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Am I unreasonable in being irritated by children playing ball games very near to my home.

(54 Posts)
jo1book Sat 07-Feb-15 14:46:05

We live in a barn conversion of six homes,where 3 homes have pensioners, 1 out at work couple and two with families. During the Summer we find the noise of the children playing games very annoying. It is not all the time and I am well aware that my own grandchildren come and play. It is the thump of balls up your walls and flying over the wall that is unnerving. We are both big readers and like a quiet home. Perhaps we should move into a flat. Am I just getting grouchy or what?

seasider Sat 07-Feb-15 22:56:26

My ex-partner was an excellent footballer. He said when he was young his mum and dad were always busy so he spent hours kicking a ball against a wall and practising his ball skills. Perhaps the fact we no longer let children play football in the streets is why the national team are so poor!

jo1book Sat 07-Feb-15 23:17:03

Thanks for all the advice. The father of the troublesome family has a new girlfriend who also has a child. The jungle drums tell me he is moving on and selling to buy a bigger house for increased family. Keeping my fingers crossed as his place is pretty small and is only good for a single or a couple. But I do think long term we should look to move on the basis that if you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen. My son tells me our concerns are because of old age and wouldn't worry him. You really can't stand as much stuff as you did. We will give it a year.
On a lighter note, we are the community dog walkers, key holders and prime takers-in of parcels. We always have milk,eggs, butter and toilet rolls when neighbours have need ,as you need a car to shop.

Mishap Sat 07-Feb-15 23:24:19

Good luck! I hope things settle down for you or you manage to find somewhere that suits you.

A friend of mine has just moved from her home as she and her OH found the noise from children irritating.

Eloethan Sun 08-Feb-15 00:37:57

I don't mind moderate noise from children, but I do find high pitched screaming annoying. My next door neighbour's little daughter seemed unable to play without fits of hysterical screaming and it used to ruin many a sunny weekend in the garden. I never complained because my neighbours are very nice, but I was glad when she grew older and the noise stopped.

I also think a ball banging constantly against a wall would be very irritating.

In the holidays, the children on the other side of us - who are still quite young - have friends in and they can be quite noisy. But it's not every day and, again, they're very nice neighbours who I would not want to upset.

I do think that there is a happy medium. Those without children should be prepared to put up with some noise and balls coming over the hedge etc., and those with children should know when it's time to step in and tell their children to quieten down.

Greyduster Sun 08-Feb-15 08:40:01

I have never suffered this problem, but I have some sympathy for you. I remember when I was a child there was a house at the end of our terrace which had a wall just begging to have a football kicked against it! And of course, we did. When it became an issue, we used to wait until we knew the occupants (an elderly couple) were out. It all came to an end when we started playing cricket with a 'proper' ball and bits of their rendering started falling off! Parents were called in and damage had to be paid for! We, of course, thought they were all terrible spoilsports, but when you get older, you see things from the adult point of view!

Anya Sun 08-Feb-15 09:18:54

Yes, give it some time Jo things may well improve. Sounds like you have an important role in your little community with your dog walking, key and parcel holding services.

I agree children need to learn consideration so it might be worth a quiet and friendly word with the father next time you do him a favour?

Gracesgran Sun 08-Feb-15 10:32:11

I have an older neighbour who is very rude and aggressive - so much so that I thought she may have dementia until I was told she had always been like that. Neighbours can be easy and not so easy to live with and, in a mixed community you will get ... a mixture.

Have you thought jo1book of moving to a retirement community?

jo1book Sun 08-Feb-15 11:36:50

Some days, quite cheerfully, Gracesgran! And lets face it, when I give up driving I will have to as you do not want to be buried in the countryside in old age. Or do you? Now that's a point. My daughter has a very urban lifestyle but quiet neighbours. I think it's the luck of the draw unless you live in a house with grounds!
But what do people think of "placement" in old age. A so-called quiet life in the countryside or urban stimulation? I do wonder if you had easy access to cafes, shops et al, you wouldn't bother with petty irritations. Or would the irritations change?

NfkDumpling Sun 08-Feb-15 11:42:21

Happy children playing is one thing, but that constant thump, thump of a ball hitting a wall is like water torture - and it can go on for hours! It's even worse when it's your wall and the whole house reverberates.

I have absolute sympathy. Our neighbour has a swimming pool and all the local children visit their children in summer. Water and children inevitably means lots of screaming. We don't mind as it's fairly short lived and is nothing compared with a banging football.

I don't think you would be at all unreasonable in asking them to refrain from ball games. There must be a park where they could go. Also confiscate the footballs. That's what happened when I was a child and what happened when our children were young. Their parents are being lazy and selfish letting them do it and not consider others feelings. It's part of growing up learning to appreciate grouchy neighbours!

jo1book Sun 08-Feb-15 11:54:32

The previous owners of this barn used to cut the balls up and chuck them back. But then he was a virile young man up for a fight!

jo1book Sun 08-Feb-15 11:57:34

My God, Nfk, I can't think of anything worse than that. Screaming kids in water is a total nightmare. Is your garden large, so at least the pool isn't in your face?

Gracesgran Sun 08-Feb-15 12:00:43

I really don't think it would help to start dictating what they can an can't do NfkDumpling unless, as you say, they are playing ball against the wall of your house.

Town or country is an interesting question jo1book. I live in a village in a courtyard development. I have an excellent bus service and (other than the lady next door smile) good neighbours. We still have a church, a school, a couple of pubs and a shop all well within my current walking distance. The next village to us has had it's bus service cut which makes a huge difference to the older people there. There are other villages round here with no shop, school, etc., and very infrequent buses.

I didn't even notice the bus stop when I moved in as I was working but have realised how important it will become once I can no longer drive. What I am saying is all villages are different and some urban living may be better.

Then of course you need to take into account whether you are looking for single floor living.confused

Juliette Sun 08-Feb-15 12:08:24

I think I'd probably swap your children for our students! That's a whole new ball game (so to speak) fortunately the house has been let to a family so after nine years of the entitled brats we might have some peace. grin

jo1book Sun 08-Feb-15 12:08:54

You are right, Gracesgran. A good little village is the best option. A pretty house (which I really like) but bus services etc. Sorry about old bat next door but take it she doesn't play football up your wall!

Riverwalk Sun 08-Feb-15 12:21:42

Noise from kids playing is one thing, however I'd find it annoying to have a ball being kicked against the wall.

jo1 as the previous owner cut up the balls shock I think it would be very reasonable of you to speak to the parents about the annoyance.

Like your daughter, I have an urban lifestyle but with quiet neighbours - it's the luck of the draw!

Gracesgran Sun 08-Feb-15 12:22:01

smileNo, thankfully she has limited herself to pulling up my bushes and coming into my garden (enclosed to six foot plus all round and gated) to berate me for getting water on her garden - the gravel in her boarders - when I was watering my plants, etc. I got to the point where I just said good morning, etc., but I'm afraid I just ignore her now.

jo1book Sun 08-Feb-15 12:40:16

Perhaps she can only communicate aggressively. I hope you haven't got any pets she could harm?
My grandfather rowed with every neighbour he had, on some kind of principle. He was suspicious of anyone not family. My gran had a miserable marriage, not being allowed friends.
After all these postings, I am feeling better, all all lives have petty irritations.

Gracesgran Sun 08-Feb-15 12:57:57

Indeed they do jo but, as Shakespeare said, comparisons are odious. I imagine all your fight or flight antennae are on constant alert while mine just get a shock now and again smile.

NfkDumpling Sun 08-Feb-15 17:26:23

No Jo our garden isn't that big, but they're lovely people and the children are quiet as a rule so a bit of exuberance when the weather is hot is fine. Where we used to live though we had boys next door and they could play football all day with barely a break for lunch. In the summer cricket took over. Thunk! Thunk! Drove us to distraction! Luckily it didn't last - a couple of years and they grew out of it.

Sugarpufffairy Sun 08-Feb-15 19:59:22

The age of the neighbours means very little. I used to live in a top floor flat. My neighbour below was a single parent of 6 children, 5 boys and 1 girl. There are 3 fathers to her children. Five of the children are teenagers and one is a little boy under five. If I was carrying bags or doing DIY the older children were sent to do any carrying for me. There was noise during the day but it stops at 8 p.m. for the youngest child. I am a bit stuck to climb all those stairs so I still own the flat but live in my parents' semi detached now. There was never any noise here before. I would often stay over especially once I was down to 1 parent who was in poor health. My family have had this house for 50+ years. None of the neighbours here are at all pleasant, I thought it was just me they did not talk to but a young man has just moved out after a year living across the road. His parents commented that no one ever speaks here. (They did not see me behind the hedge).
The neighbours who live in the other half of this house have suddenly got very noisey. They start work early and make sure I am up too. They nosey at every car especially those whose owners went into my house. They were caught by police staring into the unmarked police car. It is not really the kids that cause the bother in this street it is a pair of nosey noisey idiots aged 55 to 60. I would rather be with the neighbour at the flat - she has all the kids but they all have good hearts. She can get all those kids up and out to work, school and nursery with less noise than the 55 - 60 year olds next to me here.
I wondered if it was me but I have spoken to old neighbours from various houses over the last 40 years and none of them said I was a bad neighbour. I am thinking of moving but now I am scared to have neighbours so looking at detached bungalows. It is a shame when people put you off a place. It is the ifnorance of modern society with a me me me attitude.

Mishap Sun 08-Feb-15 21:54:23

Neighbour problems are dreadful because doing something about it is likely only to make it worse - and the impotence inherent in that situation is exasperating.

My parents were in that situation and it made my mother ill. Their neighbour rejoiced in the name of John Thomas, so I expect you can guess what we all called him!

I do not find the sound of children playing irritating, but if, like my friend, their language was unremittingly foul, I think I might be less cheerful about it.

When we were first married we were in a council maisonette in a group that had been hired by the health service for hospital doctors and their families. The local families resented our presence as they felt that they should be reserved for local people - a reasonable view, but they took it out on us by smashing balls against the windows and doors and pissing up our door and on the outside doormat - lovely!

crun Mon 09-Feb-15 15:35:37

I was out mowing the front lawn once, and to a casual glance there would also have appeared to be two lads out in the street playing tennis.

What was actually happening was that as I walked up and down the lawn, these two kids were sidling up and down the street so that one of them could hit the ball at me on the pretext of hitting it across to his mate. After a few minutes of the ball whistling past my earholes and bouncing off the lounge window, it fell on the lawn at my feet.

I picket it up, put it my pocket and carried on mowing the lawn, and after a few minutes one of them sheepishly came over and asked for it back. As I took it out of my pocket he flinched, expecting to get it thrown at him, but I just dropped it on the pavement and told him that I'd stick it up his arse if he didn't stop using me as an Aunt Sally.

A few years later, when a new neighbour moved in next door, the first topic of conversation when he introduced himself was about whether I give kids their balls back. He kids never come round to ask for theirs when they come over the fence, so I'm obviously the miserable old git at No. 35 who won't give kids their balls back.

crun Mon 09-Feb-15 15:37:04

Erratum: "His kids..."

crun Mon 09-Feb-15 15:41:21

"Their neighbour rejoiced in the name of John Thomas, so I expect you can guess what we all called him! "

Mr. Thomas? smile

jo1book Mon 09-Feb-15 16:16:37

I think you have hit the nail on the head, sugarpufffairy, in that the family I dislike are pretty ignorant. They just see a moaning old biddy who stops their fun. I also, think, on a lot of reflection, you can be a little fearful of slightly feral neighbours.
You should move;best of luck