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Awww, man. We have *neighbor kids*.


Quill
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We've lived here for 11 years, on 10 wooded acres which are not in a neighborhood. We have "neighbors," in the sense that we could hike over to the neighbors if, you know, someone's house were on fire or the mail were to get mixed up. But I have been blissfully unbothered with the "neighbor kids" dynamic, because we have not had much in the way of neighbor kids and they have been too inconvenient anyway. Only now, with my youngest being 10, a neighbor kid has discovered us. So now, these two kids around my son's age have descended upon my home and they have been here for hours. I'm ready for them to trot home now. And I hope they are not overjoyed that they can drop over the neighbor's house all summer long.

 

I know I sound bitter. I know I have happy memories of playing with Laura, my neighbor friend, all summer long, all day every day. But for real, I am not a fan, don't want to be a free babysitter, and don't want my kid to Go over their house. i'm a paranoid hser, people. I don't just send my kid off to go bother somebody else for six hours on a Sunday. Grumble, grumble, grumble.

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I love to have kids drop by to play (although I nearly always send them all outside) but I also have zero problem telling them they need to go home when I'm ready for that. It's okay to tell them to go away in the nicest and clearest possible way. :)

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Wow, we moved to a neighborhood because it had plenty of kids. It has been good for my kids. Not perfect, often annoying but overall good.

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Having neighbor kids is mostly positive but there are definitely times when I feel like I am taking on extra kids and I do not like that at all as someone who is as introverted as you can be and who never gets a break from kids. It is not too bad now because there are a few families I trust my kids to play at their houses that I can see and hear from my house and the neighborhood kids go to more houses now so it balanced out the one extended family in the neighborhood where the parents are not involved and has kids with annoying habits.

 

Can you get know the families to see if you can trust your child to play there so it can balance put a little? If the kids are at your house and they start causing issues or needing discipline send them home. The older neighbor kids in the 10 year old range usually are fine.

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When my older ones were little, we had neighbor kids. I kicked them all outside unless the weather was below zero and sometimes even then.

 

DD14 missed out on Having neighbor playmates and it's been a bit of a bummer for her.

 

Boot them all outside.

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I am dreading any kids moving into the property next to ours. I like inviting guests occasionally, but it would stress me out to no end to have them just drop by. No way.

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Wow, we moved to a neighborhood because it had plenty of kids. It has been good for my kids. Not perfect, often annoying but overall good.

I know a lot of people like it, seek it out and want it. My DS15 idealizes living in a neighborhood and says so all the time. When we recently were heading over to his friend's house, he said, "See? This is the kind of place where I want to live! All these people who can be your buddies...you can walk right over and talk to your friends." :D

 

It's not something I like, though. I feel trapped when (other people's) kids are here. Not that I was about to go anywhere, but if I were, I can't.

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Mine are teens now and actually aren't friends with the neighbor kids anymore as most of their friends live in a different nearby community. When we did have neighbor kids who came over, they were never allowed inside (I also didn't allow my own to go inside neighbor homes). The kids all played together outside and I never really felt responsible for them.

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I am very clear with our neighbor kids. If it isn't a good time, I tell them and send them on their way. When I'm ready for them to go home, or need to go somewhere, I send them home. Most of our neighbors know that I am about a 2-hour-playdate kind of mom. There's no way I would make it for six!

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Mine are teens now and actually aren't friends with the neighbor kids anymore as most of their friends live in a different nearby community. When we did have neighbor kids who came over, they were never allowed inside (I also didn't allow my own to go inside neighbor homes). The kids all played together outside and I never really felt responsible for them.

How do you establish this, though? They did come in and roamed all over, which I hate with a burning passion. Do you just say, "Hey, stay out. We're not playing inside. The end."

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I was thrilled when neighbors with kids finally moved into our neighborhood.  It felt so unreal to be raising kids around no other similar-aged kids.

 

I do not let them into my house, and I tell my kids not to go into their house.  We don't feed them, and my kids aren't allowed to accept food over there.  I do not need to be worrying about reciprocating etc.  My reciprocation is my kids' time, my yard space, and the use of whatever belongings my kids take outside.  I also don't "watch" the kids.  I have my window open and hear everything, but I am working, not babysitting.

 

Sometimes the kids together are annoying, messy, even ornery, but I am thankful that they have the dynamic in their life of dealing with peers who are not under the control of their household.

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How do you establish this, though? They did come in and roamed all over, which I hate with a burning passion. Do you just say, "Hey, stay out. We're not playing inside. The end."

 

You tell your kids that their friends are not allowed inside.  If they come in, you say to all the kids together, "play outside."  Stick to your guns.  ;)

 

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I put a positive spin on it.  "I'm so glad you have neighborhood friends to play with!  But you need to be outside getting fresh air and exercise.  It's not healthy for you to be hanging around inside when you can be outside playing."  When it's raining, they can play on the porch or in an outbuilding or in the neighbor's garage.

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How do you establish this, though? They did come in and roamed all over, which I hate with a burning passion. Do you just say, "Hey, stay out. We're not playing inside. The end."

 

Yes. I always just told them when they came to the door that my dds would meet them outside. The times they tried to come in I told them we play outside. My dds always knew the rule too so it was rare a neighbor friend tried to get an invitation inside.

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How do you establish this, though? They did come in and roamed all over, which I hate with a burning passion. Do you just say, "Hey, stay out. We're not playing inside. The end."

 

Yes.  Why not?  When they go into a room that is off limits, say "hey, we're only playing in the __________ room" or "No, no kids in the __________ room today".  This isn't difficult.

 

Clearly, you aren't comfortable with kids not your own in your home, neither are you comfortable with your child in other people's homes.  But it might be helpful to think about how you would like other people to treat your child if he ever by some miracle is at someone else's house to play.  Be clear, be kind, say what you want.

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I love neighbor kids. We moved to a new neighborhood with tons of kids recently, and I hardly see dd during daylight hours because her and a pack of two to five girls around her age are always outside running around. They always play outside and if we have to go somewhere everyone just scurries off to a different yard, so it works well.

 

Most of the neighbor parents are great, too. This morning I found the girls all crowded around a neighbor dad while he tried to fix the chain on my dd's bike that had broken.

 

I'm an introvert too and I understand how stressful it is, but if you try to warm up to the idea of neighbor people in general you might be pleasantly surprised. :)

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When my older ones were little, we had neighbor kids. I kicked them all outside unless the weather was below zero and sometimes even then.

 

DD14 missed out on Having neighbor playmates and it's been a bit of a bummer for her.

 

Boot them all outside.

Same here--When we lived in Texas, we had a great neighborhood with terrific kids. My boys grew up with kids. Well, for a while, anyway. We moved here when dd was 1, and dss were 9 and 11. She really missed out. They really missed having kids around when we moved.

Have to say I enjoyed the isolation, but do wish we'd had someone around.

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We've always told our kids that they cannot play in the house of a friend without permission from is (for every specific time, not a blanket always). We've also told them that friends are allowed out front, not in the house and usually not in the backyard. They must ask permission to take friends in the back and it's a very rare exception where one friend, and only one, is allowed in the house. I love my kids, but don't care to babysit and keep watch on the neighbor kids. But I do appreciate them outside my house where I can keep and eye and ear on things. There have been a few times I've gone outside or dh has to correct language or behavior. But on the whole, they are on their own. Just set the rules now that neighbor kid has found your house. Explain to your kids that friends are for playing with outside and remind as often as needed. But don't feel you have to let any other kids in your house. Oh, and don't feel badly saying not now/not today/it's time to go home now. We do this frequently. And it's never deterred the kids from coming back again.

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If someone shows up at your house and asks to play, it's perfectly fine to set guidelines about where everyone plays and for how long. Just say things clearly, like "You all can play outside." Or, "No, I don't have snacks for everyone right now." Or, "Our family has other plans now and it's time for you to go home now. Thanks for playing!" Or, "Ds can't play now, sorry." Or, "Here are some balls and you can play with them in the yard. It's not a good time for you to play in the house."

 

I'm as confirmed an introvert as a person can be and I've learned that having neighbor kids around means that I get some time all on my own as long as I manage things well.

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My kids just went off to play with friends.  Granted they're college students now, but they still enjoy getting together with friends when they're back home on break...

 

We had one of their friends here for most of the day - lunch, our daily walk, visiting the ponies, watching a Nature show, and playing Uno Attack and Wide World.

 

Hubby and I definitely enjoy being included at times.  Perhaps we're just big kids ourselves?  Games are far more fun with more players.

 

Now it's quiet.  Hubby is mowing the lawn and I'm here... back to "normal" Sunday I suppose.

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Wow, we moved to a neighborhood because it had plenty of kids. It has been good for my kids. Not perfect, often annoying but overall good.

 

We moved to a neighborhood because of kids 4yrs ago... it has been a big mistake.   All the kids are either bullies or too young/too old.  My son had brothers who were friends off and on for 2.5 yrs and then they moved to England.  He has one friend and she sometimes likes to create drama.  Ugh.  It would have been better if we'd stayed in our aging neighborhood and worked on friendships outside of the neighborhood... my son is still just as lonely.

 

Quill...  I feel for you.  If I knew the parents then I'd probably be less inclined to worry, but it sounds like you don't so it does make it hard.  I totally get it that you don't want to be dumped on. 

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Yes. Why not? When they go into a room that is off limits, say "hey, we're only playing in the __________ room" or "No, no kids in the __________ room today". This isn't difficult.

 

Clearly, you aren't comfortable with kids not your own in your home, neither are you comfortable with your child in other people's homes. But it might be helpful to think about how you would like other people to treat your child if he ever by some miracle is at someone else's house to play. Be clear, be kind, say what you want.

No, I'm not. I don't like kids dropping by and I'm not a fan of people roaming around my house. I'm not that type of open person. I also don't send my kids over to the homes of people I don't know. I don't think that's terribly strange.

 

It's one of the things I have always liked about hsing. My kids (when young) don't make friends with people I don't know. (My teens do now.) they can play over their friends houses, but this means people whom I know, usually very well, from co-op or some activity.

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No, I'm not. I don't like kids dropping by and I'm not a fan of people roaming around my house. I'm not that type of open person. I also don't send my kids over to the homes of people I don't know. I don't think that's terribly strange.

 

It's one of the things I have always liked about hsing. My kids (when young) don't make friends with people I don't know. (My teens do now.) they can play over their friends houses, but this means people whom I know, usually very well, from co-op or some activity.

 

I don't think it's strange to not want kids roaming your house or to not send your kids over to strangers houses.  

 

What I do think it strange is that it seems like such a block for you.  Like you can't figure out how to cope.  I'm an introvert & a homebody & I HATE having company.   But we still manage to have friends over & playdates with neighbor kids and nobody goes where they aren't supposed to, I'm not giving anyone free babysitting, and I'm not trapped by kids overstaying their welcome.  I didn't know the neighbors at first but I made an effort to get to know them - at least those who were interested.  Now they're not strangers and my kids sometimes go over to their house to play.  

 

Tell them the rules & boundaries.  Be kind.  Get on with your day.  

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We have 3 extra kids in our pool as we speak. Some days, I wish they had never came around but my kids are enjoying the friendships and they are outside running/swimming off energy.

 

We do have a tight grocery budget, so I do get irked that my kids come in asking to feed the other kids. They aren't far from home, so I always tell them to run home for a snack and then come back. I am going to try to grab some freezer pops, though. Those are good for hot, summer days and cheap.

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I am so glad that 3 of my 4 kids now have neighborhood friends to hang out with.  They tend to roam, or play at their friend's house, though sometimes here.  When here they all know to play outside, it is not hard to set boundaries and have them stay outside.  Check on them occasionally offer water or a snack and let 'em have some freedom. Most of my kids friends want to come over to talk to me, because they don't have other adults in their lives that will sit and listen to them.  

I get being an introvert and I get not wanting others in your house, but I feel (especially as a homeschooler) that you either have to let the kids come over, or allow your kid to go elsewhere, building friendships is an important part of healthy social development.  Pick the one that is the lesser of "2 evils" for you, set some boundaries and relax a little.

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We've lived here for 11 years, on 10 wooded acres which are not in a neighborhood. We have "neighbors," in the sense that we could hike over to the neighbors if, you know, someone's house were on fire or the mail were to get mixed up. But I have been blissfully unbothered with the "neighbor kids" dynamic, because we have not had much in the way of neighbor kids and they have been too inconvenient anyway. Only now, with my youngest being 10, a neighbor kid has discovered us. So now, these two kids around my son's age have descended upon my home and they have been here for hours. I'm ready for them to trot home now. And I hope they are not overjoyed that they can drop over the neighbor's house all summer long.

 

I know I sound bitter. I know I have happy memories of playing with Laura, my neighbor friend, all summer long, all day every day. But for real, I am not a fan, don't want to be a free babysitter, and don't want my kid to Go over their house. i'm a paranoid hser, people. I don't just send my kid off to go bother somebody else for six hours on a Sunday. Grumble, grumble, grumble.

 

:confused1:

I cannot imagine allowing my 12-year-old to go to a stranger's house and stay for hours, so I would be at a complete loss if a couple of strange kids just showed up. DD has a couple of friends in the "neighborhood" (we, likewise, live on 10 acres in the country), but none of the children just wander over to someone else's house. (I will say that DD's friends are more than welcome to stay for hours; with an only child, they are welcome additions!)

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There's no need to make Quill feel criticized.  Different isn't wrong.

 

I feel for you. 

 

The houses in our neighborhood are very close (duplexes) and I'm an introvert.  I would love to live on some acreage away from yapping dogs and kids ringing my doorbell.  BUT my kids love it here.

 

I've found that there are two types of neighborhood kids:

 

1) No need for supervision.  These are the kids which are a joy to have over.  I do my thing.  They do their thing.

 

2) Constant need for supervision.  When these type of kids come over, I can't get anything done because I am constantly checking to see what they are doing, "fixing" things/spats, or entertaining them.  If these kids come over to play, I send them to play at the park.

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I don't think it's strange to not want kids roaming your house or to not send your kids over to strangers houses.

 

What I do think it strange is that it seems like such a block for you. Like you can't figure out how to cope. I'm an introvert & a homebody & I HATE having company. But we still manage to have friends over & playdates with neighbor kids and nobody goes where they aren't supposed to, I'm not giving anyone free babysitting, and I'm not trapped by kids overstaying their welcome. I didn't know the neighbors at first but I made an effort to get to know them - at least those who were interested. Now they're not strangers and my kids sometimes go over to their house to play.

 

Tell them the rules & boundaries. Be kind. Get on with your day.

I think you're misreading it a bit. I'm being a little hyperbolic, you know. I promise I won't go hang myself now that there are neighbor kids. I just like it better when it is a total non-issue; i.e., there *are* no neighbor kids, so there is nothing to work out.

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I think you're misreading it a bit. I'm being a little hyperbolic, you know. I promise I won't go hang myself now that there are neighbor kids. I just like it better when it is a total non-issue; i.e., there *are* no neighbor kids, so there is nothing to work out.

 

I get it. I do miss the days of no neighbor kids. I feel responsible when they are on my property. I never know if their parents are going to drop by. I then think I need to straighten up my house a wee better or straighten up the front or back yard. I just feel like my personal bubble has been invaded at times. I'm just not as relaxed.

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I think you're misreading it a bit. I'm being a little hyperbolic, you know. I promise I won't go hang myself now that there are neighbor kids. I just like it better when it is a total non-issue; i.e., there *are* no neighbor kids, so there is nothing to work out.

 

Ok.  I didn't know this was hyperbole, it doesn't come across to me.

 

Glad this isn't an actual problem.

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:confused1:

I cannot imagine allowing my 12-year-old to go to a stranger's house and stay for hours, so I would be at a complete loss if a couple of strange kids just showed up. DD has a couple of friends in the "neighborhood" (we, likewise, live on 10 acres in the country), but none of the children just wander over to someone else's house. (I will say that DD's friends are more than welcome to stay for hours; with an only child, they are welcome additions!)

Honestly, this is a factor in my discomfort. It bothers me that these kids' parents don't know the first thing about us, but they weren't concerned (I guess?) about where their young kids were. Now - who knows? Perhaps when they got home, the parents said, "what the heck are you thinking? You don't just go over someone's house for hours! We don't know the family from a hole in the wall! Never do that again!" C'est possible. (Older DS did something like it one time when he was probably 10ish, except he was only gone for about 40 minutes when I started yelling for him. He discovered "neighbor kids" across the corn field.)

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Ok. I didn't know this was hyperbole, it doesn't come across to me.

 

Glad this isn't an actual problem.

Nope. :) I'm just talking to my friends because I have none IRL.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'm kidding!

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I love having neighbor kids.  We don't have any right now and I desperately want someone else for my kids to talk to that doesn't involve me driving.  

 

Don't offer them any food.  Once you stop it'll be hard to stop being hostess.  

 

Tell your son that neighbor kids don't come in the house.  Ever.  Have him enforce it.  They can play outside on your property so you don't have to worry about him being in someone else's house.  That weirds me out too.  

 

Then sit back and enjoy the silence in your home.

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We have 3 extra kids in our pool as we speak. Some days, I wish they had never came around but my kids are enjoying the friendships and they are outside running/swimming off energy.

 

We do have a tight grocery budget, so I do get irked that my kids come in asking to feed the other kids. They aren't far from home, so I always tell them to run home for a snack and then come back. I am going to try to grab some freezer pops, though. Those are good for hot, summer days and cheap.

 

If you shop Costco or get juice in large quantities - or have fruit trees with juicy fruit you can make lots of freezer pops for next to nothing.

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Honestly, this is a factor in my discomfort. It bothers me that these kids' parents don't know the first thing about us, but they weren't concerned (I guess?) about where their young kids were. Now - who knows? Perhaps when they got home, the parents said, "what the heck are you thinking? You don't just go over someone's house for hours! We don't know the family from a hole in the wall! Never do that again!" C'est possible. (Older DS did something like it one time when he was probably 10ish, except he was only gone for about 40 minutes when I started yelling for him. He discovered "neighbor kids" across the corn field.)

 

Perhaps it's an opportunity to meet the far off neighbors and get a feel for what kind of family it is. We lived in a very rural area and still knew who lived next door. Would you be happier if you knew their parents and if your kids went over there to play so it's not always your house?

 

 

I am old enough that I can remember touring the neighborhood with a passel of kids, stop at various homes, get an apple here or a popsicle there. Those were the days when most everyone knew everyone on the block and nobody had serious concerns about abuse.

 

When my ds was younger, kids we knew would come over or he went over to their house. I never allowed him to anyone's house when I had not met the parents. So I understand this part.

 

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How do you establish this, though? They did come in and roamed all over, which I hate with a burning passion. Do you just say, "Hey, stay out. We're not playing inside. The end."

That is exactly how. Repeat as necessary. Mine are teens now and they no longer have anything to do with the neighbor kids.

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I am so glad that 3 of my 4 kids now have neighborhood friends to hang out with. They tend to roam, or play at their friend's house, though sometimes here. When here they all know to play outside, it is not hard to set boundaries and have them stay outside. Check on them occasionally offer water or a snack and let 'em have some freedom. Most of my kids friends want to come over to talk to me, because they don't have other adults in their lives that will sit and listen to them.

 

I get being an introvert and I get not wanting others in your house, but I feel (especially as a homeschooler) that you either have to let the kids come over, or allow your kid to go elsewhere, building friendships is an important part of healthy social development. Pick the one that is the lesser of "2 evils" for you, set some boundaries and relax a little.

Oh, DS (and the other kids) have/had plenty of friendships. They just aren't neighborhood kid friendships. dS10 was just at a friend's house yesterday for three hours. It was a birthday party and there were a bunch of kids he knows from co-op. (We happen to have a fortunate big clump of boys in his age bracket at the co-op right now. For my ds' birthday party last December, there were 15 boys here!)

 

On the one hand, it is kind of a pain to have to drive somewhere to establish playdates. On the other hand, I can't pretend I don't like that control. I don't like the wild card of neighbor kids who may pr may not be ideal companions.

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There's no need to make Quill feel criticized.  Different isn't wrong.

 

I feel for you. 

 

The houses in our neighborhood are very close (duplexes) and I'm an introvert.  I would love to live on some acreage away from yapping dogs and kids ringing my doorbell.  BUT my kids love it here.

 

I've found that there are two types of neighborhood kids:

 

1) No need for supervision.  These are the kids which are a joy to have over.  I do my thing.  They do their thing.

 

2) Constant need for supervision.  When these type of kids come over, I can't get anything done because I am constantly checking to see what they are doing, "fixing" things/spats, or entertaining them.  If these kids come over to play, I send them to play at the park.

 

Yes, we have a lot of #2 in our neighborhood and it does become trying at times.  They aren't bad kids, they just need constant supervision, even at 10, 11, 12 years of age.  

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A lot of the available kids in our neighborhood are somewhere else on the weekends -- with the non-custodial parent. And on the weekdays, they're in childcare until the parent gets home with them -- tired and hungry and equipped with homework. It's really hard to find time for them to spend with youngest dd. She just sort of gave up on trying.

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Oh, DS (and the other kids) have/had plenty of friendships. They just aren't neighborhood kid friendships. dS10 was just at a friend's house yesterday for three hours. It was a birthday party and there were a bunch of kids he knows from co-op. (We happen to have a fortunate big clump of boys in his age bracket at the co-op right now. For my ds' birthday party last December, there were 15 boys here!)

 

On the one hand, it is kind of a pain to have to drive somewhere to establish playdates. On the other hand, I can't pretend I don't like that control. I don't like the wild card of neighbor kids who may pr may not be ideal companions.

 

One downside to rural/small town living, in my opinion, is that kids tend to be either/or:  They are either really good or really wild.

 

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What I had to realize is that it isn't all about me. Does the extra dirt tracked in annoy me? Yes! Do I hate that I can't lounge in PJ's all day? Yes! But, my kids need friends and friends are fun so I deal with a house full of neighbor kids or with not having any idea where half of my children are most of the time (they are safely playing at a neighbor's house and will be home at some point).

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Our rule for neighborhood playing is outside only. Always outside only. I have instructed my kids to never go inside someone's home and to never allow kids in our home. They can come home to use the restroom/eat a snack. I see no reason for kids to come indoors. 

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I have to admit that I've never actually met the neighbors with the kids.  :P  But if anything happens to my kids, I know where they live.  :P

 

I believe in kids developing their own relationships where possible.  Just my personal parenting style.  :)

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I don't like the wild card of neighbor kids who may pr may not be ideal companions.

 

Is it not a wild card that the kids in co-op may or may not be ideal companions?  How is this different from the assumption that homeschooled kids are better behaved?

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Perhaps it's an opportunity to meet the far off neighbors and get a feel for what kind of family it is. We lived in a very rural area and still knew who lived next door. Would you be happier if you knew their parents and if your kids went over there to play so it's not always your house?

 

Eh. Not really. I realize some people will object to what I am about to say, but I don't want to put in effort to get to know the neighbors. I have a passing acqaintance with the nearest-by neighbor (the mom); we've talked a few times because our mail carrier is dyslexic. ;) This family, the kids from today, it sounds like they are the next-farthest neighbor from the one I "know." I guess I just don't want to put effort into getting to know them. I don't want to be buddy chums with neighbors; I don't want to be enemies, either. I just prefer, "Yup, there they are. The Smith family." That kind of aloof interaction.

 

In a contest, I would prefer my son plays with them in my yard, over him going there (even if he were only in the yard there). But my first choice would be neighbors don't come over.

 

P.s. I can't see their house or yard from my house. You have to hike through the woods and it probably takes a 20-minute walk from their yard to ours. So...just saying that to establish that telling DS he can only play in their yard would be up to him to obey me. I would have no clue what he's doing over there.

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