SHESPEAKS Your Power to Influence

When Neighbors Demand Quiet From Your Kids

SS Member Image By drodriguez 09.15.11
When Neighbors Demand Quiet From Your Kids
Share Tweet

If you live in an apartment building or in close proximity to neighbors, keeping the kids from disturbing the peace can be quite a challenge. You can teach them all about “their inside voice”, but this doesn’t mean a baby won’t cry at 2 am or a toddler won’t throw a toy on the hardwood floor.

But when you go outside, all bets are off and your kids can run and be loud to their heart’s content, right? Maybe not.

Parenting magazine reports about a couple living in Britain who recently received notice that they may have to pay a fine (over $8,000) to the city after a neighbor complained that their 4 year old son, Alfie, plays too loudly in his garden.

Both parents were shocked to hear about the complaint and possible fine saying that all children make noise while playing outside. Alfie’s mom responds, “What am I supposed to do, gag him and put him in his bedroom?”

If more people complain about Alfie’s noise levels while playing in his yard, the couple will potentially have to pay more in fines and maybe even outfit their son with a digital recording device.

This may sound outrageous to those who feel neighbors should make some concessions that allow children to make noise in their own yards during reasonable hours.

There are others, including some members of a new movement (dubbed “Childfree”) who have chosen not to have kids of their own, that may feel otherwise.

One “childfree” blogger who calls herself Britgirl, shares her opinion about living in close proximity to kids and the responsibility of parents to keep their children quiet. She writes, “I just don’t understand people who seem to think everything should be relegated to the whim of kids’ noise. Having kids is not the benchmark for ‘tolerance’ and said ‘tolerance’ is often a thinly-veiled order to ‘suck it up, buttercup – not our fault you’re childfree.’”

What do you think of the report about the parents who may be fined for their son playing too loudly in his garden?

Do you think neighbors should tolerate some degree of noise when living near kids and babies or is it the parents’ job to maintain quiet from their kids at all times even outdoors?


Make a Comment

Comment  *
  • krislovejmt By krislovejmt

    I suppose my thought on this is that kids are kids. That being said, I do believe in volume control indoors. Children should try to be quiet inside, and parents should try to enforce that. Especially in a multiple family dwelling. Those that are complaining about kids playing too loudly outside need to ask themselves if they were seen and not heard as children. All kids should be allowed to BE kids, otherwise we're just raising tiny repressed adults and "fun" becomes "sit down and shut up". I know for a fact that I was loud when I played outdoors as a kid. If we were being too loud, a neighbor would always (kindly) let us know we were being loud and ask that we quiet down or play away from their window.

  • DianeHoffmaster By DianeHoffmaster

    As long as it is during daylight hours and your child is screaming at the top of their lungs just to be annoying I say let kids be kids!

  • RoMomma4 By RoMomma4

    Seriously? $8000? Are they crazy? How is that going to resolve this situation? Children have the right to play outside and run around and be loud to a certain extent. I would rather listen to a 4 yr old than a rude 16 yr old blasting music, smoking and cursing with their friends. If these people don't want to hear other people why don't they move out to he country and listen to cows?

  • shugafox By shugafox

    I don't agree with the $8,000 fine, but parents need to teach there children how to play without screaming and running down the hallway disturbing there neighbors. It makes no difference what time it is or if their making noise indoors or outdoors. I put up with a lot, but when you take an office chair, or heelys and roll back and forth down the hallway and scream at the top of you lungs, I'm going outside and asking you to stop making all that noise.

  • msfriendly By msfriendly

    I think when you live together in a neighborhood there has to be alot of give and take and compromise. I don't agree with this hefty fine.

  • carenxx By carenxx

    Other things make noise too. Should you give up mowing your lawn because your lawnmower is too loud for your neighbor? If this neighbor really can't hack the noise that children make, then he or she should look into moving into a seniors only community.

  • nicole3874 By nicole3874

    Outside is a time when kids should be able to let out all of their energy! My kids know the difference between inside voices and outside voices. They can be as loud as they want outside during daylight hours. But I would never allow them to be noisy and obnoxious in a store or restaraunt or any other indoor venue. That is just inconsiderate.

  • thekrause6 By thekrause6

    I once had a neighbor call and complain that my children were playing to loudly and that she couldn't nap. I told her that they were kids playing outside and I wouldn't tell them to play quietly. They were playing basketball in the middle of the day and she took offense to it. I might add her son was one of the kids out there playing. I agree that a child screaming outside for long periods is unacceptable, but if they are just playing people need to deal. Kids make noise. If you don't like the noise, move somewhere where there are not a lot of kids. This neighbor finally did move, out to the country, where she only had her sons noise to deal with.

  • Jessimae By Jessimae

    Children need to play!!! The kids today are obsese because they are spending too much time inside playing video games. As long as the children are playing during the times of maybe 10:00am to maybe 6:00pm, I don't see the problem. I know some people work nights, but then you need to be responsible for your rest. I worked nights and I would have black out curtains and put in ear plugs to block the day noise out. Let our children enjoy their childhood, it doesn't last long!!!

  • Greenmom01 By Greenmom01

    I think we all need to be adults and figure out how to talk to each with respect.

More stories like this