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Doing Well by Children and Youth in an Inner City



 
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LIGHTNINGLAD
Posts: 165
10/5/13 1:15 P

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Another sad truth is that people are hiding , to some measure, what they are honestly thinking which is If I HAVE to be here, I really do not want YOU to be here. I wish I could avoid have to deal at all WITH YOU..

Regretfully, That is how my mother often responded to the people who lived around she my father, my siblings and I as we grew up in the Southwestern Bronx. What made these thoughts and opinions of my mother is that she did not hide those vies. As time went on, She expressed them more frequently, loudly and repulsively to any and all she came across.

This added greatly to the struggles of my boyhood and youth as people found out that I was the son of The Bigot, The Slanderer, The Trouble Maker ,The Insulter and The Hater.

My mother has an October Birthday- She passed on in 2001. She claimed several dates during this month as her birthday. Thus seeing THIS situation going on around me NOW and remembering my mother creates a fascinating juxtaposition.



Johnny is a winner! I want to be able to live it as well as write it!


 


LADYCJM
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10/5/13 1:01 P

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Interesting point about the people who may have lost their homes. I could see that making them a bit bitter and angry.

I've never lived in an enclosed apartment complex so I can only guess at what the issues are. Growing up living on the west coast/southwestern states things were pretty open and kids had a lot of room to play. From what I've seen and read about, I think it's a lot different in areas like the OP is writing about.

Again, I think as Anarie said the trick is figuring out a way to say you can play over there, it will be more fun versus you are in the way here.



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LIGHTNINGLAD
Posts: 165
10/5/13 1:00 P

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I quite agree that either "Adjusting to and/ or Accepting what is going on where you are right now or going to/ moving to where can get what you are seeking and desire " is a mature, wise and adult response.


Sadly , What happens is that some will say, " I'm stuck here, This is what I can afford" and then glower over, stew in or rage over what they feel has been " foisted upon them.". That is a very small pitiful, self-sabotaging, self- diminishing and petty way to live!

I've learned , the hard way, that living that way is imposing a personalized hell upon yourself.!

Edited by: LIGHTNINGLAD at: 10/5/2013 (13:02)
Johnny is a winner! I want to be able to live it as well as write it!


 
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ANARIE
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10/5/13 12:24 P



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Well, yes, I suppose people who couldn't hang onto their homes are likely to have a "get off my lawn!" attitude wherever they live.

I agree with keeping kids out of parking lots for their safety, and out of hallways and stairways for the safety of others. But you can't keep them from fighting and hollering. Kids make noise. If you live near kids, you get commotion. If you want quiet and dignified, shop around a little more for an "adults only" community.



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LIGHTNINGLAD
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10/5/13 6:05 A

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I am told, it is hard to believe however, that part of the " Why can't you KEEP Your!!!! Children!!!! quiet, calm, controlled and easy to deal with ? " is a product of national economic woes .

The claim is the people who had homes they lived within and who were barely hanging on in better times lost their homes after the Fall of 2008 wound up in communities like Virgionia Village.

They are the most likely ones who seek to demand " An attractive asthethically -pleasing, calm and dignified" community.



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LADYCJM
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10/5/13 1:15 A

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I'll play the devils part here.....
I do NOT want to have to dodge your kid playing in the parking lot.
I do NOT want them damaging my car with their bikes and scooters.
I do NOT want to have worry about running over your kid because he is on his big wheel or hiding under my car.
I do NOT want to have to weave my way around your kid and his junk in the hallway or entry when I'm trying to bring in my groceries, wheel in my stroller, roll in in my wheelchair or otherwise navigate the way to my front door.
I do NOT want your kid rollerblading, skateboarding or otherwise riding anything up and down the hallways. (Knock any old ladies over lately?)
I do NOT want to listen to your kids fighting, arguing or otherwise making loud noise when I am home trying to relax, watch TV or sleep.

Makes you a little more sympathetic to the other side, I hope.

Now, having said that, the management does need to provide an appropriate place for the kids to play. Whoever is in charge of the kids needs to make sure that that is where they play.

And the rules need to be enforced fairly, as in they apply to everyone, including managements children.

Anarie had some great ideas, especially management promoting the playground and learning how to to enforce the rules in a way that it is not negative.



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ANARIE
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10/5/13 12:10 A



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Nobody likes to be told "you can't..." no matter how the sentence ends. I have had several jobs where I have had to enforce rules that mean someone doesn't get to do something they REALLY want to do, or something they really need to do. I once had to turn away a doctor from the state medical board exam on the last date she could have taken it. She had to quit practicing one of her specialties for most of a year. And I did it without making her mad at me.

You just don't say "you can't." You find a way to give the same information in a sentence that starts "You can" or a question that starts "Can you?" In the case of the doctor (who had forgotten to bring valid ID,) the words "You can't take the test" were never spoken. I said, "You can start up to an hour late, so let's see what we can do to get that ID. Can you call a neighbor to bring it to you?" If you give people an alternative, even if it's a totally stupid one, they start thinking of the situation as a problem to solve, not as a rule being imposed.

At my job now, I have to keep people out of a restricted area that they think is going to be interesting. When they say, "Can we go down there?" I don't say no. I say, "There's a much better view from the observation point up the road. That's on the way to A, B, and C which I'm sure you're planning to visit, right?" Then they start talking about why they are or aren't planning to see A, B, and C and they leave happy, without even realizing they've been turned away from the restricted area.

I agree with others who've said that if you're moving in a few months and you don't have kids, you don't have a dog in this fight and it's best to stay clear. The management has already slightly blown it by giving out a list of where kids *can't* play, but if they ask you, you could suggest, "What if you make a poster/list of 'Top 10 Best play areas at Virginia Village!" They could even have a little "Check out the playgrounds!" party one Saturday-- for the price of a pinata and some punch and cookies, they could buy themselves half a million bucks worth of good will and vandalism prevention.

Never tell people there's a problem. Just go straight into suggesting solutions.

So while



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LIGHTNINGLAD
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10/4/13 9:53 A

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I do not work for Virginia Village. I do live within the complex and I do note the tension that this more vigorous enforcement of the rules by the NEW owner and management team has fostered.


I think most of us wonder how people who are hired to enforce rules that are not popular can go about their jobs without making things even tenser.

Johnny is a winner! I want to be able to live it as well as write it!


 
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LEC358
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10/4/13 9:45 A

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Organize/referee a couple of pick-up soccer games in the area? Everybody loves a good game (especially when someone else organizes it :P). That way it keeps the kids active and having fun while not breaking the rules of the complex.

If you're charged with enforcing the rules (so you're working for the landlord?) just make sure that you're applying the rules fairly to *everyone* in the complex. That way you're not singling anyone out. The best thing that anyone has ever said about an enforcer is that they were fair. As long as you stick to that standard, you can't go too wrong.

ETA: Like Nausikaa said, you're leaving in 3 months so this isn't really a fight you can take on and win in that short period of time. Best you can do is keep everything as fair as possible.

Edited by: LEC358 at: 10/4/2013 (09:48)

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LIGHTNINGLAD
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10/4/13 9:32 A

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One of the tense issues is that some of the older kids become a rather surly and defiant when their places to " let off steam and be kids."- as some might say- are challenged and disallowed?

Another tension is the very sensitive issues of " We are being treated this way because we are not rich, white or born in your country."

If you have to ENFORCE the rules, Is there a good way to enforce them and not provoke thoughts of discrimination or being singled out ?

Johnny is a winner! I want to be able to live it as well as write it!


 
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NAUSIKAA
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10/4/13 8:44 A

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Given that you are about to leave, this isn't really your fight.

The apt complex may have received complaints and be responding to those. MY opinion is that kids should be able to play in those areas, because like you say, they're more likely to be supervised in some way if they are visible from windows, but my opinion is of no worth in this case. It would be nice if every apt complex had a safe, enclosed playground - maybe tenants could suggest reducing the size of the parking lot to put one in. But these kinds of things take months if not years, you will be long gone.



SHERYLDS
SHERYLDS's Photo Posts: 11,520
10/3/13 6:59 P

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I grew up in a housing project in the Bronx...
Having kids playing near cars isn't a good idea...they can run out from between cars or they can dent a car with their balls or skateboards and then you have to deal with angry adults.
Having kids hanging out in stairways or lobbies...gets taken over by older kids...then you have a lot of intimidation, sometimes drugs/drinking, and lots of dangerous things can happen away from other witnesses...again..not a good idea.
It is easier to monitor a play area that is out in the open...it's also easier to keep it clean and drug free.

USA EST


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MKMMARTY
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10/3/13 5:52 P

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Inner city or not I lived in an apartment before where the superintendent would yell at my child if he even stepped on the grass leading up to the front door. He would scold my wife whenever I was not around but was always polite to me - I think he was scare of me and rightly so.
Our solution - after only a couple of months was to move out and buy our own home - some how the apartment complex did not mind us breaking a lease... so much the better...
(my wife and child were newly immigrants)



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LIGHTNINGLAD
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10/3/13 5:21 P

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I will go on to state, in a strong way, that my HEART does go out to these young people. I lived the First 17 and a fraction years of my life in a run-down, extremely dangerous and most gritty and unlovely section of The Southwestern Bronx ---- alternatively living near either Fordham Road or the Grand Complex- technically- within walking distance of Yankee Stadium.

I also played where the rules say I should not play- but- to be forthright- There, truly ,was not an easily available and reliably safe and secure place to play and be a traditional child and youth.

Yet, I do know that people who ------. Do not want to be tripped by, collide into or inadvertently be injured by playing children. They do not want their cars damaged by the actions of children at play.

So, Parents? Children? Whoever cares for a given child or youth ? People who don't want to deal with messy problems? , People who want Aesthetics uber alles and who also consider children climbing or hanging on trees on a sidewalk or in a parking lot as a horror that must not be permitted never ? Who should get the winning vote in THIS situation?

- Johnny -

- Johnny -

Edited by: LIGHTNINGLAD at: 10/3/2013 (17:31)
Johnny is a winner! I want to be able to live it as well as write it!


 
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LIGHTNINGLAD
Posts: 165
10/3/13 5:06 P

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I am in a quandary. I live in a close- in suburb of DC that is truly inner city in effect. I will be leaving the area in a little over 3 Months moving for romance, love, a calmer life and for options that I find pleasing in rural central Kentucky.

My Current Living Area is a spartan one. I live in an apartment complex. My building, as all the ones in this complex, face a black topped often crowded parking lot. I'm living where, to be honest, I can afford to live

My Apartment building, as do the 20 or so in this complex, have many large families living within them and thus, many children and youth reside here.

This complex was recently sold and a new Owner and Management team NOW operate it. A letter was sent out 2 weeks ago concerning where the children and youth of the complex play.

The letter STERNLY details that the common area of the complex must not be used a play area. No playing on or near the parking lots, the side walks, the steps or the hallways of the buildings of this community.

The aesthetics of the community, we are told, are not to be compromised and people are not to have their personal property put at risk we are additionally told.

We are reminded that the only place to play in the community is the Designated Playground and Picnic Areas..

However, Many of these children seem to be people who are new or fairly new to living in The US. The same is often true of their families. Parents work two or more jobs are are gone all hours of the day and night! To be honest, Some seem to be in the charge of people who seem to be rather indifferent towards them. Others are in the Care of older siblings or older young people who are NOT related to them.

I was recently told that it may well be best for these children to play right next to and in front of where they live- This permit them to be watched by someone looking at them from a window of the apartment that they live in.

This was a described as a not wonderful but what works solution. This does create tension as people want people to do something about what should not be allowed to transpire. This has led to some shrill, intense and long arguments.

If you lived here, How would you respond to this matter? Ignore it? Ask that THE RULES be Enforced, Remember in 3 Months that you will be gone ? or ??????

- Johnny -

Johnny is a winner! I want to be able to live it as well as write it!


 
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