I wrote a post a while back about a neighbor's child who was friends with my kids. Now, I don't know how to handle a new situation. Basically, I have made it a point not to allow ds2 to visit with this neighbor unless ds1 is willing to go as well. I just heard something that concerns me though. The neighbor's child is trying to get ds2 to leave our backyard and go to his. I just sent ds1 out to play with ds2 because I don't want to cut ds2's playtime short just because of this. How should I address this? I really don't want to cause problems, but if he continues to try to lure ds2 out of our yard and keeps trying to manipulate ds2 to do things he's not suppsoed to, I am going to have to address this situation. Another issue is that this kid is basically the only person outside our family that ds2 talks to. I hate to take away the one person he is willing to speak to that isn't family, but I can't keep allowing this child to get ds2 to break the rules. Ds2 says he understands that he has to be responsible for any rule he breaks even when other people are trying to convince him to break them, but I'm not sure if he REALLY understands that just because this child is older he doesn't have any authority.
OK, I realize that this child is lonely and wants to play with ds, but it seems like he only wants to play with ds2 who is about 3 yrs. younger than he is. He doesn't seem to want to play with ds1 who is about a year and a half older, and he doesn't really play with dd anymore ever since she told him she wouldn't just do what he wanted. So basically, my paranoid brain is assuming that he only wants to play with kids he can control. Since the older two of my kids have proven that they cannot be controlled, he has limited his play time to being primarily with the 4 yr. old who is easier to control.
What would you do?
My concern in my previous post was that ds2 was riding his bike. The child asked if he could ride with ds and I explained where ds's limits were (to the end of the block in 2 directions where I can see him the whole time). The child said he understood but as soon as he was away from us with ds alone, he kept convincing him to go around the block. He has also tried to force my children to let him do things in our home that aren't allowed, citing that "I'm a guest so I can do whatever I want". I addressed the last issue with him on my own. But no, I don't think that's the issue, if it is, he has a bad way of showing it when every time he gets a chance he ensures that ds breaks a rule or boundary. If that is the case, why would he stop playing with ds1 and dd when they started telling him, "umm no, I'm not doing that". I mean, I guess it's possible, but that just makes it more difficult because that means not only does he want ds to look up to him, but he has trouble with authority himself. So it would almost be too much for me to get my head around, how someone who has issues with authority, would want to be seen as an authority figure, someone to be looked up to.
Based on this and your previous post if it was me, I wouldn't allow my 4 year old to play with the neighbor kid unless I was there to supervise. Yup, it sounds unfair to everyone, but obviously the neighbor kid isn't interested in your son's safety and your 4 year old isn't at the age where he can make responsible choices (which is completely age appropriate).
While I'm all in favor of giving kids a second chance, and it sounds like you have given this kid several chances, once my kiddos' safety is compromised there are no second chances. I feel for you about taking away your son's only friend, but unless you are there to supervise, I don't see any other choice.