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#1 of 18 Old 05-25-2012, 03:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am having such a struggle with the kids who live next door to me.. I could go on for pages about it but I'll try to summarize...

 

There are 7 familes in our cul-de-sac, 5 of whom have children. We live next door to a family that adopted two children that are about the same age as our daughter, also adopted. (Their son is 11, daughter is 9. Our daughter is 9) They’ve played together literally since babyhood, and I am (or at least, I was) friends with their parents.

 



My dd recently came in from playing, sobbing and upset, because the boy next door, let's call him J, called her an F'ing B. (He used the real words, not the letters.) She was hysterical, and proceeded to tell me all sorts of other things J has done, including bossing her around, grabbing her by her collar and jerking her, insisting she was only allowed to play with him, and making her get him snacks and drinks from our house. He has broken into our home and stolen things. His sister, L, also uses profanity and can be aggressive. L slapped one of the children in the neighborhood and twisted the arm of another. She scratched my dd's arms, and dd came home bleeding from that encounter. They do not obey us and I end up having to send them home (and their mother calls, angry that they were sent home.) They leave their belongings on the ground and refuse to clean up when asked. They talk back to me; J called me a fat b***.  I could go on.  The past 2-3 years have been difficult, and as the children get older, it gets worse. Somehow their parents do not see the behavior. We've spoken to their parents several times in the past but have not felt that our comments were at all welcome; the parents tend to blame our dd or one of the other neighborhood children. For instance, when we told them about their children using bad words, they insisted that their kids would not know words like that because they are home-schooled, and the bad language is more likely coming from the kids that attend the public school.  They accuse the children of lying and don't believe that their children really do these things — even if the behavior is witnessed by an adult. 



 

We've decided that it's just not emotionally healthy for our dd to be under the thumb of these bullies. We told her that she didn't have to play with them if she didn't want to. All the other kids in the neighborhood have decided not to play with them as well; there are four families with children on our street that have told J and L that they are not welcome there. Now that they can't come here, there are no children on the block that these kids can play with. I am upset because this seems so harsh.

Their mom is very upset. She has not spoken to us, but she has yelled at our children when we were not around and now our dd is afraid to walk past their home. In fact our dd is very anxious about the entire thing and is losing sleep over it. (As am I.) It's an ugly situation. We've even had to mark the boundary in the yard, because the parents told the children that our dd could not be on her property. It seems so very petty.

 

I am literally afraid of the mother in the family. She will twist whatever happened and make it my dd’s fault, or the fault of one of the other kids on the street, and say things that have just enough truth in them to hurt. I was sick and lost sleep for months after the last encounter.

 

Help!

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#2 of 18 Old 05-25-2012, 10:49 PM
 
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Well you can't move... can you?

 

I really have no advice but I read so I'm commenting.  At this point though if your kids are going to walk by her house it's best if you accompany them.  I don't see any other way at this point. 

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#3 of 18 Old 05-26-2012, 07:17 AM
 
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I clicked on your post b/c we ahve alittle boy in our neighborhood that is verbally abusive to my daughter although not near the extent you have outlined.

 

First, while it seems harsh for the families to not have contact at all, it protects your children from further abuse to an extent and that is the most important thing. Second, since the parents have been approached and seem to be just as abusive, the message you and the other families are sending is that this behavior is not okay and these are consequences of unsocial behavior. Sounds like the kids haven't been taught to behave civilly but, if they want to play with the other kids, they will figure it out. If not? Oh well. Your children are protected.

 

As far as practical ways to deal with this situation, I only have a few. First is document, document, document! Write down what happens and when and with whom. That way, if there is an issue where authorities are involved, you have documentation in the heat of the moment and don't have to rely on your memory especially in an emotionally-charged situation. I would mention (maybe in passing or like, "this is what we are doing") to the other families if they are also wanting to discuss the situation.

 

I would also  map out ways to avoid contact. Is it possible to not walk past their house at all? Or at least not unattended. If the neighborhood kids are out playing and a conflict arises, have a back-up plan such as going the whole group moving indoors to play. 

 

Hope that helps. Tough situation! 

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#4 of 18 Old 05-26-2012, 08:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We have considered moving. It stinks because we have a beautiful home  on a quiet cul-de-sac. Our older children grew up here and have fond memories of playing out in the woods; they can have a lot of freedom here because it is very safe. (Or at least, they could before this nonsense began.) I foresee us moving in the next year or so. 

 

I appreciate your responses, especially the advice to document the various incidents -- quite  honestly that never occurred to me. My husband and I have faced the fact that we may have to call the police some day. The 11 year old boy gets worse as he gets older. As I said in my original post, he did break into my home and steal some small items (toys and DVDs mostly). We didn't call the police then -- I considered the bad behavior of a 10 year old child to be a family matter, not a police matter. But as he gets older we imagine there will be vandalism and possibly more serious danger to our little girl.

 

I used to be friends with the parents next door. We used to get together regularly, swim in their pool, have coffee on our porch. It was a nice relationship. We attended the same church. I remember the mother telling me how horrible certain children were in our church (and feeling surprised because I thought they were nice kids) but I believed her. Now I realize she simply blames other children when her kids act badly.

 

If your kids were banned from 4 homes on your street, and couldn't make it in school (so you pulled them out to home school) wouldn't you begin to get a clue that there was a problem? She says that the school was poorly structured and didn't know how to handle her son.

 

She says her son has Aspergers, and maybe that's true. But isn't there help for kids with Aspergers to teach them socially acceptable behavior? And do I have to put up with my child being abused because there is a diagnosis that supposedly explains the behavior?

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#5 of 18 Old 05-26-2012, 11:05 PM
 
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NO you do NOT have to put up with your kid being mistreated no matter WHAT diagnosis that kid has!  It's a diagnosis, not an excuse to allow him to do whatever he wants with no consequences!!  I think you have done the RIGHT thing and these people are doing their children no favors.  It may sound harsh, but unless something changes, that boy will end up in prison.  It will be the first consequence (other than you all choosing not to allow your kids to continue to be bullied by him) he's ever experienced for bad behavior because his parents blame the rest of the world.  He hasn't been raised to understand responsibility for his own actions.  I feel VERY sorry for those children.  I'd much rather my kids have a consequence imposed by me and learn at age 7, 5, or even 3...than learn finally when they end up in prison.  sorry but this is a pet peeve of mine, living in an area where there are tons of kids whose parents don't appear to care.  (love apt. life  :P  not meant as a dig at anyone else living in apartments, just my particular complex is this way.)


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#6 of 18 Old 05-27-2012, 12:55 AM
 
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This sounds just like when I was a kid. I think that you need to do your DD a favor and tell her she cant hang out with these kids.  That way when shes approached she can just say that you told her not to and she wont feel preasured to please anyone. The kid next to us was similar. It just got worse it began to include him flashing us and telling us to touch him. He was traumatizing. Also as he got older he broke into our house multiple times. The mom wont listen I would just protect your daughter. Especially if hes violent. You don't want something to happen and then feel really bad. The kid next door to us is in prison for life. His sister is ok kind of. Eventually they will move or you will move but best to set firm boundaries now. Its harder to convince a 13 yearold to do what you want.

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#7 of 18 Old 05-27-2012, 07:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Another encounter in the yard, this time with one of my adult sons. The mom next door complained to my son that I was avoiding her, her mom is dying and I am adding to her stress, and that the problem is my daughter, who is the one who swears and is mean, not her children. She's sure it's my kid. My adult son came home all upset and told me how wrong I was to treat her so badly.

 

Never mind that 4 families on this street have banned her little angels from their yard.

 

Once again I feel sick to my stomach and will have trouble sleeping tonight. I hate that her mom is sick (and she really is sick) while all this is going on, and I do think I'm adding to the stress, but what else can I do? Just let her kids roll over mine and destroy her?

 

I hate this. It's dominating my life.

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#8 of 18 Old 05-28-2012, 01:51 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Anne447 View Post

Another encounter in the yard, this time with one of my adult sons. The mom next door complained to my son that I was avoiding her, her mom is dying and I am adding to her stress, and that the problem is my daughter, who is the one who swears and is mean, not her children. She's sure it's my kid. My adult son came home all upset and told me how wrong I was to treat her so badly.

 

Never mind that 4 families on this street have banned her little angels from their yard.

 

Once again I feel sick to my stomach and will have trouble sleeping tonight. I hate that her mom is sick (and she really is sick) while all this is going on, and I do think I'm adding to the stress, but what else can I do? Just let her kids roll over mine and destroy her?

 

I hate this. It's dominating my life.

 

Ugh. That sucks. They sound like a nightmare.  You are doing the right thing in separating your dd from them. Stick to it and hopefully they get that the situation is final. I am sorry you are having to go through this. I know a couple who moved to get away from their crazy neighbor. It can really affect your quality of life! 

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#9 of 18 Old 05-28-2012, 04:28 AM
 
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Our neighbors here try to bully our daughter, and in fact many of the kids on our island try to hit her if she merely goes up to say hi. It has been horrible. Our daughter feels rejected and thankfully we will be moving. In my case, it's because domestic violence is the norm as is physical punishment in schools. I agree with Peaceful Mama, you do not have to put up with it. I;m sorry for what you are going through. :(


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#10 of 18 Old 05-28-2012, 05:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We've spent so much time and energy on this.... My dh and I were just talking, and we're wondering why she wants our kids to accept her kids and play with them if our kid is such a problem.. shouldn't she find some other friends for her children if ours is so awful?

 

Our dd was up in the night again, she is losing sleep over this. 

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#11 of 18 Old 05-28-2012, 06:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Our neighbors here try to bully our daughter, and in fact many of the kids on our island try to hit her if she merely goes up to say hi. It has been horrible. Our daughter feels rejected and thankfully we will be moving. In my case, it's because domestic violence is the norm as is physical punishment in schools. I agree with Peaceful Mama, you do not have to put up with it. I;m sorry for what you are going through. :(

Very sad situation for you and your dd.  Glad you're there with her all the time to keep her safe..

 

The struggle I'm having is that I genuinely feel that my daughter is unsafe with these children -- that's why I can't just give in and relax my decision. Imagine if something happened?

 

Good luck with your move.

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#12 of 18 Old 05-28-2012, 07:08 AM
 
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I'm sorry you are feeling so bad about this and I really can't believe your adult child would take her side?! Other than that, I'm not sure why it seems you are feeling guilty? You are making the best decision for you and your family. There is no need to justify. Their situation is sad but it is because of the way they have chosen to live and they are responsible for that no matter what diagnosis, illness, etc. They could choose to be kind and respectful and they would probably have alot of support from community. Honestly from your brief description is sounds like the mom may have a larger psychological issue. You really don't have to feel bad for protecting your family.

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#13 of 18 Old 05-28-2012, 07:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My son used to play with her older kids; he knows them well. She played on his sympathies. He thinks we should talk to them more, and his take is that I'm an adult and should talk to them when there is an issue.  I beleive that we've said what we need to say and there is nothing else to say. Any more will just make me feel bad and won't do anything else. 

 

I am very sensitive and hate conflict so much... I have quit jobs to avoid contentious coworkers. I just want to get along with people and be nice. I would by far rather give in -- but in this case I have to protect my daughter. 

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#14 of 18 Old 05-28-2012, 04:58 PM
 
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My son used to play with her older kids; he knows them well. She played on his sympathies. He thinks we should talk to them more, and his take is that I'm an adult and should talk to them when there is an issue.  I believe that we've said what we need to say and there is nothing else to say. Any more will just make me feel bad and won't do anything else. 

 

I am very sensitive and hate conflict so much... I have quit jobs to avoid contentious coworkers. I just want to get along with people and be nice. I would by far rather give in -- but in this case I have to protect my daughter. 

 

OK, so now is the time for YOU to get counseling so that you don't teach your daughter to be a doormat. Really, you've quit jobs? Yes, conflict is stressful. But it's much much more stressful to avoid it all the time.

 

If you really want to give it one more go, you could call her up and say "I'm sorry you're so stressed. It's terrible to be losing a parent. Right now, however, our kids aren't getting along, and I think it's best if they take a break from each other for now." Note that this doesn't place blame, it states a fact. She can argue with you all you want, but you can keep saying "I think it's best if they take a break from each other."

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#15 of 18 Old 06-06-2012, 03:56 PM
 
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Um you need to protect your daughter. Nobodies feelings matter. Her saftey and well being is number 1.  The idea of compromising that so people wont be upset with you is them just manipulating you. SHE IS NOT THEIR KID, THEY CANT DEMAND YOU LET THEM PLAY TOGETHER. Who cares if her mom is sick. That has nothing to do with your daughter. Your son is acting inappropriatly.

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#16 of 18 Old 06-07-2012, 09:29 AM
 
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You can still love and support these kids because they are kids, and you would protect them if they were in danger.

 

But, you don't have to like them or be friends with them.    They are both old enough to hear the truth.  The parents are useless at this point...so, don't even bother with them anymore.  Just firmly tell the kids the basic truth.  "I won't allow my daughter to play with you because you do not treat her the way you want to be treated".  Maybe they will mature into fine young people, but most likely they won't.  Clearly nothing is expected of them, and excuses are made for them.  

 

Be kind to them when you see them.  No matter what, they shouldn't feel like they are hated by all.... they may need help one day, and they should feel like you will help them if they come to you.  But, you guys aren't going to socialize together anymore.  

 

The hardest part of this, is in three or four years, they are going to be at that "Destructive" age, and every time something happens to your house (Eggings, or damage) You will always wonder if it was them... and it probably was.  

 

Neighbor problems are hard on everyone.

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#17 of 18 Old 06-07-2012, 05:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The saga continues with further conflict in the neighborhood. The latest, which thankfully does not involve my daughter, is that the neighbor wife was hiding in the woods, heard some mean words spoken by another child, and is now badgering that family to force their child to apologize to her child.  

 

I had an email from them last night wanting to resolve  issues -- but without ever addressing the behavior of their children. This did give me the opportunity to write back and say that I'm sorry about her mom's illness, and I hate the conflict too, but that my daughter is afraid of her children and I've told her she does not have to play with them. She has to be nice and polite, but she can say,  "I don't want to play with you" and come straight home. LynnS6 -- in my email I said almost exactly what you suggested. "I think it's just best if they don't play together". Nuff said.

 

I feel so much better about everything now that that has been said, and, I know it sounds strange, but I feel better that other kids in the neighborhood have issues too -- it proves to me that it's not my little girl that is the problem.

 

Still, it's so sad that these kids are being shunned. I agree with you, nextcommerical, that they should not feel as if they are hated by all. I have been a safe haven for kids many times (I've been in education for years) and I hate seeing a kid become a pariah. But what else can I do? i have to keep my daughter safe. I will take your advice, though, and be as kind as I can.

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#18 of 18 Old 06-07-2012, 09:05 PM
 
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I think it is time to move.   This eleven year old boy is just going to get older and meaner. There are lots of wonderful homes with good neighbors. Find one of them and don't look back. 

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