I’m 11 years old and I’m in trouble with the guards
Hello Alex I am 11 years old I am nearly 12 and I have started 4 fires already I do prank calls to 999 and I am in trouble because the guards came to my house and took away my phone and everyone in my family they took away their phones when I was in trouble before the guard told me that I am not 12 so then he said he can’t do anything but I am scared of getting in trouble and I only do this stuff because my friends dare me to do it
Hi, and welcome to Ask Alex.
We would like to thank you for trusting us with your deepest thoughts, feelings and questions.
You’re worried about getting into trouble and the guards have already been involved by coming to your house and taking your phone. You have said that you have started fires and done prank calls to 999 but have said “I only do stuff because my friends dare me to do it”.
What did you feel or think before setting the fires and making the prank calls? Is it something that you jumped into headfirst without thinking of the potential consequences? The fact that you have some fear around getting into trouble is a very good start towards making a change for the better.
It sounds like your friends dare you to do things that are dangerous and get you into trouble. It may be good idea to have a proper think about how important these so-called friends are if they are happy to encourage you do things like this. I know it can be hard when you are in a group who are daring and egging you on to do stuff but at the same time, you have got to use your head. If a friend dares you to start a fire or do a prank call you have got to try remember that ultimately, the choice is yours. You are the person in control of you, another person cannot take your hand and light the fire with it, you have that control. The other person cannot use your voice to make a prank call, you are the one who controls that. Most importantly, it will you who gets into trouble. You need to take a little time out when your so-called friends dare you to do something and consider the consequences of your choices; ask yourself what will happen if you do or don’t go along with the dare.
If these friends continue to put pressure on you to do things that get you into trouble after you’ve spoken with them about this issue, then you are well within your rights to move on from the group. Look at the things you are interested in – sports, music, films, books, art – and try to find people with the same interests and build friendships with them. Starting a club or group in your area might be a good way to make new, likeminded friends so maybe discuss this with your parents.
Making changes on your own can be difficult so it’s often very helpful to link in with a trusted adult in your life. This can be a family member, teacher, neighbour. Whoever you feel comfortable opening up to and turning to for support. They will be able to help you manage these friendships and guide you in doing what will benefit you in the long term.
You can always contact Childline through our webchat at https://www.childline.ie/, contact us by text on 50101 or you can call 1800 66 66 66 if you’d like to chat to us on the phone. The Childline team is there to listen 24 hours a day, every day. Our services are free, confidential, and non-judgemental. They will support you and explore the different options available to you.
I hope that you have found some of the information useful, thank you for sharing your question and keep safe.
Look after yourself,