Note: Please bear in mind that whilst this topic does canvass opinions, it is not a fight club. You may disagree with other posters but we do ask you please to stick to our Talk Guidelines and to be civil. We don't allow personal attacks or troll-hunting. Do please report any. Thanks, MNHQ.

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?

Aha, front garden, of course

MummaBubba123 Sun 26-May-13 09:23:17

Screams off 'odd' to me.
I'd knock on when your daughter isn't with you. I'd even ask my partner to come with. I would politely say that you're teaching your child/ren not to talk to strangers and that he is a stranger. You're happy for her to speak to him when you are speaking to him but tell him that you're sure he'd understand about the importance of her not getting used to talking and playing with adults who her parents do not actually know.
Don't get dragged into conversations about neighbours not being strangers. Just say it's tricky to know where to draw the line there but that you HAVE drawn the line and are very uncomfortable for it to be crossed. You have explained to her that a friend is someone mummy has invited home very often for tea.

Cerisier Sun 26-May-13 09:27:58

So would I Chewing.

Oscalito Sun 26-May-13 09:52:11

The OP did go out as soon as she saw him on the trampoline, and called the daughter in. I think this was the best move as it sent a message to him that a) he was being observed and b) he wasn't going to be interacting with the daughter any more.

It's easy to say she should knock on the door etc but he may not do it again. And he may just be an idiot, and not realise how it looks.

The OP clearly watches her daughter when she's outside so the daughter is safe.

Floggingmolly Sun 26-May-13 10:51:21

She didn't go out as soon as she saw the man on the trampoline, actually.
She posted on here for advice on what to do (!), and later justified this by saying she was busy feeding the baby.
That's what posters are reacting to; her complete non reaction to a stranger entering her garden and trampolining with her dd while she continued to watch through the window.

toffeelolly Sun 26-May-13 10:56:28

Yes you have to say something, does not sound normal, talking ok coming into garden no.

pigletmania Sun 26-May-13 11:49:48

Patience that's a big expectation of a five year old! Not all 5 year olds will think safety first and will have te confidence and social,maturity to deal with that situation. It's up to you to keep and eye out and if you see him doing this again, pull him up about it. If it does not stop go to the Police. It is trespassing, him letting himself in your private garden

Innacorner Sun 26-May-13 17:11:44

Another explanation for the neighbour's behaviour is that he has seen your daughter playing in your frontgarden, apparently unsupervised, on more than one occasion, and this is his attempt at demonstrating to you that anybody could be having contact with your daughter. He probably expected you to come out to him when he was just in your garden. Now that he has succeeded in playing with your DD on the trampoline and you haven't bothered challenging him probably means he'll be on to social services first thing Tuesday morning.
Which makes him a bit of a twit - but I am slightly incredulous at your own lack of action. Maybe he is too.

Ezza1 Sun 26-May-13 17:39:53

Good grief.

Cosydressinggown Mon 27-May-13 13:58:51

Pictish there is really no need to be sarcastic.

I'm not even remotely fussed about whether the OP feels picked on because the majority of posters are shocked she let a strange man regularly talk to her daughter, let himself into their garden and then start playing on the trampoline with her, unsupervised.

I don't think that feeding a baby with one hand and typing on a computer with the other hand really makes her capable of also 100% watching her DD, either, who is - she admits - in an unsecured garden where a man she barely knows has just let himself in for a play!

It's ridiculous to scoff at people having more idea of what should have happened in a situation than the op who experienced the situation, unless you believe that all people are capable of making the best decision at all times, purely because they are there?!

In this case, if it's even a true story, I think the OP has spectacularly failed to protect her daughter and am not bothered about telling her what action I think she should take to help remedy this.

ItsallisnowaFeegle Mon 27-May-13 15:27:18

Cosy Although I do agree that the OP should have reacted differently and immediately, I'd like to think she's realised this and if she hasn't ,after not only the great advice offered by many but the bashing she's taken, from many more, she's a fool

Let me quote you

"unless you believe that all people are capable of making the best decision at all times"

Support and guidance is always better than patronising and belittling, IMHO and IME.

littlediamond33 Mon 27-May-13 15:31:44

Trust your instinct.

pictish Mon 27-May-13 15:40:14

Climb out of your own anus Cosy.

xylem8 Mon 27-May-13 16:03:47

patience please would you mind clarifying where the trampoline is ie front garden, back garden etc as I think this is very pertinent to the situation

Jan49 Mon 27-May-13 17:09:53

I think we can assume from the OP's comment that about the postman delivering post that the garden is either open or in the front as it's one where you can't lock people out. So the neighbour presumably just walks through the front gate or wanders into the open garden. The DD could also walk out and anyone could walk in with the excuse that they were delivering a leaflet or advertising, so personally I'd want to try to have the trampoline somewhere safer or be out there with her even if there wasn't this issue with the neighbour.

Veryunsure Mon 27-May-13 17:18:55

While it might be innocent, you said you felt there was something you couldn't put your finger on. I would trust my instincts over not wanting to make him feel awkward.

xylem8 Mon 27-May-13 18:39:10

Engaging a neighbours child in conversation- fine and normal. But coming into the garden and bouncing with her on the trampoline is beyond odd!
Maybe grooming your DD - maybe trying to get a look in through the windows.Who knows!

TokenGirl1 Mon 27-May-13 23:35:29

I think now is the time to talk to your dd about "stranger danger". I tell my 3 and 4 year olds " a stranger is someone who we don't go to their house and they don't come to ours". The essence of this is that it works both ways so that a window cleaner is still a stranger as he or she may come to our house but we don't go to his/hers.

I test my kids on this from time to time, saying "is Auntie B a stranger?" just to hammer it home. Why do I do this? Because my ds will chat to anyone and so the rule is now that we don't talk to strangers unless Mummy/Daddy is standing with you.

Even the 3 yo understands this concept.

Good luck OP. Trust your instincts...

If this isn't a wind up, then seriously this is bizarre behaviour. To talk to her is one thing, but to also get on the trampolineshock
I would not leave her unattended in the garden as your neighbour sounds to over friendly for my likinghmm

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now