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Are you a grouch?

October 13th, 2015 · 196 comments

Pro tip: if the sound of children’s laughter on a Sunday afternoon makes you curse the sky in rage, you might want to check yourself before you turn into a full-fledged cartoon villain. It might be too late for the “concerned” notewriter below.

A crude experiment

"A crude experiment"

related: That means you, young man!

FILED UNDER: kids


196 responses so far ↓

  • #1   Rae

    Notice it says “screams” and not “laughter in the note” Kids playing outside is a good thing, and I have no problem with kids laughing, and even yelling to each other across the yard or neighborhood.

    But there totally are kids who scream for no reason. Ear-splitting, worse than nails on a chalkboard, make your ears bleed Scream. And that is totally not ok. This note was kind of ridiculous, and the point could have been made a lot better, but asking parents to teach their kids not to scream bloody murder is perfectly reasonable.

    Not only does it allow people to enjoy their own outside space on nice days, but if a child is taught not to scream unless its an emergency , and then they Do start screaming, the responsible adults know they better start running to see what’s wrong.

    Oct 13, 2015 at 8:48 am   rating: 194  small thumbs up

    • #1.1   AC

      Those ear-splitting screams are the worst. And let’s not forget the Boy Who Cried Wolf. Scream often and loud enough, for no reason at all, and people will learn to ignore you when something IS wrong.

      Oct 13, 2015 at 8:58 am   rating: 74  small thumbs up

       
    • #1.2   JN

      At least this note says it’s outside. There are two kids in the apartment below me who love screaming inside at all hours of the day, and especially at 1 a.m.

      Oct 13, 2015 at 9:37 am   rating: 27  small thumbs up

       
    • #1.3   Poltergeist

      I find it funny how quickly everybody here is willing to believe that the notewriter is being 100% truthful and not exaggerating at all. On one hand, I agree that screaming at the top of your lungs is completely unnecessary and parents need to be responsible by putting a stop it. As I’ve probably mentioned 100 times already, I work at a school and when kids do this, there are consequences. On the other hand, I have encountered more than my fair share of people who think that the only good child is a silent child. We’ve had people (who chose to move into a house next to a school) complain about the noise during recess.

      Without more information, I am on nobody’s side.

      Oct 15, 2015 at 8:35 am   rating: 45  small thumbs up

       
    • #1.4   Lil'

      Well said, Poltergeist.

      Oct 15, 2015 at 8:48 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

       
    • #1.5   Tesselara

      A five minute sample is hardly statistically significant. Plus, kids like to scream. Yeah, it’s annoying, but not the end of the world. I think what that person needs to do is turn their house upside down looking for the perspective that they lost.

      Oct 16, 2015 at 7:09 pm   rating: 9  small thumbs up

       
    • #1.6   Juniper

      Yup – whoever runs the site has screaming kids – no doubt. Screaming does not equal laughter.

      Oct 17, 2015 at 9:22 am   rating: 21  small thumbs up

       
    • #1.7   The Beast Among Us

      “These screams varied in occurrence from a maximum of 1 minute and 8 seconds to a minimum of .53 seconds.”

      That confused me. Was the scream 1:08 long? A scream that long would be a challenge even for the likes of Corey Taylor.

      Oct 20, 2015 at 4:15 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

       
    • #1.8   Madrias

      I think it was more the time between the screams. That the longest period of time where the kids weren’t screaming was a minute and eight seconds, rather than screaming for a minute and eight seconds.

      At least, that’s what I’m coming up with.

      Oct 20, 2015 at 5:32 pm   rating: 8  small thumbs up

       
    • #1.9   Dario

      Agree and totally team note writer here. WHY do kids need to screech and scream randomly as they play?

      Was talking with my cousin and his wife (we’re mid-40s) and our recollection is of being admonished “Do not scream unless there is something really wrong!” as kids. It simply was not seen as a a normal part of play, but as rude and inconsiderate and unnecessary.

      What changed? Two of the houses across the street from me house children roughly age 3-9 — total of six kids — and the screaming today literally started at 7:30 a.m. as they were running about out front before being driven to school. Last night it went on until after dark. I am all for kids playing outdoors and getting fresh air but why can’t they articulate in a normal tone of voice and using actual words instead of mindless shrieks and squeals?

      Oct 21, 2015 at 11:32 am   rating: 34  small thumbs up

       
    • #1.10   Te Beast Among Us

      Probably for the same reason many adults can’t speak without either using foul language or saying filler words all the time (fillers like “you know,” and “like um”).

      Oct 21, 2015 at 5:20 pm   rating: 7  small thumbs up

       
    • #1.11   anACTUALparent

      Yeah, good luck teaching small children not to scream. They are known to listen and abide. I’m guessing you’ve never had kids.

      Nov 18, 2015 at 4:33 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
    • #1.12   Jim

      Actually, they do listen if you know how to parent them right. I’m guessing you shouldn’t have had kids. I guarantee everyone on your street wants to hit your screaming brats with their cars.

      Jan 5, 2016 at 3:32 am   rating: 9  small thumbs up

       
    • #1.13   Fritz

      exactly well said

      Feb 1, 2016 at 4:16 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #2   CN

    I happen to live by a family of screamers with a trampoline (without a safety net). It’s not happy yells as they jump. It’s the ear splitting, “i’ve fallen and broken my neck” screams constantly. It’s hard to ignore and it’s annoying as heck that no one has taught the kids that this isn’t okay to scream like that because people will think something is wrong. I wouldn’t leave a note but I’ve seriously considered talking to their parents who have yet to seem to notice this goes on or ever check on them when they are outside.

    Oct 13, 2015 at 9:05 am   rating: 57  small thumbs up

     
  • #3   Motown_Kim

    But they’re using their “outside voices”.

    Oct 13, 2015 at 9:06 am   rating: 22  small thumbs up

     
  • #4   Belaani

    Start throwing taffy over the fence – so hard to scream when your teeth are stuck together.

    Oct 13, 2015 at 9:06 am   rating: 79  small thumbs up

    • #4.1   Haterade

      I’m probably going to hell/retail for being so amused by that mental image. (^_^)

      No idea whether it’s true, but I remember hearing a long time ago that the same holds for peanut butter and barking dogs.

      Oct 14, 2015 at 11:12 am   rating: 9  small thumbs up

       
    • #4.2   The Beast Among Us

      Peanut butter and barking dogs is true. Dogs can’t easily dilute the peanut butter, so it keeps them licking their chops for hours.

      Oct 19, 2015 at 6:10 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

       
    • #4.3   Kiroma

      Every dog I ever owned could get through a massive spoonful of peanut butter in minutes and be right back to barking at the neighbor’s pomeranian** before I could get back in the house and put the jar and spoon away.

      **Dexter seemed to think it was some kind of walking chew toy and he desperately wanted to bite it’s head off. I should note that the pomeranian literally never barked the entire time I lived there, not even when Dexter was going nuts wanting to play with it.

      Nov 5, 2015 at 7:46 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

       
    • #4.4   The Beast Among Us

      Perhaps the Pomeranian was busy with peanut butter…

      Nov 6, 2015 at 2:37 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #5   idrow

    The people next door and across the street from me let their kids do this and it makes me insane. It’s like a kettle whistle on crack scream that makes me want to jam an oyster fork in my ear. I’m forced to close my windows on nice days and I still hear it. I hate these people. I’ve been on the verge of going outside and yelling “shut the f*** up!!!” several times. I know I’m going to crack one day.

    Oct 13, 2015 at 9:31 am   rating: 66  small thumbs up

    • #5.1   fiddles

      I was in your shoes.

      See if there is a site like Nextdoor.com, a neighborhood site in your area and shame them. You can make an account that doesn’t quite have your full name and picture. In my case of course there was baulking and some of the offensive “screaming” neighbors were elbowed to join the site, but a week later….no more screaming. It was really outrageous because a park is literally blocks away and the ocean is close by too!

      Even worse parents were standing around on street corners shoveling food into their mouths (one mom didn’t even use utensils) and drinking while ignoring the toddlers. Oh, and take pictures. That helps too, so people think you’re not making it up. Time stamps are extra helpful.

      I didn’t “hate” the kids, but we needed peace, and it was obvious we weren’t going to appeal to such people’s sense of civility.

      Mar 2, 2016 at 4:07 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #6   Lil'

    This is the most out-to-lunch thing I’ve ever read. I think if this person has the time to sit and document something to this extent, they need to find something to fill the void in their life. Even before I had children, the sound of children playing outdoors never bothered me, but I hate crap like this. I would rather live next to the screaming kids than the note writer. I know a guy who wrote a certified letter, and included highlighted community covenants, threatening to report his new right-next-door-neighbors because their dog used his lawn. A simple, “hey man” would have sufficed.

    Oct 13, 2015 at 9:51 am   rating: 19  small thumbs up

    • #6.1   labdude

      Oh, I dunno – perhaps the note writer was trying to “fill the void in their life” with any number of hobbies that require steady hands, and uninterrupted concentration, like tying extremely small trout flies or building a ship in a bottle.
      Note that the writer specifies that they were screams ‘that seem to need assistance’, which to me differentiates them from ordinary happy-kids-having-fun screams, which, even being equally annoying at least don’t make the hearer wonder what is going on. Makes me wonder what Caregiver is up to…
      Team Notewriter

      Oct 13, 2015 at 10:13 am   rating: 83  small thumbs up

       
    • #6.2   Lil'

      It’s all subjective. A scream to me might be a playful shriek to another person. I’m inclined to think a person who writes this kind of letter over this type of issue has issues of their own. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn she writes letters like this about outdoor cats, garbage cans left on the curb too long, overgrown grass, too much ketchup on her fast food burger…

      Oct 13, 2015 at 11:54 am   rating: 15  small thumbs up

       
    • #6.3   snow

      Assuming that the 5 minute observation period is in any way representative – and there’s no reason to assume that it isn’t – you have a bunch of kids screaming pretty much constantly, and I’d say that the situation is well beyond the point where the distinction between joyful and distressed screams matters. Also, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with documenting the incidences – that’s merely a sign of someone who has dealt with noise nuisance before. When you accuse someone of that they will inevitably claim that the noise is just occasional and rare, and documentation is the only way to even try to prove that that isn’t the case. In a previous apartment we lived in there was a neighbour with three large dogs that would constantly bark, howl and fight amongst themselves during the owner’s frequent and prolonged absences, and the only way to make anyone take notice was to keep a diary.

      Oct 13, 2015 at 12:54 pm   rating: 61  small thumbs up

       
    • #6.4   Raichu

      You’d really rather live next to the screaming kids than the note-writer? Something tells me you haven’t lived next to screaming kids before…

      Oct 13, 2015 at 6:28 pm   rating: 55  small thumbs up

       
    • #6.5   idrow

      Until you’ve been subject to being 15 feet away from a group of children screaming and shrieking for hours on end, you have no idea what it’s like. They wouldn’t pump in that noise to prisoners in solitary as punishment or as interrogation methods to break terrorists for information. It would drive them insane. You just have no idea. Ear splitting doesn’t even adequately convey it. If you want to actually get an idea, bring a tea kettle up to max boil, put your ear as close to it as possible and leave it there. While this is happening, have someone bring you 4 or 5 6 year olds and shut the kitchen door. Give them each 4 cans of Red Bull and set loose a bunch of spiders. Make sure the kitchen door stays shut. The ensuing screeching and screaming combined with the kettle whistle should start giving you an idea of what it’s like. Now, do this until all the water is evaporated from the kettle. Do this everyday that the weather is nice and at the end of the season, let us know how you feel about it. Until you’ve been subjected to this, you have no idea what you’re talking about.

      Mar 28, 2016 at 7:34 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #7   Jami

    Yeah, I’m on the letter writer’s side. Unless the kids are being murdered or something like that there’s no excuse for them to scream.

    Though I’d just call the non-emergency police number and say “Hey, the kids next door are screaming and have been all day. I don’t know what’s going on but it doesn’t sound good.” Forget the letter, go straight for the cops.

    Oct 13, 2015 at 9:52 am   rating: 84  small thumbs up

    • #7.1   Eohippus

      Children yell when they play. I don’t care for kids, but even I know that kids being noisy in the backyard on a Sunday afternoon are just part of living in a neighborhood. I’d hate to see what the letter writer does when someone has the temerity to mow the lawn.

      Oct 13, 2015 at 10:40 am   rating: 19  small thumbs up

       
    • #7.2   Belaani

      I’ve raised four kids. There’s a difference between yelling and screaming. Yelling = happy kids playing. Screaming = trouble and/or a neighborhood problem. I’m on team Call-the-Cops, IF talking to the Parental Unit(s) hasn’t worked.

      Oct 13, 2015 at 11:16 am   rating: 40  small thumbs up

       
    • #7.3   breezy

      The kids next door scream bloody murder constantly. If it were “I’m having so much fun” screams, I’d be fine, but it’s “a murderer is chasing me with a knife and I don’t know what to do” screams. Mom is…less than open to being asked to keep it down (I’ve been told before that our shared lot is “their house” and they’ll do as they please) so now I’m moving on to the non ER police.

      Oct 13, 2015 at 11:47 am   rating: 55  small thumbs up

       
    • #7.4   Stella3

      Belaani, was it actually screaming, or did the note-writer just use the word “scream” to describe what were actually yells?

      Oct 13, 2015 at 4:03 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

       
    • #7.5   Stella3

      Belaani, was it actually screaming, or did the note-writer just use the word “scream” to describe what were actually yells?

      Oct 13, 2015 at 4:03 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

       
    • #7.6   Lachwen

      And the cops will show up, determine nobody’s being murdered, and leave without doing anything. You will have wasted their time and nothing will change.

      Oct 17, 2015 at 3:35 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

       
    • #7.7   ejlh

      I dunno about that. I had a friend who had the police called on them due to kid noise – the kind of shouting and screaming to which the notewriter alludes – and he and his wife found it absolutely humiliating, and *did* make more effort to moderate their childrens’ public-facing behaviour as a result.

      Oct 18, 2015 at 3:05 am   rating: 22  small thumbs up

       
    • #7.8   NonnyMus

      This is what worked in my case. Several neighbors had talked to the parents to no avail. The police suspected the cause was PTSD* and pointed the parents to treatment programs for themselves and their kids. Parents did so and the screaming declined dramatically.

      Note that there is a strong orientation toward community policing/conflict resolution in my community, not just charge-em-with-a-crime attitude.

      *They were war refugees.

      Nov 3, 2015 at 12:15 pm   rating: 11  small thumbs up

       
    • #7.9   Haterade

      No fair, NonnyMus. I’ve spent 44 years getting this grumpy and cynical, and here you are trying to make me believe in people again. And no, I’m not blinking and rubbing my eyes because it’s that heartwarming, I’m… sleepy. That’s it.

      Get off my lawn, dadgummit. (^_~)

      Nov 3, 2015 at 2:03 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

       
    • #7.10   Lita bang

      Faith in humanity? No, what’s that? *hides it behind her back*

      Nov 4, 2015 at 12:34 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

       
    • #7.11   Haterade

      It’s a disease with a really strange vector… many diseases are spread by parasites or by opportunistic symbiotes, but the contagion can sometimes be practically halted by behavior that benefits the community more than it does the individual (such as hand-washing).

      “Faith in humanity” is the exact opposite. (^_~)

      Nov 4, 2015 at 1:10 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

       
    • #7.12   The Beast Among Us

      Roger: Flight 2-0-9′er, you are cleared for take-off.
      Oveur: Roger!
      Roger: Huh?
      Tower: L.A. departure frequency, 123 point 9′er. Oveur: Roger!
      Roger: Huh?
      Victor: Request vector, over.
      Oveur: What?
      Tower: Flight 2-0-9′er cleared for vector 324.
      Roger: We have clearance, Clarence.
      Oveur: Roger, Roger. What’s our vector, Victor?
      Tower: Tower’s radio clearance, over!
      Oveur: That’s Clarence Oveur. Over.
      Tower: Over.
      Oveur: Roger.
      Roger: Huh?
      Tower: Roger, over!
      Roger: What?
      Oveur: Huh?
      Victor: Who?

      Nov 4, 2015 at 4:28 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

       
    • #7.13   Lita bang

      Sounds like a Who’s On First skit, Beast… :P

      Nov 5, 2015 at 12:13 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

       
    • #7.14   The Beast Among Us

      It’s from the movie Airplane.

      Nov 6, 2015 at 2:40 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

       
    • #7.15   Lita bang

      …You know what, I should have known that, but I haven’t seen Airplane! for years.

      I must watch it again.

      Nov 7, 2015 at 1:18 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #8   NoAdditives

    I have four kids (2-almost 7 years old). Guess what? Kids scream. They do it when they’re happy, they do it when they’re hurt, they do it for no reason. Sure, it’s annoying. Yes, good parents do what they can to stifle their child’s urge to scream. But, good parents also know the difference between their child’s screams. Practical parents know it’s not possible to correct every single insurance of undesirable behavior. So yeah, it might be annoying, but kids are allowed to play outside and some amount of freedom. Get over it. Kids, even annoying ones, are a part of the world.

    Oct 13, 2015 at 10:16 am   rating: 31  small thumbs up

    • #8.1   Belinda

      Word. From a mother of 2.

      Oct 13, 2015 at 10:17 am   rating: 9  small thumbs up

       
    • #8.2   Raichu

      Are you THAT confident that you “know your kids’ screams” so that if they were in danger, you’d be able to tell the difference?

      There’s a line between behavior that people should be expected to put up with and behavior that, however normal, should not be inflicted on your neighbors. Constant loud screaming falls on the latter side of the line.

      Oct 13, 2015 at 6:32 pm   rating: 44  small thumbs up

       
    • #8.3   Rae

      My mother taught my brother and I that we weren’t allowed to scream unless we had cut our arms off and were bleeding profusely. And guess what? We didn’t scream. We laughed loudly, and when we were outside we could holler to one another, but there was No Screaming.

      Parents Can teach their kids not to scream, they just choose not to because they don’t care enough about being considerate of other people. Considerate parents teach their kids how to behave.

      Oct 14, 2015 at 9:05 am   rating: 70  small thumbs up

       
    • #8.4   Althena80 bang

      Yeah, your kids have the right to play outside, and your neighbours have the right to call you out if they’re driving everyone crazy constantly. Respect goes both ways, and constant screaming shouldn’t be acceptable.

      Oct 14, 2015 at 7:23 pm   rating: 57  small thumbs up

       
    • #8.5   Dario

      Sorry but we didn’t scream at any age. Nor did any of my nieces and nephews, any of the kids I babysat etc.

      It takes a bit of parental effort to ensure that children do not confuse mindless screeching and screaming with an acceptable form of expression and communication, but as millions of people demonstrate, it can be done.

      I guess it also takes a rock-bottom level of consideration for others’ peace & comfort, too, though.

      Oct 21, 2015 at 11:38 am   rating: 21  small thumbs up

       
    • #8.6   Dario

      Sorry but we didn’t scream at any age. Nor did any of my nieces and nephews, any of the kids I babysat etc.

      It takes a bit of parental effort to ensure that children do not confuse mindless screeching and screaming with an acceptable form of expression and communication, but as millions of people demonstrate, it can be done.

      I guess it also takes a rock-bottom level of consideration for others’ peace & comfort, too, though.

      Oct 21, 2015 at 11:39 am   rating: 6  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #9   Belinda

    Clearly this parent was so sick to death of dealing with screaming that she kicked her kids out. Screaming is one of the few acts of resistance available to children and they make copious use of it. How do you stop a child from screaming without… I don’t know, using force?? Choking them?? Think about it, people. They age out of it pretty quickly in the long view. Let it go.

    Oct 13, 2015 at 10:17 am   rating: 9  small thumbs up

    • #9.1   hdonovan

      My aunt had 10 kids, my mother had 2, and I had one. The rule was no screaming (not laughing or yelling) unless there was blood or you needed to got to a hospital. You stop them screaming by stopping them from doing what ever fund thing they are engaged in while screaming. A few, “well that trampoline/game/movie is getting you too excited I guess you need to sit quietly on the porch/in this chair until you calm down” (about 10 min. is usually good, 5 if everyone else is still playing) really drives the point home and allows you to control screaming with mere warnings from then on.

      Oct 13, 2015 at 11:22 am   rating: 79  small thumbs up

       
    • #9.2   Belinda

      Here is a Belinda who is pro choking. Many parents are oblivious to the degree of annoying their children produce. Yes, children are in the world, but the world doesn’t have to put up with your bad parenting and your childrens’ “precious” screamy behavior. If adults made noise like this that hurt the ears of neighbors, no one would think twice about calling the cops, but parents think we all have to tolerate their kids. . .

      Team Notewriter! For Science!

      Oct 13, 2015 at 11:42 am   rating: 65  small thumbs up

       
    • #9.3   Haterade

      Clearly this parent was so sick to death of dealing with screaming that she kicked her kids out… They age out of it pretty quickly in the long view. Let it go.

      I’m old, crotchety, and cynical as hell. If someone’s actions reflect the slightest hint of decency and goodwill, I find it a pleasant surprise. Heck, I’m so jaded that a jewelry store once offered to buy me for mounting… and even I find this sad. (・᷄ ︵・᷅ )

      “If I get tired of listening to my children scream, everyone else should take a turn for several hours. Never mind that one of these days the only way anyone will know they’ve been kidnapped is because it gets quiet, I can’t be bothered to correct their behavior. Get used to it, they’ll stop in 18 years max.”

      Oct 13, 2015 at 12:24 pm   rating: 47  small thumbs up

       
    • #9.4   AC

      I know, right? “I don’t feel like dealing with it so I’ll make it everyone else’s problem.”

      Oct 13, 2015 at 12:42 pm   rating: 38  small thumbs up

       
    • #9.5   Lita bang

      I’m so jaded that a jewelry store once offered to buy me for mounting

      Have I told you lately that I love your turns of phrase, Haterade?

      Oct 13, 2015 at 1:46 pm   rating: 10  small thumbs up

       
    • #9.6   Rattus

      How do you stop a child from screaming? Oh, I don’t know. How about…parenting? Teaching them about consequences to actions? Telling them to shut the fuck up?

      Oct 14, 2015 at 7:40 am   rating: 41  small thumbs up

       
    • #9.7   Haterade

      Lita: Thank you… (。˘‿˘。)

      You’ve been on my mental “nifty people” list for a while, so it really brightened up my day to hear this.

      Oct 14, 2015 at 11:04 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
    • #9.8   Lita bang

      Hee! And you’ve just brightened mine. :D Thank you very much! You are nifty too!

      Oct 14, 2015 at 2:46 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #10   Eohippus

    I’m pretty much the Grinch personified, and I flat out don’t like kids, but the letter writer is a giant bag of crazy. I hope they call the cops so they can explain why they’re out monitoring strange children. Neighbors like that are why I’m glad I live in the country where the nearest house is a mile away.

    Oct 13, 2015 at 10:36 am   rating: 8  small thumbs up

     
  • #11   GG

    I empathize — when I was a (normal, well-behaved) kid, a family with two young boys moved in next to us and they would literally SCREAM incessantly, and were in the backyard all the time, and it made life pretty awful. There’s a big difference between kids making noise when playing and constant screaming.

    Oct 13, 2015 at 11:18 am   rating: 45  small thumbs up

     
  • #12   nightsmusic

    We live next door to a couple who have their grandchildren almost every weekend. The little girl SCREAMS constantly when she’s outside and if the weather is decent, she’s always outside. Last weekend, I hear her screaming, “HELP ME!! HELP ME!!” We are on three acres and so are they and it sounded like nails on a blackboard under my window, not to mention though my kids are grown, that instinct to protect still works. So I went barreling out the front door and across the front porch, only to see her standing by the back of their house, squirting herself with a hose and screaming, “HELP ME!! HELP ME!!!” Every. Single. Time! the water hit her.

    No one pays attention to the kids and one of these days, she’s going to scream help me for real and no one will ever know what happened.

    Yes, I know kids scream. I had two. But I also took the time to teach them that shouting when playing and screaming to wake the dead are two entirely different things and if they ever really needed help, it would never come if they couldn’t tell the difference.

    More power to the letter writer (though it’s a tad overboard as far as detail…)

    Oct 13, 2015 at 11:40 am   rating: 70  small thumbs up

    • #12.1   a*p

      In this case I would have spoken to the parents… just because of the Boy who cried Wolf issue. It’s something I spoke to my kids about, certainly…

      Oct 17, 2015 at 9:07 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #13   Tern

    I’m for team note writer, though a friendly conversation would be a better first step. I have kids, and occasional yells outside are a normal part of play. Constant screaming is not. I always told the kids that if they screamed I would assume they were hurt and take appropriate action, including ending whatever activity was going on.

    Also, just because it’s outside does not mean it doesn’t bother people. Sure, it’s expected that louder noise is ok outside. But there are limits.

    Oct 13, 2015 at 11:50 am   rating: 43  small thumbs up

    • #13.1   The Elf

      I’m not convinced this “screaming” is actually screaming.

      Oct 13, 2015 at 1:36 pm   rating: 7  small thumbs up

       
    • #13.2   Tern

      Well, you can’t tell for sure from the note. It could be the notewriter is blowing it out of proportion. But I’ve heard a number of kids actually scream when they play, so I was giving the notewriter the benefit of the doubt.

      Oct 13, 2015 at 1:50 pm   rating: 18  small thumbs up

       
    • #13.3   Kimberly

      There is an in home daycare at a house that backs up to mine. They have numerous screamers and it will go on and on and on right up until their parents pick them up. It is so loud that I’ve been inside and shut the windows to my house to try to muffle it.

      Oct 22, 2015 at 9:33 am   rating: 6  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #14   hbc

    Is “assistance” code for “a paddlin’”? Because clearly the kids don’t actually “need assistance” if they’re still conscious and have breath to scream after five minutes. Even a three year old with a broken leg or a bleeding gash would have dragged himself up to the house by that point, or at least screamed something specific.

    Either complain about their noisiness bugging you or express concern for what *could* happen with them unattended. Not even a helicopter parent would think there are 24 intervention-worthy events in a five minute period.

    Oct 13, 2015 at 12:27 pm   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #14.1   JB bang

      “Screamin’ in the yard…
      You’d better believe that’s a paddlin’. “

      Oct 13, 2015 at 2:39 pm   rating: 26  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #15   bekbek

    I think it’s perfectly reasonable to think that these kids might actually be having fun. For some kids, there is no difference in the sound between shrieks of joy and shrieks of anguish.

    This is also in the space of a very short time. The note writer sounds like they have a stick up their butt. It doesn’t say, “Lady, your kids are screaming outside for three hours every day.” This sounds like it is one afternoon.

    Personally, I try to be vigilant about the noise level of my kids, even when they’re outside. But sometimes, I do things like go to the bathroom and realize I need to poop. Then my kids might scream in my backyard without me realizing it. You know what it usually is? An effing yellow jacket that they are convinced is trying to kill them. Yes, I already went outside and sprayed every hive thoroughly. Those motherlickers are dead. But there are still some that fly around because, outside. I think my kids must think they will die if one stings them because they flip out (even though one has been stung before and even admits it was no big deal).

    Sometimes kids scream when they’re happy; sometimes kids scream about stupid things; sometimes parents have their kids go outside, so they can have a break; yes, kids are freaking annoying, my kids are annoying. I’m sorry if they annoy you sometimes, but you know, a lot of adult people are annoying, too. Kids are still learning how to be people, and sometimes (mosttimes) they make questionable choices. You can’t expect strict parental control at all times.

    I don’t even know why I’m writing all this crap. It just pisses me off that there is this level of judgement for a mom whose kids are screaming outside. I hear kids screaming while they’re playing from another neighborhood from my backyard because kids screaming while they play is very common.

    Oct 13, 2015 at 12:33 pm   rating: 17  small thumbs up

     
  • #16   The Elf

    I’m not crazy about the dulcet sounds of children either – that’s on the long list of reasons why I don’t have any – but damn, this is excessive. As long as the “screaming” isn’t during extremely late or early hours, or right outside your window (unless your window faces a tot lot or something) it’s just to be expected. Close your windows and play some music and try not to be such a asshole.

    Oct 13, 2015 at 1:34 pm   rating: 10  small thumbs up

    • #16.1   Raichu

      There is such thing as noise pollution. I actually think it’s reasonable to expect to be able to live in your house with the windows open and not have to constantly listen to screaming.

      Oct 13, 2015 at 6:36 pm   rating: 51  small thumbs up

       
    • #16.2   The Elf

      This is part of living near people. If it’s really bad, really constant, or really early/late, then talk to the parents. And frame it in a way of disruption, not parenting. This note is not going to do anything but fan the flames. If notewriter is lucky, the parent won’t suggest they play near his window.

      Oct 14, 2015 at 9:25 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

       
    • #16.3   Lil'

      I’m with you 100% Elf. I cannot understand Team Note Writer on this one. First of all, I’m not quick to assume the “screaming” is excessively loud, nor frequent enough to warrant this kind of letter. Secondly, living next to people is give and take. People should have a degree of tolerance for each other. It’s part of the package. That includes giving certain allowances for kids being kids, whether you have them or not. If you don’t have kids you used to be a kid. Not all childhood tendencies equate to misbehaving. And the criticism of the mom’s parenting on top of it all. She’s assuming the children are unsupervised when mom could very well be sitting in her patio chair watching them play and doesn’t find her children’s volume to be excessive. Just because a person is annoyed by something doesn’t mean their annoyance is justified. Note writer could very well have a low tolerance for noise.

      Oct 14, 2015 at 9:51 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

       
    • #16.4   Rattus

      I can hear kids shrieking at an ear drum-piercing level the next street over on a regular basis. As far as I’m concerned, that is excessive, my annoyance is justified, and their parents are not doing their job.

      Ditto for the people who allow their dog to bark out the window whenever its attention is caught by a passerby, a truck, or a fly.

      Oct 14, 2015 at 12:21 pm   rating: 38  small thumbs up

       
    • #16.5   Lil'

      I’m doubtful it’s eardrum piercing for you from that far away.

      Oct 14, 2015 at 12:27 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

       
    • #16.6   Rattus

      Doubt away – they are at a pitch that is actually painful.

      Oct 14, 2015 at 1:35 pm   rating: 27  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #17   Lita bang

    Living near this neighbor is clearly a scream.

    Oct 13, 2015 at 1:47 pm   rating: 12  small thumbs up

     
  • #18   phoenix

    I think a big part of this is how close the kids are to their neighbors. If you’re in a subdivision with yards…eh. If you’re like me, and live in an apartment building with a tiny lot outside, the screaming neighbors “outside” are literally a foot from your windows. They’d be farther away inside their own apartment.

    So yeah, a lot of this is dependent on your living situation. Kids in neighborhoods should be expected, if you’re a third-shift working joe in a crap apartment, your tolderance for children screaming in joypain on a sunday afternoon starts to tank.

    Oct 13, 2015 at 1:48 pm   rating: 21  small thumbs up

    • #18.1   The Elf

      I feel the midnight shift’s pain. Assuming the kids are not playing on your own property, you don’t have a lot of options. The best solution is to speak to the parents and instead of criticizing their parenting, ask that the kids either play quieter or somewhere else because you work at night and sleep in the day. If that doesn’t work, you’re pretty much out of options. Either way, honey not vinegar.

      Oct 13, 2015 at 3:39 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
    • #18.2   wmdkitty bang

      Upvoted for “joypain”. That is the perfect description of that sound!

      Oct 22, 2015 at 3:44 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #19   Keri

    I totally get that all the screaming may be very annoying, and honestly, I would probably be on the side of the note writer, except for one thing: they write it in such a condescending, “I’m only doing this because I care about the kids” manner. Even if you don’t have the guts to just go next door and ask the parents to please try to quiet the children and need to write a note, just state “Your kids are screaming and it’s driving me nuts.” Don’t try to phrase it in a “Your children are obviously not old enough to be playing in the backyard by themselves, and I’m just so concerned I had to write this note.” To me, THAT is what makes this a passive-aggressive note.

    Oct 13, 2015 at 3:06 pm   rating: 27  small thumbs up

    • #19.1   Stella3

      You just analyzed perfectly what was bugging me about this note.

      Oct 13, 2015 at 4:08 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

       
    • #19.2   Amy

      What if this is the fifth time he has tried to address it…I might be pretty condescending too…especially if I wrote it after just listening to it!

      Oct 13, 2015 at 4:43 pm   rating: 8  small thumbs up

       
    • #19.3   Raichu

      Well, it IS a PA note! This one fits the site very well, including being rather obnoxious, even though the writer has a point.

      Oct 13, 2015 at 6:38 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

       
    • #19.4   L

      If it’s the FIFTH time… notes obviously aren’t working. Either the notewriter is unreasonable, or the parents are, but either way, more notes aren’t gonna help matters.

      Oct 13, 2015 at 10:31 pm   rating: 6  small thumbs up

       
    • #19.5   Stella3

      Amy, who said it was the fifth time he had tried to address it?

      Oct 14, 2015 at 10:29 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
    • #19.6   Colleen

      I choose to read the “for your children’s well being” part as a thinly veiled threat. “Gee, it would be terrible if something happened to your screaming children, seeing as how they’re unattended and all…”
      Still passive-aggressive, and much more amusing.

      Oct 15, 2015 at 7:58 am   rating: 15  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #20   Jaynor05

    Children’s Screams…. are fucking delicious.

    Oct 13, 2015 at 3:20 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #20.1   Lil'

      I’m revoking your PAN card effective immediately.

      Oct 13, 2015 at 7:21 pm   rating: 7  small thumbs up

       
    • #20.2   labdude

      Did this make anyone else think of Children of Earth?

      Oct 15, 2015 at 1:30 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

       
    • #20.3   Lita bang

      More like Children of the Corn.

      Oct 15, 2015 at 3:33 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #21   av

    The parents should totally give these notes to their children and have them color and draw happy pictures on them. Maybe even instruct them to draw pictures of the sad neighbors in a delightful manner, with big happy smiles. Then, deliver them back to the neighbor.

    Hehe, have a nice day :)

    Oct 13, 2015 at 4:08 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

     
  • #22   Amy

    Kids yell and scream. Dogs bark. People yell and scream. Music and TV is played too loud.

    It doesn’t mean any of this should be allowed to happen excessively to disrupt the neighbors quality of life.

    My city has an ordinance that says if basically you can hear it from the street, you can get a ticket – WITHOUT a warning first. This applies to loud music, piano/musical instrument practice, yelling/screaming, barking dogs, TV, chain saws, lawn mowers, etc. Noise is in the ears of the human having to listen to it. Let’s face it, lawn mowers and equipment can’t be helped and they don’t go on, and on, and on!

    I have a neighbor behind me that has the WORST child. Their youngest screams for no reason (not kidding – NO reason). I think there might be a mental issue, but after about an hour of it, I just want her to go inside and scream – I didn’t have the kid they did. Forget being in my yard, I hear her inside my house with my windows closed.

    Their older child (which I think only visits during the summer) was shooting water over the fence with a soaker gun (the kind that can go >30′).

    I started noticing my dogs would start barking every time he was outside (which they are not outside unless I am home – and I can’t stand barking). He got the shock of his life when it was ME in the backyard instead of the dogs one day. The 12 year old was even more shocked when I knocked on their front door about 5 minutes later to let the parents know what he was doing.

    Oct 13, 2015 at 4:41 pm   rating: 45  small thumbs up

     
  • #23   Dave

    I think it’s time for someone to consider moving out to “Golden Acres” where the kids are banned.

    Oct 13, 2015 at 5:35 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

     
  • #24   Raichu

    The tone of the note is obnoxious and over the top in a major way. But it’s not NEARLY as obnoxious as nonstop screaming.

    Team note writer.

    Oct 13, 2015 at 6:41 pm   rating: 39  small thumbs up

     
  • #25   Jill

    I LOVE that so many people are on the note writer’s side. I’m glad I’m not the only person out there who would do something to get them to shut it.
    My neighbors have 3 dogs that bark constantly, sometimes as early as 6:30 AM and as late as 11:30 PM. It’s not okay when they do it, and it’s not okay when kids do it. And sure as hell, once I hatch my child, he/she will never think that that sort of behavior is okay.

    Oct 13, 2015 at 7:29 pm   rating: 33  small thumbs up

    • #25.1   Lil'

      I love people who always know exactly what they’ll do when they’re parents. Your perspectives will change.

      Oct 14, 2015 at 5:04 am   rating: 8  small thumbs up

       
    • #25.2   Althena80 bang

      So you stop being respectful of others once you have kids? Interesting!

      Oct 14, 2015 at 7:30 pm   rating: 43  small thumbs up

       
    • #25.3   Jill

      Yeah, gonna have to go with Althena here, Lil’. I never allowed my dog to run around and be an a**hole…not going to let my kid do it either.

      Oct 14, 2015 at 9:27 pm   rating: 30  small thumbs up

       
    • #25.4   Stella3

      Jill, I think Lil’s point might have been that you would find it difficult to actually change/influence your kids’ behaviors. Perhaps the point was meant to be that it would be easier said than done. But I’m not Lil, so I’m not certain that’s what she meant.
      P.S. as a fellow dog-owner, kudos for you for keeping your dog under control. My own dog is also super well behaved. However, I don’t think people with barking dogs want their dogs to bark non-stop; I kind of think they might just not know how to stop it.

      Oct 14, 2015 at 10:34 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
    • #25.5   Lil'

      When you don’t have kids, it’s easy to judge snapshots of other people’s parenting and other children’s behavior. When you have children, your perspective of what is “asshole” behavior and what is simply a child being childlike is. Just because you don’t like hearing a child playing in the backyard doesn’t mean their volume is excessive or their behavior needs some form of correction. The world is filled with noise. You deal. When you see a child having a tantrum in the store, maybe the child isn’t misbehaving but tired and sick and mom is waiting on the pharmacy to fill the prescription. It’s all about perspective and when you don’t have children, it’s fun to fantasize about how you’ll be a better parent than anyone else you know. The flaw in your fantasy is that you aren’t raising robots. Let’s revisit the issue when your kids hatch.

      Oct 15, 2015 at 7:51 am   rating: 9  small thumbs up

       
    • #25.6   Rattus

      It is also possible to form an opinion upon regularly viewing two groups of kids being parented in different ways producing two different types of kids. In my case, I have the aforementioned shriekers whose parents never ask them to keep it down, never tell them to come inside, never provide any sort of consequences to their actions. I can hear them from the next street over for protracted periods of really annoying time.

      On the other hand, there is a group of about a dozen kids who play on my street from several families. They are laughing, throwing balls, playing hockey, riding their little scooter things – having a lot of fun. However, I can’t hear them, other than the occasional bout of laughter, once I go into my back yard. Why? Because their parents actually parent them. If they start behaving like assholes, there are repercussions. Contrary to apparently popular opinion, a reasonable amount of discipline doesn’t qualify as abuse.

      Few people are going to object to the occasional noise from a tired/unhappy/sick child, because most people understand that sometimes that happens, and is almost definitely going to happen on transit. But if someone’s kid is relentlessly noisy, then that someone is not doing their job with respect to teaching their offspring to function in the wider world.

      And while I don’t have kids myself, I don’t have a single friend whose child is loud, destructive, or obnoxious, so I can objectively view the differences in parenting styles and determine where the lazy don’t appear to be doing the job they signed on for when they chose to procreate.

      Oct 15, 2015 at 10:23 am   rating: 71  small thumbs up

       
    • #25.7   Haterade

      I really wish I could +1 this a few more times, Rattus.

      Oct 15, 2015 at 10:59 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up

       
    • #25.8   Lil'

      And if these kids are misbehaving they should be corrected. I’m not quick to assume they are. And the letter doesn’t indicate that the problem, if there legitimately is one, is typical of those children. I suspect the notewriter is feeling a little too self important and entitled. When you live in a neighborhood there will be sounds from mowers, engines, children, dogs… Don’t impose your unrealistic expectations on your neighbors. Remember other people are putting up with you to some degree (you in the general sense).

      Oct 15, 2015 at 12:03 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

       
    • #25.9   Furubafan74

      Stella, “you would find it difficult to actually change/influence your kids’ behaviors” sounds like a lazy cop-out to get out of actually being a parent.
      “Well, I *could* teach little Timmy not to run around and stab people with a fork, but it’s just so much work! He’ll grow out of it!”

      Nov 2, 2015 at 5:13 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #26   sepaz

    Instead of going to all the trouble of the PA letter + screaming data, neighbor should have just yelled commandingly over the fence. E.g., “You kids quit that screaming or I’ll call the sheriff/the police/the HOA president/your father!”

    Always worked in our ‘hood.

    Oct 13, 2015 at 11:25 pm   rating: 12  small thumbs up

    • #26.1   Rattus

      This is pretty passive aggressive, I know, but at my last house I found that playing the Sex Pistols in the backyard worked a treat. They were incredibly insular people who had absolutely zero interest in the opinions or needs of their neighbours, so if I wanted to get in a pleasant hour reading in the backyard, a bit of Sex Pistols (Black Flag, Stiff Little Fingers, et al) to shoo them inside for awhile was just the ticket. Once inside, the music went off, mom kept them in for awhile.

      And before all the parents get their hackles up, they had fifteen kids who spent their entire non-school time playing basketball, shrieking, throwing things, rolling some big-wheels type of thing all over their concrete yard, and just generally negatively impacting the lives of all their neighbours.

      Oh god, that basketball. They would play basketball outside our bedroom window until 11:00. I have sworn that I will never, ever buy or rent a house that has a basketball net in the neighbour’s drive. Thump, thump, thump, thump, thump, thump…YOU GOT HORSE…SHRIEKKKKK……

      Oct 14, 2015 at 3:24 pm   rating: 23  small thumbs up

       
    • #26.2   Lil'

      Oh my god. Basketball and big wheels negatively impacted your lives?

      Oct 15, 2015 at 12:45 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

       
    • #26.3   Rattus

      Yes. Literal hours, every…single…day, of thump, thump, thump, screech, rumble, rumble, rumble, screech, wail, thump, DADDDDDDYYYYYYY, WAAAHHHHH, thump, thump, thump…they were out there from 9:00 am to 11:00, with a break for lunch and one for dinner.

      I sold my house to get away from them, as did the neighbours on the other side of me (two doors down from the offenders). The kids on my current street are fine. They make some obvious kid noise when they’re playing, but it doesn’t bother me – I don’t dislike kids and am only annoyed by them on a case-by-case basis as I am with rest of humanity. I am, however, completely disdainful of those parents who won’t take their job seriously, and completely appalled by the almost inevitable results of their lack of parenting.

      Oct 15, 2015 at 1:26 pm   rating: 29  small thumbs up

       
    • #26.4   Rattus

      Wouldn’t allow me to edite. That should have read “they were out there from 9:00 am to 11:00 pm” – I would come across as quite the curmudgeon if I begrudged the neighbour lads two hours of noisy good times. Fourteen hours, though? That is insane-making.

      Oct 15, 2015 at 1:32 pm   rating: 15  small thumbs up

       
    • #26.5   L

      That’s neglect, really. There should be some school in there somewhere. Even with homeschooling, that’s not how much free time they should have.

      Oct 16, 2015 at 8:01 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

       
    • #26.6   Rattus

      There was some sort of private schooling in play, but nevertheless, there were always some of them at home. They had at least 15 kids – there were a handful when we moved in, we were there for 17 years, she was pregnant nearly every summer we were there.

      And mom was always watching over them. She just didn’t find it necessary to teach them how to behave in public. As a result, they were the most appallingly rude (and wildly misogynistic) young beasts I’ve ever had the displeasure of interacting with.

      Oct 16, 2015 at 1:26 pm   rating: 12  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #27   Furubafan74

    Team Notewriter. 24 screams over a span of five minutes is unacceptable. 24 screams over the course of an hour-maybe. But five minutes? Oh Hell no.

    Oct 14, 2015 at 1:07 am   rating: 30  small thumbs up

    • #27.1   Stella3

      Hmm…the fact that it was over the course of five minutes suggested that it was a one time event, perhaps there was a special reason for it. If it were an ongoing regular thing, it would be much worse, in my opinion.

      Oct 24, 2015 at 7:36 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

       
    • #27.2   Furubafan74

      Or maybe notewriter only measured a small subset of a continuous problem.

      Oct 26, 2015 at 12:05 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

       
    • #27.3   Haterade

      Furubafan74: I’ve actually been in a similar spot before, so this seems much more likely to me.

      (Not counting kids’ screams, but getting so frustrated with a ridiculously-common phenomenon that it’s validating to tell someone else about the 38 times in one hour I was asked for directions to the same easily-found spot. It’s a subset… it’s not like I counted only that hour, bookended by dead silence on either end.)

      For that matter, stuff like this is how drinking games come about. When you have no control over an annoying repetitious phenomenon, it’s darkly-amusing to pay attention to each instance instead of trying to ignore it.

      Oct 26, 2015 at 12:58 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

       
    • #27.4   Kiroma

      And get massively drunk while doing it just makes you feel even better.

      Nov 5, 2015 at 8:43 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #28   nobody

    As a parent of 2 young kids (18 months and 3) I don’t like it either when they scream for no reason so I teach them not to do it. It does takes a lot of constance and reminder at the beginning. My 18 months is still kind of young but he knows it’s not right so he’s doing it a lot less than before. From experience I believe it’s all a question of education and what you are willing to do to achieve the desired result. Sure, most parents won’t bother to do the “right” thing and will just do the “easy” thing AKA do nothing.

    Oct 14, 2015 at 7:01 am   rating: 44  small thumbs up

    • #28.1   Rattus

      What? You’re claiming that actual parenting works? The devil you say.

      Oct 14, 2015 at 7:49 am   rating: 37  small thumbs up

       
    • #28.2   Lita bang

      What is this “parenting” thing? Is it food? Can I eat it?

      *sweeps up the broken sarcasmeter*

      Oct 14, 2015 at 2:48 pm   rating: 19  small thumbs up

       
    • #28.3   Furubafan74

      Thank you for being a responsible parent. You seem to be a dying breed, unfortunately.

      Oct 15, 2015 at 1:15 pm   rating: 19  small thumbs up

       
    • #28.4   Jen

      Try “parenting” a child with special needs. All the “education” in the world will not prevent/stop some children from screaming and what our society would consider bad behaviors. I hope this note writer has the whole story before passing judgement.

      Oct 16, 2015 at 8:22 am   rating: 6  small thumbs up

       
    • #28.5   Haterade

      If it’s genuinely not possible to teach a special needs child that they shouldn’t scream constantly, you have all my sympathies.

      I don’t think even an extreme member of Team Notewriter would begrudge occasional screams. It’s constant screaming that I think would drive anyone spare, parents included.

      Oct 16, 2015 at 11:07 am   rating: 6  small thumbs up

       
    • #28.6   Stella3

      The fact that it was over the course of five minutes suggested to me that the screaming mentioned in the note had some special reason (some crazy relative playing a too-exciting game with them? A babysitter whom they wouldn’t listen to?) It wasn’t clear from the note that it really was a reoccuring, constant, or normal thing.

      Oct 24, 2015 at 7:38 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #29   Chris Baker

    I guess I am the type of person who can tune/out ignore sounds. Lawn mowers, dogs barking, etc. Yes, if someone points it out, then I can’t help but notice it, but after a while, I just ignore it. (Or maybe it’s just all the voices in my head that drown them out?)

    Anyway, there are some people who hear a repetitive noise and just can’t help but focus on it and obsess over it and just can’t let it go.

    How about some ear buds and some nice music or a podcast to listen to? That will tune out the sounds.

    Oct 14, 2015 at 11:59 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #29.1   The Beast Among Us

      I had a coworker who obsessed over the slightest noise that was out of his control. If someone was talking in my office, he’d call me up right away and tell me to turn the sound down because it annoyed him. If something rattled in the wall due to a vibrating air conditioner, he’d have everyone in his office trying to locate and get rid of the rattle, or he’d try to switch offices with someone until the noise was fixed.

      He eventually left the company for a job in a war zone. Do this day, I still don’t understand why. I guarantee all his complaints about noise fell on deaf ears.

      Oct 20, 2015 at 3:40 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

       
    • #29.2   The Beast Among Us

      *To. Argh.

      Oct 21, 2015 at 5:23 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #30   Haterade

    I really would like to believe the note recipient in this story has a secret motive they can’t share, something more altruistic than “I don’t consider others’ eardrums, sleep, and/or sanity to be as important as my kids’ right to scream constantly and my right to not have to put in the effort to teach them they shouldn’t.”

    So I’ve decided that their dad is actually Batman, and they’re practicing echolocation.

    Sure, they may drive the notewriter and the rest of the neighborhood crazy now… but in twenty years, everyone will be glad they did. You can never have too many superheroes.

    Oct 14, 2015 at 12:31 pm   rating: 18  small thumbs up

    • #30.1   AP

      Close! Their dad is Bratman.

      Oct 14, 2015 at 5:01 pm   rating: 19  small thumbs up

       
    • #30.2   The Beast Among Us

      Not Bartman?

      Oct 21, 2015 at 5:23 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #31   Marcus

    My top tip to deal with this effectively: Start keeping bees.

    Oct 15, 2015 at 5:43 am   rating: 24  small thumbs up

    • #31.1   The Elf

      I like this! And as a bonus, you can brew your own mead.

      Oct 15, 2015 at 1:02 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

       
    • #31.2   Lita bang

      OH MY GOD IT’S FULL OF BEES

      Oct 15, 2015 at 3:36 pm   rating: 6  small thumbs up

       
    • #31.3   Haterade

      Well, we know that it’s possible to have them as pets… I guess it’s not too far-fetched to imagine you could train a small squadron.

      But wouldn’t you run the risk of the parents telling you to mind your own beeswax?

      Oct 16, 2015 at 10:59 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

       
    • #31.4   Lita bang

      Now I want my very own squadron of bees. Do you think I can make miniature fighter jets for them?

      Oct 17, 2015 at 2:32 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

       
    • #31.5   Haterade

      Am I being more of an oddball than usual for thinking that would be cute in a really strange way?

      And it would give a whole new meaning to buzzing the tower.

      *barely manages to stop himself from inflicting a swarm of puns on everyone*

      Oct 17, 2015 at 3:39 pm   rating: 7  small thumbs up

       
    • #31.6   Lita bang

      Oh, bee-have, or we might get caught in a sting operation and told to buzz off… :P

      Oct 17, 2015 at 8:26 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

       
    • #31.7   The Elf

      If you send them after brigands, you too can canonized. Just ask St. Gobnait.

      Oct 20, 2015 at 1:22 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #32   Stella3

    You know what? I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that the note writer enjoyed making that note. Most of us would be content with a note that said “Your kids have been screaming a lot, and it’s annoying to us, your neighbors.”
    But this note writer had the time to sit down and record the exact seconds between each scream, and then neatly type them up. This looks like the work of an experienced passive-aggressive-note writer, one who takes great pride in his/her handiwork.

    Oct 15, 2015 at 6:44 pm   rating: 9  small thumbs up

    • #32.1   phoenix

      Well, if you can’t enjoy your happiness, you have to learn to enjoy your unhappiness. Note writer has gone the Pride in a Job Well Done route.

      Oct 16, 2015 at 7:07 am   rating: 14  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #33   Sam

    Never has the PAN team seemed so totally out of touch with the real world. Kids screaming is not an unavoidable part of human development as some parental comments above insist; and is obviously totally different to the sound of children laughing.

    Oct 17, 2015 at 1:29 am   rating: 18  small thumbs up

     
  • #34   Mel

    Hate to say it, but I feel the neighbors pain. I don’t have and don’t want kids. But to hear them scream makes my brain want to explode.

    Oct 17, 2015 at 3:44 am   rating: 17  small thumbs up

     
  • #35   Juniper

    Scream back . Seriously. The kids will likely take no notice but the parents probably will. And when they ask what you’re doing, reply with total seriousness that as they seem to think everyone enjoys listening to screaming, you’d thought you’d join in.

    Oct 17, 2015 at 9:37 am   rating: 23  small thumbs up

    • #35.1   Lita bang

      Hm, sounds like the tactic of pretending to throw a tantrum yourself to make your child realize how much they’re embarrassing themselves. It might actually work.

      Oct 17, 2015 at 2:33 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

       
    • #35.2   Stella3

      Best comment/advice ever.

      Oct 24, 2015 at 7:41 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #36   Cate

    I made my kids come inside if they screamed. They learned pretty quickly not to do it. (The oldest on is now 20 -these weren’t the dark ages). I told them that screaming was unfair to the neighbors. It can be done.

    Oct 17, 2015 at 4:14 pm   rating: 31  small thumbs up

    • #36.1   The Beast Among Us

      He still screams when you are not around.

      Oct 20, 2015 at 4:00 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #37   L

    If they actually are screaming, then it needs to stop. (Although as someone who works with kids, even if you think your kids aren’t screaming, they probably are, just not around you, lol.)

    But even 5 minutes is not constant screaming, and anyone who’s gonna sit down and record their neighbour’s children is someone whose judgement I do not trust. Maybe they are calling laughter screaming. (Little girls especially can get rather high pitched when laughing.)

    Personally, I’ve lived next door to a park, and I’ve lived next door to a drug dealer. The park was better.

    Oct 18, 2015 at 2:18 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #37.1   Haterade

      Thank you for the plain-spokenness, L… imo, your post cuts to the core of why the note writer (NW) is probably up a creek unless they call the police to have a talk with note recipient.

      Parents have a hard time believing their child’s screaming is as obnoxious as everyone else thinks it is. (Thank you for making this point.) Fair enough, collect evidence to demonstrate because they won’t believe you otherwise.

      Evidence collected. Response, which I don’t doubt could be the response NW probably got: 1) “5 minutes is not constant screaming” (which sounds kinda like “You haven’t proven anything, you need more evidence”); 2) “and anyone who’s gonna sit down and record their neighbour’s children is someone whose judgement I do not trust” (which sounds kinda like “Collecting evidence is creepy and the fact you’re doing so means we can’t trust anything you say anyway”).

      This is shortly followed by a rationalization that’s also probably similar to the response NW got: “Maybe they are calling laughter screaming.” Which means we’re back to where we started – parents have a hard time believing that their child’s screaming is as obnoxious as everyone else thinks it is.

      I’d suggest that NW invest in a video camera… but not only do I think the note recipient wouldn’t believe it even then, I imagine they’d try to have them arrested.

      This is why there’s been such a massive response in support of NW – a lot of us have been through this, and when you’re caught in a Catch-22, there’s often nothing you can do except come to PAN and commiserate.

      Oct 19, 2015 at 2:57 am   rating: 29  small thumbs up

       
    • #37.2   Raichu

      I do not understand why people seem to assume that there was only 5 minutes of screaming. The note writer took a 5 minute sample of the screaming that was going on. I can fully understand why NW would not want to sit down literally all day and write down every instance. Presumably, the screaming lasted much longer overall.

      And as Haterade said – if taking evidence is “creepy”, how are people supposed to protect themselves from noise pollution and other violations effectively? Hell, there’s no indication he was even watching the kids (my guess is he wasn’t). All you have to do for this is listen.

      Oct 20, 2015 at 2:26 pm   rating: 21  small thumbs up

       
    • #37.3   L

      Obsessing over your neighbour’s children is creepy. And in many places, it is illegal to record people without their consent, so obviously a lot of people agree that getting “evidence” is indeed creepy.

      You’re presuming the screaming lasted all day. I’m presuming that anyone who sits there and takes notes on their neighbour’s children is creepy and probably overreacting to normal noises.

      Do what my great-uncle did if noise polution bothers you so much – one-room cabin on a mountain.

      Oct 20, 2015 at 8:10 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

       
    • #37.4   Haterade

      You’re kinda re-demonstrating my point: NW is in a Catch-22. You need evidence to believe they’re screaming all day, but if NW tries to provide that evidence that proves there’s something wrong with them.

      Oct 20, 2015 at 11:07 pm   rating: 14  small thumbs up

       
    • #37.5   Raichu

      Writing down the times and frequencies of screams is not by ANY stretch of the imagination “obsessing over your neighbor’s children”. At all. Nor was he actually recording them.

      Fact is, in order for people to live and work efficiently, we must often live close to one another. We have to learn to behave in reasonable ways. There are balances. Playful yelling during daytime hours is to be expected and it would be unreasonable to ask that nobody’s children ever made noise, ever. Constant SCREAMING (different from yelling!) crosses a line and it is reasonable to expect that this behavior is curbed. There is such a thing as being a good neighbor.

      Trying to excuse the neighbor’s lack of parenting by making unreasonable and far-fetched accusations of NW is imo pretty silly.

      Oct 22, 2015 at 11:58 am   rating: 13  small thumbs up

       
    • #37.6   Tesselara

      The most hilarious thing about this entire thread is that everyone is making assumptions about both the note-writer and note-write-ee, and then pointing out other people’s assumptions. Depending on where you stand on the, “kids screaming” issue, your assumptions favor the one and disfavor the other. If you hate kids screaming, then you assume the NW is a reasonable person, and the NW-ee is a TERRIBLE parent. If you are cool with some kid noise, then you think the NW is a creeper and the NW-ee is a victim of a creeper. Honestly, we don’t really have enough data. I mean, it LOOKS like we do, with that scream timing log. But, this is a terrible experiment. There’s no detailing of the experimental method, and we don’t know what the experimenter is defining as “scream.” We also have ZERO idea of what was going on from the NW-ee side (always be suspicious of the one-sided story). Yes, screaming kids are AWFUL, and one hopes that parents do a good job of keeping kids from being obnoxious. We know that many parents don’t do this, and that’s insanely rude. BUT, we have no idea if this is really the case here. We just have some isolated, non-contextual data (which could also actually be contrived). Team Not Enough Data to Join a Team.

      Oct 23, 2015 at 9:32 am   rating: 8  small thumbs up

       
    • #37.7   Lita bang

      I’m on your team, Tesselara. We just don’t know the other side of the story, so we can’t really make any guesses that aren’t just pure conjecture.

      Oct 23, 2015 at 2:22 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

       
    • #37.8   Raichu

      True, but we have our observational experience that screaming kids are more common than creepy neighbors. (At least, I hope they are…)

      Oct 23, 2015 at 2:23 pm   rating: 18  small thumbs up

       
    • #37.9   Lita bang

      Very, very true.

      Oct 24, 2015 at 5:51 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
    • #37.10   Tesselara

      But, the fact that there population of creepy neighbors is >0 means that “creepy neighbor” is an entirely possible factor in this situation. :) If the neighbor happened to start timing at around the time that the children, say, accidentally found a hornet’s nest, and mom was in the bathroom, then that is a skewed data set, not indicative of normal scream frequency. But yeah, odds are higher that it is “annoying kids” rather than “creepy neighbor”. That said–from the data provided, we can’t be sure.

      Oct 27, 2015 at 9:46 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
    • #37.11   Furubafan74

      The population of screaming, poorly raised kids is also >0 so that remains a valid possibility as well.

      L, that is a mighty convenient argument you have: “I don’t believe that my child is a screaming hellion, and I won’t without evidence, but collecting said evidence makes you a creepy creep and I’m going to discard it and continue believing that my child is a perfect little angel.”

      Nov 2, 2015 at 5:22 pm   rating: 7  small thumbs up

       
    • #37.12   Stella3

      Screaming children might be a more frequent occurrence than a creepy neighbor. But a creepy neighbor is far far worse.

      Nov 5, 2015 at 5:57 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

       
    • #37.13   Furubafan74

      If you don’t value your eardrums, sure.

      Nov 6, 2015 at 10:53 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
    • #37.14   The Beast Among Us

      Your eardrums will be the only thing left when the creepy neighbor is through…

      Nov 6, 2015 at 2:34 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #38   The Beast Among Us

    “If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason.”

    -Jack Handey

    Oct 20, 2015 at 4:11 pm   rating: 22  small thumbs up

     
  • #39   MBee

    I don’t know if I can share a link here, but did anyone see the story that was headlined…

    Woman Allegedly Threatens to Lick, Taste Family`s Children

    http://news.yahoo.com/video/woman-allegedly-threatens-lick-taste-161012379.html

    Oct 22, 2015 at 12:52 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #39.1   Haterade

      Yup. Some people are kinda close to the edge to begin with, and constant “noise” can be a pretty solid push in the wrong direction.

      Oct 22, 2015 at 1:21 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #40   selene

    Being a science teacher, I would get out my red pen and edit the note to show the proper methodologies that needed to be followed. Among others: 1. Quantitatively define a “scream”-decibel levels and such. 2. Define subject matter- how many kids, what different screams? 3. Take repeated samplings over multiple times of day and days of the week. 4. Identify any parental interventions and the effect. Etc. Don’t tell me you’re going to Science and then Science incorrectly. ^_^

    Oct 24, 2015 at 12:07 pm   rating: 12  small thumbs up

    • #40.1   Tesselara

      Word.

      Oct 27, 2015 at 9:40 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

       
    • #40.2   Nics

      I would reply to you, “if you’re a teacher, write correctly, you should know how to! ‘Don’t tell me you’re going to Science and then Science incorrectly’ makes no sense!”

      Nov 26, 2015 at 1:25 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #41   TRT

    Record it and then play it back when they’re trying to get some peace and quiet. When they come to complain, explain what you’ve done.

    Oct 26, 2015 at 11:40 am   rating: 10  small thumbs up

     
  • #42   Belaani

    For Christ’s sake, will someone please submit a new P/A note? This is seriously bogged down!

    Oct 28, 2015 at 10:27 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

     
  • #43   Lita bang

    I’ve just been forced to entertain a Wii-obsessed, doesn’t-listen-to-anything, extremely shrill, will-not-leave-cats-alone-even-when-told-multiple-times four year old.

    I still have to entertain her all day today.

    I think I sympathize with the notewriter Very Much right now.

    Oct 29, 2015 at 1:03 pm   rating: 9  small thumbs up

    • #43.1   Haterade

      My sympathies… (/_\)

      I’d have been tempted to “accidentally” have something more fun scheduled at the same time, like maybe a root canal.

      Oct 29, 2015 at 2:19 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

       
    • #43.2   Lita bang

      It was extremely tempting, but my mother would not have been able to handle that beast of a child, her autistic sixteen year old brother AND the shrieklings’ parents all at once. She’s mostly dead just from dealing with the parents.

      On the other hand, we’re free for now. But they want to come back next year. Noooooooooooo…!

      Oct 30, 2015 at 11:10 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

       
    • #43.3   Haterade

      You’re truly a much better human being than I am… my solution would have been to pay for a cheap motel room for the shriekling (can I steal this?) and parents, then make it clear that it wasn’t an option and why. (・﹏・)

      Oct 30, 2015 at 5:06 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
    • #43.4   Lita bang

      You may indeed steal it. :D

      We’re already plotting how to keep them from coming back, especially since we discovered the day after they left that the dad-dude got purple hair dye all over the guest bed sheets. The brand new, cream-colored guest bed sheets.

      (It came out – I apparently got to it in time to put stain remover on – but that was pretty much the last straw, as he’d been told to cover his freshly-dyed hair before he got in that bed…)

      Oct 31, 2015 at 4:34 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

       
    • #43.5   The Elf

      Guests from hell, for sure. If you ever host them again (why you would is beyond me, but if they are family then it might not be so easy to say no), it’s hotel time.

      Nov 2, 2015 at 7:37 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

       
    • #43.6   Lita bang

      They may as well be family. Parents have known their family for (mumble, mumble) years. I think they were all in the same coven at some point, and the last time my mother had seen the dad-dude was when he was nine years old…so yeah, goes way back.

      They will be hoteling next time if they come at all. Mom is actually going to stand up for herself and admit her health is just too bad to host them.

      Nov 2, 2015 at 1:44 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
    • #43.7   Haterade

      Go Mom. ٩(^ᴗ^)۶

      I’ll be sending all two of the positive thoughts I have per day her way (and yours), in the hope that her well-being perks up.

      Nov 2, 2015 at 3:12 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
    • #43.8   Lita bang

      Hee! Thank you very much. <3 It is much appreciated.

      Nov 2, 2015 at 4:27 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #44   Canadian Brad

    Dear neighbour,

    I’m not sure why you didn’t choose to talk to me directly during these events, unless your goal was to feature on a website dedicated to ridiculous notes left for neighbours and co-workers(if so, congratulations).

    However, if you’d care to stop by and explain your concerns with me allowing my children to play relatively unsupervised within the safety of my backyard, on a beautiful weekend afternoon, I will certainly explain how I have no fucks to give.

    Sincerely,

    Canadian Brad

    Nov 1, 2015 at 8:56 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #44.1   Haterade

      However, if you’d care to stop by and explain… I will certainly explain how I have no fucks to give.

      Gee. I can’t imagine why the neighbour thought coming and talking to you would be unproductive. (•̌.•̑)

      (Though to be fair, not giving a crap about other people’s rights or concerns until forced to is hardly unique.)

      Nov 1, 2015 at 10:54 pm   rating: 9  small thumbs up

       
    • #44.2   Rattus

      Dear Canadian Brad,

      If you’d care to stop by and explain your concerns with me regarding the lack of soundproofing* in my husband’s drum studio, I will certainly explain how I have no fucks to give.

      Regards,

      Canadian Rattus

      *Mr. Rattus’ drum studio does have soundproofing, before the irate start irateing – I am not an asshole and I have respect for my neighbour’s peace and quiet.

      Nov 2, 2015 at 10:55 am   rating: 8  small thumbs up

       
    • #44.3   Nics

      Canadian Brad – I’m so glad you live in Canada, wouldn’t want to live next to you and your noisy brats! Kindly never move to the UK.

      Regards, someone who likes a bit of peace and quiet sometimes!

      P.S. Keep dragging those kids up the way you’re doing, I’m sure the apples haven’t fallen far from the tree!

      Nov 26, 2015 at 1:42 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #45   Rattus

    On another note entirely, if this site has gone moribund, I wish someone would have the courtesy to pop in and post a note (passive-aggressive or otherwise) to that effect so that I can recalibrate my time-wasting radar.

    Nov 4, 2015 at 9:59 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #45.1   Lita bang

      Agreed. Daylight savings has thrown that radar off enough; this doesn’t help. :P

      Nov 4, 2015 at 12:34 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
    • #45.2   Haterade

      Try being a fan of the online comic Megatokyo…

      The author had surgery that corrected a heart problem and gave him back much of the energy he had lost, which is wonderful regardless. But after a short stint of frequent new comics, he took on a side project that was far too ambitious, and has been in a vicious circle of not getting enough done and getting depressed about not getting enough done ever since. Kinda worried, actually. (•᷄_•᷅ )

      Nov 6, 2015 at 12:58 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

       
    • #45.3   Rattus

      Now who does that remind me of? Oh yeah – George frikkin’ R.R. Martin.

      Nov 6, 2015 at 4:59 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #46   Stella3

    I really think that kids screaming is less annoying than a lot of the other sounds I have to put up with from neighbors. I’m going to guess that the screaming was taking place on some lazy afternoon, and not in the middle of the night when one is trying to sleep.

    Nov 9, 2015 at 2:39 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #47   Missy

    Let me get real here. I don’t want to live in a community where screams for help are ignored because people have become conditioned to tune them out, rather than the screaming children having parents that parent their child. I was a child once. I did not scream. I went away to college and was sexually assaulted because no one TEN FEET AWAY around a corner in the dorm lobby could hear my screams for help because of silly 18-year-old girls shrieking for no reason. DON’T DO IT. PARENT YOUR CHILD.

    I now live in an apartment complex where I often am trying to decide if I should run to the assistance of girls blood-curdling screams as if they are being abducted/molested/raped/dismembered but it turns out they and their parents are inconsiderate horrible people.

    Nov 11, 2015 at 8:32 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #47.1   The Beast Among Us

      Wow. I hope you’re okay now, because that is a very difficult thing to go through.

      Nov 13, 2015 at 12:21 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #48   Nics

    The letter writer has every right to feel p*ssed off with the noise! Kids do scream when they’re playing and it does peoples’ heads in. To mum and/or dad it might be the most beautiful sound they ever heard… to everyone else it’s like slow torture, gives them a headache and leaves them unable to concentrate on whatever they’re doing… QUIETLY!! These parents need to make their kids play more quietly and stop screaming indiscriminately.

    Nov 26, 2015 at 1:21 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #49   Scantronacon bang

    “but for your childrens well being”?? That sounds like a threat like he’ll give something to scream about. Kids are annoying sometimes, whats irritating to me about adults is they act they were freaking born like this! Like wow

    Jan 6, 2016 at 12:43 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #50   A.K.

    Kids scream. Deal with it.

    Jan 19, 2016 at 7:56 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up