I am in the process of clearing a very large thinker behind my home. It separates my yard from the neighbors yard on the property behind ours. Now that there are some clear spots, my son wants to play with the children who live in that home. They are classmates at school, but when they get home they are not allowed to play with each other. The parents told their son today that they don't want him playing with those type of people and to get that kid (my son) the f... out of their yard. Even though he was still standing in our yard. I had to explain to my son that sometimes people just don't like you because of stupid things. This is the third time I have had to tell him to stop trying to play with his friend at home, his parents won't let him. I ended up having to say that they just don't like us and I don't know why. Which is funny because as far a social status we are way higher on the food chain than they are. But we live in a neighborhood where everyone is conceited and judgmental towards everyone else.
This is a subject way outside of my league, but I have just a thought and would love to hear your response:
Would I be right in saying all of your background knowledge from a professional point of view still leaves you wondering about basic human nature? I am not in any way trying to denegrate the professional aspect, just trying to see if the close-up, personal experience you are having with that prejudice is in anyway better understood by having the professional learning.
Some things about our instinctive human behaviour can be beyond comprehension.
It does still make me wonder about human nature. I want to fix the situation because i have no idea what the issue is the neighbor may have with us. So to be honest the professional experience does not increase my understanding without talking to the neighbor about this issue.
do you think you'll have a conversation and take this up with your neighbors? You may not need to "fix" anything. Perhaps the neighbors don't really know you or the other neighbors so they assume everyone in the neighborhood is snooty/observing social class constructs, just as you have described. You've mentioned your neighbors collectively in terms of "they" and your family as "us" or the parents in question as "they" and your family as "us/we." If your neighbors are also doing this then, for every household looking out, it's a "they" and "us" problem and probably nobody who's not meeting each other at each their respective doorsteps are feeling in similar ways and don't want their kids to associate with every them on the block... something like that.
3700 square foot home with two car attached garage, four car detached garage, on five acres of land for $275k. We had no idea about the neighborhood, our realtor told us this neighborhood used to be the choice of local doctors, our home was first she had sold in this neighborhood. In is economy being the owner of two homes, one of which has been severely devalued, moving not an option right now.
I am going to guess that there is some kind of history that you may not be aware of. Maybe you moved into a house of their best friend whose house was foreclosed, and they are taking it out on you. Maybe you are doing something that is not normal, maybe inappropriate for that neighborhood (too loud, high structures, not mowing the lawn enough, driving the wrong car, painting an outdoor structure the wrong color.) You may not even know what it is, because different things that are acceptable in one neighborhood wind up being wrong in another one. It could also be the case that that particular neighbor is simply grumpy and not worth the trouble In any case, don't take it personally. Take the time to know the mores of the neighborhood.
What is your "type of people?" How are the other neighbors treating you?
I converted to Christianity in the seventh grade, and the first thing they started to tell me was I should not associate with certain of my friends, because they were not of the right Christian denomination. I didn't pay any attention but they tried to introduce superiority/hate into my mind. On the other hand, I once overheard a mom tell her son not to play with me, because I was bad, but unknownst to her was the fact that it was her son who instigated whatever it was that she had problems with.
To be honest I would write a letter about the issue, and talk about worries for your child. They maybe prejudice, but your child has a right to feel safe in the neighborhood. It is sad this still happens today, but hope the parents could just give in could happen too. They should know their behavior was upsetting, and they maybe not aware how rude they were acting. It is worth a try, and old fashion letters have more meaning these days.
I wish I could say that your situation is a rare one, but in today's environment, I believe it is becomming more the norm.
one of the things that I have learned from my many years of travel in the USA and abroad is that you cannot control every situation. I have lived on all 7 continents and also have commuted occassionally to them after returning to the USA.
what you are experiencing is a bias outside your control. your child does not understand it and so it is a dilemma for you. However, the only way to overcome your dilemma is to be truthful with your child.
when speaking to my children about this as they were growing up, I explained that some parents are afraid that their children will not follow their pattern of thinking if they expand their learning environment by including people, including children like them, from outside their family. When asked why some other children get to play with them, I then stated that sometimes those parents had to be nice to others because those other families had some type of control over them.. Additionally, I explained that the parents of the children next door may not agree with my style of providing respect and dignity to my children or to others. I explained that this is really fear in the other adult person and not ne that that we can control, so I told my children they just needed to be polite to those children at school where they could play together. And, when at home, the children next door could play in our yard if their parents did not get upset about that.
I explained to my children that this life lesson for them was being learned early, and so they would be much better prepared for the outside world as they grow older. I also spoke with my children about asking me questions if they became confused with this again or if something else happened in this situation. I made it very clear that this was not something that they had done wrong.
I also asked my sons to speak with the minister at church about this with me. They obliged my request and they soon discovered that it was definitely not a problem created by them.
Years went by, but the situations seemed to be everywhere we went and we even had one situation that was much worse than most of the others.
My oldest son and the neighbor boy were both on the same high school soccer team where they were always in competition with each other. And so the neighborhood problem became a slight problem at the practices and games when the other family adults were there. I continued to tell my son that he just needed to be polite and understanding since the conflict was probably the result of the fearful parent.
Well, my son graduated from school and went to college. The neighbor boy was a year behind so was left by himself. His grades fell and his sportsmanship was in shambles. He almost did not get into college because of this change during the senior year. But then, he got accepted to the same college my son was attending.
it resulted in a great ending - because my son at age 40 today is great friends with his teammate who also made the all-American squad in D3 soccer. They even played on some young adult teams together and then coached their sons and daughters on the same soccer teams. My grandchildren visit them often along with my son.
The parents of the other young man still do not accept us, but then, they do not get to see their children and grandchildren as often as we do, because they often refuse to visit their son's home.
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I invite friends from his old neighborhood over!
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