What would you do?

23 posts in this topic

Posted · Report post

First off sorry about the generic title don't know how to word it better. I was at Hobby Lobby this week and saw a young man (mabey 11 or 12) looking intently at the models trying to make a decision. In my mind I remember my own youth and how unaffordable it seemed to me at that time. So In my mind I was thinking I have extra parts and models I know I won't build and would have liked to offer him something in his interest but don't want to end up on a list where I have to register ( if you Know what I mean) So after a little chit chat we went our separate ways. Now to my question, what would you do and how not to sound like the old guy with candy (models) I truly just wanted to help out a young man who reminded me of myself and I would like to do this in the future. Any help is appreciated. Thanks

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Posted · Report post

Walk away. Too easy for a mom/brother/store employee to report you for harassing a kid.

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Posted · Report post

That is certainly my my fear in this day and age and is exactly what happened. If there was an adult there I may have offered this to them but there wasn't.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Well being 14 I wouldn't be able to help much money wise but other than that i could give him advice and kind of get him started

Edited by Dragfreak

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Posted · Report post

There was a young man and his mom in Hobby Lobby once and he did not have enough money for what he wanted and l was going to give him som money. At the last second l changed my mind because his mother was kind of rud to him and who knows what she may have thought. lf she wanted to she could have gave him some money..

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Posted · Report post

Sad isn't it, this overly P.C., suspicious, busy body, distrustful & fearful world we have now, that you can't be yourself & helpful to encourage a kid in the interest of a hobby!?

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Posted · Report post

While what you wanted to do may have been seen as 'grooming' by other people, I suppose the only way to avoid this situation is to talk the a child's parent before approaching them. I know it sounds silly to announce your intentions to a parent, but there are so many situations in which a child has misplaced their trust in an adult. Another way to help out a younger builder is to invite them and their parent to club meeting or model show, so they can see for themselves that there are genuine people in the hobby who would love to help younger builders or builders just getting into the hobby. I have been studying a course in Community Services and let me tell you, the statistics for the mistreatment of children are very depressing, and the most appropriate way to approach a child is through their parent/caregiver. Instead of sounding like a creepy guy wanting to hang out with a child, you should always explain to the parent who you are, what you do and a non-intrusive/non-suspicious way to help their child with model building (suggesting library books etc). Don't feel bad or 'seedy' for wanting to talk to a child at your LHS, but always make sure their parent knows why you are talking to them. Maybe take a card/pamphlet with some links to model car websites or even a couple of small building tips and advice points.

Its great that you want to help younger builders, the hobby needs more folks like you! :D

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Being from a big family I was taught to help others .

You just can not do that easily anymore :( .

Edited by 1930fordpickup

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Posted · Report post

"let no good deed go unpunished"

box 'em up and donate to the local scout troop. deal with the adults, and walk away knowing you may have started one person on a great hobby.

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Posted · Report post

Statistically in most cases of child abuse the abuser is a family member or friend. So a random bloke buying them model kits is probably not a risk.

But try telling that to the father while he's punching your lights out behind the paint racks...

It's a sad indictment of todays society. In this situation I like to think i'd go home and donate the equivalent value of the kit I might have bought to a children's charity and then try to remember to give some kits to a xmas toy drive.

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Posted · Report post

I completely understand. However, I don't think I would've been afraid to just briefly talk about the kits, some sound building advice and stoke his interest, then move along to give him time to look some more. If you linger, getting away from you may have more value to him than continuing to mull over kits.

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Posted · Report post

Walk away. Too easy for a mom/brother/store employee to report you for harassing a kid.

Ditto. It's not worth the potential hassles.

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Posted · Report post

Sad isn't it, this overly P.C., suspicious, busy body, distrustful & fearful world we have now, that you can't be yourself & helpful to encourage a kid in the interest of a hobby!?

The decision to help lies with each of us, not anyone else. Simply offering to help him pick out a kit, or maybe asking if he had a parent/sibling with him if you wanted to donate some model parts is probably the kindest gesture you could make. Limiting yourself based on what others might potentially interpret your kind, honest, and genuine attempt to help only reinforces the stereotype that your intentions are the opposite.

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Posted · Report post

It's a tough world we live in today. You never know when you've overstepped your bounds, or how people will take your interaction with a child. Sad it is. I don't think the world has gotten much worse, it's just 'out there'. Back in our day there were 'funny uncles' and other bad things that just got swept under the rug. I remember my parents telling me not to talk to strangers or accept car rides from anyone. And that was 50 years ago.

Today things have gotten pretty complex. My club gave up trying to host a kids day show when we couldn't get any response from the school system or the boy scouts. Seems the formality of making sure that none of us were registered offenders overshadowed giving kids the opportunity to learn about model building.

Still, I smiled and waved back at a baby in the doctors office this week. Her mother smiled back. Today I said, "Excuse me honey" to a little girl who wandered in the path of my shopping cart in the supermarket. Her father and I exchanged pleasantries. So there is hope for our world!

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Posted · Report post

Thanks for the response to my query. I do wish times were simpler as I remember, but they aren't and it sounds like my options are limited and I made the right choice under the circumstances.

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Posted · Report post

I have spoken to both the parent and child at the same time as they were looking at the kits in a Hobby Lobby. Otherwise, depending on hosw into supporting the hobby and helping others you are, you could have business cards on you that simply link to a website, like say, modelcarsmag forums... ;)

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Posted (edited) · Report post

It's a tough world we live in today. You never know when you've overstepped your bounds...

Because...

A. Anytime someone feels bad, they've been victimized and someone else is to blame.

B. Lack of coping skills.

C. Loss of community.

The penalties for risking the chance of making someone feel bad outweigh the benefits of making someone feel good, until the simplest gestures of kindness are met with suspicion and contempt. A bit cynical perhaps, but truth none the less.

Edited by Lunajammer

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Posted · Report post

Because...

A. Anytime someone feels bad, they've been victimized and someone else is to blame.

B. Lack of coping skills.

C. Loss of community.

The penalties for risking the chance of making someone feel bad outweigh the benefits of making someone feel good, until the simplest gestures of kindness are met with suspicion and contempt. A bit cynical perhaps, but truth none the less.

Amen, sad but true

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Posted · Report post

I had a somewhat similar situation happen at a HL. Two young boys that were brothers were looking at kits trying to decide which one to buy. The older boy was obviously determined to buy a glue kit. He asked me about a certain kit and how hard was it to build. So, I gave him a quick lesson on skill levels. I asked him if he had ever built one before and he told me no. So, I convinced him to look for kits that were snap togethers. He also told me he wanted a "new" car, not an old one. I started looking for the AMT Showroom Replicas for him. As we were looking, he asked, "how come there are so many old cars and only a few new cars?" I replied, "well, they're mostly built by old guys like me and that's what most of us like." He finally decided on an AMT '09 Challenger. Then we helped the little brother pick out a kit for himself. I directed him towards the Revell Snaptites and he picked out the '63 Corvette roadster because it had the "fire" on it. Then, the older brother wanted to get a can of spray paint. I said, " you better check with your mom or dad before you do that. They may not want you to have spray paint." They took off running and unknown to me, their mother was in the next aisle over probably listening to us the whole time. They came back and the older boy said, "mom said I could have spray paint!". So, I showed him the Testors One Coat paints and he picked out "Purplicious". When we were done, the older brother said, "oh yeah, my mom told me to say 'thank you' for helping us out." I said,"you're welcome. I hope you have fun with them." I had a good feeling helping those little guys out. Hopefully, they'll get the building bug and continue to do it. They may even get their father involved in the hobby. That feeling was something I would have missed out on had I been afraid or felt it was too much hassle to help them out. Most people know how to conduct themselves around children. If you don't act like a creepy old man, you won't be perceived as a creepy old man.

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Posted · Report post

If you don't act like a creepy old man, you won't be perceived as a creepy old man.

Very nice story Roger, with a happy ending. Everyone won.

There are those of us who come across as kindly father / grandfather types. And there are the few who resemble Aqualung! :)

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Posted · Report post

...If you don't act like a creepy old man, you won't be perceived as a creepy old man.

I once pulled over in my work van to call dispatch and wait for my next call. I was reading a book about railway guns when some guy walked up and wanted to know what I was doing. I told him I was waiting for my next call and reading a book. I showed him the book about German railway guns that I was reading. He called my employer to say I was gawking at neighborhood kids. Thankfully, my boss didn't believe him, but that kind of thing could cost someone their job/ruin their reputation. Not worth the risk. Thankfully for him I didn't see what house he came out of or remember his face.

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Posted · Report post

Its said that our society is this way nowdays! I remember when it was different.

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Posted · Report post

That is a nice story Roger, thanks for sharing.

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