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General "kids-will-be-kids" philosophy

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MichelleCarmen

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Many of you have stated that kids will be kids and most of us had much more carefree childhoods when we were young. This generation of children are raised by a society that expects them to be continuously supervised by their parents.

A question I have for all of you, is that IF children are loud/throwing rocks, etc., and the neighbor is bothered by this and knows where they live and have regularily seen the mother, should the neighbor come over and discuss the problem with the mom or is it within his "rights" to yell at the kids?
 

elrohwen

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I generally don''t think it''s appropriate to yell at someone else''s kids unless you are the one responsible for them (babysitting perhaps) and they''re doing something that''s dangerous (to themselves, others, or property).

If the mother is around somewhere, I''d just bring it up with her and let her deal with it. If the mom really isn''t around they''re throwing rock at your house or your family, then I think you have the right to say something to them.
 

Hudson_Hawk

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I don't think it's generally appropriate to discipline children you don't know, there are times when I do think it's OK to VERBALLY correct a child.

For example:
The child is doing something dangerous (standing up in/climbing over the side of a shopping cart)
Running across the street/into traffic without looking.
If the child is disrespectful to me.
The child is doing something that could damage my property

Other exceptions:
If the child is a niece/nephew or a friend's child and I witness behavior that I know has been corrected or is inappropriate, I will correct or remind the child. For example, running in the living room. G, my niece, runs around the house all the time and her mom constantly tells her not to. She obv doesn't listen to SIL, so I often will say "G, what did mom say about running around the house?"

I don't do it in a mean way, like I said, it's more a reminder than anything else. If they're doing something dangerous, I'll point out that it's really dangerous and they could get hurt. If a kid is disrespectful to me I'll definitely say something to them and I'll let the parent know.

I'm also that woman who rolls down her window at traffic lights and reprimands parents for not belting their kids in. Grrrr that makes me so mad!
 

MichelleCarmen

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Date: 3/19/2009 2:11:16 PM
Author: elrohwen
I generally don't think it's appropriate to yell at someone else's kids unless you are the one responsible for them (babysitting perhaps) and they're doing something that's dangerous (to themselves, others, or property).

If the mother is around somewhere, I'd just bring it up with her and let her deal with it. If the mom really isn't around they're throwing rock at your house or your family, then I think you have the right to say something to them.
The kids are mine. The guy sees me ALL the time and I'm always around. And, I don't mean just "sees" me. He actually STARES at me. Up until yesterday when he yelled at my kids, I thought he was a pervert because I've seen him looking at me through his window ALL the time. Once when I was driving down the road, he passed by me and not only looked into my car window, but craned his neck around to keep looking as he drove on by. So, yeah, I thought he was just one of those leering guys up until yesterday when he yelled at my kids so maybe he was trying to glare and bully me rather than just leaving me repulsed by him.

He's home during the day and my predictable routine of picking up my kids at the bus stop has given him ample opportunity to talk to me.
 

MichelleCarmen

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Yeah, I''m 100% for the reminder if there is an issue. I''ve never yelled at another person''s kid. Possibly it has a lot to do with me having so much experience with kids. The guy is such a nerd. I almost tee-peed his car last night!!!
 

Aloros

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I''d always go to the parent first except in a few situations.

If the kid is over to play, and I''m supervising, I''ll reprimand. If the situation is obviously dangerous, like Hudson_Hawk has said. If I know the parents and child well. OR if it was really bothering me and my personal space, I''d politely ask them to keep it down. Yelling is a bit extreme I think, and I''ve usually found kids to be respectful.
 

elrohwen

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Date: 3/19/2009 2:20:38 PM
Author: MC
The kids are mine. The guy sees me ALL the time and I'm always around. And, I don't mean just 'sees' me. He actually STARES at me. Up until yesterday when he yelled at my kids, I thought he was a pervert because I've seen him looking at me through his window ALL the time. Once when I was driving down the road, he passed by me and not only looked into my car window, but craned his neck around to keep looking as he drove on by. So, yeah, I thought he was just one of those leering guys up until yesterday when he yelled at my kids so maybe he was trying to glare and bully me rather than just leaving me repulsed by him.

He's home during the day and my predictable routine of picking up my kids at the bus stop has given him ample opportunity to talk to me.
Ok, that's just totally weird and creepy. I don't think he had any good reason to yell at your kids. Totally inappropriate!

ETA: I'm not condoning the TPing of cars, but if you do it, you must post pics
 

Hudson_Hawk

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Date: 3/19/2009 2:20:38 PM
Author: MC
Date: 3/19/2009 2:11:16 PM

Author: elrohwen

I generally don''t think it''s appropriate to yell at someone else''s kids unless you are the one responsible for them (babysitting perhaps) and they''re doing something that''s dangerous (to themselves, others, or property).


If the mother is around somewhere, I''d just bring it up with her and let her deal with it. If the mom really isn''t around they''re throwing rock at your house or your family, then I think you have the right to say something to them.
The kids are mine. The guy sees me ALL the time and I''m always around. And, I don''t mean just ''sees'' me. He actually STARES at me. Up until yesterday when he yelled at my kids, I thought he was a pervert because I''ve seen him looking at me through his window ALL the time. Once when I was driving down the road, he passed by me and not only looked into my car window, but craned his neck around to keep looking as he drove on by. So, yeah, I thought he was just one of those leering guys up until yesterday when he yelled at my kids so maybe he was trying to glare and bully me rather than just leaving me repulsed by him.


He''s home during the day and my predictable routine of picking up my kids at the bus stop has given him ample opportunity to talk to me.
dude next time just ask him what his problem is...
 

somethingshiny

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I don''t believe it''s appropriate to yell in general. I think it IS appropriate to correct others'' children if your own are involved or if there is going to be something REALLY bad happen. (you can tell a stranger''s kid not to get in a car with a creep, don''t punch that one in the nose, leave your pants on, don''t throw a rock through the window, etc)

If the neighbor is bothered by a child''s behavior, it is the correct response to speak directly with a parent. And, the parent doesn''t need to change what they allow because it bugs a neighbor.

If an adult yelled at my children for ANY reason, I''d speak to that adult ASAP. I would tell them if they have a problem, they need not intimidate children to correct it. Then, if it happened again, I would call the authorities. I don''t usually go to "call the cops" mode, but if you tell the neighbor it''s inappropriate and unacceptable for him to yell at your kids, you have every right to involve the authorities. Also, if he becomes a "victim" of your kids'' antics (whether supposed or real), you''ll have record of a previous dispute.
 

Steel

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I don''t have kids.

I imagine when we/if do and he/she lets me know that an adult has spoken them in this manner I would take it on myself to make contact with the adult.

Firstly to let them know that I am available if there is an issue.
Secondly to let them know that I prefer them to deal with me so I can be aware of any issues and discipline accordingly.
Thirdly and a fringe benefit, by making contact with him I would be letting him know that his actions are reported back to me, in case he feels he can yell whilly nilly or act in any inappropriate manner
.
 

doodle

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Date: 3/19/2009 3:23:37 PM
Author: Steel
I don''t have kids.


I imagine when we/if do and he/she lets me know that an adult has spoken them in this manner I would take it on myself to make contact with the adult.


Firstly to let them know that I am available if there is an issue.

Secondly to let them know that I prefer them to deal with me so I can be aware of any issues and discipline accordingly.

Thirdly and a fringe benefit, by making contact with him I would be letting him know that his actions are reported back to me, in case he feels he can yell whilly nilly or act in any inappropriate manner
.

Agreed completely. They''re children. He''s an adult. He should act in an adult manner and handle the situation accordingly, not throw a temper tantrum. I would make it a point to talk to him as soon as the opportunity arises.
 

trillionaire

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I don''t have kids. If I see unsupervised children acting inappropriately, I feel free to reprimand or correct them, as I would expect any other responsible adult to do if I had children.

It takes a village, and the more children realize that they are always responsible and accountable for their actions, regardless of who is present, the better. I think all of the "I''m not supposed to say anything" attitudes hurt our society. Don''t TOUCH other people''s children, but please correct bad or mischievous behavior. If you are sensitive to other people reprimanding your children, then be willing to be present and available when your children are playing so that you can be the one to correct them.
 

neatfreak

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I think it depends. No adult should EVER yell at a child that isn''t in their care unless they are preventing them from harm. But I don''t think there is something wrong with a neighbor asking the kids to stop throwing rocks/yelling if it is bothering them and you aren''t there to intervene right then. But I also think it should be followed up with him talking to you personally. And I don''t think it''s ok if he yelled at them!
 

fieryred33143

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I think its appropriate to an extent. Children that feel its "ok" to do certain things generally get that idea from the parent (either that or the parent doesn''t have the nerve to stop the child themself). If a child is vandalizing a neighbor''s property or could potentially hurt himself/herself, I think its ok for a neighbor to step in.

I''ll give you an example:

We had been spending some nights at my in-laws since they are out of the country. When we drove home and parked, we saw a group of kids throwing a football at a palm tree right next to all of the cars. I made a comment to my FI that they could potentially hit one of the cars that was parked (mine included). Now, a football won''t do as much damage as let''s say a baseball so it wasn''t that big of a deal. The guardians of the children were nowhere to be found (they were outside alone). So, we were just going to drop it. Boys will be boys.

Then one of the boys grabs this insanely huge rock and flings it towards the palm tree. He completely missed the tree and it landed literally inches away from FI''s new car and in our neighbor''s spot who just happened to be at the mailbox. Luckily his car was not there. That rock would have left a *huge* dent on the hood or worse. The boy wasnt doing it on purpose. He was just waiting his turn to get the football, got impatient, and grabbed the super rock instead.

So my FI''s first reaction was to say "HEY! You could have hit a car or hurt someone! You don''t throw rocks! That''s it no more throwing stuff!"

The boys stopped immediately. There was no need to knock on the parents doors and start a huge mess with them. The mom did hear my FI from her window and when we left to go get dinner, she was outside with them tossing the football around. No harm done.
 

fleur-de-lis

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Date: 3/19/2009 2:02:01 PM
Author:MC
Many of you have stated that kids will be kids and most of us had much more carefree childhoods when we were young. This generation of children are raised by a society that expects them to be continuously supervised by their parents.


A question I have for all of you, is that IF children are loud/throwing rocks, etc., and the neighbor is bothered by this and knows where they live and have regularily seen the mother, should the neighbor come over and discuss the problem with the mom or is it within his ''rights'' to yell at the kids?
Well, I''d expect an inverse ratio between "supervision by parents" and a neighbor''s "''right'' to yell at the kids," MC.
 

asscherisme

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I would never yell at someone elses kids. I would go to the parent if I knew who the parent was if it was huge problem. I actually had to do that last year and the mother appreciated me telling her because she had no idea. And thank goodness it did not create weirdness between us. But we both have kids in the same schools so that made it easier to open the door.
 

VegasAngel

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Date: 3/19/2009 5:33:26 PM
Author: trillionaire

I don''t have kids. If I see unsupervised children acting inappropriately, I feel free to reprimand or correct them, as I would expect any other responsible adult to do if I had children.

It takes a village, and the more children realize that they are always responsible and accountable for their actions, regardless of who is present, the better. I think all of the ''I''m not supposed to say anything'' attitudes hurt our society. Don''t TOUCH other people''s children, but please correct bad or mischievous behavior. If you are sensitive to other people reprimanding your children, then be willing to be present and available when your children are playing so that you can be the one to correct them.
I agree with you.

MC the neighbor shouldnt have yelled at the kids but I too would have said something to them for throwing rocks, hitting etc..
 

Italiahaircolor

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For me, everything comes down to how you say it--not so much what you say.

If a child/ren were throwing rocks at my home, you better believe I''d say something. Would I yell at them? Depends how old they are. If they are 5 or 6, and throwing the rocks were part of their play...I would gently correct them, if it continued I''d increase my firmness with each time I had to address the issue. However, if they were 12, 13 or older and could clearly understand the ramifications of throwing a rock at my home, then its a pretty solid chance I would raise my voice and threaten to call the police. Or, if the issue wasn''t damaging property, but tormenting another child...I would absolutely say something--and probably not in my calm/kind voice like I would have to address the rock issue. I think my reaction would have to measured by the circumstances.

Children need to learn the boundries of social behavior...and sometimes that means stepping in to correct an issue. Kids need to clearly see when they have been in the wrong.

 

KimberlyH

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I think the "old" way of doing things also included neighbors/other adults correcting children when they witnessed someone doing something inappropriate. We had a dirt yard when I was a kid (our large shepard mix destroyed any and all grass) and our neighbor had a beautiful, inviting front lawn to play on. He was very protective of his lawn and we knew not to go on it, but sometimes we did. He raised his voice at us a few times, rightfully so, we were on his property. My parents never got angry with him, they got mad at us for doing something wrong.

If a neighborhood kid was doing something that was potentially dangerous or could damage property I would most likely correct them. I certainly wouldn''t stare at the parent/s in a creepy manner on a regular basis, but I may give them a dirty look in passing if their children were constantly unsupervised and acting inappropriately. I wouldn''t discuss the matter with the parent/s though, I''d assume they simply don''t care if the behavior is continuous.
 

LaraOnline

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I agree with fiery. If children are behaving badly, they need to be told AT THE TIME of the misdemeanour, not three hours later. If the parent is not immediately on hand, or is distracted, or too tired at the time to care, sometimes children need to be stopped from doing something dangerous, to either themselves or others.

As we are an internet forum, I can't say whether I would have interpreted your child's rock-throwing as dangerous or not. But if it WAS dangerous, to either themselves, passersby or to any property, I may very well have said 'HEY! Stop throwing rocks!'

Throwing rocks is in most instances seen as potentially dangerous behaviour, in most suburban environments.

I don't know whether my open-ness to having my kids pulled up by other adults is a cultural difference, as I suspect there are a lot of parents in Australia that would also object to having their child 'yelled at', regardless of what the child was doing at the time, but personally, I would have no objection to my children being reasonably disciplined by other adults.
I grew up and live in the country.

Children need to learn respect for all adults, and they need to learn appropriate behaviour. If other adults want to help me teach my children these things, and keep them out of harm's way while they're doing it, well I thank them! It used to be the standard, anyway, perhaps your neighbour is just the old, old-fashioned, or the country type (as well as perhaps being a bit weird / constantly annoyed as well!)

I guess the issue is whether the children were actually being rudely and continuously noisy in a suburban environment, and whether the rocks were dangerous *shrug* Even if the old guy's judgement was off, or he just 'doesn't like kids' who cares? As a one-off, the yelling is unlikely to have a scarring effect on them. Although if he's permanently weird, well perhaps some neighbour-avoidance or contact-limiting techniques (such as planting a privacy screen) are in order for the future.
 

strmrdr

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There is yelling then there is yelling.

I yell at them all the time.
Hey knock it off usually.
One kid made the mistake of telling his mom I yelled at him.
She came over and asked what was up and I told her and he got in big trouble.

Making threats or acting like a jerk would be over the line but a simple hey knock it off is fine.
If it ain't then tough :}
I have only had one person say something bad about it and next time her kid did something I called the cops and pressed charges rather than yelling at him.
The road near here is a highway and it is a felony to throw rocks at cars driving on it.
His dad came over an apologized after that one and said yell at his kid all I wanted but to call him and tell him about it.
Before they moved away I yelled at the kid a couple times after that to knock it off but it wasn't for anything worth calling his dad over so I didn't.
 

purrfectpear

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I had a neighbor kid (around 10 or 11) that was hitting and hurting other smaller kids. His parents were never around so I saw no need to go track them down. I told him nicely to stop a couple of times but he would still pinch, hit and twist arms an hour later. Finally I had enough. I walked over to him and spoke to him very quietly. I leaned into his face and told him that if I saw him do that even one more time, I would personally break every finger in both hands. That put an end to that and I never heard a word from any parents


I figured if he thought intimidation was such fun he should experience some first hand.

I''ve been known to tell kids running up and down the grocery store aisles unsupervised to knock it off or I''d turn them into the cops in my sternest voice. If you don''t want someone else to discipline your kids, try doing a better job of it yourself. I wouldn''t tolerate that crap in my own child, I''m sure as heck not going to tolerate it in yours.
 

JulieN

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I think the person (neighbor) should say something, not take it up with the parent.

Usually kids will knock it off when a stranger tells them to. More effective than parents.
 

bee*

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Date: 3/19/2009 10:25:00 PM
Author: Italiahaircolor
For me, everything comes down to how you say it--not so much what you say.


If a child/ren were throwing rocks at my home, you better believe I''d say something. Would I yell at them? Depends how old they are. If they are 5 or 6, and throwing the rocks were part of their play...I would gently correct them, if it continued I''d increase my firmness with each time I had to address the issue. However, if they were 12, 13 or older and could clearly understand the ramifications of throwing a rock at my home, then its a pretty solid chance I would raise my voice and threaten to call the police. Or, if the issue wasn''t damaging property, but tormenting another child...I would absolutely say something--and probably not in my calm/kind voice like I would have to address the rock issue. I think my reaction would have to measured by the circumstances.


Children need to learn the boundries of social behavior...and sometimes that means stepping in to correct an issue. Kids need to clearly see when they have been in the wrong.


I''d be the same as this. The only time I''ve yelled at someones child is when I saw a boy of about 12 about to wallop a dog with a huge branch. The child was there with his friend and there were no parents around and he was definitely old enough to know that you don''t hit a defenseless animal.
 

Hudson_Hawk

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I''d also like to add that I would 110% support someone verbally disciplining my kids if they did something wrong.
 

MichelleCarmen

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Hi everyone,

Thanks for your input. Just a quick update, yesterday, the guy was outside when I was pulling into the complex and I rolled down my window and told him he should have just come over and talked directly to me rather than yelling at my kids. At that, he blew up and began yelling at me. No sense of maturity or logical behavior that could easily resolved our dispute! I've come to the conclusion that he's not a very happy person. He's been trying to sell his condo for a year now and nobody is even coming to the numerous open houses that have been held, so maybe that's resulted in him taking his frustrations out on my kids!

I guess it wouldn't be that big of a deal except he works at home so we pass by each other a few times a day!
 

Italiahaircolor

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Date: 3/20/2009 11:37:00 AM
Author: MC
Hi everyone,

Thanks for your input. Just a quick update, yesterday, the guy was outside when I was pulling into the complex and I rolled down my window and told him he should have just come over and talked directly to me rather than yelling at my kids. At that, he blew up and began yelling at me. No sense of maturity or logical behavior that could easily resolved our dispute! I''ve come to the conclusion that he''s not a very happy person. He''s been trying to sell his condo for a year now and nobody is even coming to the numerous open houses that have been held, so maybe that''s resulted in him taking his frustrations out on my kids!

I guess it wouldn''t be that big of a deal except he works at home so we pass by each other a few times a day!
Okay, I guess I don''t understand what brought this all on anyway...

Was this a case of your children throwing rocks at his house...because that was the "what if" senario you posed, but you never really elaborated on why he yelled at your children?

So I guess my issue with how you''ve reacted (and please don''t jump all over me for this) is that obviously your children were doing something wrong, and either one of two things happened. You saw what was going down--and did nothing to stop it. Or, you weren''t around supervising your kids and they were getting in trouble, so someone else intervened and put an end to it.

Either way, if these kids were being disrespectful to someone elses property they needed to be told to knock it off and to stop it. And if you weren''t putting an end to it by either not stepping in when you saw it happening or by not being around to observe it then it''s well within reason to expect this man to step in and say something...esspecially if this man is trying to sell his home--the last thing he needs is damage done to it. And I think you need to understand while parenting is your job, not everyone wants to go out of their way to find you, explain the issue, and wait for you to solve it...sometimes their is a level of urgency that needs to be addressed--it only takes one rock to break a window.

I think you should have first apologized to your neighbor for what your children were doing--and also extend an olive branch by saying that if ever he feels your children are putting his property at risk to please come and get you because that behavior will not fly in your home. By doing that you''ve shown you''re a proactive parent who is involved and capible of discipline...but you''ve also smoothed over any ongoing issues with him. Unfortunately, you''ve just stirred the pot (so to speak)
 

Hudson_Hawk

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Date: 3/20/2009 3:23:54 PM
Author: Italiahaircolor
Date: 3/20/2009 11:37:00 AM

Author: MC

Hi everyone,


Thanks for your input. Just a quick update, yesterday, the guy was outside when I was pulling into the complex and I rolled down my window and told him he should have just come over and talked directly to me rather than yelling at my kids. At that, he blew up and began yelling at me. No sense of maturity or logical behavior that could easily resolved our dispute! I''ve come to the conclusion that he''s not a very happy person. He''s been trying to sell his condo for a year now and nobody is even coming to the numerous open houses that have been held, so maybe that''s resulted in him taking his frustrations out on my kids!


I guess it wouldn''t be that big of a deal except he works at home so we pass by each other a few times a day!
Okay, I guess I don''t understand what brought this all on anyway...


Was this a case of your children throwing rocks at his house...because that was the ''what if'' senario you posed, but you never really elaborated on why he yelled at your children?


So I guess my issue with how you''ve reacted (and please don''t jump all over me for this) is that obviously your children were doing something wrong, and either one of two things happened. You saw what was going down--and did nothing to stop it. Or, you weren''t around supervising your kids and they were getting in trouble, so someone else intervened and put an end to it.


Either way, if these kids were being disrespectful to someone elses property they needed to be told to knock it off and to stop it. And if you weren''t putting an end to it by either not stepping in when you saw it happening or by not being around to observe it then it''s well within reason to expect this man to step in and say something...esspecially if this man is trying to sell his home--the last thing he needs is damage done to it. And I think you need to understand while parenting is your job, not everyone wants to go out of their way to find you, explain the issue, and wait for you to solve it...sometimes their is a level of urgency that needs to be addressed--it only takes one rock to break a window.


I think you should have first apologized to your neighbor for what your children were doing--and also extend an olive branch by saying that if ever he feels your children are putting his property at risk to please come and get you because that behavior will not fly in your home. By doing that you''ve shown you''re a proactive parent who is involved and capible of discipline...but you''ve also smoothed over any ongoing issues with him. Unfortunately, you''ve just stirred the pot (so to speak)
Um...I think we need to know more about the situation before we can make judgments.
 

Italiahaircolor

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Hudson, I totally agree that we need more clarification...and I was drawing a conclusion based on the senario that was put out there.

I''m not a parent, but I am a homeowner...and while I wouldn''t have screamed at the children (I''m not much of a yeller) but I wouldn''t have been silent because I was afraid to step on toes, that''s for sure. I work hard to pay for my home, I don''t want damage done to it that could have been avoided...so, if the case is infact that the children were throwing rocks, I get the frusteration, it''s not cool to deface someone''s home.

And on a side note, my DH and I do live in a townhouse..and there are different levels on conduct because you have shared/common space, it''s just different than a single family home. What you can get away with in a big backyard can''t always be condensed into a tiny courtyard and you have to behave accordingly.
 
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