Author Topic: We don't want to play fetch.  (Read 6973 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

GrammarNerd

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 569
Re: We don't want to play fetch.
« Reply #30 on: October 10, 2013, 09:38:12 AM »
They need a consequence, not only for the balls/toys, but for the trash, and for the disturbances.  Adopt your no-nonsense teacher voice.  And so...

"Guys, this is happening too much.  It's annoying, and when it happens this much, it's rude that you're not being more careful to keep your stuff out of our yard.  So here are the new rules.  When something comes into our yard, you get to come over here and ring the doorbell.  ONCE.  Got that?  ONE TIME.  Then you WAIT for someone to get there.  I'm not Superman, and I can't fly to the door in one second.  You wait politely and quietly for someone to come, and you don't look in the house or bang on the door and lay on the doorbell so it keeps ringing.  That is rude.  Got it?" (wait for them to acknowledge)

"OK, after you tell us about it, we'll go to the back yard and check out what's there, and you can go home." (cue the curious looks from the kids).  Because see, we're done getting your stuff whenever you want it.  This has been happening several times a night, and we're done.  We're not dogs, and we don't play fetch.  That (point) is your yard, and this (point) is OUR yard.  When it happens that much, I can tell you're not even trying to keep your stuff in your own yard. If you don't care enough to keep it in your own yard and play carefully with it, then I don't care if you have it back right away. (shrug like it's a no brainer)  I'll go to the back and get it, but for every single thing that I find in my yard, I'm keeping your toys for one day.  So if I find two toys, I keep them for two days.  If I find a ball and ten candy wrappers, then guess what?  That's eleven things, and I'm keeping all of the stuff for eleven days.  Yeah, I know you throw your garbage in our yard. (pause)  That's rude too, and that's got to stop.  And you know what else?  I'm also going to add a day for every time you bug us about it.  You tell us ONCE.  And you totally control how quickly you get your toys back by how well you keep stuff in your own yard.  Do you guys understand?"

Now, I know that I could totally pull off this attitude/voice, but it might be an acquired talent, so you may need to practice.

But if I'm getting this right, you'd like everything to stop coming into your yard.  So therefore, there needs to be a hard consequence for every single thing that they throw there.  If the parents get mad, so what?  Their kids are using your yard as a trash bucket and there's no way that's acceptable.  Make it hurt for them for a bit.

It may mean a bit of bookkeeping on your end, and you should probably save the wrappers as well as the toys as proof of your 'timeframe', but it could work.  And it just could teach them some patience and awareness, b/c they'll be acutely aware of how much they throw in your yard if they know that every little thing means a day without a toy.  And the beauty of it is that if they even ask you how much time they have left, that's another day b/c they bugged you.  You have to make them own their actions.  Young kids, yes.  But they can not throw the stuff as easily as they can throw it.

MrTango

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2386
Re: We don't want to play fetch.
« Reply #31 on: October 10, 2013, 09:49:44 AM »
If it was just the occasional toy or ball, I'd be willing to return them once in a while.  Since there's also garbage being tossed over the fence, I would gather everything into one big bag and bring it over to their house (once).  After that, anything that came over the fence would go in the trash.

VorFemme

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 13061
  • Strolls with scissors! Too tired to run today!
Re: We don't want to play fetch.
« Reply #32 on: October 10, 2013, 10:43:54 AM »
I used to work in a civil engineering office for community planning - I don't remember everything that I learned thirty years ago, but I do remember that vegetation - trees, bushes, and the like along a property line will serve to reduce noise coming from an airport.  If it will help blunt THAT amount of noise, it should help a little with the nayboors and their music noise system.

Bonus because there is usually no limit on how high bushes & trees are "allowed" to grow by city ordinance or it is at least going to be higher than 8 feet AND it's perfectly polite to plant lilacs or roses along the property line, with a tree every three bushes.  If you are allergic to bees - pick something that does NOT attract insects. 

If anything gets caught in the trees or bushes (especially thorn bushes) either the kids can be allowed to get the things themselves (hand them thick gloves) or the balls will be ruined anyway....
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I say more?

PastryGoddess

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4835
    • My Image Portfolio and Store
Re: We don't want to play fetch.
« Reply #33 on: October 10, 2013, 10:54:10 AM »
I used to work in a civil engineering office for community planning - I don't remember everything that I learned thirty years ago, but I do remember that vegetation - trees, bushes, and the like along a property line will serve to reduce noise coming from an airport.  If it will help blunt THAT amount of noise, it should help a little with the nayboors and their music noise system.

Bonus because there is usually no limit on how high bushes & trees are "allowed" to grow by city ordinance or it is at least going to be higher than 8 feet AND it's perfectly polite to plant lilacs or roses along the property line, with a tree every three bushes.  If you are allergic to bees - pick something that does NOT attract insects. 

If anything gets caught in the trees or bushes (especially thorn bushes) either the kids can be allowed to get the things themselves (hand them thick gloves) or the balls will be ruined anyway....

Trees are a really good idea. You can start with small ones for less money or spend a bit more and get more mature/taller trees. 

wolfie

  • I don't know what this is so I am putting random words here
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7080
Re: We don't want to play fetch.
« Reply #34 on: October 10, 2013, 11:04:24 AM »
I would make it even more simple, and tell them that once every weekend - at your convenience - you'll gather anything of theirs that made it over the fence and leave it on their front steps.  If there's anything they don't want to wait for, they'd best be careful to keep it in their side.

Yes. This. And if they come knocking on your door to retrieve their toys before that, it'll automatically be increased to every two weeks.

POD

Also, I would consider hiring the boys for a small sum of money to pick up the trash from your yard.  If they know they have to pick it up, they'll likely discourage it being thrown there in the first place.
Then if they come to ask for a toy, you can tell them, "Oh, you can get it when you come to work on Saturday." or "If you want me to get it now, that'll be a 50 cent reduction on your pay on Saturday, deal?"

Evil that_one_girl would like me to tell you to get a dog that likes to chew things up ... she is sure that returning several of their toys with tooth marks will make them think twice about tossing things over the fence.

I would not do that because I would be afraid that would encourage them to throw more garbage into my backyard so they could earn more money cleaning it up.

pierrotlunaire0

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4247
  • I'm the cat's aunt!
Re: We don't want to play fetch.
« Reply #35 on: October 10, 2013, 11:17:16 AM »
Just last week, something similar happened at work.  Child is waiting with parent for service.  He comes up to me and explains that he had a small ball which had bounced over the counter and is now on my side.  I see it (it was very small)and tell him he can come through the swinging door to get it.

Two minutes later and he's back.  It happened again.  I was very explicit.  "This is the last time.  Next time, it's gone for good."  I also glanced over at the father as I said this, and clueless dad grins and shrugs.

On your property, you can set your rules.  The kid took care not to bounce his ball again because he did not want to lose it.
I have enough lithium in my medicine cabinet to power three cars across a sizeable desert.  Which makes me officially...Three Cars Crazy

MindsEye

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1136
Re: We don't want to play fetch.
« Reply #36 on: October 10, 2013, 11:27:35 AM »
Honestly, OP, if this was happening to me, I would either...

Throw all toys and trash back over the fence into their yard at my convenience, OR I would just throw everything away.

I wouldn't engage the kids or their parents, and I wouldn't let the kids into my backyard to retrieve their stuff.
And I probably wouldn't be very nice about the repeated excessive doorbell ringing and pounding either.


tinkytinky

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 441
Re: We don't want to play fetch.
« Reply #37 on: October 10, 2013, 12:15:16 PM »
Or, consider getting a dog, place his house next to the fence. Item comes over the fence, dog chews on item. when their items are given back with bite marks on them, they will take care to keep them in their yard  >:D 

But seriously, I like the idea of keeping EVERYTHING that comes over the fence, trash, balls, frisbies, etc., in a bag that is left on the porch on a given day/time. You shouldn't have to deliver the items. If the items mean that much to them, they wouldn't come over the fence. If the parents have a problem with children not getting their items back, they can walk themselves over to your house, and you can have the appropriate conversation with them.

            Created by MyFitnessPal.com - Free Calorie Counter

Snooks

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2475
Re: We don't want to play fetch.
« Reply #38 on: October 10, 2013, 12:33:13 PM »
Growing up our neighbours were very good and just let my brother and I go into their back garden if they didn't answer the door (weren't in).  It was quite embarrassing having to do it when I was 24 and DH and I were playing badminton in my parents' back garden.  We were lucky because both our neighbours children had grown up in those houses so they knew how easy it was for stuff to go flying over the fence.  It sounds like the kids next door being higher doesn't help the situation (much like where I grew up it's just part and parcel of living in that house).

However, I agree that this isn't on.  Personally I'd be tempted to just ignore the kids at the door, you know it's them because (I'm guessing) no-one else bangs on the door if you're not there in 20 seconds.  Saying "This time only" still leaves the potential for this to happen every day, if you're happy with that then that's your solution.  Much as it's going to pain you to do it (I danced a happy little jig the day our neighbour with kids moved out) I think you need to talk to the parents about the problem.  Just in a way of saying that you've noticed it happening, you aren't available to return their stuff, it would be a shame for the boys to lose their toys so it's best they avoid playing near your fence.

spookycatlady

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 420
Re: We don't want to play fetch.
« Reply #39 on: October 10, 2013, 12:38:34 PM »
I don't think you've crossed the line into disciplining their kids.  You're establishing boundaries on your own property.  If the kids accidentally learn some manners out of the equation, that's a bonus for all. 

It would cross the line into disciplining if you tried to punish them with chores or a time out or something like that.  You're just trying to make sure that your young neighbours understand that your timetable and convenience doesn't have to bend to their will. 

Just because they want something doesn't mean you need to do it.  That's an important life lesson for anyone to learn.

I also have belated respect to the owners of the Scary Yard from when I grew up.  I bet their dinner was only interupted once before they became the Scary Yard People.  Legendary meanies and I have no idea why.  Every kid just knew to stay away.   :)

JeanFromBNA

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2295
Re: We don't want to play fetch.
« Reply #40 on: October 10, 2013, 04:15:30 PM »

We probably will put up an 8 foot fence just on that side of our property because we can. It's really the only option we have to screen out the view of them and their pool. It might be worth trying sound insulation on the fence. That might help us when we're on the deck. Not sure it would help overall though. We also have talked about planting bamboo along the higher fence for additional screening.

Or we could move. And we really don't want to move. We've only been here two years, and we love our house and the neighborhood overall.

The bolded is what we have next to a six-foot-tall privacy fence.  Bamboo does work as a relatively fast growing privacy screen.  Doesn't do much for sound.  However, bamboo will spread and you will need to contain it on your side.  You can't help what spreads to their side . . .  >:D

Our neighbors have a pool, too, and we still have some problems with noise, though it's not nearly as bad as yours.

jedikaiti

  • Swiss Army Nerd
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2786
  • A pie in the hand is worth two in the mail.
Re: We don't want to play fetch.
« Reply #41 on: October 10, 2013, 04:39:44 PM »
How about collecting the wayward toys and garbage into the same bag and returning it all to them at once? It is all their stuff, after all.
What part of v_e = \sqrt{\frac{2GM}{r}} don't you understand? It's only rocket science!

"The problem with re-examining your brilliant ideas is that more often than not, you discover they are the intellectual equivalent of saying, 'Hold my beer and watch this!'" - Cindy Couture

Sophia

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 11782
  • xi
Re: We don't want to play fetch.
« Reply #42 on: October 10, 2013, 04:53:47 PM »
I might ask for the parents to come over just because you they haven't been interested in discussions at this point.  I would suggest that you would be willing to return toys once a week, if they would be willing to stop the music at 9pm. 

gemma156

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 177
Re: We don't want to play fetch.
« Reply #43 on: October 10, 2013, 05:07:10 PM »
Educating the neighbour kids takes time, the main thing is to be consistent with your approach.  You don't have to be a cranky pants but you don't have to roll over and let them walk all over you either. 

We had this problem with our back neighours boy, our yards were even in height but they had a small yard, so we regularly had his boys and stuff over the fence - we even had a grown hedge to combat the problem but not all toys were able to be stopped by it.  We politely and nicely let him retrieve his balls every time until he and his father showed no respect for our yard.  Then they were informed, 'No you may not come and collect your things anymore.  When I have a moment I will throw it over the fence but not before' Shut the door and went on my day.

The neighours boy showed his contempt by throwing trash over the fence, we just returned it the way it came - so that stopped pretty quickly after we took pictures and the returned it back over the fence.  Basketballs were a favourite of our dog, so while it sat in our yard she would end up deflating it with her teeth.  But they were all returned back over the fence at the end of the week. 

It takes time but the boys will remember and move away to protect their things.  For the music over the summer why not install one of those teenage repellent noise machines.  They can't be heard by adults but drives the teenagers away from loitering.  You can then turn it on and off at your discretion.  Install it in your yard closest to the neigbours you are having problems with. 

SmarterPrimate

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 31
Re: We don't want to play fetch.
« Reply #44 on: October 10, 2013, 06:06:29 PM »

Also, I would consider hiring the boys for a small sum of money to pick up the trash from your yard.  If they know they have to pick it up, they'll likely discourage it being thrown there in the first place.
Then if they come to ask for a toy, you can tell them, "Oh, you can get it when you come to work on Saturday." or "If you want me to get it now, that'll be a 50 cent reduction on your pay on Saturday, deal?"


I would not do that because I would be afraid that would encourage them to throw more garbage into my backyard so they could earn more money cleaning it up.
[/quote]

(sorry, I'm terrible with quotes)

POD to NOT paying them to clean up their own mess. What I might consider is
"allowing" them to clean up their trash from your yard, the reward being they get their toys back. While there is still trash in your yard, the toys belong to you. Maybe once a week (certainly not every day). And in no way, shape, or form, would I take one step out of my way to return the toys (and garbage) they deposit in your yard.

"Guys, here's the deal. You are allowed to come to my door one time a week to clean my yard in return for your lost toys. If you lose a toy and there is no trash to pick up (unlikely, I know), I will throw the toy back at my convenience. Otherwise, if you come to my door, I will not answer, and I will be angry. If I get angry, it will be another whole week before I allow you to clean my yard in exchange for your toys."

Something along those lines. My neighbour runs a daycare and I get a LOT of toys in my yard. Not once has any child harassed me, ever in 9 years, to get a toy back. They know it will reappear the following morning (after I've gone out to work, seen the toy, and tossed it back). And, importantly, there is never any garbage.