Tuesday, May 09, 2006

What to do, what to do?

Ever have pesky kids in your 'hood? I do. We have nice kids, and we have pesky kids. The pesky kids show up all.the.time. Their mother rarely knows where they are, they cause strife with the other kids in the 'hood that have peaceful playtimes, and they don't leave when asked. This particular pair fabricated (according to the mom) a story that they "couldn't go home because no one was there". Nice. After I discussed this with the mother, she promptly drove off in.the.dark, leaving her children...AT MY HOUSE! I was livid. She kept the little gals home for a good couple of weeks, (punishment for the "tall tale" or keeping up appearances?) but they have been back with increasing regularity. I do not allow my children there for what I suspect would be largely unsupervised playtime, and the mother seems to have forgotten my use of the word "OCCASSIONAL" when describing my willingness to host her children. I don't like feeling badly about these kids, they are, after all, just kids, and it is a valuable opportunity for me to teach my children tolerance and kindness. But I don't like the spirit in my house when they are here, and I don't like that they are chasing off the better mannered, better suited playmates that my children do enjoy being with. Is there a graceful way to handle this one? I'm not sure. I allow my kids to play with one family's children each day after school, I would prefer to only have one set of playmates in the house at a time, and I prefer most of the time be with the kids that play well together. This is a tough one. Any ideas?


EmmaSometimes said...

Okay, Im a mom of four (3, 5, 7, and 9) and encountered the very same thing because just like you, I think of the child even when their parent is blatently not.

One summer, I had eleven children in my house, every day. It was exhausting and made me nuts! Instructing them, keeping them out of my things, keeping them from breaking my window screens, my computer, eating me out of house and home, cleaning up after them. I finally realized that as much as I wanted to help the children, their parents still didn't care enough to take care of their kids or care about what sacrifice I made. They didn't know me from Jack the Ripper. I was just a free babysitter.

I just decided what is best for my family and just said no friends over. It's hard at first but what you want is that your children be safe, happy and healthy, right (oh, you are so demanding!)

Who you invite in your home is a very personal decision, at least to me. Especially when it affects the atmosphere of your home. YIKES. If parents aren't home, I'd call the police to report it (kids don't make up stuff like that, really...). If the kids are telling the truth, then the mom should be stopped. My own childhood is not one to hash out here, but my sister almost died falling off a two story balcony when mom went 'absent'.

Im sure, just as my neighbors did, they will move on to another neighborhood family that will do for them what you are doing now for their kids. FREE BABYSITTING!

Stephanie said...

I HAVE THE SAME PROBLEM!!! In fact, they are standing in my back doorway right now---The fence won't be up soon enough!!! I am just rude now. One day I had left my back door open to let the air circulate through and I look back and their 20-month old was in my house. No parents, no siblings, noone. I picked her up, put her on the back porch and shut the door. I tell her kids ALL of the time that they need to go home, that I am not their babysitter. We live in a cul-de-sac and this mom even had the nerve to suggest to me that everyone in the neighborhood should back into their garages so that they could see other peoples kids playing in the driveway. AGGGGGHHHHH!!!!! I told her that people should teach their kids not to play in other peoples driveways and that would solve the problem. EVERY family in this neighborhood has a problem with those kids one way or another.

This really gets me going. This same neighbor copies everything I do. I seriously feel like single-white-female. I told her the color I was going to paint my family room and the furniture I was going to buy...she did it before I had the chance to, then she took all of the credit for the idea. I bought a dining room table, she bought the same one. We sold our house and built a new one, she built the same one...next door. She copied my kitchen, my crafts, the bedding I was going to put into my kids room, where and what I hang on my walls, my bedroom and too many more things to list. Now she is going to copy all of my landscaping. ENOUGH ALREADY!!! Get your own freakin' ideas!!!! How would you deal with that? I would post about this on my blog, but I can never be sure if she copied that too. Hey...maybe I should. She might get a clue and start being original!!!

EmmaSometimes said...

stephanie, I see your profile, but no blog? I'd love to visit (maybe I can get some ideas, just kidding)

Stephanie said...

Emma, try blackeyedsue.blogspot.com. I don't know what I did to not make it public. I have to go goof off on my template to figure it out.

momofalltrades said...

Emma, Stephanie is at http://blackeyedsue.blogspot.com/ . We should all just move in the same neighborhood and be each other's neighbors. The last big problem was spring break, that was when I spoke with the mom. She's a single mom, working and schooling or something, and I think part of the problem is that she lives with her parents. I think Gramma gets tired of watching the kids and sends them off to play. Today, after I posted this, the mom came by looking for them, as in; didn't know if they would be here or not, and I had finally gotten them to leave about 5 min prior to her showing up! SO I think they send them out to play, and they just make a beeline for here. I've told the mom where I'm at with it, and she kept track of them for a bit, but it's creeping back toward the way it was during spring break. Bottom line is, no matter how this sounds, I do not want to be faced with running them off all summer long, and there's no WAY I'll be hosting them for extended playdates this summer. I have no problem at all with the other family and their kids, I expect the kids will bounce back and forth all summer long and I have no problem with that, it's just how do you teach your kids to be accepting and make people feel good about themselves, and then turn around and say, "You can play with them, but not *them*" I just feel like every solution I've thought of is all full of holes.

Stephanie! OMGOSH! What a freakshow! I seriously think I would lose my mind. When you get that fence up, buy a lock. My fences don't deter these kids in the least. What I wouldn't give for a six foot security fence and a lock. Do the other parents in your neighborhood tell the kids to go home too?

Nettie said...

That is a toughie. Especially because you know the kids are seeking what they can't find at their own home, love and attention. Thankfully, I haven't had to face that issue. So, unfortunately I have no real suggestions. Maybe you could say they could play on one day of the week and just keep saying, "Not till Friday" every time they showed up? We have the rule that each child can have only one friend over at a time. I couldn't stand more than that!

Stephanie- I love your ideas, so I understand why she copies you! I promise only to copy you a little bit!

Stephanie said...

We should all be neighbors. Our "hood" would be perfect.

Nettie, It only bothers me when SHE uses my ideas. No one else, don't ever think I get bugged at anyone else, NEVER anyone else. I don't know why I get so bugged at her. Maybe it is because she doesn't ever give credit where credit is due.