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Old 05-14-2020, 01:04 PM
 
Location: Moku Nui, Hawaii
10,453 posts, read 19,973,898 times
Reputation: 9795

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Since you are already on talking terms with the neighbors, when you hear the kid screaming, perhaps (as CraigCreek already mentioned) calling the parents to make sure the kid is okay might be useful to alert them that the screaming is a problem.

I don't suppose asking the kids to shut up is useful? Throwing taffy over the fence so they spend time chewing instead of screaming? Although then you'd have sugar fueled screamers so that probably is a bad idea.

Calling in an anonymous tip to the police that there's kid abuse because of the screaming may be productive, although if you're going to do that, don't mention kid screaming to the parents first since they will then be mad at you for calling the cops. IMHO, the calling in the cops is only viable if they never find out it was you. Maybe ask someone else to say they were driving past and heard the screaming so not even your phone number is involved with the complaint. Although, then someone else knows you instigated it, if it's a small town that wouldn't keep the caller ID secret.


Or sound cancelling ear phones and the kid will grow out of it, one hopes.
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Old 05-14-2020, 02:26 PM
 
203 posts, read 384,412 times
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I agree, there is a huge value in having good relationships with your neighbors, especially close neighbors.

Two thoughts...one, if the kids are 6 and 8, the parents must be out there (or at least really close) supervising them in the pool, so I'm sure they're completely aware of the screaming. They either don't realize, or don't care, that it's annoying to everyone else.

I think a good approach is to think, What if it were you? What would you want the neighbors to do if the positions were reversed? I know I would not want to find out later that we were annoying the hell out of the neighbors and they never said anything. I would feel terrible.

It is crazy awkward and difficult, but I would try to address it. Also, I wouldn't do the passive-aggressive thing of pretending I was worried that she was hurt. (Although I would throw out that in the beginning someone else almost called 911) Be honest. Emphasize that it's not the general noise, it's just the shrieking specifically. Maybe to start, wait for a time when it's happening, go out and speak to the parents over the fence, maybe tell a white lie about a work call being affected. Some phrases like, "I really it's so hard with kids, especially these days. I would really, really appreciate anything you could do to get her to cut down on the shrieking a little..blah blah blah..we're so happy you've moved in, you're great neighbors, we've been hesitant to say anything because we like you and don't want to create ill will, we'd appreciate anything you could do to help.....blah blah blah"

It's awkward but doable. Also, I would give it the one try, and that's it. If there's no improvement after that, you really will just have to suck it up. Summer is short, they'll get older, and pools become used a lot less after the first few years.

Good luck. It would make me crazy too.
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Old 05-14-2020, 03:40 PM
 
1,959 posts, read 567,322 times
Reputation: 1505
I have put myself in the neighbor shoes and I would absolutely be telling my kids to stop and it keep it down if they were screaming. It’s one thing if it’s a few shrieks here and there but the OP said this is shrieking that goes on continually all afternoon. Seems unacceptable. I just took my kids for a walk and the neighborhood is very quiet. There were a few times they yelled and I said ok we don’t need to yell I can hear you. I don’t want to have a reputation of the mother with the unruly kids either in the neighborhood. I guess these parents don’t realize it or don’t care. Maybe they just feel the kid is having fun and are happy about that ?

I like the strategy of asking if she is ok. Something like hey it seems like there’s been a lot of screaming coming from your daughter in the pool. I was worried a few times that she was drowning. If they don’t get your point with that then I don’t know what else to tell you. I would be annoyed if neighbors complained about my kids but that’s why I try to make an effort that my kids have good manners. Screaming in a pool everyday all afternoon from a 6 yr old or 8 yr old is obnoxious.
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Old 05-14-2020, 04:12 PM
 
10,983 posts, read 9,154,620 times
Reputation: 20208
Quote:
Originally Posted by krdpm View Post
I agree, there is a huge value in having good relationships with your neighbors, especially close neighbors.

Two thoughts...one, if the kids are 6 and 8, the parents must be out there (or at least really close) supervising them in the pool, so I'm sure they're completely aware of the screaming. They either don't realize, or don't care, that it's annoying to everyone else.

I think a good approach is to think, What if it were you? What would you want the neighbors to do if the positions were reversed? I know I would not want to find out later that we were annoying the hell out of the neighbors and they never said anything. I would feel terrible.

It is crazy awkward and difficult, but I would try to address it. Also, I wouldn't do the passive-aggressive thing of pretending I was worried that she was hurt. (Although I would throw out that in the beginning someone else almost called 911) Be honest. Emphasize that it's not the general noise, it's just the shrieking specifically. Maybe to start, wait for a time when it's happening, go out and speak to the parents over the fence, maybe tell a white lie about a work call being affected. Some phrases like, "I really it's so hard with kids, especially these days. I would really, really appreciate anything you could do to get her to cut down on the shrieking a little..blah blah blah..we're so happy you've moved in, you're great neighbors, we've been hesitant to say anything because we like you and don't want to create ill will, we'd appreciate anything you could do to help.....blah blah blah"

It's awkward but doable. Also, I would give it the one try, and that's it. If there's no improvement after that, you really will just have to suck it up. Summer is short, they'll get older, and pools become used a lot less after the first few years.

Good luck. It would make me crazy too.
Asking a parent if their screaming child is hurt is not passive-aggressive. It's an acceptable way to express concern about the situation, yet allow everyone to save face.

Maybe it's a Southern thing...not sure of your background, but it seems that often polite niceties like this are misperceived as being less than straightforward, and we must have the absolute truth, at all costs. Even at the cost of cordial neighborly relations, which we both agree are very important, whereas expressing concern about the noisy child's well-being conveys the message that she's being way too loud without having to say, "Your kid is screaming so loud that she hurts my ears! Can't you do something about it??" - which is quite honest, but hardly inclined to endear the speaker to the parent.

Also, you suggest "telling a white lie about a work call being affected", shortly after terming the "Is little Iodine hurt? I heard her screaming and was worried" as "passive aggressive". Why is one more acceptable than the other?
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Old 05-14-2020, 04:15 PM
 
Location: USA
474 posts, read 148,774 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bridge781 View Post
Screaming in a pool everyday all afternoon from a 6 yr old or 8 yr old is obnoxious.
Agreed. I would speak to the parents about it, and if it continues, send a letter. Thereafter, if the parents still refuse to make this stop, there would be a knock on the door from the police. Neighbors have a responsibility to keep the neighborhood pleasant for everyone.
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Old 05-14-2020, 04:36 PM
 
80 posts, read 20,222 times
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Or you could record the child screaming, then play it back to your neighbors at full volume through high-powered speakers early the next morning. Repeat as needed.

I think they’d get the message
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Old 05-14-2020, 04:41 PM
 
1,959 posts, read 567,322 times
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I am actually laughing about the whole situation right now. My husband and I are very sensitive to noise and this would not last for us. I have called the police on loud music that woke me up at 3am in a previous neighborhood. I would be irate at having to deal with screaming all afternoon even if it is a kid.
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Old 05-14-2020, 05:37 PM
 
203 posts, read 384,412 times
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CraigCreek, I just mean that if it's going on almost every single day for hours, and maybe it's been a few weeks of that, she clearly isn't hurt. I didn't mean to be judgmental about going that route, just that it would seem, to me, really phony and yes, passive aggressive. I would certainly consider that in the beginning, but it seems that window may have closed. (She clearly isn't hurt every day.) And that's only "bad" in that it might just **** off the parents and not achieve the end result, which is a quiet kid and a good relationship. If I were the parent of the shrieker, I personally would be more annoyed by that than by someone just being honest. Or course the honesty in this situation needs to be combined with over-the-top niceness, "I'm so sorry.." etc.

I grew up in the New York area, so maybe you're right and it's regional. Or maybe it's just me

Last edited by krdpm; 05-14-2020 at 06:21 PM..
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Old 05-14-2020, 07:21 PM
 
11,035 posts, read 10,171,349 times
Reputation: 14277
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidyankee764 View Post
I really appreciate everyone’s advice so far.

Just to clarify, the child is not special needs and to my knowledge, doesn’t have behavioral issues. She’s always at the bus stop and seems to be a very nice kid.

Cida - unfortunately their pool wasn’t finished last summer so it didn’t get any use. The screams are new. What you said re: something wrong, another neighbor mentioned that and stated she almost dialed 911. She further said she considered dialing 911 anyway so the police can tell their parents a concerned neighbor called. I politely told her that would be a huge waste of precious public service resources so I hope she doesn’t. But the first time we heard it, prior to realizing it was just an excited little kid, we ran out of our back door wondering what was happening. It was startling to say the least, and continues to be every time we hear it.

Parentologist, you’re 100% right that this is the downfall of living in a populated area. Prior to moving here, as you know, we were in Ridgefield, CT where every home is on an acre and a child screaming next door was no big deal. Now, the area we’re in would be considered rural to most and can only get those 1 acre lots about an hour outside the city. I don’t mind the smaller lots (easier upkeep) so long as you have good neighbors! Unfortunately (or fortunately?) we cannot yet live in a 55+ community. We’re a good 20 and 22 years away from that as we’re only in our 30s.

Overall, I like the suggestion of nicely speaking to the father, who’s only slightly older than I am, letting him know I always become concerned because it sounds like something could be wrong. My other half had the idea to invite a few of the neighborhood dads over for a beer so he can hear it for himself, that way I may not even have to say anything.
Great! Get that 911 neighbor to come with you to talk to the parents! This will prove that you're not being overly sensitive, and proves the validity of my ploy about saying the sound is upsetting and possibly creating confusion if there's a real problem.
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Old 05-14-2020, 08:43 PM
 
Location: colorado springs, CO
7,115 posts, read 3,149,301 times
Reputation: 20934
Repetitive high pitched screaming is a symptom of neurological damage. And it's becoming more and more the norm lately.

I have eleven kids ages 16-34 & started noticing it at the school, in the neighborhood, on field trips & on the playgrounds around 2006-ish. Constant shrieking without any provocation.

I know exactly what you are experiencing & it rattles the brain. Really bizarre. As the mom of many I love the sound of children playing but that sound has been replaced by almost encephalitic style, eardrum piercing screams. My youngest has severe autism. I know the sound well.
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