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Am I a horrible neighbour or a bad mother

(104 Posts)
dilki93 Thu 27-Aug-15 01:18:16

I live in a flat with my 2 kids and as normal kids would they are very active and love running around.

My downstairs neighbour does not like this and she rang my door bell twice saying I should stop my 2 year old running around in the house as it is very noisy and disturbs her, and the worst thing is every time my child runs across the room or dances to her favourite music or jions in with her favourite TV programme my neighbour bangs her celing so hard my whole flat shakes.

I feel so guilty of disturbing my neighbour, and stressed about her banging I stopped playing music to my kids so they can't dance, they are not allowed to join in with (Tree-fu Tom) TV programms. When my kids run around in their own house I have to stop them and get them to sit down and do painting/drawing or play with building blocks which they get board so quickly. I try taking them out as much as I can but they still love running around in the house.

I feel so bad that I have to stop my children playing in their own house and contantly telling them not to run and disturb other people.

Pommes Thu 27-Aug-15 01:23:18

Presumably this is during daytime hours, OP? Of course you aren't being unreasonable. Children are children, you can try but you won't be able to keep them still.... your neighbour should know that too.

Fatmomma99 Thu 27-Aug-15 01:24:45

There is nothing U in your post, but there are many, many threads on here where people's lives are made a misery by their noisy neighbours. It is horrible to reign your children in, and kids should be allowed to be kids, but read some of the threads of horror, where people are deprived of sleep,etc and you feel some sympathy.

It will be much worse in winter!


BrieAndChilli Thu 27-Aug-15 01:30:46

What flooring do you have? Extra rugs etc might help soften the sound a bit?
Or those foam floor mat things?

BrieAndChilli Thu 27-Aug-15 01:32:37

Depending on the layout of your flat would swooping rooms around help? So your lounge is now over her bedroom (ehochhe S unlikely to be spending inch time in during th day? Or making a play space in one of the bedrooms

Pommes Thu 27-Aug-15 01:32:51

Rugs are a good suggestion. Even if they don't block out all sound you can let your neighbour see you are looking for a solution.

Dancingquality Thu 27-Aug-15 01:37:51

You do have to be considerate of your neighbours when you live in a flat.

FayKorgasm Thu 27-Aug-15 01:43:35

That goes both ways Dancing. Downstairs need to be understanding that children make noise and the OP needs to understand that she needs to teach her dc to keep noise to an acceptable level. Flats tend to carry noises anyway so walking around can sound like stomping around.

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Thu 27-Aug-15 01:50:41

You're neither a horrible neighbour nor a bad mother. To suppress a 2 year old baby which is what this neighbour suggests you do, would be being a bad mother.
I can't believe how intolerant to children adults can be
. Just like the bloody Trunchbull, glad they never were one (a child)

ChristineDePisan Thu 27-Aug-15 03:16:55

I think there's always a compromise to be found. Eg I don't let my children run around inside but we do do funky dancing from time to time.

If you have laminate or hard wood floors you might be amazed how loud it is underneath - and your lease might well say that you have to have carpets down anyway. A thick rug for dancing on might be the way forward?

Bulbasaur Thu 27-Aug-15 03:30:50

You're more mature than I. I would have jumped up and down on the floor out of spite.

Part of renting is that you have neighbors you can hear. It's just part of the deal. If she doesn't like it she needs to either buy a house or accept that this is her current situation and make the best of it.

We've gone so far as to pay extra for the top floor so we didn't have to listen to people above and below us. But when we lived in the middle or bottom floor we didn't begrudge our neighbors for noisy children, that was just part of renting.

I'd stick to quiet hours, and ignore her the rest of the time and maybe stomp back to remind her you have the upper hand in this. Most buildings should have a quiet hour time that you need to follow. Above that though, she can go out and take a walk or something if the noise upsets her.

Atenco Thu 27-Aug-15 04:46:09

You're more mature than I. I would have jumped up and down on the floor out of spite

i can understand neighbours complaining if your children are running around at unsociable hours, but really some people seem to have forgotten that they were children themselves. Your children need to run and play. If you can take them out plenty and try to make sure they aren't being unreasonably noisy, I would just ignore the neighbour or else look for a better insulated building to live in, otherwise you will end up with morbidly obese children with develop diabetes 2

hebihebi Thu 27-Aug-15 05:07:31

I'm a pretty laid back parent but I don't let my kids run around or jump inside. Having lived in a flat myself I think there is a compromise between no running and sitting quietly. Normal household activity is fine but I think if my upstairs neighbor let her kids run around indoors it would drive me mad too.

GirlOverboard Thu 27-Aug-15 05:18:51

Do you have wooden flooring? My upstairs neighbours do, even though it's not allowed here, and they make quite a lot of noise just walking around. So I imagine hearing kids running about all day would be unbearable. If you do have wooden flooring I would get carpet fitted instead.

Cabrinha Thu 27-Aug-15 05:43:01

I rented out my laminate floor upstairs flat to a couple with a toddler who used to sit and bang toys on it.

I was mortified when the downstair's neighbour's son called me to say it was driving her nuts and she was too polite to say - I had no idea!

I told my tenants, said I would pay for a huge think rug and they could choose it if they wanted, and please to keep the toy playing on it. All sorted.

Yes, everyone has to compromise but don't underestimate how noisy it might be for your neighbour - don't assume they're just being fussy.

RhubarbAndMustard Thu 27-Aug-15 06:13:53

My downstairs neighbour actually moved away because of our noise. I was mortified as DS was only 1 but loved to bang his legs on the floor. I did everything, extra rugs, moving him to different rooms, etc. then she complained about toilets flushing and the bath running- not much I could do about that!
I think it is all part of living in a flat and not much you can do.

ProudAS Thu 27-Aug-15 06:54:21

I have an autistic friend who has to wear ear defenders in his flat because he cannot stand the noise of neighbours clumping around and banging doors and they think he is being a p***k for complaining. No doubt he would prefer a detached bungalow but the housing association may have other ideas.

OP - your DC needs to burn off energy but part of living in a flat is being considerate to neighbours. Could you change the flooring or take your DC to the park to burn off energy? What about purchasing one of these as a "dance mat"?

tigerscameatnight Thu 27-Aug-15 07:02:40

I'm in a similar situation where I've been told by my neighbour to get dc to walk on their tip toes all the time because he can hear them walking sad

Helenluvsrob Thu 27-Aug-15 07:15:18

why does your 2yr old run in the flat?. Dancing fine but running? Isn't that just an accident waiting ho happen- head of coffee table, corner of kitchen unit etc, surely you get outside to run? we did and we have a house.

Problem is I guess that " joining in with a TV program" isn't 20 mins mid morning when the tellytubbies are on as it was when my eldest was young, but potentially any time all day and your neighbour can't thing " I'tll be finished in half an hour" or " that's today's racket over ".

I bet your neighbour is exasperated and TBH fearful- if your kid makes this much noise in doors and it's summer what about winter? If she bangs " every time he starts" then she can clearly hear him every time. Have a think what that must be like.

What about a compromise- you teach your kid not to run indoors ( after all he will annoy the heck out of people running in sainsburys say, and when he gets to preschool/school it wont be tolerated at all) and maybe let your neighbour know you are doing that and will try to go to the park to ruin off energy most days if they could try to be a little more tolerant of what other normal family noise happens at other times ( assume you aren't up and dancing at 4am!).

I also reckon you have laminate floor. That is just awful for noise!

You aren't an awful parent, she isn't an awful neighbour bt there has to be compromise.

LazyLohan Thu 27-Aug-15 07:24:34

If your floor is wood/laminate it can be really noisy. If that's the case then I would get a thick carpet with a wide underlay which makes a world of difference. Plus rugs in areas of a lot of activity like in front of the TV.

It sounds fine in the main except for Tree Fu Tom. My little boy does that and it involves a lot of jumping and I can see why that would annoy her, it might very well make her flat shake just as yours does when she bangs. The dancing if it is very jumpy might also be a problem. Could you see if you could eliminate s few of the noisiest things, eg jumping?

VirtuosoRidiculoso Thu 27-Aug-15 08:07:39

You can't tell a 2 year old not to play and run in his own home! Tricky situation. I'd get rugs and then just let things be. Unfortunate for the neighbour but tough shit. Having to be quiet all the time is very stressful and will make you cross and tell your kids off all the time which isn't fair at all.

Osolea Thu 27-Aug-15 08:20:33

You live in flats, so your neighbour is going to have to put up with some noise, that's just life. But there's no need for children to be allowed to run indoors and it's not that hard to teach them that running is for outside.

LazyLohan Thu 27-Aug-15 08:37:38

Getting rugs and tough shit isn't going to stop the banging or improve her relationship with her neighbour. If she has laminate rugs don't make much difference, it needs proper carpet and underlay.

Plus I do think some moderation is in order. I wouldn't get to preoccupied with the running but I would encourage them not to. But jumping should be an absolute no, no in the circumstances

I've actually been on both sides of this situation: hyper noise sensitive neighbour (brain injury) and in a different flat children up at 5am every Saturday and Sunday put in front of the TV so their parents could sleep, jumping up and down, 'dancing' (more jumping up and down), entire flat shaking, sounded like a herd of elephants running about. In both these cases I was the neighbour who was prepared to compromise. In both cases the situation was never resolved because the other neighbour wasn't prepared to compromise and took the attitude they shouldn't have to occasionally hear footsteps or get up with their kids one weekend day out of two.

I really think it should get to the point of having done everything you can before it gets to 'tough shit'. Otherwise it just becomes a war of attrition.

pinkyredrose Thu 27-Aug-15 08:41:25

YABU. Noisy neighbours made my life a misery, i couldn't sleep, had headaches, felt sick. I ended up having panic attacks from being totally unable to switch off and relax in my own home.

LittleLionMansMummy Thu 27-Aug-15 08:47:04

Yanbu but neither is your neighbour - I have huge sympathy for you both. We live in a house and ds's bedroom is directly above the lounge - it sounds like he's about to fall through the ceiling sometimes when in reality he's bouncing a small ball around. No advice really, sorry - other than looking into some sound proofing.

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