Tips on dealing with unruly neighborhood kids?

Carmel - posted on 04/11/2010 ( 23 moms have responded )

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My son is 7 and has been playing with a few on the same neighborhood kids since he was 4. There are 2 kids in particular (siblings ages 8 and 9) that are extremely mouthy, violent and just plain mean. We have a friendly relationship with the parents however they refuse to believe that their children instigate any of these problems.

One day a few weeks ago my husband looked out the door to see their 9 yr old beating the living daylights out of a 6 yr old. My husband ran out there and asked the 9 yr old why he is always beating up on the little kids and his response was 'because I can'. My husband took the bloody 6 yr old home and told the parents what happened, they are afraid to say anything to the parents of the 9 yr old because this couple are in law enforcement and most of the neighbors are afraid of retaliation.

The main problem is that most days these 2 kids are running the neighborhood unsupervised and the parents are generally 'napping' so they don't have a clue how much trouble their kids cause. If we try to talk to them they will accuse our kids of 'starting' the problem. Most days we end up bringing my son in just to get him out of the bad environment which is a punishment to him but we don't know what else to do. I would appreciate any advice . . . . .

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[deleted account]

If the parents are unwilling to believe that their kids are bullying the rest of the neighbourhood then it is your job to "parent" the kid. If you are privy to watching unacceptable behaviour then I think you should let the kids know that their behaviour is unacceptable and that if they want to play with your kids these are the rules you have at your house!

Kids need rules and order and need to be told what is right and what is wrong. I had to approach a mean little girl that came to our house and was treating me the way she treated her Mom (with great disrespect). I told her that if she ever wanted to play at our house she was expected to behave with respect towards everyone. I also told her she was special to our family and that I hoped she could follow those rules otherwise she would have to find somewhere else to play. It was uncomfortable but that girl treats me so well and is so good when she comes over now. As this relates to you, if the kids don't change their behaviour then don't let your kids play with them. You can control that. And don't feel guilty, your job as a parent is do what you feel is best for your kids. If the relationship between your kids and the neighbours is unhealthy then why expose that to your kid? You have the power to take control of that relationship and teach your kids that it is not acceptable to treat others that way and that it is better to end a friendship than to be abused by it.

Maybe it's a bit harsh but they are your kids and they come first.

Jennifer - posted on 04/14/2010

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First of all it is not your responsibility to take care of their children...for people who are in law enforcement they should know better..I see the point of retaliation because that is certainly what will happen...I would file a complaint anonymously with child services..and start video taping or writing down each event.. There is no excuse for that kind of behavior let alone feeling you can't say anything because of what the parent do for a living..

Lisa - posted on 04/23/2010

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I know it is hard but cant you go outside and supervise your child. My boys are 6 1/2 and 4 and if they are outside I am with them. Usually I am the only parent outside watching all the kids play and there are a lot of kids. Most of the time they end up in my front yard playing. And if I see arguments or fighting that need my attention I let the kids know to stop what they are doing. If it is minor things I try to let the kids work it out them selves.

[deleted account]

Welcome to my world..we live in a neighborhood like yours and there's a good few kids like the ones you are dealing with..My gosh some days i want to pull my hair out...we have open plan areas so we don't have fence around our house and we have kids in our garden all the time and my child as been picked on and hit many a time.

You have to deal with it first go don't wait its better to be up front with the parents then let it go or talk to the other neighbours about the frustrations..believe me yes i agree its not your business to care for others children but in my case because i could never turn a blind eye when a child is in danger i have saved a few from danger of being knocked down and there to pick up a child from falling and i would hear crying to find a child in a heap with no one coming,no parent to pick them up.grrr..to busy in side i guess.



Its definitely bad parenting thats why the children are like this and to be honest a kind word and smile is all the children look for.For me its all calmed down and things are good now but summer is always hard with the good weather it brings all the kids out and the get up to no good alot of the time lol.Hope things work out.:-)

Shari - posted on 04/12/2010

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Yep the next time you see this pull out your camcorder and take it to the parents. We have a little girl in our neighborhood who is about 4 or 5 she's not in school and one day I was out walking and there was another lady getting her mail and as this lady got closer the little girl said "Hi, fat a$$!!!!!" I turned to her and said "Let's go and talk to your mom I'm sure she'd want to know how your greeting the people that live here!" She freaked and I know her mom heard me and heard her daughter because now her daughter talks to no one and stays on her driveway and only plays with her brother and his friends. It's crazy how parents let their kids run unsupervised!

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Jakki - posted on 12/16/2012

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Oh hell Maygan - what a scenario! You poor things...

The only thing I can think of is trying to reward "good" behaviour - like you could say "you'll get your ball back if I don't hear any cursing over the next 3 hours, or whatever. Or - "you guys can use the basketball hoop today so long as you take all your rubbish with you at the end, ring the door bell when you are finished and I'll check it, then you can come back and use it tomorrow if it's all clean"...

Just so they know there's an incentive for doing the right thing, as opposed to punishment for doing the wrong thing.

I would hesitate calling the cops all the time because it really is the end of the dialogue between yourselves if you do that.

Maygan - posted on 12/16/2012

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We have been having the same problem on and off for 5 years. When we first moved in, the neighborhood kids asked us if they could play basketball in our driveway because we have a goal cemented in the ground. We said sure. They were a little loud but they were having fun so we didn't say anything. A couple hours went by and they left. It had gotten dark out so we went ahead and turned in for the night. When we woke up and went outside I do yard work, we found snack cake wraps, chip bags, juice bottles, and even a pair of shoes in the yard! I couldn't believe they were that disrespectful. We have a garbage can outside so there was no need in them leaving trash. A week later they asked of they could play again and my boyfriend told them no because they left garbage. Ever since we have had nothing but trouble.

We have had them knock on the door and run, call my boyfriend "white man", most recently had them slash some of our property, and 2 weeks ago they busted some glass in front of our drive way for us to run over. We called the police for every incident like we were instructed. We were advised to get survelliance cameras to have proof of them acting up. We have asked them over and over to not run in our yard, but they curse us and ignore us. We were told that was trespassing. So the kids test us we've had enough. My boyfriends mom passed away a few weeks ago and coming back from her funeral we saw all 15 kids and 4 of them started running out of the yard when they saw us turn the corner. We tried talking to the father that owns the house because he allows those kids to stay on his porch and curse loud enough for all the neighbors on the opposite street to hear. The father said he would talk to them because he doesn't allow them to congregate at his house cause they leave garbage and keep up too much noise. Mind you the mother is at home all day everyday and doesn't care these kids are cursing. Yesterday there was a confrontation and the kids cursed us out we took their football that they punted into the yard. He was like F YOU give me ball back. My boyfriend said no go get your mom. We called the cops and he asked us what was going on and then this girl pulled up looking shocked, never seen her before she said that 3 of those kids were her brothers and she was coming to see what was going on. She was not expecting to see a cop standing there. So he told her it was illegal for the kids to impede traffic and its OUR RIGHT to want the kids off our property. I told her they cursed us out and they do it all the time. She said well they don't curse in front of us. I said I'm 28 and I curse like a sailor but not in front of an elder or my parents. I said these kids have no respect for authority or people's property. So the cop said if this can't be resolved we will start taking people to jail. She came back after the cop left and tried to get the ball back and my bf said no. So she called the cops on us but didn't tell them how we got their ball. So the cop told us if we had a problem with the kids living in the neighborhood, we should move to the country. I said we have had property damaged and have been verbally harassed by these kids since we didn't let them play 4 years ago and we should move? And where were all these concerned parents when their kids are outside until 10 and 11 at night cursing and keeping up noise when people have to go to work. No when we stand up for ourselves we get crapped on. It's ridiculous that nothing has been done about these kids and now it's like we are the bad guys. The woman even had the nerve to tell me that since I'm pregnant, what if it was my child playing? I said if you came to me as a woman and told me my kid was acting up, you'd only have to tell me once. We have talked to your husband and he DENIED talking to us to the cop. But there is a record showing the cops did talk to him as well. It's ridiculous. I know they do this to us because we are a mixed couple. It's like lakeside Terace over here. I need help!!

Marie - posted on 10/15/2012

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Talk to his supervisor at work. So many people in law enforcement have children like this & their supervisors don't like complaints like this at all.

Toni - posted on 03/22/2012

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I'd record the behavior too. If that isn't cutting it then bring in the police. I know all too well about unruly neighborhood children.

[deleted account]

hey Paula,
think of your kids first. Is the relationship benefitting them or not? if the answer is not, then why bother with it. It seems harsh but your kids have other friends at school and you can easily have a chat with your kid and tell them that your family does not behave that way and that you will not invite that behaviour into your home. It also sends a message to your own children that poor behavior is bad! Your kids will understand and act accordingly as well. They love you and will accept what you tell them. You can also encourage your girls to have other friends over for play dates! If you are going to have the neighbors over them have them play in an area where you can supervise.

Paula - posted on 04/24/2010

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Ok, my problem is a little bit different but I'm still looking for answers. What I have going on is not so much bullying (some of that) but more like, mental manipulation and cruelty. Girls do not generally just come right out and start beating the crap out of each other. I have an 8 yr old daughter who is mature for her age. There are two little sisters, 9 & 11 who live in our neighborhood that I am really quite fond of. But then... there are things they do that drive me crazy/sicken me and I do NOT want my child to think that kind of behavior is acceptable. Example: about 2 weeks ago my daughter and the girls came to my door with a robins nest full of tiny little babies. They couldn't have been more than a few hours old. My daughter made them bring it to me because we have bird seed-- and she wanted to feed them. I explained that babies that small could not live without their parents and that they needed to put that nest back in the tree immediately. So we all marched back down there and my girl and the 11 yr old were very upset but the 9 yr old was sullen and ran off. She went to get a piece of bread to feed them. When we got back to the tree, the parents were sitting where the nest had been screeching and totally hysterical. I pointed this out to them and said, "Well, how would you feel if someone just ran off with your babies!?" and "Do not go within 30 yard s of that tree or you will kill those little birds. " she didn't. My daughter came home a little while later looking mortified and told me that devil girl got the birds back out of the tree and that her older sister had run home crying. So now what? My first impulse was... ok, no more playing with that/those kids. You can't play with one sister and leave another out. The Mom is unfriendly and overwhelmed seeming. Eventually I came up with they can come HERE but you can't go there. The first time I let Issue Girl come over she put a frog in the pool, drowned a luna moth and crushed my daughter's empty sunflower planters. When the other girls started crying I went outside and that little **** was running her hiney home. I know she's just a kid, and troubled or jealous or something but I don't know what to do!! Not seeing her at all is impossible. They go to the same school, and for some reason my daughter is fascinated by her-- She gets along WAY better with the older daughter but there seems to be an unwritten rule there, not one without the other. ugh.

Lynne - posted on 04/23/2010

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I just moved out of an area that is like that. I was so tired of being the only parent outside watching 12 kids when I only have 2. I thought of calling DCYF at the time but felt bad at the same time so I never did. I just kept my kids inside. I was greatful when we got the oppertunity to move so I would not have to spend another summer there. I may have just snapped and called dcyf this year. Another thought not sure if the other neighbors would be up to it or not? You could video tape whats going on outside and show it to these parents. If that doesn't work make play dates in your yard and other peoples yards but do not invite the two boys unless they can follow the rules. If they cannot then they have to understand that they will have to leave the yard.

Vicky - posted on 04/23/2010

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Why did no one take the bloody 6-year-old to see the 9-year-old's parents?! Don't allow your children or thier children to play together anymore!

Sheila - posted on 04/23/2010

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In law enforcement or not I would call the police. That is not right and if able I would video tape it if it is your kid or your friends u have the right. Put a tape recorder in your kids pocket is another way. If it is also happening to other kids in the neighborhood then also try to get them on board to do the same. It's not far but you need to take action.

Sheila

VALERIE - posted on 04/14/2010

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well the camcorder may be a bad idea due to certain laws of picture taking and videoing children without the parents consent but i myself have a problem with the unruly children in the neighborhood problem..i fortunately dont have to deal with the oparents being law enforcement. those parents obviously arent concerned about what their children do and if you ask me arent good parents for unsupervision. ive had some problems with my own son being somewhat of a bully at times and i urge the parents to come to me and let me know when he gives them problems. but until these parents accept that their kids are a nuisence then theres not much you can do....

Shelley - posted on 04/13/2010

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Geesh hey there is aways one or two kids like this I dealt with this sort of thing yrs ago & kept my child super busy out of our neighbourhood & put him in daycamps just whatever I could & when he was outside in the courtyard I would just sit & watch the play usually if you are present which I know suks the others wil have to behave.

Elizabeth - posted on 04/13/2010

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I agree with the posts about documenting it. Also tell the kids they can't play with your children in your yard because you refuse to allow that poor behaviour on your property. I have a young boy who we are neighbors with and the parents are exactly the same refusing to believe that their youngest is an instigater and so mean to my sons. So now when it happens he is not allowed to spend time at our house for a while (normally a few day and when he asks I tell him no and why he is not allowed). Which hurts him because he likes to spend time with my sons. (and the only way he can do that is at our house {since my neighbor rarely take my sons to their home}) I hope that this stops for you and your neighbors.

Elizabeth - posted on 04/13/2010

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Do you have a camera? Start documenting. Make sure times and dates appear on the pictures. Don't be scared of law-enforcement. They are here to uphold the law. It is thier sworn duty. AND...You have pics. You said they are afraid of retaliation. If they aren't speeding they won't get a ticket. Officers can't alter the radar readings.

Debbie - posted on 04/13/2010

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We did have a neighbor who would allow her 7 year old to watch her 2/3 year old brother. One day I looked outside and saw the little boy (he was either 2 or 3 then) sitting next to our van in our parking lot. We live in an apartment complex and it scared me to death since my husband was going to be home soon and the way the boy was sitting, he was hidden from view and I could just imagine my husband turning into the spot on the other side of our van and running the little boy over. I yelled outside for him to move and got my daughter (who's 8) and her friend (who was 7 and the boy's sister) to watch him more carefully from then on. They weren't being bullies but I did mention it to their mom since the sister really wasn't watching him and it was really scaring me. I think she got talked to about it and I haven't seen him playing in the parking lot since.

Martina - posted on 04/13/2010

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I am going through the same although in a different country and I ws advised to talk to the principal of the school about their bullying policy and explained what was happening to my three who although in different schools to the little torments where being targeted as I would allow not them to fight back.The childrens parents have been brought to the school and warned if another complaint goes in whether or not in unitorm disclinary will be taken against the children and the further action will be taken by the police if it persist .Nobody is above the law no matter who they work for .Hope you get some satsifation and that things begin to improve

Rhonda - posted on 04/12/2010

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I have dealt wit the same thing ..and it is really hard because we want our children to be able to freely have fun and get the fresh air and exercise that they get while running and playing outside.myself i have told the parents over incidences.and what scared me and made it to where nothing would stop me from being upfront about it.well i looked up a few cases where 9-10-11-12 year olds were being to rough with smaller ones playing and one incident the victem was a 6 year old.well these incidents i looked up was where these bigger kids literaly killed the littler one and one happend while mom was napping and she worked for the sheriffs dept.so no matter what the parents do for a living thats not right maybe a few of you parents should really get together and plan something to where you can get it through to them what is going on.explain to them that they have bad kids ... in the best way,.even if u need to video tape some incidents to prove it..and if its that bad people can annonmysly call social services.that age is too young for mom and dad to be inside asleep while they are outside running around.its not right.i dont believe in that .. if they are that tired maybe they need to hire someone to come over for a few hours a day and watch the kids outside while they nap.even if they werent mean they still need supervision..its not safe..what if one get kidnapped? then what? but the situation is that these kids seem to do what they want and are way way too young to be thinking like that.so they prolly do what they want inside also and they may also feel that power since the parents are cops.kids kearn from what they see so you never know what is REALLy going on in that house,but it could also just simply mean that it is lack of suoervison,and at that age they need alot of it.and the sad part is alot of parents i have confronted are in denial that their kids could be that way.so on the side its also good to teach yours to be able to protect them selves and then run from a bad situation, and teach them that they shouldnt play with kids that are older,they should stay in their age range.and then even let them know about kids you dont want them playing with when you and dad are not right there...i wish you the best of luck and i know that it is hard but then again you are mom and our job is to protect our little ones to the fullest,and if its not safe to play with certain kids then its simply not safe..theres no sense in you being worried all the time.i wold stand up to the situation and not back down from it

Debbie - posted on 04/12/2010

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I was thinking about bringing out the camcorder as well. Seeing is believing and you can't quite put blinders on when it's right in front of you.

Angie - posted on 04/11/2010

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Pull out your camcorder and then show it to their parents. Maybe they will see their children as they really are. It's odd how so often children of law enforcement employees behave like this. My husband is a law enforcement officer and we are so strict with our children but some of the most troubled children we've known have been the children of my husband's coworkers.....

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