To not allow this child on my property?(63 Posts)
Background info: We live in a terraced cottage, in a terrace of roughly ten houses. The driveway to our house is accessible by driving down a narrow track in between our terrace and another terrace next to it. To get to your own driveway is is neccessary to drive across each others driveways to reach your own, and each house owner is given legal right of way to travel across each, until they reach their own. We live almost at the opposite end of the track and therefore we have legal right of way over everyone's drive, whereas the child I speak about lives 3 doors down from the track, so they do not technically have right of way over our land.
The little girl I am talking about is an only child of about 7 or 8 who lives with her mum. She plays out around the back of the houses on the driveways as it is much safer than playing on the main road at the front. I have never before had a problem with her playing on our drive before now and actually thought it was lovely to see a child enjoying the great outdoors.
However, a few weeks ago she took it upon herself to make a mixture of stones and mud in her back garden and rub it into the bonnets of several of the neighbours cars - including my partner's brand new shiny BMW (She seems to have gone for the expensive cars as mine and my friends little runnabouts were left mud free) :/ . Our friends who live next door, at the end of the terrace caught her in the act, confronted her and told us what they had seen. Her mother came out, told us that it wasn't her fault and didn't apologise for her child's behaviour at all!
Thankfully after carefully washing it all off there isn't any really obvious scratching so we haven't taken it any further. This child now keeps coming to ride her bike up and down our property - I have politely asked her not to do so after she tried to purposely damage peoples cars but I keep catching her doing it anyway when she thinks I'm not watching. Would it be unreasonable to have a very firm but polite word with her mother about this?
But this little girl has not touched the car since!! And am I alone in thinking that little girls are more important than BMWs anyway? I think that perspective is required.
I think the mud incident is very strange behaviour. My 7 year old would never do that and I don't think my 5 year old (who gets up to lots of mischief) would either. I don't blame OP for bring very cautious of her, but maybe keeping on going onto her about it might make the problem escalate, and put ideas into her head?
Did the mother mean it wasn't the mothers fault or the little girls fault? Not that you should have to, but for peace of mind could you put one of those car covers over the BMW?
Well, obviously little girls, as in live human beings, are more important than a piece of metal labeled BMW or whatever littlemog - if you're looking at this completely objectively.
The point is, if you've worked hard, saved, bought a nice new shiny car and then a child who appears to have no boundaries comes along and wilfully tries to damage it - and what's more - gets away with that behaviour as their parent is apparently blameless here too then I think you have the right to be upset.
The reality is that there is very little you can do to stop her unless you are willing to install gates and lock them. If you are - do so. You know talking to her mum isn't going to help.
I'm not sure her behaviour necessarily constitutes 'willfully trying to damage a car' Wibblypig sounds just like heedless playing to me. I once painted my dad's car with mud - never thought about scratching it - cars seemed big and indestructible to me as a child.
Are the cars parked on their own driveways, or on the shared track along the back of the terrace? Couldn't you just get a gate at the end of your drive?
She did something stupid. Because she's 7. There is no way a 7 yo would understand what she was doing could actually damage a car, I only found out a few years ago that mud could scratch a car.
Yes, her mother's reaction was less than perfect (understatement) but that really isn't the little girl's fault. And she hasn't done it again. So let her ride her bike.
I know, it's just that she hasn't done anything to the damn car since so why hold the grudge? She's just a little girl and I think to say that she 'has no boundaries' is silly. She clearly has or she would have carried on putting mud on cars!
I find it odd that the girl would listen about not touching cars, but not listen about being on your land.
It made me wonder if her mother has told her she is allowed to ride her bike up and down, and doesn't have to listen to you.
I dont think op is being unreasonable. She did it to 7 cars! Her mother basically said it wasnt her fault. Op has asked her not to ride on her property and she still does.
At 7 i knew not to touch other peoples cars and if a person said to get off their property i would!
Just because shes 7 doesnt mean that she shouldnt do as shes told.
I would be wary letting a child who has been messing around with expensive cars go near them, especially as shes knows she wont be in trouble with her mom.
I wonder if the discussion had with the girl's mother was confrontational and so she got defensive. I think if it happened to my car I'd be annoyed, but would probably want to talk to the girl's mother myself before doing anything else.
It sounds like it it more the reaction of the mother which has made the OP wary - if she had apologised and taken responsibility, then I imagine there would be no problem, but knowing that any further poor behaviour is likely to go unchecked doesn't exactly fill one with the urge to give a child the benefit of the doubt.
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