Chatty kid next door(57 Posts)
I live in terraced house and my neighbour has a child of around 6. Neighbour is very nice, we chat when we see each other. Child is very sweet and I say hi to them out on street.
But when I'm in my garden the child has taken to climbing on to the wall on his side of the fence, peering over at me and talking to me. It started just when I was putting out washing, just 'hi' and then telling me what he's doing that day, or that his dad's just bought him a new toy (dad is separated from mum so lives alone). I gave polite and friendly answers, saying things like 'that's lovely, I hope you have lots of fun playing' etc etc as he's just a child, very sweet and also I think a bit lonely when he comes to stay.
But he's taken now to doing it whenever I'm in the garden. I'll be sitting reading a book, look up and there he is at the wall 'hiya!'. Or I'm out there with my DS and he's calling over to my DS (18 months) to say hi. Which is very sweet but kind of annoying when we are playing a game or I'm trying to talk to him.
I've tried being polite and saying 'ok we need to get on now' to close the conversation, but he just stands there staring at us over the fence until his dad calls him in. It's a bit intrusive and annoying and I end up having to go inside for a bit to get him to go away. The minute I go back out when coast is clear - within minutes there he is at the fence again. His dad does say to him 'hey, stop bothering the neighbours and come in' but mostly is inside and I think doesn't realise what's happening.
I really don't want to be rude or have to speak to his dad about it as he's just wanting to talk and isn't doing any harm in the grand scheme, so I'd feel very unreasonable. How can I deter this child from peering at me over the fence every time I'm in the garden?
We had a similar problem and bought a water pistol to squirt them whenever they came into our garden. After a few times they learnt to stay away.
Okay, this was for cats but I'd imagine the same approach would work.
Shock collars are another thought. You can set them up so they buzz acting like an invisible fence.
We had neighbours like that. You do have to be blunt with kids but kind. "Id just like to read my book in a bit of peace and quiet". And disengage. I must admit the knack is easier when you have had kids that age yourself
Aw, I feel sorry for him. He sounds lonely and a real little character.
But I agree, it's wearing to constantly have your 10 minutes of peace shattered, or not to be able to just get on with the gardening without having to stop every two minutes.
I think you are going to have to be a bit more assertive (but do it gently) with him and say 'off you run now darling, I'm very busy/tired and it's lovely to say hello but I need to get on with work/sleep/reading by myself now.'
"Off you pop to play now I want to read my book."
"I'm busy now, I'll speak to you another time."
"Don't call the baby to you right now please we're busy."
Kwoggers ** he'd probably love the water pistol!
User and French I'm leaning towards that I think. He seems so lonely though so I was hoping to deter him subtly. He's a sweet wee boy. But perhaps that's the best solution.** His dad does play with him lots but he does seem to still crave company.
Sorry youarenotkiddingme I meant to put in OP that I rent so changing fence/wall not possible.
I had a neighbour who had a 2 year old DD...this little girl was lovely but as I have older DD's she naturally wanted to see them ALL the time.
This resulted in her banging on my bloody front door every time her Mum was taking her out...her Mum would be getting the buggy out or locking her front door when it happened. It infuriated me because if that were MY child, I would keep hold of her after the first time it happened so it never happened again!
With your situation, it's not so easy because the little boy is old enough to play in his garden alone....so his Dad can't always see or hear him.
I would say something like "Yes, lovely...I'm reading now so I won't chat...you go off and play now:
Or if you're feeling generous "Can you go and find me three flat stones, four round ones and one with a stripe? Oh...and a snail."
And he'll shoot off for a while.
Well, if it's an AIBU, I suppose not. It's your garden. But if it's a WWYD, I would make friends with him. Poor little guy sounds a bit bored and lonely. Don't underestimate that value of a grownup that listens and is pleased to see you when you're 6. I know it can be wearing (we had to start locking our front door because of a neighbour kid that liked wandering in for a sit down ), but it's part of living in a community. It takes a village, and all that.
Lol! I love the snail treasure hunt
What SiouxieQ said. You need to learn to be blunt with him im afraid.
I have 2 DCs and there was one time on this street that the minute they sae the kids playing out all the neighbours kids came over in droves. Fine once in a while, but DS has SNs so needs supervising constantly and I was literally turning into the streets resident babysitter every evening.
I always used to tell one climber to get down before he hurt himself. For some reason climbing up and over a weather beaten fence (not mine so I cant replace it) was much preferable to actually walking round. Its a kids thing.
Right - I need to be more blunt. Kind, but blunt. But I will still chat to him out and about when I can as he's lovely.
I love the snail trail!
Aw, he does sound lonely. By rights, he ought to be driving you bonkers out there with his mates - does he not have other kids round playing, ever? That would worry me, especially as he's living alone with his dad. Maybe his dad isn't clued in to arranging playdates for him or feels that mums of kids his age are unapproachable?
I totally get that you need your garden space, but if it was me I'd be wondering if I could coax the dad out of his shell a bit and see why the boy has no-one to play with, and if I could encourage that in any way. After all, the fact he's leaping on contact with a woman and a baby at every opportunity can't be right, can it?
Does he never go and stay with his mum?
I feel sorry for him. I'd do as someone else suggested and try and engage his Dad to find out what's going on but I'd also end up inviting him in the garden to play as I'd hate the thought of a six year old being lonely and bored watching me from his garden!!
Poor boy. And poor you! I would just be polite but clear: 'Hi, lovely day isn't it. Ok, nice chatting to you, bye now!' And turn your back to him. If he says something else, don't answer immediately.
Sounds so mean though...
I wrote a long post but struck it.
As a child, we all talked to neighbours and amazingly, they talked back. They had time (or pretended to), they bothered to listen. I learned about gardening, and earthworms, and butterflies and flowers and a myriad of other things.
What a shame no one can be bothered outside of their own little bubble now.
Put headphones on - even with no music?
"Sorry, I'm listening to music whilst I read my book"
We used to go regularly to the same holiday place as a little child like this. To be honest he drove me away, I don't want to have to talk to another child, if I'd wanted a 4th child younger than my others I'd have tried to have one.
StillDriving who are you - Gerald Durrell?!
OP does reply and is kind - but she is also entitled to a bit of peace and quiet.
I don't suppose I'd mind really. I might invite him round to play with my kid.
Though having said that my son used to stand on the bench and say hello to the neighbour - but it was only now and again. Now its us avoiding her, we run from the car to the door if we see her - as she does go on and on a bit.
ChooChoo I got the sending them off on a hunt from one of the What Katie Did books....I'm sure it was What Katie Did Next" and it always struck me as a good idea to get rid of kids who are bugging you...it works too!
Did anyone else click on this thinking it might be about their dc?
My ds1 (almost 5) is like this and i am constantly dragging him away from the wall. The neighbours say they love it. I'm sure they are being polite and i have told them to tell him when he is bothering them. The problem is he is playing down the end of the garden and i have the patio doors open while i get on with other things - usually bfing the baby and the next thing i can hear is 'would you like to hear my favourite Thomas song...' aaaargh.
I think kind and firm - kids are used to that anyway. They wouldn't think it was rude. Its just a fact. Its only adults who start to have more social graces.
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