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7 year olds playing football in the street

(14 Posts)
HelgaHufflepuff76 Sat 04-Mar-17 13:23:00

At what age do you think kids should be expected to play football on the park? We have a playing field with goals at the back of the houses on our street. It's a quiet village so it's usually free. These kids have played on the street for a couple of years now but now they're bigger they can really whack that ball! My car has a dent on the back with a very incriminating muddy ball print accompanying it. My Dh has told the kids to play somewhere else (they all have gardens as well) but they have ignored this.
Would you have a word with the parents or are we being unreasonable? I'm really not sure. I don't mind them playing on the street, it's just how hard they kick the ball that bothers me.

WorraLiberty Sat 04-Mar-17 13:26:46

I would definitely have a word if they're causing damage, I think their ages are irrelevant.

If they really want to play in the street, they need to use a sponge ball like some of the kids around here do.

HelgaHufflepuff76 Sat 04-Mar-17 13:56:29

Yes, I wouldn't mind at all if it was a softer ball, but it is a proper leather football they play with. I'm just a chicken when it come to things like this as I don't want to cause bad feelings with my neighbours.

FATEdestiny Sat 04-Mar-17 14:10:08

I wouldn't want my 7 year old playing out of sight at his age. Hense his only options to play football with the other 7yo across the road are out the street in front of our house, or the garden.

They always play in the garden in summer, when the ground is harder.

They always play on the street in winter, because our garden quickly becomes a mud pit.

I would not expect them to cause any problems with neighbours though, unless a pure accident.

greenthings Sat 04-Mar-17 14:15:16

oooo tricky one.

i think if they are playing occasionally, just passing and tricks i.e. not massive kicks its OK occasionally.

but if they are doing it regularly, or really bashing it about hitting walls and cars, I'd definitely say "no". People don't realise the deafening noise a football being smashed about makes.

They've already damaged your car, so you've got good reason to stop them!

HelgaHufflepuff76 Sat 04-Mar-17 14:21:22

I understand parents wanting to keep them in sight at their age, although one of the boys lives right at the other end of the street so his parents really wouldn't know if he was up to no good as they never come out of their houses to check or call them in at any time. They can be out here all day at weekends on a dry day. I don't mind them playing and riding their bikes and scooters etc and I don't for one minute think they've damaged anything deliberately.

FATEdestiny Sat 04-Mar-17 14:38:31

You asked:

At what age do you think kids should be expected to play football on the park?

So if this is your question, the answer is subjective. My DS7 is allowed around the corner on the field of if he is with his brother (aged 11), but I'm actually still uneasy about that. He cannot go to the field if just with his 7yo friend from over the road.

Probably by next summer (DS will be 8 nearly 9) I might start letting him and his mate play footy on the field on their own.

Until then - they'll play in front of our house or in our gardens.

They can be out here all day at weekends on a dry day

Being a dry day does not make grass less muddy. Do you have experience of slide-tackling-football-playing children? Churned up, muddy grass needs about 3 or 4 weeks of dry weather to fully dry out and not be muddy.

It being "a dry day" does not mean the garden will be fine for football. Several weeks of hot, dry weather and it will be. Unlikely at the beginning of March.

I don't for one minute think they've damaged anything deliberately

If this was my boys [I'm beginning to worry it actually is!] I would hope the neighbour would feel they could speak directly to the boys, and they would be polite in reply.

We've had cases of balls going astray. If I see it (they are right in front of my living room window), I will go and tell them off, apologise if needed, reitterate they must keep better control of the ball. Generally they do.

Then playing all day at the weekend - I'd love that! After we've done our sports clubs at te weekend, mine would often rather play on the Xbox. I have to encourage them out there. Better they play out, than sit in front of a screen any day!

I would, however, expect them to be respectful to neighbours as much as I would hope my neighbours will tolerate and appreciate the value on children playing outdoors.

BikeRunSki Sat 04-Mar-17 14:41:49

I would definitely have a word about the damage. The cars in our street are covered in scratches from the scooter of a child who can't balance properly and is completely unsupervised.

At 7, I think I'd want DS in sight.

BikeRunSki Sat 04-Mar-17 14:42:08

I would definitely have a word about the damage. The cars in our street are covered in scratches from the scooter of a child who can't balance properly and is completely unsupervised.

At 7, I think I'd want DS in sight.

HelgaHufflepuff76 Sat 04-Mar-17 15:01:05

FATEdestiny I think it's unlikely that these are your kids. One of the boys is an only child and the other two have baby siblings. They are nice kids really who I'm sure aren't being intentionally naughty. I mentioned the dry weather only in reference to how long they will be playing out on the street for. There is a high fence at the end of the street and they often kick the ball quite hard against it which can be noisy. They also run into our front garden often to retrieve the ball and I worry about my plants, although I don't think any have been damaged.
I was asking about age because I was hoping that if I just wait a year or so then the problem will sort itself out and I won't need to say anything. Like I said, I'm a chicken about things like this blush

DJBaggySmalls Sat 04-Mar-17 15:10:00

Its not acceptable for them to kick a leather football around, your car is damaged and if it hits a window its going to go straight through.
You're not the one causing the problem.

If you cant approach the parents, do you have a local community police officer? Maybe they could have a chat with them, and they wont tell them it was you that complained.

FATEdestiny Sat 04-Mar-17 15:17:29

Don't be chicken, you have ever right to say something.

I know what you mean about the noise. Mine have a goal (an actual, metal and net goal) in front of our garage. They are supposed to pull it away from the garage when playing. But they often forget and the noise of ball hitting metal garage door is awful.

Likewise flowers and plants. Any decently bought-up children should appreciate not damaging plants, flowers or antthing really.

If you are not comfortable using a firm tone with them, how would you feel with engaging them?

It sounds a bit twee, but something like "come here boys, look at this..." show them a plant in flower, tell them it's name and how you love the smell/colour or whatever. Use that conversation to say "I know you'll be really careful around the plants when playing. I love all of my plants"

The metal fence thing, I can't think of a non confrontational way of dealing with that, off the top of my head. How about just saying "that's really noisy, do you think you could play here instead?" And offer an alternate.

deadringer Sat 04-Mar-17 15:19:46

My neighbours boys play football on the street outside our garden every day and frequently use our gateposts as a goal. They don't use their own i imagine they are not allowed as their parents are very fussy and house proud. Its really annoying as both our cars are covered in scratches and dings, even the one parked in the driveway. We have asked them to play elsewhere to no avail and the parents don't care. We have spoken to the parents a couple of times and the kids stay away for a day or two then they are back playing as usual . The older boys are at least 12 and they can kick the ball (a heavy leather one) very hard. The younger boy is about 8 which i assume is why the don't go and play in the football field around the corner. (they would have to cross a busy road). Two years ago another boy on the road kicked the ball at my car so hard it cracked the windscreen, my husband was shaving at the window and saw it happen but the kid denied it. Yes it was an accident but it's upsetting, tbh i dread the summer , they will be out from around 8 a.m. til it gets dark. I feel for you op but its public property so not sure what you can do about it. A pp said its better for kids to be outside playing, yes it is for them and for their parents but not so much for the neighbours.

HelgaHufflepuff76 Sat 04-Mar-17 16:46:14

Thanks everyone for your advice. I will try speaking to the children again. I did once very gently ask if they could be a bit more careful with the ball but as has been mentioned, this only seems to have an effect for a few days then they are back to how they were before. I'll be a bit firmer next time.

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