Nothing brings people together like a standing up to someone else. For us it’s usually the ex-wife as she demands things or refuses to let Curtis know things. Like the code for his oldest son’s pictures… you know, because that’s rational. This time, it’s a neighbourhood issue and it makes me happy to say that Curtis and I were on the same page. It feels good to feel like we’re parenting together. We had a big conversation with two of our neighbours last night and, while we didn’t say everything we were thinking and everything we wanted to say, it felt like Curtis and I stood together and we made the neighbourhood relationship a little happier. I’d call that a win. So what do you do when you have trouble with your neighbour’s kid? They’ve asked us to tell them (and, to be honest, we don’t tell them as much as we should). How exactly do you tell your neighbour that their kid doesn’t listen? They already feel like the neighbourhood views them as bad parents because one guy likes to rant and rave about them… and I wish I could say that they were way off-base. I will say that all that ranting and raving does colour things – some of it deserved, and some of it not. I worry that we’re just as bad as that guy and bullied our other neighbours into going against their after school plan, so hopefully that’s not the case. Definitely feeling a little remorse today.
The hardest part of it is that the kids in our neighbourhood are the reason we bought that house, and one of the reasons the kids love coming to our place. In a battle of Mom vs Dad, it’s nice to have something they love. Mom spoils them, buys them all fancy brand-name clothes and toys that we have no hope of affording. We take them to hockey and we have their friends here. If we don’t have that… well, I worry that Mom will buy their allegiance in the “choose who to live with” game. And while we can’t make decisions based on convincing the kids not to choose to solely live with their mom, I want to foster the positive things we have. Like a 100ft ice rink. lol.
We’ll see where the dust settles, but right now it feels better. Hopefully our one neighbor doesn’t feel like the neighbourhood is against them… because we’re not. We’re frustrated with their little guy, but we haven’t been doing our part to help them parent him. It’s not productive to complain if we’re not going to tell him. We already learned that lesson. I’m going to try and be a better neighbour… and hopefully make our other neighbours see that we’re not trying to tell them what to do.