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I wish that people could contain their own mess. When their problems start to spill over into my life, I just want to shut myself and my family off from the rest of the world. If it was just about me, I probably would. But my son is very social and loves to be with other kids.<br><br>
In the last week, we've had two incidents with two different families. Both left me feeling angry, and one was very upsetting for my son. My apologies in advance - this will probably be long.<br><br>
The first happened last weekend. We had gone to our old neighborhood, 2 hours away, to work on the house that we're trying to sell. Our son's best buddy lives closeby - we could wave from our back door. Ds had been talking about playing with him, and had his heart set on it. The first afternoon we were there, they had a short play together. My friend said that they would be home after 2:30 the next day, and the boys could play the rest of the day.<br><br>
So we planned our day around that. We found other ways to occupy ourselves, counting the minutes until 2:30. We pulled up to their driveway, and my friend came out just spitting nails. Apparently her SIL was in town, and her dh had decided to take the kids to see her. My friend and her dh have serious communication issues - they're both very passive/aggressive. My friend rants and raves about things, but nothing ever changes. Her dh blindly plays Mr. Niceguy.<br><br>
My friend was furious that her dh would mess up her day. Neither bothered to apologize about messing up mine!! Ds cried and fumed for the next two hours. They also didn't apologize to the boys for taking away playtime that had been promised.<br><br>
So that was the first thing.<br><br>
Then today, ds was playing with the neighbor boys. There are *major* issues next door - the boys' lives have been unstable. Their Mom left an abusive boyfriend and moved in next door with her Mom and stepdad. And now her boys have to live with a stepdad who has an alcohol problem.<br><br>
All three boys had wandered to the yard nextdoor, so I followed with my dd. Stepdad guzzled his beer, then hid the bottle. Like I couldn't see that from across the yard! He tells me what a rotten day he has had, and how we need to limit the boys' time together. I'm in agreement there - dh and I had already talked about that. Then he says "At *our* house, we've been working on not hitting, pushing, or shoving. I just put a poster up that has all of that printed on it." That's good. Did you have that in mind when you threatened to kill their Mother not too long ago?<br><br>
Then all three boys go over to the woodpile to play. They all have small sticks in their hands, and run off to a patch of dirt a few yards away. The stepdad told the boys to put the sticks back. Boys continued to run around. While I'm telling ds to listen and put the stick back, the stepdad starts *yelling* at my son. "I told you to put that stick back on the pile. I'm sick of picking up sticks every time I turn around." His boys weren't included in the rant - it was only directed at my son. With me standing right there.<br><br>
I gathered up my kids and headed home. As we were leaving, he was yelling at me about how my son doesn't listen to authority and we need to teach him how to listen. Blah, blah, blah. . . Discipline is a work in progress.<br><br>
This incident was just a real eye-opener for me. I knew that they had problems next door, but I had no idea that so much hostility was being directed toward my son. It was apparent to me that the stepdad sees my son as the problem when the boys don't play well together. I've spent enough time with all three to know that it's just not a good mix. My son contributes, but he isn't the only instigator.<br><br>
I've already told my ds that he won't be playing next door. The other kids can play at our house, but they have to stay here. Ds wasn't a bit upset to hear this, which tells me that visits next door weren't always pleasant.
 

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I'm so sorry to hear you've had unpleasantness with your neighbors! And how heartbreaking for your DS. Neighborhood issues are always hard. You have my empathy.
 

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Sorry you had to go through that, for both you and your DS. Although I have no specific advice (not sure you were looking for any), I agree with you that it is unfortunate when kids get tangled up in grown-ups' "stuff."<br><br>
Mia
 

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