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Old 08-16-2009, 02:48 PM
 
Location: Texas
8,062 posts, read 16,213,016 times
Reputation: 3701

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Relationships include dealing with neighbors, too, right? I hope so, because I need some advice and to vent.

My next-door neighbors have lived here a bit more than a year. It's a single mum and her four kids. I like the mum a lot and the youngest child is very sweet, too. I never see the oldest girl. But the middle kids are driving me crazy all of a sudden.

Not a day goes by when they're not knocking on my door for something. Their mom is at work so I don't think she realizes it. Once, the two middle kids came over to tell me that their mum was going out and she wanted me to babysit them. I told them I couldn't. Well, mum found out they did this and she called me to apologize -- she was NOT going out and she had NOT sent them over. She was really embarrassed. She's a disciplinarian and I'm sure the kids were punished.

The kids have come over recently to ask if I can give them sodas, to borrow my vacuum cleaner (like I would let kids haul my Dyson across two lawns!), to use the phone, etc. I've been telling them "no" every time, hoping it would stop the problem but it hasn't.

Today, they're having a party and they've already been over twice to ask me for things. I've told them "no." But I'm getting tired of the disruption every single day! Oftentimes, they're banging on the door when I have company. I have been more forceful in my reactions, literally telling them they need to buy their own stuff. It hasn't helped.

Now, I don't think the mum knows the extent of the problem but what if she does? I really don't want to be in a snit with neighbors. Do I speak with her about it and risk either becoming on bad terms with her if she knows about this or knowing that the kids may be severely punished if she doesn't know? Or do I ignore it and wait for that blessed day when school starts in about two weeks and the problem will resolve itself?
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Old 08-16-2009, 02:52 PM
 
Location: Cleveland, OH
753 posts, read 2,222,000 times
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It doesn't matter how many times you tell them they can not have the specific item they want, they will keep making up stuff to come over. Are they home alone? They probably want attention.

Tell the kids they are not to knock on your door ever again. After that, if they do, go over to the mother and explain the issue and that you want thm to leave you alone.
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Old 08-16-2009, 02:54 PM
 
Location: Houston
302 posts, read 777,738 times
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Why don't you just tell the kids to stop asking you for things? Kids are like puppies sometimes; they forget "no" very quickly. Just say "Please stop coming over to ask for things. If you don't, I will have to tell your mom you are bothering me."

If you don't think that will work, suck it up until school starts. But in my opinion, the more you let yourself be walked on (by kids, none the less), the more they will bug you. I would rather neighborhood kids dislike me than not respect me.
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Old 08-16-2009, 02:55 PM
 
Location: My Private Island
4,941 posts, read 7,310,023 times
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I would talk with the mother about it. If she gets mad....GREAT!
No one wants to borrow from an enemy!
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Old 08-16-2009, 02:59 PM
 
2,039 posts, read 4,904,533 times
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Hmmm I have some kids too down the street. They do not come over that often but when they do I try to help. I never have, nor will I babysit but I have sat outside on the front lawn and watched them play. Offered them popsicles (actually I buy the popsicles just for that reason). Pitcher of lemonaide... my guess is they are lonely, mom is trying and it is the least I can do. My thought are that these children are our future, I will do my best to help a mom who is trying the best she can, even if she were not trying, these children seem to want or need attention.
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Old 08-16-2009, 03:01 PM
 
Location: I'm around here someplace :)
3,633 posts, read 4,428,890 times
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maybe the mother is too much of a 'disciplinarian' & the children just like you better
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Old 08-16-2009, 03:05 PM
miu
 
Location: MA/NH
17,134 posts, read 34,629,642 times
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Get a privacy fence with a locked gate? Tell their mom very firmly that you don't want her kids bothering you.
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Old 08-16-2009, 05:08 PM
 
Location: Texas
8,062 posts, read 16,213,016 times
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Wow -- thanks for all of the responses!!!

I'm sure the kids are lonely and want attention. That's why I don't want to be overly punitive. I had major shoulder surgery a few months ago and I have a physical therapist and nurse coming to the house. I've explained this to both the kids and the mum -- they saw all of my bandages and sling so it's a no-brainer!

But the kids still come knocking on the door interrupting these appointments and it's gotten to the point where my PT and nurse are now having to deal with them, too! No amount of explaining to either the mum OR the kids seems to work.

Everyone was outside watching fireworks on the Fourth of July and I was sitting outside with the mum. One of the middle children looked at me and said he wanted a soda! The mum corrected him and told him you do NOT demand things from people. So, when he and then his sister asked nicely, I told them I don't drink sodas but I had green tea in bottles and would get them one from the house if they wanted it.

From then on, both of them started showing up at my door every day asking for tea! The first time, they said they were really thirsty and didn't have anything at their house so I gave them each one. But, when it became a daily thing, I told them no. Just yesterday, I came home from picking up a prescription and they came over to the car asking for bottles of tea. I'd had about enough and I said, "NO, you need to start getting your own damn drinks!" thinking this would end it. But it hasn't, apparently.

I've tried everything and it seems my only options are to wait it out or to get nasty about it. I really don't want to do the latter but I don't know if I have the patience to deal with another couple of weeks of this! I feel for the kids -- their mum works a lot of hours to support them all and the oldest girl (she's 15 or 16) holds down the fort at home. Sometimes an aunt or other relative comes to take care of them, too.

But they're not my responsibility! I like kids for the most part and would have absolutely no objections if they wanted to come by and visit occasionally. But coming over every day demanding things is just a pain.
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Old 08-16-2009, 05:11 PM
 
Location: Wherever women are
19,020 posts, read 25,556,091 times
Reputation: 11309
Quote:
Originally Posted by miu View Post
Get a privacy fence with a locked gate? Tell their mom very firmly that you don't want her kids bothering you.
If my mom and her kids live next door, I'll knock on Miu's door every 30 minutes
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Old 08-16-2009, 05:20 PM
miu
 
Location: MA/NH
17,134 posts, read 34,629,642 times
Reputation: 16219
Quote:
Originally Posted by teatime View Post
But they're not my responsibility! I like kids for the most part and would have absolutely no objections if they wanted to come by and visit occasionally. But coming over every day demanding things is just a pain.
You're absolutely right, taking care of her kids is NOT your responsibility. She shouldn't let her kids run around the neighborhood begging for handouts.
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