My wife and I bought our first house about a month ago, and for the first time in our adult lives, we have our own little back yard (typical Chicago-size, maybe 900 sqft). We don't have kids. There's a fence between our yard and one neighbor, but no fence between our backyard and the backyard of the other neighbor. They have several kids between ages 6 and 11. I've looked out the window and seen them running between our yards on a few occasions, and I've found their toys in my yard a few times. (I've just tossed them back when I have.) This isn't really a big deal in and of itself, but I get the distinct feeling that I'm going to be seeing a lot more of these kids and their toys once the weather warms up. What should I do? [more inside]
Looking for family friendly neighborhoods in Austin. My wife and two small kids will be relocating to Austin. Our current neighborhood is filled with kids playing in the street and neighbors interacting with each other. We know and hang-out with a lot of our neighbors. We want a neighborhood / community like that in Austin. I know a lot of master planned communities bill themselves as family friendly but a lot of them always seem like ghost towns. Where are the true active / friendly communities in Austin?
My 8-year-old neighbor is being bullied and his parents aren't helping -- is there anything I can do? [more inside]
My neighbor is very generous - too generous! Her young son and my kids play together fairly often, and each time my kids go to their house to visit, my neighbor sends my kids home with several gifts. Sometimes if she sees my kids playing in the back yard she just hands gifts over the fence. Last time it was a large tin of cookies, a box of Whoppers candies, and a Vitamin Water style drink. In the past gifts have included a hand-knit scarf, brand new clothes, a doll, a box of donuts, and a large plate of homemade fried chicken. At Lunar New Year she gave each of my kids ten bucks plus a box of sweet rolls. I don’t know this woman well at all. We’ve said ‘hi’ a few times but her English is limited and I don’t speak her language which I believe is Thai. I get the sense that our different expectations around gift giving are related to cultural differences (she’s an immigrant from SE Asia, I’m white, born and raised in California), and maybe also that she is just a particularly (or maybe compulsively) gift-giving person. [more inside]
How do you deal with a five year old child who breaks your stuff when his parents think he never does anything wrong and how dare you think otherwise, and than smack the door in your face? [more inside]