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Old 23.08.2015, 11:17
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How to approach neighbours with noisy child

I am looking for some advice on how best to approach a situation where I now have new neighbours that include a noisy shouting child who now systematically wakes me up at 7am on weekends:
A few weeks ago a new family moved in downstairs, with a 5-year old boy. This boy is particularly loud (and I have given him the benefit of comparing him to nieces and nephews and other 5-year olds in the area), and his mother had even warned us. He is rude: the only exchange I had with him was the first time I saw him when he ran up and down the stairs and even though I was 1m away from him shouted at me that he was hiding, so definitely not a shy type... I understand kids are allowed to play, etc and deal with his screaming and stomping during the day. I work from home so it is not great, but ok, it is during the week, normal hours - part of living in a city, deal with it. But I now systematically get woken up over the weekends at 7am: the blinds get pulled up sharp at 7am and shortly afterwards he starts his whole screaming and stomping again, and on some days seems to take pleasure in throwing things and opening and shutting every single door he can get hold of; any screaming or throwing things has never been followed by an adults´voice to stop doing that. Unfortunately I am also a light sleeper, but still hear this with earplugs.


I am willing to go and talk to them and try to reach an agreement that perhaps they can make an effort to tell him to not scream (I am not even hoping for "quiet") when it is early in the morning on the weekends, but wanted some advice on how people had approached a similar issue. I don´t want to go down the route of hitting the floor (also because I´d spend the rest of my days just doing this given the frequency), although I admit I am very tempted every Sunday at 7:15 am when I am awake anyway and fuming! :-( Before parents come in saying I am evil: I appreciate he is a child, should develop normally and play, and repeat that despite his behaviour during the day (where I have already heard him shouting in the background while I am on a business call), I can let this go during normal "office hours". But on the other hand, I don´t see why my whole weekend routine should now start at 7am just because he can´t be told to stop shouting, at least until later in the day. I also want to repeat that I compare his screeching frequency and volume with the children who play in the garden opposite and other kids I know of that age and it is way above, so let´s not be apologetic: he is just loud and bad-mannered, that type of kid also exists.


So, best time to go to talk? While the noise is happening? Later in the day? Suggestions on how to meet halfway?
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Old 23.08.2015, 11:29
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Re: How to approach neighbours with noisy child


Problem sorted.
Anything else?
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Old 23.08.2015, 11:54
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Re: How to approach neighbours with noisy child

OP, I feel for you.

I have three kids myself, and while I can't do much to reduce the noise level when my baby cries at night because he has teething pains or whatever, I certainly teach my two older kids to be considerate of the neighbours. I wouldn't tolerate them shouting inside, at least as much as I can stop them in time (aaaaah, quarreling siblings...).

I think you should try to go speak to your neighbor: don't be accusatory or aggressive, but tell them that you'd like to find a solution together.
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Old 23.08.2015, 11:55
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Re: How to approach neighbours with noisy child

This sounds annoying, but some kids are just early risers and have no notion of being quiet. Do be aware that parents have limited influence on how much noise he makes (and if they try to have him make less noise, it might result in more noise during his "time outs" in the short term, which you would also have to endure). Also, they probably are not thrilled to have to get up so early on weekends themselves; I'm speaking from experience here.

If it were me, I would like to be approached in a very friendly manner, as in "no big deal" as a first attempt. Try not to tell the parents how to accomplish the goal, but do tell them that you would prefer no noise until a later time on the weekends.

Some kids are loud, and also rude. That doesn't mean they are "bad kids". Parents of such kids do notice it, believe me, and most talk to their kids about manners and appropriate levels of noise. Most kids do grow out of waking up early, too - the question is, do you want to put up with it long enough so he grows out of it?
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Old 23.08.2015, 12:12
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Re: How to approach neighbours with noisy child

"he can´t be told to stop shouting"
I expect he's told a lot. But yes, it is something you could bring up in conversation when you see them outdoors. Kids don't have on/off switches but at least you will have expressed your opinion at being woken up & disturbed.
I won't put up with rude kids. I told a couple of my ids friends when they were younger if they couldn't be polite, they would be banned from our house. Unfortunately if it's not your kid, you can't throw a bucket of water over him.
Good luck.
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Old 23.08.2015, 13:04
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Re: How to approach neighbours with noisy child

During your 'chat' why don't you offer to take the kid for a couple of weekends and see if you can do a better job than the parents?

The fact that the parents warned you already says that they do have issues with the kids. So instead of sticking your nose in and complaining about a 7 year old making noise in an apartment buy a set of ear plugs and don't make the parents feel any worse than the probably do already or move.

On the other hand if they look like parents who don't give a shit about the kid and the kid is unruly through the parents bad attitude then pin this to their door.


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Old 23.08.2015, 13:30
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Re: How to approach neighbours with noisy child

The kid is 5. Too old to be behaving like a two year old. Either the parents are shit or the kid has some issues; in either case you telling them won't make any difference (it'll either annoy them or make them feel horrible but won't help the noise).

I suggest speaking with other neighbours and your landlord. Maybe a well-written letter from your landlord would make them try and adjust the kid's morning routine.

Or maybe he'll grow out of it after a few weeks; the move might have have upset his routine.
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Old 23.08.2015, 14:15
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Re: How to approach neighbours with noisy child

Should also be at school as of tomorrow?
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Old 23.08.2015, 14:58
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Re: How to approach neighbours with noisy child

7 AM is NOT early (except on Sunday), and there is nothing to complain about.

Tom
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Old 23.08.2015, 15:00
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Re: How to approach neighbours with noisy child

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Should also be at school as of tomorrow?
No, school starts early this year, 31 August!

(normal is first Monday in September)

Tom
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Old 23.08.2015, 15:06
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Re: How to approach neighbours with noisy child

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No, school starts early this year, 31 August!

(normal is first Monday in September)

Tom

I admire the advice of Teddy Roosevelt
SPEAK SOFTLY AND CARRY A BIG STICK
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Old 23.08.2015, 15:25
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Re: How to approach neighbours with noisy child

How about a note in their mailbox informing the parents of the issues concerning your working hours - don't think there is anything you can do about the early morning weekend.
You could inform them that you work from home and if it proves that the noise continues you will inform the landlord.
If you can speak to neighbours who are suffering the noise issues as well then a letter from more residents might have more clout.
( Maybe they moved to your apartment block because they had to, due to disturbing neighbours where they used to live)
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Old 23.08.2015, 16:00
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Re: How to approach neighbours with noisy child

maybe with school it gets better, he's probably underoccupied and lashes out like it happens with dogs and maybe other problems depending what type of move it was (does he play outside with other kids? if not, that's the problem), school starts tomorrow in geneva. i'm guessing parents are also busy organizing the new house etc. so wouldn't be psychologically available for neighbor complaints, i would wait a bit.
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Old 23.08.2015, 16:02
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Re: How to approach neighbours with noisy child

Saturday is a work day, noise after 7Am is allowed.

Tom
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Old 23.08.2015, 16:03
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Re: How to approach neighbours with noisy child

I feel for you. You should be able to at least have a quiet morning on weekends. Address the issue directly, rather than put a note in their mail box (might be considered passive aggressive). It might be that they are just very uninvolved parents that don't bother teaching their kid about being mindful of others.
Not sure what else you can do except talking to the mom...
I hope she is cooperative. Let us know how it went!
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Old 23.08.2015, 16:06
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Re: How to approach neighbours with noisy child

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No, school starts early this year, 31 August!

(normal is first Monday in September)

Tom
school has always started first week of september but like 5 years ago they decided that school must start on monday, because of that it can now start as early as 28 august. i remember starting half week was very nice and avoided the shock, but it's true that it wasn't very productive.
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Old 23.08.2015, 16:35
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Re: How to approach neighbours with noisy child

7am is not considered too early to be awake and making 'normal' household noise...

We now live with families in all three apartments (above each other) and our upstairs neighbour snores dreadfully... We have been known to rearrange our bedrooms so that we are sleeping in a 'quieter' zone of the house...

You have almost no power to stop this normal household noise if it's not outside normal waking hours 7am-12. / 2pm -10pm...

However, it might be possible to ask your neighbours whether they can encourage him to play in only one area of the house, play quietly, go outdoors or also see if they have put rugs/carpets down to reduce the noise.

i have a 7 year old with an enormous loud voice who runs around and chats from the moment he wakes...and that's well-before 7am... We try to encourage him to respect the rest of the household (and our neighbours) but he's still learning and it's also possible the kid has developmental/psychological/behavioural issues that make him harder to control or parent.

On the other hand, the threat of 'the grumpy old man will complain' or 'if we get complaints from then neighbours the policeman might come'...have definitely been used by us on our kids from time to time...
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Old 23.08.2015, 16:36
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Re: How to approach neighbours with noisy child

As a parent who has done 23 months of five-year-old parenting now I can understand how loud (read:annoying haha) they can be

We also had an issue once with upstairs neighbours letting a kid (think he was about 4 though) make loud banging on the floor/our ceiling after 9pm while my kids were trying to sleep and being woken up when they had to get up for school the next morning. My husband went upstairs and rang the bell and just explained the disturbance and asked them if there was something they could do to help the situation.

I think direct approach works best. I would appreciate someone telling me to my face if my kids were bothering them rather than find little notes lying around for me to find.

Find a reasonable middle ground; the possibility of keeping a 5-year-old quiet ranges from usually-not-hard-but-occasionally-difficult, as was the case with my kids, to nigh on impossible as I have witnessed kids on the spectrum. But what ought to be possible in all cases is keeping the noise contained, to one or two rooms, perhaps mention where your bedroom is and ask if it's possible if he could play in all the rooms that are not directly above?
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Old 23.08.2015, 16:57
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Re: How to approach neighbours with noisy child

Neddy is perfectly correct, in Geneva the school year starts tomorrow (Monday 24th).
http://www.ge.ch/dip/vacances_scolaires.asp

AND chidren in Geneva start school in the year following their fourth birthday (cut-off point being 31st July).

Last edited by Anjela; 23.08.2015 at 17:01. Reason: School start age
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Old 23.08.2015, 17:09
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Re: How to approach neighbours with noisy child

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school has always started first week of september but like 5 years ago they decided that school must start on monday, because of that it can now start as early as 28 august. i remember starting half week was very nice and avoided the shock, but it's true that it wasn't very productive.


PLEASE, can you tell this to my head teacher!
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