- 3 years ago
Bees… DH and I need some outside input on how to handle a situation that we are slowly becoming uncomfortable with.
We are blessed with such a sweet elderly couple as our next door neighbors. Their daughter and (very mature) 13 year old grandson had been living with them for the past year. However, the daughter acquired a drug problem and ended up being sent to court-ordered rehab. This sweet couple got custody of the grandson. He seemed to be a slightly withdrawn, but overall okay kid. Unfortunately, his grandparents give him a little too much freedom, which is part of the problem.
We have seen him out smoking (not sure what exactly) on several occasions, but did not feel it was our place to get involved. Doesn’t affect us, not our problem. Though, we weren’t surprised when this kid came to our door in a panic, when a nearby shed caught on fire. My DH quickly put it out (he is a firefighter and a fire cop), and the kid disappeared. Again, we brushed it off as a likely “accident” and didn’t get involved.
DH and I discussed how the kid has had such a rocky upbringing, and came up with the idea of DH offering to have this kid help with some outdoor projects. We offered to pay him for his help in refurbishing a boat, fixing trim around the house, building hobby type stuff, etc. The kid was very receptive to all of this, and seemed excited. Win-win, right?!
Yeahhhh… Well, here’s our issue: This kid is getting to the point where he is almost idolizing DH, and getting a little TOO comfortable with us.
He has made comments about how attractive he thinks I am, and how “lucky” DH is. Every time DH or I are outside, he appears out of nowhere. One of us can be grabbing something from the car or taking trash out late at night, turn around and he is just standing there. He has also resorted to ringing our doorbell numerous times a day, looking for DH. He will ask DH to give him rides places, help him with stuff, etc. DH helps with minor things, but has declined to give him rides or anything like that. We don’t want to set a tone that those are things that we would be willing to do on a regular basis. No biggy. Now, this kid has began purchasing several expensive pellet-type guns, and even tried to sell DH one. Of course, DH sort of laughed it off and politely decline.
After ringing our doorbell yesterday to show DH his newest gun, he made a comment that he “wanted to find an animal to test it out on” (ummm… we have a small dog who is like a child to us). DH immediately explained that he should NOT use a live animal as a target, and that it was inhumane to kill for simple sport. The kid shrugged and then dismissed himself to “go watch Dexter”. Don’t get me wrong, I love Dexter, but it’s a little morbid for a 13 year old. If you have ever seen the first couple episodes of Dexter, you will know why this animal comment would bother me… Especially considering it was followed up by a Dexter reference.
Anyway, I was sleeping home alone lastnight and hear a dog bark outside. I hear a few “pops” and I look out of the window… This kid is in our back yard carrying/shooting one of his “guns”?! Like… On our physical property… Feet away from my patio/windows. I’m not sure if he shot it at a neighbors dog, but either way, I felt like that was crossing my boundaries of what is comfortable. Today, he rang the doorbell before the gym. We ignored it this time. DH took the dog out after the gym, and the kid appeared. After standing there awkwardly, he asked DH to tell him if he smelled like smoke before he went inside. As though we should find him smoking acceptable?
Anyway, I could go on, but it’s been a series of uncomfortable events like these that have been getting more and more frequent the past two weeks. I wanted DH to be a good role model for this kid, but I did not expect this to be the result. I thought with DH being a cop/firefighter, that this kid would be more inclined to be on his best behavior. Yet, his attitude and demeanor is actually making me a little scared. Something doesn’t sit well with DH, either, but we don’t know how to handle it. I told DH to not hurt this kids feelings, but we are at a loss as to how we prevent this relationship from getting more inappropriate/awkward? Do we sever it? Do we outline clear boundaries with this kid? Do we just ignore him, hoping he gets the hint? Do we speak with his grandparents?
This is our first time ever dealing with a child with such a broken past. So, please bees, any insight/advice/outside perspectives would be SO helpful!