Once again, I need opinions on a picky little neighbourhood problem

Jim and I are new to living in a house in the 'burbs, so we’re not quite sure what the etiquette of this is. We have a bunch of kids in the neighbourhood that play on our front lawn quite often. We have no kids, there have never been any kids at this house, and Jim and I feel like they should stay off our lawn; as far as we’re concerned, they have no business being there. On the other hand, we suspect that we are just cranky old grouches, and kids playing on your front yard isn’t a big deal if they’re not damaging anything. On yet another hand, when have kids ever played anywhere without something eventually getting damaged?

What are your opinions on this subject, people? Would you leave the kids alone to do as they please, or ask them politely to go play in their own yards, or charge out the door screaming at the top of your lungs and furiously waving a baseball bat around every time you see them, ?

If it was me I’d introduce myself to the neighbors and let them know in a nice way to keep their kids off the lawn. You’re absolutely right, they have no business playing in your front yard and I would bet that there’s a liability concern here too.

Holy cow! The way I was brought up, you stayed off other people’s property, period. I would tell the children’s parents that you don’t want them playing on your property. You can either say that you have plans for your front lawn (a croquet green, landscaping, etc.) or that you’re afraid they’ll get hurt somehow and you don’t have the time to supervise them.

Next, if you have the money, put up a pleasant little fence–with a locked gate.

IMO, you paid for that real estate and it’s yours–not the neighbors’.

That’s the one time I’d actually want a whole bunch of dog poo in my yard.

You’ve got every right to expect some peace, quiet and privacy in your yard. Ditto on the speak to the parents rec. Tell 'em you like to nap undisturbed or something. If they’re worth knowing, they’ll understand and curb their kids.

Your property is not their playground. They need to learn that.

We had problems with kids using our yard as a shortcut to the woods behind our house, since there is no convenient path that isn’t private property. We’re always chasing them away. And we’re putting a fence up soon - that should stop 'em.

I’ve also had to get on kids for playing on the neighbor’s basketball hoop. She put the thing up, but her own kid NEVER uses it. And she put it up right next to one of my flower gardens, so if someone misses a shot, my blooms get smashed and the ball rolls down the hill to my house. I’ve had to ask “Did Mrs. S. give you permission to use that?” - knowing full well she didn’t. I think word’s gotten around, because they don’t come here any longer. Now, if I could just get S to remove it, life would be good.

Put up a fence if you want people to stay off the lawn. A sign that says “Beware of Dog” works too. Kids are more afraid of Dogs than of Adults.

Anyway, let me recount what I remember of my childhood:

  1. There was an old guy who lived down the block who used to yell at us to stay off his lawn. We never listened to him and made fun of him and would go on his lawn just to piss him off. We would walk past his house and yell “Stay off the lawn!”. When he finally moved to florida we rejoiced, then we had no more interest in going on his lawn.

  2. One time, a guy screamed at me and threatened to put his foot up my ass when I stepped on the edge of his lawn as I was walking by to go to my friend’s house. I was scared of that guy and made a point to never even walk on the same side of the street.

  3. Nobody ever asked me politely to stay off the lawn, so I can’t tell you how I reacted to that. Anyone polite enough to ask politely probably didn’t even mind that we were on their lawn.

So I would say if a fence is out of the option, then screaming at the top of your lungs and baseball bat would work. Scare the shit out of them. Though with today’s kids, they may just decide to break your windows at night instead, or deface your car or something else.

Unfortunately, one of the people who are letting their kids play wherever they please is also the ahem person of questionable parentage who backed into our car this winter and didn’t leave a note, and lets their dogs bark at all hours. In other words, I have no faith in my neighbours being decent people and doing the right thing if I ask them. (We’re not staying in this neighbourhood too long - I had better neighbours when I lived with a lower economic class of people.)

(As for the dog poo thing, the owner of this house that we’re renting has three big dogs - I think we could get a fine quantity of dog poo with no problem. :D)

I would try asking the kids to stay out of your yard. I don’ t think that’s been tried yet! If that doesn’t work, get some of those ChemLawn signs that say the grass has been treated with some hideous chemicals that will make their skin boil. If THAT doesn’t work, scare 'em.

We were usually pretty respectful of people’s lawns. Our yard was the “every-kid-in-the-neighborhood-running-around-like-their-asses-were-on-fire” yard. The guy next door had a corner lot (perfect for cutting a round corner). He also had 4 boys who were the absolute terrors of the neighborhood. But he was always bitchin’ about STAY OFF THE GODDAMN GRASS!

Well that’s bizarre… I came back with a thought and EchoKitty had the exact same one, only she’s smarter and posted faster.

Put a sign up saying “This lawn treated with PenisWither TM for that loving touch look.”

Ask the kids first. You never know, they may surprise you.

If not, then ask their parents.

Still nothing, scream at kids a là c_goat’s childhood.

If all that doesn’t work, is it possible for you to call police? I do think it can be resolved way before then, though.

I dunno, is the sound of children playing such an awful thing to be subjected to? If it were me (I have no children) I might just have a little chat with them about not digging up the lawn and damaging the flowerbeds. As long as the kids are polite (i.e. not constantly screaming) and not destructive, I don’t see this as such a bad thing.

Use the water hose, if that doesn’t work… paintball guns. You could get a large dog chained up in the front yard and only feed him out of a large child shaped food dish. You could put up a staked palisade… if nothing else it will improve the resale. Random pit traps, rabbit snares, bear traps, or planting thorny cacti are all viable options. Dig up old skulls and stake them out headhunter style, burn your grass salt the earth and make a sharp rock garden (round rocks are soooo passe).

Clever Hans: The man that loves children… medium well.

make the kids think you are some sort of witch and dire things will happen to them if tresspass.
Fear will keep the local kids in line.

We have this same problem. In two weeks, we are moving to a community in which there are not (yet) any children. Blessed, blessed relief.

The big problem I have with the kids playing in the yard is that my two dogs bark their fool heads off whenever they see any unauthorized people in their yards. They’re big wimps, but they sound mighty. Plus - well, I’m a respecter of other people’s property, and I think kids should be, too. No, I don’t have a rational reason for not wanting them in my yard (other than the dogs’ reaction), but it irritates me, nonetheless. The kids in our neighborhood are NOT particularly well-behaved, though. Our garage was egged after a simple request on my part that they not let their dog poop on my rosebushes.

Fences are not a possibility for the front yard, though we have the nice block wall in the back yard.

"If that doesn’t work, get some of those ChemLawn signs that say the grass has been treated with some hideous chemicals that will make their skin boil. If THAT doesn’t work, scare 'em. "

—Screw the signs. TREAT the damn lawn with some hideous chemicals that will make their skin boil.

Ooh, I think Zebra has the winner, there. I like the sound of that! So, I should probably start working up to my reputation, eh? Maybe start digging around in the back yard by the light of the full moon, muttering to myself while walking around the neighbourhood, making strange little stick dolls with rag hair and sticking them around the yard, that kind of thing?

Featherboo Radley.

Well, then…heh, heh, heh…

Paint or have engraved on the sidewalk to your front door and on your driveway, a pentacle.

String/bury copper wire or bury copper coins (pennies, in the US) along the boundaries of your front yard, while asking that your yard be protected from trespassers and your boundaries respected. Repeat your request while walking your property line with a lit black candle. Let your neighbors see you doing this.

This is a simple ‘spell’ or ‘working’ to protect your home. You really don’t have to let your neighbors see you, but it would help your ‘rep.’

Okay, now I’m torn between treating the lawn with skin-boiling chemicals or becoming known as a witch (or at least a weirdo) in the neighbourhood. Decisions, decisions…

If I recall, you were the one with the parking problem?

Two birds with one stone: park both the cars on the lawn! :smiley: