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post #21 of 99

Wow, sounds like these kids are just normal kids who want to fit in. Sounds like this mama is a normal empathetic mama who wants her kids to feel accepted. Exclusion is bullying. Honestly, I cannot believe how much cruelty this post contains. I think you should re-read your post and consider how you would feel if the shoe was on the other foot.

post #22 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by mothermom View Post

the OP's situation does not sound anything like what you have experienced. in fact, per OP

 

so, some sensitivity, understanding and cooperation can go a long way.



The OP talked about how she has to be outside to keep the new kids from chasing and being otherwise mean to her kids, it seemed really similar to me. Our neighbors are nice kids but they have so little parental supervision and direction that they are difficult for both kids and adults to be around, they haven't learned social graces yet and with a bunch of kids of my own and tons of housework always needing to be done I don't have time to be patient with them and try to get the kids to all play nice together. I really do feel for the OP when she says she wants to be able to go back inside her house to get a few things done.

post #23 of 99

double post


Edited by One_Girl - 10/13/11 at 9:13pm
post #24 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by elus0814 View Post

The OP talked about how she has to be outside to keep the new kids from chasing and being otherwise mean to her kids, it seemed really similar to me. Our neighbors are nice kids but they have so little parental supervision and direction that they are difficult for both kids and adults to be around, they haven't learned social graces yet and with a bunch of kids of my own and tons of housework always needing to be done I don't have time to be patient with them and try to get the kids to all play nice together. I really do feel for the OP when she says she wants to be able to go back inside her house to get a few things done.


i didn't catch where the OP said the new kids were being mean. seems to be the other way round.

 

 

 

post #25 of 99

Are you saying that when your kids play with the same kids everyday that this is fine and wonderful but when her kids try to make friends it is bad because they are multi-racial and adopted?  Is that truly the lesson you want to teach your children?

 

From your OP it sounds like you are making a lot out of a little thing because you assume these kids are screwed up because of their looks and how they act with their mother.  I am sure your kids have said mean things to other kids and you didn't have to be outside for that, they have probably also heard other children swear when parents are out of ear shot, and they are probably very well equipped to handle an argument with the kids if they have been running around relatively unsupervised with a pack of kids.  It sounds like these children are a problem because the parents are allowing, possibly even teaching, their children to exclude them because they are new.

post #26 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by eclipse View Post

This thread makes me so sad for that new mom and her kids. She was crying?greensad.gif


I know, right?

 

OP, what you're saying about how these kids feel as though they're "entitled" to be friends with the neighborhood kids? That's coming off as very cruel. :( Really, really cruel. They moved here for this, and their kids are being excluded and you are angry about their very presence because they're annoying to you, and their mom is in tears. You did good by suggesting the playdate, but maybe you could also take this time to teach your kids that excluding other kids is NOT OK. That's the #1 thing I'd be thinking of now if I were in your situation. And I don't at all see why it's weird that neighborhood kids would be a prime reason to move to a certain neighborhood. Good neighborhood for kids = great reason to move there!

 

If you carry this attitude around of, "oh we had a perfect utopia of a neighborhood and this family ruined it!" (which is the attitude you're expressing now), I GUARANTEE you that your kids will pick up on it. No matter how you try to hide it. And so probably will the other neighborhood moms and maybe their kids, too, if they're not already feeling that way.

post #27 of 99

OP, I think it sounds like you're doing well with this situation. The fact that it concerns you makes me think you're raising tolerant children and being a good mom. I don't expect to like everyone I meet and I'm definitely not going to spend time with people I dislike. Why should children be forced to play with someone they don't like? I would make sure your children understand that it hurts to be excluded, but let them decide if they want to play with someone. Good luck, this sounds like a tough situation!

post #28 of 99

OP, you might want to look into some anti-bullying info sessions for you, your children and the rest of the clique. Check with your school - the police liason is awesome for this- and your community center. Good luck in the real world : )

post #29 of 99

Hi, mom to an adopted child of a different race from our family who has significant behavior issues and learning disabilities here.  Oh, and mom of a biological child of the same race as our family who has significant behavior issues and learning disabilities here.

 

1) Our kids are disciplined but still have autism, learning disabilities, and our child who was adopted has some serious trauma and abandonment issues.  Sorry, can't discipline those out of them.

 

2) Our kids love having friends.  They may not know all of the intricacies of relationships, but they love friends.  They would be crushed if they were always excluded simply because they were new, adopted, or had some issues.  Then again, maybe it's not the new kids who have the issue...exclusion isn't exactly the measure of a perfectly socialized child with fantastic social skills and manners, is it?

 

3) Our kids know how to be inclusive.  Heck, we had perfectly typical children in our neighborhood who were like velcro to our family.  If they saw our car coming up the street, they were outside and in our driveway waiting for us to come out to play.  Yeah, it was a stink sometimes and we had to send them away a couple times because we were ready for dinner, but it was also awesome to have such willing playmates for our children.

 

4) Our kids are normal human beings who deserve to be respected.

 

I really can't believe this post is even here.  Seriously?  Sorry the world's kids can't be perfect.  Maybe if the neighborhood kids didn't bully the new ones so badly, the new kids would fit in better.  I'd really hate for my kids to fit in with a bunch of exclusive bullying children.  May your children never be the new kid and have to know what it feels like, I guess...

 

Remember, make new friends but keep the old...one is silver and the other gold.

post #30 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunflower.mama View Post

I said that it was a problem that they came down every single day because they were not allowing kids on the street who have pre-existing relationships any time to play by themselves and that's hard on them. 

You've got some balls, seriously.  
 

 

post #31 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by One_Girl View Post

Are you saying that when your kids play with the same kids everyday that this is fine and wonderful but when her kids try to make friends it is bad because they are multi-racial and adopted?  Is that truly the lesson you want to teach your children?

 

From your OP it sounds like you are making a lot out of a little thing because you assume these kids are screwed up because of their looks and how they act with their mother.  I am sure your kids have said mean things to other kids and you didn't have to be outside for that, they have probably also heard other children swear when parents are out of ear shot, and they are probably very well equipped to handle an argument with the kids if they have been running around relatively unsupervised with a pack of kids.  It sounds like these children are a problem because the parents are allowing, possibly even teaching, their children to exclude them because they are new.



The OP came right out and said that she had to watch her kids around the new kids to make sure they weren't being mean to the new kids. (Which is, somehow, the new kids fault for wanting to have friends in the neighborhood.)

 

OP, I don't want this to come across like a dogpile that just makes you feel defensive. I think there's a solution to this but you'd kinda need to adjust your outlook a bit....about the kids and their friends' playtime being hallowed; about your perfect utopian neighborhood; about adopted kids. Maybe the goal could be, how call all of you get along? All of you-- new kids and their parents, and pre-existing kids and parents. Doesn't mean you have to be best friends, but you know....no bullying....no need for this mom to come to you IN TEARS trying to stick up for her boys. You know?

post #32 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunflower.mama View Post

I do just want things to work out and I can't see any "solution" that I could have a hand in.  But maybe time will do the trick.


There is a solution that can benefit everyone and won't hurt anyone's feelings, but it will take significant effort on your part, as well as a change of attitude.  This is not a situation that time will fix without adult intervention.

 

In this situation, your job is to promote healthy interaction among peers.  In the autism community, we use a type of peer-led planning called "Circle of Friends" in which we teach typical kids how to support a more vulnerable child.  For example, no one wants to pick these kids for teams, but no one wants to teach them basic skills in a friendly way, either.  This attitude is unacceptable in a casual neighborhood game -- that type of exclusion is really only for the Olympics or professional sports. I recommend that you read this article, it really seems to be the solution that you are looking for.  Instead of continuing the vicious cycle of resentment, frustration and blame, you can rally the neighborhood kids together to support the kids who are perceived as weaker in some areas.  You will definitely be surprised at at what the new kids on the block can teach your kids.

 

 

 

post #33 of 99
Thread Starter 

OP here.  First of all, thanks for all the replies.  Seriously.  It's hard not to feel defensive because some of the replies have been harsh, but if I wasn't looking for other perspectives, I wouldn't have posted this.  So thank you all.  I hope that some of the posters who wrote quick dismissive replies come back and try to give advice after reading this response.

 

To clarify, I am sorry to have offended anyone with my characterization of the children as being of another race and "adopted".  Ironically, my dd's 3 best friends, one of whom lives on our perfect street are adopted.  Before staying home with my kids I was a family law attorney and handled adoptions.  I spent 6 months working in an orphanage in India.  I certainly don't feel that adopted children are damaged goods, although I see where my post sounded that way.  I guess I pointed it out because since I don't know when they were adopted (or IF - point taken) I don't know what contributed to some of the social issues I have observed. I actually pointed it out in solidarity with their mom - I don't know what she is dealing with behind closed doors.   Maybe it's 100% attributable to their parents.  I probably shouldn't have mentioned it as it seems to have distracted a lot of people's replies.  It's not something I focus on when dealing with the issue every day.  I was rambling in my post.  I wish that some of the posters, if they return to the thread, see this and open their minds to the fact that they have made assumptions about the kind of person I may be for having mentioned that, and they are accusing me of making assumptions based on the kids parental status. I'd love it if we could not make my statement about them being adopted a proxy for me being a total judgemental racist and turn the thread into a discussion of that.  It's a waste of everyone's time and energy. That's not me.  I am a really liberal accepting person (90% of the time :)  On the other hand, I am not perfect and I appreciate the different perspectives on all this.

 

Someone said I hadn't accused the children of being mean.  At times they are.  The 5 year old girls love to climb up into a swingset treehouse and play house.  The younger of these 2 kids loves nothing more than to stand under the house and growl, throw things at them and chase them.  It's really disruptive.  I feel I have to be right there to reassure my daughter who is very prone to being scared and often ends up in tears.  I also wonder if these kids were abused at any time in their lives when I see "bullying" like this of the little girls.  And the kids have been kicked off the school bus for their behavior so  don't kid yourself that they are perfectly normal kids being excluded and bullied by my kids.

 

Speaking of bullying, I do see the group bullying happening.  It upsets me. It is often in reaction to the boys scaring the little girls that the older boys exclude the new kids.  I am trying to reduce this on the part of my son, but some of the other kids are more vocal about it.  This whole thing is a new dynamic for me and I need advice for dealing with it.  Bottom line...how much do I push my kids into socializing with kids they don't like but who are in our yard every day?

 

When I say mom ineffectively parents, it's just obvious.  The first day they came down to my house, I was in the backyard with the girls and they were playing out front.  I had greeted them but needed to supervise DD2 on the swingset.  Another mom waved to get my attention.  The two new kids had entered my house uninvited (no one was inside) and were running around yelling in it.  Mom was standing outside my now closed door saying (not yelling) "come out boys."  That's just not an effective response to misbehavior.  They apparantly do this frequently and have woken napping babies in other houses. People have asked their mom to make sure they don't do this but sometimes they take off on her. So that was my first impression of things.

 

When I pointed out that it was the kids' idea to move to the street, I left out a, perhaps, THE critical detail to that fact.  Sorry!  Of course I don't think it is wierd for kids to want to live in a neighborhood with other kids.  Oh my!  It was not the fact that they wanted to move here and play with the kids that shocked me.  It was the fact that they insisted on moving here even though the parents have said that they, the parents DIDN'T LIKE THE HOUSE.  It is a 4000 sf spec mcmansion that has been vacant on the market for 3 years.  An elephant on a small tiny lot.  So when the parents said they moved here because kids liked the neighborhood, when they actually didn't like the $1,200,000 house, that set off a bell in my head about who is running the show.  At any rate, we're not moving and neither are they.  They'd never be able to sell that house!

post #34 of 99
Thread Starter 


This came in as I was drafting my reply. Thank you!  I will read it.  I do think that underneath all of this is a teachable moment.

 

Ironically the mom who is being the most vocal about not liking the kids in her driveway has listed her house for sale because of her family.  The rest of us are more tolerant.  I think she was making me less tolerant whenever I spoke to her.  She also happens to be one of my best friends.  But I almost think "good riddance" because she is almost poisoning us.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fay View Post

There is a solution that can benefit everyone and won't hurt anyone's feelings, but it will take significant effort on your part, as well as a change of attitude.  This is not a situation that time will fix without adult intervention.

 

In this situation, your job is to promote healthy interaction among peers.  In the autism community, we use a type of peer-led planning called "Circle of Friends" in which we teach typical kids how to support a more vulnerable child.  For example, no one wants to pick these kids for teams, but no one wants to teach them basic skills in a friendly way, either.  This attitude is unacceptable in a casual neighborhood game -- that type of exclusion is really only for the Olympics or professional sports. I recommend that you read this article, it really seems to be the solution that you are looking for.  Instead of continuing the vicious cycle of resentment, frustration and blame, you can rally the neighborhood kids together to support the kids who are perceived as weaker in some areas.  You will definitely be surprised at at what the new kids on the block can teach your kids.

 

 

 



 

post #35 of 99
Thread Starter 


Yikes!  I am sorry.  I didn't actually say those words.  I said it really nicely.  I wrote my OP much too quickly. 

 

We were the first family with kids on the street.  Now there are 25+.  I think we are a welcoming group.  We've just hit a snag and need some tools to deal with it.  The issue in my mind is, how to I balance the right of my son to play with his friends with the rights of these kids to join them.  The consensus on the replies is that new kids have an unencumbered right to play with my son everyday.  To me, this feels unfair.  I think it feels unfair to the neighborhood kids too.  We want to guide them to behave appropriately, but does that really mean they always have to include the new kids?  That's a big pill to swallow.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chiefmir View Post

Oh, I just reread the OP and had to add....

 

"party crashing"  that was a pretty loaded thing to say to the other mom.  No wonder she started crying after you said it.  Party crashers see a fun time and want to join, but weren't invited and aren't wanted.  OUCH.



 

post #36 of 99

We have a street kind of like this here so I've been following the replies with interest. I always taught my children that if they don't like the way someone is playing (rough play, bullying, etc), to simply walk away. I never even thought of it as been exclusive. I just thought I was giving them tools to protect them from potentially harmful encounters. From the OPs posts (especially the update post), I would NOT expect my children to go out of their way to include these kids in their games. Of course I wouldn't tolerate "ganging up" on them or teasing them. But I would expect the same behaviour from them that I expect from my kids (no running through someone's house uninvited, no scaring kids in their own yard, etc).

 

I think some of the replies are a bit idealistic but not realistic honestly. I don't get along with every other mother I meet, should I? Should I invite her over for coffee because she wants to come? Life and socializing comes with the fact that we DO choose our friends and people we spend time with. I don't see why these children should be forced not only to play and spend time with kids that are rough and ill-behaved but also to "teach them how to play" and basically raise them in a way. I wouldnt expect that from my kids.

post #37 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunflower.mama View Post


Yikes!  I am sorry.  I didn't actually say those words.  I said it really nicely.  I wrote my OP much too quickly. 

 

We were the first family with kids on the street.  Now there are 25+.  I think we are a welcoming group.  We've just hit a snag and need some tools to deal with it.  The issue in my mind is, how to I balance the right of my son to play with his friends with the rights of these kids to join them.  The consensus on the replies is that new kids have an unencumbered right to play with my son everyday.  To me, this feels unfair.  I think it feels unfair to the neighborhood kids too.  We want to guide them to behave appropriately, but does that really mean they always have to include the new kids?  That's a big pill to swallow.
 



 


You just.arent.getting.it.

When are you going to understand that these kids that want to come and play with your kids ARE "the neighborhood kids." Or do you really mean to say:

"I think it feels unfair to the in crowd of neighborhood kids."??

Um...yes. They have to include the new kids everyday if they are outside and the new kids are outside.
Its not a big pill to swallow. You know what, I dont think this would even be an issue in a neighborhood that wasnt upper class. Go visit an urban neighborhood for one day and then come back and reevaluate your opinion. Just because you own expensive houses doesnt mean you dont own outside too. If you dont want your kids to have to play with the new kids, have them play in the fenced in back yard or in the house. Period.

By the way, saying that three of your kids friends are adopted sounds about like saying, "Im not racist, one of my best friends is black."
post #38 of 99
By the way, we are talking about 25 kids here. That is basically like telling a whole classroom full of children that the two new kids shouldnt get to play every time at recess. 25 people. Its not a group of three best friends we are talking about here. If my two kids were being excluded out of the 25 kids on the block, you better believe Id be crying and throwing a fit. Especially if I just paid over a million dollars for a house.
post #39 of 99

Hey OP, Kudos to you for dealing with the responses you got in such a productive and positive way. I wish I had good advice for you about the real crux of the issue  . . . how do you help your kids be welcoming and how far do you push them to play with kids they don't like. Tricky stuff.

post #40 of 99

Pretend for one minute you were these kids and this mother who is stuggling.... how would you want others to treat your family.

Close your eyes and try.... I know it's hard...

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