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Need Advice - How to deal with out-of-control neighbor kid

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Hi all,

I'm relatively new to Cafe Mom, and this is one of my first posts. Sorry if it's really long, but I need some advice on how to deal with a child in my neighborhood. I have two children, 8-year-old boy and 7-year-old girl. This neighbor kid is 6 years old, but her and my daughter have been good friends for about 3 summers now. When we first moved in, I was warned by a different neighbor (who has since moved out because this child is so terrible) that the parents don't have any control over the child and don't discipline her or teach her anything. They told me that I shouldn't let her start playing with my kids because she would become a big nuisance. But I didn't really take the warning seriously because I thought it was just neighborhood drama, and I figured that the two families had something against each other. However, I soon learned differently.

When my daughter first started playing with her, it didn't seem too bad. They got along pretty well, and the little girl listened to me if I told her to stop doing something she shouldn't be doing when she was in my yard. But gradually, things seem to be going downhill. The past several times they've played together, I've caught the little girl hitting my daughter, pushing her down on the ground, taking her toys away and telling her she wasn't going to give them back, screaming in her face (these things didn't all happen on one day--they've happened on several different occasions). I've told the child that if she can't start being nice, I'm not going to allow my daughter to play with her anymore. I've even made her leave my yard a few times when she was being really mean. But she keeps trying to sneak back into the yard when I tell her she has to go home. And that's not all--she bit my daughter and left teeth marks on her arm in the church van (on the way home from a youth program at church). My husband actually went over to their house and talked to the parents that time. The father's response was, "I don't deal with the discipline. You'll have to talk to my wife about that." The mother's response was, "Yeah, she has a bad habit of putting her mouth on people. I don't know how to break her of that." Basically, nothing was done.

There's more--the child is totally out of control in the neighborhood. She slammed my son's hand in a shed door, and he got poked with a nail and had a large bleeding hole in his hand. She screams at her parents and hits them. She walks into other people's yards whenever she pleases, even when she hasn't been invited (I've caught her sneaking into our yard when she thought nobody was home). She opens up the door and tries to just walk into all the neighbors' houses (she's tried that over here a few times and I've had to explain to her that she can't do that--we have to keep the door locked even when we're home because she repeatedly tries to just walk in here). She yells over here at us when we are outside in our yard, even if we are talking on the phone or talking to company. She'll repeatedly ask if she can come over, and when we tell her no, she'll just keep shouting at us at the top of her lungs. Usually, the parents are outside when all of this is going on. Most of the time, they don't even tell her to stop. If they do tell her to stop, they just yell things at her like, "Get back over here right now please, thank you!" And if they do say that to her, she still doesn't go back home because she knows that there are no consequences for her actions. She runs out of her house late at night, and her mother will come outside and chase her down, arguing with her to try to make her go back in. One time last summer, I caught her opening my neighbor's mailbox and taking mail out of it (I've caught her doing that over here, too). When I told her that she needed to quit, the mother came over here and yelled at me and told me I had no right to jump onto her kid. She said I need to come to her if I have a problem with her child. Well, my husband and I both have tried that. Yet, there has been no improvement in the situation. I've tried telling the child that she can't come into my yard anymore, but she comes anyway. I even left a note for her parents and told them I don't want her over here anymore. But as soon as she sees my children outside, she comes running over. My kids can't even play outside without her bugging them and yelling things at them. I'm dreading warm weather because I know it's going to be an everyday occurrence.

How would you handle this?  It's really more of an issue with the parents than it is the kid. They have no control over her, and the rest of us have to suffer because of it. If I've warned them that I don't want her in my yard anymore and they keep allowing her to come over, can I report the parents for trespassing? Legally, is there anything I can do to make them take control of their child? I'm worried she's going to hurt one of my kids, steal important mail out of my mailbox, or destroy my property. She doesn't listen to me when I tell her to stay out of my yard, and talking to the parents has done NO GOOD at all. We can't move until September because we're under a lease, but she's making the neighborhood miserable...

ETA - I forgot to mention this and here's the best part -- the little girl's dad was sitting outside today while she was beating up on my daughter!  I know without a doubt he saw the whole thing because he was only a couple feet away and was watching them the whole time.. Yet he did nothing to stop the situation. After I made the kid leave, I asked my daughter if the dad had said anything at all to the little girl. She said that he didn't say a word. What kind of parent sits there and allows their child to hurt another? He knew they weren't playing because my daughter was screaming, "Stop!  Stop!" the whole time! I should also add that she's so bad that one neighbor has already moved out because of her, and another neighbor is getting ready to move and spends as little time at home as possible!

by on Mar. 9, 2013 at 10:11 PM
Replies (11-20):
by Silver Member on Mar. 9, 2013 at 11:44 PM

you dont have a backyard? dont let your kids play in the front yard. monitor your kids when they are outside so she doesnt come over or just move. i dont think theres much else you can do she's only 6.

by on Mar. 9, 2013 at 11:45 PM
Definitely get the police involved. Let her know that she is no longer allowed in your yard and if she doesn't listen, you will be calling the police.

A couple summers ago we had a neighbor kid that was a lot like the little hellion you are dealing with. We caught him breaking into our chicken coops, smashing the eggs, and letting the chickens loose. His mom wouldn't do a thing about it. Then one day he was outside playing with my son and he stole a gas can and doused my son from head to toe with it. I called the police and let them deal with it. He hasn't been back in our yard since then
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by Sapphire Member on Mar. 10, 2013 at 12:21 AM

Looks like you have been given some good ideas,
How sad for her & your kids really.
Guess they can't play together anymore as she can't be trusted
Perhaps you & your DH talk with her parents & tell them if she doesn't stop you will be getting the police involved.
More for them to deal with their child
This is really so sad :(
Good luck & let us know what happens :)

by on Mar. 10, 2013 at 7:42 AM

Quoting Mazie0723:

I would have stopped allowing her to play with my child after the first few times of her beating on my child. Call the police for trespassing. No she wont be arrested but maybe after the cops brin her kid home a few times she'll keep her in check.

Like I said again and again, I've told her that she is not allowed over here to play with my children anymore. I've also told the parents. SHE DOES NOT LISTEN TO ME. She continues to come into my yard, like I'm not even standing there. She doesn't listen to her parents, either. That's why I'm asking for advice.

by on Mar. 10, 2013 at 7:44 AM

Quoting honey27:

you dont have a backyard? dont let your kids play in the front yard. monitor your kids when they are outside so she doesnt come over or just move. i dont think theres much else you can do she's only 6.

Yes I do have a backyard, but if the kids want to ride their bikes or skateboards, they have to go in the front yard because of the driveway. I pay $750 a month rent and they should have a right to play out in the front without being harassed. I DO monitor them when they are outside. That is why I see the things she does. I can't stop her from coming over, she comes even when I tell her that she can't. I can't "just move." We are under lease until September. That's why I'm asking for advice.

So she's just allowed to walk in my yard and hit my kids, steal things, etc., whenever she pleases and there's nothing I can do about it? 

by on Mar. 10, 2013 at 8:14 AM
1 mom liked this

I know if it were me I would inform the parents that I have a no trespassing sign and a dog. My yard is fenced and I have warning posted so stating trespassers will be shot and survivors will be shot again. If I take time to talk to some shitty parent and they do not give a shit about their own kid that is not my problem. If they walk in my home and get their ass chewed by the dog not my issue. They should teach their kid some damn respect and warn them of consequences of walking in peoples homes or trespassing on property that is not their own. I know I sound like a bitch and I will admit I am but I am not going to be babysitting some kid that is not mine, but I will protect mine and teach them how to be respectable kids as well as adults.I would also call the police.

by Silver Member on Mar. 10, 2013 at 9:08 AM
1 mom liked this

You need to call dfacs. THis is a form of abuse and they need parenting skills. Also the next time the child attacks either one of yorus, call the police. Charge them. If your child has to go to the hospital or the doctor, sue them.

That would be a start.

by on Mar. 10, 2013 at 12:03 PM

Thank you all for the advice. I'm going to file a report with DCF tomorrow (child protective services). It goes even further than the child being mean and destructive. They don't take care of her. She's dirty most of the time, doesn't get fed well, is never supervised when she's outside...The mother cusses at her and tells her she hates her. That's part of the reason I've tolerated her this long is because I felt sorry for her. In the end, none of this is really her fault--it's her lack of parenting. 

by Silver Member on Mar. 10, 2013 at 1:19 PM


Quoting Tristin12:



Quoting sarah824:

We are dealing with the same thing from our neighbor's boy. Most recently he has been throwing our solar lights into another neighbor's pond. They are supposed to be moving soon so we are hopeful that it happens quick. We called the cops on him back in September for throwing dirt and barkdust into DH's pickup and things got better for a while, but with nicer weather he is out causing problems again. Because he is only 5/6 hte cops can't really do much but file a report. Good luck to you! I feel your pain! :-)

See that's what I'm afraid of. She's only 6, but I was wondering if the parents can be legally held responsible somehow. Like taking other people's mail out of the mailbox is a federal offense, but since she's 6 they aren't going to arrest her for it--but what about mom and dad? They were sitting outside when she did it, and I know they saw her because I saw her do it!


In our situation the cops took a report and that was it. They didn't do anything to the parents. We are pretty fed up with the whole situation, but we feel as though there is nothing we can do.

by Ruby Member on Mar. 10, 2013 at 1:56 PM
I would call the police.
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