One Way To Stop Kids From Opening Presents Early: Have Them Arrested

from the modern-parenting-techniques dept

It's holiday season, and for many kids, part of the tradition is trying to figure out what gifts their parents bought them -- though, sometimes that results in kids getting a little too overanxious and jumping the gun by opening their gifts early. In an age where kids expect pretty much instant gratification, perhaps that's not too surprising. In one case in South Carolina, apparently a 12-year-old boy was so desperate for the Nintendo Game Boy his great-grandmother bought him that he opened the package a bit early (she warned him not to open it). Now, there are all sorts of ways to teach your kids a lesson, but this particular mother decided to call the cops to have them charge the kid with larceny. The police complied, though, apparently they have their limits, never putting him in jail: "We wouldn't hold a 12-year-old" (say it in your best "we're not monsters" voice). Still, it seems like these days basic parenting lessons such as not opening your presents early should be doable without involving the authorities -- such as by putting the gifts up for sale on eBay for other children.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    The infamous Joe, Dec 6th, 2006 @ 4:27am

    Memories... sweet memories..

    Doesn't anyone just use coal anymore?

    "Still, it seems like these days basic parenting lessons such as not opening your presents early should be doable without involving the authorities "

    He already has a pending court date for assaulting a police officer and dear sweet mommy plans on sending him to juvie(so says the linked police report), I'd say calling the cops is exactly what this kid needs. That, or a spanking in front of all his friends at school.

    Oh, and 20 days before Christmas is not "a bit early" in my book. :)

     

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  2.  
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    Shag, Dec 6th, 2006 @ 4:57am

    Not a bad idea.

    If you happen to know a cop, then you can start earlier then that.

    It probably will help to set some boundaries, and that yes, there are consequences.

    Especially around that age, start at 10 or so.

    If you are willing to threaten, you are going to need to be able to follow it up.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous, Dec 6th, 2006 @ 5:26am

    Parenting

    Modern day parents have no clue how to keep their kids in line. It should never come down to that. Furthermore just calling the cops and having the cops 'charge' you with something when youre 12... a 12 year old doesnt know why hes being charged. All he will remember is that both his grandmother and the police were @$$holes one christmas.

     

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  4.  
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    Kyle Ward, Dec 6th, 2006 @ 5:29am

    Nothing irks my ass more than screwing up a name, especially in something official, like a police report. Lets all say it together- Nintendo Game Boy. PlayStation Portable. Its not a Sega Game Boy, Dreamcast, the general "Nintendo", game box of weird magic. YOU CANT HAVE A PPLAYSTATION GAME BOY! JESUS H. CHRIST! If you are going to have your 12 year old grandson arrested for opening a present early you better get the f****************g name right.

     

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  5.  
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    Aaron, Dec 6th, 2006 @ 6:30am

    I live in a nearby town and I saw media coverage of this. There is more to this story - the 12 year old is a shoplifter who has a habit of striking police. This is not an otherwise good child. Obviously the parents up to this point have been doing a lousy job, but kudos to them for trying something new to tech the kid a lesson.

     

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  6.  
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    a, Dec 6th, 2006 @ 6:31am

    The great grandmother lived next door. The present was in her house. The mother told the kid not to go to the house. The kid broke into his grandmothers house when she wasn't there.

    Don't believe everything you see in the media.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2006 @ 6:32am

    This is stupid... its just overkill. A kid opens a christmas package MEANT FOR HIM, and you send him to the cops. Its not as though he was stealing or anything...... why are the parents so desperate to keep their kid from opening something early? sheeeesh, glad MY parents didn't do that.

     

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  8.  
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    Sean, Dec 6th, 2006 @ 6:38am

    HAHA!! You got to love the ignorance in parents and there ability to not discipline there children. I would have spanked the kid and grounded him but they should have started that a long time ago. I even will discipline my friends 4yr old if needed when at there house.

     

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  9.  
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    Michael, Dec 6th, 2006 @ 6:49am

    Well, I don't think the police actually CHARGED the kid in this case. And I don't think it was overkilll, but I think it would have been just as effective to take the gameboy and donate it elsewhere.

    The present may hae been meant for the boy, but it certainly wasn't HIS just yet, and he has an obvious disrespect for authority and rules.

    So let him know he blew it, and give it away. Give the boy socks for Christmas.

     

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  10.  
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    CatBandit, Dec 6th, 2006 @ 6:57am

    Not stealing?

    Yes, it was stealing, in spite of the fact that the gift was ultimately to be his (which really has no bearing on the issue or going where you don't live, and taking what is not yours to take - it's not a gift until it is given. It's a desperate act by parental units (including G-Grandma) who have a serious delinquent on their hands.

    Their solution might not be my solution, but they are trying to find a way to exercise disipline for a child in a world that Dr. Spock so totally screwed up with his idiot permissiveness toward children and penalties for parents for exercising normal discipline (and which the courts, and you and I, have allowed to worsen).

    We are reaping what we sewed, and it won't change until we, as voters, tell the courts that their days of meddling in affairs of the family are over.

     

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  11.  
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    Danny, Dec 6th, 2006 @ 6:57am

    The little brat deserved to be arrested.

    I was the youngest of five children, and the only boy, and as I read this story, I felt the sting of recognition. I was quite often a monster as a child, acting out and being a horrid little brat. This mother did the right thing. I don't want to hear "Oh, she's not giving him attention, he just needs love, blah blah wheedle wheedle". NO, this little prat is being a sh*t, and those who say a 12 year old will only remember his family and the authorities were a**holes one christmas, well think this over: Children as young as 3 can begin to sort out the outside world for themselves. Despite what many may think, children are not gullible, naive, innocents. Yes, they are innocent to a degree, but that does not mean they are in the dark. Around 6, children can easily discern from right and wrong, but in most cases they willfully ignore and do things their parents forbade them to because they are ignorant of the concept of consequences when they do wrong because usually, until children approach their teens, many parents are reluctant to take a firm hand with their "pweshuss widdle baybee angel poopsie-pie sugar popkins peanutty luvvy-duv".

    Excuse me while I vomit.

    If my parents hadn't spanked me, I dread to think how I might've turned out. I'm not saying beat the child within an inch of their lives, but as the old saying goes, "Spare the rod, spoil the child." Not everyone agrees with spanking, capital punishment in a child's eyes, but in some cases a child needs to have boundaries set and its place in the pecking order established firmly. If not spanking, then some form of serious punishment, and early on. Any good dog trainer will tell you, the longer you wait to establish who's boss with a new dog in your home, the harder it will be to "break" him kater on. The same with children. If you continue to baby your child when they are past the point of babying, they will become expectant of indulgence. Kids are walking Ids.

    This boy is in a dangerous spot in his life. The mother is at fault because she was irresponsible enough to get pregnant at 15. The mother is NOT at fault because she is working hard to better herself and is unable to be around as a normal, older, "established" woman would be able to and tend to her child. The boy is at fault because he is willfully defiant and unruly. The boy is NOT at fault because due his mothers absence, a presence of discipline and social instruction has not been as present as it should be.

    Of course I could be wrong and the child is just mentally unbalanced.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2006 @ 7:21am

    Wrong Solution

    NEVER call the police unless you want to risk never seeing your kids again and possibly going to jail yourself.

    These police are nothing but paid enforcers of the state/commnuity/etc; working to fill the coffers.

     

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  13.  
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    A nonny mouse, Dec 6th, 2006 @ 7:22am

    Re: Parenting

    Of course a 12 year old knows why he's being charged.

    Children know the difference between right and wrong far earlier than that. In fact the problem is in so many folks assuming that 'Oh well they're too young to know the difference...' and excusing unacceptable behaviour.

     

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  14.  
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    Chris, Dec 6th, 2006 @ 7:32am

    oh man I cannot resist this

    I would love to just walk up and yell "OWNED" in this kids face.

    Yeah, its immature but so is calling the cops for something like this.

     

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  15.  
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    Discipline Learned Early, Dec 6th, 2006 @ 7:57am

    Nothing Beats

    I'm not a regular contributor, but I did get involved in a privacy debate here yesterday. Not to get OT, but just an observation. Many people who were worried about the loss of freedom were ringing alarm bells, breathlessly claiming that our nation was dying as a result.

    I disagree that our nation is dying because of a loss of civil liberties.

    Our republic is in peril because parents will not discipline their children. Shag states that we should set up boundaries, starting at age 10 or so. My friends, if we wait until the child is 10 to provide boundaries, we've lost the child. (Shag, no offense intended)

    Habits begin when the child is young. Very young. Painful stimuli, lovingly applied, encourage children on the right path. My kids had boundaries from the time they could crawl. They're now gifted, intelligent, and creative kids. My oldest asks his mother or I questions about hard issues, because he trusts us.

    Do note that the application of discipline needs to be done with great care and love. The line between discipline and abuse is not overly thin, but when anger is involved, it is easy to go from discipline to abuse.

    When a parent has to resort to an outside agency, as in the story, it's generally a sign that the parent has pretty much done a rotten job. That the complainant was the great-grandparent makes me wonder even more. Is the great-grandparent stepping in because the parent never did?

    If our children cannot manage themselves, they'll find it difficult to manage their businesses, government, and other institutions necessary for a safe and productive society.

     

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  16.  
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    AJ, Dec 6th, 2006 @ 8:14am

    Bah, dont be wimps

    If the kids that nutz, then call the cops.. he was told not to go to his grandmothers house, he did, broke in, and stole the damn game boy. Kids already got a police record, and he's been known to hit people when he doesnt get his way, sounds time to beat the living crap out of em, kid like that reminds me of me. You would of given me a firm talking to and time out, I would have told you to go f$%^ yourself at age 12. Sometimes, not always, but some times.. and some kids... you just gotta take em out back and spank/beat/put in a headlock/ whatever you gotta do to establish who the damn boss is. I know when I was 12, that is ALL i would listen too..

     

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  17.  
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    DEBBIE MEEKER, Dec 6th, 2006 @ 8:15am

    OPENING XMAS GIFT EARLY

    i LOVED THE IDEA OF SELLING THE GIFT OR MAKING THE CHILD TAKE IT TO TOYS FOR TOTS TO GIVE TO SOMEONE WHO HAS NOTHING. WE GOT A CALL ABOUT A 5 YR. OLD TODAY WHO KILLED THE NEIGHBOR'S CAT, NOW THAT IS A REASON TO CALL THE POLICE.

     

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  18.  
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    franky bones, Dec 6th, 2006 @ 8:39am

    you need a freaking permit to drive a scooter, but any retard to can have kids...frankenstein didnt build himself, in this case he was put together most likeley out of soda and kfc and tv and a few divorces...trash makes trash. put the whole lineage of this family in a sludge mine somewhere and fill it in...

     

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  19.  
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    benji, Dec 6th, 2006 @ 8:44am

    Hooray for Gifts...

    haha...i fiind this really funny...but at the same time this is really serious, people nowadays cant control their own kids..let alone their own lives, why do you think our "GREAT NATION" is going to the sh*ts...it all starts at the home....and we cant even get that right...

    what this lady did may be a bit drastic, but iif you looked at the police report ( im not sure if its true or not but i did see it on the police report ) it said that earlier he was kicked outa school and is being tried for assult

    was it drastic?? or not drastic enough?? this lady needs to get a handle on her kid...and this kid ( 12 years old or not!!!) needs to get it together. every thinks that oh..he's only 12...to hell with that....he knows right from wrong along with the rest of american preteens as well as teens. Why give us teens the right to go out and do whatever the hell we want...its not right...and many adults are paying for it unfortunately..

     

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  20.  
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    David Beoulve, Dec 6th, 2006 @ 8:55am

    Re: Nothing Beats

    I have four kids. You're absolutely right - you have to start teaching them right from wrong from the time they are able to reach out and pull their sister's hair or bite their mommy's breast. Consistently, lovingly, they learn the right behavior.

     

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  21.  
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    dataguy, Dec 6th, 2006 @ 9:01am

    Re: Wrong Solution

    By calling the police but not having him charged (breaking and entering, etc.) the lesson the grandmother may be teaching this kid is that the police are more bark than bite. My guess is that by the time this kid finds out otherwise it will be too late.

     

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  22.  
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    Anon, Dec 6th, 2006 @ 9:06am

    Odd

    The first link leads to more details with a photo/scan of the incident report. However, it talks about a "Playstation Game Boy"...?

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2006 @ 9:08am

    There is a part missing from the story. Parent will not call cops to stop a kid from opening their present. There is no way thats going to happen because parents know their kids very well. Its also bad parenting when they can't control a 12 year old kid. There is a saying " Shape the clay while its soft" and it goes similar for the kids. How u want to raise your kid is all depend on how u train them while they are little.

     

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  24.  
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    satan, Dec 6th, 2006 @ 10:35am

    You Can't

    You can't charge the kid if his name is on it. It obviously belongs to him.

     

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  25.  
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    Vogue, Dec 6th, 2006 @ 10:40am

    Right and Wrong?

    Are we as a whole really and truly able to look at another person and claim they don't know right from wrong?? I have a 2 year old who knows it is wrong to take things that aren't his. Whether we are in the store or at someone's house, etc, my 7 year old and my 2 year old know that there is such a thing as respect and they know how to exercise it. Anyone who thinks that a 10 or 12 year old doesn't know better is in serious need of therapy! While it may seem extreme to have involved the police, sometimes kids who make bad choices need a reality check. And as my mother always said to me, "This hurts me more than it does you." I always thought she was just a mean ol' bitch until I had my own kids and had to be the enforcer and disciplinarian. Let me tell you. My mother received the biggest apology from me!

    The sad part of all of this is that many times the police don't get involved when they need to, and at other times they get involved and over react where no true hazard exists. There is definitely room in our judicial system for a bit more definition on what, when, where, how, and who should be involved. Just last week I reported a drunk driver who had just beat in someone else's car and the police let the drunkard go. They said they couldn't do anything about it. It is my opinion that it is who you know and not what you know that counts. Had I been best friends with the DA, and made that known, I'm sure some action would have been taken. So definitely room for better definition judicially. Maybe we need police to police our police! And oh yeah, maybe people need to quit worrying about it and just give their kids the good spanking they deserve. I had a lady in the store tell me I couldn't spank my kid. And I told her I certainly could. I told her to mind her own business or I would spank her too! And like I tell my kids, if you ever think I've gone beyond disciplining and have entered into the realm of abuse, feel free to pick up that phone and call the police. Because I'm sure "the system" could do a better job of raising my kids than me as a concerned parent who isn't afraid to lay down the law. NOT! The system is notorious for producing social misfits and failures. What kids need is a good parent who wants to parent, knows how to parent, and isn't afraid to interact and be an adult. Nuff said!

     

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  26.  
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    Pixel Rider, Dec 6th, 2006 @ 11:00am

    What ever happened to a good old belt, switch (aka tree branch), or a plane old bare hand? My parents had no problem using any of those on me when i overstepped my bounds. guess in this age of sue everyone, parents are just afraid to use physical punishment.


    also, don't wait till they are 10 or so, start when they can crawl for Christ sake. children begin developing ideas about life well before 10 years old.

     

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  27.  
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    Parent of 8 YO, Dec 6th, 2006 @ 11:05am

    All of you missed something

    With any child that is attending a public school these days, if for some reason you spank your child for bad behavior, or maybe slap your child for a smart or obscene mouth, you risk the attention from the school didtrict your child is attending. If your child is feeling sad from the punishment and happens to convey this to the teacher, you risk child services coming to your house and being investigated for child abuse. We, as parents are forced to restrain ourselves to the point of letting our children get away with things we do not want them to. Sure, you can put them in "timeout" or ground them, but for my 8 yo this does nothing. We spend a lot of time trying to teach right from wrong to our child, but even that does not sink in at this young age. Personally, I am tired of having to be concerned about what may happen to me if I punish my child with a spanking. The school systems and the government need to get out of how I raise my children.

     

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  28.  
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    Old enough to know better, Dec 6th, 2006 @ 11:15am

    Re: Parenting

    " a 12 year old doesnt know why hes being charged"

    What? You're kidding me right? You must come from a real stupid family if they can't understand what they did to get arrested. Then again, it is this very attitude of making excuses for people who do the wrong thing, empowering them to continue their behavior. I say bring caining into American justice. :)

     

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  29.  
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    The Judge, Dec 6th, 2006 @ 11:16am

    Re:

    I guess you must be 12 and you think you can do whatever you want too.

     

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  30.  
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    Oh no you don't, Dec 6th, 2006 @ 11:17am

    Re:

    Touch my four year old without my permission and you will be picking your ass up off the ground.

     

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  31.  
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    Chad, Dec 6th, 2006 @ 11:22am

    Remember the other ones...

    What's over looked is that for everyone one of these kids there are a dozen good ones. Let's not totally cast aside the youth of America because the media picks up on one bad apple.

     

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  32.  
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    a, Dec 6th, 2006 @ 12:48pm

    Shut the hell up

    Kids today are smarter, stronger, faster, do more things and volunteer more than any generation of kids ever.

    Parents today screw their kids up just as much as parents did in the 20's, 30's, 40's and 50's. Nothing changes, you are a parent, of course you are going to screw you kids up, that's part of the job of parents.

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2006 @ 4:41pm

    Re: Shut the hell up

    And you're what age, 12?

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2006 @ 6:01pm

    Re:

    i think you completely missed the point of the article

     

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  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2006 @ 6:11pm

    Nothing irks my ass more than screwing up a name, especially in something official, like a police report. Lets all say it together- Nintendo Game Boy. PlayStation Portable. Its not a Sega Game Boy, Dreamcast, the general "Nintendo", game box of weird magic. YOU CANT HAVE A PPLAYSTATION GAME BOY! JESUS H. CHRIST! If you are going to have your 12 year old grandson arrested for opening a present early you better get the f****************g name right.


    i think you completely missed the point of the article was response to this comment

     

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  36.  
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    |333173|3|_||3, Dec 6th, 2006 @ 7:26pm

    Read the comments before you post your own, and at least then you won't look like such idiots.

    It is one thing to go and have a look at the presents before thaey are wraped up, or to poke them a bit to see what's inside if they are in your own house, but it is another matter altogether to break into a neighbor's house and steal an item just because you thought it would be given to you for Christmas. Still, some parental discipline might have helped.

     

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  37.  
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    tyler, Dec 7th, 2006 @ 8:00pm

    hmm well maybe if the mom didnt have him when she was FIFTEEN, he wouldve turned out better. immature. like mother like son.

     

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  38.  
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    bob, Dec 21st, 2007 @ 2:32pm

    dont like it

    A child who is under arrest is going to hate us for ever when they find out it is us who did that!! That is my desision.

     

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  39.  
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    cvt, Dec 21st, 2007 @ 2:42pm

    N O no

    NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

     

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  40.  
    identicon
    cvt, Dec 21st, 2007 @ 2:45pm

    Re: N O no

    LLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVVVVEE IT

     

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