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Please help me figure out how to handle this


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If you did a search you could read more details about last summer(not this past one but 2008). I'll give a brief summary of details and there are alot of details.

 

We moved here 5 yrs ago. Ds12 and dd8 made friends with our neighbor's kids who were the same ages. The neighbor's kids were here almost everyday. I helped watch them while mom worked. I helped them with homework. They slept over quite a bit. So, I cared about them like a niece and nephew.

 

But the kids especially the boy have changed so much. The boy is so negative and mean to my ds. The boy is just negative period. I feel badly because it's his home life that is the cause.

 

The summer of 2008 their mom got married to a nice guy. Two months later she kicked the husband out and moved her ex-husband in THE SAME DAY. The ex is the kids' father and a not nice person. I heard for yrs what a horrible and sometimes abusive person he was while they were married. I still talked with my neighbor but I avoided all conversations on her relationship choices. She is the type that will not appreciate any honesty and would hold a grudge if you disapproved of her choices. So, they moved into the ex's house a few months later. I made an effort to keep the kids in touch and invited the kids to sleep over a few times. A few months after they moved in with her ex she moved them out again. They couldn't move next to us as it was occupied but moved in the same town. The kids would walked over and play at my house quite a bit. A few months after that, mom marries a guy that she barely knew and he moved in. A couple months later they moved a little further away. They are not walking distance now.

 

I've told my kids that it's for the best that we let this relationship fade away. I feel badly that the mom had 3 partners and they moved 4 times in 1 yr. But my kids need to be my top priority. I can't help these kids anymore. I truly care about them but it has become toxic for MY kids. The mom let her barely 16 yo dd move a boyfriend into the house. The 12 yo ds SMOKES. Other kids have told me that the mom lets him smoke though I have no idea if that is true. The boy is so mean and disrespectful anymore. The last time he and ds12 hung out the boy made fun of ds12's younger brother who is severely disabled. The last time he slept over I took 4 boys to see HP on opening day. He complained about the movie that *I* paid for and the candy that *I* bought(He was told to bring money for candy). He complained about our yard, house and everything else. Dude, why are you here then?

 

Ds12 is an aspie and is enough of a behavior issue. He picked up some bad habits from this kid. I just don't have the patience anymore. Ds is better when he plays with other kids. I noticed that the kids called a couple times before from Caller ID. This past weekend the dd9 left a message saying "hi". The next day the ps kids had off from school. I'm thinking that they were hoping to spend the day here:glare: I feel guilty that I didn't return the call. But told my kids that I'd rather avoid them. If not, I'd have to tell them *why* they can't play together anymore. These kids know how dysfunctional their life is. But I'd rather not hurt them if I can help it. I would appreciate any suggestions or perhaps an hole in the ground for me to hide my head. I hate being a mean person. I can still remember the sweet kids that they were. *Those* are the kids that I still miss.

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I see that alot of people read this but no one commented. Do you guys think that I am wrong or selfish? I would appreciate other points of view. I have contemplated allowing the kids to keep in touch through phone calls. But the negativity is the issue. Plus I don't trust *myself* to cave and allow them to start coming over again. If you think I'm wrong please give me some suggestions. **sigh**

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The last time he slept over I took 4 boys to see HP on opening day. He complained about the movie that *I* paid for and the candy that *I* bought(He was told to bring money for candy). He complained about our yard, house and everything else. Dude, why are you here then?

 

This very likely could be because it is easier to belittle something than long for it.

 

I was reluctant to comment, not because I disagree with your decision but because it is such an incredibly difficult one.

 

My heart breaks for these kids and I don't even know them.

 

Of course, imo, your family has to come first so I'd likely choose your same path. I'm a head-on kind of girl though and not likely to do the "avoiding" thing. It would give ME more stress than if I just talked to them.

 

Is there any chance that if you talked honestly with the boys that they'd reign in their behaviors for the sake of the friendship?

 

:grouphug:

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Well, you may not care for my opinion because I have only youngers, but I'd avoid the family like the plague.

 

They are not your kids, you have yours to look out for and if being around the other family causes grief in your own, then I say sever all ties. You are being a good mom because you are doing just that. :grouphug: It's hard, but in the end you need to look out for your own family. (If you are Christian, I would suggest keeping the kids (and their mother) in your prayers for a long time.)

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This very likely could be because it is easier to belittle something than long for it.

 

I was reluctant to comment, not because I disagree with your decision but because it is such an incredibly difficult one.

 

My heart breaks for these kids and I don't even know them.

 

Of course, imo, your family has to come first so I'd likely choose your same path. I'm a head-on kind of girl though and not likely to do the "avoiding" thing. It would give ME more stress than if I just talked to them.

 

Is there any chance that if you talked honestly with the boys that they'd reign in their behaviors for the sake of the friendship?

 

:grouphug:

 

I agree. This is so hard. My brother lived with my mom, I lived with my dad. My mother lived a life of chaos, similar to what you've described. My brother smoked, got into trouble, and was a terrible mess. He was mad as h*ll all the time, and had every right to be. Rage and grief and fear make for a bad combination in vulnerable young men.

 

I also agree that your children come first. If it were me, want to offer a safe place for the children, but make sure that they understood that the rules were different at my house. I would have a private conversation with the children, without my children present, and tell them how much I miss them, how much my heart breaks for them, that I want them to have a safe place to come and that when they are in my home, I expect the same kindness from them that I have offered them. If they were not able to comply with those stipulations, then I would reconsider.

 

I think I would also ask some questions about whether there would be counseling available to those kids. I'm pretty confident that it would not be possible to arrange that for other folks' kids, but it would make me feel better to know that they had access to help.

 

Very sad. :grouphug:

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Well, you may not care for my opinion because I have only youngers, but I'd avoid the family like the plague.

 

They are not your kids, you have yours to look out for and if being around the other family causes grief in your own, then I say sever all ties. You are being a good mom because you are doing just that. :grouphug: It's hard, but in the end you need to look out for your own family. (If you are Christian, I would suggest keeping the kids (and their mother) in your prayers for a long time.)

 

:iagree:

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I would just let it go. It's a difficult situation all the way around. Your boys come first and their well-being is most important. If they are a bad influence then it's time to let the friendship fade.

Two difficult decisions I've witnessed that might help you to know. The first was when I was ten. My grandfather had just died leaving my father 2 minor half brothers. They were such difficult teenagers that my dad had to make the difficult decision of turning them over to the state (of course my dad has 3 other full siblings who wouldn't/couldn't take them in either). My parents agonized over their decision and I know my dad still harbors a lot of guilt for not being in a place to take them in or strong enough, in his eyes, to "fix" his brothers.

In my own life, we had friends that just didn't discipline their children at all. The kids were allowed to run amock. We met this family when our boys were in the same preschool class. I decided to let the relationship fade and, instead of returning calls, I did the chicken thing and called when I *knew* she wouldn't be home and left a message. After awhile, she just stopped calling.

HTH and no, I don't think your selfish at all.

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This very likely could be because it is easier to belittle something than long for it.

 

I was reluctant to comment, not because I disagree with your decision but because it is such an incredibly difficult one.

 

My heart breaks for these kids and I don't even know them.

 

Of course, imo, your family has to come first so I'd likely choose your same path. I'm a head-on kind of girl though and not likely to do the "avoiding" thing. It would give ME more stress than if I just talked to them.

 

Is there any chance that if you talked honestly with the boys that they'd reign in their behaviors for the sake of the friendship?

 

:grouphug:

 

The reason that I avoid them is that I don't want to inflict any more pain on the kids. I would have no trouble telling the mom what I think. But it would not make a difference to her. The only people who would be hurt would be the kids as she would tell them what I said. I guess I'd rather the kids remember us with positive memories not that I told them they couldn't play together anymore.

 

I have discussed the behaviors with the kids before. It helps briefly but it creeps back in everytime. It is getting worse as they get older. The boy is an easy target for teasing so he makes fun of my son to deflect it. He is really mean to ds when other kids are around.

 

I appreciate the advice. Thank you. It makes things easier then I can talk(type) them out.

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Well, you may not care for my opinion because I have only youngers, but I'd avoid the family like the plague.

 

They are not your kids, you have yours to look out for and if being around the other family causes grief in your own, then I say sever all ties. You are being a good mom because you are doing just that. :grouphug: It's hard, but in the end you need to look out for your own family. (If you are Christian, I would suggest keeping the kids (and their mother) in your prayers for a long time.)

 

I have prayed for all of them. Alot. Everytime something new would happen I would say a prayer for them. That is all that I can do I guess. Thank you for your input. It is appreciated.

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:grouphug::grouphug::grouphug:

 

If talking to them before helped briefly, but it's gotten too bad again, I'd tell them that--the behavior needs to improve or you can NOT come over anymore, period. Or can't come over for 6 months and then you can try again, same rules--bad behavior, can't come over for 6 months, period. Maybe then they would shape up more long term (or, well, then they wouldn't be over anymore being toxic. That's so sad, for everyone). :grouphug:

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It depends on how soon you want your children to lose their innocence. The things that are happening at the friends home will be talked about in their conversations; the spiral down into personal and substance abuse will happen before their eyes. If you're ready for it, have them over as long as they are willing to go by your house rules. If not, wait. Be forewarned that one of the messages that comes with these poor waifs is that they are not controlled by their parents....they have freedom to do whatever they want and they will invite others to join them (although they won't mention their loneliness).

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It depends on how soon you want your children to lose their innocence. The things that are happening at the friends home will be talked about in their conversations; the spiral down into personal and substance abuse will happen before their eyes. If you're ready for it, have them over as long as they are willing to go by your house rules. If not, wait. Be forewarned that one of the messages that comes with these poor waifs is that they are not controlled by their parents....they have freedom to do whatever they want and they will invite others to join them (although they won't mention their loneliness).

 

This is excellent and honest. We have had to make "cuts" b/c of those same reasons. We miss and love our "step kids" (they were literally here every weekend, nearly every week day), but the level of permissiveness in their home does get discussed and it's just a battle we couldn't win b/c every other influence in their lives told them we were the looney ones.

 

We had to explain to our children that we knew it would hurt, that we understood how much they loved their friends, but that they were growing into people that wouldn't want to be here b/c we have rules and boundaries that they don't want to fall under. My kids are sad. We are sad, but it has been best. From time to time, they stop by, and we always welcome them (b/c they're not mean like your example, OP), but we fully understand that the constant companions of yesterday are gone.

 

:grouphug: I know how this hurts.

 

Is there a chance that the younger child can come? I'll bet the boy won't want to once you enforce your rules. Otherwise, I'd cut ties too. Keep praying. The seeds you planted can be watered by anyone willing. During this season, your just not the one, but God can save these children and He'll keep pursuing them. He loves them too. Be encouraged.

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I think your reasoning - that your children need to be your priority, that they need to be protected from toxic relationships etc. is exactly right. I do feel badly for the other children but short of taking them out of their home I don't think you could really help them. (And no - I am not recommending calling CPS or anything. I'm just pointing out the impact that the Mom's decisions are having on her family.) Continue to pray for them. If you run into them at the store etc. be kind. But at this point this is starting to affect your kids in a negative way.

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This is just the saddest of situations. I put my kids in this position myself, of encouraging friendships with kids I was trying to help and then taking the friendships away when they became too negative.

 

Rescuing other peoples kids is a topic that is brought up fairly frequently on this forum. It seems like lots of us have the rescuing gene. I haven't had a successful rescue yet. Junior high school seems to wreck the kids I'm trying to rescue. When they don't have the stability of a regular school schedule anymore the chaos from their families seems to take over. I'm just sorry for you.

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What a rough situation. I think you are probably right in cutting ties. My parents took in a teen for a few months while my brother was about 14. He was a very negative influence on my brother. I have no idea what happened to the other kid, but my brother continued a spiral downward. It might have happened even if the other teen hadn't lived in our house... but it certainly didn't help things.

 

I think that junior high age range is very important. Kids are breaking away from parents and becoming more independent and peer influence is huge.

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