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Kids as outcasts
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An_257514 posted:
Hi,
we moved into our neighborhood about 6 years ago when my older son was 1 1/2 years old.
We live on a mountain in a very rural setting but we do have some neighbors, most of them have kids, too.
There are no fences and the kids can run around, visit each other and play with each other without having to set up play dates.
At the beginning the other kids came over often and wanted to play with my son. The neighbors are all very nice. It seemed like a dream. I imagined my kid running around with the neighborhood kids and have a great childhood.
A year later I had my second son.
The kids are all very sweet but I was not used to them coming into our house without ringing the doorbell first. One time I was in my jammies doing laundry and when I came upstairs the living room was full of kids. One time, we wanted to fix dinner and the kids were a little slow to leave, and I said to the last one: You need to go home. I am sure your Mommy is waiting for you with dinner.
Another incident was that my husband let my 3 year old son roam the neighborhood by himself and he turned on the outdoor faucet at our neighbors. Our neighbor was rightfully mad and she gave my husband an earful. I was not there and I don't know the details.
Anyway, shortly afterwards, from one day to the other, the other kids stopped playing with my kid. They didn't come by anymore and didn't ask if they could play with him anymore. One time, when my son badgered me to play with them, they brought him back after 10 minutes and told me that he was too whiny.
When he sees the other kids and waves or says Hello, they ignore him. When he wants to join their play, they run away or ignore him. They treat his little brother the same way.
When I asked the kids they denied it and the parents said it's the age difference, but some of the neighbor's kids are the same ages as mine. That happened 4 years ago and nothing much has changed since then. I kept my mouth shut because I was hoping they can sort it out by themselves but obviously it didn't do any good.
Both of my kids have friends in school and have no trouble making friends at the playground. The teachers, everybody says they are completely normal. Maybe it's us who are not normal? I am starting to wonder.
Our next door neighbors have moved away and we have new neighbors now who have two kids and three dogs. It didn't take long and their kids were friends with all the other kids - except mine.
Everybody loves to hang out at their house but when my kids come they leave or tell them to go home.
I am so sad and depressed about this! My older son has given up on them but my little one doesn't understand why the other kids don't let him play with them. They told him yesterday that he can't come into their yard (they do have a dog that barks at him), but today they played tag in part of our yard. I don't mind but my little one yelled at them: Hey, you are in our yard! Of course, they ignored him.
Finally I just couldn't be quiet any longer.
I walked over to the neighbors, described what has been happening and wanting to know why the other kids treat my kids like that. I was not angry but I was upset and I am worried that I gave the impression of a hysterical, overly sensitive, overbearing Mom.
I told her that I don't want her to order her kids to play with mine, or to punish them in any way, I just want to know what is wrong with my kids or us.
She was very nice and composed and said she'll talk to her kids about this and that they shouldn't be rude to my kids.
Did I do the right thing? Or did I ruin any chance of ever making friends in the neighborhood? Am I an overbearing, hysterical, overly sensitive Mom?

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