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Wedding Woes

Tell. Your. Son. To. Avoid. His. Property.

Dear Prudence,

I live in a friendly, family-oriented neighborhood—or at least it used to be until “X” moved in about two years ago. He is withdrawn, is reclusive, and hates children. He leaves the lights off at Halloween and shouts at any children who knock on his door. He’s lodged several complaints about kids coming into his yard without permission and sent notes to everybody warning that he was not prepared to take on any liability for their safety on his property. He’s had particular difficulty with my 7-year-old son, who seems drawn to his home, and he’s gone from complaining to me to saying horrible things to my child. This runs the gamut from telling him that there is no Santa Claus to a detailed description of the crimes of serial killers to an explanation of how animals are butchered for meat. I’m furious, but X insists that the situation is entirely my fault and has warned that the next time my son steps onto his property he will bring charges. Do I have any recourse here? How do I persuade this angry, unpleasant man that harming a child with words is out of order? And what do I say to my son, who is now having nightmares about serial killers and afraid to cross the street?

—Neighbor Hates My Son

Re: Tell. Your. Son. To. Avoid. His. Property.

  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    This is all weird. From the parent who is letting their 7 year old run around unsupervised to the adult who thinks it’s okay to tell a 7 year old about serial killers. 


    image
    mrsconn23eileenrobsparklepants41short+sassy
  • 6fsn6fsn member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    Im guessing the neighbor wouldn’t have said those things if the kid would LEAVE HIM ALONE. It is entirely the kid/moms fault. 
    eileenrobInLoveInQueens
  • A detailed description of the acts of serial killers could be, "Look kid, I keep telling you to leave me alone.  I am a stranger.  Did you know that there are adults who abduct and kill children?  You don't know me.  Don't come up to my house because you can't trust people these days."

    short+sassyeileenrobcharlotte989875ernursej
  • short+sassyshort+sassy member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited November 15

    Well, LW.  Maybe if your son didn't act like a feral cat who needs to be shooed away, this "problem" would become non-existent.  At least cats we can have a margin of tolerance for, because they don't understand the words we speak.  Your son does not have that excuse.  He's undisciplined and has no manners, at least in this case.

    I know the LW has never seen it this way.  But, in essence, she's forcing her neighbor to parent her "free roam" child.  And then complaining about his "parenting skills", lmao. 

    I also have to ask, would she have preferred the neighbor call the police on her son instead of speaking (perhaps) rudely to him?  Because if a neighborhood child was repeatedly ignoring my requests to "stay off my lawn".  I wouldn't stoop to telling violent, scary stories.  But I would start calling the police.  Just like I would with any other repeated trespasser.

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    mrsconn23OliveOilsMom
  • lovesclimbinglovesclimbing Alaska member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    I was totally confused by this letter. Sure, the guy should just say, "Go away," and not get into details about serial killers. But it doesn't sound like he is doing or saying anything unless children are knocking on his door and coming on his property, and he has a right to not want that and be super annoyed when people do it anyway after it's clear they're not wanted. 

    And what's up with people still knocking on the door (and just plain having a problem with people not doing Halloween) when the lights are off on Halloween? I thought that was a universal symbol for "we're not doing Halloween/giving out candy." 

    The kid needs to be told not to go on other people's property without permission, and that doesn't just apply to this guy. 

    short+sassymrsconn23eileenrob
  • Maybe it's because I just read the Bad joke at childbirth Prudie but my first thought was "just wait 10 years until LW is calling her sons teacher and blaming them because the spoiled brat didn't get an A."
  • I am especially feeling this letter today because I had a neighbor years ago who would trap me in a 15 minute conversation whenever he caught me going in to my apartment.  Then he graduated to just knocking on the door and wanting to hang out.  I am all cool with being polite and friendly to neighbors, but sometimes I want to be left alone!  

  • I was totally confused by this letter. Sure, the guy should just say, "Go away," and not get into details about serial killers. But it doesn't sound like he is doing or saying anything unless children are knocking on his door and coming on his property, and he has a right to not want that and be super annoyed when people do it anyway after it's clear they're not wanted. 

    And what's up with people still knocking on the door (and just plain having a problem with people not doing Halloween) when the lights are off on Halloween? I thought that was a universal symbol for "we're not doing Halloween/giving out candy." 

    The kid needs to be told not to go on other people's property without permission, and that doesn't just apply to this guy. 


    Yes!  I also noticed the verbage about Halloween was part of her examples of what a jerk/child-hating neighbor he is.  I didn't see anything of the sort.  I saw a neighbor who likes his privacy

    I like children, albeit in small doses, just fine.  But I don't like people, and especially not children, ringing my doorbell if I'm not expecting them.  I also don't want children playing on my property, for all kinds of reasons.  Including liability.

    He doesn't have to participate in Halloween.  For all she knows, it's against his religion.  Or, he doesn't want to encourage children to come over even on Halloween.  It sounds like this has been a problem for him and I am actually curious as to what is so cool about his property that kids want to hang out there, lol.  Does he have a big, climbable oak tree?  A pretty and colorful garden?

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    eileenrob
  • I was totally confused by this letter. Sure, the guy should just say, "Go away," and not get into details about serial killers. But it doesn't sound like he is doing or saying anything unless children are knocking on his door and coming on his property, and he has a right to not want that and be super annoyed when people do it anyway after it's clear they're not wanted. 

    And what's up with people still knocking on the door (and just plain having a problem with people not doing Halloween) when the lights are off on Halloween? I thought that was a universal symbol for "we're not doing Halloween/giving out candy." 

    The kid needs to be told not to go on other people's property without permission, and that doesn't just apply to this guy. 


    Yes!  I also noticed the verbage about Halloween was part of her examples of what a jerk/child-hating neighbor he is.  I didn't see anything of the sort.  I saw a neighbor who likes his privacy

    I like children, albeit in small doses, just fine.  But I don't like people, and especially not children, ringing my doorbell if I'm not expecting them.  I also don't want children playing on my property, for all kinds of reasons.  Including liability.

    He doesn't have to participate in Halloween.  For all she knows, it's against his religion.  Or, he doesn't want to encourage children to come over even on Halloween.  It sounds like this has been a problem for him and I am actually curious as to what is so cool about his property that kids want to hang out there, lol.  Does he have a big, climbable oak tree?  A pretty and colorful garden?

    His house must be made out of candies that entice Hansel to go over and eat.

    We said to the kids two weeks ago - no light means don't go there.  

    The only time we rolled our eyes was when people left lights on and then didn't answer the door.   Come on people - we have a timer too.   You turn it off on Halloween so people don't go to your door. 
    charlotte989875OliveOilsMommrsconn23eileenrob
  • If this neighbor really is talking about some gruesome subjects with children, obviously that is creepy and unacceptable. 

    However, people are allowed to want to be left alone, and if they've made it clear that they don't want company, that needs to be respected. While the neighbor's reaction (if true) is out of line, it is his property and he's allowed to tell people they aren't welcome on it and to go away. LW needs to stop acting like their son can just do whatever the hell he wants and start teaching him about boundaries and self-control. Being "drawn" to someone's property is not an excuse for intruding and violating someone's privacy.
    image
    charlotte989875short+sassy
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    I felt so bad Halloween night because we had our first trick or treater in YEARS! I forgot the whole light on/off thing and we have automatic lights so the light was on. I didn't go to the door because we had no candy in the house! Yes I was that terrible person, and I felt awful! Next year I will definitely remember to turn the light off.
  • mrsconn23 said:
    MobKaz said:
    I was totally confused by this letter. Sure, the guy should just say, "Go away," and not get into details about serial killers. But it doesn't sound like he is doing or saying anything unless children are knocking on his door and coming on his property, and he has a right to not want that and be super annoyed when people do it anyway after it's clear they're not wanted. 

    And what's up with people still knocking on the door (and just plain having a problem with people not doing Halloween) when the lights are off on Halloween? I thought that was a universal symbol for "we're not doing Halloween/giving out candy." 

    The kid needs to be told not to go on other people's property without permission, and that doesn't just apply to this guy. 
    My local neighborhood social media "network" just had this discussion!  A local parent wanted everyone to literally mark their home on a virtual map to indicate they would be "participating in trick-or-treating".  In that way, kids will be "less tired" and "less disappointed" on Halloween night. 

    The majority of responders all said, "Porch light on, candy.  Porch light off, keep walking". 
    So how often does this lady ask other people to parent for her?  ;)  How is a tired kid after Halloween a bad thing?  And disappointment is not the plague, it's a normal thing that people experience.  Stop trying to protect precious Braxtynn from it forever.  
    Sounds far more like a mom wanting to plan for Halloween Economics so the routes could be planned for maximum payout. 
    mrsconn23
  • I'm totally the neighbour that doesn't want kids on my property, but I don't seem to have problems. This LW needs a dose of reality and to stop being a special snowflake


    short+sassy
  • Tonight I had one female friend take out the trash and the dishwasher is running thanks to DH.

    Also. Who wants 6 quarts of turkey chili?
  • banana468 said:
    Tonight I had one female friend take out the trash and the dishwasher is running thanks to DH.

    Also. Who wants 6 quarts of turkey chili?


    I think you posted this to the wrong thread :)


  • banana468 said:
    ernursej said:
    banana468 said:
    Tonight I had one female friend take out the trash and the dishwasher is running thanks to DH.

    Also. Who wants 6 quarts of turkey chili?


    I think you posted this to the wrong thread :)


    Yup.  Totes did.  

    I also had wine and was very tired.
    I was assuming @banana468 was offering her turkey chili to the LW and her neighbor for them to "break bread" together and smooth over their differences :P.
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    charlotte989875ShesSoColdeileenrobernursej
  • banana468 said:
    ernursej said:
    banana468 said:
    Tonight I had one female friend take out the trash and the dishwasher is running thanks to DH.

    Also. Who wants 6 quarts of turkey chili?


    I think you posted this to the wrong thread :)


    Yup.  Totes did.  

    I also had wine and was very tired.
    I was assuming @banana468 was offering her turkey chili to the LW and her neighbor for them to "break bread" together and smooth over their differences :P.
    Well....SOMEONE needs to help me eat it! 
    short+sassyernursej
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