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Am I being a misery guts?

(31 Posts)
ElderlyKoreanLady Thu 13-Aug-15 19:31:48

Full disclosure: I'm noise sensitive so there's every chance I'm being a bit of a twat.

Since 2pm today (when the rain let up) there have been children playing out on the street, as there have been most days during the holidays. Due to the shape of the street, the 'best' place to play is pretty much right outside my flat. By coincidence, none of the children playing are actually outside their own homes...that's just the way it's worked out as the more family friendly homes (with more bedrooms, front and back gardens etc) aren't near the small bit of greenery that's good for playing.

The problem is the noise...there's the kind of noise levels that you'd expect in a particularly good park, but all condensed into this very small area, and add in a good dose of screaming-for-screaming's-sake. That level isn't constant, but there are 3 or 4 households that don't supervise their kids at all (most keep their front door open and pop out occasionally, and those with younger kids come out with them) so when these kids are out, the screaming commences and I enter my own personal hell until they go home. When it's gotten loud enough to scare DD (16mo), I've been out myself to ask them to keep it down, but it never lasts more than an hour or two before they've forgotten, and I really don't want to be supervising other people's children all the time anyway.

I don't really know what else I can do about it though...if these parents won't supervise their kids out of concern for their safety (all primary school aged children), they're certainly not going to do it to monitor their noise levels, especially when it doesn't actually affect them. But, AIBU to wish the parents would be more considerate and monitor their kid's noise levels when they're playing outside someone else's home?

Fugghetaboutit Thu 13-Aug-15 19:34:10

I would hate that too tbh. I loathe kids screaming. Goes through my head. Do you know any of the parents to say in a nice way they are scaring your dc screaming so loud?

ElderlyKoreanLady Thu 13-Aug-15 19:42:11

I know some of the other parents on the street, but not the parents of the very loud children. The parents I'm friends with have had run-ins with a couple of the loud children's parents (one when they've gone to talk to the parents about their child pushing others into the road, and the other something to do with damaging a car IIRC) and the results make me think that their little darlings can do what they please and that nobody is allowed to tell them off.

The street is all HA properties so I've been thinking it might be an idea to talk to the HA but I have no idea what they could do about it either.

WantToGetLost Thu 13-Aug-15 19:42:28

I use to live on the ground floor of a block of flats and the children use to run pass my window constantly using my water bucket for their water balloons. Pissed me off even more that I had a cat and she use to be scared to go out because of them
One parent told me they are kids and can't be controlled outside.
I moved out feel sorry for whoever lives there now

ElderlyKoreanLady Thu 13-Aug-15 19:58:27

Thank you Fugg and Want...I know that 2 posters isn't exactly an overwhelming 'YANBU' but it does stop me wondering if I'm being a bitch because of my noise sensitivity.

Dogseggs Thu 13-Aug-15 20:36:48

YANBU. We have a family of screaming kids a couple of doors down, and the noise is relentless. It's not just normal playing sounds - they have full-on screaming competitions. The parents shout too. It was lovely when they were on holiday, it made such a difference. I don't know what else you can do, it might be worth asking the HA, you never know.

KetchupIsNearlyAVegetable Thu 13-Aug-15 20:49:43

I am on the fence here, which is unusual for me.

On the one hand it is annoying when playing children screech constantly. Otoh you have a flat next to the best place to play in a family friendly area. Presumably it was there before you moved in.

On balance, I'd be glad that there are happy children playing safely. If noise sensitive I would move to a quieter place.

My PIL faced this dilemma. They moved. The children were always going to play loudly nearby. PILs didn't really want to stop them, they just wanted it to be elsewhere, the noise and inane chatter did their heads in. We joked about them moving to the "quiet carriage". They are much happier in their 6th floor apartment surrounded by retirees and childless young professionals.

LaurieFairyCake Thu 13-Aug-15 20:52:41

What does the green bit look like?

Is there a way to make it less appealing?

I'm not suggesting you get one of those noise repelling machines that only children can hear but maybe there's a way to make the green bit crappier

ElderlyKoreanLady Thu 13-Aug-15 20:59:56

Yep Ketchup, the grass was here but the louder children weren't...their families have moved here since. Winter isn't so bad and when they're in school it's not nearly as extensive either. But at the moment it seems that their day's activities consist of being fed their meals and coming to scream outside my flat. When it's every day it gets wearing very quickly. In many senses, I was extremely lucky to be offered this flat because of the street itself, but it would have been far more lovely to be offered one of the houses on the other side that aren't subjected to this noise! I wasn't in a position to turn a reasonable offer of housing down though sadly.

ElderlyKoreanLady Thu 13-Aug-15 21:02:44

Interesting idea Laurie. It's just a fairly small area of grass, with 3ft bushes around the edge of most of it and the road wraps in a circle round it.

ElderlyKoreanLady Thu 13-Aug-15 21:05:52

The street is sort of lollipop shaped if that makes sense? The green is the round bit and the small block of flats overlook that, then the houses are on the stick bit.

Fugghetaboutit Thu 13-Aug-15 21:10:51

Is it worse because of school holidays? How is it usually?

Hootytoot Thu 13-Aug-15 21:13:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ElderlyKoreanLady Thu 13-Aug-15 21:24:01

Fugg, they're called home far earlier in term time. In the holidays it's been as late as 9pm. And there aren't as many playing out over all in term time either. And if course, not at all during school hours.

Lurkedforever1 Thu 13-Aug-15 21:57:51

I agree with ketchup.
Yanbu if you're only bothered by that high pitched screeching some children do, that is antisocial.
But Yabu about normal shouts and sounds of play. I would stop it myself if dd was screaming, but I wouldn't expect her or her friends to keep quiet/ stay in because someone doesn't like the sound of kids playing. And Yabu about primary children who's parents can't be bothered to supervise them.

ElderlyKoreanLady Thu 13-Aug-15 22:22:22

General play noise isn't the issue...the screaming is!

Not sure if why I'm U about children going unsupervised though? I'm not expecting the parents to come and sit with them past a certain age by any means but popping your head out every half hour or so isn't exactly a huge chore.

LilacWine7 Fri 14-Aug-15 14:51:48


It's very selfish of people to let their children scream outside other people's windows... how difficult is it to teach kids to play quietly in residential areas and keep an eye on them?

I'm all for kids having fun outdoors, but there's a time and a place for being noisy. I wish all parents would teach their children to keep noise levels down and have some respect for people who are trying to work, sleep, soothe babies or relax at home. Screaming is rude, disruptive and completely unnecessary. The green area doesn't sound like a suitable play-area at all. They should be going to a proper park or playground.

When I lived in a flat, there was a massive yard next door belonging to a local business, at weekends the yard wasn't in use so a couple of families used it as a playground. The kids would play in this yard from 9am-9pm, constantly screeching and screaming and riding bikes, scooters, having noisy water-pistol fights etc. They lived a few houses down so weren't supervised at all. It was a nightmare and lots of residents in my building felt the same way and raised it with our management committee. In the end the management committee approached the owners of the yard (who had no idea it was being used as a playground at weekends) and they put keep-out notices up and a chain across the entrance to keep the kids out! Such a relief to be able to open the windows again without being hit by a wall of noise and screeching.

Can you look into who owns the patch of green land where the kids are playing? It doesn't sound safe or appropriate for them to play there, considering it's surrounded by busy roads, traffic and houses. Maybe also contact HA and explain the problem, they might talk to individual families or even tell the children to play somewhere else?

ImperialBlether Fri 14-Aug-15 14:54:38

I love that, Hootytoot!

Benllech Fri 14-Aug-15 15:03:36

Fit one of those sonic cat detector things that you can buy from B&Q or similar. They transmit an uncomfortable but not harmful frequency to animals and children so they won't loiter outside your window for long.

Atenco Fri 14-Aug-15 16:31:52

I also hate loud noises myself, so you have my sympathy, OP, but in the end children have to play. Is there no way you could transfer to another flat?

LilacWine7 Fri 14-Aug-15 16:51:55

in the end children have to play. Is there no way you could transfer to another flat?

Why should OP have to move flats just to get some peace and quiet in her own home? She's not complaining about children playing, the children are screaming and their parents aren't telling them to keep it down. Why should kids be allowed to make as much noise as they like in residential areas? Surely they should go to a proper park or playground if they want to scream and shout? Otherwise it spoils the peace for everyone nearby.

When I was growing up, the only places we were allowed to scream and yell were playgrounds, sports-fields, the beach and on roller-coasters! We still played out in our garden all summer and sometimes in the street, we just played without screaming. If we made too much noise we were reprimanded and reminded to think of neighbours, or told to come inside and calm down!

Even if OP moved, what about the next person to live there? Why should they have to put up with other peoples' kids screaming all day?

I like the idea of the sonic repellent thing grin

1AngelicFruitCake Fri 14-Aug-15 16:53:42

I don't think you are BU at all. Playing noises are one thing but screaming for screaming sake is very irritating. We have children opposite us who do that and often on a school night up to 8:30 sometimes!angry

helenahandbag Fri 14-Aug-15 17:01:32

There's a group of kids ranging from ages (roughly) 4 to 10 who run riot in my street, totally unsupervised and screeching like banshees until 9.30pm some nights. One of the mothers finally comes out and roars up the street until one of them (who has the same name as me, so hearing it bellowed up the street makes me shudder) goes home. Two of the boys live in my block and they keep leaving the main building door on the snib so that anyone and their granny can wander in and out angry

I'm not a child-friendly person and I'm probably a miserable bag but I sit in my flat grinding my teeth while they shriek for hours.

ElderlyKoreanLady Fri 14-Aug-15 17:19:18

grin Atenco...I definitely won't be moving over it. Really easier said than done in HA places. They're not blank livable canvasses like private rents are when you move in. They're completely empty shells without carpet, curtain rails, nothing. This one didn't even have a working shower and the bath was cracked and needed replacing. There was racist graffiti over the walls. I've spent a good chunk of money getting it homely. Not only do I not want to wave goodbye the the cash I've already spent, I can't currently afford to get a new place worth living in. And I shouldn't have to spend a few grand doing so for the sake of a few families not bothering to supervise their children.

Lurkedforever1 Fri 14-Aug-15 18:00:49

Sorry op I read it as not supervising cos they only stick their heads out every half hour, but re-read it and see you meant that a few don't. I'd go round and see the screamers parents and politely speak to them, and ask them to come to your flat and listen to the screaming, so they don't think your being pfb about normal noise. Or record the screaming from inside your flat. Rather than speaking to the kids yourself, who are unlikely to tell their parents the actual situation, it will be 'horrid lady says we can't even talk'.
If parents don't then step up play your recording at full volume through their windows.

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