Need advice on how to handle neighborhood drama

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by shellyd67, May 25, 2010.

  1. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    We have had the same group of neighbors since we moved to our home 12years ago. All our children have grown up together. We consider them good friends and vice versa. There have been many times through the years there has been extreme tension due to difficult child's behavior issues. I have ALWAYS been the type of parent to be aware of things difficult child has done to other kids such as, bossiness, lying, aggressiveness, being in their personal space, arguing, etc.... He has NEVER hit another child and believe me alot of these kids do the same things just in a different way (whining, crying, complaining etc.) He has been punished if the behavior is extreme and made to apologize. Once he told the neighbors cousin he was going to burn his house down ( that didn't go over big and mortified was an understatement) Alot of the times he is unaware how much he annoys other kids (poor kid) It seems like everytime he is outside playing all I hear is the other kids screaming his name for something he has done. It is getting very old ! Now again let me stress all the kids in the neighborhood have some sort of issue but he always seems to be the blame. For many years I blamed him too until husband pointed so many things out to me and suggested I pay closer attention to the other kids behaviors.

    He wants to spend so much time at the neighbors house and I am sure they are just being nice and letting him play there so not to create more tension. Many times we will not let him go inside so we don't have to worry what the heck he will do. I did speak with my neighbors explaining difficult child's problems and issues and asked that if he misbehaves to send him right home. He hasn't been sent home but I think they will feel I will be mad if he is sent home. Sorry for rambling but this has been a heavy burden on me for years now.

    If anyone has any strategies or advice I would love to hear it !
  2. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hi Shelly! Sounds like my neighborhood and difficult child 1! The worst part here is that my neighbors (for the primary part) are my nephews! Makes for a really awkward Thanksgiving every year, let me tell you! :D

    First of all, I'm sorry I'm not really familiar with your background with your difficult child. My first diagnosis for difficult child 1 was adhd and ODD - and your description of your son really really sounds like mine. Have you had a neuropsychologist done? He sounds very much like and Aspergers kind o' kiddo to me (of course, you've probably been asked this a thousand times so I'm sorry if I'm being repetitive!).

    Nine is a rough age. He's probably swamped with negative responses. Have your tried praising the good things that he's doing when he's outside (even something small - like handing off a toy or helping another kid up when they fall)? It might be a very small step, but I've found that it seems to waylay SOME (definately not all) of the repetitive bad behaviors.

    Know that you're not alone! I'm walking the same fine line that you are - it's not fun, but it certainly keeps us on our toes!

  3. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    One thing I learned was that our neighbor really didn't mind having Tigger over. I was a nervous wreck letting him go there - but for a long time their son was Tigger's only friend. It has been about 4 years now and the boys remain friends. The other boy's father even invited Tigger to join their scout troop. I think that some people are just compassionate and give our difficult children the understanding they need.
  4. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    I love how you picked up on the other kids doing the same thing but in different ways. That is so true - all kids have their moments and just because difficult children' are sometimes stronger moments doesn't mean they are the only ones learning how to control themselves. The whining, complaining, ect. are classic kid behaviors. It could also be that the neighborhood kids have picked up on the fact that difficult child has a harder time controlling behavior and thus he is an easy target for their blaming. Just say difficult child was behind everything, the adults will believe it.

    With the adults, I would have another talk with them and explain that you are working on certain behaviors but they will not get changed if you are not aware of them. The adults telling you what they see and hear will only help your with difficult child.

    When my difficult child was in 5th grade and living through his nightmare of a year, his teacher told me EVERYTHING. She would say, I hate always telling you bad things about your son but the other teachers think it is important that you know every incident. They were correct. I really could not have helped difficult child through that behavior if I didn't know the extent of it. Your adult neighbors need to know that. Give them specific things to look for if you are suspicious of certain behaviors.

    As for the neighborhood kids, keep an eye out for them using difficult child as the scapgoat. You do know that a child will tell only their part of the story. If something does not look right, talk to each kid involved to find their version. Keep having the kids go back a step and back a step until you discover the very beginning of the problem. Why did difficult child act that way? Was is because he was provoked or was he really the one to start it? Then work with difficult child to help him recognize what happened and help him figure out when and where he might have been able to make the outcome different. Point out that two wrongs don't make a right and that he should ask you for help if he feels that something is not going right or if he doesn't know how to handle a situation.

    It is good that you are open to knowing that your difficult child doesn't always have control or make the best decisions but keep in mind the other kids don't either and with him wanting so much to fit in is he becoming a follower that gets everything dumped on?
  5. FlipFlops

    FlipFlops Guest

    I had the same problems with neighbors. We moved. hahaha. We didn't move because of them. We found a great deal on a bigger house. Getting new neighbors was just a huge bonus. The new neighbors are so much better, well maybe that's because they don't have yound kids anymore. hahahahaha.