Thursday, July 26, 2012

Kids and parents

I'm having issues with the neighbor kid and dealing with them is complicated. She is a year older than Shanna and she likes to think that makes her the boss. Lately she has been physically preventing Shanna from doing things I tell Shanna to do.

Yesterday I tried to go over to her house and talk to her and her family about it. I talked to the grandmother first. Then the mom. The mom didn't want me to talk to the kid and said she would handle it. The thing is, this kid is in my house 20-30 hours a week. If I can't talk to the kid about stuff then she can't be here.

I'm feeling extremely conflicted. On one hand I TOTALLY GET WANTING TO MICROMANAGE YOUR KIDS. On the other hand, when someone is a caregiver nearly full time... uhm... well... telling me not to talk to your kid about issues is kind of a problem. I think I'm going to need to start sending her home a lot. And Shanna won't be allowed to play over there.

The grandmother is ostensibly in charge during the day but she spends a lot of time lying down in the other room. She has migraines and a variety of mental health issues that are mostly untreated. She is on meds and she thinks that is all she needs to do for them. Uhm. If you spend more than twenty hours a week in bed because you are sad then your mental health issues aren't treated. Ask me how I know.

It's hard trying to figure out the right thing to do. I think I need to start watching them like hawks and sending her home at the first sign of trouble on a day. If I don't then she punches Shanna. This is getting ridiculous.

I can be honest and admit that part of the problem is I don't like little kids. They are assholes. (Yes, mine too.) The thing is, this is a little asshole I'm not allowed to discipline or tell no. I'm not going to put up with that shit. If you are going to grow up to be a fucking bully you can do it somewhere else.

But then I feel like, "If no one helps this kid... no one will help this kid." This is how I fell through the cracks, you know? But she's hitting my fucking kid. Pretty soon I am going to hit her. The last time she punched Shanna in the stomach hard enough to knock Shanna down and wind her I sent her home and didn't let her come back for a week. I don't think the kid's family cared.

On one hand I feel bad not letting them play because it means that I am dooming Shanna to a lot of alone time. On the other hand I don't want Shanna getting used to people hitting her. She shouldn't think that is just a standard part of friendships.

It's not just the hitting though. I told Shanna to go put her scooter in the yard and this kid physically blocked her and told Shanna she wasn't allowed into my yard. WTF?! And her mom wouldn't let me talk to her about it.

Thank goodness she starts school soon. Thank goodness. Thank goodness. Thank goodness. Maybe we will just get busier and not have time for the kid. Too bad I don't want to drive much.


  1. I guess you did the right thing by going to the mother & grandmother...

    If this is the same neighbor girl you talked about before, I'd skip the family. If you're willing to have her at your house (and I understand she comes over on her own), you can tell her "here are the house rules and the consequences for not following them" and use school-type discipline. (timeouts, etc.)

    Yes, you'll probably have to supervise a lot at first until she adjusts to the rules. I know that's not your preferred way to have kids play at your house. However, I have the impression that you're a bit invested in having the girl do better because of her interaction with your family than she would otherwise.

    It's a tough one that I've mostly sidestepped by not being a stay-at-home parent. Good luck.


    1. Well, we haven't seen her since then. I think that mom doesn't like me. Problem solved?

  2. I don't see where the mom/family gets to say "no, don't talk to her about it." We all know that corrections need to happen in real time, with logical consequences, or they don't stick, ESPECIALLY when dealing with the smalls. I think If the child is being supervised by you, you get to act as needed, in the moment. You can certainly inform the family after the fact that x,y, or z happened, and I they don't like how you are handling things, they need to stop sendin their kid over to your house. Plus, if you don't act to correct her misbehaviors in the moment, Shanna is left unsupported, which is ALSO a lesson, and one I don't think you are interested in teaching, based on our seemingly similar parenting strategies.

    Side note: hey look, I can comment on stuff! Something in the interface seems to have been fixed.

    1. Yay for correctly working features.

      We haven't seen the kid since I talked to the family. I guess they have decided they don't like my methods. Ok.