to think our neighbour shouldn't engage my 5 year old DD in conversation...

(194 Posts)
Patiencedeficit Sat 25-May-13 16:20:22

... when she is playing alone in our garden? He is an adult with his own children who live with his wife. He comes over to talk to DD whenever she is playing on the trampoline. It makes me feel very awkward. I have to watch like a hawk because I am so uncomfortable but I don't know what to do about it. Not sure if I'm over-reacting. What would you do?

MagicHouse Sat 25-May-13 16:40:33

It's quite dangerous having two entirely differently sized/weighted people on a trampoline. I would use that as an excuse to get him off and a means of telling DD that she should not have him on there with her again.

Agree with this, apart from the last bit - at 5 she's too young to have the responsibility of not having him on there. I think you should tell him (in her ear shot) that he shouldn't get on there with her again. It should never be down to her - apart from telling her that you'll be looking out there and making sure he doesn't get on again.

Patiencedeficit Sat 25-May-13 16:40:48

Hi Flogging - I should add that I would have been out there but was trying to feed baby in her highchair and couldn't leave her unattended. (However still had a free hand to type...).

Thanks all for your messages.

Snowgirl1 Sat 25-May-13 16:41:45

Sorry Patiencedeficit, but I think you're totally over-reacting.

acceptableinthe80s Sat 25-May-13 16:43:30

You have to speak to him about this otherwise he'll assume it's fine. Very odd behaviour. 'fitting in' would be the least of my worries, normal grown men don't wander into peoples gardens to play with kids they don't know.

ArthurCucumber Sat 25-May-13 16:43:34

Snowgirl, did you just read the OP, or did you read the part where he let himself into her garden and got on the trampoline with her dd ?

pictish Sat 25-May-13 16:43:35

You're right Snowgirl - she should invite him round for dinner and offer to do his washing while he takes a bath. hmm

TheHonourableAlgyLacey Sat 25-May-13 16:43:55

I say go with instincts every time. You don't need a "reason" when it comes to your own children - if you don't like him, don't let him intrude like this.

ProphetOfDoom Sat 25-May-13 16:44:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ouryve Sat 25-May-13 16:45:13

Saying hello, a small comment, then getting on with his morning - fine.
Sharing a joke, that you're in on, and comfortable with, when you are around - fine (our neighbour spent an afternoon pretending he wanted to buy DS1's scooter for a pound, when he was out doing some work and DS1 was out with DH, also doing some work - he has grandchildren of his own who are always around, and he is lovely with them, so it was a perfectly normal conversation that made no one uncomfortable)

Lingering too long when your DD is alone - really not fine.
Inviting himself into your garden - absolutely not fine. Tell him to sod off.

janey68 Sat 25-May-13 16:47:00

Is it clear that he 'invited himself in' though?
I assumed it was the little girl asking him- which is exactly the type of thing my ultra sociable dd would have said at a young age!

Not saying its ok- I would find it intrusive and put a stop to it.

BackforGood Sat 25-May-13 16:48:05

From your title, I was coming on to say of course YABU - why on earth wouldn't a neighbour chat to their neighbour's children.

Letting himself into your garden and jumping on the trampoline with her is a different thing altogether.

Is it a gate? Can you put a lock on it ?
I would say - politely but firmly that you would rather he didn't come into your garden which you are trying to make secure so your dd can play without any worries out there.

pictish Sat 25-May-13 16:48:37

Even if the dd did invite him in.....so what? The accepted response is 'no thank you, I have things to do...but I hope you have fun' before making good your escape. It is not to say 'I thought you'd never ask' and leap in!

Patiencedeficit Sat 25-May-13 16:49:43

In answer to piprabbit - what am I going to do about it? I think I need to wait until the next time it happens and ensure that he knows he can't come and talk to her when I'm not around. Easier thought than said - wish me luck. As for the trampolining I have let DD know that she must not bounce on there with an adult and if he tries to get on again then she must get off for safety reasons.
Sound ok?

Floggingmolly Sat 25-May-13 16:50:42

What difference does it make if the dd invited him? She's five years old!
Most blokes wouldn't accept an invite from a five year old to come into her garden and play on the trampoline hmm

Oscalito Sat 25-May-13 16:51:17

Hopefully by calling her in you've given him the message that you weren't happy about it. I'd also look into securing the gate if you can.

I couldn't bring myself to say anything to him, but that's just me.

Even if she did ask him in, he shouldn't have accepted. She's five, for god's sake!

ProphetOfDoom Sat 25-May-13 16:51:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

janey68 Sat 25-May-13 16:52:13

Pictish- I agree, but some adults are socially awkward and might feel that to say no when invited in might upset the child.
I am not saying the situation is ok. I said right from the start that I would put a stop to it. I just think some people are jumping to the conclusion that he jumped the fence and clambered on the trampoline uninvited. All I am saying is that IME some young children can be like limpets with adults, and attach themselves and want them to play with them. One of my own children was very like this- would happily chat away to anyone

gosh talking over the fence is fine, a person letting selves into your garden, um NO

grit teeth (we all hate confrontation, I know, I know) and say 'Please can you leave my garden, thank you.' bright smile, open the gate, make ushering gesture, shoo him out, shut gate with a snap.

Any way you can secure the gate, get a bolt to go inside perhaps?

ArthurCucumber Sat 25-May-13 16:52:33

It doesn't matter whether she invited him in. No adult with an ounce of sense would accept.

hugoagogo Sat 25-May-13 16:52:40

There's nothing wrong with him talking to her. hmm

I think it's a little odd he was on your trampoline. That said, I am sometimes on my neighbours trampoline but i am there with my children. We don't have one and they do and neighbour insists they can go round and play on it.

difficultultimatum Sat 25-May-13 16:53:38

I was going to say you were being U till I read he was letting himself into your garden

That's not right. YANBU.

Wishfulmakeupping Sat 25-May-13 16:53:53

What did you do OP?

piprabbit Sat 25-May-13 16:54:46

I think talking to your DD about trampoline safety and talking to him if he comes around again is fine.
I'd also be looking at putting a padlock on the gate.

ItsallisnowaFeegle Sat 25-May-13 16:55:33

Totally agree with pictish. It really doesn't matter if a 5 year old invites a grown up to bounce on her trampoline. The correct response is always, aww thanks for the offer but I'm really busy today. hmm

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