Mothering Forum banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
226 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I put this in the wrong forum!!!!Sorry!!!! I am so upset or stressed about this issue and I am not even sure how to explain it. Sunday the little girl who lives in the house behind us climbed up on the fence while we were out playing. My son is 4 and has a new tree swing. She is 7.She talked to my son for a while and then asked if she could play.I said not right then because we were gonna go to the store. So the next afternoon she showed up at the front door asking to play. I have never met or even seen her parents. We moved in 6 months ago.I felt odd about it.I asked if her mama knew where she was and she said yes.I told her she could play for just a little while because I had to cook dinner soon.She asked to go play on the swing so we all went outside.Next thing I know there is another girl at the gate.She is 9.The 9 year old started playing on the swing so the seven year old started running around trying to see everything in our yard and get into everything all at once like only a kid can do. I am sort of a loner so I felt really invaded and am not used to being invaded by kids.The having to say don't climb on that please and please don't get into that every 2 seconds started to have me in a panic.She would tell me things like they didn't have any food and tell my son to tell me he was thirsty so I would get them a drink.I gave them a juice box which is something I don't normally buy and only let my son have if we are going to the park or someplace away from the house.After an hour or so my husband was home and we told my son it was time to go in to make dinner.They left.They didn't say thank you or anything in fact the 9 year old didn't say anything at all to me the entire time.When I asked what flavor drink she wanted she only shrugged. Other than being overly enthusiastic about new surroundings they were nice.They were clean,well dressed, but something was just off. After I got over my panic attack I was just sad.I don't know what to do.I knew they would be back.Are they hungry? Should I offer them some sort of food? Why are they running free?Do you just let a 7 and 9 year old go to peoples houses you don't know? Well today they showed up at the door with a 4 year old as well.Ok that can't be right.4 years old.I tried to say no but I just couldn't.The 4 year old was carrying a lunch box and some crayons. We all went outside.The 7 year old was swinging,the four year old(who turns out to be their cousin) was having some sort of grey lunch meat and the 9 year old just watched the 4 year old eat.The nine year old got to have a bite of the lunch meat and then turned to her sister and said only 3 more days til food day.My son told me he was thirsty and I said I didn't think he was the one who was thirsty.He said"yes I am she told me I was twice!" .The four year old told the 7 year old she could get a drink from the hose but the 7 year old said" no he has juice boxes!" The 4 year old repeated the word juice boxes like if was some magical thing never seen by mere mortals. I could have cried.I gave them all glasses of water.I am a heartless *itch.But the 7 year old has a very manipulative way I didn't want to encourage.The 9 year old stepped in dog poo and went home.I sat at the table and colored with the other girls for a 1/2 hour and then told them it was time to go home.They left with out a complaint. I know they will be back tomorrow. I feel awful. The thought of the four year old with no one looking after her for who knows how long makes me want to cry. 4 really is still just a baby.I am so conflicted.I have nothing to feed them.Should I go get some sort of healthy snack food so I have something to offer them.I don't want them here everyday but If they are hungry how can I possibly not let them in and give them something? They don't want to play with my son they just want to play with his things and his swing.The 7 year old kept trying to go into the house alone.I wouldn't let her.She tried to hide some toys behind her back to smuggle them outside.I don't know if she wanted to play with them or take them.It will be summer soon. I don't want to have to entertain them everyday.I am sorry this is long and I am not sure what I am even asking!It just all makes me sad and aggrivated. Any one who actually made it to the bottom of this novel have any advice? I don't want to be a heartless wench or their new babysitter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,799 Posts
The fact that they're ignoring your child and possibly looking to steal would set up lots of red flags for me. I'd, personally, be saying that they couldn't come over anymore. Simply for my peace of mind.<br><br>
You may need to find out who lives there now...talk to the mother or something... Letting kids go to the neighbor's house and you don't even know them isn't very safe...<br><br>
I don't really have a clear answer because I guess this really is a grey area. My main factor is that, whatever you give them (juice boxes, access to toys, access to your house, etc.) if you think they'll take more than that (steal, manipulate, etc.), you need to set definitive boundaries immediately. That's what I would do....set boundaries.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,355 Posts
I see in your edit you say 'this must be an LoA issue', so I'm going to answer in that vein. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br><br>
There's no right or wrong thing for you to do here. What feels better for you? Does it feel better to allow the kids to come and play, or to tell them no? Would you like to have them over with some guidelines, or not have them over at all? Find the end result that feels good to you, and then work toward that.<br><br>
I would probably go by and meet the parents just to see what's up. Then I would decide what felt like reasonable boundaries to me, and set them. Maybe you can have a scheduled playdate with them so they know clearly when they can come by. Or maybe you can offer them access to your backyard without you and your son having to be out there. Maybe you can invite them over, but only with supervision. I would explore all the options you can think of and aim for the one(s) that feel best to you.<br><br>
Good luck! It sounds like a strange situation, but I'm sure it will turn out ok for you. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,848 Posts
Just my 2 cents, but there are plenty of people who don't think it unreasonable for kids to go play at another kid's house without worrying about who the parents are. Also, the 4 yo. wasn't out alone, but with the 9 yo's supervision.<br><br>
If they're on food stamps it's entirely likely that things run a little short near the end of the month.<br><br>
Go down and meet the kids' parents already if it bugs you. Feed them or don't, but you have set a precedent with the drinks. Set boundaries, put away the more portable yard toys, and encourage your son to play withthe other 4 yo.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,355 Posts
Wow, Amris. I think there are a lot of assumptions there. Even if you are right and these kids are just out to manipulate the new neighbour (which really doesn't sit quite right with me as truth for children this age), then I don't think the way to teach them (if that is the intent as part of the village) is to punish by banishment. Better to sit them down and say "if you want something, please come out and ask for it directly and we'll see what we can do".
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,072 Posts
I believe that children (and adults) have needs underlying their behavior. Behavior is merely a message of underlying needs. There are many mutually agreeable ways of meeting those needs. Assume positive intent. There are many solutions such as KoalaMama mentioned. It isn't an "either/or" situation. Trust that this situation came to you to help everyone reach their highest Self.<br><br>
All is well. Everyone is exactly where they need to be. Out of this situation only awareness and joy will manifest. You are safe.<br><br><br>
Pat
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,313 Posts
I have to respectfully disagree with you Amris ... OP if you feel awful about it, there is a reason you are feeling awful -- I am not saying it is your *responsibility* to take care of them, obviously it is their family's responsibility -- but I would begin by speaking to the parents and sussing out the severity (or not) of the situation. If you said they are clean and dressed in clean clothing and don't look otherwise unkempt -- that can be a decent indicator, but I have also known people who's kids looked immaculate but who were being completely treated like *ua violation*...<br><br>
If you don't feel up to talking to the parents yet (which could be a bit intimidating I imagine!) 7 and 9 aren't too young to talk to them directly about the *rules* you have for playing in your yard....<br><br>
Of course it is your choice to tell them to never darken your door again, that is completely within your right ...<br><br>
...but if you feel so badly about it, perhaps be kind to them. I am not saying give them your family's food and go hungry so you can feel neighborhood kids -- but I mean, in the long run, a few crackers or a nutrition bar isn't going to mean anything either way --- but if they are being neglected or abused, emotionally, physically, or whatever --- the kindness someone else bestows upon them could make a world of difference to them in the long run...<br><br>
Seven and Nine are still children. Imagine what is going on if they are wandering over to neighbors asking for food and attention -- even if they technically have food at home, it is indicitive of a much bigger problem (imo) and the loving and kind thing to do would be to show kindness -- how much does it really put you out to be kind to them a few minutes a day? it could change their life...<br><br>
I am not saying you would be a *bad* person or something if you never invited them back --- that is totally your right! All I am saying is, you made a post about this, you clearly feel badly for them, you clearly feel like something isn't *rght* --- so you have a few choices:<br><br>
Ignore your instincts all together, tell them never to come over again, put it out of your head and squelch the little voice inside you that is saying something is *off* ...<br><br>
...talk to the parents and try to assess the situation in a subtle way so you can have piece of mind -- if all things look fine you can feel better, if they are all messed up you can consider alerting someone about it<br><br>
...talk to the children directly about it coming from a place of concern for their wellbeing... discuss your preferences and *rules* (no one is to go into the house...please keep the toys in the yard etc)<br><br>
I am not trying to come across as some kind of Mother Theresa or something (I am far from it) but if someone is hungry or *claims* to be, I am going to give them food (if I have it and it isn't taking from my family's meals).... it isn't the *food*, it is the message you are sending ---<br><br>
I don't think they are manipulating you, I honestly don't and if they are somehow, I don't think it is from a malicious place. I think they are reaching out for some kind of help --<br><br>
It just sort of feels like common sense to me that people living in a secure, loving, safe environment don't wander into stranger's yards begging for food and behaving and saying the things you wrote about.<br><br>
Good luck to you <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,072 Posts
Amris, listen to your heart speak. There is a love message for these children.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br><br>
Pat
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,072 Posts
Amris, <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
Sometimes people really just want to help AND aren't afraid of being manipulated. It is possible for me to ask for what I need, and find solutions that work with others who have needs. It has been a long process of learning different beliefs than a sense of lack. There is plenty of love for those children. And for you. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2"><br><br>
Pat
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,313 Posts
Amris I feel for you and what happened to you in your childhood, I hope you know that and I mean it sincerely.<br><br>
I do feel too though, that no matter what the situation is regarding these children, they are clearly reaching out for *something* -- food may not even be the core issue, even if they are not *truly* starving, I just don't believe that children act this way by default --<br><br>
--if they are just not wanting to eat "healthy stuff mom gives them" then the poster could offer healthy things if she wanted... or not... depending on what she chooses...<br><br>
I was coming from a place where the poster said numerous times that she felt badly, awful, sad, something was *off*.<br><br>
When I feed hungry people I am absolutely doing it for myself and I am not ashamed to admit it. That is why everyone does anything ever -- my duty (in my own opinion) is to meet the need someone says they have (if I am willing or able to) -- not to dissect if it is a real need, a legitimate need -- it is a real and legitimate need because they have asked it of me and told me it was a need -- and if I feel comfortable meeting that need (I wouldn't feel comfortable meeting someone's perceived need for heroin for instance) -- that is my work.<br><br>
I think it is sort of a dangerous assumption to paint everyone with the same brush. We have no knowledge of these children other than the need they have presented to the poster. It is her choice to meet the need they say they have, or not. If we are making assumptions here, I always will hold the opinion that kindess and love goes further than shame and banishment.<br><br>
I think the OP should really talk to the parents. That will probably shed a bit more light on the situation.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,072 Posts
I believe that there is no obligation other than to create Peace Within. All else will flow from that.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
31,346 Posts
I don't know, I don't really see this as unusual or manipulative child behavior. I've done similar to you and made sure the childs parents knew they were over. I agree with PPs that it's up to you if you want to give them food and drinks. When I realized the kids were having my child be the middle person I would have addressed the kids directly. Either asking if they wanted a drink, or telling them sorry I don't have any. Although I can't imagine refusing a child at least a glass of water. You have to follow your own heart regarding that.<br><br>
Just set your boundries with them, if you don't want them over tell them sorry no playing right now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
226 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I was so upset I accidently posted in the wrong place.I thought" DOH! What an idiot!" But after thinking about it I realized that maybe this was more of a spiritual question for me.And from your responses I think I posted in the wrong place to get the right answers.I have never been in charge of someone elses children in my home.I have this little voice in my head that is my grandma saying "must be a good hostess" so even though she is 7 and manipulative I didn't feel like I could say something about it to her.And at the same time I wasn't going to let her get away with it so no juice box.I have been doing LOA and working on myself and actively seeking some sort of higher guidance.So my mind isn't in a normal place I guess.My mind wasn't allowing the"go meet the guardians or buy some gronola bars and feed them" Those thoughts were passing through but they never seemed like an answer or a solution.I just couldn't seem to think in a normal way.The food thing just created a bigger issue for me.I won't offer them junk.I don't buy it.So I would have to buy some apples or peanut butter sandwich stuff. But I only feed my son organic so I feel it is wrong to offer them a lesser food ( conventional apples).Can I afford that?Well the universe provides for our needs so I am sure that would work out.Ugh! See mind wandering.<br><br>
OK so I can set up some boundries.I can let them play but it does not mean that I have to let them in everyday.I can offer them a snack. I can set rules for my house (like if you would like something you ask you don't get my son to ask).I can say no if it is not something I can give.I can ask questions about their home life.But mostly I don't have to have an answer now.I can just listen and watch and will know what to do eventually.I don't have to have this all solved today in my head.<br><br>
Thank you all so much.You have no idea how much I respect you all.And thank you amris for sharing your own experiences.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,610 Posts
I have been in a similar situation. My neighbour's children were hopping my wall and playing with my dogs. UNSAFE. They are quiet children, always have been. Very sweet also... but very manipulative. I talked to their mother about finding them in my yard. We have a 7 foot brick wall for a reason. We have a pitbull mix, that is protective of its home. Her children denied being there. Her children said they have only jumped over to get a ball. not to play. My neighbour freaked on me. She called me a few days later to tell me my dog jumped the wall. My 7 foot wall?<br><br>
yes. and do you know how? their was a stairway built behind my shed with leftover cynder blocks used to build my wall.<br><br>
Wonder how that got there?<br><br>
us too.<br><br>
I then started receiving phone calls about my dogs barking incessantly at my neighbours children while they were outside playing....<br><br>
The next day I videotaped her children throwing dog toys over my wall, standing on my wall calling the dogs- and moving cinder blocks.<br><br>
no joke.<br><br>
these kids- are 8 and 10.<br><br>
Children do indeed manipulate.<br><br>
These are children that I have brought into my home on numerous accounts. I have fed them, played with them. They have played wiht my daughter for hours while I cleaned and such. The got angry with me for not letting them have free range of my yard. Which I only did for thei safety.<br><br>
They played their mother against me.<br><br>
She was SHOCKED to see her kids on tape doing what they swore they never did.<br><br>
my advice is this-<br><br>
GO TALK TO THEIR PARENTS!!!<br><br>
Just let them know that their children are at your house and that you just wanted them to know that.<br><br>
I believe that all children are deserving of love and comfort.<br><br>
But you cannot entertain other peoples children in your home without consent of their parents. YOu do not know their parents. They may not be free range children bearing MDC parents. They may be quick to blame you for things that arise while the children are at your home.<br><br>
Please be careful with yourself.<br><br>
Personally, I would be MORTIFIED if I found out my children were doing this. If they are hungry, I will provide. If they are hungry, they should be at home, getting fed. If there parents are unable to provide, there is assistance available. I would want to know who is feeding my children.<br><br>
What if one of them has a peanut allergy?<br><br>
It really isnt your place to do this. Not without explicit permission from their parents.<br><br>
This mother could work nights and be asleep and the 9 year old is in charge. There are many reasons why a mother may not be aware of this.<br><br>
Make her aware. THAT is what really is important.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,009 Posts
I've had something similar but more positive in my neighborhood. It's kind of a block where kids play together up and down the street. There are a couple young girls from 7-11 y.o. that roam after school while their parents are at work. I try not to judge but I would never let my son or daughter roam like that. We've only seen their parents a few times but they come by and ring my bell almost every afternoon for a while asking to play with my 2 y.o. I immediately set boundaries. I said no when we were sitting to a family dinner or adjusting after waking from a nap because that was our family time. I let them play in the front yard instead of the back when we do play. I offered snacks and drinks only occasionally and felt happy about it.<br><br>
Now they respect us as a family and we actually have fun with them. They have started playing with DS more and more as time went on and they tell me about school and friends and stuff. DS love to watch them draw big chalk pictures on the sidewalk and tries to play hopscotch with them which is so cute. I think it helps them to have a neighbor to turn to and I also think it helps me to talk to them sometimes too. I guess I can even learn from a 7 y.o. It is obvious that they are seeking attention they don't get at home, but I have some to spare so I figure, no big deal.<br><br>
It does sound like your neighbors are a little manipulative or outgoing or something. I really think if you set some solid boundaries they will respect them and it could turn out to be nice to have some kids to hang with once and a while.<br><br>
Just wanted to share my experience so you know it could turn out to be a positive thing.<br><br>
Tara
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
31,346 Posts
I would NOT consider all that comperable to asking a child to tell their mom they are thirsty so the other kid can have a drink.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,099 Posts
Where we used to live there was a neighbor girl who was always trying to get food and drink out of my dd. Asking if she could get something to take home to eat <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/headscratch.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="headscratch"><br><br>
The thing is I know her parents are well to do. They bring home bags of groceries every few days.<br><br>
I had no clue what was going on. But I do know they weren't lacking on the food front, maybe on the attention from her parents?
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top