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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A new family moved in a couple of doors down the street. It's actually two families. I've met the dad, and one of the moms, but I haven't met her sister, the other mom. My dd and two of the kids from the new family have been playing, sometimes in their yard, sometimes in my yard.<br><br>
Last weekend (or maybe the one before, time flies), all 3 kids were playing in our yard. At about 4pm, DH and I needed to go run some errands. I told the kids that "In 15 minutes, ya'll have to go home because we have to go out." The neigbor's children said that they had to stay "until 10, or 2". I sort of laughed because I thought they had misunderstood (the younger one, age 7 had said this). I explained that 10 was past my dd's bedtime, and 2 was the middle of the night. I went back inside preparing to leave.<br><br>
A bit later, I said that they would have to go home in 5 minutes. Again, I was told that, no, they had to stay here until 10! This time, the older boy (age 8 or 9) said it. I explained again that 10 was past my dd's bedtime, and that we were about to leave, they couldn't come with us and they couldn't stay here by themselves. I also went inside and told my husband about all this.<br><br>
When it was time to go, we went outside and gathered up our daughter. My husband told them firmly that they had to go home now because we were leaving soon (dd needed to change clothes). They reluctantly left, walking toward their home.<br><br>
These kids also came over one day (before this incident) and said that they had to stay with us because their mom was going to work. I felt very put upon. I had not been asked if I was willing to keep these kids. I had things to do including taking dd to dance class and couldn't see keeping these new acquaintances busy and out of trouble at the dance studio lobby. I haven't even met their mom. I politely declined.<br><br>
Now, these children haven't been back to play with my daughter since then. I'm wondering if I offended the mother somehow by refusing to be responsible for her children, without haveing ever been asked by HER to do this. Of course, it may just be that summer has started, our schedules are different now, dd is taking much more dance in the evenings, and maybe we just haven't been home at the same times.<br><br>
I'm not real comfortable talking with these neighbors. They are definately NOT AP, a very different lifestyle from ours. I've met the dad and one of the moms, but not the other mom (who, I now beleive, is the mother of these two children).<br><br>
Also, the little 7 yr old girl has told us some very questionable things. She has a surgical scar on her chest/abdomen, and she told my daughter that she couldn't eat certain types of meat (I am vegitarian, dd is becoming more so, and that has come up in conversation between the two girls), but the little girl's dad (or maybe her uncle - I'm not sure which children are his and which are his SIL's) is a meat cutter for a local grocery store. My dd told me that the girl doubled up in pain while playing with dd. But when I told my dd that I would ask the girl's mom about this, she told me that the girl said not to talk to her mom about it. Huh? One last thing, the little girl has told us two different names, similar to each other, but different. We're still not sure what her name is.<br><br>
Is the child making things up? Should I talk to her mom about this? Or is this just childhood make-believe and I should let it go? Would a parent REALLY tell 7-9 yr old children that they "have to" stay gone until night?! I'm getting weird vibes from this family. What is you take on this situation?<br><br>
Thanks!<br>
Ann-Marita
 

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That's really weird!<br><br>
I don't have any advice, except to say that you should <i>not</i> feel guilty for sending the children home! <i>Especially</i> since you weren't even asked to watch them! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:
 

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That all sounds very sketchy to me. First off, do NOT feel guilty about sending the kids home. No one has asked you to be responsible for them, so do NOT take it upon yourself, or I fear you may have two new children to watch over very frequently.<br><br>
I would do one of two things. Either avoid this family like the plague. ? Or go talk to the parents, or at least some adults at the house. Whichever seems more plausible in your circumstances. I don't think I would tell my daughter to avoid them, because you really don't know if there is any reason to, so if she will "bump" into them and begin playing, you probably should talk with the parents. You could stop by their house in the pretense of introducing yourself (and maybe dh would like to come too). This is a good idea because 1) you get to see their house (how do they live? are there dangerous items lying about? do they seem like clean, decent people? does everyone have appropriate sleeping, living arrangements, etc.) 2) you get to meet the parents of children your daughter has been playing with.<br><br>
So you could stop by to introduce self, welcome them, let them know dd has enjoyed playing with X and Y, etc. In conversation, mention that the children said they "needed to stay" at your home until 10:00. I'm sure you'll be able to determine from the parents if this was a child-invented story or if the parents are indeed trying to find free, gullible childcare in the neighborhood! If it's the latter, you could firmly mention that you are NOT comfortable with this. Perhaps offer a solution, such as "I know Mrs. Q, just down the block, offers childcare." or "The Smith girl is finishing high school for the summer and would be happy to babysit occasionally." or whatever. You might also mention that you have many appointments and errand to run during the day, evening, whatever. That way, the parents will know that you will be sending their children straight home whenever you need to go out.<br><br>
Also, if the kids are the ages you mention, I don't believe it is legal for them to be left alone. If you notice that they are left unsupervised, you may be put in a situation of calling the authorities. I think if kids told me the story you got and I needed to send them home, I would think about either calling their house or walking them home to make sure someone was there to look after them.<br><br>
Just some thoughts. Good luck.
 

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I agree with Ilovelife. In the instance of the kids saying they needed to be at your house till ten, I would have walked them back home and rang the bell to see what gives. If the parent answered the door, I would just explain that you wanted to meet them, and that you were just leaving and walked the kids home. If there was any question ever of them sending the kids over with the idea that you would be providing gratis child care, I would disabuse the adults of that idea immediately.<br><br>
Kids do say wacky things though, so I'd want to get it straighened out with the parents.
 

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I would go talk to them.<br><br>
A few years ago when I was single and living with a boyfriend, we moved into a neighbourhood where a family with 3 young boys lived. The boys were always over, and befriended us (and our dog, lol). I went over one day, just a few houses down, and introduced myself, because the boys were wanting to go to a nearby park with us (we took our dog there every day) and I felt it was prudent to speak to the mom. She was very nice and it all worked out well.<br><br>
But even in your case, with things looking so strange, I would go and talk to them. You might start out as if the kids were obviously making things up. Like say "you know, I like having your kids over and they enjoy playing with my kids, but they told me one day that they couldn't leave until 10 - is this some story they like to use? (big smiles)".<br><br>
You will soon know after speaking with them whether they are trouble or not, and then can decide what to do about it.
 

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I would definately go and introduce myself at the very least. I would probably walk them home if I was leaving, just to make sure that they have an adult AND are not just waiting for you to leave and then playing in your yard.<br><br>
Good luck, and let us know how it all ends up.<br><br>
Kay
 

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Ditto to what Piglet said. We have two neighbor kids who love to hang out with my husband and DD. They go one walks with him, play with our dogs, etc... We thought it was a little strange at first that the parents would let the kids just hang out with an adult they had never met. As it turns out my DH found out that she didn't know that they were hanging around my DH, just thought they were playing outside.<br><br>
Now everything is cool and she is actually going to be paying my DH to watch them in the afternoons now!
 

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It all sounds very strange, but I wonder what does the surgical scar and the fact that she can't eat certian kinds of meat and her dad's (or uncle's) job have to do with anything? Maybe she had her spleen removed? Maybe she can't eat super salty meats? Maybe her surgery has something to do with the kind of meats that she can/can't eat and her dad didn't feel the need to change professions because of it?<br><br>
The 2 different names thing strikes me. Maybe she was abducted? Have you checked out the missing childrens website. I can't think of the name of it off the top of my head, but I know there's one where you can list names, ages, the sex, and I think hair/eye color of a kid and see if they are listed. It might be <a href="http://www.missingkids.org/" target="_blank">http://www.missingkids.org/</a> or something.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks to everyone who responded. I think the sister and her kids (the two who were coming to our house) are going to move out, or have already.<br><br>
I will check the abducted kids web site.<br><br>
I think the girl really did have surgery of some sort, but I believe the whole "can't eat certain meats" thing was make-believe to kind of go along with dd being a vegitarian. The reason I brought it up is that I think this child tells a lot of "make-believe" and sometimes it's hard to tell what is real from what is fantasy.<br><br>
Anyway, I will go talk with the remaining adults in the household and get to know them better.<br><br>
Thanks again!<br>
Ann-Marita
 

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OOOOH! I see! Well, that makes much more sense, lol. Hopefully it's just kids making up silly stories, I know I had plenty, but it can't hurt to check.
 
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