Neighbor Child Issue? Help!!!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-06-2006
Neighbor Child Issue? Help!!!!
Sat, 05-06-2006 - 2:23pm

I live in a small cul-de-sac. There is a 6 yr old girl girl a few doors down that is completely neglected. She is always riding her bike up and down the street at all hours of the day and night. At first I felt bad and took her in. She played with my 7&9 year old girls and sometimes my 5 yr old son. She has started doing inappropriate things like taking her clothes off and immitating giving birth with our cat. I caught this and told her that wasn't appropriate play but since she has started taking her pants down in her own backyard and peeing in front of another neighbor boy. That parent and I have decided that for own kids safety we don't want them to play with her anymore. How do I get this across to her. I have only met her mom one time in my life. I'm afraid to speak with her b/c these activities are indicators of deeper issues. Any advice? So far I keep saying the kids can't come out to play b/c they have to clean their rooms. I can't do this forever.

Thanks, Ant

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-20-2000
Sun, 05-07-2006 - 7:22am

Totally not sure about this, but all that comes to mind right off is to inform her school of these behaviors....not sure if that's a useful suggestion...or even a reasonable one.. but if she's 6, she's in K or 1, right? Maybe contact the school's counselor & let her know about this - sounds like she could use a little help, ....?

Of course, that doesn't help with your playing issue, but maybe it'd help alert the authorities if she's needing more parenting than she's getting?

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-06-2006
Sun, 05-07-2006 - 11:29am

Thanks! I just called her school on Friday. I'm not one to quickly call childrens services but I thought it might help to alert someone that could watch her more closely. It's not my goal to have her removed. I want her to get the help she needs. I had to keep my kids inside yesterday and she actually just walked into my home once. argh!


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sun, 05-07-2006 - 1:10pm

WOW! That is outrageous! I feel so badly for those kids and, like you, I have decided that it's not enough to put MY kids through the drama of it all. Have you ever seen the mom outside? I think I might (and I say might because I don't KNOW what I'd do in that situation) do is take the girl home WITH me after she's done something and tell the mom. "I thought I'd bring her home to go to the bathroom because she started to go outside. I know with my kids sometimes they need help getting to the bathroom quicker so I wanted to help her get here quickly! *smile*" Again, I'm not sure because it's not me. I KNOW I'd refuse her in the house.

Good luck! What did the school say??? Just curious....


A proud mommy

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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-31-2004
Sun, 05-07-2006 - 3:17pm

I have to say that I am torn. I totally understand your feeling of needing to protect your kids from her influence and certainly you don't want them to go over to her house to play, so I can completely understand your hesitance to allow or encourage any sort of friendship between them. On the other hand - that poor kid! Think how great it could be for her to spend some time in your home with you and your kind children. I think that IF you were to take that tact, you would have to become totally comfortable with stating your house rules and enforcing them. As a former preschool teacher, this is something that I have absolutely no problem doing; however, I know it is really hard for some people.

I also think that you would have to sit down with your kids and have a very grown-up and private discussion with them about why they will not be allowed to go over to their friend's house. I think you can also tell them that their friend does things which are not okay for kids to do (such as peeing in public) and that you will expect your children to behave the way you have taught them and to inform you if their friend does any thing really bad.

Of course you will have to evaluate the situation yourself and decide what is best. I can think of two examples where I have decided to do one thing in one case and something totally different in the other. In one case the questionable child came over to play nearly every day. I set the rules just like I stated above and had no problem enforcing them. (The consequence for bad behavior is to go home and try again another day.) In the other situation, I was a little more scared of what was going on (v-e-r-y nasty divorce in progress) and I was a little more afraid to invite the child into our home and I NEVER would let my kid go over to his house, even though my heart was breaking for the child. So each situation is different and I wouldn't presume to tell you to go against your gut feelings. But if it is just a case of a child needing a little more guidance and love then what they are getting at home, you could maybe be a big help in that little person's life.


P.S. I just wanted to add one thing. I you DO decide to let this child come to your home and play, I would absolutely insist that the child have the parent's permission before they come in. In my first example, the child was always just roaming our neighborhood unsupervised. I KNEW that his parents wouldn't care a bit if he came in a played as they likely weren't even aware that he was outside period. But I always made the child go home and ask his mom for permission to play at our house first, before I let him in. And then, when it came time to go, I always called over to his house and said, "I am sending him home now." I decided that I had to go with what was comfortable for me and it was not comfortable for me to think that this child's parent did not know where he was.