Author Topic: Annoying friends of my child - what to do?  (Read 8777 times)

jezebel

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Re: Annoying friends of my child - what to do?
« Reply #50 on: December 14, 2017, 12:36:57 PM »
Sorry, OP, I'm just not getting it.  If you don't answer the door, the kids assume you are not home so they try again later.  Maybe I just live in a very different neighborhood than you and grew up in a different one too.  I don't even have kids but I live in a subdivision with lots of them.  The kids run through all of the backyards to get to each other's houses.  If the neighbor kid's ball ends up in my yard, they just come in and get it.  No need to ask permission.  When I was a kid, it was the same and different families would set out drinks and snacks for us.  Even the lady with no kids would leave lemonade out sometimes, just to be neighborly.

These are different times we live in. Yes, I grew up in the 70s and 80s, things were different. We don't want people roaming around in our backyard as we have a pool and you are strictly liable if you own a pool. I'm sure you know what the term strict liability means. That means even if someone trespasses in your property and is injured in, or drowns in your pool, you are responsible no matter what. And you really should be teaching your children, should you decide to have any,  to ask permission before just roaming on someone's property. That's part of teaching good manners and social etiquette. If you were a parent, you would understand how hard it is to take care of 2 year old twins and a hyperactive 9 year old, without adding more kids into your home to "just drop by" whenever they feel like it, eat all your food, mess up your house while you struggle to take care of your toddlers. You'd know how much work it is to supervise children in your home. You have no idea until you have kids of your own, just what parents struggle with and why we might complain if someone's grandma brings two children over to your home, to just "drop them off" to play without giving any prior notice. This is a big HELL NO for me. Sorry but I'm not Mother Theresa. I do not have to watch anyone else's kids but my own. The comment about punishing someone's child is a joke. It would be the parent's fault not mine. If they want to keep the friendships with the girls going, they can man up and take my daughter out to lunch or a movie with their child sometime. It is long past due.

OP, your posts sound very defensive.  No one has suggested that you watch anyone else kid.  You should have set the boundaries that you currently prefer in the in the first place (play date by appointment made between parents).  You can't control how the other parents parent and it's really none of your business.   Your way forward is simple, if you want to actually reinforce the boundary.  Every time they come to the door, answer it and repeat the same thing - no you cannot come in.  you cannot just show up at our house, etc. 

And your comments about cutting off your daughter's friend because her parents don't reciprocate your invites or generosity is just, wow.  Why would you ever take another kid to restaurants and museums and expect her parents to reciprocate?  That's not remotely reasonable unless you have an agreement with her parents that they would do so.   And you have no idea what their finances allow, and maybe they don't want to pay for another child.  That's ok.

When we invite my kids' friends somewhere, we expect to pay without a thought of reciprocation.  It's nice if they sent their kids with some money, but we usually don't let him/her spend it.  And we rarely take another child somewhere because we don't want to spend the money to do it.  Simple as that.  We also invite friends over even though it has never been reciprocated.  Most people do reciprocate, but there are lots of reasons why someone can't or doesn't want to have an extra kid at their house.  If you really want to know why, ask.  Words are very helpful for lots of situations.

kaypinkHH

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Re: Annoying friends of my child - what to do?
« Reply #51 on: December 14, 2017, 12:41:31 PM »
You seem to believe I don't allow my children to play with other kids, or never allow other kids in my home. I'm not sure where you get that idea from.

Nope, that is 100% you putting words in my mouth.

Good job with the quick edit, maybe next time try editing before clicking send. I normally don't respond to passionate responses like what you had before you edited, but for some reason you struck a nerve.

I didn't mean that your OP was sad, it was a valid concern to you, and you have gotten a lot of good advice about how to deal with the kids (persistence, talk to their parents, set clear boundaries.) My only addition was that the kids may be lying to their dad and grandma so you may want to consider that before thinking the parents are taking advantage of you.

What I meant by my comment of "it is sad" that it all seems like a big deal was more so from the general responses from this thread. It makes me sad that kids in Canada can't roam freely before they are 10 years old, and that we have to be worried about other parents suing us, and that a kid seen without a parent may be reason to call CPS. It also makes me sad that we are  point where parents directly talking to others people's kids ie "No Betty, Susan can't come out to play today" could turn into a big deal (either from other parents or the kids etc.)

That is what I meant by this is a "fun" thread to read because it made me realize my future kids probably won't have the same care free childhood that I grew up in due to all these new rules and fears that have popped up in the past 20 years. ...this is all stuff I wouldn't have even worried about/considered if I hadn't read this post.

But yah, maybe I'm completely off base and have no idea what I'm talking about. I'll check back in here in 9 years when I do have a kid of my own, and let you know.

Edited to change a typo. Not to modify a whole post tone

shelivesthedream

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Re: Annoying friends of my child - what to do?
« Reply #52 on: December 14, 2017, 12:52:04 PM »
Come on guys, don't be jerks. I think we can all agree the OP needs to use their words and not hope two little kids just get the hint. However, this doesn't need to turn into a referendum on whether or not they are a bad parent. They don't want these two girls constantly turning up and hanging around their house - that's a perfectly OK thing to want, even if it's not what you would want personally. The issue is how the OP communicates that to the girls - clearly and consistently and out loud, at her than ghosting and hoping.

jezebel

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Re: Annoying friends of my child - what to do?
« Reply #53 on: December 14, 2017, 01:04:31 PM »
Come on guys, don't be jerks. I think we can all agree the OP needs to use their words and not hope two little kids just get the hint. However, this doesn't need to turn into a referendum on whether or not they are a bad parent. They don't want these two girls constantly turning up and hanging around their house - that's a perfectly OK thing to want, even if it's not what you would want personally. The issue is how the OP communicates that to the girls - clearly and consistently and out loud, at her than ghosting and hoping.

Who are you referring to?  Most the responses have been fairly polite.  The name calling is unnecessary. 

gaja

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Re: Annoying friends of my child - what to do?
« Reply #54 on: December 14, 2017, 01:34:07 PM »
Come on guys, don't be jerks. I think we can all agree the OP needs to use their words and not hope two little kids just get the hint. However, this doesn't need to turn into a referendum on whether or not they are a bad parent. They don't want these two girls constantly turning up and hanging around their house - that's a perfectly OK thing to want, even if it's not what you would want personally. The issue is how the OP communicates that to the girls - clearly and consistently and out loud, at her than ghosting and hoping.
Being a parent is living with a constant nagging feeling of questioning yourself, and wondering if you should be doing something differently. I think that is why discussions about parenting almost always turn ugly, with both/all sides feeling a need to defending their choices.

OP can and should parent the way she wants, and set the boundaries she wants. But I don't think the other posters here are out of line in pointing out that OPs parenting choices are in fact choices, and that she shouldn't expect everyone else to intuitively understand where her boundaries are.


Sorry, OP, I'm just not getting it.  If you don't answer the door, the kids assume you are not home so they try again later.  Maybe I just live in a very different neighborhood than you and grew up in a different one too.  I don't even have kids but I live in a subdivision with lots of them.  The kids run through all of the backyards to get to each other's houses.  If the neighbor kid's ball ends up in my yard, they just come in and get it.  No need to ask permission.  When I was a kid, it was the same and different families would set out drinks and snacks for us.  Even the lady with no kids would leave lemonade out sometimes, just to be neighborly.

Dear Blonde Lawyer. I'm a mother, and I love having the house full of neighbouring kids. I know all about how much work it is supervising a horde of kids in my home, but it is a good choice for us. When I get tired of them, I send them outside to play, or back home to their parents. Some kids I send home more often than others, mainly if I catch them lying to me or breaking my rules. They still come back, and usually they behave better the second (or tenth) time around. I don't have to watch any other kids but my own, but for us, having the house full is a choice that is worth the extra trouble.

When you get kids, you are free to choose your parenting style, and set your rules in your home.  Maybe you will choose OP's approach, maybe you will choose something closer to what you grew up with. There is no perfect choice, just do your best.
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mm1970

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Re: Annoying friends of my child - what to do?
« Reply #55 on: December 14, 2017, 02:03:46 PM »
Quote
I guess I don't care if they're running around outdoors playing, as long as they don't consider my home or front yard to be their territory.  When I was in junior high, there was a girl who befriended me for a while just so she could get free rides home from school, from my mom. Her parents never offered gas money or reciprocated by doing favors for us, and never even invited me to their house. Eventually my mom stopped giving her rides.  My daughter has a ton of friends already, though, and we don't feel we need to bend over backwards to get friends into her life.

This whole topic is tough for me for a couple of reasons.
1.  You could have been talking about me up there.  My parents separated/ divorced when I was in 10th grade, and I changed schools in 11th.  My mom started her job really early in the morning.  She had a car I couldn't drive, no bus service, so I started bumming a ride to school in the dark cold mornings, from a friend and her dad who lived nearby.  I could tell, eventually, that he wasn't happy about it and wanted out of it.  But I was 16-17 years old, it was the northeast in winter.  1.5 miles doesn't seem so far but it is when it's below freezing.  I walked home after school when it was warmer, or walked to the bank where my mom worked and waited.

2.  I'm an introvert/ extrovert.  Meaning I like people (but not really kids all that much), but I *NEED* down time.  My 11 year old is a social butterfly.  Seriously this kid LIVES on playdates.  And playdates are a PITA.  We tell the 5 yo that he has to plan ahead (and at his age, he does).

So, his bed bud (a girl) lives across the street.  We carpool to school. We are good friends.  The vast majority of the time, he invites her over.  But she doesn't always come alone, she has 2 younger sisters.

It's a balance, for me - yes, they are loud.  My house is small.  They make a mess.  They eat a lot (I buy tortillas and cheese at Costco).  And I need quiet time.  So sometimes, the answer is "no, not today".  Rarely do they come over after school - that's homework and family time, no exceptions unless it's the summer.  On the weekend, it's only a single day.  He is almost NEVER at their house because their mom doesn't like it.  She needs space.

I have to be direct though. 
- No, today is not a good day
- Next time call ahead and plan a time
- He's welcome to come to your house this time
- Oh, you are hungry?  Then you should go home to eat.
- "What's for lunch?" "Mac and cheese".  "I don't want that."  "Well, that's all there is.  Or an apple."

Part of me LIKES being "that house" where kids feel comfortable.  I grew up "free range" but in a rural area where there were no kids my age.  So there was no hanging out with other people, just running through the woods and riding my bike.

However I live by my schedule.  It's a rare occasion where people can just show up and I'd be okay with it.  Mostly because that's my preference.  A lot of other people don't schedule, and that's there preference.  To be honest, with 2 year old twins I'd simply say "no" a lot.  When my younger kid was smaller, I much preferred playdates at other people's houses.

Anyway, as most others said, set boundaries, say no, and be consistent.  That's all you can really do.  And opening the door and saying "no" is more effective, long term, than ignoring the door.

Chesleygirl

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Re: Annoying friends of my child - what to do?
« Reply #56 on: December 14, 2017, 02:07:08 PM »
And your comments about cutting off your daughter's friend because her parents don't reciprocate your invites or generosity is just, wow.  Why would you ever take another kid to restaurants and museums and expect her parents to reciprocate?  That's not remotely reasonable unless you have an agreement with her parents that they would do so.   And you have no idea what their finances allow, and maybe they don't want to pay for another child. 

I do know what their finances will allow. Since you don't know them, you are the one who has no idea. The Dad makes about 3 times what my husband earns. And it's not unreasonable at all to expect them to reciprocate. It's very, very reasonable to expect reciprocity somewhere down the line. Otherwise, the relationship is one sided with me doing everything and them doing nothing. It's not fair to anyone.  Like it or not, relationships are based on reciprocity. You really should consider giving back to those who have done nice things for you or your child. Otherwise, it turns into mooching. Mooching is ugly behavior.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2017, 02:08:41 PM by Chesleygirl »

Chesleygirl

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Re: Annoying friends of my child - what to do?
« Reply #57 on: December 14, 2017, 02:20:40 PM »
  Most the responses have been fairly polite.  The name calling is unnecessary.

There have been a few polite ones. but most of the other responses have been laced with guilt, shame and WTF is wrong with you. The reason it strikes a nerve is possibly because some parents know their own children do the same thing. After all, it's always cheaper and easier to have someone else feed and care for one's child after school.

Stay at home mothers are often guilted and pressured into providing free childcare for others, since it's assumed they just "do nothing all day long".  Sometimes nannies get the brunt of  this too. If other parents know a nanny or au pair works in in the household, they'll think they can just send their kids over for some free childcare (cleverly disguised as a playdate). However, nannies aren't hired to care for anyone else's children, usually per their contract, and SAHMs are just as busy as everyone else is.

jezebel

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Re: Annoying friends of my child - what to do?
« Reply #58 on: December 14, 2017, 03:07:30 PM »
And your comments about cutting off your daughter's friend because her parents don't reciprocate your invites or generosity is just, wow.  Why would you ever take another kid to restaurants and museums and expect her parents to reciprocate?  That's not remotely reasonable unless you have an agreement with her parents that they would do so.   And you have no idea what their finances allow, and maybe they don't want to pay for another child. 

I do know what their finances will allow. Since you don't know them, you are the one who has no idea. The Dad makes about 3 times what my husband earns. And it's not unreasonable at all to expect them to reciprocate. It's very, very reasonable to expect reciprocity somewhere down the line. Otherwise, the relationship is one sided with me doing everything and them doing nothing. It's not fair to anyone.  Like it or not, relationships are based on reciprocity.  You really should consider giving back to those who have done nice things for you or your child.  Otherwise, it turns into mooching. Mooching is ugly behavior.

Who exactly are you accusing of mooching here?  I don't want to escalate this conversation any further, but I have to say that this tone is very aggressive, borderline hostile.   No one in the thread has said anything to imply mooching.   And who said anything about nannies or SAHMs?  I'm a working parent so I considered this from a working parent's perspective.  And my kids have never left the house unsupervised nor would I allow other children to drop in for an unannounced play date, which probably maybe makes me a little uptight, but I'm ok with that.

I disagree with your opinion about reciprocity in your children's friendships, completely.  I think it's very unreasonable.   I absolutely do not want my children's friends' parents to take my kids to restaurants and buy them things.  They don't just get to decide to do that and expect me to reciprocate (they don't, btw).  My kids have enough things and they don't need to go to restaurants.  If the other parents don't reciprocate after the first time, it was your choice to stop paying for things.  If your daughter wants to end the friendship, ok, but otherwise this seems pretty drastic.

And I never claimed to know anything about your neighbor's finances, nor would I claim to know anything about my own neighbors even if I was aware of their salary.  Because I have no idea what other financial constraints they may be under.  You also don't get to decide whether someone else's finances will "allow" them to pay for stuff for your kid.

Chesleygirl

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Re: Annoying friends of my child - what to do?
« Reply #59 on: December 14, 2017, 03:47:45 PM »
  And who said anything about nannies or SAHMs?  I'm a working parent so I considered this from a working parent's perspective. 

That's the problem. The perspective of some working parents is to see SAHMS as free babysitters and get upset when they find out the SAHM may not be able to or might be too tired. Or might resent having other people dropping their kids off un-announced at their home.

I ultimately get to decide if someone hasn't reciprocated, that I am not okay with that anymore, especially when it's gone on for years and never once has this Dad offered to take my child somewhere or even let her come into his house. After we've entertained his daughter repeatedly. His behavior seems self-absorbed at this point and I'm just done with it. I find it rude my kid can't even come into his house when we've taken his daughter to movies, restaurants, let her sleep over at our house. He has one child, we have 3 so it's a lot more work for us to have his child come over. I feel the same thing with anyone else who constantly wants favors but never returns them. These people are moochers. I'm not sure why that word strikes a nerve. Go ahead and keep judging me, it's not going to build you as a person, and it won't build your character.

Oh and even a 9 year old thinks it's weird that she's had a friend for six years but never seen her house or even knows where she lives. Not sure how to answer questions about that to my own child.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2017, 04:09:59 PM by Chesleygirl »

hoping2retire35

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Re: Annoying friends of my child - what to do?
« Reply #60 on: December 14, 2017, 05:03:29 PM »
There are two girls at my daughter's school she is sort of friends with.They ride their bikes over to the house several times, just knock on the door, we'd let them in the first few times, to play for a while, then called their dad to come get them. These girls are sisters about 7 and 8, my daughter is 9. We decided to put a stop to it, as they would eat all the food in the fridge and didn't want to leave. The problem is, they still do this, just show up, bang on the door. It's started getting dark earlier now and I don't think they should be out riding around on their bikes, just my opinion, but I also don't want them coming in the house anymore on school nights and without prior arrangements being made for play dates. They will also follow my car home from school on their bikes, they come over, stalk the house, my daughter has started drawing the curtains closed, as she doesn't like their aggressive need for attention. Although she is friendly with them at school and on the playground after school. I also don't want them in my home all the time, I know that sounds totally selfish but I have young toddlers in my home also.  It's too many kids in the house to watch after. So one day a week ago, these two girls came over and their grandmother was with them and she said she was "dropping them off to play" and this was absent of any prior agreement. I told her I couldn't let them come in the house. One of the girls came over just today banging on our door and wouldn't leave for 10 minutes. Then called my daughter on the phone mad at her, for not answering the door. Should we talk to their parents or just let this go for a while until they get the hint?
Maybe, or just tell the kids they can come on Saturday or whenever but not during the week.

GreenEggs

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Re: Annoying friends of my child - what to do?
« Reply #61 on: December 14, 2017, 05:20:05 PM »
Tell your daughter that she needs to solve this problem ASAP or she's only getting a can of SPAM for Christmas!  ;)
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MayDay

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Re: Annoying friends of my child - what to do?
« Reply #62 on: December 14, 2017, 05:38:39 PM »
The more you post,OP, the more it is clear where the problem is.

Many of us are SAHM's. I am loling that you think this has something to do with being a SAHM.

It's you. Examine yourself.
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sparkytheop

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Re: Annoying friends of my child - what to do?
« Reply #63 on: December 14, 2017, 06:13:58 PM »
Quote
Should we talk to their parents or just let this go for a while until they get the hint?

Talk to the parents or the kids, but please don't go the "get a hint" route with kids.

Growing up, I had two friends in the neighborhood, and we'd randomly go to each others houses depending on what we wanted to do.  Sometimes just two of us, sometimes all three.

Best friend's mother got remarried and she ended up with two older (by 1 and 2 years) step sisters.  We still played while her parents dated, but once they got married, every time I went over I was just told "I can't play right now".  So, a day or two later, I'd knock on the door again.

Eventually, my best friend told me "I'm not allowed to play with you anymore".  It hurt, but I never knocked on her door again, or talked to her at school, and eventually they moved away (though still in the same town/school).

Much later, I found out there were two reasons for me not being allowed to play with her-- one was that my dad was a cop and the new husband was not the most upright standing citizen, and didn't want me to "tell on him".  Second was that one of the step-sisters was jealous of our friendship, so the mom thought removing me from the equation would help the girls bond better.

Their reasons were their reasons, but I didn't know I was no longer welcome until I was actually told that I was no longer welcome.  To this day, I hate it when people get mad that someone "won't take the hint", or doesn't magically "figure it out" when there is a new change to the rules.  Just say what you need to say and be done with it.

jezebel

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Re: Annoying friends of my child - what to do?
« Reply #64 on: December 14, 2017, 06:15:35 PM »
  And who said anything about nannies or SAHMs?  I'm a working parent so I considered this from a working parent's perspective. 

That's the problem. The perspective of some working parents is to see SAHMS as free babysitters and get upset when they find out the SAHM may not be able to or might be too tired. Or might resent having other people dropping their kids off un-announced at their home.

I ultimately get to decide if someone hasn't reciprocated, that I am not okay with that anymore, especially when it's gone on for years and never once has this Dad offered to take my child somewhere or even let her come into his house. After we've entertained his daughter repeatedly. His behavior seems self-absorbed at this point and I'm just done with it. I find it rude my kid can't even come into his house when we've taken his daughter to movies, restaurants, let her sleep over at our house. He has one child, we have 3 so it's a lot more work for us to have his child come over. I feel the same thing with anyone else who constantly wants favors but never returns them. These people are moochers. I'm not sure why that word strikes a nerve. Go ahead and keep judging me, it's not going to build you as a person, and it won't build your character.

Oh and even a 9 year old thinks it's weird that she's had a friend for six years but never seen her house or even knows where she lives. Not sure how to answer questions about that to my own child.

What do you mean by "strikes a nerve" here? It may be a reference to me asking you to clarify a prior comment that I didn't understand?  Is that indicative of something striking a nerve? I think you said something similar to other posters who expressed disagreement with your opinion.  Should that similarly be interpreted as striking a nerve?

Also, who are the working moms that see SAHMs as babysitters? I don't understand how that fits into the discussion about neighbors.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2017, 06:19:30 PM by jezebel »

Chesleygirl

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Re: Annoying friends of my child - what to do?
« Reply #65 on: December 14, 2017, 06:41:47 PM »
Also, who are the working moms that see SAHMs as babysitters? I don't understand how that fits into the discussion about neighbors.

Other parents know which moms are home after school. It becomes known. Plenty of other moms and dads see SAHMS as babysitters. In fact, there was a post on this board about it a while back. A poster was confused why his SAHM neighbor sold Avon, but wouldn't babysit for him. That's just one example but there are plenty of people who hold the same viewpoint. They just assume if a woman is home all day with her kids, she'll let other kids come over and watch them.

BeanCounter

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Re: Annoying friends of my child - what to do?
« Reply #66 on: December 14, 2017, 07:28:23 PM »
Also, who are the working moms that see SAHMs as babysitters? I don't understand how that fits into the discussion about neighbors.

Other parents know which moms are home after school. It becomes known. Plenty of other moms and dads see SAHMS as babysitters. In fact, there was a post on this board about it a while back. A poster was confused why his SAHM neighbor sold Avon, but wouldn't babysit for him. That's just one example but there are plenty of people who hold the same viewpoint. They just assume if a woman is home all day with her kids, she'll let other kids come over and watch them.
I assume you are referring to my post below. In which I offered my neighbor $15 an hour to do babysitt after school?
Antimustachian Wall of Shame and Comedy / Re: No, I won't buy into your MLM
« on: August 14, 2017, 09:49:39 PM »
Quote from: BeanCounter on August 14, 2017, 10:33:27 AM
I just offered the SAHM across the street $15 an hour to watch my kids after school. She said she wasn't interested in making that kind of time commitment. Which I understand. (maybe she hates my kids). But yet she is trying to sell Avon (thought they were bankrupt) on FB, and having yard sales for $$.

I may be wrong, but I don't think Avon is an MLM business. I think it's direct sales.

MrsPete

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Re: Annoying friends of my child - what to do?
« Reply #67 on: December 14, 2017, 09:32:39 PM »
I am not sure what the laws are here. They are the only kids in the area who do this, run around after school, all over the neighborhood. They have gone into other people's homes when the front door was unlocked. We have after-school care here until 6 pm. but I suppose their parents can't afford to pay for it. They came over just yesterday, ringing the doorbell, and it was after 5 pm. and it's getting dark earlier now. We didn't answer the door. It's the third time they've come by this week. We have called their parents in the past, who were just sitting at home watching tv. They said their children knew what time to come back home. They might be "free range" kids and their parents are okay with this, so all I'm going to do now is not answer the door.
I've known those children.  They wander the neighborhood looking for families who'll give them a meal and let them hang out and watch TV a while.  These are also the parents who put their kids into church youth group, scouts, and 4H for the sake of the overnight trips ... then they send them without sleeping bags and won't come pick the kids up after the trip.

Also, I have now a lot of experience with telling visiting kids: "It's rude to do  X" or "We don't do X in our home", or even "If you keep doing X, I will tell your parents to bring you home right away.  And that would be too bad, because I want you to stay!"  Such unacceptable behaviors include entering our house without ringing the doorbell, opening cabinets or refrigerators without permission, or making a mess.
Be sure to include touching computers in this list.  One of my kids had a friend who'd come over and sit down at our family desktop.  Uh, no.  First, that's MINE.  Second, I'm not supervising a kids' playdate so you can play online games while my kid plays alone.

Goldielocks

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Re: Annoying friends of my child - what to do?
« Reply #68 on: December 15, 2017, 12:11:45 AM »
The more you post,OP, the more it is clear where the problem is.

Many of us are SAHM's. I am loling that you think this has something to do with being a SAHM.

It's you. Examine yourself.

Yeah,  I am not getting this vibe so much.  Okay, OP is dialing down on her position and definitely getting defensive.   But I read KaypinkPh's post (sp?) and I know what she is talking about for going over to someone's home, playing in their room, etc.

But you know what?  Those were all the mannered kids. In my day,  we did not make a deliberate mess of the washroom, we did not go to the kitchen and ask the adult for food, we deliberately stayed out of the adult areas of the home and away from the mom, we did not roughhouse inside the home, and we always left when our curfew / time was up (before 5pm).  Sometimes we would politely ask to use the phone to call for a ride home... sometimes we said thank-you.  Often I did not even see the parent.

My daughter has had a few friends like that, too.

BUT -- I have come across a couple of kids similar to that OP describes, and folks, those kids are hella irritating and triple the workload by the mess and chaos left behinds.  This is not nicely playing in the bedroom, this is having to do toy pickup in every room they have been in, plus the demands for food that "nice" people end up agreeing to.

The fact that OP put up with this for so long is evidence of her patience and general agreement that sometimes a bit of effort is needed to support her child's friendships.  But man, some children are capable of irritating every nerve, especially on those of us that are not blunt and direct by nature.

The only way to solve it would be to be blunt and direct.   Sounds like OP would be ok if there was reciprocity, too bad one can't just say that the kids.   

shelivesthedream

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Re: Annoying friends of my child - what to do?
« Reply #69 on: December 15, 2017, 01:44:17 AM »
Come on guys, don't be jerks. I think we can all agree the OP needs to use their words and not hope two little kids just get the hint. However, this doesn't need to turn into a referendum on whether or not they are a bad parent. They don't want these two girls constantly turning up and hanging around their house - that's a perfectly OK thing to want, even if it's not what you would want personally. The issue is how the OP communicates that to the girls - clearly and consistently and out loud, at her than ghosting and hoping.

Who are you referring to?  Most the responses have been fairly polite.  The name calling is unnecessary.

It's not name calling. It's a reference to forum rule 1: Don't be a jerk. And yep, most of the responses have been fairly polite but I think we can raise the bar a bit here! Some of the responses have gone way outside the scope of the original question and basically called the OP a bad person for not wanting to feed and entertain someone else's children. Whatever you think about the benefits of free range kids or adult reciprocity in child friendships, there's no need for some of the accusations which have been flying around. They asked a question about stopping these kids knocking on their door, not for an in-depth analysis on why they are a bad parent, selfish person and don't contribute to their community.

I've been reminded of forum rule 1 myself in the past and have used it as a helpful reminder to sit back and wonder if I want to get this angry at a tiny slice of an Internet stranger's life, and whether the tone I used was appropriate or whether I could have said the same thing in a kinder way.

EricL

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Re: Annoying friends of my child - what to do?
« Reply #70 on: December 15, 2017, 02:57:10 AM »
IMO the OP is NOT obligated to play host to other people's kids all the time.  Or even be nice about it.  If those kids hang around like they're the OP's kids all the time, the OP becomes their de facto parent.  This isn't good for anyone both in terms of responsibility, values learning or liability. 

People IMO, tend to have way too cloying opinions about kids vs. how they are.  In my childhood memories most of my peers were merely innocently irresponsible at best and utter psychopaths at worst - including me.  Often channeling whatever their parents' traumas and values shortcomings.   Especially in when in groups. 
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Re: Annoying friends of my child - what to do?
« Reply #71 on: December 15, 2017, 06:06:01 AM »
If we stick to the original question of how to make these annoying kids go away, the answer is tell them. They don't know otherwise, and hiding and hoping they go away is not going to help.
When I was a kid I was allowed to play on the street with my friends, within view of my house at first and later my range expanded. But if I wanted to have friends over, I had to ask and our parents had to confirm. It's not unreasonable to have rules, but you have to clearly state them and enforce them if you want them to stick.
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Re: Annoying friends of my child - what to do?
« Reply #72 on: December 15, 2017, 07:20:26 AM »
There is a huge gap between kids being annoying to a neighbor and kids being neglected and bringing in CPS. Where I live, many school age children, 5 and up, play at each others' yards or houses without pre-arrangement. (And I've clearly told my next door neighbors it's fine if the soccer or frisbee game spills into my yard.) but not all families do this.  Some do not think it's safe. And as a working mom myself I had my child at after school care on days I worked unless there was an arranged play date.  Parents get to make these choices, but children may not understand that other parents make different choices. 

If you want children or adults in your home, invite them.  If you don't, tell them you will call them when you want to get together.  set whatever rules you want.  In my house, I told all incoming children, "we don't wear shoes in this house." They were fine with it. 
« Last Edit: December 15, 2017, 07:54:39 PM by Dee18 »

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Re: Annoying friends of my child - what to do?
« Reply #73 on: December 15, 2017, 08:09:03 AM »
I think that you're making a mistake by modelling avoidance for your daughter (not answering the door, dodging the girls) instead of direct and firm boundaries.

As another poster has suggested, just open the door and say, "Sally doesn't want to play today." "I don't want guests." It's better if you teach your daughter to do it, but you can do it too.

Then they'll go away and not knock on your door for 10 minutes. Yes, you might have to do it every day if there's something really wrong with them, but it'll take you 10 seconds.

Chesleygirl

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Re: Annoying friends of my child - what to do?
« Reply #74 on: December 15, 2017, 09:45:00 AM »
IMO the OP is NOT obligated to play host to other people's kids all the time.  Or even be nice about it.  If those kids hang around like they're the OP's kids all the time, the OP becomes their de facto parent. 

That's the concern I have regarding liability. I don't want to be a de facto parent. This child has called my husband on his cell phone. I told my husband "if that kid ever goes missing, you'll be getting a phone call from the police, since your phone number is in her cell phone log".

My child has had tons of kids begging her for play dates, to come to her b-day party, etc. We had 30 kids show up at her party, some of the parents were dropping off the younger siblings, something I hadn't expected. So we're constantly having to set boundaries or figure out rules. And how to work play time into our schedule of other activities. I also understand some parents can't relate to the problem because their kids may not have many, or any, friends at all. So they don't really face these same issues, and they can't empathize.

mm1970

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Re: Annoying friends of my child - what to do?
« Reply #75 on: December 15, 2017, 10:43:04 AM »
  And who said anything about nannies or SAHMs?  I'm a working parent so I considered this from a working parent's perspective. 

That's the problem. The perspective of some working parents is to see SAHMS as free babysitters and get upset when they find out the SAHM may not be able to or might be too tired. Or might resent having other people dropping their kids off un-announced at their home.

I ultimately get to decide if someone hasn't reciprocated, that I am not okay with that anymore, especially when it's gone on for years and never once has this Dad offered to take my child somewhere or even let her come into his house. After we've entertained his daughter repeatedly. His behavior seems self-absorbed at this point and I'm just done with it. I find it rude my kid can't even come into his house when we've taken his daughter to movies, restaurants, let her sleep over at our house. He has one child, we have 3 so it's a lot more work for us to have his child come over. I feel the same thing with anyone else who constantly wants favors but never returns them. These people are moochers. I'm not sure why that word strikes a nerve. Go ahead and keep judging me, it's not going to build you as a person, and it won't build your character.

Oh and even a 9 year old thinks it's weird that she's had a friend for six years but never seen her house or even knows where she lives. Not sure how to answer questions about that to my own child.

This is not a SAHM vs working mom thing, so don't turn it into that.  (Certain individual people can be that way, but unless you've expressly heard someone say that, don't assume it).

This is:
- A "free range" thing vs. a "schedule" thing.
- A "fine hosting kids" vs. a "don't like to host kids" thing.
- A "likes to be at home" vs. "likes to travel/ go elsewhere" thing.

I understand the disappointment in lack of reciprocity.  I really do.  It bugs me (sometimes) when relationships are one-sided.  But, ultimately, it's up to ME to decide what I'm willing to do, without anyone else owing me anything.

We take our kids' friends out to lunch with us sometimes.  We don't expect them to pay us.  We are going to do something fun, and especially if it's a get together with the 5 year old's friends, I'll happily pay for lunch for my 11 year old's buddy so he has someone to play with.  No you don't need to send money.  Fine if you do.  Vice versa.  If my son is going to a fair or a movie or out with a friend, I will send him with money.  But I'm fine if he comes home with it and I'm not keeping score.

However, I can afford that AND I've chosen a frequency of these types of play dates that I'm comfortable with.  It's a few times a year.  I'd never get into the regular habit of going out to lunch on Saturdays and bringing my kid's friend.  I'm not comfortable with that.

Working parents AND SAHPs can be "free range" and "schedulers", and my friends are every combination.  I MISS OUT on a lot of last minute get-togethers because I don't have that lifestyle or personality.  I get to ENJOY our regularly scheduled neighborhood potlucks because I like a schedule!

Some families like going out and being away from home a LOT more than I do.  That's a factor too.

KCM5

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Re: Annoying friends of my child - what to do?
« Reply #76 on: December 15, 2017, 11:52:22 AM »
IMO the OP is NOT obligated to play host to other people's kids all the time.  Or even be nice about it.  If those kids hang around like they're the OP's kids all the time, the OP becomes their de facto parent. 

That's the concern I have regarding liability. I don't want to be a de facto parent. This child has called my husband on his cell phone. I told my husband "if that kid ever goes missing, you'll be getting a phone call from the police, since your phone number is in her cell phone log".

My child has had tons of kids begging her for play dates, to come to her b-day party, etc. We had 30 kids show up at her party, some of the parents were dropping off the younger siblings, something I hadn't expected. So we're constantly having to set boundaries or figure out rules. And how to work play time into our schedule of other activities. I also understand some parents can't relate to the problem because their kids may not have many, or any, friends at all. So they don't really face these same issues, and they can't empathize.

And now people can't empathize with your problem because their kids don't have enough friends?

Just set some rules, tell people (adult and children) what your rules are and enforce the rules as necessary.

And re-read your posts before you hit the button. Ouch.

MayDay

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Re: Annoying friends of my child - what to do?
« Reply #77 on: December 15, 2017, 05:51:54 PM »
Holy fuckballs,  you are some kind of asshole sorry,that is probably against forum rules. Let me repharse.

What an absolutely hurtful, rude, and unkind thing to say, my mind is honestly boggled.


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Re: Annoying friends of my child - what to do?
« Reply #78 on: December 15, 2017, 06:12:27 PM »
Holy fuckballs,  you are some kind of asshole sorry,that is probably against forum rules. Let me repharse.

What an absolutely hurtful, rude, and unkind thing to say, my mind is honestly boggled.

That is definitely against forum rules, and using strike through text doesn't make it better.

MayDay

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Re: Annoying friends of my child - what to do?
« Reply #79 on: December 15, 2017, 07:00:10 PM »
Holy fuckballs,  you are some kind of asshole sorry,that is probably against forum rules. Let me repharse.

What an absolutely hurtful, rude, and unkind thing to say, my mind is honestly boggled.

That is definitely against forum rules, and using strike through text doesn't make it better.

Sorry not sorry, that was an asshole thing to say.

I'll admit she rubbed me wrong since the OP, but that last is so far over the edge that it isn't even funny.

She can fuck right off with that "so sorry your child has no friends" bullshit.
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HappierAtHome

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Re: Annoying friends of my child - what to do?
« Reply #80 on: December 15, 2017, 07:13:31 PM »
Holy fuckballs,  you are some kind of asshole sorry,that is probably against forum rules. Let me repharse.

What an absolutely hurtful, rude, and unkind thing to say, my mind is honestly boggled.

That is definitely against forum rules, and using strike through text doesn't make it better.

Sorry not sorry, that was an asshole thing to say.

I'll admit she rubbed me wrong since the OP, but that last is so far over the edge that it isn't even funny.

She can fuck right off with that "so sorry your child has no friends" bullshit.

If you think her behaviour is against forum rules, hit the report to moderator button.

When we engage in name calling and other behaviour that violates the forum rules (especially #1 - don't be a jerk) it drags down the value of this forum.

Carrie

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Re: Annoying friends of my child - what to do?
« Reply #81 on: December 15, 2017, 09:25:46 PM »
I have to tell you, I was thrilled when two neighbors moved in with boys close in age to ours. I introduced myself, we exchanged numbers, and we set ground rules.  Like we're never available on Thursday afternoons. They're not available on Mondays.  Weekends are generally family time, but we each can feel free to pop over snd ask if anyone wants to play. Kids all return home way before dinner. I don't offer snacks, but I've recently found out that my 5 yo will eat the whole time if they let him. So I told the other mom to cut him off, or not feed him.
Sometimes we text - hey, send the kids home please, or hey do you all want to walk to the park? We each feel comfortable telling the kids to go home or go outside whenever we need them to. It works, talking, communicating with each other (kids and adults).
I would be heartbroken if one of these moms started being mean to my kid/defriending because we didn't get a hint.  It would hurt because my oldest is one of those kids that is genius-goofy, and he doesn't have a ton of friends. We'd both want to know if there was some boundary we were inadvertently crossing.
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Villanelle

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Re: Annoying friends of my child - what to do?
« Reply #82 on: December 15, 2017, 10:59:13 PM »
To most kids, "unanswered door" means nothing more than "no one home or otherwise available to answer".  So it isn't going to deter them.  They will keep coming. 

If you just don't want them to come in your home, that's fine.  But if you want them to actually stop coming over and knocking for 10 minutes at a time, you are going to need to step up and say something.  What, exactly, that "something" is depends on what you want, and what your daughter wants.   If you are willing to have your daughter play outside with them and she wants to do that, then tell them, "Sorry, from now on, there's no inside play here.  Would you like me to ask Susie if she wants to play outside with you?  Also, she has to be home and back inside by the time it is dark."   Decide where your line is, convey that, and repeat.  If, after a few repetitions, it has no effect, you might need to let their parents know.  "We've let Jane and Joan know this, but it doesn't seem to be getting through, so I wanted to drop by and let you know.  With little ones home, it's just too much for me to have all these kids playing inside, so we've set a rule that Susie can only play outside, and only until dark.  I just wanted to let you know and maybe ask you to remind Joan and Jane of that if they tell you they are going to come over to play."

Or maybe your rule is no playing at all on weeknights.  Or no playing with the same kid more than once a week.  Or whatever it is.  (Personally, since these kids haven't done anything so awful, I think that excluding them from playing with your daughter at all is over the top.  If your daughter wants that, you need to help her and work with her so she can figure out how to politely and kindly distance herself from them at school.  If she doesn't, then I think applying more or less the same rules to these kids as you do to others is appropriate.  Decide what those are, convey them clearly and without exceptions for Jane and Joan, and let their parents know the rules as well.

Yes, it's uncomfortable.  Adulting is so friggin hard sometimes, especially for those who, like me, are avoiders by nature.  But for now, it seems like you are upset because they are breaking rules they don't know exist.  Yes, they are behaving outside of generally accepted manners.  But all kids do that about all things, until someone teaches them better.  While it's not your job to teach them life skills, if you want them to display a specific life skill when interacting with you, you are going to have to. 

FrugalToque

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Re: Annoying friends of my child - what to do?
« Reply #83 on: December 16, 2017, 04:35:33 AM »
I read through most of this thread, and while some of us would like to say, "Hey, this is just like the 1980s!  Lighten up!", we're clearly dealing with something else here.

Yes, it was fine, back in 1980s, for kids to just run up to your house, knock on the door, and say, "Can Toque come out to play?"  If I could, my parents would say 'yes'.  If I answered the door, I would ask my parents and, unless we had dinner nearly ready or intended a trip to a grandparent, the answer would be yes.

Children playing together does not need to be formalized and planned into a "play date".  Spontaneous social interaction is fine, especially if it's happening outside and they're getting exercise.

That, however, has nothing to do with the OP's post.  We are talking about children walking into her house without permission, children who have unusually high demands for food, drink and whatnot.  The children do not take no for an answer ("Sorry, Mike has to practice guitar right now" or "We're having dinner") and the OP's kid is hiding out in the house because she doesn't want to deal with them.  Besides that, if the grandmother in question is actually planning on leaving the kids while she goes out somewhere, *that* absolutely has to be planned in advance - or at least permission requested.

No, this isn't normal.  No, these visiting children are not polite - and it seems that this comes from their parents.

Toque.

Hargrove

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Re: Annoying friends of my child - what to do?
« Reply #84 on: December 16, 2017, 09:06:13 AM »
A lot of advice since then has been "here's how you opt out."

Opting out or "being obligated to opt out" seems unacceptable to the OP, so it goes back to "I shouldn't have to."

Unfortunately, that's an infinite feedback loop. No, you shouldn't have to, but that's not the point. I think most would agree with OP on rude kids being a burden. The grandmother's "introduction" was appalling and completely unacceptable. And, teaching those you interact with (in any stage of life) what your boundaries are will just always be the most effective way to get those boundaries respected. It's also the method that gives you the most control.

Sure, you probably shouldn't have to deal with this, but there are lots of things we shouldn't have to deal with that nonetheless are there waiting for us - it's for that we look for advice, no? It doesn't help you or your daughter to have a burst of anxiety when the kids pound on the door, and the kids won't stop on their own. If it causes a similar amount of stress to confront them with boundaries, then other posters may just not understand your level of anxiety. That notwithstanding, the kids really are unlikely to react in the way you want without something more direct.

Good luck with this.
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jooniFLORisploo

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Re: Annoying friends of my child - what to do?
« Reply #85 on: December 16, 2017, 09:49:47 AM »
OP, I had that experience in my previous town. I was blown away.

Kids we knew or didn't know would:
*bang (and I mean bang) on the door for up to ten minutes at a time
*if they smashed on the door and determined we were home, they would walk around the house to peer in the windows
*if our curtains were closed, they would stand outside a window and call in "I know you're home!"
*if we didn't respond to any of this, they would circle back every few minutes and start again
*if our door was open, they would walk all the way in...as far in as the back bedroom

I found this absolutely bizarre.
I had seen this with no other children, in no other place, in my entire life.
Some were kids from great families, some were very very very neglected. Treatment at home wasn't the commonality.
What seemed to be in common was: parents sending kids out with no information about boundaries and decorum.

When I didn't want this happening, I put a sign on the door ("Resting, please do not disturb." Or, "Please knock only once."). Some of the kids were up to age 12 and able to read. They did the above stuff anyway. I asked them why they did this after reading the sign. They didn't know.

The ones who couldn't read, I taught how to knock. "Come stand in our house. I will go outside and knock how you are knocking. Tell me how you feel when I knock like that." Scared, they said. "Right. If my house is not on fire, do not knock like that." That eliminated the bashing.

If the kids were very small and I knew who their parents were, I talked to them. "Please talk to your kid. Please ask them to knock just once a day, and gently." This reduced the knockings to 3x a day per kid.

Finally, I asked the kids to text first. That finally did the trick. They just couldn't understand or remember things like appropriate behaviour once they'd crossed into the yard. Texting brought their parents into the interaction (they had to ask their parents for the phone).

It was a long process for me to figure out what would work. I agree with the posters that say you need to be straightforward to the point of brief and blunt. But ultimately, in my case the only thing that worked was forcing their parents into the request-making process, by requiring the kids to text us.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2017, 10:43:19 AM by jooniFLORisploo »
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Re: Annoying friends of my child - what to do?
« Reply #86 on: December 16, 2017, 10:28:31 AM »
Hi ChelseyGirl. I totally get where you’re coming from. There’s a difference between kids dropping in once in a while, and kids who are at your house all the time. We have a couple kids in our neighborhood who showed up all the time, played rough, and ate all my food. No reciprocation. No effort from the parents to build any kind of a relationship. They started barging into the house when the door was unlocked an$ banging loudly on the door when we didn’t answer. I finally had to break out the “mom” voice and say “If we don’t answer the door, after the first knock, we are not able to play.  And you alyways need to knock.”

There’s a difference between building a community and taking advantage of others. It gets really hard because those who are focused on building a community can get sucked in to giving more than they can. At that point, I think it’s ok to stand up and set boundaries. It’s not easy, but we can’t carry the world all the time, even if we’d like to.

EricL

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Re: Annoying friends of my child - what to do?
« Reply #87 on: December 16, 2017, 12:41:52 PM »
I suppose it's because I don't have kids that I'd even consider the following:

1. If living in a conservative, WASP community, telling visiting children the household password is "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" and coaching them to say it properly (check YouTube for how).  Impress that when The Great Old Ones return knowing this will provide further benefit - of a sort.  Send a missive home to the parents with the children asserting this.

2. In a liberal community, sending them home with Jack Chic pamphlets to "save them and their parents' souls from eternal damnation."

3. Ask the Grandma if she supports the 2nd Amendment and look miffed/act condescending if she does anything but display her concealed carry pistol.  Lecture her on its importance.  Casually mention the extensive firearms and ammunition collection in your home are "free range" for instant access in case of surprise home invasion by (insert paranoid fantasy here).

4. Ask if it's OK that "Uncle Bob" be the kids' caretaker while you're out on business.  "Uncle Bob" is a sweet guy, totally harmless, who's just in between homes while he deals with his leprosy.  Yeah, that's why there's a plastic sheet over the couch. 

5. Answer the door for inconsiderate grandma dressed in (depending on best effect): Bondage gear, Klan sheets, Nazi memorabilia, Antifa black with matching kerchief (don't forget the sickle & hammer accessories), stark naked, or looking stark naked but extravagantly layered Kool Whip.

6. Announce that the first babysitting was free.  All future visits longer than 30 minutes will be charged at $30 an hour.  Or, based on your work experience, more.  Plus fees due to insurance requirements, zoning, child safety regulations and handling.  Cost of food taken from the fridge will be added to charges at 50% over retail due to time/money/fuel lost replacing it.  Items eaten will be charged for in full despite partial consumption.  Offer a contract they must sign agreeing to this with a mention of a civil suit for failure to abide by it.

7. Give them a waiver to sign excusing you for liability for their kids.  Make it super comprehensive, covering every possible thing that might happen to their children in your care from slips, trips, and falls to transforming into a Deep One and requiring a seafood only diet.

8. Mention proud accomplishments to grandma.  Include an anecdote about having Child Protective Services remove a child from parents for neglect.  Phrase it like you're a proud self righteous childrens' advocate.  Supply details suggesting you blew shit totally out of proportion, even lied, to force CPS's hand. 

9. Announce you have a roach infestation.  And that you'll be bug bombing the house every day till they're gone.  But the safety warnings about not being inside while the aerosol goes off, cleaning kitchen utensils afterwards, or removing/covering food is just too troublesome.  All those safety warnings on the cans are just shit lawyers added because some dumb ass huffed a can after he licked a toad or something. 

Meh.  Perhaps I should never have kids. 
« Last Edit: December 16, 2017, 05:00:12 PM by EricL »
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Re: Annoying friends of my child - what to do?
« Reply #88 on: December 16, 2017, 02:36:36 PM »
EricL's post reminded me of a sign outside a toy store nearby:

Children left unattended will be given either an espresso or a puppy.