Children making noise in the countryside

(59 Posts)
Frontier Sun 17-Aug-14 17:14:36

We're just back from a weekend in a beautiful park of the country. Four of us plus a friend and her young family. Her Dc are younger than mine, 6 & 8 and I really have no idea if I can't remember how it was to have young DC or if she is mad!! It wasn't that long ago, DS2 is only 11.

Her eldest is LOUD. Doesn't appear to have ever learned about indoor/outdoor voices or to have any sort of volume control whatsoever. My DS1 at the same age was (I thought) very loud too but I really don't remember this and I did make some attempt to have him moderate it when lots of noise was inappropriate.

Anyway there were two "moments" during the weekend. One was when I reminded him of The Countryside Code one part of which is to "make no unnecessary noise". This was when we were at a particularly busy but peaceful beauty spot and he was shouting his part in a conversation with my DS1 who was right next to him. I just reminded him that people liked to come to this place for the peace and quiet and that he should quieten down. My friend thought I was very unreasonable - children are supposed to make noise outdoors. I do get that but isn't there still a time and a place and her son in 8, not tiny?

Next one I'm sure I'm not wrong about grin We were discussing plans for dinner and one restaurant was mentioned. Our family had been there a few weeks previously and were the only customers who weren't an older couple. My DC are old enough to have just abut managed to behave appropriately but the restaurant was silent and even normal talking seemed too loud. I told friend this and suggested it might not be the best place for our large party. Oh, she said, " sometimes older people like to hear children's noise in restaurants". Maybe they sometimes do but it is really Ok to inflict it one them without checking first?! The restaurant we did choose was much more lively and we were fine but we were still by far the loudest there, again with no attempt to regulate the noise.

I thought DH was going to explode the 3rd time in half an hour he reminded the boy we were staying in a flat with neighbours on all sides...

My children were/are by no means silent or perfect but I found it really uncomfortable to be part of a party where no attempt at consideration was made.

So, is it me, or her?

ROARmeow Sun 17-Aug-14 19:40:03

I think it's you, sorry.

Was your friend's child running riot, or just speaking loudly?

odyssey2001 Sun 17-Aug-14 19:46:21

I get really irritated by loud children. I think you were right to intervene and make alternative suggestion about dinner. But my DS is very well behaved when we are out (noise wise) so I have high expectations.

GobblersKnob Sun 17-Aug-14 19:49:38

I don't think ywbu, and that's as a parent of a very loud child, I constantly remind him though.....

fieldfare Sun 17-Aug-14 19:52:59

I don't think yanbu either.
Some children just don't seem able to regulate their voices, not helped by parents that don't give a monkey's.

Letthemtalk Sun 17-Aug-14 19:59:44

Yanbu about the restaurant, but one of the joys of being in the country is being able to make as much noise as you want (as long as you're not upsetting cows!)

JassyRadlett Sun 17-Aug-14 20:04:24

It's her. Kids can and should be taught to moderate their voices appropriately for the situation. They won't always get it right, but that's where parenting kicks in.

bamboostalks Sun 17-Aug-14 20:04:32

The Countryside Code? You sound a bit much with that comment tbh.

JassyRadlett Sun 17-Aug-14 20:07:43

Letthemtalk, what about people who are trying to find peaceful enjoyment of the same countryside?

I think it's a balance (and goodness knows my kid isn't the quietest) but I think the Countryside Code has it right. To me, it's more acceptable to make lots of noise in a city park than in an empty (or near-empty) field.

DoItTooJulia Sun 17-Aug-14 20:08:03

Ah, come on. The kids were on a day out, excited no doubt.

Restaurant, I do understand more. But you're coming across as uptight, and I mean that kindly, maybe there's a middle ground where you relax a bit more about it and just say something like "hey kids, take it down a notch!"

5madthings Sun 17-Aug-14 20:08:04

In a restaurant and in the flat then yes children should be reminded to keep voices down.

Outside in the countryside, erm isn't that the joy of the outdoors that kids can be noisy?

The countryside code... Seriously?!!

Bunbaker Sun 17-Aug-14 20:11:55

"I think it's you, sorry."

I don't. I hate it when children are too noisy when it is inappropriate.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sun 17-Aug-14 20:15:34

The countryside is a great place to make noise when there is no-one around. Im not sure a busy beauty spot is the place for childish exuberance.

OP you were in the right, as another poster said children need to learn to adjust behaviour to the environment they are in.

notnowbernard Sun 17-Aug-14 20:22:39

I can appreciate both sides

I have had a really loud child, and currently have 2 quite loud (but just about within the parameters of acceptably-loud-for-dc) children

At times I've found it REALLY hard, coping with the noise. My really loud one seemed to have no volume control whatsoever between age 2-5. Better now at 7. Lots of people (known and strangers) would comment on it. Including neighbours shock
I find my tolerance to it really depends on my mood at the time. I can be quite lassiez- faire ( sp?) sometimes, at others I feel like boiling my own head

Siennasun Sun 17-Aug-14 20:24:14

There is no need for children (or anyone) to be quiet on the country side. I'm with your friend on that.
You are probably right that it would have been inappropriate to take them to that silent restaurant but am perplexed as to why anyone would think silence in a restaurant is desirable.
You sound a bit like you think children should be seen and not heard so maybe holidays with this family are not for you?

Frontier Sun 17-Aug-14 20:41:41

The countryside code is a real thing - i didn't invent it! Per the link in my op. It seems like commonsense to me.

MrsCakesPrecognition Sun 17-Aug-14 20:59:49

The countryside code bit about noise isn't about not disturbing people in beauty spots, it is about not frightening farm animals. So don't rev your car, let off fireworks, scream and yell etc. I don't think an 8yo talking (loudly) is really the sort of thing it is aimed at.

NinjaLeprechaun Sun 17-Aug-14 21:02:15

Dear God, somebody had better warn the cows to be quiet.

Shrieking while standing next to a horse is a bad idea, but while running around in a big empty space - that's what big empty spaces are for, surely.
One of the many definite benefits of raising kids in the country, in my opinion.

morethanpotatoprints Sun 17-Aug-14 21:07:46

I can see both sides.
Children are noisy by default so if you say this one was shouting rather than talking then YWNBU.
The countryside isn't quiet though, at times its noisier than the city or town.
The mum sounds a bit inconsiderate after you had told her about the quiet restaurant she shouldn't presume everybody likes loud children.

OwnerOfAnInsanePuppy Sun 17-Aug-14 21:17:02

I have a child with ADHD. We remind remind remind him, but he is continuously loud. We live the country side as he can run around and not disturb the neighbours! But we do try not to go near animals!

Restaurants yanbu and it is one if the reasons we can't eat out.

JassyRadlett Sun 17-Aug-14 21:21:31

OP, unfortunately being considerate to others is out of fashion.

I find it quite depressing.

And I grew up in the middle of bloody nowhere.

Siennasun Sun 17-Aug-14 21:55:45

I find it depressing that people consider a little child being happy, excited and shock talking to his friend to be "unnecessary noise".

JassyRadlett Sun 17-Aug-14 22:44:12

Yes, god forbid a parent encourage a child to moderate their volume out of consideration for people nearby. What a horrible idea. I must tell my mother how she raised me wrong, and how I'm not grateful for it at all.

NinjaLeprechaun Mon 18-Aug-14 03:42:44

Yes, god forbid a parent encourage a child to moderate their volume out of consideration for people nearby.
This would be more of an issue in a town or city, where there are always lots of people nearby, than in the country, surely?

unrealhousewife Mon 18-Aug-14 03:57:48

The child might have poor hearing or breathing problems.

I used to moan about my friends child who never wanted to walk anywhere, it turned out she had a heart defect.

QOD Mon 18-Aug-14 04:32:53

I have a new neighbour like this. No matter how much their 4 year old screamer screams, shouts, talks, sings, calls her parents (seriously shouting mummy a total of 17 times before lazy mum answered) never once has she been shushed

Imagine 3 children on a trampoline for hours with high pitched screaming . . We would tell our dd and friends to keep it down, stop screaming, neighbours don't need to hear it all

I feel your pain

Oh and they lock her in her room at bed time and she screams mummy daddy shriek shriek for up to two hours
We are in big detached houses too
Total utter lack of thought as to effect on others, bet she's horrific in restaurants too and anywhere

MultipleMama Mon 18-Aug-14 05:22:13

You knew this child talked loudly yet you went to a "quiet" resturant? One occupied by older people? Were you trying to make the child look more out of place? hmm

It's the countryside. Yes, some people go for the quietness but other's take their children for the wide open spaces. The countryside rules sound a bit silly tbh. I can understand about car noise and around animals but a child showing his excited?...

Some children don't know how to control the volume of their speech and repeatedly telling to quieten down isn't going to do much good, and would more likely fall on deaf ears.

If it bothers you that much then spend some time away from them and have a meal without them. And maybe reconsider going on holiday with them in future if her child's volume bothers you that much...

Surfsup1 Mon 18-Aug-14 05:35:39

shouting mummy a total of 17 times before lazy mum answered

My neighbours probably think this is what's going on at my house. In fact I have probably answered my DS the first time, but he's not listening so just continues to shout "Mummy"!! By the time he realises I'm listening he's forgotten what he wanted to say. Drives me nuts. That and asking me the same question over and over because he can't be bothered listening to the answer.

I have a noisy DD.

Restaurants - Shhhh
Inside - Shhhh
Shops - Shhhh
Preschool - Shhhh
Near animals - Shhhh
Library - Shhhh
Neighbours around - Shhhh

Do you really want me to do it absolutely everywhere? It is incredibly rare that she gets to be her exuberant, noisy, enthusiastic self. Outside, surrounded by nature is when she gets to be herself. I don't want her to get the impression who she is is wrong ALL the time.

QOD Mon 18-Aug-14 05:49:56

Nope, it's endless and I can hear her shitty response of oh shut up sometimes.

To be fair, if she answered "hey, stop shouting and come inside if I don't answer then the child would learn that just screaming endlessly doesn't work

The night ones worse though, you can hear her banging on her door, plus her windows open if it's hot

JassyRadlett Mon 18-Aug-14 06:59:11

Ninja, the OP made it clear there were other people around.

Longdistance Mon 18-Aug-14 07:30:18

I have a loud dd. She.does.not.shut.up. Talks and talks and talks.

She is also 4. Not far off taping her mouth with gaffer tape, she is annoying, and does not listen. It's relentless.

'Keep your voice down', 'no dc, the neighbours don't want their name repeating 12 times'.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated...

LifeHuh Mon 18-Aug-14 07:46:45

My DS was/is loud. He is a teen now and has a bit more control but when he was little I tried everything to tone him down a bit and none of it worked.

About the countryside bit - we went to a Nature Reserve on our holiday,I wanted to look at the birds with DH,and DD and DS were mooching around chatting.It was just us at that point - and the birds- but everytime the volume crept up I shushed them,asked for consideration for other people and the wildlife,and I reminded them that in bird Hides the protocol is that you are quiet...so far so good.
We get to the last hide,which contains a lot of great views of birds - and four older people,maybe 65-70ish,two couples.And they were talking at top volume about their lives with the occasional nod to the birds,on and on! We all found out a lot more than we needed to know about their work...

DS and DD were very,very amused!
So - at least with children I would think it was nice to see them having fun but they are young to keep the noise down all the time,by 65 I do think you should have grasped the idea that you should take your loud chat to somewhere appropriate!

Iggly Mon 18-Aug-14 08:06:43

The countryside code thing was a bit wanky.

And because of that I can't tell if you're exaggerating or not because some people have different noise tolerances. Yes rude to be loud in a restaurant but the rest. Not so sure. Why stay in a flat with loads of kids? Are you insane?

QOD Mon 18-Aug-14 09:08:30

But long distance I'd be fine if you were mine, it's the lack of consideration.

My neighbours out the back brought it up to dh, we've been here since dd was 5, we've had up to 10 children here in a day in the holidays, child care swap thing ;) and they said to dh that they loved hearing our dd grow up and no one minds family noises, it's the utter selfish lack of awareness.

Clap your hands together ONE TWO THREE COME ON <annoying child> WEE COME ON WOOOO CLAP CLAP CLAP

anyway, Nuff said

NinjaLeprechaun Mon 18-Aug-14 09:36:21

Ninja, the OP made it clear there were other people around.
Yes, but the issue was apparently not the people it was the fact that they were in the country. I have no idea if the OP cares this much about noise when in town, but the implication seems to be that noise is expected there and so being quiet isn't as important.

I live near a busy touristy beauty spot type park, and when it's full of people it can be ridiculously noisy. Just like anyplace when it's full of people, because people are noisy beasties. Even the children people.

JassyRadlett Mon 18-Aug-14 09:50:16

I think the reason people go there - OP described it as a 'peaceful beauty spot' is relevant.

For me, you expect noise in a playground, etc. A peaceful beauty spot that is still quite busy - yep, I'd be asking my kid to moderate their tones if they were exceptionally loud, out of consideration for others.

elastamum Mon 18-Aug-14 09:55:29

FWIW the countryside is not necessarily a quiet place.

Our neighbours take feed deliveries at about 5am on huge articulated lorries. Harvesting often goes on all night and in springtime the noise a field full of ewes and lambs make can be deafening! Lots of screeching owls and foxes and the dogs round here all randomly bark at stuff in the night.

I doubt your lovely DC could be heard at all above that lot grin

UriGeller Mon 18-Aug-14 10:03:41

The countryside code states "don't make unnecessary noise?" Why not?

This planet is becoming less and less tolerant. Its tolerance we should be teaching to our kids not "keep quiet".

JassyRadlett Mon 18-Aug-14 10:24:32

There's a balance between tolerance and consideration, surely?

elephanteraser Mon 18-Aug-14 10:28:30

poor kid

Siennasun Mon 18-Aug-14 11:15:07

There's a balance between tolerance and consideration, surely?
According to some on this thread children need to be quiet in the countryside, in restaurants, in their homes and gardens. I think that attitude is both intolerant and inconsiderate and you must be very miserable people with too much time on your hands

There are places that children (and everyone else) should be taught to keep quiet:- libraries, religious places, anywhere where people are likely to be working or sleeping. That is considerate. My child isn't noisy at all but I can't imagine getting offended by happy excited noise from other people's children.

JassyRadlett Mon 18-Aug-14 12:20:13

I think people being aware and able to moderate their voices appropriate to the situation - not quiet, but not screaming either - is actually a pretty fundamental part of being a decent member of society, and people who don't teach their kids how to do it are really short-changing their kids and taking the easy way out as parents.

There is a huge difference between 'quiet' and 'inappropriately loud' in which most people tend to operate quite happily. Coming from the middle of nowhere I know quite a few people who were naturally loud and had never been taught to moderate their tones as there wasn't much reason to (this wasn't in Britain - proper middle of nowhere). Those people found it really difficult when they were in different circumstances and their 'normal' voices were perceived as loud and intrusive by others. And yep, I was grateful that my mother had foreseen the issue and taught us how to use more moderate tones where it was appropriate because that's what decent members of a community do.

I feel quite sorry for those who can't find a happy middle ground between whispers and shouting. It must be a difficult life.

MultipleMama Mon 18-Aug-14 14:43:27

He's not an adult being rude, he's an 8 year old boy! Who's probably unaware of his volume and telling him constantly to be quiet is going to do nothing but may damage his self confidence. If I was told often to be quiet, I'd stop talking for fear of reproach.

To me; it's adults who need to be more tolerate and considerate... towards a CHILD. You are making this into a much bigger deal than it needs to be.

ThatBloodyWoman Mon 18-Aug-14 14:49:03

I think the countryside should be enjoyed by children, and unless there is a specific reason, such as nesting birds, its unreasonable to expect them to be quiet.

Once we get past the last house when we're walking, quiet rules cease to apply.Given the freedom, I find there's only bursts of noise rather than sustained high decibel bedlam.Its when children get little opportunity to make a noise that it all bursts out.It has to go somewhere....

JassyRadlett Mon 18-Aug-14 15:00:50

Eh, you do what you want with your kids, I'll train mine to be an adult who's able to deal with different situations appropriately and is considerate to people around him. I don't think my self-confidence was particularly dented by being aware that different volumes were appropriate for different situations, and if I was getting too loud getting a gentle 'Oi! You're not down the back paddock now' from one of my parents.

Your children may be more fragile, you know them best.

MultipleMama Mon 18-Aug-14 15:28:11

You teach your kids what you want smile

Siennasun Mon 18-Aug-14 16:15:28

What is considered loud varies by culture, situation, family and individual.
I don't really agree that teaching your children to use "moderate tones" and that people who don't talk/think like you are not "decent" people is genuinely teaching them to be considerate of others.
I hope to teach my kids to be kind, tolerant and open minded but yes, you teach your kids what you want confused

JassyRadlett Mon 18-Aug-14 16:50:28

Yep, me too Sienna, you and I don't differ a whit in our aims, we just fundamentally disagree on how to do it.

JassyRadlett Mon 18-Aug-14 16:53:29

Worth noting that the culture I'm from is notably louder than in Britain - to the point where British people often complain about how noisy my compatriots are. So trust me, I get the cultural issues; I just think there are different ways to approach it and one is that me (and my family) can be kind to others by not being as loud as we can be.

Siennasun Mon 18-Aug-14 18:34:14

That's fine Jassy, actually I think it's lovely.
Your earlier post made me a bit sad because I work with a lovely kid who is very sweet and generally very well behaved but very very loud. He'll probably never be self aware enough to regulate his volume and by your definition that means he'll never be a decent member of the community sad.

JassyRadlett Mon 18-Aug-14 19:02:04

You misunderstand me - I'm not sure whether intentionally or not. Obviously if someone doesn't have the ability to self-regulate (or to learn to do so) then they can't.

If they can learn consideration for and kindness towards others, even if they are strangers, then yes, they should be taught. It will probably make their lives, and the lives of those they come into contact with, much nicer.

I am finding MN a very depressing and individualistic place at the moment, a lot of 'me and mine are fine, so fuck other people' attitudes. It's not an attitude I like myself and it certainly isn't the way I want any child of mine to grow up - and I don't apologise for feeling that way.

JassyRadlett Mon 18-Aug-14 19:08:36

Having reread, yes perhaps I could have worded my orignal post better, and I apologise - but still, maybe try not assuming the worst of people?

Greydog Mon 18-Aug-14 19:10:07

I live near a primary school, and when I take dog out we walk up a lane that runs alongside one of the play areas. Now, I know kids are excited to be out, and let off steam, but hells teeth the noise, the screaming, and I do mean screaming. What does make me wonder though, is this. If a child had an accident, and needed help, would anyone notice before playtime was over? I really don't think they would/could. Any cries for help would be ignored

DeWee Mon 18-Aug-14 19:24:46

None of us can really tell because it could be that the kid was unreasonably loud-or it could be you are unreasonably intolerant of normal noise.

My df was the latter. We used to stay in half a farmhouse on holiday-the farmer and family (3 boys older than us) were in the other half, and I'm sure they would have been totally embarrassed if they'd known the rules df had for us:
No talking above a whisper upstairs after 8pm or before 9am. Walking on the side of the stairs (they creaked badly). No TV after 9pm (only in lounge at other side of house from the divide). No talking in the garden (they had their own garden the other side of the house)... were just a few of the rules. Constant reminders of "we must be quiet because they might be disturbed"
Funny thing was he was totally tolerant of their noise, so he didn't expect the same from them, and they weren't particularly noisy, just definitely naturally noisier than us, but if we pointed out we could hear their TV at 9:30 he'd say that we were guests and had to keep quiet....

Now I would just say that if you were taking children of 6 and 8 to a peaceful beauty spot you thought they couldn't play and run around because of disturbing others-then you went to the wrong place. As grown ups we may think walking to a beautiful place and sitting and watching the view in silence is an idea of fun, but I don't think it's reasonable to expect 6 and 8yo to think so.
What you said sounded pompous at best. If he was talking loudly, then a quick, "you don't need to talk so loudly, he's right next to you" would have sounded much better.

My ds 7yo has glue ear, and can't hear always, I can tell how bad it is by the volume he speaks. I do ask him to be quiet, in fact we have a hand sign that means it, and he knows if I use it then he needs to quieten down. However he does forget, particularly if excited, and I have to remind him. But it does mean that I wouldn't take him to a place where he would wish to speak and I felt he would be inappropriately loud.

Siennasun Mon 18-Aug-14 21:27:22

I agree DeWee but I also think it's unreasonable for anyone to expect other people to be quiet in the countryside. The countryside is pretty big. If you want peace and quiet, find somewhere isolated. If you are in a popular/busy spot you have to accept that other people will be there too and they will probably be talking/enjoying themselves.
Most small children really aren't capable of being quiet all the time, especially when they are excited. Children are not being inconsiderate or unkind by being noisy. It's very possible for people to be noisy and kind and considerate all at the same time.
I actually like the sound of children having fun. I'd rather hear that than people constantly nagging and shushing their children.

NinjaLeprechaun Tue 19-Aug-14 01:09:52

Greydog the tone and pitch of a child in distress is very different from that of a child having fun. I can't explain exactly how you tell the difference, but you certainly can.
Anyway, it's when they go very quiet that you should be the most worried.

tobysmum77 Tue 19-Aug-14 17:33:52

We're on holiday and dd has been banging out the frozen theme tune throughout the countryside grin . I have been telling her to put a sock in it when there are other people around though.

OP go on holiday by yourselves next year. yabu to expect others to think the same way as you.

bakingaddict Tue 19-Aug-14 18:03:45

I dont see how a busy beauty spot can also be peaceful seems a contradiction to me. If I truly wanted a peaceful spot to meditate and contemplate the beauty of nature then I would be looking for something wild and secluded. The sound of children enjoying their surrondings is actually quite nice imo. You only get to be a child for a short time these days let them enjoy giving free reign to express themselves

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