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Old 30.08.2019, 09:30
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Re: Children making noise - laws

There is a girl in our road who screams all the time she plays outdoors. Some neighbours thought she was being abused. I don’t think that is the normal childhood development.

If your kids are making “excessive” noise I think you have a responsibility to your neighbours to tone them down. Learning you are not the only person on the planet is also part of normal childhood development.
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Old 30.08.2019, 09:40
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Re: Children making noise - laws

We talk to our neighbours - a lot.

I often ask them if our children are too loud, and apologise for any disturbance they may have made, in advance. Sometime they are quite loud.

They always say no. But then add that the people living there before us made their lives hell: Children constantly screaming, father screaming at the children...

But that's why I always ask. I'd hate to be that neighbour that made everyone else's lives a misery.

Normal noise of children playing and having fun is... normal.
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Old 30.08.2019, 10:35
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Re: Children making noise - laws

Excellent decision Mikers !
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Old 30.08.2019, 14:39
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Re: Children making noise - laws

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We talk to our neighbours - a lot.

I often ask them if our children are too loud, and apologise for any disturbance they may have made, in advance. Sometime they are quite loud.

They always say no. But then add that the people living there before us made their lives hell: Children constantly screaming, father screaming at the children...

But that's why I always ask. I'd hate to be that neighbour that made everyone else's lives a misery.

Normal noise of children playing and having fun is... normal.
Our Swiss neighbors (we shared a wall - duplex) checked in with us regularly after the birth of their first child. Is the baby too loud? Apologies for the crying, etc, etc.
We honestly heard NOTHING through the wall and told them so, but I keep thinking they thought we were just being polite. It was kind of comical.
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Old 30.08.2019, 18:46
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Re: Children making noise - laws

Some years ago a family moved in near me. They did as Tom1234 does, and VFRontop's neighbours, and asked me whether the noise of their children bothered me. It doesn't. They gave me their telephone number and asked me to please phone, or to come over, at any time when any noise they produce might, in future, bother me. The neighbour said: "If you tell us right away, we will be able to figure out which noise, exactly, it was, and find out how to stop that particular sound, right then."I took him up on that once when their TV was just too, too, loud. She said: "Oh, sorry, we'll turn it down," and did so immediately.

While I think children should be allowed to play (and defend their right to do so, indoors and outdoors, if other adults complain), I do think bowlie makes a good point: learning that one's behaviour can affect or bother another is a good part of growing up.

Some municipalities (Gemeinde / commune) have local laws about quiet times. Those must be respected.

Combining the above, if I were in your position, I would
  1. Find out what the actual laws specify, and teach these to the children.
  2. After they've been compliant for some weeks, go over to ask that neighbour whether there is some specific activity/noise which has bothered her recently.
  3. If there is something specific (maybe the swing squeaks and could be oiled), then see whether that can be fixed.
  4. Tell her that the municipal rules have now been taught to the children, and for the rest, it is healthy for them to be free to play, and so marvellous that they aren't spending all their time stuck in front of a video game.
  5. Leave a telephone number, and tell her that if something specific bothers her, she should phone there and then, and speak to one of the adults, so the adults can decide whether or not the noise can be curtailed.
  6. If planning an event with lots of children, phone her to warn her on which day it will take place, and tell her what time the party will be over.

Unless she is a miserable person bent on tormenting everyone, the chances are that your cooperative approach and amiable manner will make her think that you are the nicest, most considerate neighbour ever, and that - in itself - may well limit the number of times she is likely to call you to complain.
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Old 30.08.2019, 18:53
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Re: Children making noise - laws

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It's to keep your small brain occupied
Prevents early senility. But you are probably to far gone anyhow for it to be of any help

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Old 30.08.2019, 20:16
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Re: Children making noise - laws

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Some years ago a family moved in near me. They did as Tom1234 does, and VFRontop's neighbours, and asked me whether the noise of their children bothered me. It doesn't. They gave me their telephone number and asked me to please phone, or to come over, at any time when any noise they produce might, in future, bother me. The neighbour said: "If you tell us right away, we will be able to figure out which noise, exactly, it was, and find out how to stop that particular sound, right then."I took him up on that once when their TV was just too, too, loud. She said: "Oh, sorry, we'll turn it down," and did so immediately.

While I think children should be allowed to play (and defend their right to do so, indoors and outdoors, if other adults complain), I do think bowlie makes a good point: learning that one's behaviour can affect or bother another is a good part of growing up.

Some municipalities (Gemeinde / commune) have local laws about quiet times. Those must be respected.

Combining the above, if I were in your position, I would
  1. Find out what the actual laws specify, and teach these to the children.
  2. After they've been compliant for some weeks, go over to ask that neighbour whether there is some specific activity/noise which has bothered her recently.
  3. If there is something specific (maybe the swing squeaks and could be oiled), then see whether that can be fixed.
  4. Tell her that the municipal rules have now been taught to the children, and for the rest, it is healthy for them to be free to play, and so marvellous that they aren't spending all their time stuck in front of a video game.
  5. Leave a telephone number, and tell her that if something specific bothers her, she should phone there and then, and speak to one of the adults, so the adults can decide whether or not the noise can be curtailed.
  6. If planning an event with lots of children, phone her to warn her on which day it will take place, and tell her what time the party will be over.

Unless she is a miserable person bent on tormenting everyone, the chances are that your cooperative approach and amiable manner will make her think that you are the nicest, most considerate neighbour ever, and that - in itself - may well limit the number of times she is likely to call you to complain.
This is, of course, the approach we have taken with our neighbours since we moved in. We have one man above us who lives in the other apartment, who says he loves the noise of the children. on the next door side they are behind huge hedges but we still said if there was a problem, just let us know.

The Lady in question here has not, in five years, said hello to us or even come to the garden to talk to us, while we have been more than open in our offer of friendship.

To cap it, the last time she wagged her finger at the children last week we had a french lady with us as well who politely asked her what was causing the upset and she swore at her, turned around and marched off.

So I am all for the polite gently gently approach which I have been doing here for 12 years now, but there are people in Switzerland who are just out to be nasty, and this lady appears to be one of them.

Should she want my phone number she can have it, but I very much doubt she will, it will be a case of being polite but firm and if it floats up to the commune then we can discuss it at that level.

I'll keep the thread updated with how it progresses, and again, thanks for your many inputs. If there is no update for six months, you can assume I am in prison under some local ancient communal law sentencing parents of unruly children to life without parole.
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Old 30.08.2019, 20:43
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Re: Children making noise - laws

Mikers, there are people like that everywhere. Sad but true. But look at this as an opportunity to educate your children in the realities of the world. Every action, even just playing, has possible repercussions.

No, they don’t have to keep quiet, that isn’t what childhood is all about. But teach them that you catch more flies with honey, than with vinegar.
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  #29  
Old 30.08.2019, 20:50
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Re: Children making noise - laws

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Mikers, there are people like that everywhere. Sad but true. But look at this as an opportunity to educate your children in the realities of the world. Every action, even just playing, has possible repercussions.

No, they don’t have to keep quiet, that isn’t what childhood is all about. But teach them that you catch more flies with honey, than with vinegar.
I have already educated the kids to tell me if she turns up so we can discuss things with her. My perspective on it is different: she must learn that she, as all people do, have a responsibility to promote happy childhoods for children even if that means a level of audible sacrifice. There is learning to do on both sides.
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Old 30.08.2019, 21:20
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Re: Children making noise - laws

Show understanding and make it clear that you take the concerns of the neighbor seriously - this often helps to defuse the situation. If the neighbor notices that you are not simply indifferent to his or her needs, he or she can also better understand your or your children's needs.
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Old 31.08.2019, 07:38
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Re: Children making noise - laws

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Maybe our place is unusual but we have a building regulation which prohibits children from playing outside (more like making noise in the garden) for 2 hours every afternoon, I think between 2-4 pm. They play nonetheless, but they are not loud so we will never think of saying anything, but the rule exists.
Can that rule be legally enforced though?
Also that rule is for your property. Here the situation is different. The woman is from a neighbouring property it seems, so different rules will apply, if there are any. If both properties are owner-occupied for example, there might not be any rules - we don't have any and none of neighbours on this side of the street have any, one is occupied by a business and the rest are all owner occupiers like ourselves.
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Old 31.08.2019, 07:44
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Re: Children making noise - laws

Children making a bit of noise. No problem. But what could be worse as having the cooking smells of other people drifting onto your terrace!


Tell this woman

Das geht Sie nichts an!
That's none of your business.

Thats the problem with many Swiss . Their lives are so boring that they look for opportunities like this to complain. They should think themselves lucky they dont have the noise of bombs exploding in the backyard like many other countries!

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Old 31.08.2019, 07:48
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Re: Children making noise - laws

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what could be worse as having the cooking smells of other people drifting onto your terrace!
It depends on what they are cooking. Where we used to live we could spell baking (bread and cakes) sometimes, - hardly unpleasant.
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Old 31.08.2019, 07:50
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Re: Children making noise - laws

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It depends on what they are cooking. Where we used to live we could spell baking (bread and cakes) sometimes, - hardly unpleasant.
The exhaust from their kitchen is only 3 metres from our terrace. They cook Peruvian food-heavy meat stews that sometimes goes on the whole day.
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Old 31.08.2019, 21:16
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Re: Children making noise - laws

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The exhaust from their kitchen is only 3 metres from our terrace. They cook Peruvian food-heavy meat stews that sometimes goes on the whole day.
Sounds like torture to me - to smell that all day, and not be able to eat it!

A bit like the Thai restaurant right near us - in summer, with the wind in the right direction, the delicious smells are just torture ...
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Old 01.09.2019, 06:53
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Re: Children making noise - laws

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Sounds like torture to me - to smell that all day, and not be able to eat it!

A bit like the Thai restaurant right near us - in summer, with the wind in the right direction, the delicious smells are just torture ...
" delicious smells ". Thats certainly what it is not.
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Old 02.09.2019, 08:40
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Re: Children making noise - laws

Buy her some earplugs and gift-wrap them.
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Old 02.09.2019, 11:16
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Re: Children making noise - laws

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Buy her some earplugs and gift-wrap them.
With a cute little post-it.

I think OP is open to negotiate about noise levels, if it goes through him first and not directly to disciplining kids by a stranger. Without him having space to step in. I totally get the grudge, yet since I work with 9-25yr old kids here and for a decade, it is really obvious that the system makes/holds the kids responsible, not the parents. It could be that the neighbor just doesn't want to bug the parents with something that she thinks the kids can manage themselves. Maybe realizing this and talking to the neighbor 1st might help...not waltzing in ready to fight for the kids' rights to be noisy. In Switzerland, the land of anti noise policies. She might worry about her English, too, or something...has a temper, or is lonely, whatevs. Her level of tolerance might grow if the OP only acknowledges that her kids might be getting on her nerves. It happens.

I have to say that I like the good ol' notion of taking the whole village to raise my kid, the village has helped me a million times <3
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Old 02.09.2019, 11:49
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Re: Children making noise - laws

We just moved two months ago so haven't chatted much with many neighbors but we met one yesterday outside.. She told us how lovely it is to hear the kids play in garden and to let them know that it's ok to play outside too and right down the little driveway around her house also.

It was very pleasant.. not all neighbors are mean
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Old 02.09.2019, 12:09
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Re: Children making noise - laws

Playing yes, constantly screaming no. Kids will be kids and often they get a bit boisterous during some exciting game, which is when I just ask them to "keep it down". This works and we've never had a complaint from our neighbours, including the Swiss German ones!!
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