Problem Child Next Door..what To Do About It??

Lounge By sweetcravings Updated 27 May 2008 , 10:00pm by michellenj

sweetcravings Posted 24 May 2008 , 10:33pm
post #1 of 25

icon_mad.gif Hi all, i was looking for some advise on how you would handle a problem child who lives next door to you. You see, i have one who lives next door. He is in grade 2, my son is grade 4. He has many behavioral issues, his mom and i talk all the time. He is in therapy, he acts out at home and school yada yada yada. The problem is my son seems to be the target of his aggression. My son is a very mild mannered boy. He does have his bad moments don't get me wrong, but he wouldn't start hitting someone out of the blue just for the heck of it. That's what is repeatedly happenning around here. Here is the scenerio...my son is outside playing with 'the boys'. Most are a year older then him, and one of them is the problem childs brother. For awhile they play nicely and then it turns badly. Often the 'problem' plays with the boys too. But for whatever reason, he feels left out, or he just wants attention he starts taking out his aggressions on my son. I think because he is the youngist of the older boys. Today he hit him twice in the 'privates' with a soft batt, he then threw a football at his chest, and thennnn he put a hard plastic cord around my son's neck and was pulling it..hard enough to leave a mark. So i asked my son...what do you do to provoke that? He says, "nothing, he just started hitting me". So i ask, "what did you do after all of that?. He said, "i told him that if he didn't stop i would 'make' him stop by pushing him.". I asked him what happened after that?...he says, "his brother said that they will sue me if i did". Thats when my son came home in tears. None of the other boys did anything, they just watched. My son didn't want to get physical and left. Now i don't believe hitting the kid is the answer, but my husband has said to my son..if he hits you again, defend yourself. My son is twice the size of the kid. My husband is tired of this shrimp bullying my son. I've approached the mother many a times and i approached her today. Something i really didn't want to do, because i believe the kids should fight their own battles, but how much am i suppose to tolerate? I've told his father in the past..'i've told nick that if anthony starts beating on him, that he should defend himself." I'm not going to let him stand there and get hurt. The parents didn't really say anything to that.
So i'm just conflicted..what would you tell your child? HOw would you handle this? The next door neighbour and us are very friendly..i don't wish to start a war over this. In spite of all the fighting my son still likes playing with them. My son is an only child, so he doesn't have other sibs to stick up for his side of the story.
My husband was bullied as a child, and his parents told him to fight..he did...and then the bully went away. DH thinks that's the answer, i'm not so sure. I mean my son could really hurt this kid.
Some of the problem is this problem child's brother often sticks up for his brother in spite of his bad behaviour. Thankfully today he told his mom the truth and she punished her child and made him apologize.
I just don't know how to handle this. Would you just let your child fight it out in the physical sense and stand behind them afterwards? We are really frustrated with this whole situation. I don't want to take away my son's play friends just becuase of this one bully, but what else can i do. I don't want to be jumping in all the time to fight my son's battles...HELP.

suz

24 replies
Doug Posted 24 May 2008 , 10:39pm
post #2 of 25

my mother's answer to same situation

me -- your son

she called other's kids mom.

told her next time she would make me go and tromp him

his mom agreed he deserved it and should get what was coming to him.

next time -- she did, I did, he got it.

sweetcravings Posted 24 May 2008 , 10:59pm
post #3 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug

my mother's answer to same situation

me -- your son

she called other's kids mom.

told her next time she would make me go and tromp him

his mom agreed he deserved it and should get what was coming to him.

next time -- she did, I did, he got it.




My husband totally agrees with your mom Doug. thumbs_up.gif The problem is his parents don't necessarily have that attitude. At least that is the impression i get. I think if my son were to hit the child in defense..it would go something like this....my son hits the child..the child runs to mommy...the brother sticks up for his younger brother(either by getting involved in the fight or by lying to protect him).....and then the 'adult' fights begin. I do believe she would call me and be furious, i do believe it may even end our friendship..they are sooo protective of their kids. They know their child is not well behaved but they stand by them. I don't plan on moving anytime soon so a war next door would be most unpleasent. thumbsdown.gif

cakesbycathy Posted 25 May 2008 , 12:55am
post #4 of 25

Time for your child to find some new friends. When the other mom wants to know why your son isn't playing anymore, then explain the situation to her.
OR have them play at your house where you can supervise and step in and send the child home for not playing nicely.

barbaranoel Posted 25 May 2008 , 1:08am
post #5 of 25

ohhh, sticky situation...

Here's my experience with neighbor kids:

Last year my son was playing with the neighbor kids, ALL the kids were throwing clumps of dirt around the back yard

fast forward two weeks, my neighbor on the other side knocks on the door to tell us she had called the cops to report her basement window was broken and needed to file a police report for the insurance company.

my son says the neighbor kids were the ones who actually broke the window (the brother), although my kid could have done it just as well- but after months of drilling him he never changed his story and doesn't lie well at all. Anyways.... the cop questioned all kids and then left it at that both boys (mine and theirs) were being "noted" in the report.

The sister stuck up for the brother and then an all out war started between the two families for a year - we are just now getting on solid feet with them and letting the kids play together again.


Other story:

My 10yr old was on the bus and there was a bully sitting with him and he kept poking him, bugging him and wouldn't leave him alone. Now, my son is a very passive, get along with everyone, respectful kid: until that moment. He slammed his head backwards and gave the kid a black eye! Yes, he got in trouble, but that kid never bothered him or anyone else on the bus again!



That's my experiences with this situation. I hope in someway it helps you.

Barb

sweetcravings Posted 25 May 2008 , 1:14am
post #6 of 25

Cathy..i wish i could just say, "find new friends"..or should i say, I've tried to tell him not to play with them BUT>>> my son gets sooo upset when i forbid him to play with them. There are very few kids in the neighbourhood, my son is an only child so no sibs to play with. Without those kids my son would have no one in the immediate area to play with. So i feel like i have my hands tied to some extent.
Oh and i am outside a lot when they play, i've seen this kids behavior first hand and have called him on it BUT>> there is only so much i can supervise without driving my son crazy. He's at the age where he doesn't want mom hanging around them at all times. When he was younger it was easier to monitor, but at this age he is playing all over the place so it's hard to supervise at all times.

sweetcravings Posted 25 May 2008 , 1:25am
post #7 of 25

Wow barb, that's some situation. I feel so bad for your son. He sounds just like my son, very passive and respectful. My son is mature for his age as well and is extremely well behaved. It's too bad your son got blamed for something he didn't do. I always tell my son that if the kids are doing something bad he shouldn't hang with them because he will be guilty by association. When you say that childs sister stood up for the brother..that has happened many a times next door. The older brother covers for the younger and my son is pegged as the bad one.
Sometimes i think it would be better for my son just to scare the snot out of the kid by getting a little physical..but i know it would cause conflict with his parents.
It's funny, while eating the doorbell rings. It's problem child, he says, "nick can you come out to play". My son says, "no". The boy asks why?, my son says, "because i'm staying in for the rest of the day". He said, "later". My son says, "no' and closes the door.
So this little kid obviously is confused in the head. One minute he's beating my child and the next minute he likes him enough to call on him to play.
I told my son that next time he calls on him to play he should just say, "no, i don't like playing with people who hit me for no reason at all". I told my son to give him the cold shoulder for a few days and see if he smartens up. Not likely but it's worth a shot.
You know i've tried to reach out to this child sooo many times. Given him attention, treated him well and still he can act sooo ignorant. He's even thrown dirt on me in spite of everything i've done for him. I feel bad for the kid, but i don't know how much more i can take. There's only so much i will put up with before I give up on trying to help him.
It's such a mess.

ElectricCook Posted 25 May 2008 , 4:42am
post #8 of 25

I had to reply. If he is puttig a cord around your sons neck and pulling hard enough to leave a mark that is not ok!!

What happens the next time he does it and he chokes him?? Sorry I didn't mean to do it / I didn't know what I was doing will not help either.

I also have an only (DS 8yrs) and there are kids he is not allowed to play with. I can't get a way from my neighbors either, the moms are "Stop, Drop and Hunt Down" and are always looking for me to take the kids.

I make playdates for my son and they are not at my house so that I don't get any uninvited guests. I talk to the other moms that I trust and tell them that I would like my DS to have other friends and just say he needs more friends.

I refuse to let my child be a punching bag for someone elses messed up child. That sends the wrong message to your child and he will grow up accepting and taking s**t from people.

Yes, you have to live next door to "The Little Brat From H*LL", but you don't have let your son play with them just because they are convient.

Explain to your son that you want him to have nice and caring friends. You will have to go the extra yard and find a kid you like and a mom you can trust with your son. Once you do this your son will be happy to be away from the "nice little boy next door".

We all want to be friendly with our neighbors but if they get the message that your son is always busy, they will stop asking to play.

Sorry this is long, but one of my pet peeves is taking S**T from people just because you want to be friendly.

My sons happiness comes first and screw the neighbors.

Please read my signature. I really believe it.

sweetcravings Posted 25 May 2008 , 1:20pm
post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElectricCook

I had to reply. If he is puttig a cord around your sons neck and pulling hard enough to leave a mark that is not ok!!

What happens the next time he does it and he chokes him?? Sorry I didn't mean to do it / I didn't know what I was doing will not help either.

I also have an only (DS 8yrs) and there are kids he is not allowed to play with. I can't get a way from my neighbors either, the moms are "Stop, Drop and Hunt Down" and are always looking for me to take the kids.

I make playdates for my son and they are not at my house so that I don't get any uninvited guests. I talk to the other moms that I trust and tell them that I would like my DS to have other friends and just say he needs more friends.

I refuse to let my child be a punching bag for someone elses messed up child. That sends the wrong message to your child and he will grow up accepting and taking s**t from people.

Yes, you have to live next door to "The Little Brat From H*LL", but you don't have let your son play with them just because they are convient.

Explain to your son that you want him to have nice and caring friends. You will have to go the extra yard and find a kid you like and a mom you can trust with your son. Once you do this your son will be happy to be away from the "nice little boy next door".

We all want to be friendly with our neighbors but if they get the message that your son is always busy, they will stop asking to play.

Sorry this is long, but one of my pet peeves is taking S**T from people just because you want to be friendly.

My sons happiness comes first and screw the neighbors.

Please read my signature. I really believe it.




Thanks for your advise.
We actually insisted my son not play with the neighbour boys all last year..for this very same reason. My son protested at first but got over it. Since the weather warmed up they are outside all the time. We thought they had matured, so we allowed our son to go play again. I guess we were wrong. That little guy is still messed up.
Just 10min ago the doorbell rings. Its problem child, asks my son if he can come out to play. My son says yup i'll be right out. I asked my son where he was going and he told me..i flipped out. I said, "nick what did i tell you yesterday? Tell him you don't want to play with him because you don't like playing with people who hit you". My son's response, "mom, you told me i didn't have to take your advise if i didn't want to!". I then said, "i know i told you how I would handle this, but come on nick..if you keep letting him beat you up and you take him back he will keep doing what he's doing". My son just shrugged his shoulders and said he really wanted to go out to play..so i let him. I dunno, maybe he needs to learn the hard way. Clearly he hasn't reached his limit with this kid yet. My son is a very forgiving child. I just hate seeing him take this runt back. I want to give my child the power to handle this but at the same time it kills me to see him being treated like a punching bag. Needless to say..Dh just went outside to work. He will keep an eye on the kids.

mbelgard Posted 25 May 2008 , 2:13pm
post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetcravings


My son's response, "mom, you told me i didn't have to take your advise if i didn't want to!".

Clearly he hasn't reached his limit with this kid yet.




What is his limit? If this kid is choking him with a cord it could easily lead to death. At this point I think that it's a mistake to let your child decide what's going on, he's too young to be making decisions about his safety.


Personally if my kid came home with strangulation (sp?) marks I would have been on the phone filing a police report. Upsetting the neighbors would be the last of my worries.

sweetcravings Posted 25 May 2008 , 4:32pm
post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbelgard

Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetcravings


My son's response, "mom, you told me i didn't have to take your advise if i didn't want to!".

Clearly he hasn't reached his limit with this kid yet.



What is his limit? If this kid is choking him with a cord it could easily lead to death. At this point I think that it's a mistake to let your child decide what's going on, he's too young to be making decisions about his safety.


Personally if my kid came home with strangulation (sp?) marks I would have been on the phone filing a police report. Upsetting the neighbors would be the last of my worries.





I asked my son more about what he did to his neck. He said that anthony took the hard plastic 'edge' of the cord and was rubbing it on the side of his neck. He didn't wrap it around it..thankfully. You know its' so hard to get the full story when emotions are involved. HIs neck was already red from a small sunburn so i think the mark looked worse than it was.
I think from now on, i'm going to insist that he can only play with this child if an adult is outside supervising them. That way i can see what is happening.

Auryn Posted 25 May 2008 , 11:27pm
post #12 of 25

no offense
but your his mother
if you say no its no
Ive never understood this where kids are allowed to trump the parent's mandates.
When your kid comes home with a broken arm or a blinded eye, what are you gonna say??

You are supposed to stand up for your child and protect them, the hell with the neighbors. I can guarantee that if your son had left rope marks on their kid's neck, they wouldn't have taken it so lightly.

mbelgard Posted 25 May 2008 , 11:38pm
post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetcravings

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbelgard

Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetcravings


My son's response, "mom, you told me i didn't have to take your advise if i didn't want to!".

Clearly he hasn't reached his limit with this kid yet.



What is his limit? If this kid is choking him with a cord it could easily lead to death. At this point I think that it's a mistake to let your child decide what's going on, he's too young to be making decisions about his safety.


Personally if my kid came home with strangulation (sp?) marks I would have been on the phone filing a police report. Upsetting the neighbors would be the last of my worries.




I asked my son more about what he did to his neck. He said that anthony took the hard plastic 'edge' of the cord and was rubbing it on the side of his neck. He didn't wrap it around it..thankfully. You know its' so hard to get the full story when emotions are involved. HIs neck was already red from a small sunburn so i think the mark looked worse than it was.
I think from now on, i'm going to insist that he can only play with this child if an adult is outside supervising them. That way i can see what is happening.




Are you sure that your son isn't adjusting what happened so you won't ban him from the kids? My child is 9 and I know that he would understand that some things might need to be altered to get the reaction that he wants.

If the child made a mark on your kid's neck he would either have to be held down or standing still and even a passive kid would probably move if something hurt. Can you imagine standing still while someone rubbed a rope against your neck hard enough to leave a mark even the way your kid told it? If he was being held down then the other boys are involved in the abuse.

You are the one who has to decide this but I personally wouldn't let my kid play with someone who was messing with anything like a cord or rope around necks.

dldbrou Posted 26 May 2008 , 3:34am
post #14 of 25

The neighbor's child is learning this behavior from someplace. It could be his home environment or maybe he is getting it from television or games (x-box, etc.). I would never trust the child or worry about being uncomfortable about not letting your child play with him. Your job as a parent is to protect your child if you are capable. You have seen the warning signs and you are not sure what to do. Your child is taking the message from you about not wanting to cause trouble with the neighbors. If you want him to stand up for himself, then you also have to stand up for him. You go straight to the child, and tell him that if he ever causes pain to your child that you will have the police pick him up and put him in a foster home until he can get control of his aggression. You need to scare the dickens out of that child and let the parents know that you will follow through if they can not make the child understand that being a bully is not healthy for anyone. Do not wait until it is too late to take control of the situation and show your child that it is not okay for someone to abuse them. My son is also an only child and I have stepped in and confronted a child about his bulling. Believe me, they do not realize how serious things could get if they are taken away from their family.

sweetcravings Posted 26 May 2008 , 11:34am
post #15 of 25

Thank you everyone for your thoughts. It's really made us rethink our approach on things. We are going to tell our son he is not to play with them unless we are outside to supervise them. That way we will be able to step in if anything negative happens. I thought long and hard about my son playing with that kid yesterday. They had no problems, but what if something did happen. It would be my son's word against their son's. Since my son is older he would probably be the one they would look down on. So we are going to put a stop to it immediately.
Dldbrou, you are so right...we are sending the wrong message. I have stood up for my son before but not so much so with this little kid because i didn't want to overstep 'parenting boundries'. I figured i would let my neighbour deal with it, and that's why i have always approached her. I think i should be approaching the kid instead.
Thanks everyone.

Texas_Rose Posted 26 May 2008 , 11:54am
post #16 of 25

I'm not sure approaching the child directly would be the best way to go. It's going to make the parents really upset. You should definitely intervene if you see him hurting your son, but seeking him out and basically threatening him could get you in some trouble. If another adult spoke to my child alone the way someone suggested, and said the things that it was suggested that you say, I would call the police on that adult.

I think your idea of supervising the kids when they play outside is the best thing to do. It's more time-consuming on your part but it will let the bully know that you're watching him. One thing that I've learned about kids, especially school-age kids...if an adult yells at them to stop, no matter who the adult is, they stop. Just get a lawn chair or two, and sit under a tree with a book while your son plays.

mbelgard Posted 26 May 2008 , 1:10pm
post #17 of 25

You might want to let the parents know that the next time your child is assaulted you will be contacting the police but I would not approach the child about any of it.

If you are still going to allow your son to play with him please don't relax your rules about you being there in a few months in the hope that this child is better. From personal experience I doubt it's going to change without professional help and parents commited to making him behave. I have a cousin who used to beat us up, he was the golden child of both my aunt and grandma so he was never corrected and they often blamed us for bothering him. Since he was a farm boy (strong) who only picked on those of us who were unable to fight him (I'm personally 5 years younger) there wasn't much we could do about it but avoid him, he only got worse as he aged.

sweetcravings Posted 26 May 2008 , 1:46pm
post #18 of 25

Ok...so update...

I called the neighbour this morning. I told her that i wasn't going to allow my son to play with her kids unsupervised anymore. I told her to please not take it personally, it's just i have to protect my son and i can't be certain something like that will not happen again. She took it fine. She said, if that were to happen again then my son should push her son down, and protect himself. I was shocked to here her say that. Overall, the conversation remailned calm and i think she was ok with it. After i thought more about it I figured it was better to talk with the parent and not the child. I think she would've been more mad if i threatened her son.
I told my son, he wasn't happy but, oh well. I told him he will understand one day. I told him we will have him start calling other friends over so that he will have play friends. . That i wouldn't allow him to be abused by this kid. He deserves better.
This whole situation really got me upset. But i feel so much better knowing that my son is out of harms way.
Thank you everyone for your insight. It really helped me see things in a clearer light.
suz

costumeczar Posted 26 May 2008 , 5:34pm
post #19 of 25

I'm glad this seems to be in the resolution stage for you, but I had to add...If a kid is disturbed in some way, like this little boy seems to be, then having your son fight back isn't going to do a thing to stop the situation. I think you did the right thing by putting his parents on notice, but the fact that his mother told you to let your son fight back tells me that she's given up on disciplining the kids herself (which is probably the problem!)

Just keep an eye on them when they're playing, but put limits on it. There are some brats in my neighborhood, and my kids aren't allowed to play with some of them, and with others only under certain conditions. Depends on their brat-level! Your son might be mad at you, but he's probably relieved on some level, too.

7yyrt Posted 26 May 2008 , 11:16pm
post #20 of 25

I'm sorry, but you need to move.

Been in the same situation with girls. It will not get better! That kid has problems, big problems.

We lost $12,000 we couldn't afford to lose by moving. It was the best thing we could have done for our daughter.

To have an enemy next door is a very scary feeling even for a grown up, let alone a child.

4Gifts4Lisa Posted 27 May 2008 , 1:19am
post #21 of 25

Everyone has given good advice. I would tend to agree that while you don't want your child to solve problems with physical violence, he does have the right to protect himself. Removing the object from his neck and not returning it to the other kid...taking the bat he was hit with and not returning it. Blocking any attempted hits or kicks. Has your son taken a self-defense class? My son (11) and daughters (15 and 5) take taekwondo. They have learned to protect themselves. Some kid kept hitting my 5 year old on the bus. She told us, and my DH said, "What are you going to do about it next time?" And they role-played. My DD used her arms to do a block move. She used the move on the kid the next time, and it worked.

My 15 yr old DD was bullied at her school a few years ago. We tried everything...even the principal would not help. Finally I told my child, "You have my permission to beat the living sh** out of this kid if he touches you again". Told her that if she got suspended, we would do a fun activity every day. We never had a problem. Maybe b/c I told the principal what I had told her...<snicker>

Additionally, I would start documenting the injuries/attacks. Take pictures, use a ruler in the pictures.

SaraO Posted 27 May 2008 , 2:16am
post #22 of 25

It sounds like you have come to a solution that is working so far.

Another idea to consider would be to set up a meeting with everyone - your son, the neighbour kids, and the neighbour parents. At the meeting, you could give everyone a chance to talk about how they feel about what's been going on. During your turn, you could talk about how it really concerns you that your son was hurt. This might give the child a chance to think about and reflect on what he's doing outside of the sitatution (often kids with behaviour problems are impulsive and don't give much thought to their actions).

Then you could identify the problem by saying something like "Sometimes, you kids have fun together, but I'm really worried that my son is going to get hurt."

Then, get everyone to problem solve together, ask "What could we do about it?" and get everyone to generate ideas, including the perpetrator. Sometimes when people are part of the decision-making process they are more likely to follow-through. Make a list of all the ideas (dont shoot any down right away). Then go through each one as a group and see which ones sound like they would have the best consequences.

Having a meeting like that might be difficult in your situation but it's an idea to think about! All the best!

4Gifts4Lisa Posted 27 May 2008 , 2:34am
post #23 of 25

WOW, SaraO...you totally rock!!!

I wish you had been around for advice when my DD was getting bullied!

mkolmar Posted 27 May 2008 , 3:54am
post #24 of 25

Does this child have other issues (besides being a bully), I mean like special need issues? This is not typical behavior for a kid in 2nd grade at all. The fact that he's acting out this way is a sign of something a lot larger at hand. (can you tell I've been around behavioral kids a lot)
Start documenting and taking pictures of your sons marks just in case. If there is any sort of problem, document it.
If you need to call the cops, go from there.

You are in a tough situation and although it sounds like you and the neighbors parents are on the same mind frame right now, still be careful.

michellenj Posted 27 May 2008 , 10:00pm
post #25 of 25

I'm glad you talked to the parents. At least you know their stance on this issue. I agree with the posters who think this child is disturbed. It reminds me of the kid who killed his cousin by doing a wrestling move on her, and ruptured her liver or some other organ.

As a mom myself, if my child were behaving in the manner that this child is behaving, I'd be kicking his butt and possibly getting him to a therapist. It seems a little bit "off" that the mom isn't more concerned.

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