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Neighbor kid creeps me out

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 
The 7 year old next door has become obsessed with playing with my kids aged 4 and 3. I was kinda ok with it until it became an all day event in which he'd follow us into the house and look at me like he expected me to feed him when I fed my kids and such.

This kid hardly ever talks. He wont really answer me when i talk to him but he does talk to the kids. He has some sort of hearing impairment. He lives with his mother and grandparents--I've never even met his mother.

I've noticed this kid is just, kinda mean. For example: if he knows one of my kids wants to swing, he will run to the swing and just sit in it and stare at them while they cry. The other day I watched as my 4 year old with developmental disablilities asked the boy to come play in his room. The kid kept saying no, which is fine. But then he said yes with what I can only describe as an evil smile on his face. As DS excitely ran to his bedroom I watched the boy very delibrately go into DS2's room instead which upset DS1.

I've caught this kid in my bedroom (creepy!) and I've caught him peeking around the corner when I take DS1 to the bathroom. So he can't be in the house anymore. But as soon as we step outside he is right there and we can't seem to get away from him. Add that and the fact that my kids beg to play with him and I just don't know what to do. Aside from the little acts if meanness and teasing he just creeps me out. He makes my mommy senses go off-- there's just something wrong there and I really don't want my kids around him, but I don't know how to get rid of him! Advice please!
post #2 of 48

No advice, just sympathy, I hate these kinds of weird life situations!

post #3 of 48

So sorry you have to deal with that.

post #4 of 48
I would treat him the same way I would a younger playmate. Not in the mood to play nice you go home, not in the mood to.listen when I tell you to do something or not do something in my home you go home, kids are all bored then I pull out art or we all go on a walk. When it is almost mealtime tell him in x minutes it will be time for him to go home then send him before serving food or serve him food. If he is in your yard and the kids can't play with him tell him not now/today and a time when it might work out.
post #5 of 48

While he really may come across as creepy - I recognize some of this behavior as stuff my 7 y/o does with her younger (3 y/o) sister.  And it makes me think that it might be more of a developmental thing rather than that he's 'just a mean/creepy kid'.  I mean, if he doesn't have younger siblings - why wouldn't he sometimes behave this way with younger friends and neighbors where it safer to test some limits?  He's testing 7 y/o limits and trying things out that are different, he probably acts differently at home or when not with you too.  As long as you're assuming he's being malicious, you'll see it in his behavior.  

 

I think it would be perfectly fine - and probably to everyone's benefit - to level with him a little, if he's acting in some way that is causing problems.  I'd imagine doing something like this:  Step aside with him, before you all get together to play together outside.  I'd remind him how much older he really is than your kids, and mention that your family is working really hard right now to practice your manners and being kind to each other.  That kids that are 3/4 really need help, reminders, and lots of good examples to do this and that you're hoping that he can help out with that.  I'd add that you'll have to remind him when he's acting in some way that's too far off from the manners and kindness you're seeking for your family - you'll point it out once and then may have to stop playing together that day.  Make it about your family - be as clear as possible, remembering his family is probably different.  

post #6 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by One_Girl View Post

I would treat him the same way I would a younger playmate. Not in the mood to play nice you go home, not in the mood to.listen when I tell you to do something or not do something in my home you go home, kids are all bored then I pull out art or we all go on a walk. When it is almost mealtime tell him in x minutes it will be time for him to go home then send him before serving food or serve him food. If he is in your yard and the kids can't play with him tell him not now/today and a time when it might work out.

Ditto

post #7 of 48

I think one thing parents of younger kids don't completely realize is how blunt and clear they need to be with older kids. They see a child a year or two (or three) older than their own and he seems so huge and it seems that he ought to be better at interacting with other kids. Possibly this neighbor child has had little experience with it. His hearing impairment may have limited his interactions when he was younger. Pretend he is large 4 yo.

 

Now that you know he doesn't have good interaction skills, you need to play close attention when he is around your kids and call him on his behavior (not in a mean way, just a firm way). Spell things out. "John, ds1 asked you to go in his room, not ds2's room." Then just watch him so he knows you are paying attention and he can't tease your kids without your noticing.

 

Keeping the play limited to outside will help to naturally minimize it. Be prepared to do nothing but keep an eye on interactions when they are together. I remember telling an older kid that he could come into our yard if he was playing with ds but he could not come over to just play with his stuff. The problem was that he was commandeering things from ds who was about 3. The other kid started playing nicely after that. He just needed to know the house rules (no mugging other kids for toys) and that I was paying attention and would actually notice. 

post #8 of 48

I think it's also worth noting that you are not under any obligation to let this kid play with yours.  If it's just an issue of social skills and manners and you're willing to work with that, great.  If he really really sets off your creepy alarm, it is ok to tell him you're just having family time and he needs to go home.  Every day.

post #9 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by NiteNicole View Post

I think it's also worth noting that you are not under any obligation to let this kid play with yours.  If it's just an issue of social skills and manners and you're willing to work with that, great.  If he really really sets off your creepy alarm, it is ok to tell him you're just having family time and he needs to go home.  Every day.

 

I also thumb.gif this.  You aren't under any obligation to him to be playmates just to make nice or be a good neighbor.

post #10 of 48

Bottom line, your kids want to play with him....so let them. Make sure its supervised, draw boundaries where yous see problematic behavior (you'll basically have to parent the 7yo while he is with your kids) Just say it plain and clear. 'There's a rule against mean behavior in this house'

 

End of the day, he is hungry, he's been with your kids all day....well, give him  something to eat. If it becomes too much, you really need to contact his caregiver, ask him for their phone number, and discuss it with them. Maybe he can bring something to eat sometimes.

 

The poor kid sounds bored.  But its not ok for him to treat your younger kids this way. However, they seem to like him, so there must be something positive....

post #11 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by One_Girl View Post

I would treat him the same way I would a younger playmate. Not in the mood to play nice you go home, not in the mood to.listen when I tell you to do something or not do something in my home you go home, kids are all bored then I pull out art or we all go on a walk. When it is almost mealtime tell him in x minutes it will be time for him to go home then send him before serving food or serve him food. If he is in your yard and the kids can't play with him tell him not now/today and a time when it might work out.

 

I completely agree with this. I would make sure you approach him in a nice, non-threatening way, but make it clear to him that your family does certain things at certain times (with or without playmates) and sometimes it's nice to have "alone time" with your own family. Also (and I'm one of those people who will talk to a complete stranger), I would try to make friends with his mother and/or grandmother. You don't necessarily need to become BFFs, but that way you might get a little inside scoop on his behaviors at home, see if maybe he has a disability that you are unaware of, etc. And then in the future you can possibly bring up some behaviors that are bothering you - or creeping you out. Something that hits home to me... I used to babysit a little 6 year old girl and I would always find her in my room trying to break into my safe. I couldn't understand why, until I asked her mother. Apparently her dad used to keep his medicine in their safe at home but she was always told it was "daddy's candy." And, since she couldn't have daddy's candy, he would keep a small bag of m&ms in there too, just for her. So when he took his medicine, she also got to have some candy too. When I told her mother about this she was concerned (for obvious reasons) but had a nice little chat with her daughter and explained to her the difference between her & daddy's candies, and how not everyone has to eat candy, etc. From then on, I never had a problem with it again.
post #12 of 48
I too am dealing with the same problem. My son who will be 7 in 2 weeks has a boy who always wants to play with him, who will be 14 this year .. The boy who will be 14 does not function on the same level as a 13 year old but does not come across as mentally challenged either.. He started coming over to play in our yard with our dog, then he started to jump on our trampoline with the kids in the neighborhood. So one afternoon all of us parents are sitting watching our kids jump and we notice all the little kids are sitting on his lap then he laid down and they were sitting on him and we instantly made them get off.. So then the other day my son ran in the house and asked to have a sleepover at this boys house and I walk outside with him and the boy said " we'll what did she say".. It creeps me out and I do supervise him and do not let him come in our house and vise versa... I think we need to follow our motherly instincts and protect our kids.. You just can't trust anyone and it's really sad to think that way but it's those times that we think " oh it's nothing" that will actually be something..
post #13 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by contactmaya View Post

Bottom line, your kids want to play with him....so let them. Make sure its supervised, draw boundaries where yous see problematic behavior (you'll basically have to parent the 7yo while he is with your kids) Just say it plain and clear. 'There's a rule against mean behavior in this house'

 

End of the day, he is hungry, he's been with your kids all day....well, give him  something to eat. If it becomes too much, you really need to contact his caregiver, ask him for their phone number, and discuss it with them. Maybe he can bring something to eat sometimes.

 

The poor kid sounds bored.  But its not ok for him to treat your younger kids this way. However, they seem to like him, so there must be something positive....

 

Sometimes your judgment as a mom is going to be better than your three and four year olds'.  If a person gives YOU a bad feeling,  your gut might be smarter than your four year old's.

 

Maybe it's just how I was brought up with "neighborhood kids" (and what I'm experiencing now as a parent) - but if you feed them you'll never get rid of them.  When I was a kid, the neighborhood rule was that hanging out with the neighbor kids wasn't like having an arranged "play date" (no one used those words then).  Neighborhood kids go home when they get hungry or it's meal time because what usually happens is one parent ends up feeding all the kids, all the time.  If you more or less invite yourself over, you go home when it's snack or meal time.

 

I don't know why people are so worried about sending home or refusing kids you did not invite over.  Maybe we all watched too many after school specials about that one poor misunderstood kid who just needed a safe place, but my reality has been more like that one kid who does not take no for an answer, bosses your kid around, eats all your snacks, makes demands, and doesn't understand when s/he has worn out her/his welcome.

 

We DID grow up with a few kids who didn't have enough food at home or adult supervision, but they were polite and followed the house rules and if ever my parents thought one of the was mean or creepy, they wouldn't have sacrificed their own kids for those, if you follow what I'm saying.

post #14 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by contactmaya View Post

Bottom line, your kids want to play with him....so let them. Make sure its supervised, draw boundaries where yous see problematic behavior (you'll basically have to parent the 7yo while he is with your kids) Just say it plain and clear. 'There's a rule against mean behavior in this house'

 

End of the day, he is hungry, he's been with your kids all day....well, give him  something to eat. If it becomes too much, you really need to contact his caregiver, ask him for their phone number, and discuss it with them. Maybe he can bring something to eat sometimes.

 

The poor kid sounds bored.  But its not ok for him to treat your younger kids this way. However, they seem to like him, so there must be something positive....

IMHO, Bottom line is that you are the Mom, it is YOUR home and you have no obligation to entertain or feed someone else's kid. Period.

 

My DD1 would play with anybody but I don't necessarily allow it. Just today I had to pull her away from some kids at the lake because they wanted to sneak up on people and throw rocks at them. Nope, not gonna happen. I also don't allow her to play with certain neighbors because I know there is excessive drinking and/or smoking going on often at their homes so she can't go over there even though she really really likes them and wants too. Also, if neighbor kids come over they have to follow our house rules, their parents have to know that they are at my home, and I am NOT feeding them meals. An occasional snack maybe but that is it.

 

Send him home every time and he will get the message eventually. If not, walk right over to the neighbors and speak with the mother and / or grandparents and set some boundaries.

post #15 of 48
Thread Starter 
All good things to think about. It's obvious that he's not used to being around kids, and I get the point that those things are developmentally normal, but there is something about him that makes me feel like he's bad news--some of this could be paranoia because my brother was molested by an older child with a similar home life.

Is it reasonable to think he may just be too old to play with my little ones? I mean, I wouldn't mind it occasionally but everyday, all day seems a little extreme.... Am I jumping the gun here?
post #16 of 48

Boredom! Life with your two is probably far superior to what is going on at his life. We've had older kids latch onto my kids. DD1 was 6 when a bored 9 year old neighbor kid became her friend. I've had a 13 and 9 year old at my house all summer playing with all ages of my kids, they will come over when my 10 year is around or  just when the 4 and 6 year old are home, they don't care, anyone is better to them then sitting at home climbing the walls. 

post #17 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peony View Post

Boredom! Life with your two is probably far superior to what is going on at his life. We've had older kids latch onto my kids. DD1 was 6 when a bored 9 year old neighbor kid became her friend. I've had a 13 and 9 year old at my house all summer playing with all ages of my kids, they will come over when my 10 year is around or  just when the 4 and 6 year old are home, they don't care, anyone is better to them then sitting at home climbing the walls. 

dealing with a bored kid inspite of summer camps this reply deeply resonates with me. there are no kids here this year, but last year the age variation in kids playing together was huge. a 9 and 16 year old, a 4 and 9 year old... 

 

and this is the perfect opportunity to really explore your creepy feelings. is the boy really bad or is it the fear from history that is creating those. 

 

all of what you write - the mean, some teasing is normal. in fact sometimes my own dd has worn the shoe when she refused to play with the 5 year old but instead decided to play with the 12 year old. 

 

i think you are doing a diservice to the child when you dont set up boundaries. i dont know why parents expect their child to know all the social norms. like go home to eat. 

 

he is alone and lonely and very like all the millions of kids home from school for summer. 

 

from the stories my family tells of me and my brother i was horrible to him when he was little. 

post #18 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by tm0sweet View Post

All good things to think about. It's obvious that he's not used to being around kids, and I get the point that those things are developmentally normal, but there is something about him that makes me feel like he's bad news--some of this could be paranoia because my brother was molested by an older child with a similar home life.

Is it reasonable to think he may just be too old to play with my little ones? I mean, I wouldn't mind it occasionally but everyday, all day seems a little extreme.... Am I jumping the gun here?

I don't think it's mean to limit the play. I discourage daily play with the same friend because the relationship becomes more like a sibling one with little acts of meanness and tears, pouting, or anger from both parties when kids see and play with the same person for long periods of time daily. It doesn't matter who the friend is either, it is just something that I have noticed happen enough to be proactive about.
post #19 of 48

Of course, but the kids like him.  He is older, that is true. But they like him. I dont know, how do you choose playmates with your kids? I go by how well they get on together, and if my children ask to have a playdate with that person. Thats it really.  Admittedly, my 3 or 4 year olds never asked to have a playdate with a 7yo, and my 7yo would never ask to have a playdate with a 3 or 4 yo. Occasionally, he has met younger kids this age in the park, and they played nicely together, because  my 7yo likes younger kids, and is a very nice kid himself. 

 

How do others choose playdates for their kids?  Whats the point of choosing playmates if they dont get on together? For me, that is all that matters (barring bad behavior of course)

 

So... when you have a guest, its the right thing to do to make them comfortable, but there has to be limits.

Quote:

Originally Posted by CrunchyMama19 View Post

IMHO, Bottom line is that you are the Mom, it is YOUR home and you have no obligation to entertain or feed someone else's kid. Period.

 

post #20 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by tm0sweet View Post

All good things to think about. It's obvious that he's not used to being around kids, and I get the point that those things are developmentally normal, but there is something about him that makes me feel like he's bad news--some of this could be paranoia because my brother was molested by an older child with a similar home life.

Is it reasonable to think he may just be too old to play with my little ones? I mean, I wouldn't mind it occasionally but everyday, all day seems a little extreme.... Am I jumping the gun here?

 I think its ok from time to time. Its natural for children of different ages to play together. However, I wouldnt want it all the time. Personally, i would seek out playmates closer in age.  As for the 7yo, i might want to invite him sometimes, and treat him like a guess then. 

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