Edit - May 30, 2014
Details on this question can be found below, but here is a summary of my questions:
- How do I approach the parents of these children?
- What should I say to the parents?
- Do I work with the parents to set rules for their kids? (I've never had to do that with other parents.)
- Should I let kids play with my daughter who seem less interested in her and more in her toys?
- How can I make it clear to these children that they are not to play at our house (ex: in the back yard) while we aren't home?
- How can I keep the number of children within a manageable level? I know I don't feel comfortable about having 7 kids over.
We have recently started having some strange neighbor kids come over to our house and start playing in the back yard and I'm not sure how to deal with it.
One day we found 2 of these kids that we don't know or recognize playing in the back yard with our daughter and her friend. We didn't say anything, but just thought it was weird. Then there were five, then there were 7. This all happened in two days (literally overnight). We've tried to discourage so many coming over and it has helped, but now these neighbor kids are starting to play with our kids outside toys when we aren't even home. I also found out that these kids have taken toys from other homes. They are all pretty young (probably 9 years old and younger) so I'm sure it isn't malicious, but I'm definitely not comfortable with it. We don't have a garage, so we cant lock things up.
We don't know the parents, but I think I know where they live. They are of Hispanic origin, but I don't know if this is a cultural thing.
Does anyone have experience with this? Insights from Hispanics are especially welcome.
Thank you in advance.