Update on Dad's neighbor

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by keista, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. keista

    keista New Member

    So the kids and I went to visit my Dad yesterday. Within 10 minutes of us being there, my Aunt (Dad's wife - they are cousins once removed) told me that the neighbor, Mr A said that I should got talk to him as soon as I got there. WTF? He's making demands on me? They were a little confused as to what was going on since I didn't fill them in on my conversation, so I filled them in. At first, Aunt was saying that I shouldn't make it no contact, but change the contact (by the way she was seeing the red flags long before I was, and trying to discuss them with me) I managed to explain that changing the contact was way to much work because she had talked to Mr A, I had talked to Mr A, and he still was not getting it. It wasn't my job to teach him how to be and act like a responsible adult. She wholeheartedly agreed.

    When he realized we were there he called asking me to go talk to him. Fortunately my Dad, the clueless yet blunt one, took the call. I told Dad to tell him that there was nothing to discuss. I as the Mom made a decision and that was that. End of story.

    The kids did ask why they couldn't hang with Mr A. I told them that ppl aren't always as they appear to be and that I noticed something that was not right, so I'm stopping the contact. They were a bit bummed, but accepted that. DD1 did specifically as what I noticed. I told her that it was a grown up issue, and that it even took me a while to notice it, so as kid, they probably wouldn't understand. BUT It's my job as their Mom to do everything I can to protect them. You kids trust me to do that, right? Yes. If Mom ends up being wrong, they miss out on some fun, but if Mom ends up being right, they end up safe. They were OK with that.

    What sux for me as their mom is that it seems like I keep sending ppl away from them. I wouldn't have to do that if my family wasn't such a crazy magnet! How the F to I demagnetize us?????????

    Talking with Aunt, I found out even more background on the neighbor that was even more disturbing. The real reality is that he TRULY does not "get" what he was doing wrong. And it's not just in this situation, but others as well. Aunt has "corrected" him on several things and he gives her this little boy deer in the headlights look, as if he were 5 and truly did not "get" what the consequences would be. He was/is a real difficult child masquerading as a easy child. He is not mentally handicapped, he's actually quite intelligent, he is not Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). In a word - CRAZY.

    I am embarrassed it took me so long to REALLY put the pieces together, but I am so glad I finally did.

    Funny thing, Aunt thanked me for this, she felt quite liberated, but also felt an odd Mr A withdrawal. See, whenever she and Dad have company, Mr A just comes over and makes himself at home. Dad doesn't really mind this kind of crazy behavior so he allows it, and she feels helpless to say anything about it. I hope I set an example for both of them that all they have to do is tell him in advance NOT to come over.
  2. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    Sometimes people need the blunt 2 x 4 method of communication. If he was that clueless about boundaries its good you stopped it. DD1 could not have stopped him.

    It stinks being the first one in the family to change behavior, but you are setting a good precedent.
  3. buddy

    buddy New Member

    wow, excellent job. The dynamics of it all are kind of interesting, now that you can take a step back and explain it all to us. I think you are right, seems like he has what (for lack of a diagnosis---since we dont know him) is a difficult child kind of person or in my Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) world would be a "pragmatic language/communication" issue (those people who just dont have the social communication skills and seem just "off") Whether or not it is an innocent difficult child very awkward thing or a difficult child, not so innocent behavior is not for you or us to decide anyway, just interesting. You just had to do what you did and not take the risk no matter what. I think you are right, you probably set a good example for your dad and aunt, not to mention your kids.
  4. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Amen. There are parts of parenting that are so so difficult and often unexpected. Even if you have some doubts, you have taken the high road of parenting. Hard to do but the right choice. Way To Go. DDD
  5. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    You gave a very good age appropriate explanation to your girl. Like you said, better be safe than sorry.
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    You did a great job of handling this. Esp wiht explaining it to the girls.
  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    It doesn't necessarily mean that this fellow has "intent" to harm. The kids might ask when they are older - and you can explain more then. I have an older cousin with brain damage at birth. Fairly high-functioning. All us younger cousins had to be taught to avoid certain situations when he was around - because he didn't understand what was appropriate and what was not. He wasn't mentally capable of putting it all together - but we still needed protection.
  8. keista

    keista New Member

    Thanks all.

    I just hope my "trust card" with the kids doesn't run out on me. Fortunately I have actively fostered such a relationship with them, but even so, I'm sure there are only so many times they're gonna accept the "wait til you're older" explanation. :sigh: I'm so sad for them.