A neighbour's child...(13 Posts)
I live in a social housing property, 4 flats in a building. When I first moved in all the tenants were working professionals, some with young children. All of our kids are now adults and have moved on, 2 of the original tenants are in homes and another is often away looking after a sick relative.
My “issue” is with a tenant who has been a neighbour for about a year. She’s a young woman (about 26) who has a little boy. When she first moved in we had a cordial relationship, but this became strained after I was awakened on several occasions in the early hours by her playing her music loud. Before moving in she lived in a property where apparently playing loud music at all hours was the norm. Our bedrooms share a dividing wall and the walls in general are paper thin. I’ve pointed this out to her several times; I even brought her into my flat so she could hear the noise she keeps. Things came to a head when I told her that the next time she got me out of my bed at 2am on a “school night”, I would call the police and lodge a formal complaint with the social housing landlord.
For a while things were OK, but for the past 8+ months her child has become the “noise nuisance”. I don’t know if the child has a “problem” but once he is awake, he spends the majority of his time screaming and crying. He shares his mother’s bedroom and I’m often awoken by his screaming and crying, and by his mother’s response, which is normally to scream back at him. “Shut up” and “you get on my f*cking nerves” are her stock replies. When that fails, she turns her music on loud so she doesn’t have to hear him (you still can, tho). I’ve never heard seen or heard her paying with him or doing any of the usual mummy stuff. The boy is small for his age: he’s 3½ but looks more like a 2 year old. He has no “routine”: he goes to sleep when she does (anytime after midnight), she brings him home at all hours and he doesn’t go to nursery or school.
My daughter is grown but I’m only too aware of how trying motherhood can be, so I’ve tried to be accommodating and not uber-sensitive. It’s embarrassing when I have friends and family over and, because of the property layout, we’re subjected to the child's screams and cries. I’ve tried to be diplomatic when talking to her about his behaviour (and hers) but her response is to shrug and say “I only shout cos he gets on my nerves and he doesn’t listen to me.”
I recently had an incident where I was on a work-related overseas call but the person at the other end couldn't hear me clearly because they were in the communal hallway and the child was screaming his lungs out (yes, that’s how thin the walls are!) I put the call on hold, went outside and told her in no uncertain terms to make her child be quiet (yes, I know the impossibility of said comment!) She was in no doubt that I was pissed, but at point I was past caring. The irony is that once I then told him to be quiet…he was!
I am loathe to get involved with how someone raises their child, regardless of how much I disagree with their methods. But the noise is affecting my sleep and my sanity. One of my besties is a social worker and has threatened to report the situation but I suspect she will only do that as a very last resort. But as I’m typing this at half past midnight the child is awake and screaming. I’m at the stage now where if it means I get some peace and quiet, I’d let her! AIBU???
Your are a little bit, it's not the childs fault your walls are paper thin, joys of flats I'm afraid (I'm only awake because downstairs' baby is teething) and you wouldn't necessarily hear her playing with him or doing the mummy things and she doesn't have to take him to nursery, its not compulsory, so you are coming across a bit judgy and I'm a little shocked at your SW bestie, if she has genuine safe guarding concerns she needs to report it and as a SW should know that but she shouldn't be threatening to to a third party! Either there's a real concern and she's putting your opinion above a childs well being or she's suggesting using her position to waste already over stretched SS resources, either way its unproffessional.
Noise wise I do sympathise, keep a record and talk to your housing association/council, toddlers are noisy but as her shouting is also an issue the housing officer can have a chat and point her towards some support (hv, toddler groups, surestart etc).
Not going to nursery - not an issue
Being shouted at in the way you describe, having music put on to drown you out at 2am in the morning when your 3 - very very not ok IMO
I feel for you having your sleep interrupted but I feel very very sorry for that poor little boy.
I would be inclined to follow your friends lead since she is actually a SW, someone needs to look out for that child's best interests it doesn't sound from what you have said that his parent(s) is/are
Poor little thing
So both you and your social worker 'bestie' have witnessed the neglect and emotional abuse of a young child, but haven't reported it?
Please report your worrys about the little boy.
It does'nt sound like his Mum is coping.
You should report this to SS. Surprised your bestie has taken no action to be frank, or advised you to.
The shouting is awful. However I have a bad sleeper (1 yr old) and have had issues with our neighbour banging on the walls of our mall terraced house when he has been crying for a while, even at 5pm when he fell over and cried. Really there is nothing that will calm him when he is so tired but can't go back to sleep and aggressive behaviour like the doesn't help. You did choose to live in a house like that and to a degree have to put up with the noise.
I'm ashamed for you, OP. Go back and read your post. The parenting this child is receiving are clearly problematic. And yet all you can think of is the noise you are being subjected to.
I get that disruptive noise is awful. But you come across really badly - that the only reason you would "agree" to reporting this situation, is to look after your own interests?
Get the kid help. Please.
Call the social worker/friend for the child's sake.
Call the police to report the music.
Call the housing association regarding the overall situation.
There's no excuse for the way the neighbour is destroying the peace of those around her.
"Did you do anything OP to protect this child?"
Is it OP's job to protect the child?
Jesus, I'd like to hope your a bridge dweller. Assuming you aren't please report to SS. Its more than plausible that the child is crying so much and so loudly as a result of over tiredness and a lack of routine, stimulation and poor emotional regulation due to a chronic lack of emotional warmth and quality parenting. SS are unlikely to remove but should look at avenues of support such as ensuring the health visitor is calling round and getting her to take up free nursery hours. This will help mum as much as child. Your SW friend sounds like a dick btw as she well knows she doesn't need you to "let her" report it.
Is it OP's job to protect the child?
We all have a duty to report concerns.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.