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Old 05-13-2020, 07:57 AM
65 posts, read 23,305 times
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Several years ago, we lived in a townhouse complex with several other families that had young children. Behind the townhouses was a common play area and yard. One couple had a young girl who would do as the OP detailed; that is, constantly shriek all day. Her parents would let her into the common play area at 0800 and she would not go back in, except for a lunch break, until about 1800 or so. I watched her on occasion and she would just shriek for no reason, even if she was the only child out there.

Anyway, you just have to bite the bullet and talk to her parents. I do like the idea of invite the dad over for a beer and let him listen to what is going on.
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Old 05-13-2020, 08:19 AM
Location: Southern NC
2,113 posts, read 4,615,750 times
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I actually wouldn't talk to the parents. Regardless of how nicely you present it, you're still complaining about their child, and they will resent that, even if they don't show it. I would do an anonymous letter. lol.
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Old 05-13-2020, 08:56 AM
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
49,990 posts, read 49,487,204 times
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Originally Posted by NC~Mom View Post

I would do an anonymous letter. lol.
... depending on how many other neighbors are immediately adjacent.
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Old 05-13-2020, 10:09 AM
2,674 posts, read 886,522 times
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This is tough. It’s surprising to me that the parents of the kid aren’t sensitive to the screaming themselves. I get that kids can be loud, my own can be frequently and my husband and I aren’t shy about telling them to stop. Outside in the neighborhood we are even more sensitive to the screaming and yelling just because we know it can be bothersome to others. If the screaming is as bad as you say (and it sounds like it must be) then I’d say have a talk with the parents. They must be hearing it and the fact that they aren’t doing anything about it seems odd. They likely will get defensive and it could affect your relationship but you aren’t happy with the situation currently. They are being rude and selfish. I am pretty sensitive to noise and would probably be bothered by constant loud talking coming from the pool nevermind screaming. They have to realize that their kids noise is affecting others no matter how hard it might be to hear.

Years ago my friends lived below a couple who had a child who had recently learned to walk and was at that stage where he was just constantly running back and forth all over the place and it was very loud. It could happen very early in the morning or late at night and they said it felt like the whole place was shaking. The finally talked to the parents about it and it didn’t go well. I could see where the parents need to let the kid be active but they had no idea how it was affecting the people below them. It turned ugly they accused my friends of playing music too loud.

I would still say something if I were you. It amazes me how people can be so oblivious to their surroundings.
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Old 05-13-2020, 10:26 AM
2,186 posts, read 1,332,188 times
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They might not be oblivious, they may just want to live their lives. People and towns are noisy. Jet takeoffs, sirens, barking dogs, screaming children, loud parties; these things are acceptable in most city codes during daylight hours. At the same time, there's no rule against asking for consideration.

I had a neighbor who would saw wood at insanely high decibels for hours as part of his hobby. I had no issue with going over with a six pack and asking him to avoid my kids nap times. He mostly complied and I also figured out ways to jury rig soundproofing for the days he forgot. Other times, we'd just raise our voices to be heard and carry on over the ear-splitting whine of the saw.
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Old 05-13-2020, 10:35 AM
2,674 posts, read 886,522 times
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It’s just suprising to me that the kids screaming wouldn’t be bothersome to her own parents. I could not and would not put up with it.
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Old 05-13-2020, 10:46 AM
Location: Minnesota
2,367 posts, read 1,288,663 times
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She will probably stop with the screaming soon after the newness of the pool wears out.. The best way to handle it , in my opinion, would be to handle it with some humor. Ask mom if her daughter has tried out for a horror movie screamer yet, she would surely get the part based on the death like screams she seems to be practicing for for months now. Maybe we will have to buy noise canceling headphones if she doesn't get the part soon and stops practicing......
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Old 05-13-2020, 03:44 PM
Location: Albuquerque, N.M.
287 posts, read 175,060 times
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I lived up against a high school in Calabasas, Calif., and they cluelessly rented out their athletic fields to softball teams. We had a young girls softball league playing basically in our back yard. The shrieks were incredible ... like living next to an airport or something. All weekend long.

Long story short, we moved.

The kid will grow out of this. Still, tell the neighbor she's driving you nuts. Follow up with a legal-toned letter, if necessary, citing your right to "quiet possession" of your home.

Getting along with neighbors is nice but unnecessary, IMO. Don't be still because of concerns about the relationship.
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Old 05-13-2020, 03:51 PM
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
49,990 posts, read 49,487,204 times
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Thinking about it from the neighbor's POV, the thing that would work best with me would be if you rang my doorbell as the shrieking is happening, so they could hear it when you point it out, and say something like, "Hey, we are just hanging out on our porch trying to relax and just wondering if the kids could tone down the screaming. I'm glad they're having fun and I know they probably don't even realize how loud it is in other yards."

They're also less likely, I hope, to be jerks if you're standing there being neighborly about it.
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Old 05-13-2020, 04:40 PM
11,833 posts, read 9,752,110 times
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I expect the parents are so accustomed to the racket that they have just tuned it out.

Do you ever speak to the children themselves? when I worked with kids, I had one or two who would holler for parental attention the minute they would arrive. I learned that telling the child, "I can't hear you when you talk so loud - can you talk to me softly?" would often result in instant silence from the child, accompanied by a dropped-jaw expression of astonishment.

Of course, it was key to then find out quickly what exactly the child wanted, and if they asked for it in an "indoor" voice, to respond positively and provide it if feasible. I think many parents accidentally teach their young children to scream - when they have repeatedly ignored the child's previous efforts to communicate something or another, so the child escalates(to get attention) - and so does the screaming.

However, the pool screaming seems to have manifested differently. Is the older sibling teasing the younger? How much adult supervision goes on when they're in the pool? Is the screaming close to tears or is it joyful (and loud) exuberance? In any case, the children need to hear that it is unacceptable and that they're disturbing others. Maybe the parents haven't stopped it because they figure if they can hear the kids, no one has drowned and they don't have to sit by the pool to watch them.

I do feel for you - there's an incessantly crying toddler next door right now whom I hear all too frequently. He has an older brother who's about three who seldom cries or is noisy. I'm not sure if it's just a stage or something else going on, and the parents tend to be rather private.

I suspect they had an "easy" child first, and now have a more challenging one who's hit the terrible twos. The parents may not have learned the blessed gift of distraction (" Look, there's a doggy!") to stop crying spells in their tracks (doesn't always work, but often does, at least for a few seconds).

I'd happily demonstrate it to them without having to say a word about their parenting skills or their loud child, given a chance. Not sure he gets an afternoon nap, either, which were he mine, is the first thing I'd try. Get him on a schedule, cut out sugar, talk and read to and with him and encourage him to talk rather than scream when he's frustrated. Child Development 101 basics. Get him a wading pool and a sandbox. Board books. Don't stick him in front of the huge screen (covered) patio TV all day. They do toss balls around with their kids, to their credit...

Back to your situation. The child next door to you is older - old enough to have some awareness and control over her own screaming. Maybe after or better yet, early during an especially egregious screaming spell, you can call her parents to "make sure she's not hurt or scared or that something's wrong, since she was screaming so loudly. I was really worried about her - is everything okay?", using a very concerned voice... which should alert them that there's a problem, if they have any social sensitivity at all. Not sure I'd go much farther than that, at least, not initially.

Last edited by CraigCreek; 05-13-2020 at 04:50 PM..
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