Even though I work with 1,300 kids every year…I am often left to wonder how to handle situations at home. One of the most recent adventures pertains to two of the neighborhood kids that have just recently began playing with my kiddos.
It all began innocent enough…we were gardening in the front yard. They rode by on their bikes and asked if they could play with my kids. They are a bit older (g 7, and b 9), but they seemed nice and my kids love playing with older kids.
They played great together for the first few times. But then I started noticing little things and then the little things turned into big things. First they would spray water from the hose at my 3 year old and my 21 month old even when they cried and said to stop. The 9 year old would just spray everything down in my backyard if I didn’t tell him to stop.
Then the behavior esculated. I went into the house briefly and when I came out the boy and the girl were holding up a boy and girl barbie (undressed) and were making like they were kissing each other. Possibly harmless, but just the same my kids are not around that type of behavior or images. Sure my husband and I are affectionate around each other, but this was not even close to a friendly smooch! Then there were other things like messing with the back of my dd bathing suit and daring them to jump off the back of the picnic table into our inflatable pool!
So I decided that we would take a break from them and tell them “sorry, no company today”. Well, guess what? They still tried coming over about every hour! I felt horrible continously telling them that we are not having company. They even went so far as to hide in the bushes and spy on my kids. After my daughter told me that the girl dunked her under water twice and it hurt her…that was it.
The next time they came around I told them that we were tired of them not following the rules and that we should not have to remind them over and over. I also told them that they were a bit too old and big to play with my kids and that they were too rough with them. Once again, they proceeded to come back 2 other times that day! I couldn’t believe it.
They come from a very troubled family. I have no doubt that they are told to “get out of the house” and probably to go play with the neighbors. I have never met the dad…he has only come by to tell the kids “get your f-ing a** in the house” although he doesn’t say “f-ing”. I really wanted to be a good influence on these kids. But the chances are they will be a negative influence on my kids more than we can be a positive one on them. In the grand scheme of things, I need to be a mother to my 3 kids and if that means monitoring who they play with, then so be it.