Parenting Questions Answered - Living In A Neighborhood

Evan just turned 3 in August. He is the youngest kid in our neighborhood(other than the babies). Most of the kids are between 5 and 8. The next youngest is 8 months older than Evan(a girl) and then there is a little boy that will be 5 in November.

We live in a pretty small neighborhood and my house is on the very last road at the end of a cul de sac. There are kids running up and down our road all the time. Even though we don't get a whole lot of traffic, I don't let Evan go out of our front yard. Until recently, he had no interest in the other kids and was completely content playing in our huge fenced backyard. Now he wants to play with his friends all the time.

They come ringing the doorbell at all hours during the day, often during naptime, and they want to play in the front yard. I usually put large toys out there to keep them in the yard. If they want to ride bikes, I have to be in the front yard watching closely.

I rarely see their parents. Ever. The little boy and little girl that are closest to his age are the ones that are always ringing my doorbell. I see the little boy's dad a good bit, but not every time. I NEVER see the little girl's parents watching her. She actually lives down the road so they can't even see her if they're looking out a window or something.

The two of them are always walking up and down the street and Evan is usually OK with not going with them, but I'm worried he's going to start trying to want to because the other two kids do all the time.

I've told the kids over and over again that Evan takes a nap about an hour after lunch. The dad of the little boy even knows that Evan does. They still come ring the doorbell almost everyday around that time looking for him. Today they decided to "prank" me by ringing the doorbell and then running behind the car. Of course, this woke Evan AND Isabella up. I told them to stop ringing the doorbell, so then they started knocking on my door and then running. I saw the dad sternly talking to the boy a few minutes later so hopefully he was talking to him about ringing my doorbell and running. Of course, the little girl's parents are nowhere to be seen. Right now they are running up and down the street-Evan is in here with me.

So my question is:

If you live(d) in a neighorhood would you/do you allow your kids to roam all over the place? Do you let them go up to other people's doors and ring the doorbell at all times during the day?  Is this just a normal thing(he's only 3)?

Just in case you didn't know-my house is for sale and I can't wait to move out of this neighborhood! Fingers crossed that we'll be building the next house on land.  I've never lived in a neighborhood before this and I don't like it!

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Anonymous said...

I live in an apartment complex (200+ apartments)with tons of children ages 2-4. I do not let my 4 yr old off the porch unless I am outside. Even when Im outside watching her she has limits of how far she can go. The othe rkids in the neighborhood have free roam and go where ever they please. I have seen babies in diapers walking around by themsleves!

Jodi Faye said...

We have the same problem! I finally had to unhook our doorbell, but then they do keep knocking or kicking the door. My kids do not go knocking/ringing at anyone's door. If they see a friend outside that they want to play with that is fine, but we don't disturb houses every day. I have also had to tell the neighbors to leave my yard when they are out playing with our toys without my kids. Crazy!
I am also praying for a house with land ;)

GoldenOrchard said...

In all honesty and sincerity from your post those kids are out of line as well as there parents. The parents lack of supervision for their small kids is just a recipe for disaster that's waiting to happen.

Your post just described my neighborhood somewhat to the T! I'm on a cul-de-sac too and there's a couple neighbors who let their kids roam free, ring doorbells & tear-up and the neighborhood is fed up! Its so bad that the only way the kids play together for the most part is only through a scheduled playdate, to avoid the unruly neighbors. When the unruly kids go from house to house looking for kids to play w/ everyone usually sends them home telling the kids that if they'd like to come over they have to call to schedule a playdate.

That way when the unruly kids wander off (and believe me, they have on more than a few occasions w/ no adult supervising)their parents can't accuse the rest of the neighbors of being the last one to see their kids or being the ones who should have been responsible for them since they were outside too.

In addition since the unruly kids aren't supervised in their own backyard let alone the neighborhood, most of the other parents in the neighborhood don't want their kids at the unruly kids home at all. Not so much because of the safety concern of their child(ren) not being watched, but also the unruly kids parents attitudes are outrageously negative as well. All they do, yell holler and swear to oblivion at their kids as well as at the dog they have.

Like everyone else, one neighbor made a mistake of feeling sorry for those kids & started feeding them snacks since they were playing w/ her girls and boy does she regret it BIG TIME! For the LONGEST time the unruly kids would come over her house all hours of the day AND night (due to no supervision) asking for snacks & food and something to drink. The neighbor got so fed up late one night (I kid you not at around 11 O'clock on a school night) w/ the unruly kids she stormed over to their house & threatened to call the cops on them for their lack of parental supervision if they didn't leave the a lone, which sadly finally worked.

I think its so sad when parents let their kids roam free w/ no supervision. Nowadays, that's such a safety hazard for both the parent and the child and lord forbid if you live in my state and you have a pool because there's so much more liability if the unthinkable happens a child is hurt in your pool weather you are home or not unfortunately :(

My best advice is to try to talk to the parents about your concern with their kids coming over at unreasonable times. You could also try the "Playdate Only" method too for a while until the parents or kids improve. Or you could have outdoor neighboorhood playtime in only the mornings for your son & his friends & limit afternoons for scheduled playmates only so that your son can enjoy his naptime that way once you go in the house you can send the other kids home since they know that your son won't be coming out to play for a while or unless they have a playdate scheduled with him.

Good Luck! :D Hope you find a new house soon! ;)

ape2016 said...

I am lucky. I live in a great neighborhood. My kids are 5, 10 and 12. There are kids ranging from 1 to 17 all up and down the street with 6 houses on each side. The parents get along fairly well and watch out for each others kids. I did have a problem a couple times with kids anxious for mine to come out to play when we were having dinner, but when talking didn't remind them a simply worded sign taped to the door did the trick. I am sorry you have a lousy neighborhood and these kids are obviously too young to roam unsupervised.

~dab said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
~dab said...

Ugh, my post got messed up so I'm doing it over :)

I don't blame the kids, because their parents haven't taught them any better.

Can you try something like hanging something on the front door when your kids are napping? Something a preschooler would understand (maybe a red stop sign).

This way, if they come over and see the red stop sign on your door, they know your son can't come out and play, and also tell them it means they also should not knock, ring the bell, or stay in your yard and play.

Melanie said...

Since June I have been dealing with a similar problem. Fortunately, the family is moving. I have caught the little boy in my garage, taking toys from our porch and cussing. We made a rule that my son was ONLY allowed to play when he was supervised. The child is just barely 4 years old and his mother actually told me, "I look out the window every couple of hours."

I could go on and on about how much food, snacks, ect that I give the kids.

I would talk with the parents again about the doorbell. We have a rule in our house and Ephraim must ask me before going to knock on his buddies doors.

In the end, we decided for us, we are glad to be the house that all the kids want to be. But we are looking forward to new neighbors and are hoping the next set are better.

Steph said...

Phew! I don't have that problem yet, we live in a condo. I love where we live because my daughter (18 months) has a backyard to play in and SPACE. I do see kids running around but it's really in the woods (Maine) I would not let my 3 year old go where I couldn't see him/her. I don't let my stepdaughter (almost 5) out of my sight either. Luckily we'll be getting a house on land when we get one. Neither hubby nor I want the lack of privacy permanently!

dannyscotland said...

I was just going to say what dab said--put something on your door to let the kids know he's asleep. If that doesn't work, go to their parents and tell the parents, in front of the children, that their children are not allowed to come over. Period. If they see him outside, they can ask to play, but otherwise they are not allowed on your property. It's a shame that these days, when there are some parents who don't do any parenting (like that little girl's parents), sometimes you have to go to an extreme to get results. I hope that when you find a new neighborhood, the kids are better. You can probably tell from the comments that this is becoming the norm, because there are just so many parents who aren't teaching their children manners. As a teacher, I saw this all the time. Simple manners are gone. I'm glad that at least the boy's dad was saying something to him. Good luck!

Krystyn said...

No least maybe until like 10! There is/was a little boy in our neighborhood that was never at his house..and I never saw his parents either. It's a little strange.

Erin said...

We have the same issue, and I hate to say it, but I've had to be really mean to kids to rectify the problem of them ringing our doorbell all the time. It bothers me that children my son's age (three) just roam the neighborhood without any parental supervision. I just can't imagine being like that.

alissa4illustration said...

I've heard of a few friends complaining about their neighborhood kids doing the same. Totally not cool at all.

I don't even let Mica in our backyard by himself. He's 5. Our backyard is HUGE for a city lot. It has rolls of hills. Behind us lives a few fighter dogs. I'm not sure if Mica could be their lunch. I don't want to find out!

I know someone who's neighborhood kids will go and just walk in their house. The someone I know, Mom was staying with them from Mexico. The kid just walked right in while she was taking a nap. The kid freaked her out! She couldn't talk to him in English.

It's nice having kids around for your kids to play with, but a little privacy is nice too.

I'd be so annoyed if kids were ringing my bell during nap time! I also would hate that that little girl's parents are not in site.

Jayme said...

We had kids who would constantly be ringing the doorbell for the oldest three awhile back... eventually we got so annoyed (they come and ask like every 5 minutes if they were done with homework and could play yet!) that my husband disabled the doorbell in a fit of frustration LOL

They've moved, but now we have a new issue- a new family with 6 kids, all 8 and under... and they send them off to MY yard to play all the time. Even the baby, who's smaller than my twins... with no adult supervision- even when my kids aren't outside playing. They take our kids toys and bikes out, come in our backyard and help themselves to that stuff, etc.

I've never even SEEN the parents! Yesterday, the school aged ones showed up on my porch after the bus dropped them off because their parents weren't home and they had to use the bathroom and had no where else to go!

I sent them home once yesterday when their parents pulled in, and Aaron sent them home again when they showed up at dinnertime. It was raining, yet they were outside (riding my kids scooters @@) and wanting our kids to come out. Aaron told them to stay out of our yard if our kids aren't already outside playing... we'll see if they listen. If not, I guess I have to confront the parents...

Liz (Loving Mom 2 Boys) said...

I live in the neighborhood that my hubby grew up in, we all know or at least recognize each other and I love it....that said...I would NOT let my kids roam free around here, not yet not at their ages (I think Evan and Tommy are the same age). We are fortunate that the little girls across the street are the same age as my boys (the oldest is 3 months older than Tommy the youngest is 3 months younger than Jack). They play together like 2 married couples and we are perfectly content to let it stay that way for now. Maybe when the boys are older I will consider it, but for now they stay in our yards.

lewalk said...

That is unbelievable. I lived in a close knit neighborhood like that growing up and wanted that for my daughter but I cannot imagine kids roaming around at that age. I liked it and thought my daughter would too at about 10 or so. Kids get snatched up all the time even in places like that. That is just crazy and scary to me.

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