Need Advice Concerning A Neighbor.....(Very Long)

Lounge By jen1977 Updated 24 Mar 2007 , 4:08pm by shelbur10

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jen1977 Posted 22 Mar 2007 , 1:38pm
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Can anyone give me some advice on what I should do in this situation? I don't want to make it any worse! Our next door neighbor likes to send her six year old daughter out to our yard to play, and she stays inside the entire time. Pretty much the only time we would see her out is if she was going to smoke a cigarette, or her little princess runs inside to tattle because she didn't get her way. When she would be out on the rare occasion to chat, we have always gotten along well. She is about 15 or so years older than me, and their two kids run their house.

Last October, my two boys (6 and 4) were playing with another neighbor in a big tree we have in our backyard. The three of them had been playing a game nicely for about an hour or so....enter spoiled neighbor who wants to change the game to what she wants to play. My oldest and the other neighbor told her she could play with them, but they were already playing a game. Well, she didn't like that at all, and went in crying to her mom. I was sitting right by the back door the entire time reading a magazine, and saw and heard everything that happened. Out comes the little princess with her mom, who starts yelling at my boys and tells them she is going to split the tree in half. WTH! The tree is in my yard! I called for the mom to come over to talk to me. Starts out very calm and nice with me telling her what really happened, and I don't want her telling my kids what to do....especially if I'm sitting right there! I asked her if she has a problem with my boys, to come to me, not them. She starts yelling at me like I'm her child, and the entire thing quickly escalates to a yelling match, teil I decide it's crazy and go i. The ONLY thin I said about her daughter was 1)my boys aren't angels, but neither is "Jane", and 2)all "Jane" has to do is run in crying, and she comes out yelling at all of the other kids when she doesn't even know what happened. Well, she has not spoken one word to me or my boys since. We have all been out several times recently, and she makes a point to ignore my boys when they say hi to her, and she won't even look at me. I was over the whole thing in about 15 minutes, she obviously still isn't! "Jane" told my boys yesterday all about her birthday party in January, and my oldest asked her why they weren't invited, and she says.....Well, I hav an ivitation for you guys, and my brother decided he didn't want you guys to come, so he threw your invitation i nthe trash, and my mom said it was fine with her. My boys were obviously upset, and my oldest told her it really hurts his feelings, and also makes him sad that her mommy won't even say hi to them when they say hi. This all has to end, especially since warm weather will be here to stay very soon, and we'll have our trampoline up, etc. It will be a VERY long summer if this isn't resolved. I'm scared to go toalk to her, becasue I know what she will do. Is it ok to send her a letter first? Wha tshould I say?

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jen1977 Posted 22 Mar 2007 , 2:31pm
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I know it was really long, but anyone? Even if you think I should let it go or whatever, I can take it. I put my big girl panties on when I got up this morning icon_lol.gif

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ge978 Posted 22 Mar 2007 , 2:39pm
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omg Jen..your big girl panties icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

It is an akward situation....but it can probably get better. I think you might have to be the one to swallow your pride and make the first, i don't think you were wrong in this at all, but if its affecting your kids, it might be the only thing you can do.
You could write a letter and wait for her move or you can go over...which ever you think would be most could say...i'm sorry things got so heated....lets see if we can work this out, blah blah blah.
If she still can't get over it or continues to yell then I would say screw it because she obviously isn't adult enough to deal with it.

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shelbur10 Posted 22 Mar 2007 , 2:57pm
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My guess is that she'll be eager to resolve it this summer so she can continue to send her 'little angel' to play in your yard.
Honestly, I don't think I would bother. It sounds like she's just using you as a babysitter at the best of times. Shrug off the awkwardness if you can, you didn't do anything wrong. Explain to your boys that this is not your fault or their fault and there are some people in the world who just don't know how to act!

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jen1977 Posted 22 Mar 2007 , 3:02pm
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Thanks guys...I just keep going back and forth...I really hate to have someone upset with me, especially if I know I didn't do anyhting to warrant it! It bothers me that she doesn't talk to any of us, mainly because I know it bothers my boys. She's almost 50, and needs to act like it. I really want to go tell her to put HER big girl panties on, but I know it wouldn't help the situation icon_lol.gif It's supposed to rain for the next several days, so we won't be out anyway. I just don't know how much good it would do to talk to her, especially if she hasn't acted like we're alive for the last 6 months.

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shelbur10 Posted 22 Mar 2007 , 3:10pm
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I know how you feel, but your boys will have to learn eventually that some people just act ugly for no good reason. Better that than them have her yell at them for no reason and have to put up with a spoiled, whiny playmate, IMHO.
Just keep telling yourself that you didn't do anything wrong and you're lucky that she's not speaking to you anymore. Who needs people like that in your life?

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m0use Posted 22 Mar 2007 , 3:16pm
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I would suggest that you sit down with your boys and explain why the neighbor should be mad only at you and not taking it on them, but unfortunately not all adults are nice enough to do that. Keep encouraging them to say Hi to her to show her that your children are still polite people. I'm sure if she really wants her kids to be able to jump on your trampoline she will say something to you soon enough. I'm sure "Jane" will whine and get her way when she sees that she can't jump on the trampoline with your boys.

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indydebi Posted 22 Mar 2007 , 3:17pm
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When we built our house, we were the only house in the subdivision with a swing set. No fences between the yards so all the kids thought we were the neighborhood playground. I quickly established the rule, "You can't play on the swingset if (my kid) isnt' out there. Go home!" I was running kids off of them all the time ... at first ... until everyone figured out the rules. (It was also a liability thing. No parents to watch them and they fall off of my swingset and break a leg? Although what absolutley got to me was when I would see parents walk their kids into MY backyard to play on MY swingset!!!!!! WTF!!!?).

Daughter got a sandbox. Ok...according to the rules, other kids could play if she was out there. Until I saw one kid throwing handfuls of sand into my grass! I threw open the door and said, "HEY! I don't pay good money for you to throw it in the grass! Go home!"

My house. My stuff. My rules.

I will not feel bad because I set rules for kids to follow and if they don't follow them, they have to leave. I dont' feel bad because I choose the friends my child plays with. (Oh yes you CAN pick their friends!) If you dont' like my rules, then buy your little princess her OWN swingset in her OWN backyard.

I don't want it to sound like I'm the big bad witch. Within a very short time, the neighborhood knew the rules and they respected them. They knew if they played nice, I'd take care of the "not so nice" kids and evict the not so nice kids so the nice kids could have a good time playing together.

It's a no-brainer to me.

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m0use Posted 22 Mar 2007 , 3:26pm
post #9 of 32

And kids need to learn how to play by the rules thumbs_up.gif

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navywifetrat Posted 22 Mar 2007 , 3:35pm
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We have had problems with an old neighbor before over some "girl drama". Once the parents got involved it seemed to go down hill from there. They basically told us to keep our kids on our side and they will keep theirs on their side of the street. How childish! It was really irratating because our DD would waive and say hello to the adults and they would just act like they didn't see her. I don't understand how adults can treat children that way (especially since it was my oldest DD that was into with their DD)! We just left everything alone and never really did have anything else to do with them.

I do agree with Indydebi in that if they come to your house, your rules apply. If that child gets hurt on your property, you will have to pay (or your insurance will). If they don't want to follow the rules, then they must leave and I always let the other parents know that.

Good luck with your neighbors. We have moved and are now having a little trouble with the neighbor now being a bully and saying things to our DD. It isn't easy living next to someone like this.

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bakingupastorm Posted 22 Mar 2007 , 3:39pm
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A friend of mine dealt with an extremely similar situation and she was quite frustrated about it as well.

The way my friend dealt with it is, her child simply does not play with her neighbor's child anymore. The children just fought with each other all the time and it was onlt spiraling out of control. It had been going on for a while though, about a year and a half. My friend's child is a boy and the neighbor child is a girl. I know it sounds strange but it was almost like my friend's child was being bullied by the little girl. The little girl's parents would always send her over to my friend's house to play and because the little girl was the "guest" she was getting her way a lot and I think the little girl was catching on to this and using it to her advantage. Eventually things just got hateful between the children and the "friendship" had to be ended. I think when it comes to children, friendships are harder between boys and girls. It sounds to me like you don't want it to come down to the children not being able to play together and neither did my friend, but after she exhuasted all other resources it came down to just that, not because of the children but because of the little girl's parents.
Now the little girl has found another little girl to play with and my friend's son has joined a t-ball team and is making new friends there. After some time and hurt feelings for the children, it all worked itself out eventually.

What your neighbor's children said to your children about the party invitations was just hateful and I'm sure it hurt your children's feelings very badly. It sounds to me like the comments were made with the intention of hurting feelings. Some children are just plain mean and most parents know that their children repeat a lot of what they hear and see and, I don't think it's a coincidence (sp?) that the children repeated what their mother said about throwing the invitation away. Sounds to me like this woman is using all of the children, including yours, to comunicate to you, (which is a dirty game), instead of coming to you and acting like an adult.
One of my favorite quotes is "You can act like an adult OR, you can actually be one."-Julia Roberts, "Stepmom".
Now while I don't have any children of my own and I can't honestly say what I would do in this particular situation, I can only tell you what another parent I know did.

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CakeLadyM Posted 22 Mar 2007 , 3:58pm
post #12 of 32

I certainly know what you guys are talking about!

Maybe you could make the first move, talk to the mom one-on-one. I WOULD NOT send a letter. Let's her think you've given it too much "time" thinking about the whole thing, which gives her entirely too much power in your head.

When you talk to her, see if you guys can't just agree to disagree, and let the kids be friends. But set some good ground rules before they all get back together. For instance, like INDYDEBI said--your house, your rules. Her house, her rules. Whatever happens, just try to keep your head about you. I know myself, that can be hard. Especially when dealing with your children, etc.

Hope you find resolution!


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Antylucifer Posted 22 Mar 2007 , 4:00pm
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Personally, I wouldn't send her a letter or do anything but kill her with kindness. You don't really need a neighbor like that for a friend. We all have too much stress in our lives and it's simply not worth it. She'll tire of the whole situation and nose herself back in. When that happens, the ball's in your court-you call the shots. Make a point to stress your boys have rules inside and outside thier home so if Jane wants to play with them, she has to abide by the same rules. Kids will work things out without interference, so your main rule is no tattle taling, including her or Jane. If Jane is playing at your house and runs home to tell on someone, she should just stay there for the rest of that day. You don't expect her or her mother running back to your house at all, the end.

If someone is physicaly fighting, bleeding, dangling from a tree or being attacked by a bear-of course you expect to be told, because there is a difference. Danger doesn't equal tattle tales. Jane sounds a bit like her mother, so your boys aren't missing out on much either, take advantage of the peace and quiet while you can. Once the weather turns nice, believe me-Jane will see your boys outside and things will go back to normal, only this time with your rules.

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jen1977 Posted 22 Mar 2007 , 7:24pm
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Thanks everyone. My boys said hi to them today, and again were ignored. I've told them over and over since last October that she isn't mad at them, she's mad at me, but it's hard for them to understand after yesterdays incident with the invitations. We have the fun yard in the neighborhood....trampoline, swingset, pool, sandbox, the fun trees. I really don't mind the kids being here playing if they play nice, and their parents are around. At least then I don't have to worry about the boys wanting to go elsewhere, but these people are really pushing it. Next week is the last week of school before spring break, so we'll see how everything plays out when we are out more and the trampoline is back up. I know I really need to talk to her, but I know how it's going to go. She's going to talk over me the entire time, get angry when I try to get my point across, and run in hte house. Her daughter does act just like her, but my boys really like playing with her. There aren't many children close to their age around, and all of them are girls. The getting your way and crying to mommy seems to be a girl thing around here. I hope my boys don't catch it!

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mbelgard Posted 22 Mar 2007 , 8:22pm
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Personally I wouldn't WANT this other kid coming over and playing, I like children when they're nice. I limit my son's time with a relative's child that's the same age because he can be a nasty little kid at times even though my son wants to see more of him.

If you let the little girl come back over you should have a new rule: parents aren't allowed to come over and yell at your kids.

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Sugarbunz Posted 22 Mar 2007 , 10:00pm
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You know what got me? That she yelled at YOUR children. Them's be fightin' words. If she has a problem she should have gone straight to you like an adult. She obviously has a maturity problem. I really don't have any advice because I would have a hard time making nice myself. I've dealt with nasty neighbors and sometimes I think laying down and taking it can be just as bad as fighting about it. Perhaps you should be nice, but lay down the law with her. Let her know you don't want to live next to her with the animosity (sp?), but that you'd like her to be more respectful of you and your children.

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jen1977 Posted 22 Mar 2007 , 10:24pm
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Originally Posted by Sugarbunz

You know what got me? That she yelled at YOUR children. Them's be fightin' words. If she has a problem she should have gone straight to you like an adult. She obviously has a maturity problem. I really don't have any advice because I would have a hard time making nice myself. I've dealt with nasty neighbors and sometimes I think laying down and taking it can be just as bad as fighting about it. Perhaps you should be nice, but lay down the law with her. Let her know you don't want to live next to her with the animosity (sp?), but that you'd like her to be more respectful of you and your children.

Your thoughts are mine exactly! I am a VERY nice person, many times too nice, but you mess with my kids, and you mess with the Mama Bear! I don't want to live next to her with her not speaking to me, but she WON't boss my kids again!

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dldbrou Posted 23 Mar 2007 , 1:15am
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You have seen the first signs of bulling from girl using mother as her backup (thug). It will only get worse if you go apologizing to her. You might be extremely nice and she knows it and expect you to make the first move. She will not be able to watch her spoiled child the entire summer. She will have to eat dirt and apologize to you. Stand your ground. Your sons will learn that they can not be treated with disrespect from anyone, adult or child. More than likely, the girl will come over without her mother apologizing and playing as usual. It could all blow over without anything being said. I just don't think you need to apologize for her rudness. The balls in your court, hang on to it.

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MustloveDogs Posted 23 Mar 2007 , 4:25am
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I would build a fence around the backyard with gates and that way they have to really ask permission to play with your sons. That way you have the control over the playing rules and who can and can't come in.
I know this seems extreme, but if it is all open area with no boundaries, they would treat it as an extension to their own backyard.

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bluehen92 Posted 23 Mar 2007 , 12:32pm
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Originally Posted by keira

I would build a fence around the backyard with gates and that way they have to really ask permission to play with your sons. That way you have the control over the playing rules and who can and can't come in.
I know this seems extreme, but if it is all open area with no boundaries, they would treat it as an extension to their own backyard.

I was thinking the same thing. I know it's expensive, but if at all possible it would be worth it. There are two girls (ages 9 & 10) in my neighborhood who have no respect for other people's property and I am so thankful that we have had a fence since day one. They are always in someone elses backyard (and the peoples yards they're playing in don't even have kids) and I just know that the parents will sue if either of them was to hurt themselves (that's how one of the families was able to afford their house in the first place). Especially if you have a trampoline, you can be in BIG trouble if she were to hurt herself. I personally don't like them because it's very easy to be seriously injured on one, and in some towns you are required to have a fence around them because they're an "attractive nusiance." Meaning that a kid wandering by is magically drawn to it and it's not their fault that they injured themselves while tresspassing on your property. It's not fair, but it's a law in many places.

As for the nasty mother teaching her daughter to be a bossy bully, I agree with the others who have said that your kids need to know that it's not because of anything they've done wrong, but that some people are just plain mean. They are under no obligation to play with this girl, nor are you under any obligation to watch her or allow her to play in your yard. Good luck.


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MariaLovesCakes Posted 23 Mar 2007 , 12:58pm
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Wow! Neighbors!

I didn't read the full thread yet, but maybe a fence around your house might be a nice idea. If you are putting a trampoline, it might be a good idea to keep it private for your kids. If this girl just wonders off to your backyard uninvited and God forbids, something was to happen, the mother may blame it on you.

I have neighbors that give me other kind of problems, like staying up until late talking loud and stuff but we have talked to them and they have quiet down. Only hope that it keeps.

But I think for your protection, your kids and any problems in the future, a fence might be a good idea.

I had to put a fence around one of my former houses once because the nieghbor behind us had two Rotwielder dogs and would let them loose and they would come over to our backyard. So, we said, okay, fence UP!!!

Let us know what happens. And I hope that everything works out for you. I know how stressful it can be!!!

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koolaidstains Posted 23 Mar 2007 , 1:19pm
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I honestly don't think that discussing anything with your neighbor with accomplish anything other than frustrating you. She sounds like she is the way she is and unless something happens in her own life to change the way she is, it just isn't going to change. I think the best thing to do is act like nothing has ever happened, seriously. I know it doesn't "solve" anything, but it's probably the best path to getting her to act civil towards you. But, as others have said, I also would distance yourself from her. Don't invite the girl over to play. If the girl asks you may even want to limit the amount of time she spends there.

Think of it this way... You've been fretting over this and letting it cause you stress. Your neighbor feels nothing and it's not bothering her at all. So I guess in a way I am saying let it go. That doesn't mean you have to allow the behavior again, but try to put this behind you and move on because your neighbor has. If your neighbor does ever come and talk to you, just listen. Don't argue with her or try to make your point, just let her talk. Now if she comes over yelling at your kids again that's entirely different. If something like that happens again, I would firmly tell her (not yelling, but a very firm serious tone), "You will not talk to my children like that." Then get your children and leave, even if it means going inside. Basically it's showing her you will not tolerate her behavior. She may think she's "won" because you went inside, but if you show her you can't be goaded into a fight she'll lose interest.

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Eggshells Posted 23 Mar 2007 , 1:22pm
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if it bothers you too much, bake a batch of chocolate chip cookies, bring her some and take your kids and do a round robin of apologies.

you have to realize that if she is almost that age, that she could be having her hormonal know..menopause, and some women react differently.

Some get very grouchy, and some go completely insane, while others, well, nothing happens.

She may be one of those in the grip of hormonal surges and poor impulse control.

Be the bigger man so you can carry peace in YOUR heart. If she decides to be the same grouchy hands off parent then I would not allow her daughter at your house.

Like Indy Deby stated, something happens to her little princess, who by the way probably hasn't been able to get her mother's attention without whinning or crying and her mom hasn't taughter her any *life skills tool" the mom may not be too hesitant to sue you within an inch of your life!

Take care, and don't sweat people like this, you don't have to live in a world where everyone has to like you. You are a much better person than some screeching witch with possible issues.

sorry, I don't know her nor do I know you and I'm making too many assumptions, but bottom line is if you feel in your heart that you must approach her, do it. Just don't expect her to change any time soon

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nickymom Posted 23 Mar 2007 , 10:36pm
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Well honestly I wouldn't let it bother me. If she doesn't want to speak to you then oh well. Sounds like she's not a very pleasant person to begin w/ so having her "mad" and not speaking may be a blessing. Just tell your kids that people deal w/ disagreements differently and apparently she is handling it by not speaking anymore. Tell your kids to just be kids and not to worry about the neighbor. If she says hi say hi back if she doesn't say hi then so be it just go play and have fun. As for her daughter coming over I would have to tell her that she can only come over if her mommy is outside because you can't be responsible for her. What if she feel out of the tree I bet her mom would try and blame you so I would definitely have to tell her she can only come over if her mom is outside.
We have a pool, trampoline, swing sets, in our back yard so naturally all the neighborhood kids want to come over but if Im not good friends w/ their parent they can't play because the last thing I want is a ranting mother in my face blaming me for their child's injury. Know what I mean?

Anyway, good luck!

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LanaC Posted 23 Mar 2007 , 11:08pm
post #25 of 32

I wouldn't send a letter and I wouldn't apologize, and on the day of the birthday, I would have something planned for your boys to do elsewhere so that their feelings won't be hurt. Summer's coming and you have a tramplene. That brat girl and her brat brother will be in your yard once the weather turns (already has here). And it's your yard, so it's still your rules. If your boys want, I would still get the brat girl a birthday gift, even though the boys aren't invited. The only reason I say to do this is that it shows you're the bigger person. - Hey, get her a Bratz doll. icon_biggrin.gif

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mkolmar Posted 24 Mar 2007 , 2:18am
post #26 of 32

I'm also suggesting a fence. The daughter is acting like the mother -- a bully- She is not worth your time worrying over. I'm sorry about your boys not getting invited but imagine how THEY would have been treated as guests. Probably not so great, but still getting bullied. I was treated this way buy a girl in our neighborhood and my mom tried to work things out with her mom but was yelled at also. It just ended with let bygons be bygons and we all avoided each other. I'm so glad it didn't work out because she still would have been nasty to me and saying it was my fault to run home to her lazy mom who would just scram at me.

I really recommend a privacy fence if you can.

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cakesbyjess Posted 24 Mar 2007 , 2:27am
post #27 of 32

I'm sorry you have to deal with this. I agree with others who suggested getting a fence ... I think it's a great idea if it's something you can do right now. Either way, I wouldn't go out of my way to speak to her or try to make amends. I try to be a nice person and go out of my way to avoid confrontations, but there is no excuse for the way she acted. It sounds like her daughter is a brat anyway. I know it will be awkward at first, but she's the one who will have to deal with her daughter whining about not being able to play on the trampoline. I think you've done everything you need to do, and you don't need to go out of your way to do anything else. Hang in there!!

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maryjsgirl Posted 24 Mar 2007 , 5:16am
post #28 of 32

I wouldn't let her children on the trampoline. She has proven herself to be of a shady character. Most insurance companies do not cover trampoline injuries and if they get hurt she could sue you for everything you have. We have a trampoline also, but I only let family and friend's children jump. Waivers don't even work, because legally parents can't sign away a child's right to sue.

I wouldn't apologize, because you did nothing wrong. I would be happy to get rid of these toxic people. It's sad that she hasn't taught her children better. The more your children play with them the more their bad behaviors will rub off. Plus, if she made such a stink from such a minor incident can you imagine what you have in store in the future if you keep them in your lives?

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jen1977 Posted 24 Mar 2007 , 12:15pm
post #29 of 32

Thanks everyone. I still go back and forth on whether I should talk to her or not. We have lived here for about 3 years, and she has always acted like I'm some type of baby....I'm 30. My boys are 6 and 4. I've gotten many comments from her about her not understanding why people get married so young and have children so young. I was 21 when I married, and 23 when I had my first son. I just ignore her. It will be an interesting summer for sure. I'm not letting her kids on the trampoline or in the pool if she isn't in the yard. She won't be in my yard if she can't be civil, and she WON'T boss my kids again! Really though, the entire situation is tearing me up! I just don't understand how someone can act like such a baby, and how she ends up so freakin mad at me, when I did nothing wrong! Thanks guys!

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cakesbyjess Posted 24 Mar 2007 , 12:36pm
post #30 of 32

The situation would tear me up, too, so I can imagine how you feel. She just sounds like a mean person ... who is she to judge you for how old you were when you got married and had kids?!?! What does she know?! She is truly a bully, and I'm sorry that you have to live next door to her. icon_mad.gif

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