Neighbor kids becoming a problem...

Kelly - posted on 05/08/2013 ( 4 moms have responded )




We have a house and our backyard is the biggest on the block. We live in a small town and kids roam around freely and safely a lot (most 7+ older actually) Well whenever we go outside, we have "the house" to be at for our block. I love this sometimes because I remember that as a kid, but other days its EXHAUSTING.
On one side we have neighbor kids that are 6 and 8 give or take a year or two, while our kids are 2 and 4. While the kids are nice, they are not the the most well behaved. Their parents let them outside and never look back. One time we told them to go home because our daughter was outside and had been sick and we didn't want her to catch it (my daughter needed somesun after a week of being indoors) and the little girl says, "Why? My mom said I could be over here."

Her and her brother have wrestled and fallen over our firepit. I have had to tell them multiple times not to do things. And they listen most of the time but I am TIREd of being their parent. They have wqalked in our house without asking, poked holes in our pumpkins around halloween, and broken our stuff when we ware not home.

I am about ready to tell their parents they are not allowed over anymore.


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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 05/10/2013




I've always had the "kid" house.

At the beginning of every summer, I'd send each kid home with a note from me, indicating that kids are always welcome at my house, and that I had the "my house, my rules" rule.

And my rules were to be followed. I reserved the right to remove any child acting inappropriately, not listening, engaging in dangerous or unapproved behaviour, etc. I told the parents right up front that they could play at my house, but if they didn't adhere to the house rules, they'd be sent home. After 2 such violations, they would no longer be welcome, and I enforced that if necessary. It was NEVER necessary.

I also made it clear that I would provide water, and saltine crackers, and popsicles on hot days, but that I would not provide full snacks, meals, or any other food unless requested and provided by the parents. And, again, I'd remind the parents that they needed to chip in for snacks and such.

It was also a good way to absolve myself of liability if one of the kids got hurt (never happened).

Good luck!

Mary - posted on 05/10/2013




I sort of understand where you are coming from. My own daughter is 4 1/2. Two summers ago, when my daughter was 2 1/2, we became "that house" where all of the neighborhood kids congregated. My daughter was (obviously) still too little to be outside without me. We were doing things like bubbles, chalk, sidewalk painting, water beads, etc. A lot of the kids in our court - ages 5 through 12, were all coming over, joining in. My daughter loved all of activity, and adored all of the older kids joining in.

For my part, it started to feel like I was running an unofficial summer camp. I was usually the only parent out there. I found myself feeling obligated to provide extra supplies so that I had enough for everyone. I was the referee when squabbles broke out. I started to really resent it - and the constant expectation of these kids that I would not only have some activity planned, but that I was a never-ending craft store .

However, I did realize that it wasn't really the kids' fault. They were just being normal kids. I also couldn't really blame the parents, since I had never really talked to them about anything when it first started, and I'm sure it probably seemed like I not only didn't mind their constant invasions, but it probably looked like I welcomed them. In the beginning, I did make them feel welcome, and most likely encouraged them to join in without really realizing what I was getting myself into. Kids being kids, they just naturally assumed that every time we were out doing something, they were welcome to join in.

I put up with a lot of it because my daughter so enjoyed it, and the interaction with other kids was beneficial for her too. When they are young like this, they want to be playing with the big kids, but the only way to safely do that is for the parent to create situations for the little ones that the older kids want to participate in as well. Your kids just aren't at the point where they can ride their bikes, climb trees, or really play a lot of those games that the older kids would be partaking in if they weren't in your yard.

It can be annoying. Those over 6 kids are going to play more roughly than what you are used to with your own. They are going question you in ways that your own kids wouldn't, and do things that your own kids wouldn't dream of doing...yet.

You need to set clear limits with this kids. If they just walk uninvited into your house, send them home. If they break stuff due to misuse, explain very clearly to them that you will be speaking to their parents about replacing it. Go and speak with the parents. Introduce yourself (if you don't already know them). Tell them that while your kids enjoy having them over, you want to make sure that their kids understand that because your children are younger, there are rules and limits about what is acceptable in your yard - and they may be things these kids don't normally have restrictions with. Explain that while you don't want to be the bad guy, or discipline someone else's kid, you have to make sure that the things happening in your yard are safe and appropriate for your preschoolers. Chances are, these parents really are unaware of how much their kids are annoying you.

If all else fails, do what I did with one particularly obnoxious 7 y/o who didn't listen well, and was more than a bit to rough with the other kids: I got out a huge plastic bin, and let the kids fill it up with shaving cream. I then let them add copious amounts of glitter and food coloring, and mix it all together. Little kids love playing in this, but it is a huge freaking mess. I had my own kid in a bathing suit, and kept her from getting too out of control with it. I let this boy go nuts, and didn't say a word to limit him when he started lathering up his face, arms, and hair with this goop. I hosed my own kid off in the yard, but sent him back to his house, dripping with glittering purple shaving cream, to get washed off. His parents didn't allow him back to play with us for months ;)

Ev - posted on 05/09/2013




Ditto to what Michelle said. You own the property and also on another note, if those kids get hurt then you become responsible for what happens for medical bills and what not. I would add that to what you say to their parents.

Michelle - posted on 05/08/2013




I would talk to the parents and let them know that the kids can come over but only if they ask permission from you first. If you say no then they have to respect that and do something else.

Also let them know that they are not to be in your yard if you aren't home.

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