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or rather: am I being reasonable or will i come accross as a mad ranty woman??

(20 Posts)
TheInvisibleManDidIt Thu 20-Aug-09 14:01:49

background: we live in a small esate; cul-de-sac so mostly only cars in here are people that live here. There's a few communal areas (some grass, shrubs, trees). In the esate there are a few single people, a couple of older couples, but mostly families with children. The children all play outside in the cul-de-sac, general childrens games; tag, hide and seek, ride their bikes, skate, play football. Nothing that's causing damage or is offensive. They can sometimes be loud- they're children. Comes with the territory. There are a couple of them that run accross peoples front gardens (all open onto the pavement) as short cuts, but they haven't caused any damage.

We've had some problems over the past year with the same few neighbours that think the children are too loud, shouldn't play with balls, shouldn't be allowed to draw on pavements with chalk (they drew a hopscotch thing), and shouldn't be allowed near the communal grass. (as it happens my 2 aren't as it's right next to a busy main).

This has recently escallated into a couple of the neighbours telling the children that they will get the police called on them if they play with balls. We've reassured our boys the police won't do anything about them playing with a ball if they're being careful- keeping it away from any parked cars and out of peoples driveways.

Anyway..this morning we recieved a letter from the factor saying that while 'they are not anti-children' the communal areas aren't designated play areas and the children shouldn't be near them. I have also found out from a neighbour that one of the anti ball brigade wants to start a committee to 'deal with issues they're not happy with' and has purchased no ball game signs which they're going to put up.

I'm so angry that one or two assholes think they have the right to dictate what my children do and how they play when they're (my boys) are not doing any harm. So i've just sat and typed a ranty email to the factor basically saying that firstly I object to this anti- children phrase as noones objected about adults walking on the communal areas, chucking fag ends on them and walking their dogs on them. Then I've gone on to say that maybe their next letter should stress this is a neighbourhood and people should try approaching others if theres a problem not trying to make it official by involving a third party, and they have no right to put up signs without all residents agreement. I've also said I would approach the people who are complaining to him myself but obviously I cannot be sure who out of the 3 or 4 witches it was so I can't do this.

I haven't sent it yet. Should I- or will I just come accross as nutty as them. I also want to go and confront the person about these signs but I'm not doing that while I'm angry.

I know this may seem a bit trivial but it's really wound me up! I do loads with my boys- we take them out alot, they have lots of activities, but the odd evening or weekend they want to go out and play it always ends up with them being moaned at or threatened. We have previously asked these neighbours to speak to us- not the children. One denied it, one claimed it's not our children they were speaking to (but have said this to all the other parents too) and one shouted and swore at me for about 10 minutes. Now one of thems getting signs and another (or may be the same one, i don't know) is complaining to teh factor. ARRRGG

TheInvisibleManDidIt Thu 20-Aug-09 14:03:13

Oops...that was far too long. <<provides coffee for any who may have fallen asleep reading it>>

pooter Thu 20-Aug-09 14:06:10

what's a factor?

they sound like horrible meanies and i would send the letter.

GypsyMoth Thu 20-Aug-09 14:07:04

is it an housing association or council estate?

we have some no ball playing signs,but none on our actual cul de sac.

who is the governing body here?

Bathsheba Thu 20-Aug-09 14:08:17

Oh I understand your pain - we live in a very similar area, a horseshoe with communal grounds.

We do have a play area (there is a swing and some bouncy animals) so it would be completely ridiculous for someone to complain about kids playing there but I know there were moves afoot and general mumblings a few years ago about requests to remove the play area completely (it has been there since the houses were bulit as a newbuild development 10 years ago).

They have absolutely no right to put up "No ball Games" signs if its just a couple of residents who have bought them themselves.

I live in Aberdeen - I don;t know what its like where you live but here there are only about 6 weeks in the year that children can play out anyway.

Defiantely send the email to the factors but possibly put in the email that you will be willing to impose a curfew on your children so you can assure the residents who are unhappy that your children will not be out after (say) 8pm, and that the season for them playing out is relatively would show that you are trying to meet the complainers halfway and that if they carry on humpfing that they are the ones being unreasonable about it.

MovingOutOfBlighty Thu 20-Aug-09 14:08:35

Feel for both sides on this one. Now that I have DCs I seem to be immune to noise and so am of the 'allow the darlings to play whereever they may please' camp.

But...When I was PG with my DD1 there was a communal bit of grass where the kids played on all day in amongst the flats and houses. It was a nightmare with the noise. One old couple finally put their house up for sale. There were balls banging against windows, screaching all day long and it became dreadful to live there. I sent a letter out asking if the kids could vary where they played so that sometimes there was some peace. But I tried to do it in a nice way.

So - to end, I feel for both parties!

TheInvisibleManDidIt Thu 20-Aug-09 14:10:25

The factor is the land management company we all pay a small amount each month to to maintain all the communal grass and shrub areas. All houses bar 2 are privately owned, the other 2 are private rents.

Bathsheba Thu 20-Aug-09 14:10:40

We have factors - all the residetns pay them to maintain the communal areas (weeding, grass cutting, maintaining the bark chippings in the play area)..

They aren't in charge of anyone - they have no authority over the residents, so they aren;t in charge like a council dept or a HA but they are there to manage the communal areas and therefore take residents views into account with regard to the communal areas..

Thunderduck Thu 20-Aug-09 14:14:06

I would try to arrange a meeting of some sorts and try to speak to them, address their concerns, they may have some legitimate issues, and try to reach a compromise.

Children shouldn't be running across peoples' front gardens but they do sound as though as they are expecting no disturbance at all which is of course is unreasonable.

TheInvisibleManDidIt Thu 20-Aug-09 14:14:12

We stay in lanarkshire bathsheba, so yeah because of the weather they can't play out alot. (stayed in aberdeen for almost 12 years smile)

Thats a good idea about the curfew. My 2 are always in by 7.30-8 on school nights and 9 at weekends, but some of the others out later than that.

somewhathorrified Thu 20-Aug-09 14:14:28

Kids have no concept of property lines and ownership unless they are taught. You may not have a problem with kids running across your property, but it is not your place to criticise those that do. As for the ball the end of the day balls do hit cars and houses and it is exceptionally annoying to have them hitting the house. Why should anyone have to put up with yours and others kids and the noise they make, you chose to have kids, they didn't!

aGalChangedHerName Thu 20-Aug-09 14:19:57

Had the smae problem 4-5 years ago. Twatty neighbours (their dc used to play outside) with now grown up dc/teens had a no-ball game sign erected opposite my house. The dc used it as one side of a goal post.

AFAIK the the police nor anyone else can enforce these signs. Piece of piss IMO.

GypsyMoth Thu 20-Aug-09 14:20:48

i have been out several times this holiday to ask the kids to keep the noise down a bit please,cos the baby is asleep!! you,know,kids aren't monsters,you can actually speak to them,explain they are disturbing you a bit,they can and do listen. they can modify their play accordingly.

i have arranged a litter pick too,for litter on our communal area,they all happily joined in as i suspect a little element of guilt was at play. i'd seen them all drop stuff.

i'm not scared to approach other peoples kids. they all know me as i have 5 dc here too.

as for balls....i just open the door and have a look around. usually i get a meek little 'sorry' from someone. teenagers too. they are approachable!

TheInvisibleManDidIt Thu 20-Aug-09 14:27:45

Somewhathorrified, I agree about children running across gardens. My 2 have been taught this is not acceptable and don't do it. Some of the children do though. I was just highlighting that there are some things the children do that they shouldn't, they're not being 'bad' or vandals.

I've no problem with neighbours asking my boys to be a bit quieter or something, it's the threats of hte police and shouting at them I object to, and using the factor to try and bully all the parents into stopping them playing outside.

Firawla Thu 20-Aug-09 20:01:15

you should send the letter and put your side across or they might take silence as agreement
it is very rude of those people to take it upon themselves to get no ball games signs!

mamas12 Thu 20-Aug-09 20:03:59

Can you go to the local community police and get them involved in a play scheme for the area and that would really piss them off.
Play that is sanctioned by the police!
Go and get some advice anyway, can't do any harm.
Police do 'blue light discos' round here for under 16's and it's a great success.

simplesusan Thu 20-Aug-09 20:59:12

YANBU of course kids will play out and on communal grass.
I can see both sides. Personally I don't think any kids should be out after 9pm full stop. Neither should anyone be walking across anyone else's property.
Send the letter and if they do put up the no ball game signs then why not try some of your own. Examples could include No parking signs on the road.

TheInvisibleManDidIt Thu 20-Aug-09 23:07:58

Been at work. I emailed the letter to the factor so will see what happens.

Quattrocento Thu 20-Aug-09 23:16:39

I wouldn't like other people's children running over our own garden areas. For people to get this worked up suggests that the children were being a bit of a nuisance. So I'd let it go tbh.

MarmadukeScarlet Thu 20-Aug-09 23:35:29

From experience - Speak to as many parents as you can and ask all the children to only play footy with sponge balls - they make less noise and do less damage to cars etc.
Also perhap mention about being more considerate with noise etc as during summer folk have windows open etc

Then when the wiches complain again you can at least say you have made some positive steps.

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