Trouble with neighbours

(6 Posts)
ShouldHavePlayedItCooler Mon 27-Jun-16 13:48:58

We live in a block of flats that shares a communal garden, so the children play outside together. One of the neighbours is very precious about her 5 year old DD. About a year ago, she came round ranting and raving about my DS having upset her DD in some way (can't actually recall the exact offence now, nothing too ominous). She literally was going mental. After this episode I told my kids to avoid her DD for a bit and this seemed to help. Things calmed down and seemed friendlier. But yesterday, she came knocking again, absolutely raging, claiming my DS had threatened her DD (bear in mind my DS is himself only 8). Anyway, I called my DS to ask if it was true, and he admitted he had said something mean, but nowhere near as bad as she was claiming. So I told my DS we should go round to the neighbour's flat and explain/apologise for upsetting DD. We duly went but even after saying why we were there, the neighbour just ranted at us, even worse than before, calling my son names and, when I tried to protest, calling me a terrible mother who doesn't know how awful her son is (while he was standing right there). She also complained about me having stopped our kids playing together in the past, because although she seems to despise my DS, her DD loves to play with my DD. After a short while, it was clear she had no interest in resolving matters so I took my son home. He was terribly upset and was sobbing for a long time. I told him not to worry and there are nutty people in the world, so all we can do is try to do the right thing ourselves, although obviously all of this is hard for him to grasp. So I am wondering what is the best thing to do now? It's hard as there is just this one communal garden and now that it's summer the children like to play out there all afternoon, but should I try to stop my kids from playing with her DD?

Clutterbugsmum Mon 27-Jun-16 16:07:02

I wouldn't stop your children playing outside, but I would tell them not to play with the neighbours child, I would also make sure I was either outside with them if not at least within hearing distance.

Sounds like your neighbour doesn't like boys playing with her dd.

pictish Mon 27-Jun-16 16:09:26

I dunno - there was no excuse for ranting and raving, but all that noise asides, does she have a point? Does your son bother her daughter?

ShouldHavePlayedItCooler Tue 28-Jun-16 10:29:52

Thanks for these.

Clutter I have advised them not to play with the DD, but if they ever do and if she threatens to tell (about every 5 minutes, she now knows they're worried about it), then try and calm her down rather than continue the conflict. I am always able to see them, but it's a huge space so unless I hover over them, I cannot hear what they are saying.

pictish The children sometimes get on very well and sometimes bother each other. For example, one time the neighbour's DD rammed her scooter into my DS's ankle, drawing blood. At no point did it occur to me to go storming round to her home demanding an explanation! Children play, children fight. Unless there is actual bullying (definitely not the case here!), I feel there is normally no need to intervene.

I have decided to allow them to play outside so long as they avoid the DD, but will also severely limit their garden time and go to the park this summer instead. It's a bit more hassle, but less grief overall. The neighbour is tall and I believe works as a barrister, so very intimidating, the children are now afraid of her sad

user1465823522 Tue 28-Jun-16 10:39:44

Your neighbour is the one with a problem here. not you.I would love to give advice on how to deal with it but since I had to call the police on my own pain in the ass neighbours last week I really can't.

Hope your son is okay - kids take these things harder than we think.

ShouldHavePlayedItCooler Tue 28-Jun-16 11:19:03

Thanks user1465 I had another talk with my son, explaining that even if the neighbour said bad things about him and even though he is naughty sometimes like all children, that does not mean he is a bad person! Hopefully it will sink in and he certainly knows he is deeply loved by all of his family. What happened with your neighbours? It is hard to know what to do in these situations! My concern is, if she goes mental because of normal spats, what happens if there is a more serious issue, like her DD getting knocked over? She would probably try and kill us all!!! I guess if there is any escalation I will just have to call the police like you have had to. It all seems ridiculous over some children playing confused

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