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Old 25.06.2011, 22:19
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Children climbing through open windows ?!?

I'm temporarily living with my parents in Switzerland. I have a brother and sister here too, though their stay is slightly more permanent, as they are 10 and 11, respectively. We live in a ground floor apartment and, because of the hot weather lately, we open the shutter slats and window every morning and leave them open throughout the day, unless we're physically leaving the house. We don't open the shutters themselves as we have no curtains or blinds inside and we don't want to have to head out every morning and every evening, pinning the shutters to the walls outside to stop them from swinging and slamming in the wind.

Earlier today, my 10 year old sister found one of her friends in her bedroom and a group of friends outside the window, leaning in and looking around. Turns out that they had reached through the shutter slats and unlocked the shutters themselves, proceeded to open then and pin them back, then push the window fully open and one of them had managed to climb in. Nobody was in the room at the time so the first person to notice was my sister, when she returned to her bedroom for whatever reason.

My sister, being rather shy and not keen on confrontation, decided to play along and then invite the rest of them in. When we (me and my parents) saw them in the house with her, we thought she had invited them in, so thought nothing of it. Later, she started complaining that the girl that she had found in her room had picked up her Nintendo DS, started playing it and deleted a character from one of her games, a game she got for her birthday three months ago and a character she had been playing on since that date. It was then, after they had gone, that we learnt how they had got into the house.

When my mum heard, she said 'oh don't worry, they're just kids, they're only having a bit of fun'. When my dad heard me protest against her reasoning, my dad's response was something along the lines of 'this isn't the UK, there's no ASBO culture', trying to suggest that kids here are more mature than those in the UK so we don't need to be worried about kids climbing in and robbing stuff.

But I think it's ridiculous. How can they not see anything wrong with these 'friends' of my sisters opening a set of poorly locked, but clearly closed, shutters and then climbing into the apartment through the window.

Am I missing something here? Is opening closed shutters and climbing through windows, into people's homes, uninvited some kind of socially acceptable activity for children here in Switzerland?

I appreciate that I'm a guest, both in this country and in my parent's apartment, so if they say something is OK, I shouldn't expect them to suddenly change their tune because I have an issue with it, but this ... well ... it seems ridiculous to me!

Am I overreacting?
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Old 25.06.2011, 22:23
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Re: Children climbing through open windows ?!?

In a word no!
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Old 25.06.2011, 22:29
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Re: Children climbing through open windows ?!?

Calling first, or using the old fashioned way- the front door is basic manners.
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Old 25.06.2011, 22:31
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Re: Children climbing through open windows ?!?

Wow! I'm with you. But then I'm not Swiss...
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Old 25.06.2011, 22:32
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Re: Children climbing through open windows ?!?

No, this isn't normal behavior, even for a "friend" (or worse, a group of friends).

Maybe your sister could let her friends know their lack of manners wasn't appreciated by her family.
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Old 25.06.2011, 22:45
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Re: Children climbing through open windows ?!?

Ask mom and dad 'What are the locks for then?'
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Old 25.06.2011, 22:46
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Re: Children climbing through open windows ?!?

No you are not overreacting, in my opinion. My experience has been that sometimes children here are doing things that their parents would not allow them to do - if they knew they were doing it.
Also even if parents do think it is ok to do it they should abide by the standards of the home they are visiting.
I have come to the conclusion that although school, kindy etc may have different ideas to the ones I have in my home, I still expect my children and visiting children to abide by my rules in my home. Pauses to take a breath!
I feel quite strongly about this. My house, my rules!
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Old 25.06.2011, 23:40
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Re: Children climbing through open windows ?!?

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I appreciate that I'm a guest, both in this country and in my parent's apartment, so if they say something is OK, I shouldn't expect them to suddenly change their tune because I have an issue with it, but this ... well ... it seems ridiculous to me!

Am I overreacting?
That is very bizarre behaviour, which I would certainly not tolerate. Years ago one of our children had a friend who would just walk into our house. At first I didn't realize that he didn't ring the bell. You know how kids are so excited when their friends are coming over, they wait by the door in anticipation of their arrival and I assumed that may have happened. But one weekend morning I was shocked when the boy just walked in. I asked him if he tried to ring, he said no, he told me that at his home everyone they know just walks in. Well I told him at our home, everyone rings the bell. So he asked, even people you know? I replied yes, even people I know.

He was a polite boy and I think he was doing what he thought was appropriate.

In your own house, you make the rules.
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Old 26.06.2011, 00:25
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Re: Children climbing through open windows ?!?

I would have a quiet word with your sister about whether these children really are her friends as it's possible she is being intimidated or even bullied by them. No 'friend' breaks into your bedroom and messes up your stuff with a crowd watching. Especially if you sister is the quiet type, she may be vulnerable to being pushed around. This incident reminds me of things that happened at my school. Kids are mean. Your sister may feel more able to confide in her brother than her parents. I hope I am wrong about this.
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Old 26.06.2011, 00:35
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Re: Children climbing through open windows ?!?

What worry me the most is that they opened something that was closed.

I would ring the parents.
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Old 26.06.2011, 01:05
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Re: Children climbing through open windows ?!?

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What worry me the most is that they opened something that was closed.

I would ring the parents.
We have a few kids in our village who are troublemakers. They are in Kindergarten. Trying to talk to the parents is a total waste of time. If they were doing their job as parents, their kids would be better behaved. The have this "kids need to be kids approach, let the kids sort it out for themselves attitude. " One day the grandmother of one of the children was outside, so I decided to fill her in. Well, she was horrified, she said she knows her grandaughter can be easily influenced by these two other girls. She thanked me for telling her. She said the parents of her granddaughter both work, and don't know what it going on most of the time but she was going to enlighten them. Things got a bit better after that. I also think the girl in question wanted to be friends with these girls and participating in these antics was how she thought she would accepted. I noticed she plays with other children now and less with these girls.

We are surrounded by kids, and I have to say it seems that with the kindergarten and young primary school children there is more trouble amongst the girls rather than boys.
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Old 26.06.2011, 11:16
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Re: Children climbing through open windows ?!?

I think the parent's attitude a tad weird. Decency is also respected here, good manners, nobody I know who is local would be so ok with this. If you can't talk to your folks about this, suggest maybe your sis could need a back up in this and as sibling, though, it's your house too, so I would bitch those little things out of my house in no time .
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Old 27.06.2011, 12:20
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Re: Children climbing through open windows ?!?

If kids can climb through windows, so can adults. And I don't think adults would be there just to play on the computer....

I lost my keys once, was living in a ground floor flat. The shutter was down and the window open. I was able to push the shutter up to get into my flat, bottom in the air!!! Not very ladylike - but i did it!!!
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Old 27.06.2011, 12:36
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Re: Children climbing through open windows ?!?

And I thought I was non-confrontational. Of course you're reacting sensibly. At the very least this deserves a call to the parents with a simple request to explain to their kids that you don't go into people's houses uninvited.
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Old 27.06.2011, 17:18
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Re: Children climbing through open windows ?!?

it is not normal. defo not. but i dont think these kids have had any thoughts about it. though i have read in newspapers that some kids gang up an break into familys homes etc. i dont know what to do. i think id write a letter to all the kids parents involved to inform them what happened and that i dont want to stress anybody, but that i expect that its not going to happen again. otherwise i had to inform the police.

Last edited by flow23; 27.06.2011 at 17:37.
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Old 27.06.2011, 17:29
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Re: Children climbing through open windows ?!?

Ive had kids come in through the terras door. we live on the ground floor and even tho we have a little fence they think the terras is a way of passage..... I yelled at them ones; not in a mad way but saying i dont want to see it again. they havent done it since.....


BTW this is how many robberies happen these days. They send in the kids through the small windows, make em grab everything and climb out. as they are minors they face nearly no punishment.....
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