being un-neighbourly

Ahhh what a cute picture.

All those little girls playing together happily in our front yard.

Well, almost.

There really aren't a lot of kids around here. I think between 5 and 15 years old we have 18 kids. Twelve kids at the local primary school of 800 some kids come from this mountain.

So the three kids who came to play represent quite a large percentage of the local kid population.

And M is rather shy and doesn't want to go over and play at anyone's house so kids coming here is really her only peer interaction.

But I'm still not thrilled to have them here. The girls are in grade 5, grade 4 and the one at the front is 5 years old. They are a rather odd gang of three. Each and every non school/ kinder day they spend roaming the neighbourhood on their bikes (the littlest one still has training wheels.) Their only rules are (I asked) don't leave the mountain and be back at 12 for lunch and 6 for dinner. Other than that they are wild and free. To be fair two of the three come from very busy farming families where it's all adult hands on deck at all times for most of the year so having their kids out from under their heals is a boon. Still, I do not like being responsible for other people's children without any warning or social niceties such a s a phonecall. Maybe I'm being too rigid about it all but even if the big girls are old enough to know risks and make judgement calls the 5 year old certainly isn't and I worry. I worry especially as these three kids have a tendency to do some pretty stupid stuff when they get together. Like leaving their bikes in the middle of the road and running madly to get them when they hear a car. Or all climbing on our swing at the same time.

The swing broke.
The kids ran home without mentioning it.
Meg was distraught.

After a wild time was had indoors while I was unaware they were in the house (yes, I was gardening out the back while my kids played out the front so I am not really a helicopter parent myself but...) and then everyone scarpered when I demanded that at least the furniture be returned to it's rightful place they are not welcome in our house. The garden, ok. The house no.

I know that is terribly un-neighbourly and I'm not helping M form relationships with the local kids but there are some influences we don't really need. That cute picture? They were all rocking back and forth on M's new and much loved horizontal bar. After the picture she jumped down and told me (in a whisper) that she was worried it would break and wanted them to stop. But she couldn't tell them herself. Because they wouldn't listen. That's part of it I think. They are not here to play with M. They are just here to play at M's house. But still I have been thinking that I'm rather un-neighbourly and I have been feeling rather guilty about it until a chance conversation with another of my neighbours. Turns out the gang of three is not welcome at at least three other houses on the street. And at one they are not welcome even in the garden. Ouch. Now I feel a bit sorry for them but I feel a lot better about banning them. Prejudice in numbers and all that I guess.

It's also a little difficult for me to judge as I can fully see Amy being in her own gang of three when she is a bit older...

and then the shoe will be on the other foot...

6 件のコメント:

Gaijin Wife さんのコメント...

Bann away I say. Silly little tarts. OK, so that's a bit harsh but still - they need to learn that they can't treat everybody else's homes as their own - when if fact by themselves in their own homes they wouldn't get away with it I doubt. Stick to your guns. Put up some barbedwire, get a pet inoshishi ...

illahee さんのコメント...

i think you should ban them. even from the garden, perhaps, unless an adult can be present. eventually they will learn they have no more friends to play with because of their behavior. or they won't. but that's not your responsibility.

poor meg. but i think it's for the best to not have 'friends' who break your things....

Bryn さんのコメント...

Aw, poor Meg!

I'm the most unpopular mom on the block, because I have ZERO tolerance for rowdy kids and general naughtiness. I've banned nearly all neighborhood kids from my house (not difficult since my house is "no fun" anyway, too many rules and adult supervision going on for most of the ankle-biters on my block) and many have been tossed from my yard as well, with warnings to stay away until they learn some respect and manners.

I have no issues at all with laying down the law anywhere that effects my kids (or my house, or my garden, or my sanity). I don't tolerate any kind of crap from my own kids, and I love them to bits, I'm damn sure not going to tolerate it from other people's kids!

And I so know what you mean about Amy, I'm the same way w/ Meg! I'm constantly shaking my head at things I see going on w/ teenagers these days, "Really! Where ARE their parents????", but I can totally see her in that exact place a few years from now!

Gina さんのコメント...

I don't think you're being un-neighborly at all. Firstly those 3 girls sound like a REAL handful. And that's putting it mildly.

If kids can come and play "nicely" so to speak well then great... wonderful... fantastic. But if they come thinking they're going to essentially (accidentally or not) trash someone's place. And not giving 2 whoots about it. Then they shouldn't be allowed to come over.

I allow Branden's friends to come over because well they're at the age where they can come unaccompanied. And they're all basically a good bunch of boys. but we have had a few instances. Like one little boy who I caught him teasing the neighbors dog, I told him if you do that again, you can't come over anymore plain and simple and he never did that again. I tell ya, I have opened my back sliding glass doors countless times and had to say a few things. Such as/for example.. if someone was swinging freakishly too high for example I'd say.. "You'll break the swing and possibly yourself. So please be careful." And the kids know, I/we (DH and I) mean business. They can come and play here and be respectful and still have fun. But if they're up to mischief, go to the park. Or somewhere else but not here. I'm firm but I am also friendly to the neighborhood kids. They like coming here. For the most part all Branden and Noah's friends are all real good kids. But we are keeping an eye on them. ; )

Anyway, good luck with those 3 girls Heather. : )

thefukases さんのコメント...

THANK YOU!!! Seriously. This is why I love blogging. I was really feeling like a bit of a nasty and un-friendly mum and (ironically) comparing myself unfavorably to Gina and Bryn who seem to be the places to play in their neighbourhoods. Sooooo good to hear you guys have rules, too. :)

Apparently my lack of providing snacks and refusal to let them play in the house has deemed this a low incentive place to play and they weren't here this weekend. Can't say I'm that sad really!

Thank you again you wonderful women for sharing. And the pet inoshishi? Kids round here would probably line up to come in...

Gina さんのコメント...

Sorry just had to reply about letting them in the house and snacks. Don't worry about the not letting them in the house Heather. I don't let the neighborhood kids come in our house either. I need my peace and quiet too. I never let them in. And they still come here and play. Most of the kids in the neighborhood because I hear from Branden. Most other kids parents don't let them in the house either. I think it's normal and acceptable for us not to let them in. I only know of 2 houses that let's the kids in. And if they wanna welcome the kids in, that's fine, but we don't do that here. Let them run ragged outside for sure. But run around inside the house no way.

And as for snacks. About once a week or once a week and a half I'll provide snacks and drinks. I don't offer snacks every single time at all. Because honestly as a budgeting mom, I know how expensive drinks and snacks can be. Plus I don't want them coming here EXPECTING a snack every single time either. And if they come in a great big huge group, is usually a day I won't provide anything. But if they come just 2 or 3 of them, like Genki and Jimbei boy comes and Keita, then I'll come out with drinks. But not when they come in a huge big group. I'd lose a 1.5 liter of drink in no time that way. ; )

You're doing things the right way, just stick to your guns. Your house Heather, your rules. : )