Hello-- I am seeking some advice on a neighborhood kid situation and would really appreciate any thoughts or feedback. It is my goal to be kind and fair but I'm at a loss of how to handle this.
We live in a duplex on a corner lot and share our yard with another duplex. DS is best friends with the little girl who lives in the other duplex, I'll call her BF. BF comes over to our house to play very, very frequently. She's like my "part-time" kid and I just adore her. She is welcome in our home any time and stays over for meals often.
Next door to our duplexes is a single-family home with another little girl, quite a few years older than DS and BF. I'll call her NG for Neighbor Girl. NG comes over to our yard to play with DS and BF and they generally welcome her into the play even though they have both expressed to me that they aren't very fond of her. She means well but her social skills aren't the best, and she frequently tries to boss the other kids or use whining and cajoling to get her way. DS and BF love to play together and can play for hours without incident. Not only are they age-mates but they share many common interests and personality traits. The problem I'm having is that whenever NG sees that BF is at our house playing, she comes over and asks to come in to play as well. BF and DS typically do not wish for her to come over but will accept and include her if I say yes to coming inside. Sometimes I redirect the situation and send all of the kids outside instead.
Just a few more bits of information about the situation:
--NG has a big fenced-in yard and has made it abundantly known that no one is to come inside the fence without her permission. However she comes into our yard multiple times per day-- uninvited-- rings the doorbell frequently and other times stalks around our houses trying to peek in if she thinks something is going on. I think maybe she feels that our yard is "public property" since it is not fenced in.
-- I really want to stress to DS the importance of being kind and being inclusive. But I also think he has a right to have a friend over and play one-on-one. DS and BF do not have a problem with including NG once in a while, but they do prefer to be just the two of them. It is very hard to say no to a little girl who just wants to play. But it is also hard to hear BF and DS beg for a chance to play alone together.
--And it is quite frankly very irritating to hear our doorbell ring 10 times a day, or realize that someone is peeking in our windows! At this point I have not ignored the doorbell because it seems too rude. She knows we are inside. However if it were the phone and not the door I would stop answering.
--NG has a very nice mother and although we are not really friends we are certainly on friendly terms. I would just hate for her to think that we dislike her daughter, or that I allow my child to exclude hers. However DS and BF just want to play together sometimes and her child will NOT stop coming over asking to be invited over to play as well.
If you've read this all the way through I really appreciate it! I want to do the kind thing and the fair thing for all parties involved. I want to model kindness and hospitality for DS but also model boundaries. NG was a very challenging part of our summer last year and as the weather is warming up it has already started again. I care a LOT about kids and I don't want to hurt NG. I also think DS and BF should have a chance to play on their own at times. Hoping some other moms here will have some input or strategies on how to best handle this.
Thank you for reading this long-winded post! I appreciate any feedback :)