We Are Both Right

Four-year-old Boy Threatened with Fine For Playing Too Loudly Outside

From the “I-hope-my-neighbors-don’t-get-any-ideas” department:

The parents of a four-year-old British boy have been threatened with a £5,000 (about $8,500) fine because a neighbor complained to the city council that he plays too loudly outside. According to the Daily Mail, Simon and Pippa Lansdell received a notice last week claiming that their son Alfie is a “noise nuisance”  and that if further complaints are registered against him, he will be monitored with digital recording equipment. The letter did not name the neighbor who complained.

“He’s like any other four-year-old,” Simon Lansdell told the paper. “All children create a bit of noise when they play, it’s natural. Surely a child should be allowed to make a bit of noise when playing in his own garden? It’s the summer holidays, for goodness sake. I just can’t believe the council took this complaint seriously.” He added that they’ve tried talking to Alfie about it and he is trying to play more quietly but that he really doesn’t understand what is going on.

We actually deal with this a lot in our house — not that fining and the city council getting involved obviously — but trying to keep our kids from screaming when they are outside. (Admittedly, I’m not as sensitive to it as my husband is.) It’s an interesting issue and one that has raised the debate once again on parenting and who gets a say in giving kids direction. (It should be noted that no neighbors had ever approached the family about Alfie’s noise before and many of them have come out in support of the boy.)

My take on it is that kids can and should be loud outside. It’s a way of letting off steam and frankly, just letting them be kids. Is it annoying? Sure, but so is the loud music that my neighbor’s play every time they have a party or the noise made by the commercial diesel truck every time the guy across the street starts it up (every day at 5:30 a.m., by the way. I’m not bitter.).

I’m not going to say that little Alfie isn’t noisy — he probably is and honestly, I think parents (me without a doubt) are often desensitized and don’t realize how loud our kids can be. However, it’s the outdoors in the middle of the day. I think the city council may have overreacted in this case.

What do you think? Are you ever embarrassed by your kids making too much noise?

One Response to “Four-year-old Boy Threatened with Fine For Playing Too Loudly Outside”

  1. Enyo says:

    Outdoors? No. He’s a kid. He plays and makes noise. Inside like at stores and restaurants? Absolutely mortified.

Leave a Reply