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What would you do about this ?

This past winter we moved here ( bought this house) ... shortly after moving in we met the next door neighbors who have a 15 year old son who has down syndrome.

I do not know much about kids with down syndrome, but I know one of his age pretty much has the mind set of a smaller child ... but with that said, I have to keep in mind he has the body of a teenager.

Now our yards are right next to each other we share a chain fence, and sometimes when we are outside he will want to come over to play so that has always been fine - I always stay outside since my kids are still young ( 6 year old daughter, 3 year old twin boys ) ...

But now for like the last month he has been acting odd around my daughter .. he said he likes her and he wants to marry her , he always wants to hug her, and he always brings her over little presents....

Of course this bothers me tremendously(sp) ... At first I told him ( nicely) not to touch her, and tried to explain that she is too young for someone to have a crush on her, etc... but he didnt stop and basically started doing these things more... so then I pretty much stopped letting him come over to play ( if he would come over to ask i would tell him she was busy or if we were outside and he came over I would say we had to go in to clean or something ) ... still trying to be nice because I know he doesnt fully understand, but also not wanting him around my daughter...

Since he just seems to be doing this more ( constantly coming over ) ... I went over to talk to his mom and told her it kind of makes me uncomfortable that he says those things to her and that he keeps trying to hug her and pick her up and stuff...

Well, she then goes into a long statement about how he doesnt know what he is doing and that i shouldnt be like that with him... I told her I have never acted unkind to him because i do not want to hurt his feelings, but he does have the body of a teenager ( a large teenager) and obviously he has feelings for my daughter and he isnt listening when I tell him not to touch her and that he has even tried to kiss her and I said that is unacceptable, and that i came to her for adivice on how to handle it ( as friendly neighbors) ...

But 45 minutes after I left her house, he was back over knocking on the back door so she will come out to play...

I had to tell him that for right now she isnt aloud to come out and play with him anymore and said that he needs to go talk to his mom...

and then shortly after that he was back again....

I dont know what else I can do ?

This scares me, because he wants my daughter, I KNOW he could do stuff to her and he could hurt her, it makes me sick to my stomach and his mom made it out to be that I am discriminating against him since he has this disability ... I mean to listen to the way she was talking me, it was like she was saying I should let her son do what he wants with my daughter because he has DS, and i cant say anything about it... She seriously made it out to sound like that ...

I mean i really have no idea what to do ? My husband said we will probably have to put up a wood privacy fence but he doesnt know what else to do either ?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 1:39 PM on Jun. 10, 2011 in Parenting Debate

Answers (24)
  • i'd call the authorities. explain everything in detail like you have, and have them pay the mother a visit. you may have to get a restraining order, but at least report it, that way its on file..if anything ever did happen. it could be your daughter (or other kids).

    Answer by dullscissors at 1:43 PM on Jun. 10, 2011

  • yea I have thought of that too.. ( contacting the law ) ... but I didnt know if they would do anything since he is 15 and mentally challenged

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 1:44 PM on Jun. 10, 2011

  • i think the fence is a good idea. one of my backyard neighbor's son has down syndrome and a few years ago he let himself into my house. we don't have a fence so he just walked right onto my property like he owned it and then opened the porch door then came through the sliding glass door into my home. he scared the shit out of me, he was big too. i collected myself though and kind of politely shoved him out, told him to go home and locked my doors. he's an adult now and i don't see him anymore so i think his mom sent him to some kind of facility. i think with any disability, it's no excuse to let them do anything they want and rules should still be in place. he should not be touching your daughter and if he can't understand that then his mom needs to actually watch where he goes when he goes outside.

    Answer by tnm786 at 1:45 PM on Jun. 10, 2011

  • Intense spot you are in. I do see where you are coming from. The privacy fence sounds like a good idea. I just do not know what to suggest. I do hope you are able to resolve this.

    Answer by pookiekins34 at 1:45 PM on Jun. 10, 2011

  • I think a wood fence makes an excellent neighbor.
    I would be scared too because he doesn't know his own limitations nor does he have the ability to comprehend what you are saying. Just state he isn't allowed to play with her because she is too little and he is too old for her as a playmate. Mental age is one thing but his physical age is another. He could, unintentionally, hurt her. He should not be allowed to pick her up - regardless of his attachment. I think you've been more than understanding. Go back, talk with his mother and state... because he does not have boundaries when it comes to your daughter you, regretfully, have to say no to their playing together. Just state it as fact, tell her you are sorry but it's just too uncomfortable a situation. You do NOT owe her more than that, she should realize the implications and problems with allowing this type of play to continue.

    Answer by Camilletnt at 1:46 PM on Jun. 10, 2011

  • This is tough because you already expressed your concerns to the parents... I understand you being uncomfortable. I am sure the boy doesn't fully understand that she is much younger but that is why his parents need to be working with him on this... but since they aren't... and he is not getting the message from you... I would just keep telling him she can not play with him because he is having trouble keeping his hands to himself That big boys like him do not try to hug and carry littler kids unless it is their brother or sister. Keep repeating it every time. If you *want* to give him another chance after a while then do if not don't. If nothing else you can call child services and they can help you figure out what to do next.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:46 PM on Jun. 10, 2011

  • i would report it also. if the mother does not listen and he doesn;t understand he can do something really awesful to someone elses daughter. just keep continuing to protect your child. good luck

    Answer by lambdarose at 1:48 PM on Jun. 10, 2011

  • they will if you insist on it! its no different than any other 15yo boy coming over doing/saying things to your young daughter. idc if he has a mental deficiency or not. besides, that mother obviously sees him as incapable of doing wrong..and probably would be the same if he wasn't a Downs kid, too. she needs to wake up and smell the coffee..and be responsible for her kid being where he doesn't belong or isn't welcomed (at this point). did the right thing by attempting to talk to her first. that got you nowhere. call the authorities.

    Answer by dullscissors at 1:48 PM on Jun. 10, 2011

  • I would try talking to his mom again. I know it will be difficult because she's already got her defenses up, but her son needs to at least learn to respect personal space. Maybe the next time he comes over YOU could have a chat with him about it too. Tell him that it's rude to try to hug and kiss people that aren't in his family maybe?

    Answer by Nicoles2LilRams at 1:48 PM on Jun. 10, 2011

  • It would scare me too. We never can be to safe when it comes to our kids. You trust your gut, you have instincts for a reason!
    and his mother just doesn't see him as a growing young man. It may be best for you to tell her - if he comes over again, you are to come sit with us so you can supervise him, or he needs to stay home. Because he does not understand you telling him to stay away, nicely- but she will!

    Maybe if she saw what you are talking about, she would understand your concerns. However- I will also add that a child the size of a young man w/ or w/out disabilities- would not have been playing with my 6 yr old girl or 3 yr old boys. I'm just that cautious. :)

    Answer by 2teens2LOs at 1:49 PM on Jun. 10, 2011

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