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to let my children play with a tennis ball in the road

(157 Posts)
HopeClearwater Sat 03-Aug-13 11:15:27

Don't know what to do. We live in a small cul-de-sac of 3-bed semis. My dc are allowed to play with bat and ball outside at the widest part of the cul-de-sac. I can see them from my house. I don't let them play football there. An elderly neighbour is taking great exception to it, hates the ball rolling into his driveway (everything is open, tiny front gardens mainly converted to hard standing). He's just shouted at my younger child when the ball rolled into another neighbour's driveway.
He stands in his front room watching them when they play out and waiting for the ball to go somewhere he thinks it shouldn't.
I have a tiny back garden and my other neighbour complains when any balls land in his garden, so I feel that's out now as well.
I'm trying to be sympathetic to the old guy but I can't help thinking that he'd have spent his childhood in the streets of London and not stuck inside. He's shouted at me too, told me they shouldn't be playing out and it infringes his rights. I was very polite back but didn't actually agree or disagree with anything he said.
Help...

Emilythornesbff Sat 03-Aug-13 15:42:19

I agree with whothefuckfarted
I'd be worried about cars though. blush

Floralnomad Sat 03-Aug-13 15:52:16

I don't like children playing ball outside my house and I think if your children are old enough to be playing in the road unsupervised then they are old enough to go to the park .

Rhino71 Sat 03-Aug-13 15:58:40

This is similar to the ball over the garden thread.. Same response from me, stop being so fucking miserable and let the kids play.. Parks are great but you can't be at a park 24/7. Wish people would stop trying to defend these miserable sods. Kids play with balls, that's life.. Better playing out with balls than in watching telly or on the I-pads.

Foam ball or swingball in future maybe. Also give them alternatives to play with to mix it up a bit. Badminton, pavement chalks, bubbles, hula hoops, space hoppers, scooters, roller skates, skipping ropes, pogo sticks, etc.

A classmate of my DS's was very badly injured last summer holidays as she momentarily forgot her road rules and chased her ball out between two parked cars and was hit by a car coming down the quiet cul de sac. It was touch and go if she'd make it but thankfully she did.

We had neighbours who would send their dcs out to play tennis or football down our tiny terrace. I feel for your neighbour as I would feel so anxious about them breaking a window it would make me feel ill. It also really annoyed my to have them running in front of my front window to retrieve ball from front garden - felt like an invasion of privacy.

Sparklingbrook Sat 03-Aug-13 16:10:16

If you get a swingball ask Grumpy Git if he would like a game. grin

SelectAUserName Sat 03-Aug-13 16:10:48

Swingball in the back garden
Soft ball or non-ball games in the street
Tennis ball and football for trips to the park

Plenty of choice for sporty games for active children there, I would have thought.

You would have to hit a tennis ball incredibly hard for it to break a double glazed window hmm, my own kids have never managed it touch wood, not even with a leather football. There is a possible issue of damage to cars and a danger of children being hit by a car, but neither of these things seem to be what is bothering the neighbour. It sounds like he is being grumpy for being grumpys sake, but I do think the OP might need to look at alternative entertainments. Swingball might be a really good idea tbh.

holycowwhatnow Sat 03-Aug-13 16:21:13

You'd want to be in Ireland where the kids bash sliotars around- they're much much harder than tennis balls. I think there are much bigger things to be getting pissed off about than kids having harmless fun out on the road. Of course, if they're playing near parked cars and could damage either them or risk running out in front of a car, you'd need to rethink things. But otherwise, YANBU at all and the world's gone mad.

WilsonFrickett Sat 03-Aug-13 19:28:40

jamdonut 'your' bit of the road probably has the best stretch of kerb - no dropped bits, even height, no drains etc.

I may have played too much kirby in my youth...

WorrySighWorrySigh Sat 03-Aug-13 20:12:00

You dont feed your kids fruit shoots, pom bears,fizzy drinks and encourage them to eat lost of fruit and veg.

But for some reason on MN it is okay to let your kids play ball games on the road (albeit a quiet one) and risk getting knocked over by a car.

Because accidents happen to other people's children.

MrsGSR Sat 03-Aug-13 20:27:44

YABU if you're letting your kids play with a tennis ball and bat around cars.

mayoandchips Sat 03-Aug-13 21:01:51

I have an image of Meddlesome Ratbag from Viz in my head, standing there waiting to stir shit :D
Sorry, not helpful...

BarbarianMum Sat 03-Aug-13 21:09:00

It is fine for children to play out on quiet streets - OP yours sounds ideal.

There is always one grumpy neighbour - we had one and that was 30+ years ago. She had had her garden tarmaced and still got upset if a tennis ball rolled across the corner of it.

But foam balls are probably a good idea. Then no danger of damage.

5madthings Sat 03-Aug-13 21:15:46

Fuck me some of you lot would hate our cul de sac!

There are always kids playing out, we with balls, generally soft balls, or on scooters, bikes etc. Its very quiet, a dead end and you can't turn into it fast, the kids play from outside my house and down towards the dead end so away from the turn in anyway.

But they all have a lovely time, parents can see from front room/kitchen windows and there is often a parent outside as well.

The front gardens are big enough for a car or two and are mainly paved so no plants to squash. We have swing ball but they also play with foam balls etc.

We have a paddling pool in our front garden at the moment and a variety of kids have been playing in it.

All the kids play really nicely, they spent ages yesterday watching ants as there is an ants nest on the edge of our garden.

Op give them a soft foam ball, tho the average child cannot hit a tennis ball hard enough to break a double glazed window.

5madthings Sat 03-Aug-13 21:17:08

And I played Kirby with my ds2 today! Loved the game as a kid and the hours of playing it as a child meant I beat ds2! grin

MikeOxard Sat 03-Aug-13 21:27:12

YABU. Kids shouldn't be playing ball games in the road - obviously! It's not safe, and people will be worried about their cars and other property being damaged. If they keep getting shouted at because they frequently have to go into people's gardens to get the ball back, that's not acceptable. My dd is 3 and even she knows you're not allowed to go into other people's gardens! Let them play in your back garden - if they can't play carefully enough to keep the ball within their garden then buy them a ball on a string thing, or tell them they have to play something else, or let them go to the park, but don't let them play in the road and in other people's front gardens.

PresidentServalan Sun 04-Aug-13 13:01:04

The street isn't the place for ball games - if they can't play their games in your garden, take them to the park! Where my friend lives, there have nearly been accidents when balls have r

PresidentServalan Sun 04-Aug-13 13:01:37

Rolled into the road and forced cars to do an emergency stop.

goodasitgets Sun 04-Aug-13 13:22:47

YABatinybitU
My car was damaged by a football. Our road is a dead end but when you drive to the bottom and swing round you can't see before you turn. The kids sit in the road shock and I've had to do countless slams on brakes even at 10mph as they don't move
The associated noise/screaming/shouting means I have to keep the window shut. Irritating when they have back gardens, and there's a park 250m walk away

goodasitgets Sun 04-Aug-13 13:23:23

Forgot to add - if they had a sponge ball and weren't screaming, I couldn't care less!

JumpingJackSprat Sun 04-Aug-13 13:38:35

I cant believe so few posters are concerned about the risk of being hit by a car. you do know if your kid runs into the road and gets hit by a car, even if the car is only doing 20mph then the pedstrian could easily die or have catastrophic injuries? Not a risk id take with a child of mine, take them to the park.

RedHelenB Sun 04-Aug-13 14:10:07

How old are they - could they go to the park on their on?

WorrySighWorrySigh Sun 04-Aug-13 15:00:17

I agree JumpingJackSprat - my own DD was hit by a car in our quiet cul-de-sac at less than 20mph. She was left with a broken foot and knee damage which troubles her to this day.

When I tell my neighbours they do this face --> shock then carry on letting their reception aged children play on the road unsupervised.

I dont know whether it is stupidity or naivety - accidents happen to other people.

Canidae Germany Sun 04-Aug-13 19:55:19

Foam balls, badminton, hula hoops, bikes, scooters, chalk are all good. I think tennis balls and footballs are too hard and wouldn't like them thrown around my car tbh. As long as they stay off his property and don't scream and shout then he can't complain.

xylem8 Sun 04-Aug-13 20:01:11

Even with a foam ball this is not good.b
You really cannot allow your kids to be running in and out of your neighbours property retrieving balls all day.It doesn't matter that it is just a driveway etc.It is private.You have to teach your kids to respect private property

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