My children are being bullied by our neighbors. They cannot safely play or even sit in front of our own house without begin harassed. What can I do?
The girl directly across the street from us has been bullying my youngest daughter, Sara, for several years. At first it seemed minor, sticking out her foot to trip Sara, giving her a little push to knock her down, & inviting a group of children to her house, then loudly excluding Sara. Since I found the girl's behaviour offensive & I really didn't want my children playing with her, I ignored her and redirected Sara to play with other children. A year ago, when Sara was 7, I allowed her to begin riding her bike on our street with her older sisters. I knew the other girl, though the same age & much larger than Sara, didn't ride a bike & felt that it would be safe enough to allow Sara to join the group of children riding. I was wrong. One day, when Sara was riding alone, the girl knocked Sara off the bike & into the street. Knowing that Sara has a slight muscular problem which sometimes affects her balance, I began walking with her & realized that the girl was following us, threatening her & my older daughters who began spending increasing amounts of time away from home. The girl began staring at my children every time they were outside playing. This spring she had a temper tantrum when my daughters joined a group of children riding. She began involving her brother, mother, father, & next-door neighbor/best friend in the harassment, loudly accusing my children of staring at them. I don't want to start a neighborhood feud, but don't know what to do. This can't go on any longer.
Hello and thank you for sharing this difficult situation with us here on JustAsk.
First and foremost you as a parent wish and need to keep your children safe. I don't believe that talking to the parents will be overly effective as it is seems from your report that the "bullying" behavior is learned from the children watching adult role models.
You may wish to video the children when they are outside. If bullying or aggressive behavior occurs you then will have proof of the situation. If it is malicious I would suggest talking to the school guidance counselor in your children's school to help them gain strategies and to empower them. Also, if you have video of any "bullying activities" you can use this to show police and if need be, neighbors themselves. However, I would not go and set up situations that are negative with the intent to "trap" them in to being aggressive. This could be be a catalyst for an unsafe situation to develop.
In the meantime, I would recommend that the children play safely in your backyard where the neighbors can't see them ( if that is possible). Try and be outside with them to act as both supervisor and a buffer. Also, consider bike riding activities to be at a park. Do not allow the children to ride near their home or engage with this family unless you approve of the situation.
If bullying is happening at school then the school administrators need to be advised of the situation.
Good luck and please let us know how this resolves.
Louise Masin Sattler, NCSP
Nationally Certified School Psychologist
Okay what you do is go talk to her parents you should call the police cause you could get a restraining order on her or she will have to move once someone pushed me i got cut up really bad and my mom called the police and she had to come up with 1000 dollars plus more to pay the hospital bill.
Have you considered going to her parents and talking to them about their childs behavior? I think the girl might have some self esteem issues and possibly have anger issues with how your family is compared to hers. I think "bullys" are kids that are not being taken care of at home. Good luck....
I really don't have an answer for you. I am having a very similar problem with 2 boys across the street hitting all the girls and smaller boys in the neighborhood. They steal stuff out of everyone's yard and are constantly putting nails and other harmful debris down on the walking path through our neighborhood. I've tried the police complete with video of them obstructing the walking path they were uninterested. I told them they have been beating up on the girls they were uninterested. I also told them the wife and the children have been being abused they were uninterested. If you have found a solution please please let me know as I'm at my wits end with this and every legal solution I attempt I am shut down. The police went as far as to tell me that unless they put one of the girls in the hospital there is nothing that can or would be done because they are kids and it's just kids fighting...