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post #41 of 99

This discussion makes me really sad.  We just moved into a neighborhood and were snubbed by the adults across the street when DD tried to play with their kids.  It broke my heart and made me very resentful to the parents.  I tried to make myself feel better by brushing them off as unfriendly and not the norm.  I am kind of feeling sick reading this thread that an entire block would act similarly to some new kids as our rude, snobby neighbors have acted towards DD.  My kiddo certainly isn't perfect and I'm sure if someone watched close enough and was looking for reasons not to like and welcome us, they could pick apart my parenting too. 

 

 

:(

post #42 of 99

 

Quote:
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.

I think there's a difference between allowing kids to exclude other kids and intervening when you see inappropriate behavior.  If the child's behavior is inappropriate at that particular moment, and they don't change what they are doing when other children or an adult asks them to, I would send them home.  Or ask their mom to come out and help re-direct that problem behavior.  There's a big difference between saying "I don't want to be growled at, chased, or have things thrown at me," and saying "You can only play with this pack of neighborhood kids who live all around you twice a week because you need to respect their pre-existing relationships."

 

I can't afford a 1.2 million dollar McMansion, but I did take my kids' preferences into account when I chose where to move, and we chose the house we did because of the neighborhood with easy access to good schools and parks and lots of kids to play with.  That's not kids calling the shots, that's parents trying to do what's best for their children.  

post #43 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunflower.mama View Post

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!


shake.gif  Shameful.

post #44 of 99

Neighborhood dynamics change as families move in and out, and it's something you and your kids will have to adjust to. They will lose friends, and make new friends. They will get along better with some neighborhood kids than others.

 

We have a free range neighborhood and what has evolved as our general culture here is that when two families worth of kids are playing together in one of those families' yards, it's fair to say that they're just playing together at that time if they want (although if they did that regularly, particularly regularly only with certain kids, I'd intervene), but when it's more than two families and/or the play is happening more centrally, then it's totally open and no one is allowed to exclude anyone.  I think these guidelines allow small, more intimate games to not be taken over, but OTOH keep the neighborhood pretty open and inclusive.

 

These new kids ARE part of your neighborhood now and they should be able to join in. The rest of the neighborhood kids will have to learn to adjust play to include them, just as they have to learn to adjust play when someone they regularly play with moves away. Who the group of neighborhood kids are will change regularly and forever. It isn't a static thing.

post #45 of 99

I've been following and posting to this thread. I really can't believe the way some people expect the OP to disregard her own and her children's feeling towards these kids and allow them unfettered access to her yard and force her kids to play with them when her own kids don't like them. 

 

I can fully understand a teacher forcing a class of children to include the new kids they don't like but this is private property in a neighborhood and these situations are occurring during what should be free play time. Why force kids to do what they don't want to during the time set aside for them to choose how and with whom to play?

 

OP, I wouldn't feel bad getting together a few other parents and confronting the parents of the new kids. I would tell, not ask, them to keep their kids out of other people's houses unless they're invited in. That's happened to me and it's beyond inappropriate. I've called security forces (on base police) when a parent refused to keep their kids from barging into my house. Your right to be at peace in your house and yard far outweigh the "right" of the new kids to play with whomever they want whenever they want. The $1.2 million the parent spent only bought them a house, money doesn't buy friendship.

post #46 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by elus0814 View Post

I've been following and posting to this thread. I really can't believe the way some people expect the OP to disregard her own and her children's feeling towards these kids and allow them unfettered access to her yard and force her kids to play with them when her own kids don't like them. 

 

I can fully understand a teacher forcing a class of children to include the new kids they don't like but this is private property in a neighborhood and these situations are occurring during what should be free play time. Why force kids to do what they don't want to during the time set aside for them to choose how and with whom to play?

 

OP, I wouldn't feel bad getting together a few other parents and confronting the parents of the new kids. I would tell, not ask, them to keep their kids out of other people's houses unless they're invited in. That's happened to me and it's beyond inappropriate. I've called security forces (on base police) when a parent refused to keep their kids from barging into my house. Your right to be at peace in your house and yard far outweigh the "right" of the new kids to play with whomever they want whenever they want. The $1.2 million the parent spent only bought them a house, money doesn't buy friendship.



I think it was a PP who had kids barge into her house, not the OP. The OP the kids aren't athletic and the neighborhood kids don't get along with them, and they maybe have some behavioral issues, but I didn't see anything that severe. She specifically said they're nice kids.

post #47 of 99


Quote:

Originally Posted by elus0814 View Post

I've been following and posting to this thread. I really can't believe the way some people expect the OP to disregard her own and her children's feeling towards these kids and allow them unfettered access to her yard and force her kids to play with them when her own kids don't like them. 

 

I can fully understand a teacher forcing a class of children to include the new kids they don't like but this is private property in a neighborhood and these situations are occurring during what should be free play time. Why force kids to do what they don't want to during the time set aside for them to choose how and with whom to play?

 

OP, I wouldn't feel bad getting together a few other parents and confronting the parents of the new kids. I would tell, not ask, them to keep their kids out of other people's houses unless they're invited in. That's happened to me and it's beyond inappropriate. I've called security forces (on base police) when a parent refused to keep their kids from barging into my house. Your right to be at peace in your house and yard far outweigh the "right" of the new kids to play with whomever they want whenever they want. The $1.2 million the parent spent only bought them a house, money doesn't buy friendship.


I do agree with this.

 

And the OP DID say it was this severe, more so in her update.

 

post #48 of 99
Thread Starter 



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama View Post

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."



Respectfully, I am not sure this analogy is fair.  Aside from the fact that conflating adoptee status with race is incendiary in and of itself, it's not logical.  I think your point is that the fact that a person has a black friend isn't necessarily relevant to whether or not they are racist (ie they could still be a racist with a black friend, and it's not fair to "hide" behind that friendship), am I right?  In my case, I was responding to a PP who specifically accused me of not wanting my kids to socialize with an adopted child.  Isn't the fact that I not only allow it and encourage it all the time relevant to my suggested bias?  That's why I mentioned it. 

 

 

post #49 of 99

OK, I'm getting confused about who is saying what since (now that I've re-read the update) it sounds a bit contradictory to the OP to me.

 

If a child has serious behavior problems, you can say they aren't welcome to play in your yard anymore due to their behavior, and enforce it. But it's your job to enforce that IMO, and you have to be prepared to have a difficult discussion with their parents. And you still can't tell them they aren't able to play in general neighborhood play in areas outside your control.

 

Also, some of their behavior problems might be a result of the move and exclusionary environment. That's stressful for children and they could absolutely respond with misbehavior.

post #50 of 99
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

We have a free range neighborhood and what has evolved as our general culture here is that when two families worth of kids are playing together in one of those families' yards, it's fair to say that they're just playing together at that time if they want (although if they did that regularly, particularly regularly only with certain kids, I'd intervene), but when it's more than two families and/or the play is happening more centrally, then it's totally open and no one is allowed to exclude anyone.  I think these guidelines allow small, more intimate games to not be taken over, but OTOH keep the neighborhood pretty open and inclusive.

 

These new kids ARE part of your neighborhood now and they should be able to join in. The rest of the neighborhood kids will have to learn to adjust play to include them, just as they have to learn to adjust play when someone they regularly play with moves away. Who the group of neighborhood kids are will change regularly and forever. It isn't a static thing.


This is a great suggestion.  Thank you.  I think we have never had to articulate these sorts of guidelines before because everyone else has always been super respectful of other people's space.  If my kids run down to someone's house I ALWAYS make a point to ask the mom if it's a good time and OK for them to be there.  Clearly new family doesn't do this and hence the problem.
 

 

post #51 of 99
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

I think it was a PP who had kids barge into her house, not the OP. The OP the kids aren't athletic and the neighborhood kids don't get along with them, and they maybe have some behavioral issues, but I didn't see anything that severe. She specifically said they're nice kids.



They have barged into my house and had fits in the yard and freaked out my kids.  They have also come up to my toddler, patted her on the head, and told her she's cute, and behaved appropriately on some occasions.  It's not cut and dried!  I think when I said they aren't athletic it fired some people up.  In fact, one of them is quite athletic and does great in games.  It may be why the older one is sensitive to his own distaste for sports-type games and gets upset when the other kids are playing baseball and he doesn't want to.  If a group of kids is playing baseball and one kid comes up, joins, and then immediately starts complaining and whining that the game is baseball - it's not fair to the other kids.  That's what is objectionable.

 

post #52 of 99
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

OK, I'm getting confused about who is saying what since (now that I've re-read the update) it sounds a bit contradictory to the OP to me.

 

If a child has serious behavior problems, you can say they aren't welcome to play in your yard anymore due to their behavior, and enforce it. But it's your job to enforce that IMO, and you have to be prepared to have a difficult discussion with their parents. And you still can't tell them they aren't able to play in general neighborhood play in areas outside your control.

 

Also, some of their behavior problems might be a result of the move and exclusionary environment. That's stressful for children and they could absolutely respond with misbehavior.


Another great point.  I absolutely agree. Thanks for that perspective!
 

 

post #53 of 99

I think the best thing to understand is that if your children choose to play out front or in the street you're going to have to assume that these kids can and will come over and play. The only solution is to be out there and supervise to avoid problems of bullying, exclusion, bad behavior, etc.... OR have your kids play in your home or in the backyard. As you said you don't own the street so these kids have every right to be there just like all the other kids. And as you mentioned maybe schedule a playdate with her kids and yours in a one on one environment in your home so they can get to know them better without other kids around. 

 

 

post #54 of 99

One of the great things about free range neighborhood play is that kids learn to handle these things. I wonder if some of the behavior problems are due to the other kinds not having had that kind of neighborhood and therefore not having learned the social play rules the other kids know. If that's the case, then the kids should not exclude, but clearly and gently explain the social rules they've already learned and enforce them. At their ages they should be capable. Just something like, "We were already playing baseball when you came and we are going to keep playing baseball. If you want to play something else, then you can go do that and we can play with you later." I'd work with your kids to empower them to gently enforce their boundaries with other children. The kids here are really good about this, and manage it even as young as 4. I've heard them explain to each other when someone is being unfair, when someone is not taking turns right, whatever. They just plain state the rules and state their expectation. "You have to take turns like everyone else if you want to play this game." Maybe they just need to be steered away form exclusion and toward explaining their rules and boundaries.

post #55 of 99

I'm opening this but let's remember to keep the conversation on a level that fosters discussion and not insults and fighting. 

 

Thanks 


Edited by MoonWillow - 10/15/11 at 7:36am
post #56 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by minkin03 View Post

I think the best thing to understand is that if your children choose to play out front or in the street you're going to have to assume that these kids can and will come over and play. The only solution is to be out there and supervise to avoid problems of bullying, exclusion, bad behavior, etc.... OR have your kids play in your home or in the backyard. As you said you don't own the street so these kids have every right to be there just like all the other kids. And as you mentioned maybe schedule a playdate with her kids and yours in a one on one environment in your home so they can get to know them better without other kids around. 

 

 



I don't see how playing in front of your own house means you have to allow any child who wants to play there play. If you go out into the street or on the sidewalk they can come over and you can't stop it but your driveway and front yard are your own. It's not as nice as playing in the backyard but I wouldn't assume that these kids can play simply because the OP's kids are out front.

post #57 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by elus0814 View Post

I don't see how playing in front of your own house means you have to allow any child who wants to play there play. If you go out into the street or on the sidewalk they can come over and you can't stop it but your driveway and front yard are your own. It's not as nice as playing in the backyard but I wouldn't assume that these kids can play simply because the OP's kids are out front.



I'm trying to imagine the scenario in a friendly kid focused neighbourhood where you have some friends playing in your front yard and tell others they can't and have that NOT be perceived as exclusionary by either your own kids or those you are turning away. Honestly, unless it is fenced/well secluded I can't see it.

 

OP the reality of the situation is that you either need to give your kids the skills and support to get along in a healthy way and solve the problems that nauturally come up with all kids (and there will be more coming your way with different neighbourhood kids as they all get older), or you have to give them the skills and permission to exclude these children, and by extention any other children they don't like in the future.

 

Why not talk to the mother again, extend a hand and ask her how you can help her and her children feel more welcomed in the neighbourhood.

 

 

post #58 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by elus0814 View Post

I don't see how playing in front of your own house means you have to allow any child who wants to play there play. If you go out into the street or on the sidewalk they can come over and you can't stop it but your driveway and front yard are your own. It's not as nice as playing in the backyard but I wouldn't assume that these kids can play simply because the OP's kids are out front.



 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Karenwith4 View Post

I'm trying to imagine the scenario in a friendly kid focused neighbourhood where you have some friends playing in your front yard and tell others they can't and have that NOT be perceived as exclusionary by either your own kids or those you are turning away. Honestly, unless it is fenced/well secluded I can't see it.

 

 

 

 

Exactly. 
 

 

post #59 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karenwith4 View Post

I'm trying to imagine the scenario in a friendly kid focused neighbourhood where you have some friends playing in your front yard and tell others they can't and have that NOT be perceived as exclusionary by either your own kids or those you are turning away. Honestly, unless it is fenced/well secluded I can't see it.

 


This has happened many, many times in our neighborhood. If some kids we would rather not play with come into the front yard or driveway my kids come inside and ask me if I can ask them to leave. I tell the kids that it's family time (if only my kids are out there) or that right now my kids are playing with so and so and they will be welcome to come back later, tomorrow, or whenever. If I didn't do this our yard would constantly be crawling with kids, some of whom aren't very nice. Our backyard is very open since we're on a corner next to a playground so this is the same tactic I use when kids come into the backyard.

 

I do understand that it would be perceived as exclusionary - it is exclusionary - but that's life, you don't always get to do exactly what you want when you want. I do think that being exclusionary can sometimes help other kids to understand that they have to play nice or other kids won't want them around. When you always include everyone no matter how they behave or treat others then those kids don't have any incentive to be nice, not whine about what game is being played, not throw rocks at other kids, and so on. 

 

post #60 of 99

Well, "You aren't playing nicely so we don't want to play with you right now" and "We don't like playing with you so we don't want to ever play iwth you" are different kinds of exclusion. I think it's reasonable, if kids are behaving badly, for them to be excluded at that moment due to that behavior, but I'm not OK with exclusion that never gives them a chance to improve their behavior and become part of the group.

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