Wednesday, April 30, 2008

What is a parent to do?

It's been a ton of fun being in a house in a neighborhood filled with children my kids age. With that said, there is one boy that I cringe at when he is around the kids. He is 4 years old and his brother is 6. His brother is a really nice, respectful child. The 4 year old unfortunately is odd, to say it nicely. Here are a couple of things:

He will drop his pants in the front of his house in clear view of all to see to take a pee
He will randomly ring the door bell and run
He will ring the door bell, then immediately walk in the door yelling, HELLO!
He uses words that I try to keep my children away from saying
He spits on things like the car, or at people
He is rude!

So, there it is. What do I do? The kids like playing with him, but are constantly telling me of the things he is doing that is wrong. I try to kindly redirect and explain why it's not ok to do certain things. Is that enough. His parents are very nice and very well educated (both are professors in the sciences) and we have been warned by the other parents about these boys. Do I need to set up some boundaries about only playing with them while I am around, or do I talk with Jacob and Isabelle before and after play times to reteach anything they might have picked up?


  1. oh that is a toughy!!! what DO you do? unfort. I don't have any great ideas, but I will be checking back to see if any body else does. I have a friend at MOPS with a similar situation. I'll see if she has gotten any good advice, and if so, I'll pass it on to you! good luck!

  2. These are just my thoughts, so take them for what they are worth.

    I think you likely have some very teachable moments ahead. I think I would talk to my kids about being a role model and about doing the right thing even when others are not.

    When the kids come to you about something he did you have the opportunity to ask the questions like, "How did that make you feel?", "What would have been a better decision for him to make?", "What did you do when he did that?", "Would you ever do anything like that?"

    Obviously you have the best understanding of where your kids are at and how deep they can go, but I will say I often underestimate what my kids understand.

    As long as the behaviors are not rubbing off on your kids and he isn't doing anything violent or dangerous this may be a good chance for your kids to test their ability to do the right thing when people around them are not.

    I still might want to make sure I was around when they played together so I could monitor what was happening and make sure nothing got out of control.

    Like I said if his actions became violent or dangerous or if his actions are rubbing off on your kids and they think what he is doing is ok, then I would have no problem limiting or eliminating contact.

    Good luck.

  3. We have had similar situations. It's only been more frequent since we now have 2 in school. And for a reason I cannot understand my boys always want to play with these kids, even if they have been mean to them. We use moments like these to teach them as best we can about good choices. My kids don't always make the best decisions but they are definitely learning from them.


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