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Old 07-24-2014, 11:07 AM   #1
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Neighbor troubles with our kids making too much noise

We just moved here a few months back, and although our neighbors seem friendly, our next door neighbor is an elderly and very nosey woman. VERY NOSEY! She even commented to me one day that she noticed me moving furniture in my home!! She knows whats in my garden, and I think she's done a background check on my husband and I before we moved in because she knew what we did, how many kids we had, and their ages.

Anyway, my kids love playing outdoors. Sometimes, my 8 year old and 4 year old get to screaming a bit. I won't allow it for long periods of time, but if they chase each other, they may do a "scared" scream in fun. Well, my 4 year old did it (for the first time of the day) and the neighbor yelled at him. I felt bad for him, but I wasn't sure if she's in the right for scolding him or not, so I didn't run over there and yell at her but I also didn't make him apologize for enjoying his play time outdoors and being a bit loud.

I have talked with my kids about calming down, but should I really enforce it? They are NOT out of control, and they only screech occasionally. If I notice they get loud, I find a more structured game for them to settle them down.

What should I do? I asked another neighbor (who has kids and is a good friend of mine) and she said my neighbor was talking negatively about us, but maybe it was because the previous owners were old and quiet and she's not used to young children.

I don't want to have any tension with my neighbor, but at the same time, we moved here because the yard was huge, and I wanted my kids to be able to express themselves freely and happily.

What should I do?

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Old 07-24-2014, 11:25 AM   #2
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Re: Neighbor troubles with our kids making too much noise

Were they yelling or screaming? I think there's a difference. My mom taught us never to scream in town (we lived in the country but visited grandma in town often) bc you should only scream if you're in real trouble and need help. Yelling and little playful shrieks are different than a full fledged scream, and to me, that's just part of being a kid.
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Old 07-24-2014, 11:58 AM   #3
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Re: Neighbor troubles with our kids making too much noise

I would suggest to the kids that they settle down a bit but I wouldn't want them to be afraid to play outside.

I correct my own kid's if they are screaming like they are getting killed outside because I personally would rather they save those screams for real emergencies.

You could try the kill them with kindness method in which you make an effort to get to know her more than just as the nosey elderly lady. I've seen that work wonders.

Other than that I would see how it plays out.
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Old 07-24-2014, 12:48 PM   #4
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Re: Neighbor troubles with our kids making too much noise

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Originally Posted by Agla View Post
I would suggest to the kids that they settle down a bit but I wouldn't want them to be afraid to play outside.

I correct my own kid's if they are screaming like they are getting killed outside because I personally would rather they save those screams for real emergencies.

You could try the kill them with kindness method in which you make an effort to get to know her more than just as the nosey elderly lady. I've seen that work wonders.

Other than that I would see how it plays out.
I agree I get after my kids for screaming like someone is killing them just for fun. Those screams tend to be very loud where play screams are not that loud. Now I am not sure which you child did but I would just explain no screaming. Now kids yelling I let be if they are outside in the backyard.
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Old 07-24-2014, 01:31 PM   #5
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If it was me I wouldn't be letting my neighbors yell at my kids. Maybe asking them to settle down or saying something to me but I would never allow someone else to yell at them. Which I don't know the situation or anything but we live in the country and do have a few neighbors and iv never had a problem with them. My kids yell and even I yell but we are just playing plus we are just loud people *haha* I don't really get why being loud outside would be a problem anyways I always thought that's what your suppose to do outside so I really don't get why she would get mad anyways exspecially at a four year old.
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Old 07-24-2014, 02:04 PM   #6
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I would go over and talk with the neighbor. I would say you felt bad the kids disturbed her and ask if there is a certain time of day she naps or needs quiet and also if there is a time she is gone (like for visiting or weekly appts) where the noise won't bother her. It is dumb your kids have to be quiet in their own back yard but if she feels like you are trying not to disturb her it will go a long way to creating harmony. If you are going to have to live next to her I would do all I could to get along . I don't think it is unreasonable for a 8 and 4 year old to not scream while they play but they should be able to have fun and use outside voices. I would see if you can work it out around her schedule so everyone is happy plus it will teach your boys kindness and compassion.
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Old 07-24-2014, 02:22 PM   #7
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Re: Neighbor troubles with our kids making too much noise

No, they do not scream like bloody murder lol. They to a screech of joy and excitement when they are being chased. If they get too loud, I DO correct them because believe me, actual screams get on my nerves very quickly!!! I talk to my neighbor on occasion, but she always has something negative to say about someone. I try to steer clear of things like that. In fact, she is very prejudice and she hates black people and germans. She's Italian, and my husband is Italian. She assumed I was too because of my name, but I'm German. She started calling another German horrible names and I had to stop her because it does hurt! Plus, my kids are also 1/2 and 1/2 and when she talks bad about specific races, I do take that to heart. So basically, we say "Hi" and ask how we are doing in a friendly manner, but I don't think I could go any further.

As for my children, I do correct them if I feel they are getting out of hand. Believe me, I would hate to be the "loud neighbors" to everyone LOL!
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Old 07-24-2014, 02:43 PM   #8
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Re: Neighbor troubles with our kids making too much noise

She sounds like a piece of work.

I know that my acceptable level of noise makes older people cringe. I think I have learned to tune out the noise.

We were just visiting the godparents and they love my kids very much but the chatter and occasional squeal had then exhausted by the time we left.

If she wants to be the mean neighbor there is nothing you can really do. One day it will be the kids, the next day will be the grass, the garbage cans, etc.

So I would pick my battles wisely.
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Old 07-24-2014, 02:54 PM   #9
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Shoot then I don't know what to do. It sounds more involves than I thought. If it was just thay she didn't want the kids screaming you can work around that but if she is mad at everything and everyone then I am not sure anything will help. But if she likes dh I would have him deal with her from now on. Anything that would help smooth things over and keep her out of your hair.
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Old 07-26-2014, 07:32 PM   #10
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Re: Neighbor troubles with our kids making too much noise

we live in a co-op w/ 2 doz kids who all play in a shared courtyard. screaming is part of a child's normal outdoor play. I'd ignore the neighbor unless your kids are standing & screaming into her yard, or are screaming at 6am. if she doesn't want to hear them then she can close her windows. her problem not yours. I would also say something to her that you are not comfortable with her correcting your children when they are in their own yard.
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