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?