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So upset and cross

(77 Posts)
lovelydaisies1 Thu 04-Aug-11 17:44:50

We moved to our new house 2 weeks ago. From being in the countryside on the edge of open fields to a terraced house near town. I have 3 children and they're finding it quite tough to adjust. The road we've moved to is quiet and there's no through road so the kids are able to ride around on their scooters or so I thought.

This morning I got a really horrible letter through the door from 'a group of concerned neighbours' though I suspect it may just be a couple. Saying my children were not being supervised, were out of control, they were sending a copy of the letter to the police and social services and I was neglectful and being unlawful.

On tues the kids were out until 915pm but it's the holidays and we had friends over (one of whom is a social worker in childrens services! she thought it was great that the kids could play out) I just feel gutted. The letter said they were out until 910pm in failing light on their scooters being unsupervised.

I want to move. It's horrible to think people would think such awful things. My kids are lovely and really good, polite etc. They're 9,10 and 12 and were just outside the house, I was inside with the door open. I feel so upset but don't know what to do. The letter was anonymous which makes me really cross.

Oh my goodness! I thought you were going to say they are about 5-9 year olds! Yes, you have failed your children - bring them inside at once, sit them infront of the TV and for the love of God bulk buy cotton wool.

lovelydaisies1 Thu 04-Aug-11 17:48:40

What can I do? I'm now viewing all neighbours with suspicion and feel like they're all talking about us etc. I hate it and feel really sad. I want to go back to our old house sad

overgrownplant Thu 04-Aug-11 17:48:40

they are mad, and social services and the police will also think that

can you stand outside whilst they play and see if you can see any twitching curtains?

your children have every right to play outside

If they were that concerned they would ahve said something at the time, so clearly getting you 'into trouble' was a priority over your DCs safety. Seems they are the people who get pissed off when children play outside.

lifechanger Thu 04-Aug-11 17:49:49

How horrible - if they were that concerned, they should have spoken to you personally. Anonymous letters are poison.

Don't let this spoil your new home. Maybe children don't play out in that area, and the cultural difference between rural and urban childhood is coming into play here. Try and make friends with other parents and find out what the norms are for the area, and talk to them about what your DC are used to and trained up for in terms of independence, and why you give them the freedoms they have - try and stay calm and rational about this. (I would find it hard I admit). You've done nothing wrong.

AgentZigzag Thu 04-Aug-11 17:50:55

Anonymous letters are underhand, if they've got something to say to you they should say it to your face.

9/10/12 YOs should be fine to play out on their own, so that's probably not the reason why whoever it is complained.

Could they not be used to children messing about and don't like the noise or something?

Not that that would any way excuse their shitty behaviour.

SS and the police will just see them for what they are.

TidyDancer Thu 04-Aug-11 17:51:20

Oh wow, they sound truly vile. Seems like it's probably just one arsehole who doesn't like children riding around in the area. Ignore them.

CurrySpice Thu 04-Aug-11 17:51:26

Crikey oh riley! That is just ridiculous!!

I'd better get my 8yo in from playing out on her scooter right this minute!!

Try and ignore it OP - they sound like malicious idiots with nothing better to do with their time although I can imagine why you would be upset sad

lifechanger Thu 04-Aug-11 17:53:01

You could consider visiting a few nearby neighbours saying you are concerned about the arrival of a threatening anonymous letter, and does this kind of thing happen often? Tell them you thought this was a nice neighbourhood, and are now concerned it isn't.

AgentZigzag Thu 04-Aug-11 17:53:30

I'm sure in time whoever it is will be outed, don't blame all the lovely neighbours you have for it, they'll probably know full well what these people are like because I'm sure they won't just be like it with you.

Ignore the letter and don't let it spoil your new life.

ChaoticAngeltheInnocentOne Thu 04-Aug-11 17:54:57

Ignore them, they're cowards. There's nothing wrong with your children playing.

lovelydaisies1 Thu 04-Aug-11 17:56:19

I always feel so much better after I post a prob on here. Thanks guys. Doesn't help DH has been away with work all week. I really need him now. Never before in my whole parenting history has social services or the police been mentioned on the contrary I think people think I'm a good Mum. I'm so upset. Need to get angry instead maybe.

AgentZigzag Thu 04-Aug-11 18:00:02

I would be more inclined to meet it with indifference rather than anger lovelydaisy, you've done nothing wrong.

SenoritaViva Thu 04-Aug-11 18:00:16

That sounds really hideous and I feel really sorry for you.

I agree that anonymous letters are underhand, if they have a problem they should speak to you directly. The cynic in me says that actually they don't like the idea of having children scooting up and down past their house, or that they simply aren't used to it.

I would do a couple of things:

1. Ask the kids to come in at 9 (and maybe move this as the light does start to fail so that it is never in 'fading light'
2. I'd call your local community officer and speak to them about it. Just say you'd like some advice and feel rotten. If you're quite aware of the police's reaction then you will be forearmed with what the neighbour will be told
3. Stop suspecting everyone, as you said, it is probably one or two houses. Give people the benefit of the doubt and I bet you'll work out pretty quickly who it was. If anyone is friendly towards you, you can ask them if a) they know anything about it and b) say well in case you do but don't want to say can you let the person know that it would be much better to chat face to face. You can also put it out there about what the SS's reaction (as per your friend) and the police would be saying.

Sorry you're miserable, bet you find some lovely friends soon.

SenoritaViva Thu 04-Aug-11 18:02:39

loveleydaisies You ARE a good mum, your children are out getting physical activity rather than sitting on the sofa watching TV like dd right now! (she's only 4 though so I might get a warranted letter if I booted her out alone).

InMyPrime Thu 04-Aug-11 18:03:11

The police / social services thing sounds like an empty threat to me. There is no way imaginable in my mind that any police officer or social worker would take a letter seriously, where the only complaint is that a few children were playing outside their house at dusk! The letter is designed to frighten and upset you by someone who is clearly a coward themselves or else they would just call by your house and speak to you in person. Ignore it.

LineRunner Thu 04-Aug-11 18:03:17

You know, you could go to the police yourself about receiving a disturbing anonymous letter.

I don't mean 999, I mean ask for a visit from one of your Safer Neighbourhood team and tell him/her your sadness and concern that you have been 'welcomed' like this. They'll probably know who it is.

I fecking HATE anonymous letters.

miku Thu 04-Aug-11 18:03:29

Rise above, rise above!!go and ask them if they have done something to upset them, and say how you love the fact that its such a safe area.....let them do their own quilt/egg on their faces!!be SO nice to them that they have no mud to fling. Realise how GREAT a mum you are, inspite of other peoples unhappy, petty lives!

Pancakeflipper Thu 04-Aug-11 18:04:43

Ignore it. But keep it. If there is a neighbourhood watch type person ask if anonymous letters are rife in this street? It will be 2 or 3 busybodies who want complete silence after 7pm.

Hardgoing Thu 04-Aug-11 18:06:00

Some people love nothing more than an arrival of a newbie to get their letters out and start complaining (probably pre-written in advance, our nasty neighbour had a selection that he used to rotate over the years). They want you to know who is in charge in the area, and intimidate you over petty stupid things.

They live in a town. Children live in towns, children play out and normal people do not have a problem with this.

As the last poster said, this will not be everyone, it will be one or at most two bitter old neighbours. When you talk with the rest, you will find out they also get nasty letters too, about the washing being displayed, noise at 10 am on a Sunday morning, all types of stuff which reasonable people accept as the price you have to pay if you don't have a large detatched house in the country.

I think the advice to get in touch with the community officer is an excellent one. Ask for advice, be willing and approchable and ignore these people.

SmethwickBelle Thu 04-Aug-11 18:10:06

I like lifechanger 's approach. Treat it as a spiteful anonymous letter not a genuine comment on your parenting and air its contents around the street. A friendly but assertive show on your part will go a long way to make some allies in the street. And if you do knock on the door of the person who did it and they admit it you can at least establish if they are actually mad or merely mean spirited.

On the basis of what you've said there is nothing remarkable about kids that age playing in the street at dusk in the summer holidays.

DameEdnaBeverage Thu 04-Aug-11 18:24:25

This will be one of your older childless neighbours. I would bet that no copies have been sent to the Police or social services. Just ignore and carry on as you were - you have done nothing wrong. Some people just like to cause problemssad

EuphemiaMcGonagall Thu 04-Aug-11 18:29:30

What cunts! Be assertive - you have done nothing wrong and you and your family are as entitled to live in the street as anyone else.

snicker Thu 04-Aug-11 18:30:57

They aren't concerned, they don't think you are neglectful, they just think they own the street and can bully you into not using it. I think you should keep the letter though, just in case.

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