My neighbours keep complaining - AIBU(38 Posts)
We live in a quiet little village in a semi detached bungalow. We have 1 26mth old DS. My neighbours (attached) are very elderly and constantly complain about how much noise ds makes, from laughing and singing, to his toys etc. They never come right out and say it but they drop lots of little remarks into conversations whenever I see them. My feeling is DS is not a particularly noisey child, and when he is on his own is quite peaceful and easily occupied. He has no really noisey toys and enjoys playing with his train set, dolls house, drawing etc. He does like to sing and laughs a lot but I don't feel I can tell him not too and this is never ridiculously loud! He is a happy child, I feel he should be able to express it! Also we are rarely in the house, if I'm not at work and he isn't at the childminders we generally go out for the day. I also looked after my nephews yesterday and have already had lots of comments from neighbours about the level of noise.
As I see it the problem is we live in a very quiet, mainly elderly cluster of houses. Our neighbours barely make any noise at all and are in all the time. So I really do understand it from their perspective, they have a young family next door who in comparison to them are very noisey. However I feel I have taken all reasonable steps to resolve the issue. We have moved DS's room to the other side of the house, so furthest away from them, any noisey toys are in there, we do quieten him if we feel he is too loud. they complained alot when he was a baby, crying at night etc (again he was a good baby overall) and now I am due second DC in a couple of weeks IO am dreading their comments.
I get really anxious if I feel I am upsetting people and on the whole these are lovely people but I am worried about causing them stress especially when DC2 arrives! I don't want to be a bad neighbour! Should I try and confront it head on, but if so what can I do about it? I can talk to them but I can't think of any further solutions I can offer them??? I will not gag my child!
Grow a thick skin and totally ignore them I think. If you genuinely feel that you and ds are not making unreasonable noise then stand up for yourself and him. Ds has the right to be a child, iykwim.
You don't need to offer any solutions, it all sounds like general everyday noise. they're just gonna have to suck it up and deal with it.
Children do make noise. The little boy who lives next door has been up since six I have heard him running about and laughing. Its not unreasonable noise I don't think. The noise you describe I can live with. It may be harder for an older couple maybe? I am not sure you can do much more or should be expected to this sounds like normal family noise.
Next time they comment, I think I would very politely say, we do try to keep the noise down, his room is not on an adjoining wall, but he is two years old so there will be some noise sometimes.
I take it they never had children themselves? Don't have grandchildren?
Either ignore, or kill with kindness.
Can you invite them round for coffee? Get them involved (in a small way) with your DC so they grow more fond of them rather than seeing them as a nuisance?
Or, third way, point out that your DC have a right to enjoy their own home and as long as they're not screaming all day and night (teething babies excepted) and they'll just have to lump it.
remark how lovely it is to hear children playing, say your mother thinks the noise is lovely or your grandma does . guilt trip them
are they definitely criticising? or just making conversation?
Hi ellies they do have children and grandchildren but they are all adults, no little children.
I do try and involve them with ds but I do struggle as feel ds never quite conforms as they'd like
What sort of things do they say to you (I'mlooking for an opening for a useable retort)?
We have this from the old bag behind us.
I have 5 dc, and while they do play outside, it is "happy noise" - eg laughing, playing etc.... not screaming, arguing etc - I would get them in if they were.
She even came and asked if they ahd to play on their ride on toys as the wheels make a noise!
She also asked me to keep them indoors when she was having a garden party.
she came and knocked on the door in the middle of dd2's birthday party - we were inside with the windows open!
I have always just said "I'm sorry", but politely refused to do as she has asked.
Her yappy little dog barks incessantly, and her gardener is always strimming, clearing leaves with a vac, etc at 8 am at the weekend.....
I refuse to engage with her anymore - when she waves at me to stop in the car, i just pretend I thought she was waving and wave back. If she waylays me, I apologise and say I am to busy to stop.
Do you have hard floors in your house because if you do they really amplify noise?
They obviously have short memories then, haha. I would try and enlist some sympathy, i.e. talking about how hard the two-year-old phase can be, maybe asking for advice?
It's a tough one. There was a thread earlier this week where the mother was letting the child get up early in the morning unsupervised and playing with noisy toys where she definitely was BU. But you are doing everything you possibly can to minimize it because it's normal daytime noise so you're definitely not BU.
The problem is though that I know my Gran lives in an area like this and the older people think that it is an unsuitable location for a child. They would be almost impossible to talk round on this because they believe that their sheer numbers give them the right to determine the atmosphere in the neighbourhood. The children who have lived there have moved away because it's become even more difficult as they get older with people not liking them playing out toys in the garden/bikes out the front. And a lot of older people can be stupendously intolerant of the slightest noise.
I would either grow the ride of a rhino or move away.
Just ignore them ,it doesn't sound like your household is making excessive noise and TBH if they don't want to hear neighbours then they need to buy a detached house . Next time they complain that's what I would tell them ,or they should move to one of those retirement complexes where you don't get children .
Buy them ear plugs. Happy children make noise, that's just how life is.
My elderly neighbour is nearly deaf and even he says he can hear my 3 at times. He doesn't complain though and says how nice it is to have a young family as neighbours. We're good neighbours though and check on him during bad weather and run errands for him.
Are you sure they're complaining - your OP says that they just mention it in conversation, and that they don't actually complain. Leave it. If they want to complain, they will, and then you can think about whether they're being unreasonable or whether you're being excessively noisy (doesn't sound as though you are from your description, but then I'm not there and can't say). It sounds a little bit as though you're a bit nervous about the additional noise and disruption a newborn will bring to to the mix, rather than about the present situation.
Either that or save up all your egg boxes and offer to tack them to their side of your adjoining wall as soundproofing.
Ignore. Doesn't sound like you are being unreasonably noisy, just general family noise.
Second the comment about hard floors, they can make sound levels soar.
Other that, I think it's a case of smile and wave, it's life!
ignore them. I HATE people complaining about reasonable noise from children. Our downstairs neighbour did it just the once. We live in a fully carpeted flat and when ds was two he obviously ran around a lot (no shoes). They buzzed up because they were trying to watch football and he was apparently being too noisy . I said "well when you've stopped playing your excessively loud weekend morning music, which I never complain about then come and see me then". It was the grown up son who complained, his Dad apologised later.
Are you sure they're complaining and not just making chit chat about having heard him?
You sound like you are being reasonable. I wouldn't worry about it too much.
I agree that wooden floors really amplify noise.
Some people just enjoy complaining.
But they could just be trying to start a conversation with you?
Please dont get stressed out about this, our old neighbour used to be like this before we moved away. She used to make comments about DS being in an adjoining room (he slept through really early which pissed her off as she couldnt complain ) She used to say things like 'oh i heard your DS coughing in the night - is he ok - you should really give him some water ) I used to just adopt the Madagascar penguins tack and 'smile and wave boys - smile and wave'
She used to stress me when DS was little too and it caused me a lot of angst. Babies cry and there is nothing you can do about that, if you are stressed about the neighbours complaining then your new baby will pick up on that and get upset too.
Try to stay calm and grow a thick skin. I do understand what this is like, and i know what you mean - dropping comments into conversation is passive aggressive complaining if she is anything like my old neighbour.
Congrats and all the best with your new bubba
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