Dear Slice of Life,
I am constantly being sworn at by young kids in the street where I live. They are between 9 and 12 years old and are constantly harassing me verbally when I walk past.
I find it really upsetting and dread walking past them.
Am I overreacting?
Thanks for your help,
Harassed and weary!
Dear harrassed and weary
I can sense your distress and I want you to know that your feelings are completely valid. Being subjected to disrespect, especially in your own living space, can indeed be quite upsetting.
Firstly, let me assure you, you are not overreacting. The behaviour you’re experiencing from these young children is inappropriate and it’s natural for you to feel disturbed by it.
However, let’s consider some reasons behind this behavior. Kids often use strong language when they’re seeking attention or expressing frustration. It could be a reflection of their home environment or peer influence. Understanding this doesn’t justify their action, but it may help you approach the situation with a bit more empathy.
Now, let’s talk about what you can do. Communication could be a good starting point. Try speaking to the children calmly, expressing how their words make you feel. Kids often lack the perspective to understand the impact of their actions. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, consider speaking to their parents or guardians if they’re accessible.
For instance, Jane, one of our readers, faced a similar situation. She chose to address it by organizing a neighborhood meeting, discussing the issue in a non-confrontational manner. This not only solved her problem, but also brought her community closer.
Remember, you have the right to feel respected and safe in your surroundings. It’s not an easy situation to navigate, but with patience and tact, I’m confident you’ll find a resolution.
Don’t hesitate to reach out if you need further advice. After all, we’re here to help you gain a better perspective on life’s challenges.
I hope this « Slice of life » proves useful and do keep coming back for more soon!