Son doesn't want to play/be friends with special needs neighbor

Mw - posted on 09/13/2012 ( 4 moms have responded )

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Hi, we live in a relatively small town, and our neighbor has a child the same age as my son (3.5 years old). Our neighbor's son has special needs, and is sometimes pretty violent, so we always need to keep an eye on things during play dates.



Recently our son has told us that he doesn't want to play with our neighbor anymore and that the neighbor scares him.



This is very difficult for us, because we know that our neighbors have had a really difficult time with their son's issues; they've even told us that they have felt isolated (e.g. he really doesn't have anyone who is willing to play with him other than our child). They are great great parents that we like to spend time with.



However, we also want to respect our child's wishes, and don't want to force him into situations where he feels scared--and, honestly, there are times when he cowers behind us when the neighbor hits him, has tantrums, etc. Any advice on how to deal with this situation?

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Ella - posted on 09/16/2012

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Lol bless u,u carnt choose ur neibours can u.just remember thoe ur friends with there parents it dose not mean ur son has to be friends with her son,u really don't have to invite him,and how would ur son feel if u do???u could always save the boy a slice of cake?????

Gwen - posted on 09/13/2012

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Your son is toddler and he is not old enough to understand that his neighbor's parents struggle and feel isolated. If he is not comfortable playing with the other child, you shouldn't force the issue. Don't disregard his feelings out of your sense of guilt. Take a break for awhile and ask him again another time.

Ella - posted on 09/13/2012

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Hmmmmm it is a bit tricky but here goes.........I no ur son is little could u try explain in age appropriate words to him that this boy behaves in thease ways because his Brain works differently to most other kids?u could try saying when he's behaving in a way u don't like it's fine not to play with him as like u say it's not fair on ur child I have afrind who's son is very rough with my youngest child I just move my boy away n say hel play when ur not being so rough x

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Mw - posted on 09/14/2012

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Thank you for the replies. Yes, we've explained many times about how some kids have trouble controlling themselves, and it's not their fault, but we've also told our son that if he feels uncomfortable that he should tell us and we can spend time apart. In fact, we've had the boys take breaks apart, even as long as about a month. But this is the first time he's been pretty adamant that he doesn't want to play with the neighbor anymore. Worse, my son's birthday is coming up in three weeks, and so I'm not sure how to deal with the invites there. . . .

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