DO oyu allow your kids to play in your neighbours yards? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 01-12-2005, 08:18 AM - Thread Starter
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I just woke up ( 6 am this morning) to the sound of kids in my yard. I don't hve kids and the ones I am raising are 10 miles away... so this is very odd.
I go outside and the neighbour girl has ridden her bike between my car and the upstairs neighboour ( who also has no kids) and their were kick marks on my car.
I tell her to go home and her response is "my dad said I could play here" I told her again to go home and wen to talk to her parents....They are not pleased that I will not allow her "Just to play" and that I inform them that I do no ever want her there. I am responsible if she gets hurt and they could sue, me, the girl upstairs and hte landlord for not properly supervising her, even if we did not know she was there! I also told them that she had kicked the car several times getting past it and I expected that they would be responsible for damages if their were any...I had taken pictures of the kid in my yard, her bike, the tracks and the kick marks....they are of the opinion that I am being unresonable
and "need to get over myself".
AM I being unreasonable to thik that since I have no kids, I should not have to have them in the yard playing and potentially damaging my stuff or do you allow your kids to play in the yards of neighbours who are either not home or who don't have kids?
And how would oyu want your neighbours to handle it, if your kids were doing that and/or disturbing them in the very early morning hours?
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#2 of 16 Old 01-12-2005, 09:32 AM
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You are certainly not being unreasonable, IMO. The liability issue, property damage, and disturbance of your peace are all valid concerns. I can't imagine why these parents would *want* their kid to play in a stranger's yard unsupervised. From their POV, how do they know you're not a creep? What if you had dangerous stuff in your yard? What if you go to back your car out and the kid is playing back there? You shouldn't have to be paranoid about kids behind your car every time you leave.

Our neighbors kids won't even come into our yard to fetch an errant ball. They always knock on our door to get it back. Our backyard is fenced in, and the guy in the other half does have (small, nonthreatening) dogs in the yard, but that may be serving as a kid deterrent. In our old house, we did have a problem with kids being on our porch, in our yard, etc; but it was another duplex and the people next door didn't mind, so there wasn't much I could say about it. I did get rather upset when the little girl kept insisting that I let her in my house to play with my cats! I didn't even know this kid's name, which house she lived in, or who her parents were. She was frequently free-ranging the neighborhood, and I was pretty close to calling the police. She finally left me alone when I shut the doors and curtains and refused to answer her, and we moved out of there not too long afterwards. It wasn't a dangerous neighborhood by any means, but yeesh.

I like to think that, if I still live somewhere where there are neighbors, I'll have the good sense to keep an eye on my kid until it's old enough to understand respecting other people's space, among other things. I dunno, I guess if I was in your neighbors' situation and had lost my sense of decency and respect, I'd want someone to bash me with the cluebat.
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#3 of 16 Old 01-12-2005, 10:32 AM
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I don't think you are being unreasonable.You are right in that you could get sued if anything happen.I never let my kids play in another persons yard unless we have their permission,and I am with them the whole time.Any damaging of other peoples property would meet some severe punishment,and an immediate apology to the property owner.What a sassy little girl you had to deal with,lol.And the parents are no better. I am not sure where you can take this legally,but I hope it gets resolved soon.It is really suprising how so many parents let their little/young kids roam around unsuprevised.
Best wishes to you!
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#4 of 16 Old 01-12-2005, 10:43 AM
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To be fair, andi_3K didn't say how old this child is. I certainly don't accompany my kids outside every time they go out to play.

My kids have been taught that they don't need to be in other people's yards unless they have been invited. They aren't even allowed to ride their bikes near OUR cars, let alone someone else's.

We currently live in military housing. We moved here in April of last year. 99% of the people living in military housing have children, so there isn't anyone around who is kid-free. Our front yards are small and all run together, so it's sometimes hard to set boundaries. Our back yards are mostly fenced.

Our old neighborhood was mostly retirees, but we had a big yard. If my kids wanted to ride bikes or skate, they did it in the street (we lived in a quiet cul-de-sac).... NOT in other people's yards or driveways.
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#5 of 16 Old 01-12-2005, 10:46 AM
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I don't think you are being unreasonable, either. There is no reason that child should be playing in *your* yard unsupervised.

I've had to shoo neighbor kids out of my yard. They'd get on my porch swing and swing so hard the feet would come off the ground, or they'd push each other like they were on a playground swing.

One day they thought my family had all left when in fact I'd stayed behind. I heard them playing in the front yard and opened the door. You should have seen the look on their faces! Total shock and surprise that I was home. Two girls were on my kids scooters, one was on the porch swing and one was sitting on the sidewalk in front of my house drawing with my kids chalk. I called all their parents after that one. For all the kids knew they were all alone out there using my/my kids things totally unsupervised. God knows what could have happened. One of the girls was headed into the street on one of the scooters!

Other than that, I've sent kids home for not obeying the rule of "No Climbing the Tree!" I'll get on to them, turn my back and they are up there again. They get sent home for several days and I call their parents. If they fell out of that tree I could be sued!

Stand up for yourself and your property. The little girl deserves to play where she can be supervised in her *own* yard.
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#6 of 16 Old 01-12-2005, 10:50 AM
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Am i reading the op was 6am and the child was in your yard?

We have kids in our yard, but then again we have three kids, and they come over and play, then go to their yards and play, then back and forth. However, kids dont just come in my yard and play alone, without one of my kids being there. They do turn around on their bikes in our driveway, which is fine. They come into the yard to get a ball, and when it goes over my fence, they ring the doorbell and ask if they can go and get it.

Liability is a big issue.
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#7 of 16 Old 01-12-2005, 04:06 PM
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Our rule is that you do not touch one blessed thing that is not yours without permission. That goes for yards, cars, toys, dogs, babies, flowers (in other people's gardens), you name it. I'm sure there is an exception in there somewhere but I can't think of it offhand.

Sounds like Dad was pissed that his kid was his responsibility again and not someone elses for the morning.
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#8 of 16 Old 01-12-2005, 06:39 PM
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Not over reacting. Even if you had kids, still not overreacting - 6 a.m.!!
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#9 of 16 Old 01-12-2005, 06:40 PM
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Oh, and yes, my kids are allowed play in neighbours' yards, IF they are playing with the kids from that house, and if it's okay with the parents.
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#10 of 16 Old 01-12-2005, 11:10 PM
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Yeah, I do sometimes have kids playing in my yard for a few minutes at a time. They come to pet my dog, usually. They don't stick around long if we are not outside with them. But I know all the kids in my neighborhood, and know their parents at least superficially. All the kids kind of run loose around here and in and out of other's yards. But there are times when they have crossed boundaries, like come up on to our back porch, or hung around too long for my liking being noisy, and then I ask them to leave. But that is just me and how things are on my street. If I didn't like the kids being there than I think I'd have every right to talk to their parents and keep the kids off my property. I also don't plan to let my son play in other people's yards when they are not home, no matter how others do it.

I don't think you are overreacting at all. You make the rules for your property. Why would they want their kids to be playing somewhere where they were not wanted, anyway?
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#11 of 16 Old 01-13-2005, 10:25 AM
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I would be as annoyed as you are....that is really early.

We do sometimes have kids in our yard without their parents but my next door neighbor and I talked about it and worked it out...she is a single mom with a 14 year old who walks home from school and then she gets home about 45 minutes later. There is another 14 year old on the other side of my house (both awesome boy babysitters ) Anyway, they often have their buddies over and the single mom has a basketball hoop in her yard. At one point the kids were running ACROSS the street to build up speed to try to slam the ball (nobody is a greater threat to a 14 year old boy than a 14 year old boy himself) I let the kids and the moms know that they could start their approach in my yard instead. It works out great because the boys often let my boys "play" which makes them crazy happy. Likewise, she doesn't care if we use their basketball hoop when they are home. BUT the difference is we are friends, talked about it and everyone makes a point of being really respectful of each other.

My parents had the same sort of experience in their last house that you are describing there was a family that didn't supervise their kiddos very well - my mom once found the three year old about two blocks away because the mom had left him alone in the house and run to the store during his nap and he woke up and went looking for her!!! Anyway, they asked my parents to childproof their garage in case the toddlers got in there!!! It did create quite a conflict as my younger brother is 28 and my parents didn't really think it was their responsibility to childproof the INSIDE of their garage.... To top it off my dad worked for a major insurance company for about 30 years so he is INSANE about potential liability issues

Barney & Ben
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#12 of 16 Old 01-13-2005, 12:11 PM
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No, I don't allow my kids to play in neighbor's yards, unless the neighbor is home & has given permission. To do so is just rude.

We do occasionally have kids ride bikes on our driveway, and I'm a little conflicted about that one. I do allow my kids to turn around in the neighbor's driveways, but not to ride up and down repeatedly. There's a fine line there, I think.

We did once have some new neighbor kids climbing the tree in our front yard after dark in the summer. DH told them that they needed to leave, and we never had another problem.

You're definitely not overreacting.

New signature, same old me: Ann- mama of 2 boys and 2 girls, partnered to a fabulous man.
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#13 of 16 Old 01-13-2005, 05:21 PM
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Excuse me??
I think not! you are in no way being unreasonable. And you are so right about the liability issues. I can bet who would be pounding on your door if she fell in your driveway and got hurt!! They would have their lawyer on you so fast...
I will get flamed for this but have seen it happen to others too many times-document it. Times/when you talked to them/what you said/asked etc..

6 am EGAd
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#14 of 16 Old 01-17-2005, 02:05 AM
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I don't think you're being unreasonable. My kids aren't allowed to play in neighbor's yards.

We've had an issue though with our next door neighbors. She wanted us to make sure that our kids never set one foot on one blade of her grass, literally. That was impossible to promise. The kids rode bikes on the sidewalk, sometimes they fell off. They sometimes had to retrieve a ball. She came out screaming at my son to get out of her yard the very first time he rode a two wheeler, he had fallen down into her yard. Very nice.

We've finally made up with them after years of bad relationships. My point here is that I think that some flexibility is a good thing.
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#15 of 16 Old 01-17-2005, 09:02 AM
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My dd is 4 and is not allowed out by herself yet. When we are not in our fenced in backyard she must stay if the front yard to play. I would never allow my dd to play in a neighbor's yard without permission from that person.
We've had issues with neighbor children coming in our yard unsupervised by their parents and without permission. They have peeked in windows of our house. They have taken things. They have broken things. They threw mud at the house. And their parents didn't do a thing because the kid said they didn't do it, it was some other kid. I know if they got hurt, they would sue us.
Good idea to take pictures and document it.
6 AM is pretty early for a child to be out playing anyway isn't it?

Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

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#16 of 16 Old 01-17-2005, 11:18 AM
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My neighborhood is like slightly crunchy's. The kids run all over the place. They use the swingset in my next door neighbor's back yard- he doesn't have kids (the previous owners did). But he said it was OK. They also sometimes walk through the woods in our back yard. To tell you the truth, I kind of like it. It's the way it was when I was a kid; we'd go out on our bikes all day long, and we knew all of the neighbors. (We knew whose yard it was OK to cut through, and whose to avoid, too!) As long as they're not getting up to anything bad, like damaging property, I like seeing them around. I keep an eye on them when they're out there, making sure they're not scaling our fence and going into the other subdivision.

I'm not really worried about some kid falling on my driveway, and then having his parents sue me. I'm sure it has happened, but I'll take my chances. I'm not going to be "the mean lady" that all the kids dislike or are scared of. I'd rather have a good relationship with them, because it works to my advantage. Like when my next door neighbor's cat disappeared... I was able to talk to some of the kids and find out who had taken it. I'm glad they trust me.

All of this is null and void if they wake me up at 6 a.m. :

Tallulah Dare 8-01,  Marcos Gael 12-04, Cormac Mateo 9-09, Leonidas Ronan 11-11

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