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Old 06-02-2013, 04:22 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,513 posts, read 15,993,212 times
Reputation: 38955

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Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
The first time this happened I would have said to the child "We can take you today but first we're going to stop by your house to get $15 to cover the cost of admission and snacks." The kid does not know any better but her parents certainly should.

Whenever we've been confronted with something like this I always tell my kids we have to have a phone call from the parent for it to be a real invitation and I've also taught them never to invite themselves. Parents have to initiate the invitations and we will not answer through kids either.
So next time tell the little girl "When we want to invite you to the pool, we will call your Mom to make the invitation directly through her". It is so sad this little girl is not being taught the proper way to act.
Excellent points.
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Old 06-02-2013, 04:55 PM
 
12,934 posts, read 19,843,066 times
Reputation: 34048
Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
The first time this happened I would have said to the child "We can take you today but first we're going to stop by your house to get $15 to cover the cost of admission and snacks." The kid does not know any better but her parents certainly should.

Whenever we've been confronted with something like this I always tell my kids we have to have a phone call from the parent for it to be a real invitation and I've also taught them never to invite themselves. Parents have to initiate the invitations and we will not answer through kids either.
So next time tell the little girl "When we want to invite you to the pool, we will call your Mom to make the invitation directly through her". It is so sad this little girl is not being taught the proper way to act.
Yes, being direct is the best way to end it.

As far as suggesting the child can come if the parent comes too, I can see awkwardness ensuing at the window if the other parent doesn't whip out their wallet. You would have to be very upfront about it being an invitation to join you, but not as your guest.

Then there is the fact that the mother with the membership is now committed to spending an afternoon with somebody she doesn't necessarily feel comfortable enough to even discuss the child inviting herself along!
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Old 06-02-2013, 05:26 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,513 posts, read 15,993,212 times
Reputation: 38955
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattie View Post
Yes, being direct is the best way to end it.

As far as suggesting the child can come if the parent comes too, I can see awkwardness ensuing at the window if the other parent doesn't whip out their wallet. You would have to be very upfront about it being an invitation to join you, but not as your guest.

Then there is the fact that the mother with the membership is now committed to spending an afternoon with somebody she doesn't necessarily feel comfortable enough to even discuss the child inviting herself along!
I'm guessing that the Mom won't take the neighbor up on the offer. She probably was just looking for someone else to watch her daughter all day. If she wanted to watch her own daughter at the swimming pool she wouldn't have cancelled her family membership.
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Old 06-02-2013, 05:35 PM
 
Location: Sudcaroland
10,664 posts, read 7,717,935 times
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Ask the girl to get some money for the fee and snacks. Best way to make the whole thing stop if the parents don't want to pay over and over.
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Old 06-03-2013, 08:59 AM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
10,870 posts, read 18,961,127 times
Reputation: 25142
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattie View Post
Yes, being direct is the best way to end it.

As far as suggesting the child can come if the parent comes too, I can see awkwardness ensuing at the window if the other parent doesn't whip out their wallet. You would have to be very upfront about it being an invitation to join you, but not as your guest.

Then there is the fact that the mother with the membership is now committed to spending an afternoon with somebody she doesn't necessarily feel comfortable enough to even discuss the child inviting herself along!
I can imagine that happening, the mother assuming that you're going to pay for her too.


One thing that we forget when we're dealing with kids inviting themselves is that you don't have to give reasons when you say no, just say, "Sorry, not this time." And you can say it every time.
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Old 06-03-2013, 09:54 AM
 
Location: Toronto
1,551 posts, read 2,692,249 times
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The above poster is right - you can simply say no to the child without having to bust the issue wide open with them and their parents, or feel pressured to just let them come.

When I was a kid, there were always several kids in the neighourhood like that. And often the parents told the kids, "go over to so-and-so's house and see if they're going somewhere today," because they didn't want to have to spend the time and money entertaining their child when the neighbourhood could do it for them. And many of these kinds of people will react badly if you try to put a stop to it, either with outright nastiness, or passive-aggression, bad-mouthing you around the neighourhood when you're not around. In my memory, almost all the kids who habitually invited themselves to everyone else's outings were starved for entertainment by their own parents, who didn't have the money or time to take their kids to do fun stuff. You could tell sometimes they were literally sniping you, because they would always show up at exactly the right time, and pull exactly the kinds of tactics you detailed.

IMO, there will always be times when kids invite themselves places, because if they see your kids going to the beach and they're doing nothing that day, of course they want to go. The difference is with the habitual imposers whose parents don't do much to entertain them, and actually encourage their kids to tag along with other families - these are the same kids you would always see riding their bikes around and and around the street for hours, looking for someone doing something because there was nothing for them to do. There are a lot of subtly manipulative people out there, and they will get defensive and even openly hostile if you don't handle things the right way when their kid comes calling.

Which brings me to the crux of the issue: how to deal with the problem. The answer is quite obvious. Talk to your kids and let them know the deal - that they have to ask you in advance if they want friends to come along on outings. If kids show up unannounced and you don't want anyone tagging along that day, you simply tell them gently but firmly that they can't come this time, sorry, or make up a very simple excuse like "after the pool, we're going to the nursing home to visit our Aunt Mildred, so you can't come this time." Keep making up excuses if you have to, but do not openly address the issue with the kids or their parents, unless you want the neighbourhood dynamic to change, because trust me - most parents that let their kids habitually impose on other families in the neighbourhood know full-well what is going on and will try their hardest to paint you in a bad light with the neighbours, and make you look ungenerous. Often, people who are manipulative in one seemingly innocuous way are generally manipulative, and they can turn the entire neighbourhood upside-down over petty BS like this. I've see it happen, and experienced it myself. So don't ever address the issue openly. Just say no like I recommended, and make up excuses if you feel the need. Also, if it becomes a serious nuisance you may have to tell your kids to be a little more tight-lipped about all the cool stuff they're doing on the weekend when talking with their friends. This is how habitual imposers get tipped-off and know exactly when to show up at your house in a bathing suit.

On the other hand, if the issue is more about money, and not so much about having to look after and entertain another person's kids all the time, simply tell the kid you don't have the money to pay for them, to ask their parents for the money. If their parents say no, you are not obligated to pay for them - especially if you've done it in the past without them reciprocating. It gets a little more complex if your child is very good friends with the other child. Then you have to be more cautious about what you say, and perhaps employ excuses to avoid hurt feelings.

Last edited by TOkidd; 06-03-2013 at 10:18 AM..
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Old 06-03-2013, 01:19 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,513 posts, read 15,993,212 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TOkidd View Post
The above poster is right - you can simply say no to the child without having to bust the issue wide open with them and their parents, or feel pressured to just let them come.

When I was a kid, there were always several kids in the neighourhood like that. And often the parents told the kids, "go over to so-and-so's house and see if they're going somewhere today," because they didn't want to have to spend the time and money entertaining their child when the neighbourhood could do it for them. And many of these kinds of people will react badly if you try to put a stop to it, either with outright nastiness, or passive-aggression, bad-mouthing you around the neighourhood when you're not around. In my memory, almost all the kids who habitually invited themselves to everyone else's outings were starved for entertainment by their own parents, who didn't have the money or time to take their kids to do fun stuff. You could tell sometimes they were literally sniping you, because they would always show up at exactly the right time, and pull exactly the kinds of tactics you detailed.

IMO, there will always be times when kids invite themselves places, because if they see your kids going to the beach and they're doing nothing that day, of course they want to go. The difference is with the habitual imposers whose parents don't do much to entertain them, and actually encourage their kids to tag along with other families - these are the same kids you would always see riding their bikes around and and around the street for hours, looking for someone doing something because there was nothing for them to do. There are a lot of subtly manipulative people out there, and they will get defensive and even openly hostile if you don't handle things the right way when their kid comes calling.

Which brings me to the crux of the issue: how to deal with the problem. The answer is quite obvious. Talk to your kids and let them know the deal - that they have to ask you in advance if they want friends to come along on outings. If kids show up unannounced and you don't want anyone tagging along that day, you simply tell them gently but firmly that they can't come this time, sorry, or make up a very simple excuse like "after the pool, we're going to the nursing home to visit our Aunt Mildred, so you can't come this time." Keep making up excuses if you have to, but do not openly address the issue with the kids or their parents, unless you want the neighbourhood dynamic to change, because trust me - most parents that let their kids habitually impose on other families in the neighbourhood know full-well what is going on and will try their hardest to paint you in a bad light with the neighbours, and make you look ungenerous. Often, people who are manipulative in one seemingly innocuous way are generally manipulative, and they can turn the entire neighbourhood upside-down over petty BS like this. I've see it happen, and experienced it myself. So don't ever address the issue openly. Just say no like I recommended, and make up excuses if you feel the need. Also, if it becomes a serious nuisance you may have to tell your kids to be a little more tight-lipped about all the cool stuff they're doing on the weekend when talking with their friends. This is how habitual imposers get tipped-off and know exactly when to show up at your house in a bathing suit.

On the other hand, if the issue is more about money, and not so much about having to look after and entertain another person's kids all the time, simply tell the kid you don't have the money to pay for them, to ask their parents for the money. If their parents say no, you are not obligated to pay for them - especially if you've done it in the past without them reciprocating. It gets a little more complex if your child is very good friends with the other child. Then you have to be more cautious about what you say, and perhaps employ excuses to avoid hurt feelings.
Great points.

I suspect that many of the parents who just "sent their kids over" won't be willing to pay for them to go along, hopefully that will stop the problem.

Visiting someone in a nursing home, after the outing, is a nice ruse, too.
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Old 06-03-2013, 01:33 PM
 
Location: Location: Location
6,232 posts, read 7,421,045 times
Reputation: 17899
I certainly agree that it's easier to simply say, "Sorry, not this time", but I would stop short of the nursing home visit or any other excuse you might offer; unless, of course, you actually are going to the nursing home. But telling a lie is not the best example to set for your own children.
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Old 06-03-2013, 01:52 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,513 posts, read 15,993,212 times
Reputation: 38955
Quote:
Originally Posted by theatergypsy View Post
I certainly agree that it's easier to simply say, "Sorry, not this time", but I would stop short of the nursing home visit or any other excuse you might offer; unless, of course, you actually are going to the nursing home. But telling a lie is not the best example to set for your own children.
Excellent point.

In general I don't tell lies in front of my children but I was thinking along the lines of "desperate times call for desperate measures" and using a white lie or biting my tongue instead of saying what I really thought about those parents always "dumping their children on me".
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Old 06-03-2013, 03:35 PM
 
Location: San Marcos, TX
2,572 posts, read 6,279,992 times
Reputation: 3999
Quote:
Originally Posted by theatergypsy View Post
I certainly agree that it's easier to simply say, "Sorry, not this time", but I would stop short of the nursing home visit or any other excuse you might offer; unless, of course, you actually are going to the nursing home. But telling a lie is not the best example to set for your own children.
I agree. When I'd drawn a gaggle of kids to the house when I was younger and my mother had reached her max of that, she used to just up and announce "Okay kids, time to go home! We need some time that is just family, so we'll see you later!" and, being kids, no one got butt-hurt. They just left and came back some other day. I've found it much easier to tell my son's friends things like this in a matter of fact way... as long as you aren't mean about it it should be sufficient.

I think it is good for us and our kids to avoid getting into the habit of always giving a reason or excuse for something. Sometimes you just don't want to do something, and that's as good a reason as any (well unless you are dealing with your boss I guess).. the ability to give a nice, but firm "No" or "Not today" without excuses or explanations is good practice for adulthood. How many people, women especially, end up saying "yes" when they feel that they have no good reason to say "no" and then feel put-upon and taken advantage of, when it comes to favors and so forth?
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