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How do you feel about the noise young children make when playing?

(37 Posts)
vampirequeen Thu 07-May-15 10:22:01

I love the sound of children playing. I live near a primary school and can hear them every playtime and on the way to/from school.

When I was a teacher some of the people in a nearby office complained that our children (KS1 and FS) were too noisy in the playground and disturbed them when they were having their cigarettes on the office fire escape.

When my DDs were 3 and 7 they used to play on the green outside of the house. One day the police arrived asking to see my children. I let them in and they said that they wanted to see my teenage children. I told them I didn't have teenagers just the little ones. The complainant had made it sound as if they were a gang of unruly teenagers screaming, shouting, swearing and damaging property.

As noise and it's acceptability is subjective I just wondered what others thought.

janerowena Thu 07-May-15 11:12:54

Maybe the timing is just off sometimes. When we moved here 8 years ago, DS was 12 and quickly made friends with a gang of boys aged 9 to 13, about 7 of them. We had a 14' trampoline, and he had his own den in an outbuilding, so we were very popular as they could all just arrive and troop down the garden. Our neighbour was not so happy, she liked to sunbathe in her garden all afternoon with a magazine. All of a sudden she would see smiley faces bobbing up and down above the fence, happily and nosily asking her what she was reading... I would hastily pack them off to the woods, to make a den down there (an excellent way to get rid of giant laurel branches, used to make a wigwam) but someone further along complained because they were playing Indians and the whooping got a bit too much for him and the landowner was dispatched to deal with the teenage yobs!

He thought it was wonderful, he used to play there himself and they were simply warned not to leave litter and he spent most of the afternoon down there with them. As they grew older, they filmed themselves being spies and enemy agents and soldiers, they all had BB guns and that caused more trouble... hmm But no wonder children stay indoors more now. I must have had a complaint a year, all from different neighbours who only wanted to hear birds.

Forget their noisy cockerels, constantly barking dogs, cats on heat at night, early morning cars left to splutter for half an hour, noisy Sunday afternoon BBQs, fireworks too late at night, the noise of children playing seemed to upset them more than anything.

whitewave Thu 07-May-15 11:22:10

What rubbish the DM reports.

TerriBull Thu 07-May-15 11:25:55

I live in a town house and we have communal gardens that lead down to the Thames. During the holidays and in the summer the children play out in the gardens, I really don't mind it all I think children need to run about and expend energy, after all they are forever being told these days how sedentary they are. Because I take my granddaughter, 5, into the gardens to play, she loves it here, I often chat to younger mums who have similar aged children. I know they get it in the neck from some of the older residents who complain about the noise. It's never that bad really, children just get excited, they are not rude or nasty. There was one occasion when one child was yelling at the top of his lungs for no particular reason which I found too loud. In the main these are little children having fun. I do think that if you live in a mixed development you should expect to hear the noise of children and similarly in the summer adults will have gatherings in the grounds and crack open a glass or two, I don't mind that either. Again we have moans and groans from people who just don't want to hear anything else other than birdsong. Find a field in the middle of nowhere and go and live there, if that's the case!

whenim64 Thu 07-May-15 11:44:30

I like the sound of children playing and having noisy fun. My six year old grandsons are quite noisy after school, letting off steam in the garden, bouncing on the trampoline and playing football, but it's a couple of hours, then bath and bed. Much better than sitting indoors. They need to play and run around. Children doing damage and trampling neighbours gardens needs dealing with, of course, but not noisy play. They'll be grown up in no time at all!

Jane10 Thu 07-May-15 11:54:36

We lived next door to a Primary School for 30 years. I can honestly say that the noise at playtime never bothered us. It was quite funny though, it was as if it was switched on then off as the bell went. The sound of young children's uninhibited laughter is one of the best sounds in the world.
Teenagers kicking a heavy football in the street just as people are trying to get off to sleep is another matter..................... angry

Teetime Thu 07-May-15 12:00:58

I love to hear children playing in the playground and the park near us in their own gardens and on the green. What I don't like is the sound of children playing in the local restaurant and running all over the place between the tables and the children area at the back. DH has long legs and sometimes leaves them sticking out. grin They seem to leave us alone.

Soutra Thu 07-May-15 12:04:03

I agree with Jane10 's comment about young children's uninhibited laughter smile . Fortunately we don't suffer from the other!

rosequartz Thu 07-May-15 12:11:52

I love to hear them playing outside, laughing and shouting. However, some of them do seem to scream a lot these days.
I'm not so keen on the screaming and think if they screamed because they needed help no-one would take any notice.

Nelliemoser Thu 07-May-15 12:16:02

My DD was saying that DGS1 and his visiting slighty older 3 yr old cousin have been playing together and she has realised just how noisy and silly two 2/3yr olds can be when they egg each other on. Chasing each other around and squealing.

I think it was a revelation to her. Little children enjoy being noisy,
I can always tell when neighbours children are playing in a paddling pool.

If it's just high spirits it's unfair to stop them. It's far better than people's music blaring out into the garden.

rosequartz Thu 07-May-15 12:26:49

Ah yes, the paddling pool antics! grin
Squealing is a must!

Charleygirl Thu 07-May-15 12:41:17

I enjoy watching the children running around and letting off steam after a day at school. The youngest, around 3years old loves riding his bike and having great fun. As somebody said, it is not for long, very soon it is bath, bed and then peace.

I do object to them playing football at any age because of the damage done to cars and the odd broken window. When the latter happens, there is nobody to be seen and nobody naturally was out playing so know zilch about it!

The gardens are too small for playing in but the road, on the whole is safe as it is a cul de sac. All of the drivers are aware that there maybe a little soul around the corner. The children are very good, usually warning each other if a car is approaching.

Iam64 Thu 07-May-15 13:03:54

Children need noisy play. This sounds like one of those unpleasant neighbour disputes and I don't expect the police felt their time was being used sensibly either.

Does anyone else feel uneasy when parents dash off to the papers about this kind of story. I know it's in a different league to all those 'my child was sent home for wearing the wrong shoes/hair cut' type complaints but I do wonder what this mum hoped to gain by having photographs of her children all over the papers. Maybe I'm just being a GOW grin

POGS Thu 07-May-15 13:48:02

It's a bit like people who buy a house near a church then get the bells stopped ringing.

I live opposite a pub and I have to put my ear plugs in 2 mornings a week because the beer delivery is at 7 /8 am in the mornings. Why complain, I chose to live here.

As for schools I think the same principal applies. We can hear the infants school playground loud and clear at break times and I love to hear the happiness in the cacophany of sound.

I find barking dogs far more annoying.

ninathenana Thu 07-May-15 13:50:13

I agree they need to let off steam and it makes me smile to hear the noise of happy play outside.
In the confines of the house is a different matter. I upset 6yr old DGS yesterday when I shouted at him and his brother to 'please, play quietly' after asking them 3-4 times to 'keep it down' (lots of shouting, lots of engine noises and nee-naw sounds)

janer my friend had trouble from a neighbour who complained that her two boys aged about 10 and 12 at the time were "perving over her" by bouncing on their trampoline while she who was about 50 was sunbathing in her garden. grin deluded or what ?

PRINTMISS Thu 07-May-15 14:16:37

The sound of children playing is lovely, what could be nicer than listening to young voices enjoying the open air. We play bowls adjacent to a nursery school and there the children are out whenever possible, even if it is a bit cold and damp they are taken for a short walk round the playing fields, and you can just hear that they so much enjoy that freedom. I loved it when I worked in a school particularly on a summer's day and the windows per open at break time.

janerowena Thu 07-May-15 15:12:28

I can just hear our primary school when I am outside gardening (it's raining at the moment, sadly so I am stuck inside) and I love the sound.

I have three year old twins on one side of me, and a two year old on the other,, they all often have little friends round to play. I was thinking only a couple of days ago that what really annoys me is the mother of the two year old and her mummy friends. They put on strange voices that the other side, does not. A bit like a high-pitched loud Joyce Grenfell. 'Now come along Josephine, you know Mummy doesn't like it when you do that. Now, what do we say?'

Why do they do it? It drives me potty. I find myself silently cheering the naughty toddlers on.

loopylou Thu 07-May-15 15:21:43

Not a problem-I simply take out my hearing aids grin
Possibly the only blessing of diminished hearing!

Seriously though, I'm surrounded by children of various ages here, and providing it isn't high pitched screaming, it doesn't bother me too much.
I'd far rather they were outside running around than engrossed in staring at computer/TV screens.

rosequartz Thu 07-May-15 16:46:34

As for schools I think the same principal applies
It's not the happy noise of the children, it's the parents' parking inconsiderately!! And we were here before the school was built (nothing showed up on the searches!).

We have lovely new neighbours next door but I do sometimes miss the happy sounds of the little children who used to live there - and the balls over the fence!

rosequartz Thu 07-May-15 16:47:33

Not taking issue with you, POGS - when I re-read my post it sounded as if I was!

Just those ***** parents

numberplease Thu 07-May-15 16:55:59

We used to live opposite a primary school, a blessing when our kids were small, not far to go, and the sounds at playtime were lovely. What I don`t understand is why children these days seem to SCREAM all the time, that`s what I don`t like. But more annoying are all the dogs that spend all the daylight hours yapping, nearly drives me bonkers.

POGS Thu 07-May-15 17:14:45


Never took it that way!

Parking is an issue I agree, try living opposite a pub confused. Best to be the last one out grin

granjo39 Thu 07-May-15 17:38:10

I have lived in the same 3 bed semi for nearly 30 years,last week I put my house on the market (downsizing) My neighbours who have been here a couple of years are in the process of erecting a fence to separate the drives because SHOCK HORROR the new owners might have chiklren. They are just a middle age couple,why buy a family house if you don't like children.

whenim64 Thu 07-May-15 17:41:50

nina my DD did have to move the trampoline when my grandsons were 4 because they kept bouncing up high and shouting 'hello, man!' to the grumpy neighbour next door. If he'd said 'hello' back to them, they'd have left it, but they assumed he couldn't hear them so shouted louder grin

whitewave Thu 07-May-15 17:49:03

I would let him be grumpy - the British have a very odd attitude to children at times.