A mom writes in asking for advice about her neighbors. She says her neighbors, an elderly couple, care for their granddaughter, and they let their granddaughter wander into this mom’s back yard almost every day without permission. This mom is OK with it sometimes, but the granddaughter also causes some problems: She sometimes plays rough, she often leaves the gate open, and ultimately makes this mom feel like she has one more kid to look after. How can she approach her neighbors and discuss the issue productively?
A member of the community asks:
“My neighbor always lets their granddaughter enter my back yard without permission: How should I handle this? I have an elderly neighbor whose granddaughter is always with her. When my kids and I are outside, the little girl will invite herself over and open my fence gate and come play with the kids. I’m ok with it sometimes. But other times I get frustrated because she doesn’t ask and her grandparents don’t ask or say anything either.
There are times my fiancé and I are doing yard work for example & I feel like I have to stop what I’m doing & watch her & my kids (yes I keep an eye on my kids all the time while they are outside, but when she’s over she plays very rough with my youngest & pushes him around. She also will open my gate (my kids don’t know how) & leave it open & my two-year-old will try to leave.
I don’t know how to go about this because she’s not my child & I tried explaining these things to her, but she doesn’t listen. When she’s over here, I feel like she’s my responsibility. I also don’t know how to go about the whole ‘asking before you come’ situation. As I said, I don’t mind sometimes. But it’s just about every day this is happening.”
Community Advice for This Mom Whose Neighbors Let Their Granddaughter Into Her Yard Without Permission
To see what advice the Mamas Uncut Facebook community has for this mom in need, read the comments of the post embedded below.
The community offered this mom in need a lot of great advice. Read some of their responses below.
“Put a chain and lock on the gate. Just say you lost the key sweetie, you can come back when we find it. And never find it.”
“Put a latch on your side of the fence and unlatch it when it’s ok for the neighbor’s grandchild to visit.”
“Talk to the grandparents, before something happens. Stop beating around the bush.”
“Do any of you saying to lock the gate realize kids can climb fences?”
“We had to put a lock and key on our gate because of other kids leaving the gate open.”
“Does she come into your yard when you aren’t home?? You need to talk to your neighbors. You can’t constantly be responsible for her!”
“Use the mom voice lol. And keep bringing it up to the grandparents. Say that you’re sorry but you can’t have her coming over unannounced a lot of the times.”
“Lock your gate so that she won’t have a choice but to ask. It’s for the safety of your children.”
“I had the same issues and I told the kids straight-up to go away. Especially if she’s rough with your youngest… But she’s not your child, so she’s not your responsibility… Just tell her to go away. And straight up tell the grandparents she cant just invite herself to YOUR home. Remember that its YOUR home your rules.”
“It’s called a lock and key, and have a candid conversation, if you haven’t already done so, with your neighbor!”
“Good thing you don’t have a pool. If your gate won’t keep a small child out, perhaps get a more secure one or a better latch. And grow up and talk to her guardian, your son getting pushed around seems hereditary as you are being a pushover to a first grader.”
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