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Neighbors How do you get along with your neighbors?

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Old 07-29-2004, 09:19 PM
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Problems with neighbor kids

How should you handle reoccuring problems with neighbor kids?

We have two who are next door (their house faces the other side of the block). They are ages 3 and 5. They constantly roam the neighborhood, but are usually on our street, so noone from their house is watching them. They are always riding their bikes in the street, on more than one occasion I have observed cars narrowly missing them as they jut out. We find them in our backyard when we come home from being at the store, library, etc. On more than one occasion they have walked into the house without knocking (I'm a nursing mom, so I think they were a little more surprised than I was!). On several occasions, I will be leaving only to be pinned in my driveway by one of them refusing to move and on the other hand we sometimes cannot get into the driveway because on or the other will sit in the middle of it and not move.

I have tried politely talking to their grandmother (they live with grandparents as their mom is rather young) to no avail. Their grandfather cusses and screams a lot, so I will not subject myself to that . . . I know they probably just need attention, but sometimes I would like to just play with my kids (does that seem selfish).

I have tried to be gentle and explain that at our house we have certain rules: We don't go into someone's yard without permission. We don't go open someone's garage without permission. Knock and wait for someone to come to the door. We don't ride in the street because it is dangerous. We don't squirt waterguns into open car windows . . .

My best friend lives next door on the other side, and she is experiencing the same problems. We don't want to create more problems at home, but these kids have no supervision unless we are watching them and it is driving us nuts to come home and find them in our yards, etc. Between my best friend and I, we have 7 kids of our own to watch, and sometimes that feels like enough (again, I almost feel bad putting it in type).

HELP What do we do?
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Old 07-29-2004, 09:27 PM
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If it were me and I had tried ot talk with the grandmother and/or grandfather and nothing has been done I would try to speak to the mother - if that is possible.

If not, for their own safety, I would place an anonymous tip to the child welfare dept. An anonymous tip is less likely to cause trouble for your family with the grandparents. You might have to go as far as filing a police report though to get something done.

You should not have to feel like a prisoner in your own home nor should you be subjected to their coming & going as they please.

What if one of those children were somehow injured on your property when you are not home???

In my humble opinion, this is not something to just let slide.

But, that is just my opinion.
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Old 07-29-2004, 09:36 PM
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Abear-
Thanks, that is something we (My hubby, friends, and I) have talked about, but it is so hard in such a small community.
My biggest fear has always been that they would get hurt and their gparents would blame us. I actually purchased a few extra helmets, so when the actually ask to play over and I have the time to watch a few extras, I remind them that I require helmets when cycling or riding the scooter . . . I guess I never thought of them possibly getting hurt when we weren't there, and of course we have a jungle gym and swing set in the yard.
I have only met their mom one time. She moved out and left them with their gparents. I honestly feel bad for them, or I wouldn't have put up with it for this long, but it is so stressful to be constantly dealing with it.
You are right, I should call in, but I am afraid that even if they don't know it is us, they would assume (as I'm the one who spoke to the gma about it) and cause problems.
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Old 07-29-2004, 09:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by bsktbug2
I guess I never thought of them possibly getting hurt when we weren't there, and of course we have a jungle gym and swing set in the yard.
My parents have some friends that this happened to. They had play equipment in their yard for when their grandchildren visited. There were 4-5 neughborhood kids that would just open their gate, walk in and play whenever they wanted to. They tried talking to the parents - three sets of parents in all - but nothing was ever done.

Once, when they were gone for the day, a little boy got hurt and the parents sued my parents friends....and won. They had a "bench trial". The judge said that he found for the parents because my parents friends knew the kids were coming onto their property without permission and did not take enough steps to stop it. Luckily, the amount the judge awarded was within their homeowners insurance liability limits so they did not have to pay anything out of their pockets....until it was time for their insurance renewal. Their rates went sky high due to that lawsuit!

If the grandparents of those children can not care for them properly then they need to be placed in a home where they will get the care they need.
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Old 07-30-2004, 07:06 PM
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bsktbug...

I have to chime in here too..


If you can fence your yard, please do so... Any unfenced play equipment presents what is comonly refered to in "legalese" as an "attractive nuisence" ..It's like putting honey out for a bear.. how could a kid keep from being drawn to it? You'd likely be liable for any injuries a child might sustain on your property. Also by providing safety equipment for them, ( helmets)you're accepting responsibility for their playing on your property and with your equipment. ( without consent from their guardians) ...

And letting them into your home without their grandparents knowing their whereabnouts? That could get you into all kinds of trouble on accusations of what might or might not be going on behind closed doors... I'd keep everything out in public.. Lock your doors if you have to...


I'd make a police report, to complain that the children are unsupervised, and "tresspassing" on your property. You are concerned for their safety. If they are G-d forbid, injured, a comment to that effect "after the fact" will not help you.

All calling the police will do is protect you, and those children. There is no harm from it.. only a little discomfort at the idea of getting involved.

I have done it in my neighborhood, and it's not as bad as you think it's going to be. It actually is a good feeling knowing you helped in the life of a child ( or two)




Val
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Old 07-30-2004, 10:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lifestar
bsktbug...

If you can fence your yard, please do so... Any unfenced play equipment presents what is comonly refered to in "legalese" as an "attractive nuisence" ..It's like putting honey out for a bear.. how could a kid keep from being drawn to it? You'd likely be liable for any injuries a child might sustain on your property. . .

And letting them into your home without their grandparents knowing their whereabnouts? That could get you into all kinds of trouble on accusations of what might or might not be going on behind closed doors... I'd keep everything out in public.. Lock your doors if you have to...

Val
I do have my yard fenced in, that does not stop them. And I have never allowed them into my house, they have walked in only to be escorted out.

I talked with my neighbor on the other side, and we decided to go the police station together to file a report. Just today, we found them in her backyard and she has two large dogs (they're usually friendly, but you never know), and while I was out front allowing my children to ride their bikes, they were at it again . . . it is so frustrating. I had to repeatedly ask them not to play in our backyard, not to use our driveway to shoot themselves into the street, not to play around our vehicles in our driveway, to please leave my children's toys alone . . .

It's unbelievable, I would never allow my children (the same ages) to play on another side of the block where I could not see them, of course, I don't allow them out front without an adult, and they are never permitted to play in the street.

Well, I suppose the next step is to file a report . . . I just wish my hubby were home to do it, he is so much more forceful with this issue, but he is out of town on business and the last few days have been the worst so far, I hate to wait until his return to go talk the authorities . . .
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Old 07-31-2004, 04:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by bsktbug2
It's unbelievable, I would never allow my children (the same ages) to play on another side of the block where I could not see them, of course, I don't allow them out front without an adult, and they are never permitted to play in the street.
bsktbug2 - We have several neighbors that do the same thing. The kids just roam from one house to the next and my dd doesn't understand why she can't do the same thing! With all the stories in the news about children that are kidnapped and hurt, or even worse, never to be found again, you'd think the parents (or gparents) would keep a tighter rope on their kids.

One suggestion about your yard, can you put a lock on the gate? Even if they still come over the fence, you have at least gone to the effort to keep them out by putting the lock on. I guess after that, you'll have to put barbed wire on it!!

Good luck today!
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Old 07-31-2004, 05:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by crowemommy
The kids just roam from one house to the next and my dd doesn't understand why she can't do the same thing! With all the stories in the news about children that are kidnapped and hurt, or even worse, never to be found again, you'd think the parents (or gparents) would keep a tighter rope on their kids.
I'm going to admit to something here that I am ashamed of. When my first two kids were around those same ages (they wre 4 and 5) they used to go out and play together all the time. I never worried about them getting kidnapped or anything else as I always used to think that it could "never happen to me". They would walk a few houes down, turn the corner and play at my neighbor's house with their friends. I did call her to make sure it was ok, but they always went on their own. (When I think back now how mellow I was about it all, it makes my stomach turn)

Well one day while I was at work, the babysitter called me crying saying my kids were missing. Well naturally I was hysterical and we called the police. I went home immediately where I found every patrol car in town was in my neighborhood, every police officer walking around knocking on doors. They were found in a neighbor's house, ALONE. Here's what happened:

They had gone over to my neighbor's to play, they weren't home, so they walked across the street to a different neighbor's house. This was a family with 2 kids, the mom and dad both worked outside the home, and the kids were in school, so noone was home. Their dog, Tasha, a Rottweiler, was in the backyard, as she had a doggy door in the back where she could go in and out. My kids climbed over the fence (a block wall with a paddlocked gate no less!), went into the backyard with their dog, went in through the doggie door, and proceeded to play in their house. As the officers were knocking on doors, my son (5) answered their door. That's how they were found.

Let me tell ya, that's what woke me up. It scared me to death. I'll shamefully admit that I didn't supervise my kids the way I should have and that's why that happened. No other reason, but simply the lack of supervision.

Things are obviously much different now. I am much wiser now, I'm more careful, and I am like you guys where they aren't allowed out front without an adult, they don't ride in the street, and they are always supervised.

While I certainly do NOT AGREE with the way these people are raising their children, I would be a hypocrite if I simply criticized them. I can understand why they are the way they are. Again, this does NOT excuse their behavior. If they do not want to raise these children, as obviously it was forced upon them, then calling the authorities and getting them involved may very well be the best thing that could happen for those children. It sounds to me like these grandparents didn't want to raise these kids, they are simply doing it out of obligation, and supervising them is too much of a bother.

I watch shows like Forensic Files and Cold Case Files to remind me how precious life is. It reminds me that my children are my LIFE and that if anything ever happened to them, I just don't know what I would do.
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Old 07-31-2004, 06:26 AM
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Amanda - That is such a nightmare! I think my neighbors feel the way you did - that it couldn't happen here or to them. I just pray that they are right, and it doesn't happen to them - I want them to prove that I'm just an over-protective mother that needs to cut those apron strings!!

I remember roaming the neighborhood, playing at the creek or at someone elses house all day when I was a kid. We hardly ever checked in at home. As long as we were home in time for dinner, no one worried. Things are so different now.
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Old 07-31-2004, 07:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by crowemommy
I remember roaming the neighborhood, playing at the creek or at someone elses house all day when I was a kid. We hardly ever checked in at home. As long as we were home in time for dinner, no one worried. Things are so different now.
You said a MOUTHFUL there! I meant when I said that hubby and i watch those shows. And when we do, we make comments like that, that you COULD roam around and there were no problems. Such a shame the world has come to what it has
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