Dear Mouthy Housewives,
Every year when the weather turns nice, the neighborhood “hoodlums” start to wander the streets and inevitably show up at our house to hang out with our kids, ages 9, 5, and 2. When these kids are over, they are rude, disrespectful of people, pets, and property, and either ask for snacks or bring a bunch of junk food to spoil my kids’ dinners. In addition, when these kids are around, my kids think it is okay to be mouthy and rude and throw my household rules out the window.
I suspect that most of the kids that come over are living in poverty and do not have a positive home environment. I feel badly for them; however, I feel that I need to put the safety and up-bringing of my own kids first. My oldest child has Aspergers Disorder and is VERY impulsive. My middle child is adventurous and will try anything. For the safety of all three of them, they are not allowed to leave our property, and I have told them on numerous occasions that if they want to have a friend over, they need to arrange it with me (so I can arrange it with the other mom) in advance.
I feel guilty about telling these neighborhood kids to get lost and am torn between playing a “good Samaritan” and the neighborhood bitch. I don’t know any of the other parents well, and do not feel comfortable approaching them. I have seen some of these kids wandering the streets since they were preschoolers, and I am quite certain we have different standards when it comes to parenting.
I want my kids to be able to play outside without having to worry constantly about the neighborhood kids teaching bad habits and breaking our stuff.
Is there any nice way of telling these kids they need to play by my rules or get off my property?
Mi Casa is not Tu Casa
Dear Mi Casa,
You know what really bugs me? Well, yes, the new sweater vest craze inspired by one political candidate. I mean, believe whatever you want politically but I think we can all agree that the sweater vest is not good for America.
You know what also bothers me? This new trend where everyone is wearing these crazy bright colored pants. Yes, they look cute. Yes, I will eventually buy a pair for way too much money. And then you know what will happen? Out. Of. Fashion. Immediately. And please tell me what I am going to do with a pair of electric blue skinny jeans then?!
But the thing that really agitates me is when The Mouthy Housewives are needed. I mean, this is our calling! You have problems, we fix them. That was actually our motto but that thing about neglecting our kids to give you advice since 2009 seemed way funnier.
But you, my dear, don’t need us. You see, the answer to your question is right there in your letter. You ask, “Is there any nice way of telling these kids they need to play by my rules or get off my property?”
Yes! Yes, there is. You tell these kids that they need to play by your rules or they can’t come over for play dates. In fact, put these rules on a big piece of poster board. Here are some ideas…. Please and thank you must be said at all times. No food can be brought into the house. One healthy snack will be provided. Anyone who gets to rowdy will be asked to leave. That sort of thing. Whatever is important to you.
I appreciate that you want to help these children who you suspect are neglected. But letting them destroy your family and house is not helping them. Set boundaries. Stick to them. This is your home and your children. And you’re not being a bitch when you insist on protecting them. You are being a good mother.