Thursday, April 15, 2010

Advice

I seriously need some advice. We are going through some "growning pains" in our family and at this point I just don't know what to do. SO PLEASE.... leave me a comment on how you feel, or what you do, or your rules growing up.

So the story goes....


One of the very first days we moved in to this house I overheard the girls talking about this neighbor girl that was going to come over after school. I was like???????????? I did not know who they were talking about. They said she lived down the street. I guess they knew her from the first few days of school. She is a first grader. Several times over the next few months she came over and asked to play.
1. I didn't know her.
2. I didn't know her parents.
3. I was super prego.
4. I was not comfortable with the girls out front, and then having to keep track of Graden.
5. Her parents don't know me, or my husband, or my home. (We could be crazy). Shut it.
6. She is un-attended outside and has the run of the neighborhood. (I have seen her riding all around the block, sometimes with headphones in, totally unaware of her surroundings).

Come to find out she and her Dad our in our ward. I believe her mom is not a member. She is an only child. I feel as though I have been pressured to somewhat be-friend her by certain people at church. So I have. As the weather has gotten warmer and the kids want to be out front and riding bikes, drawing with chalk, just enjoying themselves, she has come by. I am always VERY nice to her. She has enjoyed the company of my kids, and they hers. The girls went to her birthday party in March. And I have let the girls play at her home (less than an hour tops). It has gone from once a week, to almost everyday RIGHT after school the doorbell rings. Or as soon as I drive up in our drive way, open the garage and unload everything.....RING! I feel as though we are being swooped down upon. I have told her that the kids cannot play. Sickness, Sunday, dinner time, bath time, you name it. But she just stands there and looks at me. Then I shut the door, while she is still standing there. I feel really bad, but totally annoyed at the lack of boundary she has. I truly do not know what to do next.

I have set rules for my girls. Helmets, sidewalk, no food, stay outside, etc....I had my sister Julie watch the kids for an hour or so yesterday. They were all playing outside. I told Julie the rules. She said she watched as she kept asking for the girls to go get a snack. (If she were actually hungry and I felt as though she was not eating, I would feed her). (Not the case). Julie finally said something, and then she whispered again. Julie told her to go home and eat. She came back with a cinnamon hard candy.

Did your mom ever tell you that "three's a company, but two is a crowd"? Well, when it's with twins, one of them is ALWAYS the "crowd". So when they play it's a lot of drama. I feel like a gerk, making the girls come in when I have finally heard enough. It seems like when they are all together the talk gets sassy. (mind you my girls ARE NOT ANGELS). But in know the difference.

Please help me. To tell you that I am heart broken about this is an understatement. I feel trapped in my home, unable to enjoy the front yard, without everybody else joining in.

What do you do? What are your rules? Should I talk to her parents? HELP??????


PS.....I put a note on our door that says, "sorry, no playing today" cause I just cannot handle it. And it's beautiful outside. Sigh.....



15 SAY WHAT??????????????????:

Collett Family said...

That is tough. You want to be nice, but you also need to take care of your family. I am not sure if you mentioned this or not, but have you tried talking to this girl's parent? Maybe you can establish one or two play dates a week so that there are some boundaries! Or even tell the girl, "We can only play on this day." Good luck!

Cherie said...

I was trying to think of who you might be talking about but I don't know.
This is a hard situation and we had it a few times over the years.
Definately stick to your rules and establish new boundaries and rules if you must and make sure your kids are on board.
Some things we did:
- Play dates on only certain days like Tuesday and Thursday.
- Make sure you girls have other friends and you invite them over. That way they are not always only playing with the one girl and on days when they have other friends over that is a good excuse to say "We'll see you another day".
- Meet the parents - because you should know them if your girls are going over there. But if they do not monitor their childs whereabouts be careful what you say and don't expect them to start.
- Last, it is NOT rude to tell the girl that your kids cannot play - even if you are in the front yard. I have asked kids to go home before because we were having family time. It sounds super mean in a way but when you have someone that stalks you it is better to be honest and blunt.
"Nat and Tay cannot play right now but you can come play on Thursday" or something along those lines.

It is so sad when other parents do not have boundaries for their kids. It also makes it hard on other parents. Good luck!

Cherie said...

P.S. Be careful about sending your kids to their house. I have found that if parents aren't monitoring their own kid they probably will not be watching out for yours. Those houses always made me wary to let my kids go over.

Alli Blue said...

My mom has said the same thing Cherie. Good advice! Thank you. And I think I am going to end up talking to the parents at least. The bonus of twins, is that they always have a playmate. She will be left with nobody if her parents are not cool with this. Then they are stuck with her and I don't think that is the plan they had in mind!

Joleen said...

We have a neighbor like that too- also in our ward, but totally inactive. He drives me crazy. When I tell him the kids can't play, he asks why, or asks for details as to why they can't come out.
I wish I had a good piece of advise for you...but I have yet to figure out how to deal with him in a diplomatic, yet firm way.
Be kind, but look out for your childrens' best interest and safety.

Laura said...

I have no experience with this, but it sounds like you are getting a lot of good advice. I agree with you telling her she can only play with your girls on certain days, 1 or 2 days a week. Even if they girls are playing in the front yard on days she isn't supposed to come over, TELL HER TO GO HOME! or to go play somewhere else. IT'S NOT RUDE. Sadly, she is probably a little bit of a rough girl, and it's not really up to you to help her by putting your girls at risk. I know you can't protect your kids from everything, but I think you should protect them from what you can as long as you can. Talk to her parent's. I am guessing that you will get a sour response, but that will just give you a bigger reason to send her away, and maybe they won't want her coming to your house anymore after you talk to them.

Leah said...

Your story sounds WAY familiar! We have a neighbor boy right across the street who is right there whenever we pull into the driveway and even peeks in our windows on Saturday mornings to see if Jace is home! It used to kindof bug me but doesn't really anymore. I don't think it's as extreme as your situation. But it's definitely NOT rude to tell her the girls can't play. (even if they are outside) I do think that since she is the only child that she is lonely and I am sure that her parents don't care that she is outside all day long cuz then she's not bugging them. Maybe when you go talk to the parents you can ask them to just reproduce again already!! Kidding! But seriously it's not right that you feel trapped in your own home. Go outside and enjoy the weather and tell the girl to beat it (nicely!) Tell her the girls can play but not everyday. She will get the hint eventually. Hey, maybe a nice little family with lots more kids will move into the hood and then she will have someone else to bug. Good Luck!

Natalie said...

Such a hard situation. I would start by talking with the girls mom and establish some rules...like only playing a couple times a week and for a certain amount of time. I don't think its rude to let the girl and her parents know that you have family time or that you don't want extra kids around.
Good luck, I hope it works out well!

Laura Blue said...

Don't have much advice for you, but I enjoyed reading what the others had to say for future reference. It sounds good to talk to the parents and let them know your rules & then I would difinetly tell the girl to go home when you are trying to have famil time. I like the certain days too...kids to better with more specifics. Good luck. Let us know how it all works out. Hope you can enjoy your weekend in peace.

Angie said...

I totally relate to your pains! We've become the party house - and some days, I'm just not sure I'm okay with it either. Most days, there's at least 3 knocks on the door or phone calls for the kids. (Yesterday, there were 7 kids running around!) I tried the parent approach with one troublesome neighbor, and it didn't work, so I finally had the KIDS tell them they just didn't want to play - which was true. He was persistent in coming over every day to ask anyway, but eventually got the hint, and found greener pastures. I still don't know all the answers, but I do know that you don't need to feel guilty. What works for you and your family is exactly what needs to be done. No apologies! I'm so glad you wrote about this so I didn't feel like I was the only one worrying about it! Hang in there, and let us know what comes of it...we can all learn from each other!

Andrea Cutler said...

Totally know the feeling...our little neighbor pest would stand and blowfish the front window...this is after telling her we couldn't play AND shutting the door on her! Just stick with your rules and your gut feeling....more often than not your making the right decision...if you are nervous about it there is a REASON! I wish that we were neighbors, we could use some cute, normal, sweet little friends for our girls to play with! We use the "Family Time" approach ALL the time. Plus, I feel like outside friends are great, but my kids will never have as great of friends as their sisters. There will be countless years of outside friends so we are building sister friendships first. What a mean mom, huh! Good luck...when you find the perfect solution let me know! In the mean time, I hope that your backyard is awesome! :)

The Brownies said...

We have neighbors in our ward like that. excpet it's the parents that make us feel like we cant leave our house or ever answer our door or phone! It sucks, i know how you feel, but you cant feel bad! be strong lady :)

Laura said...

I think most everyone has to deal with this at some time or another. You just might have to be the bad guy and keep saying no. It's so hard because you don't want to hurt feelings, and you want to be a good example to your kids. But, you've got to do what's best for YOUR family. Good luck. I feel for ya.

Mark and Lachelle said...

What a crappy situation! My friend went through the SAME thing when they moved into their new house. She just has a little baby Camden's age, but all the neighbor kids would just walk into her house, and into their backyard, and play on their swingset. (Apparently the previous owners would let all the neighbor kids come over all the time.) This really bugged my friend, considering they only have a little baby and all these older kids were bombarding their house. She felt like she couldn't be comfortable in her own house! These neighbor kids would sit and lurke and wait for my friend to come home. The second she drove into her garage, they all ran over. I don't know if my friend ended up talking to the parents, but I do know they would turn their sprinklers on and get the kids wet, if they walked into their backyard :) Ha ha! Maybe that's an idea for ya. Eh eh??

Claire said...

What a fun one Alli! Stick to your guns. Go over to meet her mom. Act all relaxed and say that your the mom of Nat and Tay, just so she knows who you are. I don't think you should discuss play dates. When the little one is around let her now that if she wants to play at your house (even outside) that she has to obey your rules. Talk to your girls about rules and times, so they know when to whine about playing and when to not to also. The girl will get it eventually. She will either not like the rules and never come around any more or she will conform and be a great friend. Say a prayer and speak in a firm loving way. Your not being rude, just a mommy hen. Good luck

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