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Kids playing ball in the street

(24 Posts)
Cabawill Fri 19-Jun-15 22:39:53

So, we've lived here for 7 years and never had a problem with children here before.

We live in a semi opposite a road that makes a T junction. The road goes round in a square IYSWIM and has flats that are all the way around. The road can be very dangerous as people from the flats park all along the road outside the houses on our side of the road as they have no allocated spaces, meaning cars have to swing round them on the wrong side of the road.

On Monday evening, a group of about 10 children (ages from 5-10 maybe) starting kicking 2 footballs around right outside our house. Our 2 cars are parked on our very short drive and the ball hit one of them but gently. I popped my head out of the window and told them to be careful and if the ball hit our cars again I would confiscate it. Also that it was dangerous to play on the T junction.

They just glared at me and carried on. Less than 10 minutes later as I was trying to get DC to bed I heard the ball hit the car again. The ball was still on our drive when I went outside so I took it inside the house. The mum of one child then came and knocked on the door demanding the ball back. We had a conversation about the fact I'd asked her DD to move down the street or be more careful of the car. TBF the mum never apologised but did say she would have a strong word with her daughter which I'm assuming she's done as she's not played outside our house for the remainder of the week.

Fast forward to tonight and a smaller collection of the same children were kicking balls around outside the house. It's always from about 6pm until 9pm and keeps my DC's from getting off to sleep which is so frustrating. I just opened the spare room window and looked out so they could see me but didn't say anything. They carried on for a while until an older girl took hold of the ball and moved them up the street to play.

I hate confrontation and it makes my stomach churn just thinking about it. WIBU to have a word with the local PCSO's who are pretty good and visible in other parts of the village to ask them to have a word about road safety and respecting others property? I hate to spoil their fun but it really is dangerous and we've worked hard to afford our cars and want to keep them dint free.

ghostyslovesheep Fri 19-Jun-15 22:43:32

YANBU about the car hitting

I have a football playing middle DD and she is always out kicking her ball but if she dared hit a car I'd be livid

but you can't stop kids playing out - they shouldn't damage your property but they are allowed to play

AnyoneForTennis Fri 19-Jun-15 22:46:08

And 9pm on a Friday isn't late!

whatsthatcomingoverthehill Fri 19-Jun-15 22:48:43

Sounds like you're using risk of damage to your property and safety as an excuse because you don't like them playing out.

Cabawill Fri 19-Jun-15 22:49:13

Any advice on how to handle this going forward? I don't want to have to "sit watch" in case they hit the car and I certainly don't want to make such a fuss we become a target for them.

ilovesooty Fri 19-Jun-15 22:50:51

It can't be nice having your car hit but you can't stop then from playing. I think you're out of order threatening to confiscate their property too. You wouldn't say that to an adult.

Cabawill Fri 19-Jun-15 22:52:19

whatsthat I can see it may well come across that way but there's always been children playing on bikes and things in the street and next doors 3 boys scoot around on the pavements too with no problem.

WorraLiberty Fri 19-Jun-15 22:53:04

I think you could probably have handled it better from the start to be honest.

Our 2 cars are parked on our very short drive and the ball hit one of them but gently. I popped my head out of the window and told them to be careful and if the ball hit our cars again I would confiscate it.

I think that was overkill and quite hostile really, for a first time offence where the ball gently hit your car.

I'm sure you could have been friendly as well as firm. Also you have no right to steal their property.

If this is likely to become an ongoing problem, I would stand your ground but in a much nicer way. Being kind doesn't always equal 'weak', and some kids just need a firm but friendly heads up as to why you dont' want them playing there.

I would leave the 9pm/your kids part out of it though, unless they're being extremely loud and then you could ask them to keep it down a bit.

Cabawill Fri 19-Jun-15 22:56:56

Worra I do think you're right and I wish I'd have handled it differently to start. It was my birthday and I just wanted to get my DC in bed and enjoy a glass of wine and some cake with DH. The kids weren't being that loud in the scheme of things just enough for the DC to have a nice excuse not to go to sleep.

notaplasticgnome Fri 19-Jun-15 22:59:59

YANBU. If someone would prefer children not to play ball directly outside their house they are entitled to say so. It is amazing how rarely children kick balls around right outside their own house, so there is obviously an understanding that it is annoying. But some parents just move the problem elsewhere and then accuse their neighbours of being intolerant.

And don't start me on the 'you bought a house beside a green' brigade, who use that as an excuse for their kids playing outside until all hours of the night.

WorraLiberty Fri 19-Jun-15 23:01:33

It's understandable if you've never had problems before OP.

I learnt through experience that when it comes to noisy kids/footballs banging on cars, I could catch more flies with honey....but it took me a while grin

Hope you managed to have a good birthday all the same wine

WorraLiberty Fri 19-Jun-15 23:03:12

It is amazing how rarely children kick balls around right outside their own house, so there is obviously an understanding that it is annoying. But some parents just move the problem elsewhere and then accuse their neighbours of being intolerant.

To be fair, some parents prefer their kids to play outside their own houses but the neighbours sometimes move them on. It's not always the parents.

Cabawill Fri 19-Jun-15 23:04:14

gnome The mum who came to collect the ball did have her car parked further up the street on the road outside another of the kids houses with a car on the drive which is why they didn't want to move down there I suspect.

TigerFeat Fri 19-Jun-15 23:04:43

I know where you're coming from. 5/6 years ago I was you. Trying to get my little ones off to sleep while the bigger kids played noisily in the road.

I used to shut all the windows to reduce sound, draw the curtains to keep out the light and grit my teeth. But your kids get used to it and it stops being a distraction after a bit.

Now I am the mum of the child with the confiscated ball. grin

Cabawill Fri 19-Jun-15 23:06:55

I did thanks Worra but was worrying all night. I want to clear the air with the mum and say I over reacted a bit but I'm not sure which flat she lives in or her name. I have been trying to catch sight of her.

Tiptops Fri 19-Jun-15 23:08:46

YANBU.

If it's a new problem then get it nipped in the bud. Playing football in a residential street is antisocial.

Cabawill Fri 19-Jun-15 23:09:02

That's the thing Tiger it could well be me in a few years and I'll be dreading being on the other side of the coin too!

306235388 Fri 19-Jun-15 23:10:30

I think just lighten up really. I understand the ball hitting the car is annoying and potentially damaging but otherwise they're not doing anything wrong are they? You can't cite the T junction as a reason if you've never had an issue with bikes / scooters playing there.

Kids are entitled to play in their own street. Having a word with the PCSO? About what?? I genuinely don't understand your attitude.

How old are your own kids?

Cabawill Fri 19-Jun-15 23:16:13

Mine are almost 6 and 4. I honestly would never allow them to play in the road outside our house as I feel it's too dangerous with the cars coming around the corners.

We are lucky enough to have a back garden and there's also a large green 2 mins round the corner with paths they could bike or scoot on. It's not visible from our road though which is maybe why the parents wouldn't want them playing there.

WorraLiberty Fri 19-Jun-15 23:20:30

I wonder how the kids would feel if you bought them a sponge football?

I bought my DC one when we went on a caravan holiday, because obviously I didn't want them hitting the caravans.

It's (apparently) not as good as a proper football but it's the only one I'll let them play with in the street.

It's also amusing when it lands in a puddle and sucks it all up grin

OwlsEscapade Fri 19-Jun-15 23:23:54

I agree that you overreacted and I agree that it would be a good idea to clear the air with the other Mum. I find the best way to deal with kids or teens is to appeal to their better nature. Id have gone out and asked if they wouldn't mind moving down the street and would have thanked them profusely. It's not a good idea to piss off groups of kids.

ghostspirit Fri 19-Jun-15 23:54:56

i would not do anything more. it was only a couple of things. and the mum did have a word with them and they did play further down the streer ok they did drift back but kids will be kids. and even though they did that an older child then moved them back down the street. so i do think they are trying to be respectful. its summer holidays soon as well so i should think they will be out there much more

lydiarobinson Sat 20-Jun-15 00:04:26

There needs to be compromise though. I am prepared to grit my teeth and put up with kids banging footballs around until about 9pm. After that I think it is perfectly reasonable to ask children to keep the noise down or go and play outside their own house.
But the number of parents who take umbrage at anyone making a polite request of their children, or the number of children who look highly indignant at being asked to show some consideration and simply escalate their activities to prove their 'entitlement', really does nothing for compromise and good neighbourly relations.

And yes, I am sure children sometimes move away from their own houses to avoid annoying their immediate neighbours. But that is no excuse whatsoever for annoying other neighbours that their parents don't have to deal with face to face.

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Sat 20-Jun-15 00:39:59

9.pm on a Friday isn't late. It is for a 5 year old. To be playing outside.
My dd was in bed at 9.pm on a Friday at that age.

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