12 Apr
My 7 Year Old Neighbor Thinks She Owns Our Home! I Think She Needs to Get Some Manners And Go Away!

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

The little girl next door is pushy and doesn’t take direction very well. She’s 7, and likes to pop in to visit with my 4 year old. That’s all fine and good, except she has poor houseguest manners.

For example, she doesn’t ring our doorbell; she just lets herself in our (gated) backyard to play. And when she does ring the doorbell, she simply barges right in as soon as I open the door. She’s nosy, takes spare change from my house and lets herself in uninvited.

I’ve told her mother about all of these things, but I’ve tried to keep it light-hearted– I don’t want to start a feud with my neighbors. But yesterday she came to the door while we were coloring Easter eggs. My son was happy to see her, so I let her in and asked her to join us. She did but was a little snotty about it: “We make prettier ones at our house.” Then it came time for her to go since I was getting dinner on the table so I said, “Would you like to take an egg with you?” She replied, “I’d like four.” I said that I was going to be having these eggs with our family. She said she had colored four, so she wanted four. I said one or two was enough; we have two little kids at home and we aren’t making any more. As I started towards the door, the little brat grabbed four eggs, stuffed them in the dye kit box and left, yelling, “I took my four!”

Her attitude stinks like a rotten egg. Do I say something more to her mother? Or do I let it go, and just try not to let her in?

Signed,
The Goose With Four Less Golden Eggs

—————————————

Dear Goose,

Before you speak with the mother there are a few things you may want to purchase:

  • Electrical fence
  • Home security alarm system
  • New deadbolts for the front and back doors. I hear they even make the fingerprint kind! If you’re going to do it, why not make it fun like Star Trek?
  • Stun gun
  • Sprinkler system that is activated by unauthorized motion
  • A guard dog. Or Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s up to you to enforce the boundaries you need. Neighbor issues can be very tricky. While you can certainly speak with her mother, it seems that the little girl’s lack of respect for adults and unwillingness to accept the word “no” probably stem from her home life. Which means that it’s probable her mother won’t do anything to stop her daughter’s behavior.

For your happiness and that of your family you must establish firm limits. And while your son may really love this little girl and enjoy playing with her, perhaps she isn’t the best playmate for him to have around. You certainly don’t want to teach your child that this kind of behavior is acceptable.

And while it’s possible that the list above may be slightly over the top (maybe), I do believe that you should purchase a lock for your back gate and look into getting a chain lock for your door. This way, when you answer it, the little girl isn’t able to simply push her way in. (Or when she knocks, don’t answer at all.)

You may also want to call the Kardashians and ask them if it’s possible they are missing a child?

Good Luck,

Tonya, TMH

21 Responses to “My 7 Year Old Neighbor Thinks She Owns Our Home! I Think She Needs to Get Some Manners And Go Away!”

04.12.12#1

Comment by Danielle.

Yeah. That little girl would be sent packing if she tried that at my house. My house, my rules. I enforce my rules. She doesn’t like it, that’s fine, she doesn’t need to be over. Get a spine Poster!

Avprobeauty Reply:

correct!

04.12.12#2

Comment by Rita Arens.

I had this exact same problem. I started disciplining my neighbor girl the same as I would my daughter. She now obeys me and leaves when I tell her to leave. 🙂

04.12.12#3

Comment by mariah m.

There’s a random kid that wanders our apt complex who frequently tries to let himself in to play with my 9yr old. Usually when my son can’t go outside I just don’t answer the door but this little boy will stand there and wait until someone comes or goes. It’s so weird.

Anyway, I say don’t let the little girl push you around. Don’t acknowledge her anymore. Also, don’t take her or her mother’s actions personally. We all learn how the world works at our own pace regardless of age.

04.12.12#4

Comment by Plano Mom.

How fortunate you are that this little girl finds your house so welcoming and hospitable. Even though it shouldn’t be your responsibility to accustom this alien child to our culture, sounds like her alien parents didn’t get the appropriate training before coming to visit Earth.

Hang in there, and follow all of this wise advice-keep your boundaries firm with this child, for the sake of humankind!

Nicole Reply:

Bwahahahahaaaa! “This alien child”

04.12.12#5

Comment by Vinobaby.

One of our neighborhood kids acts the same way. She had the gall to dig through my fridge to find whatever she wanted – oh, no – not in MY house. I put her in her place every time. I don’t care if her parents let her walk all over them (the kids decide what and when to eat, they even let the kids pick their own preschool!. My house, my rules. You don’t like it, don’t come over. Oh, and I haven’t bothered with the parents, I deal straight with the kid. Good luck.

04.12.12#6

Comment by Anne-Marie @ Do Not Faint.

We had a neighbor just like that when I was a kid! We tried to be welcoming (she was younger than I was) especially because her parents largely ignored her existence, but the girl just would not leave. Unfortunately, I have no solution for you, because she solved the problem by moving away. But I can sympathize! Your kid will find that this gets old, so don’t feel badly about setting boundaries now.

04.12.12#7

Comment by akamomma.

There is a liability issue if she letting herself into your backyard to play unsupervised and gets hurt – maybe playing on the swing or swimming in the pool. For your own financial safety put a padlock on the backgate. Also, lock the front door. Tell her that the last time she was there she was rude, ungrateful and you will not tolerate it. Anytime she is rude to you send her home. PS Her mom doesn’t care because she is being rude somewhere else and she is getting free childcare.

Desperate Dietwives Reply:

I totally agree!!! Your house, your rules, end of story. She is welcome to go away if she doesn’t like it.

04.12.12#8

Comment by Kathy.

I second the plan of locks on both the gate and your door. I also am a big fan of not answering the door at all if I don’t wish to. I have the same philosophy over doorbells as I do ringing phones – its my prerogative to answer or not … both exist for my convenience and not the caller’s.

If all else fails simply walk the child home to mom and let them know they’ve misplaced her. If she won’t leave your home with you I’m relatively certain a call to whatever passes for child services in your area to report a feral child will help get the point across to both mom and child.

It’s fine to want to get along with your neighbors but not at the cost of having to forcibly care for their child.

Danielle Reply:

Feral child. lol Maybe they should get one of those big wire dog crates and throw some toys in there. When she crawls in, WHAMOO! Feral child contained!

04.12.12#9

Comment by Big ol' B with a capital B.

I had this issue with a friend’s kid. I watched her a couple times for the friend and while it wasn’t quite THIS bad, the little girl was very rude to my daughter. The first time it wasn’t so bad and I thought maybe I had my signals crossed. Her mom, my friend, is really one of the sweetest people and I just couldn’t see this apple falling from that tree.

Well, the second time, there was no mistaking it. My daughter (4?) wanted desperately to play with this girl (6?) and she was downright rude in return. You know what? I still treated her exactly as I would if she were my kid! My house, my rules. She figured out pretty quick that I wouldn’t tolerate such behavior. Yes, I was willing to ‘risk’ my friendship for it, too.

04.12.12#10

Comment by Brett Minor.

I do the same thing with the neighbor kids. My house, my rules. I am not mean, but I do not tolerate certain behavior in my house.

I even had an issue with my girlfriends kid. Back talk is not allowed in my house. When she would mouth off to her mom, I would say something. When the mom spoke up, I told her, “She can do whatever you want in your house, but here, it is not tolerated. If it is a problem, she doesn’t need to come over when you visit.”

They figure it out pretty quick.

04.12.12#11

Comment by Nava.

We have a similar problem with our neighbor’s child who is 8 and treats our 4-year-old like crap. Of course he idolizes her and insists that she can learn to be nice. In her (only) defense, she treats everyone like crap (adults included). I’ve just stopped letting my son play with her. I’ve told him straight out that she is not a nice girl, and there are better things for him to do. If she is outside playing with other kids, fine, I let him join in, but he doesn’t go to her house and if she comes over he’s always busy (of course, I have to be the one to answer the door, or that doesn’t work too well).
As far as this particular situation, if you are going to continue letting her in, you have to hold her to your standards. With the egg incident, I would have walked her home myself, told her parents that she took 4 eggs when she was only offered one, and stand there until she gave them back and apologised. I doubt you are the only one tired of her behavior, and the parents may actually appreciate having another adult back them up when it comes to dealing with her. Of course, they may not. Whatever. What’s the worst that could happen, they forbid her from coming to your house and ignore you when you say hello? There are worse things.

04.12.12#12

Comment by Kelly.

I agree with all that’s been said here. I do feel sorry for this kid. Her parents aren’t helping her learn appropriate boundaries or socially appropriate behavior. The world is going to be a tough teacher for her. Not that it’s your job to take her on, but just saying that the boundaries you enforce are doing the kid a favor.

04.13.12#13

Comment by Danielle.

Wanted to add that my parents had clear rules for everyone growing up. Dinner time was at 6 and we did NOT answer the door or phone during dinner time. If someone came by my parents politely informed them of that rule. Same with rules for the phone. We had certain hours we were allowed to use it and our friends were informed of those hours. We never had problems as my parents were polite but firm. Kids catch on quick.

04.14.12#14

Comment by marilynsmommy22.

I agree!! I also wanted to add that children crave structure. They need to know that there are boundaries. It helps their world feel more stable. They need to know that there are consequences to their behavior (both positive and negative). She may not have even understood the problem with her behavior. She wanted the eggs so she took them and probably does the same in her house with no consequences. You should not have to be the one to teach her this but it is your house and you need to enforce your rules. So the consequence for her taking the eggs could be not being allowed over for a couple days but I would also talk to her about it. Being 7 she is fully able to understand that when she is in your house she needs to respect you and your home. Sit her down and talk to her respectfully, be gentle but firm. Kids also desperately crave adult attention and try to get it any way they can. By sitting down and talking with her you will be giving her positive, constructive attention which is much better than the attention she gets by behaving poorly. By showing her that good behavior gets attention and affection she will want to do the right thing.

vodka tonic Reply:

Thanks for the advice, everyone! I truly would love to put a lock on my back gate (for a myriad of reasons), but I live in a wonky duplex, and I share a back gate with another neighbor.

I’ve taken to ignoring the kid in the meantime. I snapped at her the other day, when she barged into the conversation my husband and I were having in the driveway. My son knows I don’t think she plays nice. I’ve just felt weird about outright putting the smack-down on her. Here’s the thing… I suspect this little girl (along with the entire family) is on the autism spectrum. Let’s just say I have a lot of work experience with autistic kids. And their parents. But I don’t feel like it’s my job to mediate that with the neighbors. I’ve got enough on my plate.

05.07.12#15

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