Can't stand that all the neighborhood kids want to play at my house! - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 42 Old 04-23-2014, 06:47 AM
 
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I'm probably mother of one of the "strays".  My DC is the oldest of the kids in the neighborhood who are still young enough to really play. I've also noticed that I have a higher threshold for letting my DC roam between neighbor homes. I would NEVER expect that my DC be invited to eat at someone's home or be allowed to stay beyond anyone's comfort/wishes.  When neighbor kids are in my home/yard I generally supervise based on the most needy kid but when I get  tired of that I don't hesitate to send the kids home. I sometimes feed kids and other times I send them home for lunch, dinner, snack...whatever and invite them back when they've eaten. 

 

Because my kids see me model this sort of neighbor directness, which is friendly but guilt free, I think they come to expect that other neighbor adults will extend them the same courtesy. I think directness is just part of a neighbor relationship. 

 

We also have a toddler. My older child supervises the toddler when the neighbor kids are playing close by. I suspect this makes my neighbors a tad nervous but I do trust my older child and consider her "supervised" when my older child is playing. As time goes on I think everyone is more comfortable with the arrangement. 

 

We also have one neighbor adult who will make nice games for the kids and likes to actively play with kids more than me. They also have a club style basement so the kids enjoy playing there often more than our house. I think that's awesome but I do worry that this family sometimes feels like the OP.  I try to make up for the difference when I can and in a way that feels authentic to me but the end of the day I think it is up to them to be direct. 


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#32 of 42 Old 04-23-2014, 10:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Lots of great feedback! I have been thinking more about where/how I am going to set my limits and have been letting my kids know before they go out to meet their friends, how I feel about kids inside, snacks, or inviting others to meals etc. I've been able to relax more knowing that I have already set the limit so I can enforce it when the questions pop up.
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#33 of 42 Old 04-23-2014, 11:15 AM
 
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Lots of great feedback! I have been thinking more about where/how I am going to set my limits and have been letting my kids know before they go out to meet their friends, how I feel about kids inside, snacks, or inviting others to meals etc. I've been able to relax more knowing that I have already set the limit so I can enforce it when the questions pop up.

One word of caution (just from my experiences and what I know my DC's comfort level is), I would encourage you to start to feel comfortable speaking to neighbor kids directly. My own DC would not feel good about being in charge of whether neighbor kids can come in or whether she can offer them food if they're hungry. 

 

I do coach my own child about minding her manners when at other people's houses but I've chosen not to put her in charge of disciplining other kids in any way. I feel if that's a complicated thing for an adult to do, it's too complicated for a child. 


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#34 of 42 Old 04-23-2014, 07:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I hear you. I specifically mean that if I do not want kids in my house, I tell my kids before they go out that if they want to play with friend x and friend z, they have to stay outside this afternoon. Or maybe before they invite a friend to play, "I am not hosting anyone extra for dinner tonight, so please do not ask me later if so and so can eat with us."

I feel comfortable that my kids wouldn't feel strange letting their friends know that their mom said they have to play outside. If my kids know that I am not willing to host their friends for dinner, it eliminates the last minute request in front of the friends who are hoping I'll say yes.

I do think being direct with the neighborhood kids is important and I have been, but being direct with my own kids first has helped set some firmer boundaries.
:-)
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#35 of 42 Old 04-23-2014, 07:48 PM
 
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Well of Britney Spears works to ward off Somali pirates maybe she can work for you too. No need for any confrontation at all, just some music that the crowd will find highly objectionable.
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#36 of 42 Old 04-23-2014, 07:49 PM
 
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#37 of 42 Old 04-24-2014, 04:18 AM
 
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Well of Britney Spears works to ward off Somali pirates maybe she can work for you too. No need for any confrontation at all, just some music that the crowd will find highly objectionable.

:rotflmao

 

One more thing, Erikaa, that we've done is we have a rule about dinners. My own DC gets invited to eat at the neighbors A LOT and dinners at our house can be hectic because we just don't have a great routine down for eating at a set hour. I started to feel uncomfortable about my DC getting invited to eat at the neighbors so often so I made a rule that in our family we don't have dinner guests or eat dinner with others without advanced planning.  That eliminated a lot of the problems. Now dinner with neighbors is a special treat and not this decision I need to make on the spot after a long day.  

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#38 of 42 Old 04-24-2014, 06:07 AM
 
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I have always had the meet up house for the neighborhood kids (and now that we have moved... and some of the neighborhood kids in our current area have moved, my house has dwindled as kid central a bit).  I felt the same way you do sometimes... but really I LOVED being that house everyone came to.  It meant I knew my kids' friends, they knew me and felt comfortable coming over.  I actually most resented feeding all the neighborhood kids constantly.  My good friend who lives close to me will bring over snacks to kind of contribute to the ones her daughter is eating because she's here a lot.  I also started buying bags of pretzels, freezer pops, etc for snacks for them so they weren't all eating my more expensive snacks.  And I have no problem saying "Hey, you need to go get a snack at your house, you can bring it back here.".  I also had no problem sending kids home if they weren't getting along or if it was clear my kids were done playing.  

 

Mama Casey, I like the way you function and I think I kind of function the same way!  I just wish we had more kids in our area now.  We have less than we used to and I miss having a houseful of kids.  


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#39 of 42 Old 04-25-2014, 10:57 AM
 
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OP, I totally get it.  The neighbor who came over all the time has moved now, but I used to get pretty mad sometimes feeling like I was a free babysitter. 

 

I think you're on the right track to think about your boundaries before the situation happens.  This was something I was really insecure about.   I didn't grow up with neighborhood kids and I am 100% introverted, so I didn't know if what I was feeling was reasonable and that made me wishy-washy. 

 

I also found that the kids dealt with it best if I was blunt.  If you make up an excuse than they can argue with the excuse and suggest alternatives.  "We can't right now, see you tomorrow" worked much better.

 

Unless you think the kids aren't getting food at home, I would send them home for food.  When this got tricky for me was when my kids would want a snack and I wasn't sure how to send the friend home.

 

An obvious idea is to for the kids to go to the neighbors house sometimes.  I was never comfortable with this.  My kids were fairly young and I know there was less supervision at the other house. 

 

It is nice that when they're at your house you know where they are and what they're doing... 

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#40 of 42 Old 04-25-2014, 07:04 PM
 
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I totally get what some are saying. Before we moved we were the go-to house. I loved it for a while but I would genrally send kids he for supper. I didn't always have the ability to cook for 4 ezta guests. Pancakes and spaghetti can get overdone.

The thing that made me put an end to it was the day that a few friends arranged a play date with my daughter. Within minutes it was obvious that they didn't want to play with her, they were simply using our house as their hangout because none of their parents trusted each other. Ours was the one house where everyone was allowed to go. No thanks.

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#41 of 42 Old 04-27-2014, 03:07 PM
 
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I totally get what some are saying. Before we moved we were the go-to house. I loved it for a while but I would genrally send kids he for supper. I didn't always have the ability to cook for 4 ezta guests. Pancakes and spaghetti can get overdone.

The thing that made me put an end to it was the day that a few friends arranged a play date with my daughter. Within minutes it was obvious that they didn't want to play with her, they were simply using our house as their hangout because none of their parents trusted each other. Ours was the one house where everyone was allowed to go. No thanks.

They werent playing with your daughter? Yuk,  glad you put an end to that.

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#42 of 42 Old 04-27-2014, 03:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have to agree! That is awful. I do think sometimes that the kids pick our house, less because they like my kids, and more because we have a tree house, swings, and an Xbox! However, they do usually play nicely together.
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