How about a thread about neighbor kids. - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 17 Old 07-26-2012, 05:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm struggling with feeling like it's ok to set limits. I was the scapegoat as a kid. I didn't get to have limits. It's complicated being the mom now.

 

Situation: my kid is four. Neighbor is five. Neighbor thinks that being older makes her the boss and my kid has to listen to her. She backs this up with physically preventing my kid from doing what I say and occasionally punching my kid in the stomach.

 

I tried to go talk to neighbor kid about this yesterday. Neighbor kid's mom wanted to talk to me and then said she would handle it. She didn't want me talking to the kid. This seems kind of odd to me given that this kid is at my house for 20-30 hours a week. Ostensibly she is being "watched" by grandmother. But grandmother has a variety of mental health issues and is frequently in bed with migraines or depression.

 

Kid lives in the house of grandmother's (very new) boyfriend because mom left an alcoholic, abusive husband. Now mom has to work and isn't interacting with her kids much. So it's all complicated.

 

On one hand this kid obviously needs a safe place to go. On the other hand I'm getting sick to death of the nasty looks when I ask them to do things and I'm beyond sick of the bullying.

 

We've only known her for a few months. Thank goodness she starts kindergarten soon. Any advice? I'm at the point where I'm going to tell the kid when she comes over next, "I am to the point where I am not very happy with your behavior. I'm not your parent, teacher, or day care provider so I have no actual authority. That means I am sending you home the first minute I don't like how you are behaving." But she's five. That seems a bit much. Only I have nothing else I can do. And if I let the first thing slide in a day she escalates quickly.

 

Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.


My advice may not be appropriate for you. That's ok. You are just fine how you are and I am the right kind of me.

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#2 of 17 Old 07-26-2012, 06:08 AM
 
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Originally Posted by rightkindofme View Post

"I am to the point where I am not very happy with your behavior. I'm not your parent, teacher, or day care provider so I have no actual authority. That means I am sending you home the first minute I don't like how you are behaving." But she's five. That seems a bit much. Only I have nothing else I can do. And if I let the first thing slide in a day she escalates quickly.

 

Ugh indeed!

 

I've noticed several local friends lately having 'neighbor issues' wonder if it is just because of summer (at least in this hemisphere)?

 

The only thing I'd suggest is that your quoted comment above is probably too much for a 5yo. As in too many words and maybe (depending on the 5yo) too much to understand.

 

Maybe something more concrete and straightforward, like:

"If you are ________ (hitting, pushing, name-calling) I will assume you need and nap and send you home for one."

 

And stay close. 
Your priority needs to be protecting your child; and staying very close can help to achieve this...but it can also serve as proof to the other child that you mean what you say.

 

And then follow-through with it. I would completely expect that the limits will be tested. 

 

HTH,


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#3 of 17 Old 07-26-2012, 06:20 AM
 
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I've had to work hard to grow a backbone with a couple of difficult kids in our neighborhood.  But over the years it's been effective and now they can hang out at my house and behave reasonably well.  With this child, until her behavior improves, I would simply give her one chance to stop doing ______ and then send her home.  I'd be willing to bet that after a few times of this, if she really wants to be at your house that badly, she'll improve how she's acting.

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#4 of 17 Old 07-26-2012, 06:28 AM
 
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As she's punching your child, I think she's pretty much out of chances.  Send her home.  I feel bad for her, but I wouldn't expect my own child to put up with being abused and bullied in her own home.

 

Failing that, I agree with the person above me - if you hit, you go home.  If you're pushy, go home.  If you're being a jerk, go home.  No chances, no warnings.  Either learn to work within the rules of the house or go home.

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#5 of 17 Old 07-26-2012, 06:32 AM
 
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How about just dont have the child over at all for a while, maybe a week. Then when she comes knocking, explain the rules we have at this house. IF you cannot follow them, you have to go home. Then do that.


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#6 of 17 Old 07-26-2012, 07:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We did a week off after the second time she punched my daughter in the stomach. Yesterday it was just physical intimidation and looming. I sent her home for that. I tried to have a conversation with kid and kid's mom. Kid's mom didn't want to. She said she should talk to her daughter and wasn't interested in everyone being on the same page. I don't have a lot of options.

 

I feel weird because I seem to be the only supervising adult around. My kids are bloody watched. I am not ok with my four year old playing in the front yard alone. We live on a fairly busy street and I see these kids in the road. It makes my blood run cold. Both of my brothers were hit by cars. :(


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#7 of 17 Old 07-26-2012, 07:51 AM
 
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. Kid's mom didn't want to. She said she should talk to her daughter and wasn't interested in everyone being on the same page.

I'm sorry, Kid's mom lost that option when her child started acting up at your house.

 

I wouldn't even bother talking to her again if I were you.  I agree with PPs - your house, your rules, can't abide by them, go home.  I bet with strong boundaries from you the kid will turn her behavour around. Frankly it sounds like she needs them.

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#8 of 17 Old 07-26-2012, 09:44 AM
 
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I would send her home if the playdate isn't going well also. At that age I would step in when my dd or her friend weren't listening to each other and it sounded like they needed a mediator or other suggestions. If I wanted to keep the playdate going I would offer art stuff or something else to do so they could calm down, otherwise I sent the child home. It sounds like they are together way to much so I also suggest keeping playdates shorter si they are less annoyed with each other.

If her mom brings it up I would tell her she is welcome to keep her child at home and that you aren't her sitter and will enforce your rules in your home
I don't think playing in the front yard at five is neglect even if she is outside a lot so I don't think the girl needs rescuing or that it will be a shame if the mom doesn't let her go to your house anymore because you don't let her kid bully yours. If you see things you truly believe are neglect call cps, otherwise I suggest you accept them as a different way of raising kids and let it go.
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#9 of 17 Old 07-26-2012, 01:27 PM
 
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I would send her home right away when she hits, or is overly bossy.  Eventually she'll learn.  

 

If the mom told you not to talk to her about her behavior, i'd not talk about it.  Just say "I won't let you hit my daughter, I need you to go home for today, maybe we can try this tomorrow...buh bye!"

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#10 of 17 Old 07-26-2012, 02:56 PM
 
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Good advice from the others here. Keep it simple. State exactly what was done wrong and send her home. I've sent home children from my house for less.
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#11 of 17 Old 07-26-2012, 04:17 PM
 
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Does the kid respond when you correct her behavior?  Basically if your kid is at my house, I'm going to treat them as my own.  That means I will tell you the rules and you will follow them or you go home.  If mom doesn't want to get involved and you're comfortable laying down the law at your house and your child actually enjoys this kid, then it's worth the trouble.  

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#12 of 17 Old 07-26-2012, 06:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Lately when I correct her behavior she gives me a look like she is going to poison my dinner. Things were great a month or two ago. :-\


My advice may not be appropriate for you. That's ok. You are just fine how you are and I am the right kind of me.

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#13 of 17 Old 07-26-2012, 07:55 PM
 
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If kids don't behave well over here, I send them home and I tell them why I'm sending them home. Every time. "You can't play here if you hit anyone." Or just, "You can't play here unless you can play nicely."
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#14 of 17 Old 07-27-2012, 12:05 PM
 
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Lately when I correct her behavior she gives me a look like she is going to poison my dinner. Things were great a month or two ago. :-\


Yeah, I have one of those.  At first, I think she wasn't comfortable enough to really buck, then she got comfortable and started giving me the Death Glare of Six Year Old Intimidation - and when I still sent her home, she eventually got with the program.  I think you can either make a big show of ignoring The Look or tell her directly, "yeah, I see what you're doing there and I don't care.  You're still going home for not following the rules."

 

You can not be intimidated by a five year old.  Either she'll figure out how to get along in your house or she'll stop coming over.  Either way, problem solved.

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#15 of 17 Old 07-27-2012, 01:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We haven't seen her in a few days. Phew.

My advice may not be appropriate for you. That's ok. You are just fine how you are and I am the right kind of me.

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#16 of 17 Old 07-27-2012, 01:53 PM
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Oh, I can totally relate to having a hard time setting limits with the neighbor kids.  Especially since we live in a condo, and technically the space directly behind our unit is "common area".  Unfortunately it is also about 6 feet from our back door to the property line fence, so when the two boys who live next door play behind our adjoined units, it is kind of like having them in our living room.

 

They are both older than DD - younger one is 8 older is 10 or 11.  And they have a very different set of rules/way of life/whatever.  Big on the guns and the war play (hear them playing and discussing whether is was okay to shoot civilians), and they - for some reason - adore my dd.  So, when they are home, they immediately come out back, and head to right behind my unit and begin talking to her through the screen. If she is not immediately visible, they have been known to shout for her ("Where are you?!"), even when the sliding glass door is closed. 

 

I was pretty chill about letting her play with them - outside, for a while.  Then the older boy got an airsoft pistol and apparently has no limits on when and where he can use it. So the first day he had it he said he was going to shoot squirrels and birds (we have bird feeders up) and that he ha already shot his brother by accident.  So, no more playing when the airsoft is out. She already isn't allowed to go to their house, as parent and boyfriend smoke like chimneys and I don't know them at all.  

 

Then they found out she was homeschooled.  Thus begins the quizzing...math questions from the 11 year olds homework (DD just got done with K), then explaining I needed to teach her better when she didn't know the answer. Telling her about recess and how it sucks that she doesn't get it. Asking her all the time if she is still doing school. 

 

And finally, when I explained she couldn't come outside because it was bed time (8:30 - getting ready for a bath) they both told me that they didn't understand that and look how light it was outside and who goes to bed that early??? 

 

All of these conversations conducted while they stand at my back railing and holler into the house at my daughter. I have tried setting limits (Do not shoot at birds or squirrels behind my unit.  Do not kick over my plants.  Please do not play baseball and hit the baseball into the siding. Please do not shout into the house.) But it only goes so far, and I don't think mom is setting any limits for them at all, not to mention I have *never* seen her outside playing with them. They have lived next door for nearly 3 years now. So, i just end up looking like the crazy neighbor lady.

 

*sigh*  All that thread hijack to say, I'm sorry and I understand. :(  It is hard when you can't really set limits, and parenting styles are very different.


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#17 of 17 Old 08-04-2012, 10:00 PM
 
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Hello, spare some passion for the kid she is five anyway but set limitation.

Kindly, tell her your house rule. When telling that, tell her why.

And for every rule, explain the punishment such as telling her to go home.

And when she break the rule, let her go home. So she will know that rules are not to be broken.

 

If you dont like the kid dont let the kid be in your home..kids can also feel when they are not welcome.

Poor girl, she is also seeking some guidance that you may also spare.

 

But, if I were you that the kid is being bossy and hurting your DD.

Dont let her be your DD's playmate because it may also affect your DD's self confidence.


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