Should I say anything??

mom2emallSeptember 3, 2010

Long story short I have neighbors who I get along with well and are quite a bit older than me and, dh. They have lots of kids, most of whom are grown and out of the house. They do have a few kids left at home who are in middle school and high school. Ds hangs out with them. But my neighbors are VERY strict and their kids don't really go anywhere or have friends inside their home. DS hangs outside with them playing sports or has the younger son in our home.

Last week the husband came over to tell dh that his wife was upset with ds, but was uncomfortable telling us so he felt he should. Seems ds was acting up when in their driveway. From our house we can not see their driveway because their house blocks the view. So we did not see how ds was behaving. He was hanging on their basketball hoop (when walking over there I have seen their kids doing it as well). He also was hanging out in their driveway when their kids were not outside. I had thought when ds was there the kids were out with him, but I found out that lately he was sitting outside their home waiting for them. He also was yelling to the kids inside their home. And their younger son said ds was teasing him at school.

We talked to him about it all and grounded him for almost a week. We made him apologize to the neighbors. DS admitted his wrongdoing in waiting in their driveway when the kids were not outside and in yelling to them from outside their home. He admitted to jumping up and hanging on the basketball hoop. He said that he never teases the boy at school though, he only makes comments back to the boy when he says things to him. DS said he talked to the boy at school and said he was mad he told his parents that he was teasing him and the boy and him made up.

Today ds was ungrounded and playing basketball with the neighbors. He came home upset saying that the boys older brother said his mom heard yelling when they were playing and that the boys blamed him. He says he was not yelling and that the neighbor boys were swearing and yelling, not him. He also said that they are afraid of getting in trouble so they just blame everything on him.

I told ds that he has the choice of not playing with them. They came over to ask him to come hang out today. I told him next time he should say no and tell them he does not like being blamed for things.

Part of me wants to have him go hang out with them tomorrow so I can hang out outside, where they don't see me and listen. Then I could go tell their mom whats going on instead of her thinking it is all my son. Today when I walked over to check on them I saw the one son yelling into the other neighbors window talking to the kid and also saw him climb up on the side of the neighbors house to talk to the kid.

DH says I should not say anything and should let ds handle it. He says if neighbors come talk to me I can then tell them what I know. I don't want them to think that ds is doing things he isn't though. What do you think?

I do like the neighbors and their kids and don't want to start an argument. I just don't want them thinking that ds is a big trouble maker while their kids are the ones doing things too.

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I would not let my son go back to play there if it were me. They obviously have one set of rules for 'their' kids and another for your son. If their kids are doing the same things, I can understand why your son just does what he sees them doing, then he gets blamed or in trouble for it. I would have him find somewhere else to play.

Perhaps the neighbors don't let their kids play elsewhere because others complain about their kids, like climbing on the side of houses.

IMO, the behavior you describe the neighbor kids having is a bad influence to your son & I would keep him home or have him play somewhere else, in a different direction away from THOSE neighbors. I wouldn't say anything if you want to maintain friendliness... if they ever ask why he doesn't come around, simply say he made new friends down the street or is busy with his activities. If you (or he) tells them it's because he's falsely accused, I guarantee they will be offended that they are being called out on it. It is basically calling them liars... and pointing out what their kids do is not going to help. I think they know how their kids are, which is why they keep them home, but they don't want to address it... it's so much easier to blame someone else, like your son. I'd keep my son away from that kind of dysfunctional thinking.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2010 at 8:38AM
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Ima, I agree. The issue of my talking to those other parents is a ME issue. That has to take backseat to CHILD issues. Child should find other friends, activities, and I would help him.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2010 at 10:11AM
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I agree helping your son find new friends or involving him in more activities would be a good idea.

Like Ima said, it sounds like dysfunctional thinking over there and you don't want him around that.

I wouldn't say anything because I think it would just make the situation worse. Just encourage DS to play with other friends, or do other activities instead of hanging with these kids.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2010 at 10:40AM
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I don't think the family is dysfunctional. I think both parents came from VERY strict homes as kids and that is how they run their home. The kids are good kids for the most part. They all do well in school and do lots of chores around their home. In front of adults they are all well mannered. I think the problem is them doing things that the parents are not seeing. And the kids are afraid of punishment since their parents are so strict, so they deny any wrongdoings to stay out of trouble. When these kids aren't grounded they still have to stay home, so I can imagine what being grounded is like for them.

I don't think anything they are doing is completely off the wall. I didn't think that the things my ds did were things that kids have never done. He just needed to realize that they were not the correct way to act and I think through talking to him and his grounding he now realizes that. The neighbor kids know that their mom was already upset at the things my ds did so I think they feel like since ds got caught once it would be believable to their mom that it is ds again.

I have no doubt that if my neighbor knew the way her kids were behaving that she would be upset with them and deal with it. But I don't want to turn this into a tattle on eachothers kids thing, know what I mean? On the same token I don't want ds getting blamed for things he is not doing.

I do encourage him to play with other friends, but he likes the convenience of playing with the neighbors. Plus they are a little older and more athletic than some of his other friends and he enjoys that.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2010 at 2:32PM
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I didn't say the family was dysfunctional. I said they have dysfunctional thinking.

However, if the parents were raised in very strict families and they parent their children the same way, to me that can be dysfunctional. If it affects everyone in a negative way, then IMO it IS dysfunctional. IMO, it is not normal (functional) to fear your parents so much that you cannot be comfortable enough to be yourself. They may get good grades and are well mannered around the parents & climbing on the sides of people's houses when nobody is looking. To me, that is dysfunctional. They are also willing to lie & throw your son under the bus because they can. Their mom will believe them, not your son who might be telling the truth. If the parents cannot see what the kids are doing, they are not 'functional' parents, as all parents should know that kids are kids, they do stuff wrong & the parents believe them when they deny ever doing anything wrong but are quick to believe YOUR son is the troublemaker, then I would have a serious problem letting my kid be around that kind of mentality.

Also, If they can't leave when they are not grounded... I also can't imagine what grounded would be like.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2010 at 9:14PM
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Holy moly! Did I read that right???? Did KKNY and Ima actually agree on something??? Okay I have to go back and make sure. I think maybe I passed out, hit my head and dreamed it!

    Bookmark   September 9, 2010 at 10:50AM
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