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to be annoyed with my neighbours?

(19 Posts)
IWishIWasMaryPoppins Mon 01-Sep-08 11:23:09

The main problem I have with them is with one child in particular, who is constantly hammering at my door and calling through my letterbox ''will somebody answer the door'' - yesterday, this child actually opened my door whilst knocking! If I/we are busy (for example eating a meal, bathing DC or reading a bedtime story) I won't answer the door so the result is anything remotely family orientated is punctuated with hammering at the door! (GRR)

What's more infuriating for me is that it is not a nice polite knock but hammering, with this child's face pressed against the glass! We have been sat at the table for an entire meal with this child hammering at the door and when the child tires of knocking, her mother's head will appear in the window - knocking for her! (The mother will at least only knock twice and then leave.)

Perhaps tied into this, my neighbours wander over my front lawn as though they have a right of passage - and I keep finding my neighbour's DC playing in my front (unenclosed) and back (enclosed) garden!

AIBU? I may have lost perspective on this. If I am not BU then what can I do to stop it - I have fallen short of actually teaching these children how to knock at the door - although, I have explained that if I don't answer then I am busy (this had not effect (affect?) what so ever!) and that I don't want to find them in my garden (again nothing changed so I have now barricaded the back gate - which is just ridiculous surely!?)

MatNanPlus Mon 01-Sep-08 11:29:18

Ages?

Freckle Mon 01-Sep-08 11:33:11

Put a note on the door saying "If you knock once and don't get an answer, do not knock again as we are busy". Alternatively speak to the mother and tell her that you do not appreciate her child banging on your door endlessly whilst you and your family are trying to eat.

IWishIWasMaryPoppins Mon 01-Sep-08 11:34:16

All are in infant school, with the occasional older child (visiting cousins and the such like). Mine are 6 and 9 years old.

FrockHorror Mon 01-Sep-08 11:36:33

Agree with Freckle. Approach the mother and ask her to put a stop to the knocking. Alternatively, send your DCs round to their house for a taste of their own medicine. If they aren't getting the message by talking to them, maybe showing them would be more effective - the whole actions speak louder than words thing maybe?

IWishIWasMaryPoppins Mon 01-Sep-08 11:37:59

This child's mother is rather scary and I am a quite coward so I am reluctant to open a conversation with her about it.

AvenaLife Mon 01-Sep-08 11:40:51

Can't you just answer and say that you are having your tea? They don't get the 'if I don't answer I'm busy' so just open up and tell the poor child to go home, or maybe hang a do not disturb sign on the door, one where the child knows what it means.

handlemecarefully Mon 01-Sep-08 11:42:55

You are unreasonable in so far as you are simmering with resentment about it and not prepared to broach it openly with your neighbour. I am sure it is infuriating but you need to address it with them.

savoycabbage Mon 01-Sep-08 11:51:58

I have to say it would drive me up the wall but I am not sure what I would do about it. I don't answer my door if I am busy either.

Have you got a doorbell. Probably not as then he or she would be doing that instead! Get a doorbell. Then you could say to the child to press the bell once and if you don't answer it is because you are having your dinner.

IWishIWasMaryPoppins Mon 01-Sep-08 11:52:49

AvenaLife I tried answering to say that we are busy when I got fed up with the hammering - she goes away and comes back again 5 minutes later asking when my DC are coming out to play

Handlemecarefully I agree I ought to say something and in not I may BU

I quite like the idea of a not freckle - thank you

IWishIWasMaryPoppins Mon 01-Sep-08 11:53:55

I mean a note blush

CrushWithEyeliner Mon 01-Sep-08 11:56:01

Are you kidding? This sounds horrendous and is a massive intrusion on your privacy. Why can't you just nicely but firmly say you are really being disturbed. Are they right next door? As for using your space I would not put up with that either - I feel for you!

FrockHorror Mon 01-Sep-08 11:57:04

Can you not maybe suggest a time that the other child may come round and call for your DCs? You could say, for example, that they are able to call for your DCs until 5 but after then, you will be busy having dinner, baths and getting ready for bed and if they knock after this time, they will not be answered? If you do answer to them before this time and definately not after, they may soon get the message that they can only call until a certain time and hopefully stop knocking when you are in the middle of the evening routine.

I understand how you feel about approaching the mother because tbh I would be exactly the same but if you don't do something, you are going to end up falling out with the neighbours because the resentment could turn into a full blown argument one day.

FrockHorror Mon 01-Sep-08 11:58:22

Oh, and by the way, I don't think YABU, as CWE says it is an intrusion of your privacy and added to that, the evening routine is stressful enough without the added noise and intrusion of others (well it is in this house!)

IWishIWasMaryPoppins Mon 01-Sep-08 12:15:26

They are directly nextdoor - and this invites children from three doors up to play on my front lawn (three doors up have been raided for drug dealing shock I really do not want to encourage their DC to play on my lawn!)

I like the idea of asking them not to knock after 5pm - I hadn't thought of that. It gives clear limits and it is in the evenings that causes the most problems because my DC get excited about the thought of going out and then get cross because ''its not fair _ doesn't have to go to bed - why do I!?'' and as you say FrockyHorror - it the intrusion and noise adds to the stress at a time when I am on my lowest reserves.

Thank you - I was beginning to think I WBU!

babyignoramus Mon 01-Sep-08 16:42:57

My neighbours used to do this when my sister was young. It drove my mum (and me) mad, plus my dad was on nights! They also used to lean over our back fence and bang on the back window. My mum got me to tell them to bugger off - I was a stroppy teenager so I could get away with it!

You may have to tell the kids off and upset them. But they need to learn!

IWishIWasMaryPoppins Tue 02-Sep-08 22:55:38

Thank you all for your tips!!

The neighbour's child was back at school today (mine aren't back yet) and the difference was remarkable! The house was peaceful and quiet - such bliss! Knowing how relaxed the household is without jumping for the door every 5 minutes, and some helpful tips from MN, has given me the impetus to lay down some firmer rules. Thank you!

NikkiH Wed 03-Sep-08 10:42:30

We have a lot of kids calling for our boys to play too and I know how annoying it can be when you're always up and down to the door.

To the constant hammerers I have explained that they need to knock three or four times and then wait a few minutes before knocking again. It has worked.

I tell those who call for them when they're not yet playing out (because of tea time or doing homework) that they will come and find them when they are playing out and not to call back again until they have.

Not answering the door hasn't really worked as they come round to the back door when they haven't had an answer at the front and as I tend to have this open when it's warm in the summer it can be a bit awkward to turn around in the kitchen to have a child peering in at you!

HTH!

IWishIWasMaryPoppins Wed 03-Sep-08 22:12:55

I've tried "knock a couple of times..." Nikki, they don't seem to understand!! ...I too had been leaving my back door open - until one of the neighbour's children (having hammered at the door for ages) wandered into the bathroom whilst my children were stark naked in the bath - to tell me that she is going to the shop for sweeties!! (Like I care!) shock

You are right, not answering doesn't work (although it ought to!). My mother suggested the same earlier - I told them not to knock again, but to wait on the neighbour's lawn until my children are ready to come out - my door was peaceful for 30 minutes at least! hmm

The trouble is I have been far too soft with them! ...That school is back in term is the perfect reason for getting tougher. grin

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