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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know many of us are living with less right now -- fewer things, less buying, more careful budgetting, etc. But what do you when you live next to the Jones's? And they have kids? And their kids are friends with your kids?<br><br>
My son has been tight with a neighborhood boy since infancy. This boy has a crazy amount of stuff -- very nice, beautiful toys and his mom seems to be in a constant war of one-up-manship buying stuff for her son.<br><br>
When my son gets one car, this boy gets the whole set.<br><br>
When my son gets a small wooden train, this boy gets the entire Thomas collection. Yes, the ENTIRE collection.<br><br>
When my son gets a birthday present, this boy's mom runs out and buys her son the exact same thing. And I mean this without exaggeration...anything my son has been given, this boy has gotten too. An exact copy of we have.<br><br>
His mom laughs about her need to shop. Oh, it is so funny! She loves to spend money and can't stand the thought that her son might want something and not have it.<br><br><br>
My son is 4 alomst 5 and has really been a good sport about toys. He and I talk often about friends being more important that toys...always, people before toys. But he is asking a lot of tough questions lately. Why does this boy have so much? Why does he refuse to share? And why does this boy hurt feelings by taunting other kids with all of his stuff?<br><br>
My son is constantly having his feelings hurt. I tell him that we can call another friend, go to the pool, go to the park. NO, he wants to see the Jones boy. Crumbs. So, we try a small, carefully monitored playdate, preferrably outside and away from the playroom. But new toys always show up. "Special" toys that can't be touched or shared. And my son leaves crying because once again he has had it shoved in his face that his friend has another new thing and he does not.<br><br>
Forgive my grumping. I am just so sad for my son and am really out of ideas to handle this.<br><br>
So, how do guys handle the Jones's? Especially the Jones's that live next door. The ones you can't always avoid seeing.
 

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annoying. Is your son old enough to understand that his weirdness with his toys is an outgrowth of the fact that he has so many? (mine would not have be old enough to understand that).<br><br>
You can have house rules about "you may not bring any toys you are not willing to share" . He doesn't get it because he has his own of everything he wants. He has never needed someone to share with him so why should they need him to share?<br><br>
I wouldn't worry about keeping up with them. I would prefer to keep away from them.<br><br>
I also think sometimes if my kids want to play with a kid who is less than kind I just need to be hands off and let the chips fall where they may.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>lilyka</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11595506"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">You can have house rules about "you may not bring any toys you are not willing to share" .</div>
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This combined with trying to make most playdates at your house would probably help some.<br><br>
How comfortable are you with Mrs. Jones? Could you bring up the topic of how poorly her son shares or how he gloats with his things? Is it possible she is unaware of the problem? Is it maybe a phase he is going through that she is working on (giving the benefit of the doubt here)?<br><br>
The Jones suck. We're best friends with them. Nice people but ridiculously materialistic.
 

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I'm not a fan of the Jones family either. Luckily we don't have too many friends who are Jones'. I agree that I'd suggest not brining a toy that cannot be shared. Pretty soon I suspect that your son will no longer want to play with little boy Jones - and rightfully so. I also agree that if you are friendly enough with Mrs. Jones you could suggest that her son not bring "special" toys to playdates because it is hurting your son's feelings when he is not allowed to play with them.<br><br>
That kind of consumerism really bothers me a lot. Kids need to learn that they cannot always get everything they want. They need to learn the value of money and saving up for something they want. Just handing your child everything he ever wants sends such a horrible message.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>lilyka</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11595506"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
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You can have house rules about "you may not bring any toys you are not willing to share" . He doesn't get it because he has his own of everything he wants. He has never needed someone to share with him so why should they need him to share?<br></div>
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This a good idea. We do this in our own family -- anything out is a sharing toy and can be played with. But I think extending it to visitors is a good way to go. We have a little shelf by the front door that can be a safe spot to stash any 'special' toy that comes into the house. Oh, how I hate that 'special' word. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>lifeguard</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11595543"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">This combined with trying to make most playdates at your house would probably help some.<br><br>
How comfortable are you with Mrs. Jones? Could you bring up the topic of how poorly her son shares or how he gloats with his things? Is it possible she is unaware of the problem? Is it maybe a phase he is going through that she is working on (giving the benefit of the doubt here)?<br><br>
The Jones suck. We're best friends with them. Nice people but ridiculously materialistic.</div>
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I am mostly comfortable with Mrs Jones. We are friends in that we are both SAHM's with kids the same age. If I lived one block over, we would see much, much less of each other. We just happen to share a fence, so we see a lot of their family.<br><br>
I don't know how openly I can talk to her. She is 99% of the problem. She loves to buy things and her husband is willing to work like a dog to afford the grand lifestyle. She spends and spends and spends and likes to show it off. She prefers to have the boys play at her house -- she has central air, a nice espresso machine, a gorgeous kitchen, a playroom, a den for the moms to sit in...it is all so convenient for her.<br><br>
But when the boys play here, the playdates are soooooooooo much nicer. Just last week they had a huge messy party in the back yard. Lots of body smearing paint, a dip in the kiddie pool, sandwiches and sloppy watermelon on the back porch -- not a toy in sight! And they had a great time.<br><br>
But my house is too hot (no a/c), I don't have a TV, I don't have a lot of furniture so there isn't enough seating -- good grief! I just never seem to have enough for her.<br><br>
Ohhhhhhhhhhh. It does feel good to write that out. I have been feeling so angry and tense about seeing this family. Dh is ready to plant a For Sale sign in the front yard. I think he is being a little rash, but we do plan on a moving in the next couple of years and a big perk will be getting away from this family.<br><br>
Big sigh. I have very busy plans for the next few weeks. I want my son to have a fun, ruckus, outdoor kind of summer -- lots of swimming and friends and digging in the mud. Hopefully, I can keep him active enough that he does not go looking for the Jones boy too often.
 

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Unfortunately, I have nothing helpful to suggest. But, I felt a desire to respond. My boys are younger than yours and I dread the Jones families out there in our future. It makes me want to up and move to another country. The Jones are up to their fleshy bums in junk while others are rioting for rice. What. is. up. with. that?<br><br>
So, anyway, I just wanted to come out here and say a big ol' THANK YOU! Thank you for living a frugal lifestyle. Thank you for raising your kids to be open communicators. Thank you for living your values. I wish you were my neighbor!
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">You can have house rules about "you may not bring any toys you are not willing to share" .</td>
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We have this rule at our house too.
 

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The Jones situation you describe reminds me of a <i>Little House on the Prairie</i> episide where Laura goes to play at Nellie's house and can't touch her "store-boughten" doll...<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/ROTFLMAO.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rotflmao"><br><br>
I agree with PP's suggestions and would add, that if at all possible (and if you aren't already doing this) to give your child some perspective and diversity, I would make a real effort to cultivate friends of all economic levels and ways of living that he could visit.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>phathui5</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11596889"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">We have this rule at our house too.</div>
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So do we. Our problem is that DH's brother is Mr. Jones, and when our niece plays with our daughter, it just sucks.
 

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Barf...I had a girlfriend when I was little all the way up until college. I always felt so bad and down after we would be together and then it dawned on me. It's because she has to have EVERYTHING! Her hubby was right out of college and they "had" to buy a house...and it had to be built for her because...yuck who could live in someone else's house<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:<br><br>
Anyway, my husband also felt it from her husband...my husband was the athlete, her husband tried...so to bring my husband down, he would talk about how he was doing so well at work for his family...mind you my hubby and I were still in college...anyway, I guess my point is that it finally dawned on us that it wasn't us, it was them! Basically we stopped seeing them. We haven't talked in over a year...it's sad to lose a friendship, but it was worth it I guess not to feel like crap!<br><br>
If I was the type of person she was, I would call her up to tell her how wonderfully my husband and I are doing now and how we live in this beautiful house...lol that's just not us! How come when you are the bigger person sometimes you feel like crap more?<br><br>
You are a great person to do what you are doing for your son. Maybe now that he's four almost five, you just need to be honest. We had some friends who were living in a weird situation with their marriage and their son. Our son had a lot of questions why their little boy was so mean...we just told him...but made the expectation that he was not to act like that ever and that it was not appropriate...maybe you can do the same...just be honest, kids get more than we think...and the truth will make questions later more simple!<br><br>
Good luck mama and great job!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>bongoblue</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11596842"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">It makes me want to up and move to another country. The Jones are up to their fleshy bums in junk while others are rioting for rice. What. is. up. with. that?</div>
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LOL - honestly I thought that would be one of the perks of leaving the country. It's no different here. Everyone wants the "american" lifestyle.
 

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ooooh! So annoying!!! I would try to one-up her! Handmade, one of a kind toys. Eat that, Mrs Jones!!!<br><br>
(yes, I know, not very mature, or even helpful...but ehy...)<br><br>
tanya
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>bongoblue</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11596842"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><br>
So, anyway, I just wanted to come out here and say a big ol' THANK YOU! Thank you for living a frugal lifestyle. Thank you for raising your kids to be open communicators. Thank you for living your values. I wish you were my neighbor!</div>
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Thanks, I needed to hear a little encouragement. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="innocent"><br><br>
Now, if only all of you frugal mamas would come move to my street. Or I'll move to yours. Whatever works for you. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>macheetah</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11597643"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">The Jones situation you describe reminds me of a <i>Little House on the Prairie</i> episide where Laura goes to play at Nellie's house and can't touch her "store-boughten" doll...<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/ROTFLMAO.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rotflmao"><br><br>
I agree with PP's suggestions and would add, that if at all possible (and if you aren't already doing this) to give your child some perspective and diversity, I would make a real effort to cultivate friends of all economic levels and ways of living that he could visit.</div>
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I saw that episode! Yah, this boy is a bit of a Nellie Olsen.<br><br>
We do know a lot of different people. Homeschooling has brought us into so many people's homes and my kids have had the opportunity to see how so many of their friends live. What get me is that the poorest family we know is the most generous. Their kitchen floor literally sags into the dirt under the house. The place really should be condemned, but here are these loving folks and smart kids (really smart, kind of scary smart) living in a shack with a pack of friendly dogs and chickens all over the yard. I never leave there without a dozen freshly laid eggs and a great memory of a happy day with friends.<br><br>
They have so little! And I am always so happy with them.<br><br>
It is like holidaymama mentioned in her post. I leave the Jones's feeling so low. Just blue. So much stuff and always this competitive need to one up me. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>holidaymama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11597850"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Maybe now that he's four almost five, you just need to be honest. We had some friends who were living in a weird situation with their marriage and their son. Our son had a lot of questions why their little boy was so mean...we just told him...but made the expectation that he was not to act like that ever and that it was not appropriate...maybe you can do the same...just be honest, kids get more than we think...and the truth will make questions later more simple!</div>
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It may be time for one of these talks. Not sure how I want to phrase it. I'll have to stew on it for a bit. I want to tell him that sometimes people value things more than friends without further hurting his feelings. I know that he is confused and angry. I don't want to further hurt his feelings by telling him that his friend thinks his toys are more important than he is.
 

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The Joneses give me the heebie jeebies.<br><br>
You've gotten good advice so far. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"> I have had to have constant conversations with my kids about this very thing. Usually, though, the Joneses in our life work a lot and don't spend a lot of time at home with their children. I tell my kids that we could have just as many things that they do, but Daddy would have to work a lot more and we wouldn't see him as much as we do.<br><br>
Honestly, I would move far far away from the Joneses. We moved last year. We lived in a city, on the outskirts. My ds went to school with some pretty wealthy kids. We lived in a small house. Of course, we were pretty well of financially for a few reasons, but it didn't look that way. I'd wager that we were better off than many of the Country Club kids that ds went to school with. We moved away, and now we live in a town where many of the people have the same values that we do. And we don't have any neighbors, so the only people we associate with are those that we invite over, or ones that we've been invited to their house on purpose. I felt very strongly that I didn't want ds to be surrounded by kids his whole life who had more flashy things than he did.
 

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I just want to say that I think you're doing a great thing in really engaging and talking through your son's questions with him. My cousin was a Jones/Nellie Olson type with exceedingly wealthy and materialistic parents. My mom just sat back and watched the whole thing unfold and never addressed the issue or talked to me about it or answered my questions about why things were so different between my cousin and I. I felt really lost and out on a limb with no way to process my feelings or idea of what was behind the issue, and honestly that hurt way more than anything my cousin did.<br><br>
I'm really glad to hear that you're engaging your son about how he feels about your weird neighbor. You're an awesome parent. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I think engaging him in conversation & letting him learn ways to deal with it are going to be much more valuable to him in the long run then moving somewhere else. The Jones are everywhere for one thing & eventually in his life he will have to deal with it. Sometimes it can be easier at 4 with a toy then at 25 with a house.
 

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I don't get caught up in what others have that I don't. I buy cash only and what I can afford only. I do find comfort in the fact that most people that overspend are usually putting themselves in debt.
 
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