Feeling used by my neighbor and Im frustrated!!!

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Posted 12/3/2012 by *~*amanda*~* in NSBR Board
 

*~*amanda*~*
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Posted: 12/3/2012 3:35:17 PM
My 9yr old ds' best friend lives directly across the street from us. They have been friends since kindergarten (but he's just lived here for about a year) and is a wonderful child...I really like him a lot. The boys are inseparable.

Parents are not married and its hard to tell when they are together and when they aren't. They're always breaking up and getting back together. Sometimes he moves out sometimes he doesn't. They have a younger daughter who is close in age to my youngest and they play together ok. I think the daughter is kinda bratty and honestly I don't enjoy her being in my home, whereas the boy doesn't bother me a bit. He is SUCH a good kid!

I like the mom and the dad ok...we aren't best friends, but we get a long just fine. I enjoy talking to them in small doses. They just seem to lead a very chaotic life and make a mess of a lot of things.

The last couple of months I've started to feel like they are taking advantage of me.

*she is always coming over to ask for a cup of milk, or some garlic, or a can of soda, some bread.....things she needs to make dinner or a school lunch, or in case of the soda she just wanted some soda but dad had left her again and taken their food stamp card with him so she couldn't get any

*their son (ds' friend) had a leaky bicycle tire so they borrowed our air pump for it and it keeps leaking. The boys ride their bikes to school every day and ds' friend couldn't ride his. We have an extra bike so he asked if he could ride it. His dad was there when the kid asked, I said sure...he could ride it until they get his bike fixed. That's been probably 6 weeks ago and he's still riding our bike

*the younger daughter goes to preschool and is done the same time school is out for our boys. mom goes to get daughter from preschool so isn't here when her son gets home from school so she told him to just come to our house until she gets home. She didn't ask if I was ok with that, has never offered compensation for doing it, never thanked me for it, and has now extended her return home time from about 320 to 345 (kids get home from school around 310)

*the boy came over this morning for my ds and said that his mom didn't feel good so told him to have breakfast over here. I had made muffins for my kids and we had some left so I offered him some and he had 2. Mom texted me later and thanked me for feeding him and said she was so tired this morning she just couldn't do it

*mom will come over in the evenings, usually around dinner time, and ask if my little ds can play with her dd. If my little ds says he wants to the mom then opens my front door, sends her dd in, and goes back home and stays until I walk the dd back home myself

Again, I want it perfectly clear that I do genuinely like ds' friend...I kinda feel like he's my extra kid he's over here so much! He is no trouble at all, is polite, is gracious....he's just a really good, good kid. The dd I do not enjoy at all. She drags toys out, doesn't put them back, always demands something to eat, doesn't stay out of my 'off limit' rooms (my bedroom, etc), and doesn't leave when I tell her its time to go home....I've had to carry her across the street many times.

I know that it isn't the fault of the kids that their parents are ditzy and do these things. I really feel bad for both of the kids. I just think they have no stability and their home is full of chaos and drama.

So, in light of that, I would never deny either of them a muffin in the morning, an apple or cookie after school, etc.

I do think its high time they get the boy's bike fixed...but I feel bad letting my ds ride his bike to school and telling this boy he cant ride the bike that is an 'extra' one, so I continue to let him ride it.

I dread seeing the mom and daughter on my door step but I figure if the daughter is here for a half hour every couple days or so, that's a half hour that she's being paid attention to so I continue to let her come over in small increments.

The after school thing is irritating me tremendously, though! Today, my ds is leaving 2 hours after getting home from school for an activity. My older ds has an activity he needs to get to as well. We have homework to tend to, an early dinner to eat, etc. My middle ds (who is friends with the neighbor) has ADHD and a simple half hour of homework easily takes him an hour or more to do.

I told the boys that they could play outside for 15 minutes then my ds needs to come in to do homework. Neighbor mom isn't home (half hour after kids have gotten home) so friend said that he'll just play video games while my ds does his homework. That then sent my ds into a meltdown.

Holy heck! Am I supposed to see that this 8 year old boy gets his homework done? Let him veg in front of our video games while my own kids sit at the table doing their homework? Send him home to sit alone on a front porch because his parents cant make arrangements for their kid after school?

I don't know if I'm asking what others would do or if I'm just looking to vent, but dang it......I'm beyond my point of frustration today!!!!



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Posted: 12/3/2012 3:42:45 PM
How frustrating. I wish I had some decent advice, but I'm such a sucker for little kids who aren't getting attention at home that I would probably never open my mouth and say no....not that it would stop me from feeling used, and I'd be PO'ed at myself for feeling used and allowing it to happen....but I'd probably still let it happen.

Telling you to say no when she shows up with her DD is a lot easier said than done.... just saying this because I know a whole slew of peas are gonna tell you that.

SpongeMom
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Posted: 12/3/2012 3:47:33 PM

Your post did not mention if you had addressed this with her, but if not, that has to be the first step. She is taking advantage, and some people will, but if you don't let her know, she may well assume it is fine with you since you are home anyway. It doesn't have to be an uncomfortable, you-are-taking-advantage-of-me kind of conversation. I would just say to the mom, "DS only has 15 minutes to play before getting to his homework, so I will be sending Johnny home each day at 3:25." That will put her on notice that if she is not there, he will be there by himself for those few minutes until she gets home and it will be up to her to figure it out or talk to you about her problem and ask for your help.

It is not up to you to care for this child. It sounds as if you are doing good for him, but you cannot do it all and you should not feel bad for that. As for the DD, if you don't like it, then just say, sorry, its not a good time right now, and let it go at that.

Deb


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Posted: 12/3/2012 3:49:35 PM
"Oh, that won't work for us/me!" while smiling, can help with several of the scenarios that you've described.

Some new conversations, " *situation A child coming over after school* isn't working for us/me any more." while smiling, don't offer reasons. If she asks for reasons, just say, "It's not working for me." and smile again.

"Please bring back the bike today." while smiling.

When she comes to borrow food, "We don't have any of that to spare."







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Posted: 12/3/2012 3:56:34 PM
Sell the bike. Other than that I have nothing to offer.

Georgiapea
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Posted: 12/3/2012 4:01:19 PM
I would consider them 'users'. It's how they live, buy utalizing (using) the good will of other people to keep their lives afloat.

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Posted: 12/3/2012 4:01:35 PM

How frustrating. I wish I had some decent advice, but I'm such a sucker for little kids who aren't getting attention at home that I would probably never open my mouth and say no....not that it would stop me from feeling used, and I'd be PO'ed at myself for feeling used and allowing it to happen....but I'd probably still let it happen.

Telling you to say no when she shows up with her DD is a lot easier said than done.... just saying this because I know a whole slew of peas are gonna tell you that.


I am the same way so cant offer much in the way of constructive advice

I do like the advice of the person that said your son has to start his homework after 15 minutes so you will need to send her son home at 325



-Kerry


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alisatj
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Posted: 12/3/2012 4:04:39 PM
Re: the bike...I'd probably say something like I promised my sister that ds's cousin could have our extra bike. So I need it back on x date. Yes, I'd make something up.

However, I have no problem turning kids away that show up asking to come in. I probably wouldn't have let him in to eat breakfast with you - especially on a school day.

The after school thing stinks. I would probably text her to say you can't keep him anymore.

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Posted: 12/3/2012 4:05:48 PM
You have to say no once in a while. You don't have to be a bitch when you do it. You can say "oh I wish I could but that's just not possible" with a smile and no explaination. A few times of not giving food, free babysitting, etc and she'll (probably) get the picture.


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Posted: 12/3/2012 4:13:47 PM

Does the bike thing bother you or is it just that its heaped on top of other using? I would be happy to let him use the bike if it were just sitting in the garage not being used, particularly if it enabled the child and my DS to have fun together or watch out for each other while having additional responsiblity of getting to school. For that reason, I would not say anything about the bike. They probably don't have extra money to get it fixed, or maybe they don't know how, or whatever. It is the same using behavior, so I can understand where you would want to nip it in the bud. I love to pass things on to others, so it would not bother me. But if it bothers you, you should ask for it back and explain that you want it to be put away for little DS or it was promised to a cousin or whatever...

Deb

megmc
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Posted: 12/3/2012 4:13:52 PM
Since it is almost Christmas....fix the tire on the boy's bike as a present to him.

I have no clue how to stop the other stuff altho I would start picking my children up at and go to the park for a half hour. I would also stop answering the door near dinner time.

*~*amanda*~*
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Posted: 12/3/2012 4:29:56 PM

I'm such a sucker for little kids who aren't getting attention at home that I would probably never open my mouth and say no....not that it would stop me from feeling used, and I'd be PO'ed at myself for feeling used and allowing it to happen....but I'd probably still let it happen


Yep! That's me!!ay

To answer a couple other questions -

No I have not addressed the issue with the mom.
It seems senseless to me for the boy to be sitting alone in the cold on his front porch waiting for mom to get home while I'm home and able to supervise the kid. He's only 8 years old.
I did let her know a couple weeks ago when I had a doctor appointment after school and wouldn't be here for any kid. I just said that I had an appointment and wouldn't be here after school on X day. She responded that her ds would be ok outside alone until she got home.

Someone said they sound like users...that's exactly it. My dh calls them takers but same thing! They are always pawning the kids off on family so they can go out on the weekends.


It is not up to you to care for this child. It sounds as if you are doing good for him, but you cannot do it all and you should not feel bad for that.

I *know* the kid isn't my responsibility, and thank you for the compliment!, but I do, in fact, feel bad. I do realize that's MY own issue, too!
I just cant in good conscience let the poor kid sit outside in the cold all alone.

The bike....we aren't going to get rid of the extra bike. We keep that around so our own kids can have one if their bike needs some kind of repair. They both are active in scouts and go on frequent bike rides with their troops.
The neighbor boy cares for it just as my own kids would while riding it and returns it to its place after school when the kids get home. He uses his own lock on it while at school. I have allowed the bike borrowing to continue because my ds rides his bike to school and I feel bad thinking about the friend walking while my ds rides and knowing theres an 'extra' bike just sitting in my sunroom.
Again...that's MY issue, I know.

I don't know if anyone remembers my post last spring about a neighbor family losing their infant son? This is that family. As a result of the baby's death, DCFS came in to investigate the death and has had an open case with the family since that time. I do feel badly for them, and I know that's contributing to the problem.

I will start telling them no to the food stuff for sure!

My little ds is out of state with his Dad until just before Christmas so I'll get a break from their daughter. I will, however, start limiting the time she's here as well.

Im sure just those 2 changes will make me feel better!

I hate it, but I need someone's permission to say no!



*~*amanda*~*
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Posted: 12/3/2012 4:33:07 PM

Does the bike thing bother you or is it just that its heaped on top of other using? I would be happy to let him use the bike if it were just sitting in the garage not being used, particularly if it enabled the child and my DS to have fun together or watch out for each other while having additional responsiblity of getting to school. For that reason, I would not say anything about the bike.


The bike bothers me because its one more thing in what I feel is a pile on.
If it was just the bike I wouldn't even bat an eye I don't think.

I do look at like you stated...him using the bike allows both of them to ride together, have fun, laugh, etc on the way to and from school each day.

One of the highlights of my day is watching the 2 of them riding off down the street in the morning....I can hear them laughing and carrying on after they get around the corner and I cant see them anymore and I know they are making memories they will remember forever.



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Posted: 12/3/2012 4:46:46 PM
No is a complete sentence. You have to start saying it. Only do what you feel comfortable with. You need to have a talk with that mom asap. Lay out exactly what you will and won't do. Make it clear that you love her son, but set some boundaries-you're willing to do x, but not y, etc. If she gets upset, that's on her. She'll get over it.



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Posted: 12/3/2012 4:52:44 PM

How frustrating. I wish I had some decent advice, but I'm such a sucker for little kids who aren't getting attention at home that I would probably never open my mouth and say no....not that it would stop me from feeling used, and I'd be PO'ed at myself for feeling used and allowing it to happen....but I'd probably still let it happen.

Telling you to say no when she shows up with her DD is a lot easier said than done.... just saying this because I know a whole slew of peas are gonna tell you that.
And let me add a big ol' DITTO to this.

How sad for those kids.

I am glad you are there for them even if they pulled two short straws with parents.



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Posted: 12/3/2012 4:53:04 PM

I hate it, but I need someone's permission to say no!


You have it! The neighbors are using you & given their situation I can certainly see why you are trying to help them out. (And why they need it -- especially with the additional info about the loss of their baby.) It is okay, though, for you to only do what YOU are comfortable doing. If you need to send the boy home after 15 or 30 minutes of play time that's okay. Tell the mom that you will have to do that.

As for the little girl, I say treat her like you would one of your own. If she's rude, tell her she's being rude & ask her to make her request (for a snack or whatever) as a polite question. If she drags toys out make her help put them away before she leaves. If she protests tell her these are the rules at your house & if she wants to play there she will follow them.




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Posted: 12/3/2012 5:53:09 PM
If you continue to allow the son to come to your home after school then he should follow your schedule. If it's 15 minutes of play and then homework for your kids, then the same should apply to him. That makes it simple. I would not allow him to play while you attempt to keep your son focused on homework. That is just too much for any 8 year old to handle.


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SherryD10
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Posted: 12/3/2012 5:57:28 PM
Like the other posters have said, you need to have healthy boundaries with this neighbor. Even if you said the little boy can play until mom gets home so you know he is safe in their house. Then I'd say your son has homework, dinner & baths to take ... Then it's bed time.

Mom comes to borrow something, tell her just a minute you are in he middle of something and you will get it for her. Don't let her invade your home. Take control over it. It's hard when neighbors are like this... You are a sweet person!!!!!

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Posted: 12/3/2012 6:01:08 PM

I know that it isn't the fault of the kids that their parents are ditzy and do these things. I really feel bad for both of the kids. I just think they have no stability and their home is full of chaos and drama.


This. Hang onto this and let it continue to fuel you to continue to do good. "should" you continue to do all that you do for her kids? No, it's certainly not your responsibility. But OTOH, I gather you are the type of mom and neighbor that helps when you need to. And all you need in return is someone to be truly thankful for you and aware that her kids need someone to care for them. You have a good heart, you do what you can, when you can and it makes you feel good to help.

Is mom taking advantage of you? Yes. She's likely running an errand before she gets home when she shouldn't. Or isn't as fast to leave work when she should've left work 15 min ago so that she's home 10 min after preschool. She's stretching her time and doesn't have the decency to admit that it's not ok. But, she keeps doing it because you let her and you haven't called her on it. All it takes is a phone call.

As for her son being there playing video games when you son is doing homework? Nip this in the bud by saying he's not allowed to play games either. Give him a book to read...weave a basket...draw...whatever it takes to keep him quiet and little to no supervision.

I would make the "I'm onto you phone call" to the mom. I would simply say, "i know things can get tricky for you...I'll help for a little here and there...but you HAVE to be there for these kids...I am seeing x,y and z and they need their mom, not a neighbor"

God bless you for everything that you've done so far. Do what you can because you WANT to...not because it's a chore.

Pezformom
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Posted: 12/3/2012 6:09:24 PM
Boundaries are the way to go. We just moved here last year and my neighbor next door has asked to borrow a lot of things and I just don't get it.

We were putting in some sod and she came over and asked for any leftovers and if we had any could my husband out them in for her..... She has one lazy ass husband and four kids who don't do anything.

So, now when she asks for stuff we just don't accommodate her.


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Posted: 12/3/2012 6:10:13 PM

They are always pawning the kids off on family so they can go out on the weekends.


This, you can say 'no' to right away. Simply reply, "No, that's not going to work for us. DH and I would like to go out too to have a good time, but we simply don't have a sitter. Good luck finding one, though. Good night"

EmilyDionne
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Posted: 12/3/2012 6:19:32 PM
I am not sure if I would feel used in this situation. It seems to be a tough time for the mother and consequently for the kids.
Looking at the situation I would say that those are little things that I would do to help a friend out. Gladly. I know she is not your friend but it seems that this would be really helpful for her.

I would enlist the kids more or less in my family; if you are here you abide by my rules and only fuss about the things that are really not working. I would ask about the bike being fixed soon in a friendly way and take it from there. I would say: homework first since it is not a once-in-a-while play date.

If this deteriorates than I would remind her that the situation is not going in the right direction. If it interferes with plans you have, let her firmly know. Don't feel bad then; you are accommodating her a lot already.

Good luck!


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Posted: 12/3/2012 6:24:38 PM
I guess you can't make the boy sit down and do his homework, but you can say no video games for anyone during homework time. Would he like to sit down and work on his assignments while he waits? If not, he can twiddle his thumbs.


Tammy

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Posted: 12/3/2012 6:25:32 PM
Concerning the bike, teach the boy how to fix his bike. Buy the parts and teach him something that will last him a lifetime. (Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.) Honestly, I don't foresee those parents providing your neighbor boy any kind of decent transportation when he gets older.

enjoytotheend
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Posted: 12/3/2012 6:43:47 PM
From the children's perspective I want to thank you. I had a mom who wasn't present to say the least. She never did pawn me off on anyone though or ask for anything. She just wasn't present. Once I got into high school and even a little before that I am SO grateful for those families that pretty much raised me. They taught me what was right. They taught me how to nurture. They taught me SO much that I never would have learned had it not been for them.

I also think the mom is likely depressed if she lost a child. Either that or guilty if she was somehow to blame. I agree with making the child do everything your child does. Even if it is chores. People need a sense of belonging. I didn't get that at home but I got that from friends' homes and parents. How grateful I am for that.

megmc
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Posted: 12/3/2012 6:54:45 PM
I think now I am leaning in the direction of "if the kids are going to be in your home then they are going to learn to behave."

While your children are doing homework, they can do theirs too or read, or color. They can also help you do small chores just like your children.


peamac
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Posted: 12/3/2012 7:09:17 PM
What do the peas always say? "Your house, your rules."

They follow your rules and your schedule while at your house. You will be teaching them things that they aren't learning at home- manners, time management, self-discipline, etc.

I like the ideas of fixing the bike for Christmas and teaching him how to. You can teach him and ds how to fix the bike and give him some other stuff for taking care of his bike for a Christmas gift. They'll have extra time over the break from school.


PeaMac


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Posted: 12/3/2012 9:49:19 PM
In addition to what everyone else has suggested, if you decide it's best to continue having little boy over after school until mom shows up...

If your son has to do homework, so does he. If he doesn't want to, he can sit somewhere quiet and read a book. No play time - no video games - no t.v. (Ideally, he will choose to work on his school work too.) Or he needs to go home.

Curious - is he able to get into his house? Or does he have to wait outside until his mom shows up?


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Posted: 12/3/2012 9:58:19 PM
Now, this:

We were putting in some sod and she came over and asked for any leftovers and if we had any could my husband out them in for her.

...would make me flip out. Uh, no, my fella is NOT available for YOUR yard work. What is wrong with people??

And anyway, how much "leftover" sod do you end up with, even? The most I've ever had was about 10 pieces. So now I'm picturing a 5x7 patch of new grass looking completely ridiculous in the middle of their front lawn.
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*~*amanda*~*
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Posted: 12/3/2012 10:23:49 PM

Curious - is he able to get into his house? Or does he have to wait outside until his mom shows up?

Nope. The doors are locked so he waits outside for her. They do not have a garage but there is a carport so he would at least have some cover it were to rain. Its December in Illinois right now, though, and will get quite cold soon and there is just no way that I could leave him to sit outside waiting for his mom to come home while we are inside our warm house.

Another poster pretty much hit the nail on the head. She said something along the lines of I'm going out of my way to do all these things for her kids and not only is there no thank you but there isn't even an acknowledgement of it in the slightest.

When its nice outside the boys do run around outside. They spend time in his yard as well as ours. The neighbors are very nice to my son (and my other 2 when they are around them), there's just no reciprocation. I cant count how many times the boy has stayed at my house for dinner, has spent the night, has grabbed a bowl of cereal here in the morning before school (the kids walk/ride to school together and whoever is ready first goes to get the other one...but he is here 10 or 15 mins before they actually have to leave so he can have breakfast!). That doesn't include the after school snacks I've dished out to the kid. And again, I don't want anyone to think I begrudge the kid something to eat after a long day at school, or a muffin in the morning because I absolutely do not! If that's the only way the kid will have breakfast I'll make muffins every morning for him...

Its never reciprocated. My ds spent the night there once. Never had dinner there, never went to their house after school, never had breakfast there, etc.

I'm in burn out mode tonight from it and needed to vent. I do feel better being validated though.

I love the idea of helping him fix his bike, but I have less than no idea how to do that! My dh could probably do it the next time he is back in state. I'll talk to him about that.

The baby's death? Absolutely not any fault of either parent at all. The autopsy showed that he had some kind of heart condition and the death was ruled to be from natural causes related to that heart condition.

That's how our relationship began, actually. She was standing in her front yard crying they day they came home from the hospital after their son passed away, her boyfriend came over and told me what happened and I went over and hugged her and just held her while she cried.

I guess our relationship has been this way from the onset, huh? That just clicked with me.

Anyway, thank you for letting me vent and get it out. I do feel better...especially since its all been validated!



freecharlie
What happens in NSBR, stays in NSBR

PeaNut 109,127
September 2003
Posts: 22,066
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Loc: Colorado

Posted: 12/3/2012 10:37:36 PM
Call social services. I know it sounds harsh, but it needs to be done. What if that child is hurt or neglected when you aren't home? They have an open file. Tell someone.


Tribbey: I believe, as long as Justice Dreifort is intolerant toward gays, lesbians, blacks, unions, women, poor people, and the first, fourth, fifth, and ninth amendments, I will remain intolerant toward him! [to Ainsley] Nice meeting you

VivMarina
PeaFixture

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January 2006
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Loc: SF Bay Area

Posted: 12/3/2012 11:00:40 PM
I would consider telling the boy if he wants to stay at your house after school he would need to do his homework so as not to be a distraction. Otherwise he would need to go outside.

I feel for you. I would feel used and irritated intermixed with affection for the child and wanting to be there for him.

I can't believe she comes over for soda....say NO. For school lunch I would relent. I'd do it for the child not for her or her convenience.


miominmio
PeaAddict

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January 2011
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Posted: 12/4/2012 1:44:23 AM
No additional advice from me, but I would just like to thank you for being there for that boy.

jalapenette
PeaAddict

PeaNut 415,025
March 2009
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Posted: 12/4/2012 1:51:13 AM
Why doesn't the mom have a key made so the kid can let himself into the house??? At eight years old, I would think he would be ok to be home alone for a few minutes. Certainly it would be better then sitting outside in the cold.


-Rachelle


*Mommy to Adam, born October 2010, and Tommy, July 2012*



phdscrap
PeaAddict

PeaNut 406,102
January 2009
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Loc: Texas

Posted: 12/4/2012 2:58:21 AM
Your ds's friend will remember you as his second mom. Te older he gets the more he will realize all that you did for him. (just a thought for you to remember when the mom forgets to thank you.)

I would *make* him come in and do his homework (same rules as your kids). I would treat him like one of yours, which you are already doing in many ways.

I would also be *relieved* not resentful that your son isn't always invited to spend the night there. Just think about how difficult it would be to tell them that the boys can come to your house, but you don't want your son to spend time (poorly supervised?) at theirs.

The younger daughter you should take home every time she does something you have told her not to. Immediately. Even if she just got there. Believe it or not both kids will look back and appreciate the boundaries.

You, of course don't have to do any of that. It is very generous of you to be there for the kids at all.

As bad as the parents are behaving, I do think a year after a baby's death, they are at a minimum depressed. They may even be fighting a breakdown. You don't need to feel like a doormat for them, but I might show them more grace than your typical freeloader.





Jules

mumzcuddles
PeaNut

PeaNut 450,585
January 2010
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Posted: 12/4/2012 3:53:17 AM
My Mum used to be the one who took in all the local kids and feed them. In our house it was always 'Mums rules' and she was strict. Those kids are now parents themselves and most of them are actually grandparents. I occasionally bump into them and their lasting memories are of someone who cared about them and fed them and never turned them away.

I think that as a child growing up with a mother like that helping others is second nature so what I would like to say is not only are you doing a huge service to a child, but you are also teaching your children a hugely valuable lesson that will stay with them forever.

I know that this woman hasn't thanked you and is putting more and more on you and I'm really sorry for that. Obviously none of us know what's going on in her head if it is just selfishness, depression, or lack of thought, I don't know.
But on behalf of the little boy, thank you. Thank you for being someone who not only cares, but does something about it even when it obviously isn't convenient to you. The world truly needs more people like you.

kimberly38
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 198,401
March 2005
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Posted: 12/4/2012 5:22:16 AM
The bike is never going to get fixed. They probably do nto have the money to do so. If you can, I would have your dh look at the bike and see if he can fix it in any way or splurge for a tire for the kids' bike.

About the after school, you need to talk to mom and tell her that you cannot watch her child after school. She must make other arrangements. Your children need to have their homework done before evening activities and her child being there is interfering in their homework schedule.

Or, the child has no choice but to sit at the table with the kids and do his homework also or work quietly or only sit and watch tv until mom gets home. No video games.

This is your home. You get to set the rules.

If the dd does not follow the rules, then she goes home, period. Or she does not get to come back. The mom may not get it, but the girl will eventually. You can say no when mom comes to the door with her dd. If she asks about dd playing with your son, say, "Sure! What time can I expect him back? Because it is not a good time in our home today", or "Sorry, not today. It will nto work for us".

Lindapinda
PeaAddict

PeaNut 132,835
February 2004
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Posted: 12/4/2012 7:12:47 AM
I have a kid like that in my house every day. He's been my sons best friend since they started school together, and his parents are the types that can't be bothered with parenting their child.

He's got an ADHD diagnosis, but in his case I think it's more about his diet than anything. At the age of 7 he had no clue what a tomato or a cucumber was. He eats absolutely nothing healthy, and gets money to go to the store everyday to buy as much candy as he likes. For school lunches he gets chocolate cake, because you know "the poor boy doesn't like much".

I follow the "my house, my rules" approach to it all. He's welcome to stay when my son does his homework, but I encourage him to do his as well. If I don't help him with it, no one will. If he refuses, he can wait as long as he doesn't disturb my son. He's not allowed to bring candy into the house, as this was a big problem in the beginning.

But he's a really sweet boy that's good at following rules. I think it gives him some stability in life. On time he was sleeping over, he told me he loved coming to our house, because it felt so safe here. Having a 9 year old tell you something like that gives you goosebumps for sure.


about_to_pea
StuckOnPeas

PeaNut 104,674
September 2003
Posts: 2,088
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Loc: Michigan

Posted: 12/4/2012 7:41:43 AM
Your a wonderful friend to these children. I agree with what you said, I would never deny a couple muffins and an apple. An extra bike? I would just let them have it. I would talk to them about the after school issues. Just nicely let them know your having a problem getting the children to do their homework and other things after school with all the distractions. I would also tell her to either try to be their or leave a key because I would not tolerate them kids sitting on the steps waiting for her to come home. I am sure they have homework to do too.

I was that mom that took care of others at a couple times in my life and I do not regret it now.


My Pinterest Board: http://pinterest.com/dgirl48236/

catholicone
StuckOnPeas

PeaNut 141,445
April 2004
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Posted: 12/4/2012 8:05:13 AM
I'm so sorry for those kids and that the mother is clearly using you for childcare.

Discipline the daughter the way you would your own (not spanking obviously, but if she doesn't follow your rules then hand out consequences...like time out). If the little girl complains to her mother and her mother confronts you then you can let her know that those are your house rules. But the child may actually appreciate the fact that an adult is paying attention to her. Kids like security and you are obviously providing a picture of familial security--what kid wouldn't want that? Especially after losing a baby brother.

That being said, don't let the kids overstay to the detriment of your own family time or household harmony.

I also wouldn't be able to let a kid sit in the cold for more than 5 minutes. I think I would drop the bike thing. Let the kid borrow it with no strings attached or fix his tire as a gift to him.

Kids who receive love from people other than their parents when they desperately need it, pay that love forward a thousand times over in ways that you will likely never see.

Keep being a blessing for them. Set boundaries with their mom.

catholicone
StuckOnPeas

PeaNut 141,445
April 2004
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Posted: 12/4/2012 8:06:57 AM
And I agree with the above poster. You need to tell the mother that you're happy to make a copy of her house key if she can't afford it.

ScrapnMom2Four
BucketHead

PeaNut 399,391
November 2008
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Loc: Northeast Pennsylvania

Posted: 12/4/2012 8:11:04 AM
I think it is awesome that you are there for that little boy. My youngest dd is almost 8, and I can never imagine her waiting outside for me to get home from work, regardless of the weather. She is too young. There are too many things that can happen. I would do the exact thing that you are doing. I can't imagine losing an infant child. I think I would be very depressed and sad, however she has other children that need attention and love and to be cared for. Honestly, I would always be there for her kids, but I would also be placing a call to Child Protective Services. I'd hate for something to happen to a child if I knew I could have possibly helped to prevent it.

Edited to add: I would also make the children follow my home rules. He can do his homework while your ds does his.


~Sherry~
Happily married to my DH since September 1992
A crazy-busy Mom to my four awesome kids - DS 19, DS 17, DD 13 and DD 8
Life is good (most days)!

"Home is where your story begins."

Proud owner/designer of "Paper Creations By Sherry", specializing in mini albums, party supplies, hair bows, and much more!



SDeven
Love Letters Pea

PeaNut 65,852
January 2003
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Posted: 12/4/2012 9:48:26 AM
What does it really cost you to be gracious loving and compassionate to these kids? You obviously have capacities for parenting that some others don't have. Share for the good if those two children..you have the unique opportunity to make a huge difference in their lives.






kkrenn
BucketHead

PeaNut 304,808
March 2007
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Posted: 12/4/2012 10:34:02 AM
I think it is wonderful what you are doing for that little boy! I know you don't get any thanks from the parents and you probably never will but, that young man thanks you every time he returns the bike to the right place, says thanks for breakfast or snack, treats you and your home with respect.

He is showing you in his own way just how much you mean to him! I know it gets old and you are very frustrated (and rightfully so!) but he needs you and you are a wonderful mother to be there for him!

I would just want to scream at the mom but it wouldn't do any good. I would follow what others have said and make them both follow your rules, no exceptions.

Good luck and thank you!


Kathy

sharonko
PeaNut

PeaNut 349,384
November 2007
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Posted: 12/4/2012 6:10:35 PM
I had a similar situation with a little boy who was my son's best friend almost of all of their young lives. Wacky dad, scattered mom, he need a lot of taking care of and for various reason it was a joy to do - he is a great kid.

He just graduated from Harvard and I like to think I played a little part in that - anything you can do to help this boy, even if it is never acknowledged by anyone, is a good dead and you will be better off for having done it.

The added bonus, they are hanging at your house and you get to watch them grow together and you are setting a great example for your son in generosity, compassion and neighborliness.

Set the right boundaries for yourself and enjoy.

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