To not allow this child on my property?

(63 Posts)
Porridge05 Fri 30-Aug-13 16:19:42

Background info: We live in a terraced cottage, in a terrace of roughly ten houses. The driveway to our house is accessible by driving down a narrow track in between our terrace and another terrace next to it. To get to your own driveway is is neccessary to drive across each others driveways to reach your own, and each house owner is given legal right of way to travel across each, until they reach their own. We live almost at the opposite end of the track and therefore we have legal right of way over everyone's drive, whereas the child I speak about lives 3 doors down from the track, so they do not technically have right of way over our land.

The little girl I am talking about is an only child of about 7 or 8 who lives with her mum. She plays out around the back of the houses on the driveways as it is much safer than playing on the main road at the front. I have never before had a problem with her playing on our drive before now and actually thought it was lovely to see a child enjoying the great outdoors.

However, a few weeks ago she took it upon herself to make a mixture of stones and mud in her back garden and rub it into the bonnets of several of the neighbours cars - including my partner's brand new shiny BMW (She seems to have gone for the expensive cars as mine and my friends little runnabouts were left mud free) :/ . Our friends who live next door, at the end of the terrace caught her in the act, confronted her and told us what they had seen. Her mother came out, told us that it wasn't her fault and didn't apologise for her child's behaviour at all!

Thankfully after carefully washing it all off there isn't any really obvious scratching so we haven't taken it any further. This child now keeps coming to ride her bike up and down our property - I have politely asked her not to do so after she tried to purposely damage peoples cars but I keep catching her doing it anyway when she thinks I'm not watching. Would it be unreasonable to have a very firm but polite word with her mother about this?

DoJo Sat 31-Aug-13 22:47:14

It sounds like it it more the reaction of the mother which has made the OP wary - if she had apologised and taken responsibility, then I imagine there would be no problem, but knowing that any further poor behaviour is likely to go unchecked doesn't exactly fill one with the urge to give a child the benefit of the doubt.

I wonder if the discussion had with the girl's mother was confrontational and so she got defensive. I think if it happened to my car I'd be annoyed, but would probably want to talk to the girl's mother myself before doing anything else.

kali110 Sat 31-Aug-13 22:14:20

I dont think op is being unreasonable. She did it to 7 cars! Her mother basically said it wasnt her fault. Op has asked her not to ride on her property and she still does.
At 7 i knew not to touch other peoples cars and if a person said to get off their property i would!
Just because shes 7 doesnt mean that she shouldnt do as shes told.
I would be wary letting a child who has been messing around with expensive cars go near them, especially as shes knows she wont be in trouble with her mom.

Whereisegg Sat 31-Aug-13 22:03:35

I find it odd that the girl would listen about not touching cars, but not listen about being on your land.

It made me wonder if her mother has told her she is allowed to ride her bike up and down, and doesn't have to listen to you.

littlemog Sat 31-Aug-13 14:50:02

I know, it's just that she hasn't done anything to the damn car since so why hold the grudge? She's just a little girl and I think to say that she 'has no boundaries' is silly. She clearly has or she would have carried on putting mud on cars!

WilsonFrickett Sat 31-Aug-13 14:48:06

She did something stupid. Because she's 7. There is no way a 7 yo would understand what she was doing could actually damage a car, I only found out a few years ago that mud could scratch a car.

Yes, her mother's reaction was less than perfect (understatement) but that really isn't the little girl's fault. And she hasn't done it again. So let her ride her bike.

mimitwo Sat 31-Aug-13 14:44:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mimitwo Sat 31-Aug-13 14:42:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HollaAtMeBaby Sat 31-Aug-13 14:36:25

Are the cars parked on their own driveways, or on the shared track along the back of the terrace? Couldn't you just get a gate at the end of your drive?

BarbarianMum Sat 31-Aug-13 14:34:30

The reality is that there is very little you can do to stop her unless you are willing to install gates and lock them. If you are - do so. You know talking to her mum isn't going to help.

I'm not sure her behaviour necessarily constitutes 'willfully trying to damage a car' Wibblypig sounds just like heedless playing to me. I once painted my dad's car with mud - never thought about scratching it - cars seemed big and indestructible to me as a child.

Wibblypiglikesbananas Sat 31-Aug-13 14:23:21

Well, obviously little girls, as in live human beings, are more important than a piece of metal labeled BMW or whatever littlemog hmm - if you're looking at this completely objectively.

The point is, if you've worked hard, saved, bought a nice new shiny car and then a child who appears to have no boundaries comes along and wilfully tries to damage it - and what's more - gets away with that behaviour as their parent is apparently blameless here too hmm then I think you have the right to be upset.

Idocrazythings Sat 31-Aug-13 14:10:34

I think the mud incident is very strange behaviour. My 7 year old would never do that and I don't think my 5 year old (who gets up to lots of mischief) would either. I don't blame OP for bring very cautious of her, but maybe keeping on going onto her about it might make the problem escalate, and put ideas into her head?

Did the mother mean it wasn't the mothers fault or the little girls fault? Not that you should have to, but for peace of mind could you put one of those car covers over the BMW?

littlemog Sat 31-Aug-13 13:58:42

But this little girl has not touched the car since!! And am I alone in thinking that little girls are more important than BMWs anyway? I think that perspective is required.

Wibblypiglikesbananas Sat 31-Aug-13 13:33:45

See, I think the OP is getting a rough ride here. If I were her, I'd be immensely frustrated that the girl's mother wasn't doing more to teach her child acceptable behaviour. Yes, the girl herself may not have been aware of the consequences of her actions the first time she made a mud/stone/scratch the nice new car you've worked hard for pie, let's give her the benefit of the doubt hmm but her mother should know fine well what's right and wrong. By behaving as though the neighbours were in the wrong for daring to say something, she's effectively told her daughter she can get away with this.

Resprays are expensive. Multiple resprays more so. I'd be keeping a very sharp eye out from now on.

PresidentServalan Sat 31-Aug-13 13:29:11

YANBU - it's your property and she shouldn't be playing on it. And the mud was vandalism. If you see her, tell her to go away from it. There are a couple of boys who play at the end of my parents road, outside their house (my parents' house not the kids') and they keep throwing stones at one of my parents' cats - they hit the window the other day. So i know what it is like having irritating kids outside!

Cerisier Sat 31-Aug-13 11:54:01

At age 2 mine knew not to go near neighbours' gardens or cars. I would be very careful OP as this little girl is not being taught how to behave and is perfectly capable of ruining an expensive car when your back is turned.

nennypops Sat 31-Aug-13 11:33:07

The kid's 7 years old fgs. You have no evidence that she was doing anything deliberately malicious with her mudpies, nor has she demonstrated any other propensity to be malicious. Children at that age are really not good at working out the consequences of their actions. If you've had a good relationship with her before, surely you just need to have that talk with her and tell her that if she steps out of line once more she will be barred from your land.

littlemog Sat 31-Aug-13 11:27:24

And the mother needs a kick in the cunt

Fucking hell. confused

Let the kid ride her bike. Speak to her about what she did that one time to the cars and then stop holding a grudge against a 7 year old girl.

greenfolder Sat 31-Aug-13 11:23:16

no practical way you can stop her playing on your drive

child will not understand the finer points of any of the legal position.

you would be far better off, now you know that mother has no intention of supervising or admonishing to just tell her direct. you must not put mud on the cars.

and move on.

cansu Sat 31-Aug-13 11:18:17

Think you are over reacting a bit. She did something wrong once and you are going over the top now. A seven year old put some mud and stones on a car once. It's hardly crime of the century. Give the child a break. If anything else happens you may have a point but at the moment you sound a bit unhinged, going on about the legal ramifications of her riding her bike over your driveway.

pigletmania Sat 31-Aug-13 10:46:41

Op i dont blame you, though you could give her one more chance, if it happens again, no more

Porridge05 Sat 31-Aug-13 10:24:23

Same here wibbly, I would have been washing that car until I saw my face in it, and I would have made my kids do the same! As it happens her mum didn't offer any such thing, but she does give us a lovely set of 'evil eyes' when we drive past.

Porridge05 Sat 31-Aug-13 10:22:16

I actually feel quite sorry for her, as she is often on her own and her mother isn't exactly the nicest specimen Of humanity, which is why I used to quite happily talk to her little girl when she was playing out.

I think it's the deliberateness of her actions, to mix up mud and stones in her own back garden, then proceed to carry it 7 houses up and rub it all over someone's car (5 people's cars actually, all 'premium' type cars) that bothers me :/ and then her mother who complained that it wasn't her fault and refused to apologise.

She hasn't done it again since, but I'm not keen to give her any opportunity to do so.

I'm certain that she has no right of way over ours, I think it's in the deeds from what I recall

Wibblypiglikesbananas Fri 30-Aug-13 18:59:21

I'd say YANBU to bear a grudge against the girl's mother. It's no wonder the girl herself thinks she can behave in this way if her mother takes no responsibility for her child's actions. Yes, she is a child, but 7yo is plenty old enough to understand that you don't scratch cars with mud and stones.

I think you'll struggle to stop her accessing your land if her mother isn't setting proper boundaries and enforcing punishments. I just know that if that had been me, my parents would have had me washing all the cars in the neighbourhood for free for a month by way of apology. And they'd have paid for any damage too, not just shrugged it off. That's the first thing any rational person would offer to do - pay for damage and be hugely apologetic, not ignore the issue.

GibberTheMonkey Fri 30-Aug-13 18:49:15

Having said that she's already ignored the op so not sure what else the op can do really.

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