We just moved into our neighborhood this summer. My own boys are six and eight years old. My 8yo is very social and would play with friends every day if he could. We homeschool. Thus creating even more of a need for him. We have always maintained playdates with good friends, but those are once or twice per week at most. We discovered one set of neighbor boys shortly after we moved in. They are 8 and 13. Seemingly nice kids and nice family. My kids go to their house, theirs come to ours...sometimes. Usually their kids don't want to walk over, so ours go there. I've talked with the mom, though we are not pals. She is very nice, safety conscious and all that. We live in an upper middle class suburb, where people definitely have more money than we do, but I don't feel like we stick out like a sore thumb! Our home is older, but just like the rest in the neighborhood. It is freshly painted on the outside, and I've painted many of the rooms since weve moved in. I mention this because of the interaction we had with the 8yo neighbor yesterday.
He hasn't been over very often, because I find him to be very loud and abrupt, he's just different. he thinks our unfinished basement is scary....I get that. I usually encourage the kids to play outside....but it's winter now. The boy was at our house for 45 minutes yesterday and theses were the things I heard.... "why don't you put some paint up on your basement walls?". "why are there dirty dishes on your counter?". "why don't you have anything to do here.". And the kicker..."my mom says you're poor....are you?". These were all asked of my kids, not to me directly.
We do live a simpler life, but my kids have plenty, we even have a wii . My boys have always been so content and thankful for what they have, and I hate that this new influence has come blazing through our home. I asked my boys if it bothers them that the friend keeps picking out the worst things, and they said it does. To be honest, I think they only play with this friend because he's around. The 13yo brother is incredibly sweet and helpful to my boys, and it makes me wonder if the 8yo has mild special needs that I don't know about?!
And who tells their kid that their friends are poor? Ugh.
I know my boys will still want to play with him, because...he's there. I know that I am overly sensitive, it's my nature.....and I'm newly pregnant which doesn't help....it's also why there were dirty dishes on the counter
My instinct is to keep my kids away from these people! But I know I can't shelter them, and I always tell my kids to treat others the way you want to be treated, not to seek revenge, but "love your enemy" and be a light in dark places. But I don't feel like acting that way right now!
I need some rational advice!