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.

shewhowines Fri 22-Mar-13 17:03:25

marianne

But isn't there a danger of doing more harm than good by taking him in virtually full time, then basically abandoning him when they move. I'm worried about this.

PearlyWhites Fri 22-Mar-13 17:12:47

I think you should carry on letting him come round . Btw bit confused as to him not being British possibly being relevant?

yawningbear Fri 22-Mar-13 17:18:36

I'm sure you have probably done this OP and I have only scanned the thread so apologises if I have missed it but have you been able to really talk with the boy about his home situation?

Its just that it sounds desperately sad for him. I work in child protection and often think if we as adults are unnerved by an adult or their dog, whatever, then how must it be for a child? He is obviously having a really tough time and is very unhappy at home and has found a safe haven with you, but it sounds likes that can't be sustained either. I just wonder if there are other solutions within his own family - mother, grandparents etc.

Also I would be concerned as to what actually is going on when he is at home. Does he go to your son's school? Could you perhaps speak to one of the teachers if you don't want to approach the Dad?

It does sound as if you and your DS are very kind, and that is what this child needs, lots of kindness.

WildeRumpus Fri 22-Mar-13 17:36:54

Ah, I was this child! My mum left me at a a b and b when.I was 16 to finish my a levels and bit by bit I stayed at my best friends house more and more. In the end I had my own place setting at the table and was treated as one of the family.

I was lonely and didn't really have a family of my own that was functioning. My friends family taught me how families can function, can be kind and as a parent now they are a role.model to me (i don't talk to my parents any more).

Their kindness and warmth really helped me and I would do the same to another kid who needed refuge in my home in a heartbeat.

However if you are tired and just want time with your dcs then do talk to his dad who can then gently dissuade him.from.coming over so much... Saying it yourself - if the boy is finding refuge in your home - could feel like rejection?

Your family sounds lovely, you should be very proud smile

3littlerabbits Fri 22-Mar-13 17:46:59

Can understand that you want your own space, totally understandable - but have to say that it soubds like you are providing a haven for a little boy going through a troubled time and you must have a lovely home and family. Welling up thinking about it. You are a good person x

FarBetterNow Fri 22-Mar-13 17:47:42

OP, you sound so lovely, caring and charitable.

The boy is very lucky to have found you and your family in his hour of need.

BenjaminButton172 Fri 22-Mar-13 18:55:25

Where does it say that this boy needs the OP to be charitable and be cared for?

All the OP said was that this child lived with one parent and didnt see the other often. That is pretty common.

Fluffymonster Fri 22-Mar-13 19:48:20

StainedTulip I agree with the other posters saying how lovely you and your family sound. It may seem a bit of a pain at times, but what you are doing is incredibly important for this lost and lonely child, please don't stop.

As WildeRumpus already said, it's not just that you're helping him in the short or even medium term - you're all providing him with experience of what a loving home looks and feels like. This may affect him far into the future, and any family of his own one day.

Oh, what is it about the threads on here in the past couple of days...this is the second one that has had me welling up!

Setting a few boundaries seems like the way to go, like so that you don't feel so imposed on that you eventually run out of goodwill. Set some times that are acceptable for you - and I agree that he needs to be prepared for the eventuality that you will all move away one day.

BenjaminButton172 Your attitude is pretty cold and self-centred by the sounds of it. From your earlier post about how you wouldn't expect someone else to feed your child etc. Of course, neither would most parents - but we are not talking about you, are we?? This boy's father seems to have very little interest in even where his son is, nor how long he stays out, or he would have been round to get him home surely. Most parents would be frantic, or at the very least, curious, if their 10yo child was out from as early as 8am to bedtime. He is clearly not coping well with his depression or separation.

That pretty much means that whether she wants it or not, StainedTulip is in the position of providing a safe haven for this child, which means in some respects 'caring for' him. He may not be in need of 'charity' but he is a child who needs a responsible adult and a place where he feels accepted and 'OK'.

Which part of that is so difficult to understand??

Fluffymonster Fri 22-Mar-13 19:53:56

I also don't agree with the concerns someone said, that it may be a bad idea, to get him so used to your family, knowing that one day you will be moving.

It's like saying why let anyone from a miserable background, get used to experiencing lack of misery, unless happiness can be permanent.

It's so they can have a frame of reference, for some future point - that they may have a chance of knowing what to look for.

BenjaminButton172 Fri 22-Mar-13 20:21:17

Im neither cold nor self centred. I just dont see abuse or neglect around every corner.

There are many kids in my street who spend near enough all day every day at the weekends and in the holidays happily playing out. Not a single one is abused or neglected. They are just being kids.

shewhowines Fri 22-Mar-13 20:32:06

flufy

I didn't say don't help at all. My previous posts said that limits needed to be set and then I said "else it may do more harm than good" - not to abandon him completely.

zwischenzug Fri 22-Mar-13 20:43:28

From the limited information you have/have posted it does sound like it's a distinct possibility that this kid's home life is pretty shit. Your choice but you may be providing a lifeline for this child and making all the difference to his happiness and confidence, could you live with yourself if you were cutting that off?

You could always try and find out a bit more about the child's living arrangements, to see if it is safe to restrict how often he comes round.

wannaBe Fri 22-Mar-13 20:57:22

I do think people are jumping to massive conclusions here with absolutely no real basis. Referring to this child as alone and unloved - nobody can possibly know that. He may be an only child and choose to spend time with his friends because spending time at home is boring. He may be out from eight until late because until not so long ago, that's what kids used to do and nobody batted an eyelid, perhaps the father chooses not to be a helicopter parent and instead is happy for his ds to be out happily playing with the other boys in the street - again, as most kids did until the inception of xbox and computers.

I wonder, if the boy had said that he lived with his mother as opposed to the father would people still be so judgemental? or would they be encouraging the op to befriend the mother in the belief that she probably needs support....?

As a parent I would want to know where my ds was, however if children randomly came round to play/stayed for breakfast/lunch/dinner I would also want to be sure that their parents knew where they were and were ok with them eating here. So while I don't think it's wrong to take in this child I do think that it's wrong to do so on a purely judgemental basis and that you really should go round and introduce yourself to the dad and make sure that he is actually ok with this child having such a major presence in your home.

You know nothing about this man other than what you've gained from the words of a ten year old who is most likely bitter about his parents' split. But whil you are judging the father who does actually live in the street it appears the mother has buggered off and deserted her child. I would reserve judgement until you have actually had an adult conversation with the adults in this child's life rather than taking the words of a load of strangers on the internet who are intent as labelling this child as unloved and your involvement in his life as charity.

I think you should find out more, before assuming he is having an awful time at home. That will allow you to decide what to do about the possibilty of leaving. To be fair, one of ds' friends has lovely parents, comfortable home etc but would spend all day here if they could, as the kids like hanging out together. No 'ishoos'.
If you find out otherwise, you could look at what support might be available for longer term help.

Domjolly Fri 22-Mar-13 21:12:32

Yes i agree that you are supporting this child but part of me thinks i might be inclined to call ss because surly by pu giving him what he needs it allows his dad not to

Bevause i wouldnt imagain you can do this for the long haul and its important that the reason why the boy wont go home is addressed

To those saying the kid isn't having an awful time at home - if he was your 10 year old, would you be OK with this? With him disappearing first thing in the morning and staying out for meals etc., with you not knowing when he was coming home? With him spending pretty much all day every day with a family you'd never met? confused

BenjaminButton172 Fri 22-Mar-13 21:40:21

Not good - i have been on both sides of this. I have had kids at my home all day during the holidays and weekends. My child has spent all day playing out too. Not coming home for meals if i forget to give them a time coz my child has to be reminded to eat when playing out.

I know the parents to say hello but thats about it. It is the same when i and probably many others were growing up. How many posters parents knew your friends parents?

Fluffymonster Fri 22-Mar-13 21:46:58

Shewhowines Apologies if I sounded like I was criticising your post - I couldn't remember where I'd seen it and misquoted. I do see where you're coming from now. Still, I don't think it 'would do more harm than good'. Hopefully not, anyway.

It's a good idea to try and have some sort of conversation with the father, to get a bit more information.

Is it possible at all, to invite the Dad and girlfriend to dinner one night along with his son - see where the land lies? (Though I realise you may have some reservations about doing that if you're already feeling as though you've gained an extra child, never mind inviting even more people round.)

Fluffymonster Fri 22-Mar-13 22:20:33

BenjaminButton172 I thought you said earlier:

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.

It sounds like you're contradicting yourself. So you do allow kids in, all day, when it's holidays and weekends?

You don't send your child out at 'silly o'clock in the morning', or 'expect other people to feed your child', yet your child has been out all day, not returning for meals because you forgot to give them a time?

I'm not sure what your point is. The thing is, the boy in the OP seems to be forgotten about on a regular basis - perhaps he comes and goes as he pleases, rather than not being fed. But he's only 10yrs old. Not knowing where your 10yr old is for most of the day, or who they're with - and that being the norm rather than the odd occasion, is neglectful. How can people say it's not?

BenjaminButton172 Fri 22-Mar-13 23:12:14

Didnt you notice my post was in past tense.

It used to be like that until it became too much. Having someone elses child in your house all day can be exhausting and that is why i put a stop to it.

BenjaminButton172 Fri 22-Mar-13 23:18:14

Anyway i have said what i thought. I dont see the point in discussing it anymore as there is no way to tell whether this boy is being kicked out the house and left to get on with it or he just likes being around other kids.

OP if you are concerned about the boy speak to his father. Or if you dont want him there send him home. His father might be delighted to see him, you never know.

Thank you on behalf of this child for the kind thing you are doing.
It is irritating and annoying and a bit awkward, but you are doing a kind and loving thing.

superfluouscurves Sat 23-Mar-13 00:43:21

No advice but just wanted to say that we are in a similar situation StainedTulip (although child concerned is not here
as much as your ds's friend - only two or three times a week. If it were more than that, I think I would find it quite trying tbh.)

A child that lives up the road (a few years older than dd) has kind of "adopted" us. She met him at a local sports event.

(Funnily enough - although not sure of relevance - we are British , not living in Uk and friend not British too!)

He lives with his grandmother and although I don't know all the details - his parents have obviously been going through a very difficult divorce or separation. His grandmother keeps e-mailing me saying "his mother was meant to see him this weekend but has cancelled" sad) Of course that is only one side of the picture.

He often talks about his father but unfortunately it's usually in the context of the (patently unsuitable) television programmes they watch together.

His grandmother is rather odd inasmuch as I exchange very 'correct' e-mails with her, but when I walk the boy back home, she barely appears at the door, and usually doesn't appear at all.

We haven't asked him directly about any of this because it feels like prying and he visibly shrinks when the subject of family is mentioned.

He loves cooking (and so does dh) so he often comes for Sunday lunch which we all cook together - I've started laying an extra place!! DD is any 'only' so his company is generally very welcome (bit trickier when she has other (girl) friends here) and the boy's behaviour is really touching - he always says his pleases and thank yous, and helps clear the table etc and offers to help with our pets etc. He is a really good conversationalist for his age too!

Tbh sometimes it isn't very convenient to have him here, but it's like he is lost and not wanted by the adults in his life. Feel really sad for him.

StainedTulip Sat 23-Mar-13 03:56:25

Thank you for all the messages - so nice to hear all the votes of confidence!

To answer the questions - no, the boys don't go to the same school, and I don't have any contact with the family. To boy always goes home on his own and the only time I've seen the dad is walking the dog. And I only worked out it was him because the boy had described the dog, and because the dad is also not local to this country. The mum and the girlfriend are both local, although I've never seen either of them.

The boy has not talked at length about his home situation, just passing comments really, and mostly to ds who has then told me or DH. He doesn't seem miserable or anything, even when told it's time to go home, so I really don't know how he feels. All I know is that he seems to prefer being at our house or playing outside.

I must be getting used to the situation - having friends over for a bbq today and seeing the boy at the door reminded me to make an extra burger!

Chottie Sat 23-Mar-13 05:19:57

Stained Tulip please continue what you are doing, you sound so caring and loving, no wonder that child wants to be with your family. You are giving that child some support and stability. Ok, you maybe moving, but that is in the future and it truly seems like that child needs you now....

One of our neighbour's children used to spend a lot of time with us too. Even though he was 3 years older than DS. He loved helping DH with jobs in the garage and eating with us at the weekend. It later turned out that his parents were going through a horrendous divorce.

ZebraOwl Sat 23-Mar-13 05:36:10

YANBU smile

It is a very kind & lovely thing you are doing but it is also completely understandable you want some uninterrupted Family Time as well, you really shouldn't feel guilty, especially as from what you've said you've not let that desire make you behave differently towards the wee lad!

To me it sounds as though the boy is lonely & also understandably upset by the changes in his family set-up, so it makes sense he'd seek out company & an environment that feels stable & secure. He might want to be out of the house because it feels "wrong" being there without his mother. My mother died when I was 10y5.5m old & I cannot express the utter awfulness of the Wrongness of her absence. Obviously his situation is different, but it must still be hard for him to adjust to her absence. There is a chance he stays away from home so long because he can imagine things unchanged whilst he is out & part of him is hoping that maybe it's all a mistake & she'll be there when he gets home & he doesn't want to have to face the dashing of that hope.

I do think you perhaps need to set some groundrules on how much time he can spend at your house - and then enforce them firmly & gently. I think you should talk to your DCs about why you're doing it, too, so they don't think you're Just Being A Mean Mummy. In my opinion it would also be wise to ensure that the boy understands you will be moving away in the relatively near future. Making sure he understands now; ensuring he doesn't somehow see it as a rejection of him (he's probably still just young enough he might given the situation with his parents); and letting him know about the move almost as soon as it gets settled so he's as long as possible to prepare for the change would all be good.

As someone else suggested, if you can't talk to the father, could you maybe see about talking to someone at the boy's school to try to ensure he's getting adequate support there & that they are aware of the situation. Hopefully that would also make you feel less responsible for him & less concerned about what will happen to him when you move away.

It is incredibly generous, kind & generally Very Lovely of you to do this flowers

yawningbear Sat 23-Mar-13 06:36:55

What a lovely post ZebraOwl. Very wise words I think. I do think it is really important to prepare the boy for your family leaving at some point soon and to try and speak to his dad or other family member. I hope it all works out ok.

When my DH's parents were going through a truly awful divorce, he sort of moved in with his best friend (one of four boys) and his family.

I think without that acceptance, love, attention and calm family life he would have been a very troubled young man.
He looks back on that time positively as 'when I was rescued for a while' as opposed to 'when I had the worst time of my life'

We named our DD after the mother of the family, so important to him were they.

Uppermid Sat 23-Mar-13 08:40:43

You sounds lovely and very generosus

Uppermid Sat 23-Mar-13 08:41:00

Generous, 8 can spell really, honest!

Uppermid Sat 23-Mar-13 08:41:12

Urghh I give up!

toomanyfionas Sat 23-Mar-13 08:51:56

Thank goodness for people like you OP. what you are doing for the boy is probably making the difference between an unbearably sad childhood and one where he feels like part of a family. I think what you are doing is wonderful and special. I also think it would be fine to set some boundaries to make the situation more comfortable. No point in doing more than you want to as you'll become resentful and that'll be no good for anyone.

zirca Sat 23-Mar-13 09:03:04

I too would say carry on, but set times that he can/can't come in, so you feel you have some space too. Otherwise you will come to resent his presence more and more.

Peacocklady Sat 23-Mar-13 09:25:38

I practically lived at my best friend's house when I was growing up. My family was OK, some issues (step-family) but I just loved being with her. There were rules about their tea time etc, sometimes I stayed and I often stayed the night. It never occurred to me as a child I might be over staying my welcome, so maybe set up some rules in a very friendly way. I feel that a lot of my values and security were established by this friendship. She utterly broke my heart by drifting away when we were 15 though!

shewhowines Sat 23-Mar-13 10:55:37

Yes zebraowl

Very wise words

2old2beamum Sat 23-Mar-13 13:09:41

Thankgoodness for people like you. That child sounds like me when stepmothersad moved in when I was 11. Thankyou Mrs Christie for mothering me thanks and thanks to Tulip too!

IslaMann Sat 23-Mar-13 13:17:26

My DS has a friend like this. When DS was 10, and his friend was 12, they became fast friends. His friends mum had walked out on him and his 3 siblings and whilst he had a great relationship with his dad, his dad was working all hours god sent to make ends meet and left the eldest (15) in charge at home. All 4 kids knew if they needed anything they could knock my door. Only twice did the others ever do that. When DSs friend was 15 he bought me a Mother's Day card. I was touched. He is now 19, and living 200 miles away with his gf. He still calls me mum. You are doing a truly great thing, giving that poor boy some stability.

bangwhizz Sat 23-Mar-13 13:28:33

YABU You should just say no sometimes!!
You make a lot of assumptionms about his home being unhappy but Maybe he has no siblings his age and is just bored at home.

greendental Sat 23-Mar-13 14:23:42

You are doing this boy a great kindness op.

Although I'm in my 40's now, I still look back and am so grateful at those friends parents that took me in, gave me some normality and stability, a safe haven and made me feel part of the family. I hate to think where I would have been without their kindness.

StainedTulip Sat 23-Mar-13 14:26:06

Thanks once again for the nice posts. Bangwhizz he says he has an older sister but I agree we don't really know his situation well. In the end it's no big inconvenience to us to have him, especially if there's a chance we are helping him at a difficult time. He has seen us sitting around in pyjamas and seen me telling my dcs off and still wants to come over so he must be filtering out our weirdness....

StainedTulip Sat 23-Mar-13 14:27:54

But yes good point about letting him know we will move sometime, will get ds to mention it.

whiteEASTER Sat 23-Mar-13 17:38:51

His dad is probably sa at home thinking, I do wish we saw more of Little Johnny his siater has no one to play with.But that little Tulip expects him to be there all the time.Little Johnny is doing him a big favour he has weird parents who sit about all day in PJs , shout at their children and feed them nothing but pizza.

cjel Sat 23-Mar-13 22:42:56

I have been the child and mum in this situation and would say that the people who say there are no issues are probably mis-guided. Issues don't always come out when you're small , in fact you may not even know what they are you just know you feel sad, but just the fact that his mum has left home is a big enough deal for him to be sad. If his dad did want him at home he would stop him coming.The only thing I would say is to watch your dcs and make sure they are not showing signs of stress with it and keep on the chats about leaving him at some point. Keep on showing this child love and comfort.

ujjayi Sat 23-Mar-13 23:24:18

Please keep allowing this child to be part of your family for as long as you can. I was that child. Unfortunately, whilst I had some lovely friends, their parents actively discouraged friendships with me because my parents seemingly didn't give a shit/were not "their type"/who on earth knows why?? I always responded graciously to any less than gracious behaviour on their part. And when I was allowed in I always pretended like it was absolutely fine that I had to go home at a certain time.....which was why your comment about him being fine about being sent home resonated with me.

Their response to me, and the behaviour of my parents, made me the mother I am today. I welcome all children into my home and have extended a listening ear, food and a bed for the night where necessary.

I agree with Zebra that a conversation about the situation with a teacher would be a good thing if you feel unable to approach the father. Also preparing him for your possible departure would also be a wise idea.

You are really doing a wonderful thing for this boy - whether he needs it or not.

ujjayi Sat 23-Mar-13 23:25:12

Forgot to say, of course YANBU to want your own space/feel fed up with the situation smile

shewhowines Sun 24-Mar-13 00:52:14

fluffy

Apology accepted. We both think the Op is being wonderful by extending this support to this poor chap. Hopefully the support (even if temporary due to the move) will help him get through his parents split. It may well be that this is a short term problem because of the split, but even if the issues are deeper, then it will give him the "frame of reference" for a normal family life, that will benefit him long term.

Op you're lovely.

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