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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The setting -- DS is almost two, and LOVES being in the back yard. He's got tons of toys back there -- a swing set, a sandbox, a playhouse, and lots of balls. (Yeah, he's spoiled, because mommy hits a lot of baby swapmeets and the grandparents are generous.)<br><br>
The neighbours live two doors away, and can see into our back yard from their porch. They've got five kids, 1, 6, 11, 15 and 17 (I'm guessing at the ages of the teenagers).<br><br>
It's the 6yo (girl) and 11yo (boy) who are the subject of my vent. I'm totally feeling stalked by them. Every time we're in our back yard, they head over to play with DS and his toys. I can sort-of see a 6yo wanting to play with my 2yo (even though she's got her own 1yo baby brother), but an 11yo boy?<br><br>
I gotta feel for the kids -- I'm guessing they don't get enough attention from their parents (dad works long hours and mom's a SAHM, and when I sent one kid back to invite her and the baby over, she said that she was busy with the dishes and then had sewing to do). The family is also relatively new to the neighbourhood (moved in less than a year ago), so might not have too many friends yet -- but the kids do go to the local elementary school.<br><br>
On the other hand, DS seems to be quite amused by them, and always asks "Where [6yo-name] go? Where [11yo-name] go?" when it's time for them to leave. I guess I'd be happy if they didn't come over every single time we're outside. We actually decided to go for a walk in the neighbourhood last night rather than play in our back yard, and when we got home, 6yo was waiting for us in the street outside our yard. Yes, by herself.<br><br>
Which is my other question -- is a 6yo okay to wander the neighbourhood by herself? She has actually invited herself INTO our house when ds was at my mom's place because she wanted to see it. (I mean, she's safe with us, but how does her mom know that?) And she came over last weekend to see if ds wanted to play -- rang the doorbell during his nap, and woke him up!<br><br>
Another friend also warned me about liability issues -- if the kids get hurt on my property, it would be my liability. And the 11yo boy likes to throw things up in the air and bounce balls against our stuccoed house -- not an activity that makes me particularly happy. He also kep on hitting an inflatable toy that I had just bought -- after I asked him not to do that. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:<br><br>
Advice on how to gently set boundaries would be welcome. (And I do think mom is dropping hints to the 6yo -- she told us last night that her mom warned her about being annoying if she came over too much.)<br><br>
I don't know the mom very well, but she's a good friend of one of my oldest friends, so I don't want to just cut her kids off. But honestly, I'm not their mom (or their babysitter), and I can't see that they're age-appropriate friends for my DS, though they do amuse him, and they do pay attention to him and show him different ways to play with his toys. Also, I'm 7 mos pg now, and losing mobility fast, so having other kids to chase is not a bad thing to use up DS's energy before bedtime. Oi. I guess I'm conflicted.<br><br>
Other perspectives, thoughts and suggestions are most welcome.
 

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My son will be 11 in Sept. He would play with your son also. I would love those toys, just make up different games for them (like that kid did).<br><br>
Tell them if they do not stop XYZ they will have to leave. Then make them leave.<br><br>
Remember it is ok to say NO. Set the rules and be consistant. If you don't want the ball thrown on your house tell him to leave. Let him know that when if he does it again he has to leave. Then make him.<br><br>
As for the playing with them you just need to watch them and guide them. You would have to do this with other two year olds. Don't expect that since they are older they should know better.<br><br>
As for the 6 year old wandering the neighborhood there is a lot of variables in that decission. NO right or wrong answer. Our nieghbor won't let her 9 year old cross the steet by herself. Yet, my 7 year old has been doing it for 2 years. My 4 year old could do it by herself, just don't let her yet.
 

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I agree with the PP. Set clear limits with the neighbor kids. I remember when my oldest child was a baby, I actually felt intimidated by other people's kids- I wasn't sure where to draw the boundaries. Now that my own kid is older, the other children don't seem so intimidating.<br><br>
As for the 6 year old roaming the neighborhood, it depends on what your block is like. It's very common for kids age 5+ to run around our neighborhood unsupervised. Parents are usually around, and come out every once in awhile to check on the kids. We also have lots of SAHMs on my street, and we informally keep an eye on each other's kids when we're outside. The fact that the 6 yo is trying not be annoying is a good sign. It means that her mom knows where she is, and what she's doing, and her mom cares about how her child's behavior is affecting you. If it really becomes a problem, set some clear boundaries and stick with them. Although it may seem annoying to have to constantly tell a 6 yo that your child can't play with her, a 6 yo doesn't have the same understanding of social situations and may need constant reminders.
 

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I understand where you are coming from in one point--I am tired of the neighbor child "laying in wait" for us to go out and play. We are not fenced and only have the front yard in which to play. Sometimes we just want to hit the ball with our own son and daughter, not entertain the little neighbor boy. He is 5 and out wandering, which I do not allow my 5yo ds to do (our neighborhood has lots of curves and blind spots and cars race through, ignoring the 10mph limit).<br><br>
I thought, before I had kids, that I wanted to be the mom who had everyone over all the time, and didn't much care who was in and about the house. But I like my privacy, and dislike monitoring other kids all the time! I don't have any advice, as I haven't yet figure out how to play with my kids without neighbor boy.
 

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Yeah, you need to just tell them very clear rules such as they can come over if you are outside but if you are inside, don't knock or ring because you are either busy or napping. No throwing against the side of the house, etc. I don't think the age gap is weird and I actually think it is better for a 2 y.o. to play with older kids. It's a lot easier not having to supervise hitting and sharing issues. Young kids don't really play together until they are 3 or 4. As long as everyone is playing nicely, I would be fine with it. If they aren't playing nicely, send them home. The novelty of your yard will wear off but meanwhile it is keeping ds entertained, so enjoy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>KermitMissesJim</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I thought, before I had kids, that I wanted to be the mom who had everyone over all the time, and didn't much care who was in and about the house. But I like my privacy, and dislike monitoring other kids all the time!</div>
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I'm so there. I thought that I'd rather have DS here and his friends in my yard too, but not when the other kids are destroying his toys!<br><br>
Plus one of the kids is a total extrovert -- will perform an entire broadway show in the back yard for me and DS -- and all that energy is just totally overwhelming for me -- I'm mostly an introvert and after working all day, all I want is to have some quiet playtime with DS.<br><br>
I watched the kids playing in my yard a couple of nights ago. The neighbour kids mostly played with each other while DS stood on the sidelines and watched them yelling at each other. Then I played with him in his sandbox, while they screamed at each other in his playhouse and the 11yo tried to beat down the playhouse door with his sister's scooter.<br><br>
They don't really seem to play <i>with</i> DS except when I'm watching and they remember that he's their excuse to be here. Then I asked them to help me pick up the toys (they'd thrown plastic playfood and balls all over the yard) before they left, but they let me do all of the picking up except for the last couple of pieces, and then finally left.<br><br>
I think I'll limit their time in my yard to once or twice a week. That way, it'll be a bit more of a treat for DS, and less annoying for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>4evermom</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">...but if you are inside, don't knock or ring because you are either busy or napping. ... The novelty of your yard will wear off but meanwhile it is keeping ds entertained, so enjoy.</div>
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That's a good idea for the ringing the doorbell thing. The 6yo rang the doorbell during our dinner, and we just sent her back home.<br><br>
I'm hoping the novelty will wear off soon, but I suspect that they're getting more attention from us than from their parents, and that's why they're over so much.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>wenat</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I'm so there. I thought that I'd rather have DS here and his friends in my yard too, but not when the other kids are destroying his toys!<br><br>
Plus one of the kids is a total extrovert -- will perform an entire broadway show in the back yard for me and DS -- and all that energy is just totally overwhelming for me -- I'm mostly an introvert and after working all day, all I want is to have some quiet playtime with DS.<br><br>
I watched the kids playing in my yard a couple of nights ago. The neighbour kids mostly played with each other while DS stood on the sidelines and watched them yelling at each other. Then I played with him in his sandbox, while they screamed at each other in his playhouse and the 11yo tried to beat down the playhouse door with his sister's scooter.<br><br>
They don't really seem to play <i>with</i> DS except when I'm watching and they remember that he's their excuse to be here. Then I asked them to help me pick up the toys (they'd thrown plastic playfood and balls all over the yard) before they left, but they let me do all of the picking up except for the last couple of pieces, and then finally left.<br><br>
I think I'll limit their time in my yard to once or twice a week. That way, it'll be a bit more of a treat for DS, and less annoying for me.</div>
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Oh yeah, that's inexcusable! Destroying your toys, ignoring your son, and refusing to help pick up? I'd put your yard in "time out" from the neighbors for a while. Tell the kids that until they respect your rules, your son and your property, they are not welcome.<br><br>
I know, that sounded bossy. I am kind of bossy.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>KermitMissesJim</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Oh yeah, that's inexcusable! Destroying your toys, ignoring your son, and refusing to help pick up? I'd put your yard in "time out" from the neighbors for a while. Tell the kids that until they respect your rules, your son and your property, they are not welcome.<br><br>
I know, that sounded bossy. I am kind of bossy.</div>
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Yeah!
 
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