Your'e damn right I upset your daughter and I'll probably do it again.

You see, I’m just plain fed up picking up litter in my fron garden, 90% of which, dear neighbour, is dropped by your children in your garden, or outside my front gate. (most of the other 10% is, I suspect, left by their friends but I cannot prove this).

So when I saw your four-year-old daughter quite deliberately drop the empty plastic bag (from whatever foul artificially coloured sugar nuggets you are feeding them now) on the grass, I took the opportunity to very politely point out that it would be better if she took it indoors and put it in the bin.

Don’t try to tell me she didn’t understand because she picked it up, shouted ‘no!’ at me and dropped it again. I repeated my polite suggestion and she picked it up and threw it over the fence into my front garden. It was at this point that I may have raised my voice just a little, but this did seem to get the message across, as she quietly retrieved it and went indoors.

I’m sorry to hear that she burst into tears at some point after going indoors, but I’m not really surprised; she cries like a newborn all the time (until you give here what she wants, which you always do) and don’t send your ten-year-old daughter round to tell me how bad I am, I’ll discuss this with an adult or not at all.

Oh and don’t even get me started on how shitty a parent you are for releasing your children (from quite literally the moment they can first walk) to run about, completely unsupervised, for hours at a time outside, where they quite often play on the road.

See, I’m so angry I put the apostrophe in the wrong place.

's ok. Language skills are the first to go when the Rant fairy comes a call’n.

So let me get this straight-they think you’re the Big Bad Man on the street, striking terror into the hearts of precious innocent kiddie litterbugs, and the send a ten year old girl over tell you off? I know it ain’t so, but what if you were some perv into stacking girl scout corpses in your basement? Or are they subconsciously courting a visit from Uncle Chuck?

Well (gulp) I didn’t tell the full story… the mother speaks only about three words of English, so she was ranting and raving behind the fence while the daughter translated. I told her to get her dad to see me if it was still a problem when he got in, then I closed the door.

I’m curious why, since you say that you’d rather deal w/the parents that wasn’t the first option.

I’m very reluctant to engage other people’s children in conversation outside of their view.

“Perhaps this isn’t charming little Kiki’s general behavior, however, I just saw her drop ‘this’ onto my front lawn. I’ve been having a bit of trouble keeping trash like this off of my lawn and was hoping that you’d speak to her about it”.

simulpost. wait for English speaking dad, then repeat.

Well, the trouble is that I seldom see the father (he works odd hours at a restaurant), although when I do, we get on well and it seems almost impolite to drag up the misdemeanours of his children; there’s no point trying to talk to their mother, since I’d have to call on the eldest daughter to translate.

I just happened to be outside with my kids, who were playing with their kids and the incident occurred; I thought it a good time to act. I definitely didn’t shout at the kid (although they claim I did), I did talk sternly to her, but I was polite and there was no physical contact.

I’ll probably end up going and making peace with them sometime later this week (I do have to live next door to them after all), but I’ll mention that we have to find a peaceful solution to the litter problem in my treaty.

Oh, I didn’t mention that the other day my daughter (6) came in and asked her mum “Alli(the four year old) told me to fuck off, what does that mean?”.

We may move house soon.

If I didn’t know better, I’d swear we lived in the same trailer park. The other day I’m outside working on my car and I hear someone honking their horn incessantly and screaming. I look up to see one of my neighbors in her driveway, sitting in her car, blowing the horn and yelling at a toddler (presumably hers) as he runs around the car. The kid is laughing his head off. He finds it funny that mommy causes the car to make noise as he runs around. Mother can’t be bothered to drag her lazy carcass out of the car and snatch the little monster up (like mine would have done) and properly dispose of him. No, she sits there, honking the horn for a good ten minutes, and then makes her preteen daughter get out of the car to get him. I only wish the landlord had been there, he’d have told her to knock it off or she could find some place else to live! (A lot of people don’t like the landlord here, but I think he’s great! Play your stereo too loud and out you go! Have a knockdown drag out fight in your front yard, yer movin’! Get the cops called on your ass for the wrong reason, yer outta here! :smiley: )

I agree with everything you did. If the kid is messing up your garden, be polite, and if they are still little brats, yell at them.

The only part I disagree with is the letting the kids out unsupervised. WTF? Kids aren’t allowed outside to play without their parents monitoring their every activity? Children SHOULD be sent out to play with friends at every opportunity (unless they haven’t done chores or homework). And unsupervision is not a problem. As for the playing in the road, what’s wrong with that? So long as it’s not a very busy road, of course. Which is what I’m assuming.

It’s a cul-de-sac, but it turns a sharp blind corner at the end where it joins a more busy road. I have no problem with children playing outside, but there’s a large, safe grassed area the other side of the houses where they can play without harm; children should not (IMO)play on roads.

The youngest child (the one I told off) has been routinely allowed out to wander off down the road completely alone since quite literally the day she took her first steps, often for hours at a time; a number of times I have seen or heard cars having to execute an emergency stop because she was sitting in the middle of the road, just around the blind corner.

Man, I wish I had your landlord. I had some trouble with my obnoxious, rude, can’t-speak-without-yelling, no-sentence-is-complete-without-at-least-one-“motherfucker”, ignorant asshole neighbors this weekend. I thought about writing a rant about it, but it’s really just too petty and stupid. I was this close to calling the cops on their stupid asses, but I decided to just laugh at them instead. But I long for the day our apartment manager gets fed up with their antics and gives them the boot.

Ever heard of Samantha Runnion?

Since this seems to be turning into a “rant about your neighbours” thread, I’ll just toss mine into the mix. My borderline-white-trash neighbours (in a fairly nice, non-trashy neighbourhood) have, for some unknown, unknowable reason, felt the need to drag all the crap out of their basement and leave it in the front yard of their house. Empty 10 gallon water bottles, old lawn furniture, old blankets, old chairs, just general crap - all adorning the front lawn for everyone to enjoy. I do realize this is a pretty weak complaint, but I just don’t understand “why”. If it’s to be stored, store it; if it’s to be junked, junk it. Don’t just leave it sitting there (going on a month now). I don’t know what is wrong with these people, except possibly for a serious case of “I have absolutely no concern for anybody else in the world”.

(Oh, so as to not completely hijack the thread, I think you did just fine, mangetout. Your yard is not everybody’s garbage dump, and four years old is certainly old enough to learn that.)

:eek: This is like my worst nightmare of driving come true. What the hell is the mom thinking?

LunaSea–what happened to Samantha was tragic, but are you really suggesting that every time a child goes anywhere the parent must follow? Part of being a kid is doing kid things, alone or with friends, free from parental supervision (age-appropriate, of course). IMO we would be doing a great disservice to our children by stifling their independent play out of overblown fears of uncommon dangers. I guess what I mean is that, yeah—I’ve heard of Samantha. But I’ve also heard of, met, and consider myself a part of a much larger group of people who spent many happy hours playing outside as a child and managed to survive. Diligence is good, hysteria is not. This is just a general statement, and of course I don’t mean that allowing this four year old child to roam unaccounted for and play in the streets is appropriate. But neither do I think allowing a four-year-old to, say, play a board game with a friend a few hundred yards from the front door would be irresponsible.
Mangetout–I think you were completely in the right here. 4 years old is plenty old enough to learn about respecting other’s property. If she went home crying over a simple correction, I get the feeling that she’s probably not corrected often, if at all. All the more reason you’ll have to let her know where your boundries lie yourself. Good luck, and can I just say that I’m glad I’m not you. :slight_smile:


What mom? Oh, you mean the woman who carried that child to term, right? I have no idea.

That’s why I never exceed 10mph while taking blind turns in residential areas. My car has a kickass braking system, so it’s simply a matter of punching the brakes as hard as I can.

This is going to sound bloody harsh, but it could very well be that the “mother” in this case simply needs to attend her child’s funeral in order to understand just how precious children really are. (Of course, I surely hope that doesn’t happen. But it just might, and it’d be a tragedy if/when it does.)

Four years old is just too young to be playing outside unattended, IMO, and according to this article, I’m not off base in my reasoning:

At what age is it ok? I’m not sure, and I am hesitant about the article’s claim of 6 years of age, personally.


IMO, if your child is not at an age where you would leave him or her at home alone, and expect them to be able to feed themselves, then they shouldn’t be where an adult can’t see them. It’s way too easy for kids to get distracted when Mom’s doing the dishes and wander off in a random direction. If you don’t have the time to watch your young 'uns, make sure someone else is doing so, even if it’s just an older child.

And that’s not even taking into account kids who have been grabbed by strangers in fatal two-second attention lapses by parents.

belladonna My daughter just turned 5 last week, my son is 2 and I would never let them play outside (unless in my fenced back yard) unsupervised. I’m not saying I follow them around, but I sit outside (reading, gardening etc) for my peace of mind. Maybe they wouldn’t be abducted, raped and murdered, but they could run in the street, fall and hurt themselves or get pushed around by the much bigger kids.

Before you think I’m paranoid, a boy in the neighborhood the same age as my daughter was backed into by a semi a few months ago. Neither of his parents were even home, let alone paying attention to him. I was outside watching my kids- I called the ambulance, got the bandages and made sure he kept still.

You can’t convince me that kids would be better off with less people looking out for them.

LunaSea–I don’t think you’re paranoid, and your point about kids hurting themselves is well taken. To clarify my position–you say you’d let them play in the yard and that’s pretty much what I’m talking about. Of course I don’t think two-year-olds should be wandering the streets unsupervised. I just meant that a parent should be allowed to let their kid play in the sandbox or on the swingset while they do dishes or whatnot without being labeled as neglectful (provided they check up on them at regular intervals, which I hope goes without saying).

As far as constantly watching a kid until they’re old enough to be left at home alone–which is around 12 in my book–What?! I wouldn’t let a three-year-old wander, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to follow around a ten-year-old from dawn to dusk. For one, they’d resent it, and for two, so would I. A child of that age is plenty old enough to know the rules that will help keep them safe (don’t talk to strangers; don’t play alone after dark; stay out of secluded areas; if someone creeps you out, run and shout for help, etc.) and as long as mom’s at home to run to, what’s the harm in allowing them to go off and play?
Am I the only one here who frequently rode my bike up to the library, or walked down to the ice-cream parlor with friends as a child?