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Is it weird for a 16 yr. old boy in my neighborhood to hang out with a bunch of little kids (5-9 yr olds)

I know most the kids in the neighborhood so when I heard this new boys name from my 9 yr old son, I figured he was a little boy as well. I just found out he is 16 yrs. old! I don't want to assume anything, but truth be told, I find it very, very odd. Recently, my 14 yr old son was stopped by the police and asked if he was "this 16 yr" old who hangs out with a bunch of little kids, apparently other mothers found it strange too. I hate to think the worst , but what does a 16 yr old have in common with 5-9 yr. old boys? Its obvious even the police found it strange and disturbing when they confused my teenager for the 16 yr old who hangs out with a bunch of little kids. Am I being paranoid or even cruel judging this boy?

Answer Question
Heide B.

Asked by Heide B. at 9:29 PM on Jun. 23, 2013 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 1 (2 Credits)
Answers (18)
  • Might be a good idea to talk with the mom.

    Just to be the devil's advocate, my 13 (nearly 14) year old does spend a lot of time playing Nerf with the boys next door, who range in age from about 8 to 12. The oldest of them was in the science class where he was a teacher's aide last year. They always come knocking on our door, because he's got a pretty large collection of Nerf stuff, and the oldest likes the little science lab we set up in the garage.

    But the kids are off to their dad's for the summer, so we'll see if the enchantment remains when they get back!


    Answer by gdiamante at 9:34 PM on Jun. 23, 2013

  • i would not be comfortable with this

    unless the 16 year old was delayed and was like a 5-9 year old


    Answer by fiatpax at 9:34 PM on Jun. 23, 2013

  • Does he have any disabilities? Is he as emotionally mature as most 16 year olds? There could be perfectly innocent reasons that a 16 yo is hanging out with younger kids. I would want to meet him before I let him hang out with my kid though.

    Answer by kmath at 9:36 PM on Jun. 23, 2013

  • My stepson is seventeen, but delayed. He looks younger than his age, but he hangs out with younger kids a lot.

    Answer by Ballad at 9:43 PM on Jun. 23, 2013

  • It wouldn't an immediate red flag for me but it would be worth investigating further. I wouldn't go right to calling the police on the possibly innocent child but I would search out his parents.

    Some kids even if not delayed intellectually find it more comfortable maturity wise to hang around smaller children, as they don't typically have to worry about rejection or bullying.

    Answer by tntmom1027 at 9:57 PM on Jun. 23, 2013

  • Unless this boy has the mental age of a much younger child I would not allow my children to "play" with him.

    Answer by Dardenella at 10:07 PM on Jun. 23, 2013

  • my 14 yr old son was stopped by the police
    so your kid has the same name and matches the description of the 16 yo?

    Its obvious even the police found it strange and disturbing
    or, they were performing an investigation


    Answer by feralxat at 10:21 PM on Jun. 23, 2013

  • The boy is not mentally challenged or has any disabilities, that's why I was surprised he doesn't hang out instead with the kids his age from the neighborhood. I also have a 16 and a 14 year old boys aside from my 9 year old. I wouldn't mind him hanging out with my older kids, but I always see him with a group of small kids. I just talked to my 9 year old and told him it wasn't a good idea for him to be friends with him, I told him he could cause problems for the boy because it might look illegal. I didn't know how to explain myself to him without sounding judgmental. My 9 yr old is very innocent, he doesn't know the meaning of child molesting, rape, drugs, or anything like that. We live a very sheltered life in a very small town where I moved 10 yrs ago to raise my boys, and I want to keep them away from these things as much as I can. I don't want them to see the world as I see it.
    Heide B.

    Comment by Heide B. (original poster) at 10:24 PM on Jun. 23, 2013

  • If you have boys the name age you might want to casually bring the boy's name up and see how they react and then how they react when you mention him in connection to their brother.
    It tbe instructive, it might not.

    Answer by Dardenella at 10:33 PM on Jun. 23, 2013

  • I agree with Dardenella: ask the other kids about him.

    As far as your 9 yr old. Hopefully you have talked with him about inappropriate touch and behavior. It isn't to young to start talking about drugs. I was 11 when I started alcohol and drugs, and I lived in a very small town.

    Answer by tntmom1027 at 10:38 PM on Jun. 23, 2013

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