Amy,

My family moved to a great neighborhood 6 months ago. All the neighbors and kids were eager to meet and hang out. My kids 7 and 10 yrs old play every day outside with all the kids. However, there is one girl, our neighbor who is 10, that constantly clashes with my 7 yr old. Both my family and her family have tried to “let the kids figure it out” but apparently my husband has been bottling up the angst from each offense.

Yesterday, he exploded. The girl next door, 2 times, hurt my younger daughter. Once by purposefully excluding her. The neighbor girl invited everyone inside her home and told my youngest daughter she wasn’t allowed in. Then again the neighbor girl hit my youngest during a game of tag. As I said, my husband exploded. He came to me for help before addressing the neighbor girl. I stepped in before damage could be done and tried to get the story from all sides. My husband lost his temper and shouted “bull shit” at the neighbor girl after she gave her side. I asked him to leave. I didn’t condone his behavior, it was completely inappropriate. After he walked away I told the neighbor girl that his behavior was not appropriate and he should not have spoken that way to her.

Fast forward about 4 hours. My kids went to their sports and we had just returned. I found the neighbor girl’s mom pacing my driving. After telling my oldest daughter to go inside, the neighbor mom proceeded to curse me out and yell at me for my husband’s action. (My husband was still gone at sports with my youngest daughter.) Then told me that all the neighborhood parents knew what he said. She then insinuated that no one from our neighborhood would ever play with my children again.

I tried to talk to my neighbor, civilly, but she was beyond ticked off and resolution wasn’t what she was after. She just wanted to yell and scream at someone in my family for the curse word that had wrongfully been flung at her daughter.

How do I go on? I have a stubborn, prideful husband that refuses to admit wrong doing. I have a neighbor that I used to have a friendship with, that won’t speak to me. And now there are 10 kids in my neighborhood that potentially aren’t allowed to play with my kids. As an example, today there isn’t any public school. Normally kids would have rung my doorbell by 10am to get my kids out to play. It’s after 1pm as I write. The neighborhood kids are outside playing but my kids are inside. I’m afraid that if I tell my kids to go outside and play, that all the other kids will tell my girls that they aren’t welcomed. 

I will add that my children are homeschooled so neighborhood friends are critical to their social networking.

Any insight would be invaluable. Read More