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Ask Rene: Why Can’t My Neighbor Keep Her Kids QUIET?


Ask Rene:
Why Can’t My Neighbor Keep Her Kids QUIET? 


Hi Rene. I just love reading Good Enough Mother and I was hoping you’d be able to help with my situation. My family just moved into a first floor apartment. The woman upstairs and her children are so extremely loud. She has two toddlers and those boys scream. I mean they SCREAM. The thumping and screaming starts about 6am. They usually leave around 6:30 and its quiet all day but by then I’m up. My sleep is disrupted almost every morning with this. By the time I actually can fall back asleep it’s time to get up for work. I usually work evenings so I am no where near awake at 6 am.

I kept quiet about this for weeks and eventually, I tried talking to her. She apologized but she implied that this happens wherever she lives. The noise kept going. I talked to the landlord and he’s pretty annoyed by her, but the noise doesn’t stop. Now, she doesn’t even answer the door when I try to talk to her. The noise got excessive this morning and I let the landlord know that she woke me up again. After he talked to her I heard her yelling on the phone with someone about how petty I am for complaining. She said that they are kids and that’s what kids do, they make noise and run around. She rambled on and on about me and how she’s a single mother and nobody is helping her and all this and that. She mentioned something about me not understanding because I dont have kids. She doesnt know that I have a four-year-old, SHE’S NEVER HEARD HIM. I understand she is raising two boys by herself and good for her, but that doesn’t excuse them thumping and yelling at early hours.

I’m just really tired of this mess. I refuse to move because of someone else’s children. I’m pregnant and I need my sleep, but my neighbor feels her children are entitled to be loud because they are children. I know I can’t change her thinking, I just want some rest! I already know when this baby arrives I will be a bit sleep deprived. It’s hard enough to sleep with a growing belly. How on earth am I supposed to deal with this neighbor and her kids? Rene, help me please…

Thanks so much,

Sleepless in Chicago


Hey Sleepless:

Wow. Wow, oh wow..

There are answers to this, as there are in every situation, but they might not be the ones you want to hear. Years ago, I lived in an apartment building with very thin walls. The couple who lived below me fought constantly; I mean I could hear every word! So I feel your pain on this one. You have a couple of optons and, yes, one of them involves you moving. Here’s what I would do if I were you.

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Creative Commons/seriousbri

I know the relationship is strained now and this is going to take an inordinate amount of work (most of it on your part) but this is where you’re going to have to start. I’m a big fan of killing them with kindness, so maybe you bring her kids some cookies or offer to let them play with your daughter or tell her you’ll watch them while she gets a manicure. Yes, I know what I’m saying and I know its hard to do. But think about it; if you show her some kindness, a couple of things could happen. First, I think she’ll see you less as an adversary so what you say, she might actually hear. And secondly, I’ll bet she works extra hard to keep her boys quiet to return the favor. I’m not saying it will happen.. but it’s sometimes it’s hard to be mean to someone who’s really kind to you.

Read more:  Our Story Begins: Daddy Style: 4 Easy Desserts You Can Make From Scratch


Creative Commons/foggodavid

If she doesn’t listen to you or respond to the kindness tactic, you have to go back to your landlord. You might have to be more forceful this time  and demand that he take some sort of action. He doesn’t have to evict her but maybe there’s another option, like putting them in a ground floor unit or an unoccupied part of the building. She doesn’t have to move out of the apartment complex.. but just out from over you. Be prepared for the fact that if you take this step, you’ll probably never be able to salvage any type of relationship with her. Ever.

Read more:  The GEM Debate: Should The Homeless Have To Take THIS? (VIDEO)


Creative Commons/netmonkey

Here’s the bottom line; even though it’s unfair, you need to ask yourself how much longer you want to be miserable? If you have asked her nicely and the kids are still making a ton of noise and you’ve asked the landlord and he’s not been able (or willing) to do something about it, you have two choices; you can stay there, sleep-deprived, gritting your teeth in the morning and letting them dictate how the rest of your day goes or you can leave. Is it fair? No, of course not, but what in life is? But I think if you look at this in ways other than win or lose, you might feel differently. And isn’t the ultimate winning you getting a good night’s sleep and better quality of life? Yes. Yes it is.

Read more:  Single Mom Slice Of Life: Not My Story To Tell..My Lesson To Learn


Sucks, I know but sadly we can’t make people do what we want them to do. Really the onus is on your landlord to make it right and if he can’t or won’t step up, you have to step out.

But I predict he won’t want to see a good tenant leave so perhaps he puts the hammer down if you tell him you’re out.

Good luck, Mom!

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Combing the aisles at Target in search of the best deal on Cheerios, it hit Rene Syler like the stench of a dirty diaper on a hot summer’s day. Not only is perfection overrated its utterly impossible! Suddenly empowered, she figuratively donned her cape, scooped up another taco kit for dinner and Good Enough Mother was born.

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