas like fields and spaces between houses. Some kids run and play, some stay indoors and play with electronics all day.
It’s hard being a military kid. I think that sometimes we forget what childhood was like. We forget that we pulled off the same stuff and got into mischief and even trouble. Children need guidance and are not fully developed or mature. A smile and friendly reminder usually go a long way when it comes to speaking with children. Sometimes the best approach is to take a deep breath and realize that it isn’t the end of the world. Food will still appear on your table if loud children are outside playing.