Daughter in the neighbour's carpark

(109 Posts)
iancoady Sat 24-May-14 17:50:17

We moved into a great cul-de-sac around 5 years ago, and most of our elderly neighbours are brilliant. Our 7 year old daughter makes cards for our 3 closest neighbours and has recently started 'popping round' for a chat, a drink and a biscuit.

On the opposite side of the road is a woman who can only be described as a busy body. I once turned my car around in her drive and there she was banging on the window and gesturing at me. It did no harm whatsoever but I've respected her (somewhat petty) wishes and not turned the car around there since.

Recently though, my daughter has started playing out the front of the house (so her other friends in the road can see her when they get home from school) but due to the large volumes of traffic in the road we have asked her to play in the two communal car parks in the road.

These are two large open spaces where residents know what their space is but they are not marked out in any way. As most residents also have garages AND drives these are rarely used, so provide a great off-road play area that is reasonably large.

Yesterday my daughter came in in tears as she had been playing 'schools' in the car park (she says she was pretending to teach Spanish and wasn't any louder than talking) when the woman started banging on her window and gesturing for her to get out of the car park. The poor thing was crying because she didn't even know what she had done.

My first reaction was to knock on her door and have a go at her but I try not to act impulsively as we all still have to live in the same street at the end of the day.

My first question is am I unreasonable to let my daughter play in the street providing she is not noisy (and she really isn't)?

Secondly, if the car park is a communal area, should she be allowed to play in there?

Finally, as I'm not even sure if this woman has a space in the communal car park (given she also has a drive and a garage) how can I find out if she does without checking the deeds to her house?

Any help you can give is appreciated, as I've already decided I need to talk to this woman and tell her that she isn't to interact with my daughter again. If she has an issue then she knows where I or my wife are and she can talk directly to us. Just not sure what to do about the rest.

orangepudding Sat 24-May-14 17:53:07

Maybe she doesn't feel a car park is an appropriate place for a child to play.

Koothrapanties Sat 24-May-14 17:54:48

I think as long as the car park is safe, your dd should be allowed to play there. I would speak to the woman and ask her to come to you if she has a problem with what your daughter is doing. It doesn't sound like she was doing anything wrong, but your neighbour must have an issue with it. The only way you will sort it is by talking to her.

SisterMoonshine Sat 24-May-14 17:56:11

Thing is, I'd rather a young child didn't play in the road / car park within view of me as I'd be feeling responsible for their safety.

VivaLeBeaver Sat 24-May-14 17:56:48

I'd go round, don't have a go at her.

Just ask her if she had a problem. Tell her that as far as you're concerned its ok for your dd to play there and that if she has any concerns in future could she come and talk to you rather than be banging on windows at a small child.

I know the set up of close you describe and plenty of kids play out in these spaces.

GotMyGoat Sat 24-May-14 17:57:01

Isn't 7 a bit little to be playing out? I was never allowed out to play in the street so not sure if IABU about that.

And, it's not really a play space, and it was very cheeky of you to turn in her drive, and if your daughter is playing in her space that's not really on either...

Do you have space in this park where she can play, or do you have a garden?

VivaLeBeaver Sat 24-May-14 17:57:48

Its not the neighbours space, its a communal space.

MotorLoo Sat 24-May-14 17:59:57

I don't know if I'd allow my dc to play in a car park tbh, even if it's rarely used but at the same time I agree with you that if this woman has a problem with it she should speak to you directly. Maybe just knock her door and ask her why she banged the window at your dd as you're unsure? And go from there. I doubt she'll stop being a busy body though, even if you have a chat with her. These people can't be changed! I remember a spiteful woman knocking the window at my friends and me when we played in the street, she even used to poke her tongue out! grin We were around your dd's age and were terrified of her. My parents used to laugh and tell us to ignorr her.

Lilaclily Sat 24-May-14 18:01:17

has recently started 'popping round' for a chat, a drink and a biscuit

Are you sure she's not annoying people demanding juice & biscuits?)

GotMyGoat Sat 24-May-14 18:02:10

But OP said that neighbours each had their own possibly unofficial spots within the car park

Once a busybody always a busybody. When I was growing up we used to climb the trees across the path from the houses. One woman insisted the ones in front of her house belonged to her and shouted at us every time we approached them.

Without knowing the exact layout it is difficult to comment. All you can do is talk to her in a rational way.

fails to take own advice

SisterMoonshine Sat 24-May-14 18:06:45

Is there not a Brownies or something she could go to?
Make friends her own age etc.

CorusKate Sat 24-May-14 18:09:39

Aren't children allowed to just play out? Why does it all have to be structured into Brownies et al.?

SisterMoonshine Sat 24-May-14 18:12:42

This girl does sound particularly bored though. Playing in a car park on her own, killing time outside the neighbours' so other children will spot her when they get home (would they not just call for her anyway?)
Hanging round the pensioner's houses.

Sparklingbrook Sat 24-May-14 18:12:51

I would just go round and ask if there is a problem otherwise this will just go on and on.

Nothing wrong with your DD playing in a virtually unused communal car park. She was playing schools not boinging a ball off the parked cars or anything.

Also there is nothing wrong with popping into neighbours houses for juice and a biscuit, I bet the elderly neighbours like it.

SpottieDottie Sat 24-May-14 18:14:03

My children play out all the time, but I wouldn't been keen on them playing out in a car park because of drivers not paying enough attention, though it depends really where the car park is in relation to the road - can drivers see children in there when they come down the road?

CorusKate Sat 24-May-14 18:19:52

Sorry, Moonshine, you're right, she does sound bored though it never did me any harm <gimmer>, its just that I've noticed structured children's clubs like Brownies being touted as the universal solution on here sometimes and I just feel it's not necessarily a bad thing for children to fill their time on their own if they want to. Though obviously a club like Brownies is only a couple of hours a week anyway so she'd still be wanting to play out.

drinkingtea Sat 24-May-14 18:21:34

Of course 7 isn't too little to play out; kids who spend every evening dojng structured activities often haven't a clue how to play without somenody "organising" them, which is far worse than making your own entertainment playing out...

As far as the car park goes though its hard to tell - where do the neighbor kids play out? The woman does sound like a busy body (though you have no right to turn around in her drive and lost a lot of sympathy by dropping that into your post I imagine).

MiscellaneousAssortment Sat 24-May-14 18:23:51

I do think children need to play outside, and on their own.

It's sad that we see children as a nuisance... Although I'd be really careful to check she isn't being a nuisance in any reasonable persons opinion.

Goldmandra Sat 24-May-14 18:25:48

Is there not a Brownies or something she could go to?

Seriously? Is there a Brownie pack near you that meets every day after school and all weekend?

SisterMoonshine Sat 24-May-14 18:26:23

Oh yes Kate, I feel the same. No harm in children entertaining themselves.

Not the carpark though.
I may be projecting: there's a girl I know hangs around at the kerb, bored ^ a lot^ when DCS get home from school. I always feel a bit sorry for her.

Viviennemary Sat 24-May-14 18:26:38

I agree with your neighbour. Children should not be playing in a carpark. Also you had no right to turn your car round in her drive. Yes she is being a pain but she is within her rights to object.

CorusKate Sat 24-May-14 18:28:11

Why is it that my phone inserts an apostrophe every single time I type "its", whether I want it to or not, right up until the point where I've got so used to the fact it does so that I just assume it'll put one in there for me if I want it, at which point it doesn't bother?

Sparklingbrook Sat 24-May-14 18:28:32

Without seeing the car park it's hard to comment isn't it?

CorusKate Sat 24-May-14 18:30:25

There are carparks and carparks, though I do take your point Moonshine. Some estates have carparks which are very quiet and you can tell well in advance when someone's going to turn into it (although seven is a little young to expect that level of awareness).

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