Do not want my kids to play with the neighbors kids

by Shannon

We just moved into a new neighborhood. My daughter (7)ran into a girl she rides the bus with while we were at a neighborhood yard sale.

Being desperate to find new kids to play with in the area I thought it would be a good idea to let them play together along with her younger brother who happened to be the same age as my youngest. Perfect right?

After that initial brief get together every time there after the mom would always have a very dramatic "emergency" and I would end up watching all the kids for hours. One time, which was only supposed to be for 45 minutes and ended up being 7 hours which was till 10:30 at night. Hers kids are ages 5 and 3.

After talking to another neighbor about a month later I learned that she is supposed to be in rehab for a drinking problem. This confirmed my suspicions and I am trying to figure out how to let her know that I would prefer to not have any contact anymore without her going postal on me, the kids, house or pets (she used to be a bounty hunter).

I have not responded to her calls, or notes in the mailbox. Today she dropped her 3 yr old son off at the front door and my husband answered while I was out. She then came up and asked if it was ok to play, even though they already had taken off together. Awkward moment. She is not taking the hint and forcing herself on us.

I feel awful for her kids but I do not want to be her babysitter everytime she wants to get plastered and sucked up into her drama anymore.

Please help with a way to be firm but tactful in my response.

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Oct 09, 2009
A Kinder Sort of Confrontation
by: Eunice

Dear Shannon,

It does sound horrible. It seems that she is taking advantage of you.

Please bear with me as I try out some drastic suggestions:

I'm wondering if you have ever said, "No, I'm sorry, I'm really busy right now with some very important family matters, I cannot watch your kids."

I mean there is a huge difference watching two kids over four!

If she tries again and again, once and for all, you could try telling her, "Look, I'm sorry for the emergencies you have, but I have a new confidential issue in my life that requires all my time and can no longer spare any time to watch your kids. (You could be starting a new tutoring regime with your daughter that needs all your concentration and attention), I appreciate if you do not ask me again, because I really can't."

If she still does not get it, just do not respond when she rings the door bell.

If she gets mad and tries to do something, call the police. Complain of harassment (because it does fall into the realm of it) and you might want to get a restraining order.

I've written a similar but less 'serious' response to another post: (copy and paste in browser)

I greatly sympathize with your situation and I hope you will resolve it soon.


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