to be getting a bit fed up with this, even though I feel sorry for this kid?

(71 Posts)
StainedTulip Fri 22-Mar-13 10:16:19

There's a boy who lives on our street who is friendly with my ds (both 10), they don't go to the same school and I don't know the family at all, but they started playing outside after school and at weekends. Nice kid and he and ds get on well, all good.

Anyway he started calling on ds and coming in to play and as we got to know him better he has been telling us lots of news about his family - namely that his mum has moved out because his dad has a new girlfriend. From what I can gather the dad and girlfriend live in the house on our street and he sees his mum sometimes. So it's obviously a hard time for him.

The issue is that in the last few weeks he has been coming over more and more, to the point that he arrives the minute we get home from school and often stays until I tell him ds has to go to bed. He often ends up eating dinner with us. At the weekend he is often already sitting in the living room watching cartoons with ds when I get up around 8.00am.

I feel so sorry for this kid, but he's here all the time. I assume he doesn't want to go home. The other night he turned up as we were about to eat pizza and I said well I've only made one (large) pizza between my 3 dcs so it's up to them if they want to share it out. Then I felt bad for saying that. DS asked him if he'd had dinner and he said he had but he liked pizza!

Not sure if it matters but we are British but not living in UK and the friend is not British.

Should I tell him to go home sometimes or just hope this changes in time?

aderynlas Fri 22-Mar-13 10:37:06

Ive no advice op, just want to say how kind you and your ds sound, and how I can understand how this little boy likes spending time with your family. You must be making what is a tough time for him , much easier thanks

StainedTulip Fri 22-Mar-13 10:39:02

Thanks, that's nice to hear, especially as I've been feeling guilty for wanting some time with only my dcs!

Flobbadobs Fri 22-Mar-13 10:40:07

You're probably giving him the stability he needs right now, he must feel very comfortable with you all so it's a compliment really but I can understand how it must get irritating for you.
I can't give advice either, if I were in your situation I would just put up with it I think for a while, things may settle down a bit for him.

pictish Fri 22-Mar-13 10:40:34

Ouch...I see ylour dilemma. You don't want to reject him, as he is obviously troubled and doesn't want to go home...but you didn't ask for a fourth child either.

I'd have to impose sanctions on his time. One hour after school, and never before 10 am at the weekend.

I can totally appreciate how you feel...it's a hard one.

SneakyNinja Fri 22-Mar-13 10:41:55

yanbu, I would feel the same. Maybe set up some basic ground rules for times he can come over? Would also suggest getting to know the Father.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 22-Mar-13 10:43:57

OP.....you're describing the relationship I had with my friend when I was ten. She spent every waking hour in our home...her own home life was beyond grim. She wasn't fed there...it was cold...her Dad was ill with depression. She walked 3 miles daily to our house and stayed until it got dark and then my Dad would take her home. When she got to be about 15 or 16, she spent most nights with us too. She had her own bed in my room.

I loved her as a friend....and my parents accepted her. 30 years later she's like a sister to me and has been there for me through thick and thin. She's helped me FAR more than we helped her back then.

I'm not guilting you....just describing my own situation as it was. Does your son like having the boy around so much?

StainedTulip Fri 22-Mar-13 10:48:10

Funny you should say that about the 4th child - I was buying groceries the other day and was thinking I should get more chocolate milk as this boy is obsessed with it and drinks it all out of our fridge!

I think I'll have to start telling him he can come in once ds has finished his homework on school days. I did say that once and he said "can I just wait in your house, I'll be quiet!" At weekends the dcs normally get up before me and tbh I don't mind the early morning thing too much, it's just then he's there the whole day. I can't believe his dad doesn't think it's odd that he's gone all day.

StainedTulip Fri 22-Mar-13 10:55:02

Neo my ds seems fine with the boy being around. Occasionally when they are playing outside ds will come in like he's had enough then the friend will come to the door a few minutes later and come in. Sometimes ds doesn't want to go out and the boy will come in even if he would have preferred to play out. They never fall out that I've noticed. How amazing that you stayed friends for so long. In this situation I don't see that happening as we move countries every 2-3 years with DH's work. But you never know.

I don't know the father at all. I've seen him walking down the road with his huge scary dog and felt a bit intimidated! I suppose there's nothing stopping me taking the boy home one day and talking to him. DS never goes to hi friend's house - he went once and was a little afraid of the dog when it was supposedly "playing" and he said he felt its teeth on his leg. He got a bit upset and said the dad was shouting at him for panicking (not sure how true that is) so doesn't really want to go there again.

lljkk Fri 22-Mar-13 11:00:22

I'd put some limits on it, but to be honest I'd probably see it as my (not-Christian) duty to take him in and give him stability and a safe haven as much as I could, comfortably. I know someone who ended up with a foster son by doing this, she never regretted it (3 children of her own too).

Agree doesn't speak volumes for how good his dad's parenting is. sad

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 22-Mar-13 11:04:54

It's up to you Tulip....if it's a pain on weeknights definitely send him away until you're ready...."You can come in an hour...DS is doing his homework and isn't allowed to play yet."

it doesn't sound like he'll be hurt.

I just want to tell you though...I would LOVE a neighbour like this for my DC...no kids around her are allowed out alone! I think it's a shame....I grew up in a house with an open door and have special memories of that time.

My siblings friends, my friends...all in one small house. As my siblings grew into teenagers, the house became overrun with Goths and Punks...my parents loved it and our tiny dining room was the hangout and the centre of many a teenage social meeting.

It was fabulous...

StainedTulip Fri 22-Mar-13 11:09:21

Haha....I do love having the house full of kids at times and definitely have days when I am happy to produce endless snacks and drinks.

That's a shame no-one will let their kids out Neo - maybe as they get older?

I agree that the boy would go home whenever I tell him to. Just don't want to be as mean as my dcs think I am <strict mum>....

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 22-Mar-13 11:13:55

Gosh Tulip I think 8 and 9 year olds should be allowed out to play...we live in a cul de sac...very safe...lots of grass....my DDs go out and when their school friends come they join them but there is a girl opposite who waves to them out of the window!

She is 9 and only leaves home to go to school! DD has called around once to see if she'd like to play but her Mother said no she couldn't. sad

StainedTulip Fri 22-Mar-13 11:16:34

Well I agree with you but I know at least one family who doesn't let their 9yo out alone (in a cul-de-sac). Their choice of course but I think it's mad.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 22-Mar-13 11:17:48

I wonder what will happen when her DD goes to high school....all the children around here walk....I can't see this girl knowing anything about how to cope!

shewhowines Fri 22-Mar-13 13:08:03

i agree that you need to set some limits - not only for your own sake though.

If you are likely to be moving within the next 2/3 years with your husbands job, then it is not in the boys best interests to have come to depend on you so much. Think how he will suffer when his "adopted family" move on and leave him behind.

i think you need to continue to make his life easier/nicer as much as you can but you can't let him become too dependant.

StainedTulip Fri 22-Mar-13 13:14:14

Indeed we could move this year or latest next year. I am hoping that in time things settle down at home for this boy.

WishIdbeenatigermum Fri 22-Mar-13 13:16:15

Poor kid. How heartbreaking. No advice I'm afraid, I feel for you.
flowers

shewhowines Fri 22-Mar-13 13:19:30

If a move is that imminent then, i'd definitely try to make him aware that you will be going soon and even try to prepare him if possible.

Poor kid.

Startail Fri 22-Mar-13 13:21:26

Yes you do have to set limits. We used to have a girl next door who's home life was not very good. Older disinterested and sometimes not sober grandparents.

She used to appear the second we drove through the gate.

Very wearing, DD2 would play sometimes, but she had HW and extracurricular stuff to go to and other friends to play with.

Huge miss match in intellectual ability so DD2 bossed her about something terrible. Which I didn't think was very fair.

I'm very glad she now has more suitable relatives to live with in a town with other children about.

BenjaminButton172 Fri 22-Mar-13 14:14:01

I am probably going to sound cruel but there is no way i would feed other peoples children unless it was pre-arranged. I also wouldnt allow kids in all the time. Maybe its coz i dont expect other people to feed my child and i dont send my child out at silly o'clock in the morning.

I also prefer my child to be outside getting fresh air and playing. Not stuck in my house or anyone elses.

I don't know which country it is but I spent a few years in Italy as a child. My best Italian friend and I spent every moment together, were fed by whichever parent was cooking and did homework together.

I agree prepare the child for you leaving.

DaemonPantalaemon Fri 22-Mar-13 15:02:33

StainedTulip,

Please continue your kindness to this lonely child. Above all, please ignore the very cold advice from BenjaminButton172. In a world that focuses on mine, mine and mine, you are extending a hand of loving kindness to a hurt and unloved child. It must mean everything to him to go somewhere where he is loved and accepted ... and fed.

By all means, have a word with the father about where he is when he is not home, but please, please, don't shut him out. You are not only doing him a world of good, but showing your children the meaning of kindness and sharing their blessings.

This thread really brought a tear to my eye, thank you for your goodness.

idococktailshedoesbeer Fri 22-Mar-13 16:04:41

I can see how this would be draining for you. You and your DS sound very kind.

I had a friend like this, she used to spend a lot of time at ours and loved my DPs as if they were her own. When we were about 13 we came home from a two week holiday (we always took her away with us). My DM called hers to arrange drop off and her charming DM asked if we wanted to keep her full time. hmm

MarianneM Fri 22-Mar-13 16:20:05

Agree with DaemonPantalaemon

OP, you are doing a great kindness to the poor child. It may be annoying/inconvenient at times but think of the safe and caring environment you are giving to a lonely, possibly scared and unloved child.

I think we should all try to show kindness to others like you are doing, even beyond what is considered "reasonable". It won't continue forever, especially as you may move away again.

You may feel really glad afterwards that you did this to someone who really needed your help.

Isn't it a small inconvenience really if you think how much he must gain from it?

You are giving the best possible charity helping a child like this.

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