What's for lunch today? Take inspiration from Mumsnetters' tried-and-tested recipes in our Top Bananas! cookbook - now under £10Find out more
Problem with 9 year old neighbour(74 Posts)
I'm in a dilemma and I need some advice. A few months ago, a family moved in a few doors down with a 9 year old girl. We've only seen her a few times and both her and her parents have been very pleasant. The daughter is due to start at my kids' primary school in a few weeks, so the parents invited us over for tea. I have two kids - 5 and 7 - but we noticed when the kids were playing that the 9 year old was really bullying my 5 year old. It was typical older kid type stuff like 'you're too young to play with us' and 'no one wants to listen to a baby' etc. My 5 year old was in tears over this.
The parents are very nice, but have asked if I can take their daughter to school with us every morning when she starts at my kids' school. They also want to arrange activities with their daughter and my kids over the summer holidays, but after seeing how their daughter treated my youngest, I am extremely worried. As they are neighbours, I don't want to fall out over this and I don't want to start accusations of bullying (it was only the first time they all played, so it could be a one off?). However, I don't want my youngest daughter to be around this girl if she is going to be continually mean.
If I decline taking their daughter to school every day, they'll wonder why, as there is no reason why I couldn't make this commitment. I don't like confrontation. They think the world of their daughter and they are genuinely nice people.
Any ideas how I proceed? Thanks!
Why can’t they take their own child to school? you’re not a childminder!
Just say no. You don’t have to give a reason. The6 sound pretty cheeky - what will they do for you in return? You don’t know them that well.
Or tell them that your dc take up all your time, or that their dd said some mean things to your dd so you’re not keen for them to spend t8me together. If you don’t say something, they may just keep on asking...
But then, she may mature and be nicer in future, and be a good friend to your dd...
I always find with kids that sometimes it's best to avoid attributing mallice when it could be naivity.
E.g. Maybe she's just not used to desling with younger kids so she's got it in her head that big kids play together and little kids play together
E.g. maybe she's an only child and she's threatened by the sibling bond and is feeling a 3rd wheel so is trying to cement her role
Of course she hasn't been nice at all but maybe a chat with the neighbour about how upset your 5 year old has been and could they have a word because it's best for all the children to get on nicely would be a good place to start.
Then again she might be a stroppy little madam who likes being queen bee.
Take the diplomatic route first and see what happens.
Oh and on the school run front. Just say you cannot commit to being available.
I wouldn’t want to take someone’s child to school every day. I’d say no on the grounds of not wanting to responsibility and liking the time with my children. (We have a nice walk to school though.)
Say no now OP, right at the start, the further you get into it, the more difficult it will be to get out of it!
Just say 'I'm sorry, it wouldn't work for us to take her to school every day.'
Taking the daughter to school would mean one of the parents having to shorten their working day and they can't afford to do that. It was a bit unfair how they asked. They asked me a dozen questions about how I get the kids ready, what time we leave, whether we have space in the car etc. Of course, once I'd answered the questions 'correctly' they hit me with the 'oh, would you have space for one more kid in your car?' - knowing now that I have got space!
I don't think they would take kindly to news that their daughter has been unkind. To say they think highly of her is an understatement. They would simply blame my daughter.
Could you say you want them to spend some more time together to see how they get on? Then you’ll know if she improves, and you’ll have a good reason to say no if not.
Taking the daughter to school would mean one of the parents having to shorten their working day and they can't afford to do that.
Umm, so what was their plan of you didn’t exist? who Is looking after this 9 year old when they leave for work in the morning?
Why can't they take her to school?! I would not be agreeing to that.
Cross post. Well, they'll have to send her to breakfast club then, won't they?
Do you walk or drive? If you walk say that you can't as you find ensuring the safety for your two is enough responsibility. If you drive just say no, I'm a nervous driver. Or of course you could just say no.
Also it's not like they're the same age, just use the line 'oh I'm sure she'll make friends more her own age'.
Don't tell them about any activities you've booked over summer and keep your distance. They sound like they could be takers (but might not be, time will tell!)
They would simply blame my daughter.
So why on earth would you do them such a massive favour?
They’re cheeky bastards. They invited you over for one reason and one reason only. Don’t be manipulated by these users.
Just say no to the every day thing as it's too much. That would be a nightmare on a daily basis, having to fetch her from home, wait if she's not ready plus a little small talk with mum-or are they imaging that they can drop her with you at 7.30 or similar so they can go to work? So not just walking to school but full childminding?
They sound manipulative and cheeky fuckers. Definitely say no. What would they have done if you hadn’t been around?? They can put her in breakfast club.
Sorry cross post. You drive, just say no sorry it doesn't work for us.
How were they planning to drop her if you were not available? Surely they couldn’t have banked on someone in the neighbourhood being able to drop her every day!
In your place, I would say that you don’t commit to dropping her off every day ( no need for a reason) but can help in an emergency if they are really stuck .
I wouldn’t mention the behaviour part. I would wait and see how they play ( or don’t play) in the near future.
And these scenarios is why im a miserable bitch and just don’t do many play dates, particularly with people I don’t know well. There are so many CFs about and as I’m a SAHM currently I am an east target for people trying to offload their kids
I don't think they would take kindly to news that their daughter has been unkind. To say they think highly of her is an understatement. They would simply blame my daughter
In which case run.
Do not get involved. They'll have you roped into free wraparound care if you're not careful.
If you don't want to give a flat out 'no just because' then tell them 'no. I'm afraid I cannot commit to providing childcare. If my plans change it's tough enough organising my own children and that's before the nightmare of extra clubs kicks in. I can't be responsible for another'.
@MaisyPops - I agree, it may be the only child syndrome. I mentioned to the girl that 'everyone should play together nicely' once I'd heard what she said. I don't think she was aware I'd heard, judging by her surprise.
I think you're all right. I should nip this in the bud and say no to the school run. Now I have to have a think about how to tackle the summer. As we're neighbours, they're going to constantly ask if my kids can play in their garden etc. and it's going to be really hard to find reasons each time. I really don't want to go down the route of talking to the parents about their daughter's behaviour.
The other route would be to only allow my eldest over, but my youngest would definitely feel ostracised.
I pity this little unwanted girl. Bullies are often victims somewhere else.
She’s obviously being neglected and treated horribly at home and is acting out by bullying.
Her parents have so little interest they’re trying to foist her off on anyone else, even a relative stranger they’ve just met.
BUT having said that, In no way are you obliged to look after her though, and I think you need to stop being a push over and rehearse the following phrase
“I’m sorry, that doesn’t suit my family” and then look away.
Repeat ad nauseam
“I’m sorry that doesn’t suit my family”
Put your kids first!
Honestly, grow a spine
Your kids will hate you for including this troubled cuckoo into their childhoods..
Defend your own kids and their rights to have a happy childhood without an unwanted tag along bully.
I’d just say, ‘sorry it’s enough of a rush sorting my own kids out in the morning. I can’t manage another in the mix.’
It’s their responsibility to get their child to school, and a pretty basic one at that!
Say you have been thinking about it and can’t commit. Don’t give reasons just say it doesn’t work for you and mention the excellent before school care facility. If you really feel guilty cost up your time at £15 per trip- guarantee they won’t be so keen!
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now »
Already registered? Log in with:
Please login first.