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WWYD? Lonely, somewhat annoying, neighbor child.


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#1 kpingitquiet

Posted 11 February 2013 - 09:06 AM

A few months ago, a new little boy moved onto our street. He's a sweet kid, just starting Yr 4 at school. Our street is loaded with kids his age, most of whom he already knew from school, and he is fairly regularly seen playing with a boy next door to us.

Our daughter is 2-years-old and has playtime at the playground across the street, with her dad, a few afternoons per week. She's gotten on chummy terms with all the local kids and this one has taken a particular shine to her and is one of the few people she greets with a hug, being the reticent little girl she is. It's very sweet. This is not the problem.

The problem is that the kids next door are often busy doing family things, or activities (martial arts, dancing, sports, etc) and aren't always available to play. So, several days in a row, up to 3 times one day, we get a knock on our door from this boy asking to come in or if our daughter can play. The first time, he lucked out and it was her normal outdoor playtime. But I honestly got the impression he'd rather have come in and hung out with all of us, rather than just some playground time with kiddo. That was Friday. Saturday and Sunday he came over several times, each day, and asked if he could hang out/play. Unfortunately, these were during her nap, dinnertime, bathtime, etc. Both my husband and I, separately, told him weekends weren't the best and he could come back Monday. He didn't take the tip and it's not the first time he's frequented our doorstep.

I've never met his parents. Husband has seen his mother once or twice and didn't get a warm impression. His father has a job that takes him out of state most of the time and mom is SAH. He has an older sister but no siblings close to his age. I really feel for the kid. He's very sweet. But, seriously, kiddo is 2, not 10. She has different abilities and availability than an older child. We don't have a problem with them playing together, occasionally, but I'm really not sure how to handle his obvious loneliness when it's really getting kind of obnoxious.

What would you do? My inner RAWR wants to go whack his mother with a clue-by-four but I know that's not the most useful instinct.

#2 MissingInAction

Posted 11 February 2013 - 09:14 AM

i have no idea how to help but will be interested in the replies.  

There's a young girl in my neighbourhood (she's about 7) who has decided she idolises me and that we're best friends (note: I am 20+ years her senior).  Which was cute for a while where she would just come and have a chat with me outside but she then went a little too far for my liking and kept hijacking my friends visits to my house like she hasn't been taught to respect boundaries too well or something
Eg:  my (grown, adult) friend came over and had just rung the doorbell.  I opened the door, greeted my friend and Young Girl raced into my yard and started talking to me as if my friend weren't there.  I'd barely had a chance to greet my friend, had no idea whether everything was alright (it was a spontaneous visit) and Young Girl awkwardly made herself right at home smack in the middle of my grown friend and I.  Not a one-off.  She's done it to DH & his friends and I as well.  She's a great kid, just... needs to learn boundaries and when cute turns annoying!!

#3 **BOOM**

Posted 11 February 2013 - 09:48 AM

I'd go over & introduce myself to the parents. Go knock on their door & formally introduce myself.

Then I would say how friendly their little boy is & that it's great he loves to play with your daughter but you need to set some times & boundaries of when he can come over given she is only 2.

Or maybe ask them over of a drink or afternoon tea.

This can all be done in a very kind manner. If you get a frosty response then I would have to consider weather he should be coming over at all.

I wouldn't feel comfortable having a kid in my house to hang out if I have never met the parents.

#4 kpingitquiet

Posted 11 February 2013 - 10:42 AM

Any tips for someone who is a bit shy, for want of a better term, to handle this? LOL -- The idea of going over to a stranger's house to chat about the kid, even in the most friendly of manners, fills me with dread.

#5 Mrs Dinosaurus

Posted 11 February 2013 - 10:57 AM

Find neutral ground if you can - do either parent go to thenpark with him ever?

Or you could try and be as blunt as possible with the kid - say I don't want you knocking on our door unless we invite you Iverson but we are happy to see you  in the park.

I was that kid around a similar age but adored a family fri3nd who lived nearby. I dropped in once because she was out the front and stopped to talk to me (I would never of had the guts to initiate conversation). Anyway, I missed all the cues including my mum saying "are you sure X doesn't mind you around there, I think it would be better if you only saw her whenwe get together" and me saying "noooo, she loves me!"

Apparently not laughing2.gif when she eventually raised it with my step mother, who then told me that I was visiting Tokyo often and maybe I could drool it back to about once a month I was so humiliated not only did I never knock on her door again I never joined in mutual family activities ever again - I haven't spoken to her since and I'm not nearly 40!

That's probably not helpful, my point is the parents may be telling him not to annoy you and he genuinely doesn't think you mind. If you can find a way to deal with him one on one in a manner he can understand without feeding embarrassed then it would be better for him.

Good luck original.gif

ETA - stupid iPad autocorrect function, too many mistakes to fix. biggrin.gif

Edited by Dinosaurus, 11 February 2013 - 10:59 AM.


#6 lucky 2

Posted 11 February 2013 - 10:58 AM

Sounds like he is lacking company and is not happy being home all the time.
I wonder if he has any activities, if they (parents have organised any) for the weekend. Sounds like he needs it.
May be he has absent or non-engaged parents, physically and ? emotionally (even if the mum is a SAHM).
Sounds like a difficult situation but I would not like to have a child in my house until I'd met the parent/s and they knew where he/she was, for my safety sake.
I can see how they can just run in, it happened to us when we lived in high density housing areas but when that has happened I have gone outside quickly and found the parent.
It's never happend in a street and I wouldn't feel comfortable about it.


#7 JustBeige

Posted 11 February 2013 - 01:50 PM

He sounds lonely and possibly lacking good adult modelling.

Having said that, I would just be blunt about the times he can hang out.  If you feel so inclined, maybe taking both kiddos to the park one afternoon a week or something.   it may also give you some insight into his life.

Otherwise, I would just keep gently saying no and reminding him that she is only 2.

#8 sakura73

Posted 11 February 2013 - 02:28 PM

I came in worrying this was going to be a thread about my DSS, who is 8 and a bit lonely and is just starting to try and make some friends in our new area on the days he is with us.  I suspect he would also be likely to want to play with a sweet 2 year old rather than the rough and tumble of kids his own age, and might wear out his welcome.

So, please, whatever you do, take care if you can of that little boy's feelings so he doesn't feel humiliated as I am sure my DSS would be if someone told him not to come over too soon.

#9 kadoodle

Posted 11 February 2013 - 03:34 PM

As someone who's been the "neighbourhood drop in centre" for local kids, I would advise you to make contact with the parents/grown up in charge if possible.  Just introduce yourself and make sure you're on the same page with this kid wandering over.  I've known quite a few parents who just tell their kids to head off and play and are totally unaware that their child is making themselves at home with the neighbour.

Set a day and time that works for you.  A park will be less intrusive than your house.  If that's not an option, put the kid to work.  I once managed to get some neighbourhood kids to help landscape my garden over a summer holiday.  I supervised and provided the icy poles, they dug, raked, pulled weeds and put in plants and mulch.

#10 Gembac8019

Posted 11 February 2013 - 03:43 PM

Has he met the rest of the kids in the street/ neighbourhood?

#11 mini mac

Posted 11 February 2013 - 03:48 PM

We were on holidays at my parents holiday house recently and a neighbouring kid of 7 came up to our front verandah where we were playing with DS nearly 2 and he asked if he could play too. Bit annoying this kid, asked too many questions, demanded to have turns of the scooter hubby and DS were riding around on etc etc IYKWIM....

But you know what, turns out he is an only child, bored out his brains at his nans house and she has no toys, his mum wouldn't let him bring any stuff to play with him, and they have no interest in playing with him. He was actually a really sweet kid, he just wanted someone to play with. After playing for a bit, we got him to help pull some weeds! biggrin.gif

Talk to the parents and arrange a time/day that works for you so the kid isn't lingering all the time.

#12 **BOOM**

Posted 11 February 2013 - 03:54 PM

QUOTE (kpingitquiet @ 11/02/2013, 11:42 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Any tips for someone who is a bit shy, for want of a better term, to handle this? LOL -- The idea of going over to a stranger's house to chat about the kid, even in the most friendly of manners, fills me with dread.


You are the adult here.  And this is where you need to step up and deal with it and be an adult.

He is a 9 yr old kid - he is still learning and finding his way in the world & probably doesn't understand "boundaries", etc.

It shouldn't be left up to him to try and work it out cause he won't, especially if he doesn't have an adult role model to teach him.  And this is not your job.

I'd be going over, setting your boundaries with his parents, then leaving this with them to explain to him when and when he can't go to your place.

As PP, this should be done between the ADULTS and then it's up to his parents to do the rest.

Again, as PP said you also need to make the parents aware that he is at your place.  What if they tell him to go play & not know he is rocking up at your place.  What if something happens to him at your place & his parents weren't even aware he was there.  You are the adult and unfortunately in an instance like this, he is your responsability whilst he is in your house.  Think of the remifacations of this for you & your DH.

Again, I would not be allowing him come into your house if a) parents are not aware he is there and b) you have not spoken together and set the boundaries.  



#13 KT1978

Posted 11 February 2013 - 04:04 PM

My daughter can be like this. When we moved to our house and her school year six buddy lived next door (she was 5) she wanted to go over all the time to play.

I distracted her most of the time, but sometimes she still put little notes in their letterbox saying how much she loved the 11 year old buddy/best friend. 11 year old probably wasn't thrilled by the attention.

Dd is 10 now and has a 5 year old across the road who loves her and follows her around giving her cuddles!

Just say no, maybe say that he can play when you visit the park as your dd sleeps a lot. He's settling in, he will probably get over it soon enough.

#14 jill1972

Posted 11 February 2013 - 04:08 PM

It seems a bit weird for a 9year old to want to come & play with a 2 year old.......or am I weird for thinking that?

Gee, I don't know what I would do, but I probably wouldn't be encouraging him unless I knew the parents.  Even then, I'd probably feel a bit funny having him over, is that how you feel OP?  Or do you really want to have him around sometimes?  

On the flipside, I wouldn't like it if my 9yro boy was just randomly knocking on my neighbours door to come over & play if I didn't know them.



__________

#15 StopTheGoats

Posted 11 February 2013 - 04:18 PM

God, if you work it out, let me know. I have a 4 year old shadow at the moment. He has asked me, and his nanny in my presence, if we could please be his mummy and he is SO needy. He's beautiful and I try to accommodate him but I can't be available all the time. My son is only 14 months so too young to play with him. I'm a respite foster carer so you'd think I'd have more patience but I'm a carer at times that suit me. I feel so uncomfortable. I've never met his mother (I only ever see him with the nanny and his mother is apparently loving but works long hours as she's single and has no child support) and I'd hate for her to know the sorts of things he says to the nanny and I.

#16 Coffeegirl

Posted 11 February 2013 - 04:26 PM

My 9yo DS loves his 2yo cousin who we see every couple of months, but there is no way he'd want to hang out with him all the time if there was something else to do.  

Sounds to me like the boy next door is lacking entertainment or stimulation in his own home.   It seems odd that the mum is SAH but you never see her.  Maybe there are other issues here.  She may be depressed, drinking etc and the boy has no one to guide him.

A knock on the door and a friendly 'Hi!  We haven't met yet. My name is kpingitquiet and we live a few doors up.  Just wondering how you and your family are settling in?  Your son has been over a few times and he's taken a shine to Little Miss, but we just wanted to make sure you realise that he's been coming over to our house a bit.'   Then let the conversation go from there.

#17 kpingitquiet

Posted 11 February 2013 - 04:30 PM

Ooh boy, okay original.gif Uhm, I've seen him playing with all the other neighbor kids his own age. But, like I said before, they have busy lives and aren't free every single day. He's only been inside the house once because he wanted to say hi and kiddo heard him and said "Come in! Come in!" so he did lol. The rest of the time we chat with him on the porch. I think I may assign the task to my husband as he's at least glimpsed the mother before.

To be quite frank, I don't think any of the parents on this street much care where their kids go. It's a quiet area of circles and culs-de-sac, about 5 mins walk from school and with a playground in the center of our circle and hardly any parents are ever seen, but kids from 4 to 17 are seen out anytime the sun is shining. I know several of the kids have kinda glommed on to husband as he's usually the only parent at the park so maybe we just live in a neighborhood of bored, lonely kids? lol! Oh my. Well, we'll see how he is this week. If he takes a bit of a breather, we'll just take things as they come. If not, Maybe husband and kiddo can walk with him over to his house and chat with his mom.

And naw, I don't think he's overly weird for wanting to hang with a 2yo when there aren't other options. She's pretty funny. wink.gif Several of the local kids often call to her when they see her outside. The boys like to ride the slides and swings with her and the girls like to braid gumnuts into her hair and stuff lol. He rides scooters and jumps on the trampoline next door so I don't think it's an issue of not wanting to play with the rougher kids.

Thanks for the help original.gif

#18 Tammy Swanson

Posted 11 February 2013 - 04:32 PM

Apologies if this offends anyone but honestly what sort of parent allows their child or SC to go over to random strangers houses to 'make friends' sorry but that is unacceptable.  If you want your child to become friends with local children for playtime have the manners and adult maturity to go over with your child and introduce them and ask what would be a good time for some playing the the playground. plus yes to the PP, it is weird that a 9 year old wants to play with a 2 year old.

OP no other way other than to go over and talk to the parent!

#19 Maple Leaf

Posted 11 February 2013 - 05:25 PM

Over the holidays our 6 year old neighbour has taken to appearing at all times at the door to play with my 8 year old and tag along 3 year old.

We have a park outside of the houses so many times the 3 of them would end up there, but regularly she ends up in our house too playing.

I broached the parents with sending a note home with the little girl and that opened up the lines of communication so now her mum and I will chat and I feel comfortable for DD1 to go over there at times to share the responsibility so her child isn't always at my place all the time!
Could you send a note home with the little boy just introducing yourself?

But yes, the continual knocking on the door to play can get annoying! I found out from the mum the other day that sometimes the little girl sneaks over without permission so gets in quite a bit of trouble when the mum finds out she's doing that.

It could be that the parents don't even know their son is doing this so often?

I have no problems with sending our little neighbour girl home by saying we are busy, going out, eating dinner soon etc..etc..
If it doesn't suit us to have her here, she has to go. original.gif



#20 LittleListen

Posted 11 February 2013 - 05:44 PM

QUOTE (Tammy Swanson @ 11/02/2013, 05:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Apologies if this offends anyone but honestly what sort of parent allows their child or SC to go over to random strangers houses to 'make friends' sorry but that is unacceptable.  If you want your child to become friends with local children for playtime have the manners and adult maturity to go over with your child and introduce them and ask what would be a good time for some playing the the playground. plus yes to the PP, it is weird that a 9 year old wants to play with a 2 year old.

OP no other way other than to go over and talk to the parent!



Tammy, if you don't like that, you will HATE this...

My folks live on a quiet cul-de-sac where most of the children have grown and moved away years ago. The "older" residents are all good friends, a very open-your-neighbours-door and bring-a-beer-in type street.

Several younger families have moved in over the last few years and their kids have taken a liking to my folks. While watching a movie with my parents recently, a 9 and 6 year old let themselves in and took their shoes off and sat down like it was a normal thing to visit with my folks. My parents aren't too fussed, they are bored retirees so someone new to talk to is often appreciated. The kids turned up and helped mum put up the Christmas tree last year.

I do question what their parents must be like to leave these kids alone for so long that they end up watching movies with an old couple and helping them put up their tree.

BUT then I think back to when I was growing up and lived next door to Norma and Pete and how I would pop through the fence when ever I felt like it and see if they were home. Norma would prop me up on the bench and get me to work cutting vegies for their dinner or Pete would get me to clean up the shed for him - I thought they were amazing and I loved spending time with them. I thinks wonderful to have this kind of community where it really is ok to spend time with decent, genuine people. We lament our selfish, drama-filled society, but we deny our kids the kind of world where community is ok. Respected even.

OP, rather than taking it up with the family, maybe you could create a sign for your front door. "DD is busy right now but will be home to play at 4pm on Tuesday. Could you please come back then?" At this child's age, they should be able to manage that. When they come, you would then feel prepared to welcome them and you could set a limit like "Ok, you can play until 6pm, but then DD needs to have her bath etc, so you'll need to go then ok?" Then give a 20, 10 and 5 minute warning countdown and make a to do of all going to to door to say goodbye together - like you would for an actual playdate.

Best of luck OP and good on you for being part of the memories of growing up for this kid. It really might mean something to them someday.

#21 Tammy Swanson

Posted 11 February 2013 - 06:52 PM

QUOTE (eyesabove @ 11/02/2013, 05:44 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Tammy, if you don't like that, you will HATE this...

My folks live on a quiet cul-de-sac where most of the children have grown and moved away years ago. The "older" residents are all good friends, a very open-your-neighbours-door and bring-a-beer-in type street.

Several younger families have moved in over the last few years and their kids have taken a liking to my folks. While watching a movie with my parents recently, a 9 and 6 year old let themselves in and took their shoes off and sat down like it was a normal thing to visit with my folks. My parents aren't too fussed, they are bored retirees so someone new to talk to is often appreciated. The kids turned up and helped mum put up the Christmas tree last year.

I do question what their parents must be like to leave these kids alone for so long that they end up watching movies with an old couple and helping them put up their tree.

BUT then I think back to when I was growing up and lived next door to Norma and Pete and how I would pop through the fence when ever I felt like it and see if they were home. Norma would prop me up on the bench and get me to work cutting vegies for their dinner or Pete would get me to clean up the shed for him - I thought they were amazing and I loved spending time with them. I thinks wonderful to have this kind of community where it really is ok to spend time with decent, genuine people. We lament our selfish, drama-filled society, but we deny our kids the kind of world where community is ok. Respected even.

OP, rather than taking it up with the family, maybe you could create a sign for your front door. "DD is busy right now but will be home to play at 4pm on Tuesday. Could you please come back then?" At this child's age, they should be able to manage that. When they come, you would then feel prepared to welcome them and you could set a limit like "Ok, you can play until 6pm, but then DD needs to have her bath etc, so you'll need to go then ok?" Then give a 20, 10 and 5 minute warning countdown and make a to do of all going to to door to say goodbye together - like you would for an actual playdate.

Best of luck OP and good on you for being part of the memories of growing up for this kid. It really might mean something to them someday.


ha! that is hilarious! I too have fond memories of roaming our streets and going to neighbours houses to hang out but that was then and this is now and I just question how parents can just let their kids wander off to find someone to play with. Now that i have read the OP update and she explained their neighbourhood situation I do get it but I still think it is weird for a 9 year old wanting to play with a 2 year old. i have a DD6 and a niece who is 9 and not even they can really 'play' together as the age difference is too great.


#22 kadoodle

Posted 11 February 2013 - 07:00 PM

IDK that it's weird.  I have a pretty regular stream of little girls about 9 or 10yo wanting to play with my toddler.  I dare say there are little boys out there who like babies too.

#23 darcswan

Posted 11 February 2013 - 07:19 PM


QUOTE (eyesabove @ 11/02/2013, 06:44 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
BUT then I think back to when I was growing up and lived next door to Norma and Pete and how I would pop through the fence when ever I felt like it and see if they were home. Norma would prop me up on the bench and get me to work cutting vegies for their dinner or Pete would get me to clean up the shed for him - I thought they were amazing and I loved spending time with them. I thinks wonderful to have this kind of community where it really is ok to spend time with decent, genuine people. We lament our selfish, drama-filled society, but we deny our kids the kind of world where community is ok. Respected even.


I had a Melissa next door... Your post reminded me of how wonderful it was to head over there. Mel was in her 20s and we would play with her little dog and paint our nails.  I felt so grown up in her presence.

Time moves so much more slowly when you're a kid.  I think its awesome to be able to call on an extended community.

I don't know if I'd say anything much to this little boy.   Just continue to turn him away when its not convenient and explain why.

#24 Frockme

Posted 11 February 2013 - 09:07 PM

Set up a code system for him? Eg come and play if our gate/front door/garage is open.  original.gif  

Reinforce if they are not open then he is not to knock. No leniency. You need to get your cranky neighbour lady pants on for that one. It works though, or has in our circumstances.

You need to be firm. He's old enough to understand no.




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Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.