Ask Rene:
Keep The Kids Quiet Or Be Kicked Out! What Now? 

Hi Rene:

Can you help?

I live by myself in a retirement community. Sometimes I babysit my grandchildren. There is a gentleman who lives in the apartment underneath me, and he says he can hear my grandchildren running around and that it disturbs him. He hasn’t talked directly to me, but I received two notices from the management. If my neighbor continues to report me, I could be asked to leave the community. I don’t want to stop keeping my grandchildren and I don’t want to move. I keep the kids as quiet as possible and they don’t run inside. I think my neighbor is persnickety about noise. What can I do? I don’t want to be reported again.


Treading Lightly in Tampa


Dear Treading Lightly:

Uh-oh. Okay first let me say I think it’s great that you babysit your grandchildren; I’ll bet it’s a huge help to your son or daughter along with being great for your relationship with your grands. BUT………

Rules are rules.

So, here’s what I would do if I were you. 



Based on your letter, it sounds like you have yet to have a full and proper conversation with your neighbor. If you have not, that’s where I would suggest starting. Maybe if you explain your situation to him, he might be more understanding. Trying to keep little kids quiet is like trying to put a sock on a snake; it’s nearly impossible and sort of nor fair to them. Maybe limit the time you can babysit for them or arrange for it to be done at a time when your neighbor is out.

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If you don’t make any significant headway with the neighbor  himself, you can take your concerns to management. I actually think it might not be a bad idea to go on record with them anyway, especially if you’re worried they might kick you out over this. You need to make sure they know the whole story, not just his side.

But have you ever heard the adage, “Don’t ask the question, if you don’t want to know the answer.” ? Because…..

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Now I’m going to have to lower the boom. I don’t know what your lease says, but I’d be surprised if there wasn’t some sort of provision in there about unreasonable noise, complaints by neighbors and the course of action following such. Familiarize yourself with the rules and then.. FOLLOW THEM. In fact, I’ll bet there’s even some sort of stipulation on the ages of guests and the length of time. I don’t know that for a fact, but you should.

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Now I’m going to ask you to put yourself in your neighbor’s shoes. He moved into a retirement community to… RETIRE. That means live the sort of life he wants to live. I don’t think peace and quiet is an unreasonable expectation for such an environment.

If you want to see your grandkids, perhaps it’s best you do it at their homes.. Or find yourself a new one.

Good luck Grandma!

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What say you GEMnation? What would you advise this kind grandmother do? Is she wrong? Or the neighbor?