Request from new neighbour(210 Posts)
We are due to move into a new estate in a few weeks. I've being going to baby groups in the area already to get to know people.
I met the neighbour whose garden backs onto ours. She seems very nice and our kids are similar ages. She asked me if it would be okay if her ten year old uses our garden as a shortcut to main estate. She is outside the estate in an older house which doesn't have a footpath outside it on the road. Her child seems lovely and her friends live in the estate.
I was caught off guard at the time and said i didn't mind but when I said it my dh later he said no way - what if child fell over wall? started bringing friends through?, etc. He's right and I'll have to tell her we're not okay with it. How can I do this nicely without causing tension before we even move in?
It sounds a pita. It's something you may ask a proper long term friend. Just say actually I've asked dh & he thinks it's not going to work for us.
On reflection, you may not want to shock the child if holding a naked swingers' party in the garden?
"I've spoken to DH about your son using our garden as a cut through, and actually we'd rather not have our garden used as a pathway, and we'll be locking the gates for security, sorry, I shouldn't have said yes without thinking it through, I'm sure you understand"...
then a swift change of subject, if she tries to enter into discussion about it just kept saying "no, it's not going to be possible".
The problem is that it might be fine when they are 10, not so much when they are 17 and have a load of mates in tow.
Also I could never properly relax in the garden knowing that a random child might suddenly appear.
Just say you are putting lock on the gate on the inside for added security so people can't let themselves in (you should do this anyway if random people off the estate can let themselves in!) very sorry as son won't be able to use the garden as cut through as gate will be constantly locked.
Gosh I think it would have to be a no.
How are you going to control when she comes and goes and who she brings with her. What if your dc and her dd don't get on? What if other randoms who live near to her fancy using it as a short cut you will have all and sundry trooping through your garden any time of the day or night.
Also it might set up a right of way if it carries on for long enough.
She's 10 so presumably can walk the long way round it will just be that little bit more inconvenient for her,
you're just going to have tell her you husband has said no way.
and grow a thick hedge
Just take the emphasis off yourself and state your husband has pointed out some flaws in the idea which you hadn't thought of? Child and mates, possibility of accident on your property etc.
Then say you really shouldn't of agreed initially before discussing it with your husband as it should of been a joint decision.
Oh for goodness sake, the child has probably been doing it with the person you bought the house off of for years without incident. Of course you don't want all their mates trampling through your garden, but one child I wouldn't be seeing as an issue. Have a quick word with your neighbour to tell her only her child and not a clan of children as you don't want your garden ruined, and I'm sure she'll be agreeable.
Are we talking through your back garden? Is there a gate in the fence? how many times a day are they talking?
Sheldonsspot Is a great idea.
Try and make a list of possible issues:
-No privacy (he could show up at any time)
-He could litter
-He could trample/break things
-He might leave your gate open
-What if he doesn't get on with your children?
-What if he drags all his mates through as well?
-What if he hurts himself falling over the wall or landing on something?
-What if other people follow suit?
I would be fine with this. I think it is a kind and neighbourly thing to do, and if you have problems in the future, you will have a good relationship with the family and will be able to talk over any issues that might arise. I would make it clear that this is a privilege just for this particular child, and tell her that she can come through because she is your neighbour, but that she can't bring other people through with her.
I can't understand not letting a lovely 10 year old walk across my garden because she might have annoying friends doing the same when she is 17.
If you don't want to do it, say you've changed your mind. She might accept your decision, she might hate you. There's not a lot you can do
Instead of all the possible catastrophes, why not imagine that this child could end up being the much loved protector and babysitter of your baby a few years down the line.
We had this sort of relationship with our neighbours (who have a footpath through their garden, coincidentally) and it has been the best thing about living where we do.
I agree with claraschu. If it becomes a problem, just say it's not working out.
You are going to have to tell her that you've changed your mind. No way would I want this.
What if her dc hurts themselves whilst in your garden
What if they leave the gate open and your dc gets out
What if something gets stolen because the gate is unlocked
The "what ifs" go on and on really.
TBH I would let them...what happened to the community spirit and watching out for other people's children?
I think DH is being a teeny bit mean spirited. We all bemoan the decline of communities and helping out other people until someone asks us to do something for them (the horror!).
I have actually sniggered at some of the responses...
- What if they started shooting up heroin in your garden?
- What if they didn't like your cat and gave it a swift kick every time they came through?
- What if they fell over and their leg fell entirely off on to your newly manicured lawn?
- What if they <whispers> saw you in your dressing gown?
What if it's perfectly all right and a nice introduction to being part of the community ?
If there's any problem at all, stop it at that point.
Why can't husband tell the woman no if he doesn't want it?
Alternatively just make sure that there is no access?
My main concern would be the method of entrance and exit.
You say you met the woman at a baby group, so presumably you have little children. I would want my garden to be secure so that the couldn't escape - if the way through involves gates that could be left open, the nI would say no.
What if you save the neighbour's child from getting hit by a car on the main road.
What if you make friends with the child and she becomes a babysitter for your child
What if you become a trusted adult who makes her feel like the people around her care about her
What if you make your estate feel more like a real community
What if the child's mother is grateful to you and helps you out when you need a friend
What if the older child keeps an eye out for your child and stops your child from being bullied when s/he is older
What if the older child keeps an eye out for your child and keeps him/her from getting into trouble when s/he is older
What if you need someone to keep an eye on your child when you have an emergency and the other mum is happy to help
What if all the kids in the neighbourhood think you are a kind person
It takes a village to raise a child
I am so sorry, but am feeling dim this morning. I need a diagram ,with approximate distances ,alternative routes ,potential hazards etc etc please.
lol stumbley and totally agree. Seems mean spirited and petty to say no. You were right to say yes see how it goes if any of the identified problems arise draw a line. You may need favours from them in the future.
Unless of course he is radicalised online and sets up a jihadi training camp in your garden...
I am not particularly neighbourly tbh but I wouldn't have a problem with letting a 10 year old do this/
I agree with Stumbly Monkey.
Obviously if the kid starts bricking your windows or stealing your garden gnomes or standing, horror film style, with his face pressed up against your window - then you stop it.
To just say no though is very mean spirited IMO.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now »
Already registered? Log in with:
Please login first.