19 July 2007

The fly in the ointment

Of course there has to be one.

We share a back field with the neighbours on either side, both of whom have children. They all play together (including a preteen boy who is very fond of playing with the FB which does feel a bit weird) in the back field but also in our back yard which is meant to be private. Now it is fine that they all are in there when the FB is out, but they've taken to using it as a shortcut when he isn't there, and being an intensely private person I'm not happy about that. There is also a problem with one of the children who has taken an immediate dislike to the FB (not enough of a dislike for him not to come round and play with all the FB's toys), calling him names and trying to isolate the FB from the other children. I don't know how to handle all this. I don't want to appear standoffish and therefore cause problems for the FB but I also don't want my backyard to become their playground and I certainly don't want the name calling etc to continue.

Any suggestions?


meggie said...

O a really hard one.
Could you have a word to the child doing the name calling, & suggest to him, that it is not appropriate. Or approach his parents?
And keep an eye on the one who seems a bit over interested in the FB. It might wear off, but you never can be too careful.
Good Luck!

caramaena said...

Sorry, no real advice, since I've never had to deal with this sort of thing (yet, probably!) but good luck.

How old is FB again? If he's only really youngish - perhaps make sure they only play together supervised in the back yard for a while (my yard/my rules etc)?

Stomper Girl said...

I wouldn't be too worried about the pre-teen. I mean, I wouldn't leave FB and him totally unsupervised as you hardly know these people yet, but I have found that older kids do find kids of FB's age really sweet - old enough to talk and be funny but not old enough to be really annoying or demanding. We have lots of older cousins and have seen this a fair bit.

nutmeg said...

Yes, it is difficult scenario for you in that you are new to the area, new to the people, etc. A fine line between protecting your FB and offending the new neighbours. A hard one indeed. Caramaena's suggestion of the supervised play in your yard is a good one.

As to them using your yard as a shortcut - I would be as disturbed as you in that it is your private place for you to use at your discretion. On that issue I would have to have a talk with the kids and/or their parents. I would hope to bring it up in a "casual" manner when you see them next. If it continues, maybe a letter to the parents could be an idea.

velcro said...

I spoke to the mother of the child doing the name calling yesterday but didn't mention the problem with her child but we did talk about the older child (not her's). I suspect that her child is feeling a bit put out that the older child wants to play with the FB as name caller and older child are friends. We also talked about the back yard and she suggested putting a lock on the gate to stop it being used as a shortcut and to stop the kids playing in it when the FB is not there. She has very strict rules about when her yard can be used which was good to know.

velcro said...

thankyou for your suggestions. The FB is 3 and not used to name calling etc, and I was rather hoping to protect him from it for a little while longer.

Liz said...

Don't really have helpful advice. When I see kids acting mean I'm always surprised, where did they learn it? And then I read the paper and remember how mean adults can be.... I think the FB is still young enough to be sheltered from all that. And how nice to know you have a neighbor who has rules, perhaps one will be "No name calling"????

caramaena said...

I wondered if it was a bit of jealousy on the name-caller's behalf too.

The lock on the gate sounds like a good idea as well.

h&b said...

Can you lock the private area ?

I am a private person too, and although I like chatting to my neighbours out the front, I wouldn't like to see them strolling around my backyard uninvited.

And I *hate* bully-boys ( and girls ). I let them know i'm on their case with the evil eye, and well-phrased remarks with sinister 'watchit kid' meaning.

I'm pretty good at getting my message across ;)