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Neighbours kid!

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MissBax Mon 29-May-17 01:51:37

Right, I've just stormed downstairs to the flat below ours and screamed at them after 3 years of them being a total nightmare culminating in one foul-mouthed fury!
They have two children (son 5 and daughter 7).
They have NO routine - the children seem to be allowed to run riot in the flat no matter what time it is - 6am or 1am! They never seem to take the children out, when the sun is shining they shove them on the balcony where the kids then scream and shout constantly (i don't mean general children playing noise by the way - I mean FULL ON screeching and screaming). They don't discipline the son AT ALL - I've watched him throw food all over the communal areas of the building whilst the mum simply walks on. Or when he is screaming she just quietly goes "shh shh" to which he just yells and screeches over.
The mum takes them out at about 9pm at night and returns at 1am - just now they arrived home, kids shouting and screaming in the communal stairway for everyone to hear. They then slam doors downstairs, shouting and screaming commences. It has been like this for 3 YEARS!!!
We have spoken to their landlord - says he doesn't have any reason to take matters further which is fair enough (i suppose).
In the first year I actually befriended the mum and felt very sorry for her - she is clearly struggling to discipline and parent her own children. Dad seems useless by all accounts. I tried asking politely that they keep their windows and doors shut if the kids are screaming as their windows are only a matter of feet from ours and the sound travels so easily. They said they would. They don't!!
It's been so warm that I have to sleep with windows open but they are so loud it just wakes us up.
My OH went down around a year ago and had a more stern word about how it wasn't acceptable anymore and something has to change - we then had a visit from their Health Visitor stating that they'd complained that WE were harassing THEM!!! We were gobsmacked and explained that we actually have concerns that they aren't managing very well and that we constantly hear screaming and banging from the flat. -Just to give some context - we never hear anything from any other flat above us or to either side-
The HV seemed to understand and asked us to call if we have any other worries, which I have done a couple of time over the last 6 months - she doesn't put seatbelts on her kids when in the car for example, amongst other things.
Anyway - they came home tonight banging and screaming away at 1am as always and I just saw red. I went down and made it clear that I was at breaking point and that they were making my life hell. And low ad behold - not a peep out of them now - so they CAN shut the kids up when needed. So why don't they do this anyway when it's 1am and people around them are sleeping?!?!
I guess I was going to ask AIBU but after reading it back I don't think I am.
What I would like to ask though is what the hell can I do?? I don't think the children are being abused so can't exactly contact SS, the HV can't do a great deal either and they aren't breaking any laws (are they?!)
Moving isn't an option for us for another 18 months - 2years. But I can't live like this anymore?!?!

Creamdonuts Mon 29-May-17 02:16:26

How old are the children coming home at 1am?

MissBax Mon 29-May-17 02:20:11

Cream - 5 and 7!!!! I've told the HV this too but due to confidentiality she can't discuss them with me - I can just give information. She did tell me if I had concerns I could contact SS but when I looked on the website it was to report abuse, which I'm not concerned about. Although I do think there's elements of neglect (no bedtime routine/poor discipline/no seatbelts etc). But is this enough?

kali110 Mon 29-May-17 02:20:20

Wth is she taking them till 1am??
I don't think yabu, i feel really sorry for you! I'd have lost it a lot sooner!

esk1mo Mon 29-May-17 02:21:25

OP stated son aged 5 and daughter 7

MissBax Mon 29-May-17 02:22:49

I have no idea!! I can only imagine friends or family?! I think it's dreadful personally and I'm not surprised the children then scream and shout if they've no concept of normality. It's horrendous and really bothering me now - I'm pregnant and when the baby arrives if they're waking her with their noise I don't know what I'll do!

kali110 Mon 29-May-17 02:29:27

Think id keep a note and report them to environmental health. You may not get anywhere, but you never know.
Normal family noise is acceptable, banging doors and screaming at 1am is not.
I don't know is dragging your kids out till 1am neglectful?
How often is it?

MissBax Mon 29-May-17 02:34:27

These late night trips are a few times a week (even on school nights) and the kids then scream about 6am when I imagine they're being woken for school, probably because they're exhausted.
I don't think it probably is neglectful, although I'm sure not establishing a normal bedtime routine can't be anything except detrimental.

Sprinklestar Mon 29-May-17 02:40:11

Where on earth are the kids going at that time of night? I'd call the NSPCC for advice.

Chloe84 Mon 29-May-17 02:52:27

Could you contact the Environment Health team at your council?

Sounds horrendous. flowers

user1471451259 Mon 29-May-17 03:00:32

It doesn't sound great but I wonder if your tolerance for noise will change once you've had your own child.

Let's hope your baby isn't a screamer!

If the kids are fed, clothed, attend school, not left alone or abused in any way, then I think calls to SS or environment health(??) are unwarranted.

user1471451259 Mon 29-May-17 03:00:35

It doesn't sound great but I wonder if your tolerance for noise will change once you've had your own child.

Let's hope your baby isn't a screamer!

If the kids are fed, clothed, attend school, not left alone or abused in any way, then I think calls to SS or environment health(??) are unwarranted.

CherriesInTheSnow Mon 29-May-17 03:09:23

I actually don't agree that this isn't neglectful parenting sad

5 hours of solid sleep a night at most for 2 school age children? It's very very unhealthy. If she is shutting them on the balcony instead of taking them out to play or anything, that's also a warning sign for me.

She sounds incredibly unable to cope with her children. I know I can't be sure at all but someone I knew used to take small kids out at night and they had a drug habit. Maybe this is why she can't face leaving the house with them or doing anything with them?

The bad bits you've seen are pretty bad and they are just the things you know about. My DC isn't school age yet so am not sure about this but is it possible to contact them if you don't feel you can go to SS?

It sounds really awful for those poor kids, I would say neglect for sure. And FWIW it's hardly the same as having a young baby who cries....

Sunnyjac Mon 29-May-17 04:14:08

Keep contacting SS or NSPCC for each concern and keep repeating. We had neighbours whose children we were concerned about, reported our concerns, turns out this added to the overall picture that SS were building of them. Eventually had their foster son removed from them and the rest of the family moved away after. Not allowing them enough sleep is a big issue and not using seat belts is illegal so you could call the police on that one. Your reports might lead to greater support for the family, which might be all they need and give you the peace you need. Or it might lead to something more drastic but that is not your concern or problem. Either way hopefully your issue with them will be resolved. Alongside reporting everything, try speaking to them, in a friendly but firm way, when they are being loud - they responded to you today so maybe they will keep doing so. Good luck

hmmwhatatodo Mon 29-May-17 08:39:13

I'm wondering why they have a health visitor coming round with older children. It's generally rare unless you have a baby. I would imagine she came down after their complaints about you to gather more info on them rather than to have a go at you. I wonder if the parents have learning difficulties. Anyway op it's sounds horrible for you and those children.

Creamdonuts Mon 29-May-17 09:14:14

That surely isn't enough sleep for such young kids
I would contact the health visitor again although agree sounds odd she still has one

Cuppaand2biscuits Mon 29-May-17 09:25:25

Keep reporting the little things, it does help to build a bigger picture. Especially if the school are reporting similar concerns.
It's unusual for children of 5 and 7 to be screaming (not just normal play sounds) regularly so perhaps one (or both) have sen which might explain the health visitor still being involved.

YouTheCat Mon 29-May-17 09:32:20

Neglect is a form of abuse.

Could you contact their school safeguarding person?

blueskyinmarch Mon 29-May-17 09:48:45

Are both children in school? The HV won’t be interested if they are as they don’t have any responsibility for children once they start school. I agree that contacting the NSPCC might be a good start. They can then pass you concerns on to the relevant people. I say this as a SW by the way. Keeping children up until 1am and never letting them play out may be part of a bigger, neglectful picture.

ChardonnaysPrettySister Mon 29-May-17 09:49:27

Neglect is abuse.

Whereon Earth can they be all going in the night? Baffling.

Hulder Mon 29-May-17 09:49:59

Health visitor is unusual for children of that age.

And neglect is the commonest form of abuse.

I'd phone everyone I could think of including Social Services and the school.

You have noticed some things that are really unusual for parents - coming in at 1am, no seatbelts, behaviour. Can you think of others?
But you aren't living in the house so you don't see everything but most of us make an effort when others are watching. It's probably worse at home - you could be the key person to raise a safeguarding concern.

Serialweightwatcher Mon 29-May-17 09:52:52

How high up are they when on balcony? This is so wrong though, apart from it's making your life a misery, it's so bad for the children to be sleep deprived so often and be cooped up with no routine in place.

anotherpoisonprince Mon 29-May-17 10:02:24

Do you think your neighbour might be getting in from work at 1pm? I've worked shift patterns that had me ending up getting in at all sorts of stupid times. Maybe the children are with family or CM and she collects them on her way home?

MissBax Mon 29-May-17 10:14:08

Thanks for all the messages - it's definitely reassured me that it really isn't normal behaviour.
I did think that when the HV came to speak to us she was perhaps using it as an opportunity to gather more information, especially as she said to contact her directly if we had other concerns.
I've just spoken to my OH about all your comments and we are going to contact the NSPCC. I suspect that the son has some developmental needs as he seems to have very little language, but when I've been in there apartment before they have NO toys around, it's really strange. I don't imagine they read with them or even speak to them that much.
I don't think she's going to work at that hour - the husband is in the apartment when she goes out and as far as I know she doesn't have a job.
And in reply to the comment about maybe my noise tolerance will change when I have my own child - this is not normal children's sounds and noise (which I have no problem with). I'm not ignorant - I have plenty of children in our family and friends children to know it's nothing to do with my noise tolerance.

MissBax Mon 29-May-17 10:15:01

...when I've been in their apartment!

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