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Children making noise in the countryside

(59 Posts)
Frontier Sun 17-Aug-14 17:14:36

We're just back from a weekend in a beautiful park of the country. Four of us plus a friend and her young family. Her Dc are younger than mine, 6 & 8 and I really have no idea if I can't remember how it was to have young DC or if she is mad!! It wasn't that long ago, DS2 is only 11.

Her eldest is LOUD. Doesn't appear to have ever learned about indoor/outdoor voices or to have any sort of volume control whatsoever. My DS1 at the same age was (I thought) very loud too but I really don't remember this and I did make some attempt to have him moderate it when lots of noise was inappropriate.

Anyway there were two "moments" during the weekend. One was when I reminded him of The Countryside Code one part of which is to "make no unnecessary noise". This was when we were at a particularly busy but peaceful beauty spot and he was shouting his part in a conversation with my DS1 who was right next to him. I just reminded him that people liked to come to this place for the peace and quiet and that he should quieten down. My friend thought I was very unreasonable - children are supposed to make noise outdoors. I do get that but isn't there still a time and a place and her son in 8, not tiny?

Next one I'm sure I'm not wrong about grin We were discussing plans for dinner and one restaurant was mentioned. Our family had been there a few weeks previously and were the only customers who weren't an older couple. My DC are old enough to have just abut managed to behave appropriately but the restaurant was silent and even normal talking seemed too loud. I told friend this and suggested it might not be the best place for our large party. Oh, she said, " sometimes older people like to hear children's noise in restaurants". Maybe they sometimes do but it is really Ok to inflict it one them without checking first?! The restaurant we did choose was much more lively and we were fine but we were still by far the loudest there, again with no attempt to regulate the noise.

I thought DH was going to explode the 3rd time in half an hour he reminded the boy we were staying in a flat with neighbours on all sides...

My children were/are by no means silent or perfect but I found it really uncomfortable to be part of a party where no attempt at consideration was made.

So, is it me, or her?

bakingaddict Tue 19-Aug-14 18:03:45

I dont see how a busy beauty spot can also be peaceful seems a contradiction to me. If I truly wanted a peaceful spot to meditate and contemplate the beauty of nature then I would be looking for something wild and secluded. The sound of children enjoying their surrondings is actually quite nice imo. You only get to be a child for a short time these days let them enjoy giving free reign to express themselves

tobysmum77 Tue 19-Aug-14 17:33:52

We're on holiday and dd has been banging out the frozen theme tune throughout the countryside grin . I have been telling her to put a sock in it when there are other people around though.

OP go on holiday by yourselves next year. yabu to expect others to think the same way as you.

NinjaLeprechaun Tue 19-Aug-14 01:09:52

Greydog the tone and pitch of a child in distress is very different from that of a child having fun. I can't explain exactly how you tell the difference, but you certainly can.
Anyway, it's when they go very quiet that you should be the most worried.

Siennasun Mon 18-Aug-14 21:27:22

I agree DeWee but I also think it's unreasonable for anyone to expect other people to be quiet in the countryside. The countryside is pretty big. If you want peace and quiet, find somewhere isolated. If you are in a popular/busy spot you have to accept that other people will be there too and they will probably be talking/enjoying themselves.
Most small children really aren't capable of being quiet all the time, especially when they are excited. Children are not being inconsiderate or unkind by being noisy. It's very possible for people to be noisy and kind and considerate all at the same time.
I actually like the sound of children having fun. I'd rather hear that than people constantly nagging and shushing their children.

DeWee Mon 18-Aug-14 19:24:46

None of us can really tell because it could be that the kid was unreasonably loud-or it could be you are unreasonably intolerant of normal noise.

My df was the latter. We used to stay in half a farmhouse on holiday-the farmer and family (3 boys older than us) were in the other half, and I'm sure they would have been totally embarrassed if they'd known the rules df had for us:
No talking above a whisper upstairs after 8pm or before 9am. Walking on the side of the stairs (they creaked badly). No TV after 9pm (only in lounge at other side of house from the divide). No talking in the garden (they had their own garden the other side of the house)... were just a few of the rules. Constant reminders of "we must be quiet because they might be disturbed"
Funny thing was he was totally tolerant of their noise, so he didn't expect the same from them, and they weren't particularly noisy, just definitely naturally noisier than us, but if we pointed out we could hear their TV at 9:30 he'd say that we were guests and had to keep quiet....

Now I would just say that if you were taking children of 6 and 8 to a peaceful beauty spot you thought they couldn't play and run around because of disturbing others-then you went to the wrong place. As grown ups we may think walking to a beautiful place and sitting and watching the view in silence is an idea of fun, but I don't think it's reasonable to expect 6 and 8yo to think so.
What you said sounded pompous at best. If he was talking loudly, then a quick, "you don't need to talk so loudly, he's right next to you" would have sounded much better.

My ds 7yo has glue ear, and can't hear always, I can tell how bad it is by the volume he speaks. I do ask him to be quiet, in fact we have a hand sign that means it, and he knows if I use it then he needs to quieten down. However he does forget, particularly if excited, and I have to remind him. But it does mean that I wouldn't take him to a place where he would wish to speak and I felt he would be inappropriately loud.

Greydog Mon 18-Aug-14 19:10:07

I live near a primary school, and when I take dog out we walk up a lane that runs alongside one of the play areas. Now, I know kids are excited to be out, and let off steam, but hells teeth the noise, the screaming, and I do mean screaming. What does make me wonder though, is this. If a child had an accident, and needed help, would anyone notice before playtime was over? I really don't think they would/could. Any cries for help would be ignored

JassyRadlett Mon 18-Aug-14 19:08:36

Having reread, yes perhaps I could have worded my orignal post better, and I apologise - but still, maybe try not assuming the worst of people?

JassyRadlett Mon 18-Aug-14 19:02:04

You misunderstand me - I'm not sure whether intentionally or not. Obviously if someone doesn't have the ability to self-regulate (or to learn to do so) then they can't.

If they can learn consideration for and kindness towards others, even if they are strangers, then yes, they should be taught. It will probably make their lives, and the lives of those they come into contact with, much nicer.

I am finding MN a very depressing and individualistic place at the moment, a lot of 'me and mine are fine, so fuck other people' attitudes. It's not an attitude I like myself and it certainly isn't the way I want any child of mine to grow up - and I don't apologise for feeling that way.

Siennasun Mon 18-Aug-14 18:34:14

That's fine Jassy, actually I think it's lovely.
Your earlier post made me a bit sad because I work with a lovely kid who is very sweet and generally very well behaved but very very loud. He'll probably never be self aware enough to regulate his volume and by your definition that means he'll never be a decent member of the community sad.

JassyRadlett Mon 18-Aug-14 16:53:29

Worth noting that the culture I'm from is notably louder than in Britain - to the point where British people often complain about how noisy my compatriots are. So trust me, I get the cultural issues; I just think there are different ways to approach it and one is that me (and my family) can be kind to others by not being as loud as we can be.

JassyRadlett Mon 18-Aug-14 16:50:28

Yep, me too Sienna, you and I don't differ a whit in our aims, we just fundamentally disagree on how to do it.

Siennasun Mon 18-Aug-14 16:15:28

What is considered loud varies by culture, situation, family and individual.
I don't really agree that teaching your children to use "moderate tones" and that people who don't talk/think like you are not "decent" people is genuinely teaching them to be considerate of others.
I hope to teach my kids to be kind, tolerant and open minded but yes, you teach your kids what you want confused

MultipleMama Mon 18-Aug-14 15:28:11

You teach your kids what you want smile

JassyRadlett Mon 18-Aug-14 15:00:50

Eh, you do what you want with your kids, I'll train mine to be an adult who's able to deal with different situations appropriately and is considerate to people around him. I don't think my self-confidence was particularly dented by being aware that different volumes were appropriate for different situations, and if I was getting too loud getting a gentle 'Oi! You're not down the back paddock now' from one of my parents.

Your children may be more fragile, you know them best.

ThatBloodyWoman Mon 18-Aug-14 14:49:03

I think the countryside should be enjoyed by children, and unless there is a specific reason, such as nesting birds, its unreasonable to expect them to be quiet.

Once we get past the last house when we're walking, quiet rules cease to apply.Given the freedom, I find there's only bursts of noise rather than sustained high decibel bedlam.Its when children get little opportunity to make a noise that it all bursts out.It has to go somewhere....

MultipleMama Mon 18-Aug-14 14:43:27

He's not an adult being rude, he's an 8 year old boy! Who's probably unaware of his volume and telling him constantly to be quiet is going to do nothing but may damage his self confidence. If I was told often to be quiet, I'd stop talking for fear of reproach.

To me; it's adults who need to be more tolerate and considerate... towards a CHILD. You are making this into a much bigger deal than it needs to be.

JassyRadlett Mon 18-Aug-14 12:20:13

I think people being aware and able to moderate their voices appropriate to the situation - not quiet, but not screaming either - is actually a pretty fundamental part of being a decent member of society, and people who don't teach their kids how to do it are really short-changing their kids and taking the easy way out as parents.

There is a huge difference between 'quiet' and 'inappropriately loud' in which most people tend to operate quite happily. Coming from the middle of nowhere I know quite a few people who were naturally loud and had never been taught to moderate their tones as there wasn't much reason to (this wasn't in Britain - proper middle of nowhere). Those people found it really difficult when they were in different circumstances and their 'normal' voices were perceived as loud and intrusive by others. And yep, I was grateful that my mother had foreseen the issue and taught us how to use more moderate tones where it was appropriate because that's what decent members of a community do.

I feel quite sorry for those who can't find a happy middle ground between whispers and shouting. It must be a difficult life.

Siennasun Mon 18-Aug-14 11:15:07

There's a balance between tolerance and consideration, surely?
According to some on this thread children need to be quiet in the countryside, in restaurants, in their homes and gardens. I think that attitude is both intolerant and inconsiderate and you must be very miserable people with too much time on your hands

There are places that children (and everyone else) should be taught to keep quiet:- libraries, religious places, anywhere where people are likely to be working or sleeping. That is considerate. My child isn't noisy at all but I can't imagine getting offended by happy excited noise from other people's children.

elephanteraser Mon 18-Aug-14 10:28:30

poor kid

JassyRadlett Mon 18-Aug-14 10:24:32

There's a balance between tolerance and consideration, surely?

UriGeller Mon 18-Aug-14 10:03:41

The countryside code states "don't make unnecessary noise?" Why not?

This planet is becoming less and less tolerant. Its tolerance we should be teaching to our kids not "keep quiet".

elastamum Mon 18-Aug-14 09:55:29

FWIW the countryside is not necessarily a quiet place.

Our neighbours take feed deliveries at about 5am on huge articulated lorries. Harvesting often goes on all night and in springtime the noise a field full of ewes and lambs make can be deafening! Lots of screeching owls and foxes and the dogs round here all randomly bark at stuff in the night.

I doubt your lovely DC could be heard at all above that lot grin

JassyRadlett Mon 18-Aug-14 09:50:16

I think the reason people go there - OP described it as a 'peaceful beauty spot' is relevant.

For me, you expect noise in a playground, etc. A peaceful beauty spot that is still quite busy - yep, I'd be asking my kid to moderate their tones if they were exceptionally loud, out of consideration for others.

NinjaLeprechaun Mon 18-Aug-14 09:36:21

Ninja, the OP made it clear there were other people around.
Yes, but the issue was apparently not the people it was the fact that they were in the country. I have no idea if the OP cares this much about noise when in town, but the implication seems to be that noise is expected there and so being quiet isn't as important.

I live near a busy touristy beauty spot type park, and when it's full of people it can be ridiculously noisy. Just like anyplace when it's full of people, because people are noisy beasties. Even the children people.

QOD Mon 18-Aug-14 09:08:30

But long distance I'd be fine if you were mine, it's the lack of consideration.

My neighbours out the back brought it up to dh, we've been here since dd was 5, we've had up to 10 children here in a day in the holidays, child care swap thing ;) and they said to dh that they loved hearing our dd grow up and no one minds family noises, it's the utter selfish lack of awareness.

Clap your hands together ONE TWO THREE COME ON <annoying child> WEE COME ON WOOOO CLAP CLAP CLAP

anyway, Nuff said

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