Alice, My Neighbor's Kids Are Too Noisy

Alice, My Neighbor's Kids Are Too Noisy

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Ask Alice
Mar 10, 2015
(Image credit: Shutterstock / Allard Laban)

Dear Alice,

My new neighbors who live directly above me allow their two kids to run, jump, thump, bump and everything in between starting as early as 7am some mornings (with occasional breaks, but it always starts up again) and it's nerve racking. I now hate my home life and want to move ASAP. I've tried blasting my TV but the added noise is brutal and stressful. Don't know how to cope or what to do. I've complained to them but the father says there's nothing he can do, they're kids. What can I do about it?

Sincerely,
No More Noise

Dear NMN,

I can feel the stress radiating out from your letter. It's no fun to feel like you can't relax in your own home. But consider this: the parents of these children probably don't like the noise any more than you do. Perhaps they already are trying to rein in their kids and you are just rubbing salt in the wound with your complaints. Did you approach the father with compassion and understanding to try and solve a problem or did you just complain? Being a parent is hard. Kids are forced to play inside in the winter and their exploding energy is often hard to contain.

Regardless, there's not much you can do about their family dynamics or parenting strategies. Since you've already tried talking to them about it, it's probably time to move on to Plan B: your lease. Many leases require a certain percentage of the floor to be covered (to muffle noise) and you could subtly inquire with your landlord if they have complied. If your building does not have this requirement, you could always float this idea to your neighbors as a good solution. A thick rug or rubber mat could make a significant difference to your peace of mind. If they resist, you could always offer to pay part of the cost. But remember, you need to approach this problem like you want to work WITH them to make a better living situation for everyone. I think you'll find they are much more receptive to your plight if you approach the conversation with compassion.

Love,
Alice

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