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Old 02-15-2011, 03:00 PM
Location: Swisshelm Park, Pittsburgh, PA
356 posts, read 756,708 times
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Sounds to me like the parents are overwhelmed and are handling this badly and/or are not aware of the extent of the problem. If you have information regarding an appropriate afterschool program or an available babysitter, they might appreciate it, if you can bring it up in a helpful rather than judgemental way.

Do you know if her parents are home in the morning? Do you know what time the bus is supposed to come?

It is a shame (and perhaps unreasonable) that her parents want her to stay inside until they come home. When my brother and I did the latch-key thing, we were allowed to play outside but not allowed to ride bikes or rollarskate. We were a little older though (probably 11 and 12 years old).

You should talk to the parents so they know what is going on (asking for rides, playing outside before they get home). Also continue the dialog with your son about her lies and her bad behavior. If he knows you consider her behavior wrong, he is less likely to copy it. I think it is unneccesary to keep him inside, unless he does something wrong himself.

not the most coherent post- but those are my thoughts...
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Old 02-15-2011, 03:08 PM
Location: here
24,474 posts, read 28,767,996 times
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I think at 10, some kids could handle themselves at home alone, and some can't This girl can't. Because her safety is an issue, I would probably knock on the door and have a talk with her parents about what you've seen.

FWIW I was a latch key kid at about 10. I never played outside or bothered neighbors. The worst thing I did is eat junk food and watch TV while I did my homework.
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Old 02-15-2011, 03:12 PM
15,304 posts, read 16,863,154 times
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It does sound to me like this little girl is neglected by her parents. Maybe they are overwhelmed with their jobs and don't spend much time with her. She is probably very lonely and wants friends, but doesn't know how to make them.

Obviously, your own family comes first, but if you have it in your heart to let her hang out, you may do her a world of good. Adult attention is a good thing for kids like this.
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Old 02-15-2011, 03:35 PM
Location: Australia
1,492 posts, read 2,657,358 times
Reputation: 1693
I would just deal with the kid at my house.
I would demand and expect good, respectful and truthful behaviour. To that end, each and every time she lies, I would say "we always tell the thruth here". I would make it very clear what the rules for behaviour were. The rules have to be the same for her as for everyone else though. You can't have special rules just for her.

Unless her parents have not told you that she can not have a lift with you, then I would just go with with the flow. That is she is at your place and you are taking some kids to school.

I would give her the adult leadership and love that she craves. Clear boundaries, honest reactions, etc.
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Old 02-15-2011, 03:45 PM
3,084 posts, read 6,471,128 times
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I would have no problem looking the little girl in the eye and saying things like....

"Why did you just lie to your parents about where you are?"
"I know you haven't missed the bus and that your parents do not want you asking for a ride, so go wait for the bus"
"I know you are supposed to be IN your house until you parents come home, so go back inside until then"

and so on.

I would not let her get away with these things that I know is going against her parents and she tries to pull with me.

I've sent many a child home before when they started lying, or causing trouble and never thought twice about it.
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Old 02-15-2011, 04:14 PM
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,437 posts, read 41,684,911 times
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This is the type of young girl who will end up pregnant and the parents will go :
"Why? We worked hard to give her everything and I just don't know why this had to happen"

Mark my words. a lonely desperate-for-attention 10 year old will turn into a promiscuous 13 year old...if she makes it that long.
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Old 02-15-2011, 04:40 PM
18,856 posts, read 30,486,089 times
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Difficult situation...especially in regards to your son...there was a young girl in our neighborhood, and we were not too pleased about her home situation, she lived with a bunch of bikers it seemed like...we told our daughter that this little girl could come over to our house to play, but that our daughter was NEVER to go into that girl's house to play. This little girl was a nice girl though, and neglected. We took care of her, gave her my daughter's hand me downs, took her out with us often, no one seemed to even care about her at all.

That was interesting reading about the latchkey children ages...I was a latch key kid, at age 5, would come home, make myself cereal, watch t.v. until my Mom came home at 5pm. My own kids were latch key kids from the age of 11...although, I would leave my daughter home alone watching tv on Saturday mornings when she was 5, when we went out walking the dog...she did not like going when it was cold.
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Old 02-15-2011, 04:49 PM
3,395 posts, read 3,210,425 times
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I would not let this little girl in your house. There was a little girl very similar to this in a neighborhood where I lived several years ago. Her mother worked nights as a stripper. I'm not judging, but it was obvious this little girl (5 yrs old) knew a LOT more about the birds and the bees than my son did.

She had the run of the neighborhood for hours at a time (her mom slept in the daytime). One of the neighbors didn't speak English, but let her in his house to play with his kids, probably felt sorry for her.

Well, one day the mother came banging on his door in an uproar claiming he had molested the little girl. Then ran around telling the rest of the neighbors. I don't know what the truth is, I just know the guy couldn't defend himself due to the language barrier. But everyone had seen the little girl in and out of his house for weeks, so it looked bad for him.

Maybe that little girl was a liar that wanted attention too. But little girls like that don't realize how harmful an accusation like that can be.

Again, I would NOT let her in my home if I were you. I would have a talk with the parents about everything you have witnessed.
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Old 02-16-2011, 04:07 PM
5,945 posts, read 12,731,763 times
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The responses have been helpful - thanks to everyone!

We used to let the neighborhood kids, the "wild bunch" - the girl, too - inside to play and hang out, but we don't allow that anymore. Bad things were happening no matter what we did to try to put a stop to them. Things were getting stolen or would mysteriously go missing. Things would get broken, the couch torn and stained, the carpet messed-up. They tormented our poor cats. We found disgusting stuff in our bathroom (poop smears on shower doors, pee on walls, and other disgusting things...). Also, just the food issue. I felt like I needed a lock on our cubbards and fridge so that when I turned my back the kids wouldn't go reaching their dirty hands into our cereal boxes or drinking all our milk - yes, right out of the carton. Anyway... we don't allow the neighborhood kids inside anymore. Too many problems. They stay outside.

It does seem unfair not to let your child play outdoors until you get home from work. Especially since where we live, it gets dark at 5pm in the winter. That would mean unless she had outside recess at school, she would spend her entire day indoors. The kids get two 20 minute recesses a day, so that's 40 minutes outside a day. Sometimes they have to miss recess during testing days or other stuff going on.

If I worked, though, I'm not sure I would want my kid alone outdoors either, though, until I or my husband was home. Unless he had an older sibling there with him, too. Not alone at this age, anyway. It's a tough situation.

I think I will talk to the mom soon. I'll have to find the right moment. I do know of some afterschool programs - there are two actually at the school that she wouldn't even need transportation for. I just usually stay out of other people's business, so it feels intrusive or rude somehow for me to talk about this girl with her own mom. I've also thought about mentioning something to the girl's teacher. I love her teacher and I am on friendly terms with most of the teacher's at the school. I have a good reputation there so they know me.

I wouldn't talk to the dad. The impression we get from him is that he doesn't really care or that he wouldn't really see that there's a problem at all. I'm sure if one of the wild bunch kids put a dent in his car he would care more about that than if one of the wild bunch kids hurt his daughter. Isn't that sad? That's just the feeling we get about him. The mom I don't know. Whenever I'm around her I sort of feel like she's a blank, or empty. It's hard to know how she will react.

Soon our son will be at the pool after school, so I won't worry about him so much playing with this girl and the wild bunch kids. Going on appearances, they seem like nice kids. And when they are outside, they do fine playing basketball or football or riding their bikes or scooters. But when they are indoors, oh my gosh, it's a whole different ballgame.
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Old 02-16-2011, 08:02 PM
4,502 posts, read 11,668,797 times
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Call CPS. I don't care if there is a "law" or not about what age a child can be left alone. This kid is wandering the neighborhood, knocking on people's doors, etc. She has no supervision whatsoever and she could easily become a statistic. Also, the parents sound like a-holes. Laughing off the daughter being chased by another child with a knife? Real smart.
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