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Old 06-05-2009, 04:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have an almost-2 year old boy. We recently moved, a few months ago, to a new town for us and on our street there are 3 boys, all much older than DS. I am talking the youngest is 8 or 9, then there are two who are 11-12ish.

Well yesterday they came over when DS and I were outside in the front, with our garage open (it opens to the front of the house, we have no alley here). These 3 boys all walked UNINVITED and without my permission or even trying to ask for permission, without even knowing us AT ALL, INTO my garage and started going through DH's stuff. We have alot of stuff in there, including a box of old video games and movies that my DH never watches/uses anymore. These boys were going through our stuff without even telling me their names!

I nicely asked them to please leave the games alone. They didn't. They kept talking about how cool DS's tricycle is, how cool his helmet is, and tried to get into my DH's golf clubs. I told them absolutely not to touch them, and thank God they didn't.

The youngest boy is our next door neighbor, and he said he lost a walkie talkie and thinks it was in our backyard, and could he go look for it. I told him no because the grass was high anyway and he probably wouldn't find it. Honestly I did not feel comfortable with kids I did not know running around my house/garage/yard. Well these 3 kids then got so excited about the possiblity of playing army in my tall grass, they started jumping up and down, Please please please can we play army in your yard. I said no, I really do not think so. I told them we needed to go inside and that DS needed a new diaper. They wouldn't leave! They kept trying to touch stuff in my garage and honestly I did not know what to do. I finally said we could go in the back and look for the walkie talkie but then they would have to go. I just wanted them away from all the "cool" stuff. I felt like they were wanting to steal. I know that is probably terrible but it was ridiculous, IMO. Their behaviour and also the fact that they would not leave. I was trying not to be mean. So we went in the back and then they saw DS's balls and wagon and went crazy. They wanted to play with all of it and I was trying to keep DS from hurting himself and could not physically be everywhere at once so I just resigned myself and sat back there while they kicked the soccer ball and played with DS's wagon.

Eventually they went home. But only one went voluntarily. Our next door neighbor's mother yelled over the fence for him to come home. The oldest boy's parents came and yelled from the street for him. And the one kid who I could semi-tolerate said it was time for him to be at home.

So today, they knocked on our door 3 times asking if DS could play. REALLY? You are 9-12 yrs old and you want to play with a not-yet 2 year old? That is NOT NORMAL to me. So I told them no, we couldn't play.

I feel like these kids just want to play with my son's toys or get in our garage to steal things. And I cannot let that happen. They don't really want to play with my son and even if they did that means I would have to be supervising kids I do not know, not knowing their parents or if their parents know where they are, and I do not want to do that. I feel like if I am going to have other kids over, I want them to be age-appropriate, AND approved by me and DH!

I just don't know how to explain to these kids that they really can't come over. Does this make sense? I don't want to be mean, but this is my house and I feel like they invaded my privacy already, and unfortunately I let them by not standing strong enough the first time. So now I have to set better boundaries.

Any suggestions?

**a note on the neighbor's next door - they sit in their garage from 7am to 10 pm daily drinking beer. i am not exaggerating. so they knew their kid was at my house. and they did not care. so reasoning with his parents at least, is probably not feasible.*** apparently the other two kids are allowed to roam wherever as well from what i can tell...

sorry this is so long, i just don't even know how to address this. my instinct is to just not answer the door but i know that is not really an answer. anyone been through this?
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Old 06-05-2009, 08:16 AM
 
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Any suggestions?

**a note on the neighbor's next door - they sit in their garage from 7am to 10 pm daily drinking beer. i am not exaggerating. so they knew their kid was at my house. and they did not care. so reasoning with his parents at least, is probably not feasible.*** apparently the other two kids are allowed to roam wherever as well from what i can tell...

sorry this is so long, i just don't even know how to address this. my instinct is to just not answer the door but i know that is not really an answer. anyone been through this?
I would go one of two ways with this.

I'd either tell the boys flat out that your son is too young to play with them and you have too much going on for them to be coming over.

or

I'd have them out back mowing your yard in exchange for one of those really cool garage movies.
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Old 06-05-2009, 11:02 AM
 
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I've been through something similar. When my DS1 was 2-3 years old, some neighborhood kids aged 5-10 came over all the time to play with him. Yes, they actually wanted to play with a toddler. The oldest boy was on my list for future babysitters, since he was so terrific with my kid. My toddler son loved the attention! He loved sharing his toys with the big kids, who seemed to really enjoy playing with them. The big kids came over just about every day, and asked to play - either outside or inside. I thought it was weird at first, but they really were good kids at heart, though sometimes annoying and bratty (all age-appropriate). My son considered the oldest to be his best friend. He cried when two of the boys moved away.

What I have found effective is being firm about expectations and boundaries. Don't hint about the kids needing to go home - say it. "We're going inside now. You need to go home." Don't worry about hurting feelings by being forthright. If you don't want them in your stuff, say so, "Out of the garage, guys! There's no playing in here. Out! Go play outside." I've found that many kids are still working on recognizing social expectations, hints, body language, etc. You need to be very upfront with them.

I don't understand why you'd think these kids want to steal. I think it's much more likely that they're interested in your family. They want to play with your kid and his toys. They want to get to know you better. They're curious. Maybe they're bored, and you represent something new and different to occupy their time. Older kids can play very nicely with toddlers. You may have to remind them about appropriate language and behavior. They may even enjoy being a role model, and teaching him.

From the ages of the kids, I don't think there's anything wrong with their parents letting them roam. Kids start doing that around age 4 in my neighborhood. If you really don't want your son to interact with the kids, just be very firm and uncompromising for a time, and they'll eventually give up. I just honestly don't understand why you're so suspicious of these kids, and why you think their behaviors are inappropriate. They sound like perfectly normal kids to me.

ETA: My older son is now almost 7. He really likes playing with the neighbor, who is 3. Even with the age difference, they play very well together. He also plays with kids his own age, and older - including the kid who was 5 when he was 2. I think that playing with kids of varying ages can be very good for kids.

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Old 06-05-2009, 11:17 AM
 
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I went through this at our old house. I was firm and direct, said no every time they asked to play with ds, and no they could not play in our yard. Think strict, kinda mean, teacher attitude and project that. They gave up after a few weeks and did not come back.

Good luck.

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Old 06-05-2009, 11:22 AM
 
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I've been through something similar. When my DS1 was 2-3 years old, some neighborhood kids aged 5-10 came over all the time to play with him. Yes, they actually wanted to play with a toddler. The oldest boy was on my list for future babysitters, since he was so terrific with my kid. My toddler son loved the attention! He loved sharing his toys with the big kids, who seemed to really enjoy playing with them. The big kids came over just about every day, and asked to play - either outside or inside. I thought it was weird at first, but they really were good kids at heart, though sometimes annoying and bratty (all age-appropriate). My son considered the oldest to be his best friend. He cried when two of the boys moved away.

What I have found effective is being firm about expectations and boundaries. Don't hint about the kids needing to go home - say it. "We're going inside now. You need to go home." Don't worry about hurting feelings by being forthright. If you don't want them in your stuff, say so, "Out of the garage, guys! There's no playing in here. Out! Go play outside." I've found that many kids are still working on recognizing social expectations, hints, body language, etc. You need to be very upfront with them.

I don't understand why you'd think these kids want to steal. I think it's much more likely that they're interested in your family. They want to play with your kid and his toys. They want to get to know you better. They're curious. Maybe they're bored, and you represent something new and different to occupy their time. Older kids can play very nicely with toddlers. You may have to remind them about appropriate language and behavior. They may even enjoy being a role model, and teaching him.

From the ages of the kids, I don't think there's anything wrong with their parents letting them roam. Kids start doing that around age 4 in my neighborhood. If you really don't want your son to interact with the kids, just be very firm and uncompromising for a time, and they'll eventually give up. I just honestly don't understand why you're so suspicious of these kids, and why you think their behaviors are inappropriate. They sound like perfectly normal kids to me.

ETA: My older son is now almost 7. He really likes playing with the neighbor, who is 3. Even with the age difference, they play very well together. He also plays with kids his own age, and older - including the kid who was 5 when he was 2. I think that playing with kids of varying ages can be very good for kids.
:
While I sympathize with you about the bother of nosy neighbor kids, I suspect that older boys make you nervous as you are used to a baby/toddler?
My ds loves playing with younger kids and he gained a lot from the older kids when he was small.
You are new to the neighborhood so very interesting to them.
Just don't feed them, they'll never leave!
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Old 06-05-2009, 11:47 AM
 
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I went through this at our old house. I was firm and direct, said no every time they asked to play with ds, and no they could not play in our yard. Think strict, kinda mean, teacher attitude and project that. They gave up after a few weeks and did not come back.

Good luck.
: We had this problem when we first moved in here too. Letting your kids constantly run the neighborhood unsupervised is all the rage here. (And if anyone wonders why I think this is inappropriate, these kids wander around to random people house's whacking their gutters with baseball bats, swinging pieces of rebar at people's pets, etc)

Just being firm and direct (over and over again) did work. Dropping hints, etc definitely got us nowhere.
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Old 06-05-2009, 12:57 PM
 
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I've been through something similar. When my DS1 was 2-3 years old, some neighborhood kids aged 5-10 came over all the time to play with him. Yes, they actually wanted to play with a toddler. The oldest boy was on my list for future babysitters, since he was so terrific with my kid. My toddler son loved the attention! He loved sharing his toys with the big kids, who seemed to really enjoy playing with them. The big kids came over just about every day, and asked to play - either outside or inside. I thought it was weird at first, but they really were good kids at heart, though sometimes annoying and bratty (all age-appropriate). My son considered the oldest to be his best friend. He cried when two of the boys moved away.

What I have found effective is being firm about expectations and boundaries. Don't hint about the kids needing to go home - say it. "We're going inside now. You need to go home." Don't worry about hurting feelings by being forthright. If you don't want them in your stuff, say so, "Out of the garage, guys! There's no playing in here. Out! Go play outside." I've found that many kids are still working on recognizing social expectations, hints, body language, etc. You need to be very upfront with them.

I don't understand why you'd think these kids want to steal. I think it's much more likely that they're interested in your family. They want to play with your kid and his toys. They want to get to know you better. They're curious. Maybe they're bored, and you represent something new and different to occupy their time. Older kids can play very nicely with toddlers. You may have to remind them about appropriate language and behavior. They may even enjoy being a role model, and teaching him.

From the ages of the kids, I don't think there's anything wrong with their parents letting them roam. Kids start doing that around age 4 in my neighborhood. If you really don't want your son to interact with the kids, just be very firm and uncompromising for a time, and they'll eventually give up. I just honestly don't understand why you're so suspicious of these kids, and why you think their behaviors are inappropriate. They sound like perfectly normal kids to me.

ETA: My older son is now almost 7. He really likes playing with the neighbor, who is 3. Even with the age difference, they play very well together. He also plays with kids his own age, and older - including the kid who was 5 when he was 2. I think that playing with kids of varying ages can be very good for kids.
: to everything she said. It sounds like the boys just find you interesting, and, if their parents are sitting in the garage all day drinking beer, they may not be getting the most positive attention at home.

Now, that is NOT to say that you have any obligation to entertain them or let them on your property, but I really don't believe from your description that they had any malicious intent.

By the way, I LOVED the suggestion of having them mow or help you do yard work. Great idea.
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Old 06-05-2009, 01:20 PM
 
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What I have found effective is being firm about expectations and boundaries. Don't hint about the kids needing to go home - say it. "We're going inside now. You need to go home." Don't worry about hurting feelings by being forthright. If you don't want them in your stuff, say so, "Out of the garage, guys! There's no playing in here. Out! Go play outside." I've found that many kids are still working on recognizing social expectations, hints, body language, etc. You need to be very upfront with them.
8-11 year olds are lousy at picking up hints. We have a large number of kids in our neighborhood and the most effective thing is to tell them what you need them to do and why. "I need you out of the garage because I can't watch my son while you're in there." "Please leave that alone. I don't want it broken." "Did you hear what I said? It's time to leave."

From what you describe, it sounds like they're bored kids looking for a little attention. It's hard to judge when you have a toddler, but really, they are old enough to roam for a bit. And the fact that they want to play army in your tall grass shows that they really are KIDS with no malicious intent.

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Old 06-05-2009, 01:53 PM
 
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We have lots of kids in our neighborhood that we consider to be our friends (in a limited, age-appropriate way of course). They range from 2 years old to 13 years old. We mostly enjoy them, but they are completely fascinated by us, our house, our stuff, and now, our new baby, which means that if we let them they would be coming over all the time. The only thing that has ever worked to keep them from driving me nuts is to be completely firm with them about what I want them to do: "I'm going inside now. Please go play at your house." "I'm busy right now, please stop ringing my doorbell." "No, you can't play in my back yard. No, I really mean it, you can't play in my back yard." I was uncomfortable at first because it would be really rude to be that firm with adults, but the kids either do not pick up on or choose to ignore hints, and they don't seem to be offended at all when I tell them what I want them to do. Remember, most kids are (or at least should be) used to having adults set boundaries for them. So don't be afraid to do that!

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Old 06-05-2009, 02:00 PM
 
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Would you find it odd if 8-10 yo GIRLS wanted to play with your toddler? Or would you think "Awww, sweet. What future mamas/babysitters." ? Just wondering.

I've found kids of all ages enjoy playing together. That's what happens in normal family and neighborhood situations. Really, the whole school/daycare putting the same age kids together thing is kind of creepy. And roaming a bit in their own neighborhood is perfectly fine at that age. Now, if they were being destructive or bullying, that would be a different story. But they were just curious and excited to meet you.

Kids have a harder time understanding personal boundaries. And your neighborhood may just be more friendly in that nobody minds if the kids are a bit curious/intrusive. That doesn't mean YOU should be uncomfortable. Set whatever boundaries you need to. You're the adult, it's your job. I agree with the pps. Just be direct and specific. "You boys need to leave now." You don't have to be stern or mean. Just matter-of-fact. And consistent. And repetitive. lol!

My boys have really benefited from older male friends (who behave appropriately with a toddler). Older boys play with them differently than older girls do, and they benefit from both of those types of play.

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Old 06-05-2009, 04:44 PM
 
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I have an almost-2 year old boy. We recently moved, a few months ago, to a new town for us and on our street there are 3 boys, all much older than DS. I am talking the youngest is 8 or 9, then there are two who are 11-12ish.

Well yesterday they came over when DS and I were outside in the front, with our garage open (it opens to the front of the house, we have no alley here). These 3 boys all walked UNINVITED and without my permission or even trying to ask for permission, without even knowing us AT ALL, INTO my garage and started going through DH's stuff. We have alot of stuff in there, including a box of old video games and movies that my DH never watches/uses anymore. These boys were going through our stuff without even telling me their names!

I nicely asked them to please leave the games alone. They didn't. They kept talking about how cool DS's tricycle is, how cool his helmet is, and tried to get into my DH's golf clubs. I told them absolutely not to touch them, and thank God they didn't.

The youngest boy is our next door neighbor, and he said he lost a walkie talkie and thinks it was in our backyard, and could he go look for it. I told him no because the grass was high anyway and he probably wouldn't find it. Honestly I did not feel comfortable with kids I did not know running around my house/garage/yard. Well these 3 kids then got so excited about the possiblity of playing army in my tall grass, they started jumping up and down, Please please please can we play army in your yard. I said no, I really do not think so. I told them we needed to go inside and that DS needed a new diaper. They wouldn't leave! They kept trying to touch stuff in my garage and honestly I did not know what to do. I finally said we could go in the back and look for the walkie talkie but then they would have to go. I just wanted them away from all the "cool" stuff. I felt like they were wanting to steal. I know that is probably terrible but it was ridiculous, IMO. Their behaviour and also the fact that they would not leave. I was trying not to be mean. So we went in the back and then they saw DS's balls and wagon and went crazy. They wanted to play with all of it and I was trying to keep DS from hurting himself and could not physically be everywhere at once so I just resigned myself and sat back there while they kicked the soccer ball and played with DS's wagon.

Eventually they went home. But only one went voluntarily. Our next door neighbor's mother yelled over the fence for him to come home. The oldest boy's parents came and yelled from the street for him. And the one kid who I could semi-tolerate said it was time for him to be at home.

So today, they knocked on our door 3 times asking if DS could play. REALLY? You are 9-12 yrs old and you want to play with a not-yet 2 year old? That is NOT NORMAL to me. So I told them no, we couldn't play.

I feel like these kids just want to play with my son's toys or get in our garage to steal things. And I cannot let that happen. They don't really want to play with my son and even if they did that means I would have to be supervising kids I do not know, not knowing their parents or if their parents know where they are, and I do not want to do that. I feel like if I am going to have other kids over, I want them to be age-appropriate, AND approved by me and DH!

I just don't know how to explain to these kids that they really can't come over. Does this make sense? I don't want to be mean, but this is my house and I feel like they invaded my privacy already, and unfortunately I let them by not standing strong enough the first time. So now I have to set better boundaries.

Any suggestions?

**a note on the neighbor's next door - they sit in their garage from 7am to 10 pm daily drinking beer. i am not exaggerating. so they knew their kid was at my house. and they did not care. so reasoning with his parents at least, is probably not feasible.*** apparently the other two kids are allowed to roam wherever as well from what i can tell...

sorry this is so long, i just don't even know how to address this. my instinct is to just not answer the door but i know that is not really an answer. anyone been through this?
This is funny. If you go through my past posts, yesterday I posted this exact scenario. WHY oh WHY do 9-12 year olds want to play with my 4 kids who are 3 and under?! It makes no sense!

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Old 06-05-2009, 05:01 PM
 
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This is funny. If you go through my past posts, yesterday I posted this exact scenario. WHY oh WHY do 9-12 year olds want to play with my 4 kids who are 3 and under?! It makes no sense!
Oh, but it does. They're getting old enough that their peers might ridicule them for certain kids pretend play, or they're on the cusp of adolescence and are not ready to move on. Playing with a 2 year old or a 4 year old allows them to be KIDS again. They can relax and pretend. There's probably a bit of nostalgia there too.

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Old 06-05-2009, 05:31 PM
 
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I'm sorry...maybe I'm loony toons, or really mean or something....but I actually was laughing out loud, at how completely COMPLETELY completely crazy this situation is. Maybe it;s just because I have a one year old...so, you know, nowhere close to 11 years old...but this is a CRAZY situation. I would have been absolutely beside myself, if these boys descended upon my house uninvited and proceeded to rifle through my things.

These are the rudest children I've ever heard of...I NEVER behaved that way, as an 11 year old...my mother would have quite literally *killed* me, if I ever did anything like this...I'm, I'm just in shock.

OP, I have absolutely no idea what to tell you. We are very very private people and have sensitive boundry issues...but not because we dislike PEOPLE...people who are *invited* onto our property/into our home are treated as precious guests...we love children, we love to be around people and from time to time I am able to entertain a close friend or two along with the friends children...and I love it.....THAT BEING SAID...rude little boys, who are old enough, IMO, to at least introduce themselves and ASK before they start poking through my things...are beastly and not to be tolerated. That is CRAZY. We are friendly, we are hospitable....I've NEVER had ANY child treat our space like this before and would be SHOCKED if that happend...it's just so rude, I can't wrap my mind around something this bizarre....it's jsut....bizarre. If they came up and said "Hi, you moved here, can I see your stuff" I would say "whoa whoa...what's your name!? Where do yo live" "Oh I'm Jason...is this your stuff, can I touch it" - and you know, on from there....but not even a "Hey, I'm Jason?" - I'd just be beside myself. I have a great relations with the kids in my neighborhood...have since before we even had a kid, because we like kids. THe young boys here are nice and if they see me with groceries, they will ask if they can help...but would NEVER walk into our space like that, and we KNOW them...

As for where to go from here...making the boys your friends is obviously a better way to go about things...don't want to make enemies of children so rude that they would walk into your space like that and start messing with your stuff...who knows what mischeif they;d be up to if they decided they hate your family or you're mean or whatever..so a polite relationship built on them making a couple of bucks or a cool video game off of mowing or whatever else for you probably wouldn't be bad...but I wouldn't let ANYONE, no matter how young, etc...strong arm me into being friends with my two year old, if I wasn't comfortable with it.

And to the poster who brought up the "What if they were girls" - OH COME ON!? Are you serious? Let's not take it there...the point is not that these fellows are boys, it's that they are extremely RUDE boys and the OP has the right to stand in her own damn garage, without being bombarded with the presence and mischeif of children she doesn't even know.

My DD is one...if, in one years time, I have 11+ year olds who I don't even KNOW walking into my house unannounced, uninvited and without introducing themselves, rifling through my things and asking to play with my two year old...you're damned right, if you guess I'm going to be overwhelmed, frustrated and completely against the idea of my two year old having play dates with preteen, beastly children. It's just rude behavior...don't try to make it out at the OP being yucked out, because they're boys.

Sheesh....what is the world coming to, where it is "oh, kids just being kids" when young boys are walking into peoples homes unannounced and picking through their things. That's CRAZY and I for one, reserve the right to be plenty pissed off, if it happens to me. Call me a boyhater all you want...that was a ridiculous thing for a child of either sex, to do.

OP...good luck. I'm sorry to hear that you moved to bizarro land!! I've never HEARD of children like that!

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Old 06-05-2009, 05:48 PM
 
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Oh, but it does. They're getting old enough that their peers might ridicule them for certain kids pretend play, or they're on the cusp of adolescence and are not ready to move on. Playing with a 2 year old or a 4 year old allows them to be KIDS again. They can relax and pretend. There's probably a bit of nostalgia there too.
:

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I'm sorry that there are people here who consider this behavior unacceptable and rude. My kids have great manners, and are kind and considerate. They're also very curious and friendly. My oldest has high-functioning autism/ Asperger's and, as such, has more trouble than most with societal expectations. But, even the kids around here who aren't on the spectrum are curious, and often friendly. Some are rude. Some are bullies. But, most are just regular kids who like to play and explore. It does seem to be more a boy thing than a girl thing around here. I think that once you have a school-aged child, you'll realize just how young that child really still is inside. These aren't kids who are going on dates and drinking with their friends at parties. These are still young children. Some are raised by very attentive parents, some are not. Some need more guidance than others. Most are really good kids, even if they haven't learned the tedious social games that adults have to know.

I'm glad that I opened my door to the older kids in the neighborhood all those years ago. They taught me a lot about what to expect of my own child once he got to that age. They taught my child a lot about interacting with friends. They were terrific kids. Sometimes one had too much attitude, or used inappropriate language. It didn't take much for me to make the rules clear, and those rules were followed well. I understand that, when you have a young child - especially your first - you're incredibly protective of that child. Try to understand that your child will be a big kid one day as well. Wouldn't you want for parents of young children to see the good in your older child as you do? Or would you actually prefer that they be suspicious and consider your child rude for doing what kids do?

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Old 06-05-2009, 05:50 PM
 
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I've been through something similar. When my DS1 was 2-3 years old, some neighborhood kids aged 5-10 came over all the time to play with him. Yes, they actually wanted to play with a toddler. The oldest boy was on my list for future babysitters, since he was so terrific with my kid. My toddler son loved the attention! He loved sharing his toys with the big kids, who seemed to really enjoy playing with them. The big kids came over just about every day, and asked to play - either outside or inside. I thought it was weird at first, but they really were good kids at heart, though sometimes annoying and bratty (all age-appropriate). My son considered the oldest to be his best friend. He cried when two of the boys moved away.

What I have found effective is being firm about expectations and boundaries. Don't hint about the kids needing to go home - say it. "We're going inside now. You need to go home." Don't worry about hurting feelings by being forthright. If you don't want them in your stuff, say so, "Out of the garage, guys! There's no playing in here. Out! Go play outside." I've found that many kids are still working on recognizing social expectations, hints, body language, etc. You need to be very upfront with them.

I don't understand why you'd think these kids want to steal. I think it's much more likely that they're interested in your family. They want to play with your kid and his toys. They want to get to know you better. They're curious. Maybe they're bored, and you represent something new and different to occupy their time. Older kids can play very nicely with toddlers. You may have to remind them about appropriate language and behavior. They may even enjoy being a role model, and teaching him.

From the ages of the kids, I don't think there's anything wrong with their parents letting them roam. Kids start doing that around age 4 in my neighborhood. If you really don't want your son to interact with the kids, just be very firm and uncompromising for a time, and they'll eventually give up. I just honestly don't understand why you're so suspicious of these kids, and why you think their behaviors are inappropriate. They sound like perfectly normal kids to me.

ETA: My older son is now almost 7. He really likes playing with the neighbor, who is 3. Even with the age difference, they play very well together. He also plays with kids his own age, and older - including the kid who was 5 when he was 2. I think that playing with kids of varying ages can be very good for kids.

Ditto!!
With boys of this age, you have to be direct. If you don't mind them coming over and maybe think they could play some other time, just say " Not today. We're going to go inside for a nap. You boys go home now, we will see you next time.." If they protest or beg just say matter of factly, " Nope not today, Bye guys!" ( With a smile, of course. ) Then I would close up the house.

My DS is almost 9, and he is very sweet and gentle but also very outgoing and has no problem being a bit forward. He loves younger kids, since he has a little brother and baby cousin. I can see him being one of those neighbor boys. LOL

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Old 06-05-2009, 05:58 PM
 
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Oh, also when they come to knock...you could say " No, come back Tuesday and see if we can play." ( Insert day of your choice..) And repeat every time they bug you. LOL

Really, it sounds normal to me. They went thru your garage cause they have no concept of social cues yet and they were so curious about you dh's stuff they probably couldnt take it! lol Maybe your dh could show them some stuff and they would be impressed. I agree about the maybe you can get some lawncare out of it eventually....LOL

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Old 06-05-2009, 06:01 PM
 
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------
I'm sorry that there are people here who consider this behavior unacceptable and rude. My kids have great manners, and are kind and considerate. They're also very curious and friendly. My oldest has high-functioning autism/ Asperger's and, as such, has more trouble than most with societal expectations. But, even the kids around here who aren't on the spectrum are curious, and often friendly. Some are rude. Some are bullies. But, most are just regular kids who like to play and explore. It does seem to be more a boy thing than a girl thing around here. I think that once you have a school-aged child, you'll realize just how young that child really still is inside. These aren't kids who are going on dates and drinking with their friends at parties. These are still young children. Some are raised by very attentive parents, some are not. Some need more guidance than others. Most are really good kids, even if they haven't learned the tedious social games that adults have to know.

I'm glad that I opened my door to the older kids in the neighborhood all those years ago. They taught me a lot about what to expect of my own child once he got to that age. They taught my child a lot about interacting with friends. They were terrific kids. Sometimes one had too much attitude, or used inappropriate language. It didn't take much for me to make the rules clear, and those rules were followed well. I understand that, when you have a young child - especially your first - you're incredibly protective of that child. Try to understand that your child will be a big kid one day as well. Wouldn't you want for parents of young children to see the good in your older child as you do? Or would you actually prefer that they be suspicious and consider your child rude for doing what kids do?
Look...I wouldn't be suspicious of these kids, I doubt that they were looking to steal, or anything like that...but I don't think, that it's too much to ask, to have some privacey when you're in your own home, minding your business.

Like I said, I'm very friendly with the neighborhood children here and love children in my home...maybe I'm not like some of you mamas, who are comfortable with all the neighborhood kids hanging out at your house all the time and alll of that...but I'm certainly not mean to the kids and I don't mind their curiosity about my baby. And no, I don't think that they are old enough to be going on dates and hanging out drinking with friends...but I DO think they are old enough, to have the most very basic manners, and AT THE VERY LEAST introduce themselves before they start rifling through my things.

I just have never ever in my whole life, not as a kid, not now as an adult...EVER seen any children behave like this. THis is not tolerable...and if MY kid went into someones garage, without saying ANYTHING about who they were or where they were coming from and started picking through someones things..I would be very very upset. It's rude, it's dangerous and I don't like it. I don't know what planet this is acceptable human behavior on, but where I come from, Earth, I've never even HEARD of something like this, before this very thread.

Unbelievable...there is nothing that can be offered up, as excuse for such extremely poor manners...rude. Just, rude. It's not about them being boys, you say it's more of a boy thing....that's shocking....it shouldn't be an ANYONE thing...it's unacceptable.

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Old 06-05-2009, 06:05 PM
 
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I have a similar situation. My son is 2 and the boys in question range from 3-7. They are sweet as can be, but they can be a handful. Their moms are nice but they put them outside in the morning and keep them there until dusk. I let them come over when it works for me, and when they get rowdy, I nicely kick 'em out. It's all about boundaries. But they love my son and he loooooves them.

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Old 06-05-2009, 06:05 PM
 
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I'm sorry...maybe I'm loony toons, or really mean or something....but I actually was laughing out loud, at how completely COMPLETELY completely crazy this situation is. Maybe it;s just because I have a one year old...so, you know, nowhere close to 11 years old...but this is a CRAZY situation. I would have been absolutely beside myself, if these boys descended upon my house uninvited and proceeded to rifle through my things.
I guess I'm a mean old loony toon right along with you because I agree with you completely with what you said. I honestly can't believe so many people are brushing this aside as "oh boys will be boys". I'm a very private/boundary sensitive person too and I would very upset if anyone, no matter their age or gender, barged into my garage and starting going through my things. Going to go put on my flame-proof suit now!
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Old 06-05-2009, 06:11 PM
 
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I guess I'm a mean old loony toon right along with you because I agree with you completely with what you said. I honestly can't believe so many people are brushing this aside as "oh boys will be boys". I'm a very private/boundary sensitive person too and I would very upset if anyone, no matter their age or gender, barged into my garage and starting going through my things. Going to go put on my flame-proof suit now!
I'm honestly, sitting here LAUGHING...I am so weirded out by this, I can't even believe it's true! That this is normal behavior is stunning to me...I've never heard of or seen anything like this ever...when we were kids, us neighborhood rats NEVER would have done something like this EVER...for one, my mom would have just killed me, but in general we were ever rude like that to anybody.

When you want to go meet someone...and you're a kid...I thought it was normal to sort of mill around outside their house until you saw them outside or they noticed you and said something. I mean, I'm not expecting that these boys would like, send a note in the mail "Welcome to the neighborhood..maybe we;ll stop by this week sometime and say hello!" But like, you know..."Hi, I'm mike" seems better than thinking it's okay for them to just walk into this womans space and start messing with her stuff. I remember when someone new came around we would always kind of go up and one of us would say "Umm, we live over there" - and point to our house...we NEVER approached someone and came into their space without introducing ourselves...as mangled and odd as the intruduction might have been and I can quite honestly say, that I would have eaten my sisters face, before either of us touched someone elses stuff without asking...that's pure insanity.

If I had been the OP, I would have been compltely thrown off by this behavior...I don't know WHAT I would have done! It's just nuts!

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Old 06-05-2009, 07:14 PM
 
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I've been through this too, lots of kids are starved for attention. They see a mom actually WITH a child and they want to play. I've always been very direct and honest but tried to be sensitive and accept them as part of life. I would tell them flat out if they are rude or need to leave but I would also try to give them some of our time if I could. You never know what they might learn from you.

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Old 06-05-2009, 07:35 PM
 
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I've been through this too, lots of kids are starved for attention. They see a mom actually WITH a child and they want to play. I've always been very direct and honest but tried to be sensitive and accept them as part of life. I would tell them flat out if they are rude or need to leave but I would also try to give them some of our time if I could. You never know what they might learn from you.
That's what I think, too. It's similar to how you see so many posts here about "why do the unattended kids at the park always gravitate to me?" It's because we're actually involved parents, and a lot of kids are drawn to that.

OP, we have a few neighborhood kids who drop by all the time, too. I've taken to keeping my gate & garage door closed unless I don't mind them being over. I definitely keep my gate closed when I'm not home, now. There's one 6 year old in my complex who has a new baby sister, and his parents don't pay much attention to him lately. He always wants to play with us. Fortunately or not, there are enough other kids in the complex that he wanders from house to house if we're not available.
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Old 06-05-2009, 07:38 PM
 
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Just in general, I'll say that I don't see anything weird about the kids approaching the OP, or about the fact that they want to play with her 2 year old. One of ds1's best friends at around 3 was our next door neighbour - a girl of 11.

I do find the whole poking around it the boxes in the garage a bit bizarre, though. Attached garages aren't very common here, but I honestly have trouble imagining any child I've ever known just walking into a stranger's garage and going through their stuff...

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Old 06-05-2009, 08:01 PM
 
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Well, look at it this way...My son, for example, has never met a stranger.
He is used to going over to adult's houses ( friends of myself or my dh or my xdh who have kids, or not. Some of them are just really good friends of ours with animals) and hanging out in their yard/garage with the families. He thinks nothing of seeing an adult and child outside to play and going over and making himself at home. He would never, however, just go on in the house and make his self a snack or something. LOL I mean, just general questions about their stuff in the garage. He loves stuff.
I have no problem with them telling him " Don't touch that." or " We can't play today. Sammy needs a nap." He takes it in stride.

ETA: Most of the time around here, families have their scooters/bikes/ extra electronics in their garage. My DS is a magnet to all of those things. Like a kid in a candy store. LOL

If they are being obnoxious, then, by all means...tell then they need to go home now.

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Old 06-05-2009, 08:13 PM
 
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Also, maybe....just maybe....it is an age thing.

I remember being fiercely protective of said DS when he was a baby and there were much older kids around.

Just some food for thought...

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Old 06-05-2009, 08:36 PM
 
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Sounds pretty normal to me. An open garage with cool stuff in it is an icebreaker and lots of older kids like to play with/around little ones sometimes. When my kids were toddler/preschool age we always had older kids coming over to play for a while. I didn't mind at all. It's much more normal and natural than children only playing with their age group closely supervised by stifling (I realize that part is my opinion) parents. I really feel that childhood is getting lost. Thank goodness some parents still allow it (as my 9 & 11 year old roam unsupervised with their friends around the neighborhood). BTW- it's true that kids that age don't have fine tuned social skills yet so it's perfectly fine to tell them (in a kind but firm voice) that you need them to leave certain things alone or that it's time for them to go home. I can't wait until my soon to be born son has some older friends of his own.
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Old 06-06-2009, 03:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, everyone has given me food for thought.

First and foremost, please let me state again that these boys came INTO my garage unannounced, uninvited, and without introducing themselves and began rumming through my husband's things.

To me, that is so unacceptable and wierd that I really was not even sure how to react.

Had nothing to do with the fact that they are boys.

When I was a kid their ages, I lived in a neighborhood with lots of other kids, and we roamed wherever we pleased. Never, never, never would I have gone into someone's garage without knowing them first. Even if I was 9 yrs old. I would have introduced myself, gotten to know them. I would not have run in and started touching things that were not mine. Never.

Maybe this is actually normal in some places and maybe I am very strict about boundaries but I was extremely uncomfortable and I have a right to feel comfortable on my own property. Also I might add that an open garage does not mean, in my book, that anyone can just run in.

Ok so that all being said...a few pp's wondered why I was suspicious. Two reasons. One, I had a gut feeling about it. Yes I know that is not concrete evidence but I am a strong believer in gut feelings. They're usually right.

Two, these boys kept making comments indicating they felt that DH and DS and I had a lot nicer, cooler stuff than they have. It was in such a way that just was making me really uncomfortable. As if it was unfair that we had nice things and they did not. Maybe I was reading too much into it. But in particular, I did not trust one of the boys. The other two, I think probably are harmless and just kind of going along.

I will post more in a minute, I need to go back and read over again..I will try to learn how to use quotes..sorry, I'm pretty new still

Thanks for all the responses.
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Old 06-06-2009, 03:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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This is funny. If you go through my past posts, yesterday I posted this exact scenario. WHY oh WHY do 9-12 year olds want to play with my 4 kids who are 3 and under?! It makes no sense!
I am glad I am not the only one who thinks this is strange. I really, really do still think it's strange. I remember when I was a kid, we had a little girl who lived across the street from us who was 4 and I was 8 when we moved to that house. SHE wanted to play with me and my siblings, but we did not want to play with her because she was so much younger that it was kind of boring and also annoying to us because she was a preschooler and could not do the things we could do, couldn't leave her yard, etc. I felt sorry for her sometimes and would go play with her, but not because I wanted to. And I certainly never went to her house trying to play with her.

Now I do realize that maybe not every child would feel this way. Maybe some kids would genuinely enjoy playing with a younger child. But my child is still pretty much a baby, and it just seems bizarre to me that these kids would want to play with him. So I am actually surprised at how many others think this is very normal.

And I would not feel any differently if they were girls, for the record. It would still be wierd to me.
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Old 06-06-2009, 03:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Also, maybe....just maybe....it is an age thing.

I remember being fiercely protective of said DS when he was a baby and there were much older kids around.

Just some food for thought...
Yes, you are right. I do feel protective of him, since he is little and is my first child. *but* I also feel that this is good, for me to be protective of him. I certainly would not feel comfortable letting him play with boys I did not know, who were rude to us, without me being present.
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Old 06-06-2009, 03:18 AM
 
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You have zero obligation to open your home to anyone, for any reason. You don't need to justify your feelings at all.

Just be perfectly clear and firm about your boundaries. Be pleasant, but don't worry about being abrupt by saying things like, "We're not having visitors right now. Bye!" and closing the door.

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