Canadian mum Morgan DeBoer has four active young boys in the house, so it’s not a shock that sometimes things get loud around there. But what IS shocking is an anonymous (SO LAME) letter Morgan got from a “neighbor” complaining that her kids play too loud…OUTSIDE. Umm…WHAT? To me, it seems patently ridiculous to expect young kids to play quietly in the great outdoors! DeBoer was shocked and miffed by the letter, but told the CBC that it won’t change her parenting style.
DeBoer says (rightly in my opinion, and the opinion of early childhood experts across the globe) that children need to learn independently, which means running around in the backyard, solving problems without parental intervention, making noise, getting dirty, and having FUN. Children LEARN by playing and the great outdoors is the best classroom…would DeBoer’s neighbors rather have her kids indoors, staring at a screen? It kind of seems that way, after reading the letter Morgan DeBoer posted to Facebook.
Photo: Morgan DeBoer, Facebook
The letter reads:
This is a friendly request which I feel is better done through the mail. I am one of several neighbors who are frustrated with the frequent screaming and shrieking your children make while playing in your backyard. This is very disruptive whether we are outside or inside and interrupt whatever we are doing, be it TV, reading or napping. Having the windows closed does not keep out the sound.
We encourage you to correct your child when he screams by saying “please stop at yelling “or something like that. Perhaps if you supervise them while they were in the backyard it would help. It should be possible to have them play without screaming and in the long run be helpful to them. Other possibilities would be to take them to the park?
Thank you for your help
HONESTLY, I would be so ASHAMED of writing the above that I’d have to do it anonymously, too. But I’d never write it because it is ridiculous!!! As you can see, DeBoer’s grown adult neighbors aren’t handling the interruption of their “me time” by young, innocent playing children very well. Um, ever hear of headphones? Mid-day nap during play time? Get a white noise machine! My bedroom is right above a noisy alley. White noise app on my phone works great day or night! Perhaps, unlike DeBoer’s children, her neighbors didn’t get enough independent play at home to learn how to PROBLEM SOLVE, or that the world does not, in fact, revolve around them.
DeBoer, who has lived in her home for three years, thought her relationship with all her neighbors was just peachy, which is another reason for the shock. As the letter makes it sound like they’ve been chatting about her behind her back as a group, it’s especially hurtful.
Photo: Morgan DeBoer, Facebook
“All the neighbors I know around here are really lovely. They like my kids, they know my kids, my kids like them. To find out that, after three years, that there’s someone in the neighborhood that is not keen on my kids is kind of hurtful,” she told the CBC.
“I didn’t think that my kids were any more loud than other kids in the neighborhood, so it’s kind of disheartening to hear that.”
Morgan DeBoer also goes on to say that she wishes her neighbor(s) would have been brave enough to come and talk to her face-to-face if they thought her kids play too loud. Once again, I agree with her: it seems these grown adults are trying to solve their problem in an infantile way, which is particularly ironic since they are complaining about children! Clearly they are just cowards, or smart enough not to give a mom dumb, patronizing advice like, “We encourage you to correct your child when he screams by saying ‘Please stop that yelling’ or something like that,” face-to-face for fear of getting their butts kicked. But honestly, if you’re not brave enough to say it to a mom’s face? DON’T SAY IT AT ALL! Your words lose SO MUCH MERIT when you’re not brave enough to OWN UP TO THEM!
DeBoer also said that her neighbor missed out on a compromise situation by not coming to speak to her. If they had explained his or her circumstances, “such as an ailing parent at home who needs to sleep in the afternoon,” she could certainly take that into consideration when planning her kids’ outdoor play time after school. But, no one did that, so as far as she knows, it’s just adults being crybabies up in her ‘hood.
“It’s 2018,” she says. “Why can’t you come and knock on my door?”
Bottom line, “neighbors,” – be the bigger person! You’ve already had a childhood — why would you deny these kids theirs in the name of your convenience? You think DeBoer’s kids play too loud? I think you complain too much. And to DeBoer: you’re doing an AMAZING job giving your kids what they need! Keep on making them — and not pleasing others — a priority. They will be all the better for it!
What do you think about this anonymous letter? I’d be SO fired up if I received the same!