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Old 05-20-2007, 02:56 PM
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There was a kid in our neighborhood like that a few years back. He was around 5 but Evan was only 2 1/2 and the daycare girls I had then were 3 1/2 and 5 so he would only show up when she was here. I had to sadly ban him from our yard because he was way to rough with Evan and the younger girl. After the ban he would ride his bike in front of my house over and over while staring in the window. Again I felt bad but he was bad news for the little ones. Once during the summer his frantic mother rang our doorbell at 9:00 at night because he had disapeared around 7 and had not yet come home. I am usually shy and reserved but I let that mom hear me that time. I was so upset thinking someone may have taken him. Here to find out he found a new family to hang with 3 streets away. CRAZY. They moved away and I still wonder how he is doing.

As for your problem I like Deborahs idea about hanging sometime for him to know if he can come over or not. Just remind your dh to hang it when he leaves or hang it the night before. Good luck. Poor little guy, I hope when he starts school someone will be able to help him.
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Old 05-20-2007, 04:12 PM
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It is surprising to me how many parents don't watch their children or know where they are, especially at that age. One summer, my DH said this little 3 year old had a little tiny whiskey bottle and was drinking it. My DH just told him that he shouldn't be doing it. I panicked. Turned out, he was 6 years old. I had the little guy take me to his mother and I showed her the empty bottle that he had!!! She actually laughed!!!! She said that it was probably empty when he got it. I told her that my DH saw him drinking the brown liquid from it! She thought it was no big deal! I would have panicked if it were my DS!
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Old 05-26-2007, 02:10 PM
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The rules of our house are, you can't come over before 10am and unless otherwise stated you have to be gone by 5.30 pm. Holidays and weeknds aplies.
My reasons are that we are still in be and have morning jobs or chores to do or no one can play and in the afternoon, there are the end of day jobs to do. Each person has them.
Pick a time that works for you and say that if this does not happen or the kids come over to early, the time will be moved later 11am(?) to accomodate the jobs needed doing.
Most of all set a plan and stick to it, the best thing to do I found is when the time comes, yo put in that little joke like, come on out you go shoo and stand behind them and shoosh them out, make it funny for them to go and don't be scared of being a bit pushy.
We used to have kids here ages ranging from 8 (at the time my ds2 and 16 the kids next door and his mates) and you know we would never see them before this 10am time and I would provide the snack if they turned up then to start the day, they usually choofed home for lunch and came back later, I say ok time to go home and they'd go, there was no swearing and the older ones looked out for the younger ones.
I made them welcome but only in the stated times.
Mostly their parents worked and they had no where to go, if they behaved I didn't mind. They are all grown up now and have jobs don't have as many kids around.
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Old 05-26-2007, 05:06 PM
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Well, I have tried putting up a signal. I got a coloring page of a traffic light and colored one with a red light and one with green. The red light side says "Play later" and the green side says "Friends welcome."

I explained to the child that he may come to the door when he sees the green light.

Yesterday he came here at 7:50 AM when the red light was up. I was a softie, let him in. BUT I called his house--no one answered the phone I left a message that he was here this early, that it is really too early for us to have guests, and that I had errands to run at 10 so I'd be sending him home then. I asked for a return call which I did not get. In the afternoon he showed up wearing his swimsuit (hoping our neighbors would invite him to their pool, which they did not) and stayed until he started fighting with Luke over a toy. DH decided he'd end that by telling Luke to come run an errand with him, and then the visitor took the Lego they were battling over, and buried it in the bottom of the bucket, and said, "Now you can't find it." Well, that set DH off. He had been the one who told me I was being harsh about having this child here all day long--until now....

Today we never saw him.

If he comes back again so early I am going to bring him home myself and talk to his grandparents.
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Old 05-26-2007, 05:34 PM
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It is a very difficult balancing act when there is a neglected child involved! How to keep your own family priorities, and how much of the neglected one's needs should you try to meet?

We don't want to see children get the short end of the stick, but at the same time, our own families have to come first. We want to follow the teachings of our Churches and to do good to those around us.

The way I went about it was to sit down and write down (as you did above) what was going on. Then I "sat on it" for several days. When I came back to it, my mind was clearer and I was less stressed. It became evident to me that (in the particular case) I needed to talk to the parents of the children involved. When they weren't amenable to discussing the situation, I did what I realized I had to do. I called social services and reported the whole thing. They investigated and ended up taking all the children out of the home for about a year. I felt badly about it, but it forced the family to determine just what their priorities were.

I, too, have used the sign method. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't. Witih Ds#1 and family living next door, we instituted that they must call before coming over. I would say they do that about 80% of the time. It means we don't live "in each other's pockets" and create irritation.

Each situation differs, however. With all the suggestions given here, perhaps some of them will work for you, or something entirely different. I feel for the poor little tyke.

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Old 05-26-2007, 09:18 PM
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One day the kids (about 8) were all over and for afternoon tea I cut up a new cake I'd baked that morning, one boy asked whose birthday it was because they only ever had cakes in thier house when it was birthday time, I felt sorry for him, but on the whole the weren't a worry.

As you say sometimes the facts need to be pushed home hard on parents.
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Old 05-27-2007, 04:18 AM
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Barbszy, 4 kids you have experience with and I can bet you are getting tired of it by now! and the grandparents take care of them? The schools can't tell you anything personal about the family but you can make reports to them. And it might be good to have a consult with Child Protective Services to find out their threshholds for getting involved with the family. I agree that the hours he shows up are odd, but not to have the phone answered is something else.

I think because you let him in you will now need a new system other than the stop/go signs.

I am glad however that you showed him some mercy and softness because it may be the only real kindness the child gets.
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Old 05-27-2007, 09:05 AM
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Barb, Keep a journal of what is going on with this kid. The dates and times he is there, the contacts you have tried to make with his grandparents. Abuse is not only physical. The emotional harm done to a child has scars and traumas that follow them throughout their lives. You may find a time when you feel compelled to reach out for help, and you will need doccumentation to get help for that kid.

If he is not ablr to understand the simple red-light-green-light after you explained it to him, I would definately consider and Autism Spectrum disorder. So many kids are labled and treated as behaviour problems when in fact they have a learning disability, and if never diagnosed, they are never helped. There may be a salvagable kids trapped in there.

Consider making a DCF referral You can do it annonymously..after all as a teacher you are considered a mandated reporter, and can stand behind that... You may be the only adult that can make a difference to this child...

Good luck, pray on it and do what your heart tells you.
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Old 05-27-2007, 05:18 PM
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Barbszy, from what I have read, it sounds like this boy has either been abused or is just plain neglected. His refusal to look you in the eye and the absence of crying when hurt is common in children who have been abused (often because it they cry they get something worse done) Also, if you believe he is behhind developmentally, that is a sign of neglect as well. Reading and talking with a child is how they learn language. Perhaps no one has ever done that with him and it is possible that that is why he is living with his grandparents and not his parents. But it also seems the grandparents are neglecting this child too. If he showed up early in the a.m. and you called and got no answer, they may not even have been up and had no idea he had left the house or didn't care. He has been out on the streets even when it was getting dark and at 5 is much to young to have so much freedom. It is a rather scary situation. But as much as you feel sorry for this child, you should not sacrifice your own family time. I loved your idea of the red light/ green light and think that should be enforced. Have you ever been able to talk face to face with the grandparents to discuss this situation with them? Does he only go to your house or is he all over the neighborhood? It seems he truly needs some attention. As he also eats at your house fairly often, I am wondering if anyone even notices if he eats at home or not. I don't think setting limits with this child is a bad idea. Do you think a call to child protective services is in order? It is scary to think of what could happen to this child when he is out alone at all hours with no one truly knowing where he is.
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Old 05-28-2007, 03:00 AM
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Sammi, we seem to be his first stop....maybe because we put up with him the longest. But he has gone "missing" (as in, it was dinnertime so his siblings were sent out to find him) and he wasn't here; I'd sent him home hours before. I think they found him the next block over.

Basically all the kids in that house have always been left to roam. It's scary in all cases....the kids are boy 14, girls 10 and 9, and boy 5.

I get the feeling that when he shows up just before 8, he has left the house when his sisters leave for the school bus since that's their bus time. So I don't know if he is sent out the door then, or if he just takes the opportunity to leave.
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