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#31 of 48 Old 07-09-2013, 08:16 PM
 
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I wouldnt let my kids play  somewhere where i felt they would be unsafe, i would invite the child over  to our place instead, but i wouldnt discourage the friendship (judgemental what...how do you know about excessive drinking at her place anyway? )

Kids throwing rocks? Bad behavior. Different story. I dont say-'you cant play with those kids', i say 'you cant throw rocks at other people.'


judgemental? How do I know? I know because their parties are loud, spill into the backyard, and there are beer bottles everywhere outside. We can clearly see it from our yard when we are playing outside. Not to mention the wafting over of pot and cigarrette smoke over the fence. I don't mind drinking (I drink sometimes too!), and if people want to smoke pot that is their choice, but that doesn't mean my kid is going over there by herself. Call that judgmental if you want, it's still my call as the parent.

 

OP- It would be a "nice" thing to do to let this kid play, but you are under NO obligation to do so unless you are up for it. Have you talked with the grandparents or the mom yet? That might give you better insight into the situation. And we certainly don't want to live in fear of everyone but if your instincts say something's not right, maybe it isn't.


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#32 of 48 Old 07-09-2013, 10:42 PM
 
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they would seem contradictory if you as a mother havent been on both sides of the fence. until you do its really hard to figure out what is the truth.

 

looking back i was an extremely judgemental mother of a younger than K age child towards older kids till i became the mother of the older kid and what i thought was mean and teasing behaviour was very age appropriate for the older child. 

 

for me at least as my dd grows older i find i have to become more and more compassionate.

 

the OP here is using VERY strong language for a SEVEN year old. evil smile, creepy, peeking around the corner - for a child with hearing impairment.

 

remember her children 'beg' to play with that child.

 

so its OP drawing all the inferences. not her children. 

 

being the mother of a special needs child and her brother's history, it is COMPLETELY understandable to be super protective towards your own child - esp. a toddler.  all i am asking OP to do is question her gut feeling. there is a "knowing" and then there is a 'fearing' in the guise of knowing. there is a huge difference. but alas one has to be completely honest with oneself which is hard to do to figure out the difference.

 

i was talking about bullying with regards to the 7 year old. bullying is very serious. but i think that term has been way too overused and also v. casually used too. it was just an extra thought. 

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#33 of 48 Old 07-10-2013, 12:21 AM
 
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they would seem contradictory if you as a mother havent been on both sides of the fence. until you do its really hard to figure out what is the truth.

 

i find it slightly condescending on your part to assume things- older children and their behavior is not a mystery to me nor am i exclusively around toddlers. just because i am the mother of a older child who might be 'asserting her choice' about how to behave with a younger one, that does not preclude the possibility that this older kid is actually being mean. nor is it a toddler's job to deal with it while mom is developing compassion. OP has not based her post on a one time interaction between the children but on what she has observed thus far.

 

as a matter of fact, bullying is not taken seriously enough. especially these days, among older children and the increasing time they spend living lives online, it has become a far more insidious problem. so, i am not inclined to take a benign view from ANY side of the fence about problematic behavior and think it's best to look for proactive ways to address them.

 

OP, your thread is taking a bit of a turn, and i've said what i needed to. hope it all works out well!

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#34 of 48 Old 07-10-2013, 04:40 AM
 
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i disagree with you. your maternal instincts are not always right. fear is a horrible emotion that can appear as a maternal instinct and totally mess your family up. its an emotion that closes options. look at what the OP wrote in her following reply alluding to what happened to her brother which she open mindedly said could have an impact on her feelings. 

i personally have had to watch my own emotions. they can lie. they have for me when i have lived in fear. 

what you write is absolutely true. the strong feeling IS to be listened to if it is a true feeling and not a lie. 

I do see your point but when a mother begins to rationalize her initial gut responses, that highly instinctive feeling, it should be even more of a sign to her that her discomfort is not going away and to pay attention to it.
Trying to rationalize an instinctive response is what present day humans do, when we were more animalistic we would just act on our instinct, like a bear protecting her cub. An animal would not rationalize by figuring out why she feels the way she does, she would just respond and do what she had to do.

Truly that book by Gavin DeBecker was a real eye opener for me. My husband is not one for most of my reading material but he read it and was impressed to the point where he would like to buy copies for his family. He read it within a few nights, could not put it down. I also noted a new respect on his part for mother's instinct .......sorry I digress.

Just to be clear also I am all for multi age playmates for children, we as humans evolved in groups of hunter gatherers, so for 99% of human history there were children playing, in small multi age groups. Peers groups were not a natural part of human bands, so it wasn't that 4 year olds hung out with other four year olds, they would play with various ages. My three year old likes to play with the neighborhood children and they span 18 months to 10 years of age..
I rely a lot upon instinct when gauging which interactions I need to supervise more closely or try to limit or avoid all together.
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#35 of 48 Old 07-10-2013, 06:23 AM
 
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i find it slightly condescending on your part to assume things

ugh sorry i wasnt meaning to be condescending. i wasnt even thinking of you when i wrote this. its more about me and how MY own experience has affected my reaction.

 

my response to this thread is so different now as a mother of a 10 year old than how it would have been had dd been 4 now. 

 

i do not agree this thread has taken on 'a bit of a turn'. i think its right on the path. even in her reply OP is questioning and trying to figure out what is appropriate. she IS trying to figure out the answer. she seems open to all possiblities. 

 

i was a big fan of Gavin's book till i realised his advice was spot on for the younger kids, but not so much for older kids. 

 

yes i am absolutely with you. bullying is not taken seriously enough - in middle and high school in general. 

 

but i have found for kids younger than 10 some mothers are too quick to jump to conclusions. i was one of them too when dd was a toddler till i grew up and discovered what i thought was bullying behaviour was actually typical age appropriate stuff. 


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#36 of 48 Old 07-10-2013, 06:31 AM
 
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To me it comes down to this - follow your gut and the worst that happens is the kids don't play together.  Ignore your gut and the worst that happens is...fill in the blank.

 

I think, in general, people are afraid to be direct.  There are so many threads on this forum that are essentially, "This person has done this unreasonable thing and I don't want to rock the boat and ask them to stop."  It is not ok for the other kid's family to expect this mother to entertain their kid all the time.  It's not ok for the kid to wander around her home, ask for food, be mean to her kids, etc.  It's not.  THE CHILD (and his care givers) are the ones out of line, but the OP is afraid to rock the boat or possibly offend someone by asking them to stop doing something they shouldn't be doing in the first place!  It is 100% OK to decide who comes in your home and plays with your children.  It is ok to send kids home when you're tired of them, and certainly when they're being mean to your kids.  It is ok not to have that kid over if it is less like a playdate and more like you're providing free babysitting.  All these things are just FINE and no one should feel uncomfortable about setting up healthy boundaries.  You don't need a REASON to send a kid home or not let them come over.

 

I also have this ideal of the free range neighborhood where all the kids play in a multi-age group and lessons are learned, community is built.  In reality, I just end up with everybody's kids all the time and some of them are a pain and have to go home. There is one kid I feel especially sorry for because the home life, even just what the mother tells me and what I directly observe (to say nothing of what I DON'T know) is pretty sad right now...but having her here all the time makes MY CHILD'S home life terrible. 
 

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#37 of 48 Old 07-10-2013, 07:26 AM
 
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Its so interesting to me how many posters suggest that this is common developmental behavior for a 7 yr old...my son is 8, honestly a good kid and most of the time very sweet with little ones, but lately sometimes veers into the type of mean territory described...deliberately baiting or upsetting a younger kid or sibling he was having fun with. I do see other children his age act this way at times too (I totally saw the 'evil' smile described on a neighborhood boy while he *enjoyed* seeing my younger child cry, and it gave me a cold shiver), but it still REALLY concerns me.
It almost always happens when he is tired and/or bored.
I deal with it immediately, protect the younger child, and weve had many heart to hearts about caring behavior and being a good person...but it still happens sometimes.

When other kids act this way at my home they do get sent home immediately. IMO even if its normal it shouldnt be tolerated, I imagine its helpful to them to get the clear message that its not o.k.
I too have found visitors in my bedroom and am creeped out. My kids so far have shown good boundries and respect for privacy, I would be very surprised if they did that.


I think maybe it comes down to what the child has been taught is acceptable/what behavior is modeled at home, but I dont think that explains my own child acting his way? Is this behavior a bad sign for the person they will be or is just figuring out social norms?

In any event, I definitely wouldnt let it get to the point where my younger childrens home didnt feel like a safe haven for them. Good for them to see you modeling personal boundries by sending him home, sadly sticking up for themselves is a necessary lifelong skill.
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#38 of 48 Old 07-10-2013, 08:36 AM
 
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I would have concerns too if a neighbor kid, of any age, came over as often as this one, regardless of how they were acting.  You as of yet do not know his mother or grandparents and I think that is something that is very important when their child is spending so much time at your house.  Like a previous poster said, we are afraid to be direct, but it is truly needed more often in our daily lives.  I suggest that you talk with the child's family.  I would be concerned that he is spending so much time there and THEY are not wondering who you are and what goes on in your house.  This is not meant to offend you, only to show the other side.  Why are they not concerned with who he plays with?  Why are they not concerned with what he eats all day?  Since they seem to be lacking in care giving basics, you are going to have to be the one to talk with them.  I know that you are concerned with his behavior as well but that may not need to be the first thing you bring up in conversation with the neighbors as it will probably shut down open communication immediately, maybe bring it up during a later conversation.  I think that you need to cover the basics with them especially since you think that he has a hearing impairment and since your son has special needs.   If you glean from them an acceptable amount of information and you let the child come overto play then it is your place to talk to him as well.

 

He is 7 and you can be direct with him as well.  Let him know your home boundaries and what kind of actions will send him home for the day.  You are here for guidance for your children and those that are around your children.  Don't be afraid to talk yours and to the neighbor boy.

 

I wish you well.


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#39 of 48 Old 07-10-2013, 10:07 AM
 
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ugh sorry i wasnt meaning to be condescending. i wasnt even thinking of you when i wrote this.

good to know.

 

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I deal with it immediately, protect the younger child, and weve had many heart to hearts about caring behavior and being a good person...but it still happens sometimes.

When other kids act this way at my home they do get sent home immediately. IMO even if its normal it shouldnt be tolerated, I imagine its helpful to them to get the clear message that its not o.k.
I too have found visitors in my bedroom and am creeped out. My kids so far have shown good boundries and respect for privacy, I would be very surprised if they did that.


I think maybe it comes down to what the child has been taught is acceptable/what behavior is modeled at home, but I dont think that explains my own child acting his way? Is this behavior a bad sign for the person they will be or is just figuring out social norms?

In any event, I definitely wouldnt let it get to the point where my younger childrens home didnt feel like a safe haven for them. Good for them to see you modeling personal boundries by sending him home, sadly sticking up for themselves is a necessary lifelong skill.

thumbsup.gif. this is exactly the kind of proactive and helpful approach i was thinking about.

 

as they grow older, there is a lot in their behavior that reflects what their peers are modeling in addition to the home environment, so when an adult steps in and responds as outlined in your post, it really helps the older child figure out social norms while supporting the younger one as well.

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#40 of 48 Old 07-10-2013, 11:32 AM
 
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 I would be concerned that he is spending so much time there and THEY are not wondering who you are and what goes on in your house.  This is not meant to offend you, only to show the other side.  Why are they not concerned with who he plays with?  Why are they not concerned with what he eats all day?  Since they seem to be lacking in care giving basics, you are going to have to be the one to talk with them. 

 

Yes to this.  We had a similar situation a few years ago when I was actually home one summer (mostly I've been a WOHM).  Two neighborhood kids practically lived at our house, while their grandparents were supposed to be watching them.  I went down to their house one day to introduce myself and get some basic information and to make sure they had info on me.  I asked if I could take their kids to the beach and they didn't even want my cell phone number nor my last name.  I was stunned by how much they didn't seem to care.  That particular day the boys hadn't even gone into the house after being dropped of by mom -- they had come straight to me.  Grandparents didn't even know where they were.  So not my style!

 

But I learned so much from that conversation and from comments and observations of the boys.  Parents were neglectful and involved with CPS.  Grandparents were disabled and really not able to do anything with the boys.  They also had one of those "all white" houses.  You know, white carpets that kids can't play on, white kitchen where they can't get a snack...  And since the parents weren't giving them any money, they weren't feeding the boys lunch or snacks.  Boys themselves had physical evidence of abuse (cigarette burns on their arms, beating stripes on their backs that I could see when they wore swimsuits...)  So I pretty much took them in that summer.  I had lots of house rules that I enforced by sending them home but they were so grateful for the different atmosphere than at home they were mostly great once I laid out my expectations.  And I did send them home sometimes when I wanted time with just my children.  They moved away shortly thereafter and I still worry about them all the time.  I hope they are OK.  I like to think that I gave these boys the gift of at least one nice summer where they were fed, went swimming every day, went on outings to places they would never have gone to, and no one beat them or even yelled at them.  And my children had the gift of learning compassion, that not everyone's world was as nice as theirs, and doing something good without getting an immediate reward was important.

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#41 of 48 Old 07-10-2013, 12:39 PM
 
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ugh sorry i wasnt meaning to be condescending. i wasnt even thinking of you when i wrote this. its more about me and how MY own experience has affected my reaction.

 

my response to this thread is so different now as a mother of a 10 year old than how it would have been had dd been 4 now. 

 

i do not agree this thread has taken on 'a bit of a turn'. i think its right on the path. even in her reply OP is questioning and trying to figure out what is appropriate. she IS trying to figure out the answer. she seems open to all possiblities. 

 

i was a big fan of Gavin's book till i realised his advice was spot on for the younger kids, but not so much for older kids. 

 

yes i am absolutely with you. bullying is not taken seriously enough - in middle and high school in general. 

 

but i have found for kids younger than 10 some mothers are too quick to jump to conclusions. i was one of them too when dd was a toddler till i grew up and discovered what i thought was bullying behaviour was actually typical age appropriate stuff. 

 

I'm the mom to a 16 yr old as well as younger children. And we have a "creepy kid" on our street too. At first i felt sorry for him. The nice normal neighbors across the street had banned him from THEIR house after he asked their son to "suck my...." and the mom of the kid said oh he picked that up from school (never mind the step father in the home who is on the sex offender list)....my boys decided they LOVED this kid. He started coming over. But then i noticed this kid lies all the time, right to my face (no little boy, i can tell you arent 11) ...follows my 11 yr old daughter around making her uncomfortable and will not leave her alone even when she is very direct "GO AWAY"....my boys started acting out a little bit (being more defiant than usual, more sassy) and kept defending these crazy stories the kid was telling them (that he was born in a tree, that he was born with gold teeth)....he wasnt always nice when he was over either. But i continued to feel sorry for him until he started saying inappropriate/sexualized stuff to my new 8 yr old foster daughter. Not cool. So he can't play over anymore. I feel sorry for the kid but im not putting MY kids in a bad position just so that kid has someone to play with. 


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#42 of 48 Old 07-10-2013, 01:40 PM
 
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I feel sorry for the kid but im not putting MY kids in a bad position just so that kid has someone to play with.

 

 

Yup. 

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#43 of 48 Old 07-10-2013, 04:47 PM
 
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i was a big fan of Gavin's book till i realised his advice was spot on for the younger kids, but not so much for older kids. 

 

 

I think it's problematic to cast a 7 year old in the role of the predators described by Gavin De Becker.  But the general trust your instincts is a good idea. I read his first book years ago, and haven't read any subsequent books, so maybe he does deal with younger children in those.

I think it's fine and necessary to limit neighbors at the house, especially children who don't seem to treat my children the way I think they should.  When children are younger, they don't have the same level of discernment, and I don't want to make them responsible for things they just aren't old enough to decide for themselves.  But I do feel like allowing this child some opportunity to play could be beneficial to all the children involved.

I have a 14 year old who has friends who say things to her, and I sometimes feel protective with things she is telling me, and I kind of call something out that I think is negative behavior on the part of her friends, and my daughter disagrees with me and tells me why I am blowing things out of proportion.  And maybe I am, because I realize I am really sensitive and read a lot into encounters that may not be there.  So that's my problem, I suppose, not necessarily related to what has been said here.

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#44 of 48 Old 07-11-2013, 08:06 AM
 
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judgemental? How do I know? I know because their parties are loud, spill into the backyard, and there are beer bottles everywhere outside. We can clearly see it from our yard when we are playing outside. Not to mention the wafting over of pot and cigarrette smoke over the fence. I don't mind drinking (I drink sometimes too!), and if people want to smoke pot that is their choice, but that doesn't mean my kid is going over there by herself. Call that judgmental if you want, it's still my call ase parent.

 

I get it. Those kind of neighbors annoy me too, not because they are drinking and smoking, thats *their* business. But because the smell and the mess reach into my personal space... letting the child go over there by herself? Absolutely not.  But if their child is friends with my child,  i wouldnt discourage the friendship based on the parents behavior. Thats not fair on the child. I would have the child over our place. Thats all  im saying.

 

 

 

OP- It would be a "nice" thing to do to let this kid play, but you are under NO obligation

 

 

Of course theres no obligation, but her children  *like* him.  Its for her children, not him.  But playdates need to be closely monitored, and bad behavior is unacceptable. Same rules apply to everyone.... thats all im saying.

 

 

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#45 of 48 Old 07-11-2013, 09:04 AM
 
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.  I like to think that I gave these boys the gift of at least one nice summer where they were fed, went swimming every day, went on outings to places they would never have gone to, and no one beat them or even yelled at them.  And my children had the gift of learning compassion, that not everyone's world was as nice as theirs, and doing something good without getting an immediate reward was important.

Good job Momma.


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#46 of 48 Old 07-11-2013, 11:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Wanted to update: I've decided to allow limited play, not all day everyday and only allow this little boy inside if we are having structured playtime. We had him over for a craft today and he did very well. I'm fairly certain he gets no structured play at home.

Speaking to his grandparents hasn't especially put me at ease... His grandma seemed very apologetic that he'd been over so much and told me he gets "obsessed" with things and right now he is obsessed with my kids.

I will be keeping a close eye on their interactions with this boy. Thanks for all the input!

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#47 of 48 Old 07-12-2013, 11:08 AM
 
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That seems like a really good solution.  Good luck!
 

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#48 of 48 Old 07-12-2013, 11:23 AM
 
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thanks for the update. hope it goes well!

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