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to be think that the woman shouting at children playing in the park is a miserable old bag?

(22 Posts)
Flyonthewindscreen Wed 05-Aug-09 16:31:07

The village where I live has a new park which opened in time for the summer holidays. There was a park on the site before but it was dilapidated and rarely used. A committee of local people spent years fundraising and campaigning to get this new park built.

Since it opened it has been very popular and well used. A number of the kids (aged approx 4-9) and including mine made a den in the trees and bushes next to one of the boundary fence and have been happily hanging out in it as part of their play. Note these are young kids, not teenagers drinking in there. The kids had parents with them and we were checking up on them from time to time to see what was going on and it genuinely innocent play during the daytime (i.e not going on late into the evening).

Today my DC and others (none aged more than 7)were playing in the den when the woman living on the other side of the fence started shouting that they were on her land and she would call the police if they didn't get out of the den.

An elderly lady then appeared and came over to the playworkers who were running a playscheme session at the time and said her boundary was actually outside the fence and the trees outside the fence were actually on her land therefore the kids were trespassing. She also had various other complaints about the noise from the park "as there are lots of elderly residents living nearby".

Luckily one of the parents present was part of the committe that set up the park and she dealt with it tactfully saying she would get the council involved. Said if the trees were on her land, then the fence could be moved so that children could not trespass on her land.

AIBU to find the shouting woman a miserable, nasty old witch? a) There were various consultations over the last few years if she had wanted to protest at the new park being sited there. b) don't buy a house that borders a park if it is going to bother you (the old park had been there for years)
c)Sometimes feel children can't do anything right, even supervised play at a park apparently is a source of nuisance for some people.

Anyway rant over angry

CantThinkofFunnyName Wed 05-Aug-09 16:38:43

YANBU! What appalling behaviour. I'd have been livid if she had shouted at my children that way - indeed, I probably would have got into a shouting match back which wouldn't have been very grown up behaviour at all! As you say, luckily another of the parents handled it very tactfully and it does sound as though the council needs to be involved. If the park is on her land, the situation will only get worse - poor kids!

hercules1 Wed 05-Aug-09 16:38:57

I can understand her point if it is actually her land and they've built a den on it. No way for the children to know this though.

ZZZenAgain Wed 05-Aug-09 16:40:40

I suppose if previously the old park was rarely used she is having a hard time readjusting to the change in noise levels generally and if she also felt the dc were on her land in some way, I suppose it was the last straw

Bit odd if the land was not fenced off and therefore obviously private to shout at dc for using it.

mumblechum Wed 05-Aug-09 16:41:16

Actually if she's right she has my sympathy, but it's not the children's fault the boundary is in the wrong place.

MorrisZapp Wed 05-Aug-09 16:42:12

Never understood the MN culture of using words like witch, hag, bag for older women.

Presume you don't like brat etc being used for children.

Isn't it just another kind of prejudice - what does her age have to do with your complaint. I'm 38 and I get irritated by noisy kids. I'm miserable, but not a witch grin

CantThinkofFunnyName Wed 05-Aug-09 17:01:27

Of course if the boundary is in the wrong place there is some sympathy here for the lady BUT there would undoubtedly have been a consultation for the redevelopment of the park and therefore ample opportunity to object. It is absolutely not the fault of the children and I would object strongly to them being verbally abused in this manner, nonetheless.

mumblechum Wed 05-Aug-09 17:03:31

Agree that calling her a hag, nasty old witch etc totally uncalled for.

Fairynufff Wed 05-Aug-09 17:06:15

I think YANBU to be a bit miffed but this woman is probably overreacting because she may be anticipating problems or feeling vulnerable about the potential problems living so close to where children play - and let's face it - sometimes want to cause mischief. Not necessarily younger children, but older kids can cause problems for residents near parks.

I think YABU in your tone and lack of respect for an older, obviously insecure woman in your community. What message does this give your children about how to handle conflict? and respecting other people, especially the older generation?

Look in the mirror before calling anyone else 'a miserable old bag'

MorrisZapp Wed 05-Aug-09 17:09:47

Yup. 'Miserable old bag': read person who thinks they have a legitimate grievance, and happens to be older than you.

One day we'll all be old and I hope I can give vent to my opinions then without being called a witch.

YorkshireRose Wed 05-Aug-09 17:17:15

Giving vent to your opinions to the right people is fine.

Yelling at kids innocently playing in a park who cannot possibly know anything of her complicated boundary dispute is clearly not.

She should sort her issues out with the right people.

I would call her a bully rather than an "old bag" as she is clearly taking her frustration out on weaker members of society who cannot answer her back - ie children.

mayorquimby Wed 05-Aug-09 18:01:46

completely depends if it's on her land.

FabBakerGirlIsBack Wed 05-Aug-09 18:04:26

If the park area hasn't been used for a while the noise level will be a new issue.

Flyonthewindscreen Fri 07-Aug-09 19:16:13

Just came back to MN for the first time since I posted this and would like to say on reflection, I regret the language I used to describe the "shouting woman". Various posters are correct that there are insults used specifically for older women and I'm sorry to have perpetuated them. I was venting without thinking blush.

Do think I was right to be annoyed at woman shouting at mine and other DCs though. Whatever boundary dispute/other complaints she has should be sorted out between herself and whoever the proper authorities are - not by threatening small children with the police.

Morloth Fri 07-Aug-09 19:24:16

She shouldn't have shouted at the kids.

But the boundary issue needs to be checked and her permission asked if it is indeed her land and her decision respected if she says "No".

Flyonthewindscreen Fri 07-Aug-09 19:31:22

Morloth, the park isn't on her land, it is a tiny strip of land ?3 metres long with some trees on it that runs along the edge of her garden fence that is in question. Hopefully can be easily checked out and her fence moved to enclose this strip if it is hers.

cheshirekitty Fri 07-Aug-09 19:39:20

I love listening to the sounds of children playing.

I would honestly hate to be a child in this age. They cannot do right for being wrong.

She was wrong to have shouted at the children.

Hope you can sort this out.

OrmIrian Fri 07-Aug-09 19:41:46

I suspect the boundary thing is just an excuse and she is simply a bit taken aback at the noise and disturbance. But she will have to get used to it.

Some people simply regard children as a nuisance and a playground as the next best thing to a sewage farm hmm

Thunderduck Fri 07-Aug-09 19:45:23

I think that's what Morloth was referring to, and not the entire parkland.

MollieO Fri 07-Aug-09 19:46:49

I assume she didn't think that a load of children would be congregating at the end of her garden every day. Can't the children vary where they play in the park? I have children and I have every sympathy with her. How would you feel if someone came and sat the other side of your fence talking/shouting/playing music etc every day?

slowreadingprogress Fri 07-Aug-09 20:42:46

I see where this woman is coming from. She had a house next to a very quiet park which has suddenly become alot more used and noiser, and a bunch of kids are pretty much constantly right at the bottom of her garden

Could be very annoying if you don't love the sound of kids playing (I mean, I adore my ds and his friends playing but it's hardly birdsong is it! Kids playing are loud and un-relaxing)

No she shouldn't have shouted - but I can see where she is coming from

KIMItheThreadSlayer Fri 07-Aug-09 21:04:05

YANBU at all,
I will never understand people that get a house next to a School/Pub/Park then make a fuss about the noise.

Bet the trees are not hers she is just a cow

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