AWFUL nieghborhood kids

Momma_Bird_OHApril 12, 2003

For years I've complained that there are no kids in our neighborhood with which DSs can play, and this school year 3 boys near their age have moved in - 2 families, one with 1 boy and 1 with 2. The only problem is THESE KIDS ARE JUST AWFUL and their parents are not much better. All 3 are almost totally unsupervised, run the neighborhood at will - they are in K, 1st and 2nd grade!

The 1st grade boy was almost hit riding his bike across the street without looking to come to our house, to the point where the driver rang our doorbell shaking because she came so close to hitting him and she thought he was my kid.. I went straight to the boy's mom and told her the boy can't come over any more becaue I don't want his blood on my hands if he's hit by a car, and she yelled AT ME!

All 3 have TERRIBLE grammar (DH and I are both kind of sticklers for proper grammer, manners, etc) and use ain't all the time. All 3 are also doing poorly in school, the kid mentioned above is being held back in 1st so he'll be in my kindergarten DS' class next year.

I am at a total loss. After telling the mom her son can't come over, and being yelled at, the kid came over today while DH and I were out, and my friend who was babysitting let him in - I hadn't told her not to so she didn't know. I guess I'll have to trot across the street again tomorrow and ask her again to keep him at home.

The other 2 kids are not as much of a problem at home, they are just HORRIBLE to my 2 sons at school, calling them names, picking on them, etc daily - see my post about DS hitting a kid at school, it was one of these brothers. DH has taled to their dad about it but it didn't do any good. They live with their dad & haven't seen their mom in 3 years, so DH thought it would be better to talk to him man-to-man.

All 3 of these kids come from broken homes & I do feel really bad for them, but DH and I are trying to give our kids a good home life & education. I'm torn between my Christian duty and wanting my kids to be left alone! DH is WAY over the Christian duty part and just wants these kids kept in their own yards. I think they come to our house because they feel safe here, there is always an adult to supervise, they are fed/given drinks, we have a swingset, etc.

Any suggestions? Have any of you had similar situations? Thanks in advance!

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I have been in a similar situation. In my old neighborhood, a couple of boys showed up on our porch when my son was playing in the front yard. I asked them if their parent's knew that they were at my house. When they replied,"no", I explained that they couldn't come over until I spoke to one of their parents so I knew it was okay for them to come over. I gave the older boy my phone # and told him to tell his mom or dad to call me.
The next day I received a phone call from the father who was gushing about how appreciative he was that I was trying to keep his boys safe and of course they could come over to play. I then asked him, "do you even know where I live? Which house they are going to play at?". There was a long pause before he admitted that he didn't have any idea who he was talking to. To cut a long story short, the boys did come over to play once in a while. They quickly learned that I didn't allow the roughhousing play that their single dad thought was okay, and I made them eat their snacks at the table and clean up after themselves. No playing in the bedroom without the door being wide open and only rated G videos allowed to be watched in the TV room. After a few weeks, they lost interest in coming over to the house and I never allowed my son to go over to their house. But I feel like I made some sort of an impression on them because everytime I would see them around the neighborhood after they stopped coming over, they were always very nice and polite to me.

I guess my point is that you may be the only semblance of a normal family that these kids have an opportunity to interact with. If you forbid them to come over to your house you are punishing the CHILDREN for their PARENT'S poor behavior. Where else are they going to learn how to speak properly? Where else will they learn manners?
You are completely in your rights to enforce YOUR rules in YOUR house. Yes, it's a lot of work, but the alternative is to hope that someone else does what you are in a position to do. They are still young enough to learn new behaviors. Teach them the joy of reading. Help the young boy with his schoolwork so he doesn't get kept behind.

I would, however, make it a rule that the little one across the street can only come over if his parent brings him over. If he shows up on your door, take him by the hand and walk him back over the street and explain to his mom that you are uncomfortable with him crossing the street on his own and he is welcome to come over if she brings him or if you come over and get him.

You are in a position to become a wonderful role model for these kids, and it's obvious that their parents are either overwhelmed with parenthood or don't take the responsibility seriously.
Imagine what kind of future these children have if they continue on the path they're now on.
And it's through no fault of their own.

Just my 2 cents-


    Bookmark   April 12, 2003 at 9:35PM
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Keli, YOU ARE A GENIUS! Your idea of telling the 1st grade boy's mom that he can only come over if she brings him is brilliant - because she doesn't know or care where he is most of the time, I doubt if she will ever get off her bu++ and walk him over. I will tell her nicely that the boy's welcome only if she walks him over, and that if he comes alone I will send him home. Thanks!

You are right, we are probably the only "normalcy" these kids have, but I have to draw the line somewhere between helping these kids & raising my own 3. I just don't have time or energy to raise the whole neighborhood.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2003 at 10:53PM
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My neighbor's son is not a bad kid just an unsupervised boy. He's 9 or so. He was out in my back yard a while ago with an ax (with a two or three foot handle) and cut down six of my trees, He also girdled a number of other trees stripping the bark from just above the ground up as high as he could reach. I was absolutely furious to the point that it made me sick.(and not at him) I took all his tools away and dragged all those trees up to the front of his yard where i laid them across his driveway. These trees were nice big trees as big around as a woman's thigh.
His mother told me the babysitter though he was on their property and that's why she didn't go out and stop him. What kind of babysitter lets a kid play with an AX!?

    Bookmark   June 3, 2003 at 8:44PM
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OH MY GOD Missy! AN AX!!!! And he cut down your trees - it makes our problem look small!!!! It would take AGES for a 9 y.o. to cut down trees that big, so the babysitter had to be unaware of where he was for at least an hour!

The 3 wild boys are starting to stay away because I keep telling on them to their parents. They aren't allowed to ride their bikes in the street & I tell their parents every time I see them doing it. There is a church across the street from us with a HUGE parking lot. All the kids in the neighborhood use it as a bike riding place. There is no reason for any kid to ride on the street. There isn't a lot of traffic on the street, but there are lots of teenagers in the neighborhood who "drag" down the street about 40 -45 mph, so a kid could easily be hit.

On the other hand, the older of the 2 brothers came down Thursday after school & DH let him in. He played nicely for about 2 hrs then went home. I guess there is hope!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2003 at 10:36PM
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I think that every neighborhood has these kids. There are a set of twins (going into the second grade) who both wear hearing aids (I'm not sure how profound their hearing loss is). These two run the entire neighborhood (about 6 different streets-one being a main entrance into the area)at all hours of the day and night. I can not believe that their mom is not more concerned about them getting hit by a car (that they may not hear) or about someone picking them up and taking them. Fortunately, they are too young to hang around with my older kids and too old to be friends with my 3 and 4 year olds.
We live in a cul-de-sac so all of the families here are pretty close. We all know what the others parents expect of their kids, so the kids know not to try to pull one over on us. It reminds me of when I was a kid (ironically, I live two doors down from the house I grew up in and my brother lives in our childhood home-so I guess it is the same).
My only suggestion would be for you to tell the mom/dad that they are not welcomed at your home if they can not obey simple rules. Spell them out for them. Tell her/him that everyone who plays at your house does so under your rules. If the child breaks the rules, send him home and tell him he will not be allowed to come back until his behavior improves. Call his parent and tell them the same thing. You may not be the most popular person on the block, but at least everyone will be safe and sound. You could even go one step further, and send the rules over to their house. My sil had parents sign a list of rules and a release before she would let the neighborhood kids swim in her pool or jump on her trampoline.
Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 24, 2003 at 4:18PM
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When my daughter was little, we lived in an apartment complex with an awful family of kids. The parents would leave them home alone for hours at a time, and the oldest was about 9 and the youngest was 4. Her parents would lock the door so they had to play outside the whole time. Shortly after I moved in, The 9 year old knocked on my door and asked if she could use my bathroom because she couldnt get in her house. I said sure. She didn't come back downstairs for a long time, so went up to check on her and she was in my bedroom with my purse dumped out on my bed!!!! Another time she knocked on the door saying she was selling t-shirts for the girl scouts. They were obviously old shirts she took out of a drawer at her house. A couple weeks later, she came to the door collecting pledges for a read-a thon for school (It was July!). She pulled the bathroom stunt on a neighbor, and her wedding ring misteriously vanished. The 9 year old ended up pregnant at 15, and 2 of the other kids ended up in juvenile detention.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2003 at 8:07AM
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We have a family of wild things, too. Two girls being raised by their grandparents who got custody when their teen dd (who had both girls before she was 17) had drug problems. They are awful and everytime my kids play with them, there is some problem. So I have told my kids they can't play with them. Which is fine with them, they were looking for excuses not to play with them.This was last summer. This summer my dd just avoids these girls and tells them she can't play. My son tells them no, as well.


    Bookmark   August 7, 2003 at 1:22AM
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If these children are bullying your child, visit the school and speak with the principal about it. Schools in our area, Illinois, are being told to watch out for bullies. I don't know what action they take, but it is apparent these boys should be corrected NOW by someone in authority. I am sorry for any child, and parent of the child, who has a bully at school, or anywhere in the neighborhood.AnnieIL

    Bookmark   September 12, 2003 at 8:56PM
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I just want to point out a few legalities- if a young child is not being supervised, in most states that is considered child neglect. You can report this anonymously, so don't worry about retribution, and also don't worry that the kids will be taken away - usually a visit from social services can just be a needed wakeup call or maybe the parents will be referred to a parenting class.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2003 at 3:34PM
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We have a slightly similar situation in my neighborhood. We have tons of kids, and all of them are closely supervised except for one family that moved in this winter. This particular family has 8 kids that run around completely unsupervised. In fact, I rarely see the parents. One of the little boys, was collecting snakes (we have a small swamp at the dead end) and was trying to sell them to the other children. The youngest (who is 4) is routinely left outside for hours at a time, shirtless. The oldest, a teenager, constantly has his girlfriend over, and they are usually making out on the front lawn. The sixth grade girl, who is sort of nice, routinely comes over and asks to play with my 3 year old. An 11 year old wants to play with a 3 year old? That is just strange. Of course I always make up an excuse and say no. This past winter when they moved in they would be playing outside in FREEZING temperatures with just jackets on, no gloves, hats or anything. Basically, we just try to ignore them. From what I've heard, they do have daily chores and they don't really cause trouble, they are just some what neglected. As someone else said, I think every neighborhood has a family with the AWFUL kids!

    Bookmark   September 1, 2005 at 12:52PM
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We had one of those. Raised by wolves, it seemed, the lot of them! Large immigrant Russian family (9 kids!). Too large and largely male, I think mom threw up her hands! But 10+ years later, they are all grown and capable, smart, ambitious, polite, and hard workers buying homes, going to college, starting businesses. Go figure!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2005 at 8:40AM
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