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to let my children play with a tennis ball in the road

(157 Posts)
HopeClearwater Sat 03-Aug-13 11:15:27

Don't know what to do. We live in a small cul-de-sac of 3-bed semis. My dc are allowed to play with bat and ball outside at the widest part of the cul-de-sac. I can see them from my house. I don't let them play football there. An elderly neighbour is taking great exception to it, hates the ball rolling into his driveway (everything is open, tiny front gardens mainly converted to hard standing). He's just shouted at my younger child when the ball rolled into another neighbour's driveway.
He stands in his front room watching them when they play out and waiting for the ball to go somewhere he thinks it shouldn't.
I have a tiny back garden and my other neighbour complains when any balls land in his garden, so I feel that's out now as well.
I'm trying to be sympathetic to the old guy but I can't help thinking that he'd have spent his childhood in the streets of London and not stuck inside. He's shouted at me too, told me they shouldn't be playing out and it infringes his rights. I was very polite back but didn't actually agree or disagree with anything he said.

Flossie82 Sat 03-Aug-13 11:22:40

YABU - balls and roads don't mix.
Why can't you take them to the park and find something suitable to play in the garden when at home?

BoysAreLikeDogs Sat 03-Aug-13 11:23:08

well he does have a point, irritating to him no doubt

can't you take the children to the park to play ball games? that would be a good compromise, both for old fellow and your ndn

they can still play out, but not with the balls

AnneNonimous Sat 03-Aug-13 11:23:18


If there's no room in your garden for ball games take them to the park to play them. Your neighbours have a right to not have balls flying into there property all the time.

Whothefuckfarted Sat 03-Aug-13 11:27:51

Oh for gods sake!

Is the ball causing any damage at all? No? YANBU!
Are your kids trampling flowers when retrieving it? No? YANBU!
Are they playing on a public communal piece of ground? Yes? YANBU!
Are your children shouting obscenities and being rude? No? YANBU

They are kids playing out, nothing wrong with that!

Old man needs to get over it and find something else to do rather than gripe at some kids getting a bit of fresh air! FFS!

HollyBerryBush Sat 03-Aug-13 11:27:52

Sponge or foam ball but not hard balls like a football or tennis ball, far too easy for them to damage things.

I'll run against the grain, we all managed to play in the street without pissing off he neighbours, people are just so intolerant these days.

I would be tempted with a bucket of sarcasm to say something like "no air raid shelters and bomb sites for them to play in like you did"

Whothefuckfarted Sat 03-Aug-13 11:29:58

Holly Agreed, people are just intolerant these days.

Eilidhbelle Sat 03-Aug-13 11:30:31

I don't think it's worth falling out with your neighbours over. Are there cars parked in the street? Only asking because it wouldn't bother me if a ball came into my garden but if it bounced off my car I'd be raging.

Sparklingbrook Sat 03-Aug-13 11:30:46

What Who said. He needs to stop watching for it and go and do something else. He shouldn't stand in his window gawping at the children playing.

What do you think is his main objection? Would a badminton set be better?

saintmerryweather Sat 03-Aug-13 11:34:26

id only think he had a point if cars or windows are at risk. id be pissed off if they were chucking tennis balls around near my car

tiggytape Sat 03-Aug-13 11:35:06

A bat and ball in the road is not very reasonable and if your immediate neighbour objects enough for you to avoid using your garden why is playing outside elderly man's driveway any better?

Perhaps your neighbour is a bit precious and OTT to stand guard and yell at them but he is probably worried it will cause damage to his garden or car - which is fair enough - a tennis ball being hit by a bat could do damage much more than even a soft football being kicked around.

Whothefuckfarted Sat 03-Aug-13 11:36:41

It's a bloody sad state of affairs when kids can't play outside their house in the street in the holidays because of some miserable old tyrant.

WilsonFrickett Sat 03-Aug-13 11:39:45

Get them a soft ball. Then they can't cause any damage at all. And ignore the neighbour, there's always one (it used to be my Nana blush)

Flossie82 Sat 03-Aug-13 11:40:31

But streets aren't there for laying on - they are for walking along to get to a suitable play area

Vivacia Sat 03-Aug-13 11:40:36

If he's stood in the window watching, the potential damage from ball games must be playing on his mind. If your children's play must include ball games, take them to the park. They can play with skipping ropes or chalk or whatever in the garden.

tiggytape Sat 03-Aug-13 11:40:37

Its a sad state of affairs when parents don't realise that there has to be some compromise between families who want their kids out having fun and households who want some peace and no possibility of tennis balls bouncing off their cars and windows.

If the kids had a foam ball or badminiton set, most neighbours would have no issue with it at all (although you always get the odd moaner) but it would make most people twitchy to have kids playing bat and ball right outside their house with a tennis ball.

Sparklingbrook Sat 03-Aug-13 11:42:40

Beach ball?

Every road has a miserable old git. Ours stand in his bay window with his hands on his hips banging the window when ours play opposite his house. They are not encroaching on his drive/garden or making a noise. But he can see them. He disappears when an adult goes down there.

Vivacia Sat 03-Aug-13 11:42:57

"He needs to stop watching for it and go and do something else. He shouldn't stand in his window gawping at the children playing."

That's not fair. He's worried. Perhaps for him the street isn't for ball games but for his car to be parked safely or his garden to be undamaged or to feel safe in his home? I know for children the street might be for being noisy and throwing balls, but you need to compromise.

Sparklingbrook Sat 03-Aug-13 11:43:51

But what is he worried about?

Eilidhbelle Sat 03-Aug-13 11:44:50

But they can still play outside - they could play with a skipping rope or chalk that they clean up afterwards. I don't think it's that unreasonable to not want balls coming into your garden - particularly if he's elderly, it might be a massive strain on him to get his garden in order.

But you do have my sympathies OP, it must be annoying if there are no parks or grass around you that they can play in safely.

mysteryfairy Sat 03-Aug-13 11:44:56

I would send them out with scooters, stilts, Diablo, pogo sticks etc so they can still have fun but be guaranteed to remain on the public highway. That way whilst the grumpy neighbour probably still won't be happy he'll have no actual grounds for complaint as they won't trespass on his land at all.

Eilidhbelle Sat 03-Aug-13 11:46:48

Aw, x-post with vivica - and I was so proud of my chalk/skipping rope solution too!

Whothefuckfarted Sat 03-Aug-13 11:46:56


Good answer. I would put money on the guy still standing at his window watching and waiting for something to moan at them about.

mymatemax Sat 03-Aug-13 11:48:20

YANBU - Let the kids play, remain polite & calm & make sure your children are too, he will forever be the grumpy old man.
Try to encourage something that cannot go on his driveway, I bet he still finds something to moan about smile

pudcat Sat 03-Aug-13 11:54:52

If the widest part is outside your house then YANBU, but if you are sending them to play outside someone else's house then YABU.

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