Monday, July 26


Often your neighbors will define whether your neighborhood is an enjoyable place.

When I was five I befriended our elderly neighbor next door. Her back fence butted up against my backyard and I recall having several deep conversations with her. Or at least they seemed deep to a five-year-old.

Now I've got my own place and most of my neighbors are great. On the left is a plumber's family. At Thanksgiving they offered to smoke a turkey for me and the dad has done some plumbing work on my house before. On the right is an older man and his son. They walk their yorkie every day, so I'll chat with them when I see them. And that's just a sampling of the awesome people I've met in my neighborhood.

Some of the paint balls shot at my front porch.
That said, this week I could use some advice. There are dozens of kids around the neighborhood and they all seem to congregate next door or across the street. Yesterday I noticed a group of kids across the street playing outside with a paintball gun. The seemed to be aiming at my house, but when they saw me watching them they stopped. So I didn't give it another thought. Today, however, I found several paint balls splattered across my front porch. These kids were definitely old enough to know not to shoot someone's house.

How do I approach a neighbor I've only met once to discuss something her kids have done? Most things I'm willing to let go: chalk drawings on my tree, toys in my yard, the lemonade stand that appeared on my front lawn and stayed for a week. But I don't think I can dismiss the kids shooting my house with a paintball gun. I don't want to alienate my neighbor either though.

How would you approach the situation?


  1. as a mother i would DEF want to know if my kids were up to no good...but also, have you thought of approaching the kids?? i think i would feel more comfortable telling the kids NOT to shoot my house then tattle to their parents. i would also ask them to clean it up.

  2. That's a great idea, I wish I had thought to do that at the time. There were a lot of kids over at the neighbor's house on Sunday and not all of them live there-I'm not really sure which ones shot the house.

    Well, live and learn! If something like this happens in the future I'll have a better idea of how to handle it. Thanks!

  3. We've had huge issues with errant kiddos at the church in our neighborhood, from which we are oh-so-lucky to live across the street. During the summers they take to the parking lot and sometimes even the street, bumping their stereos to the max, screaming and shouting and playing the loudest game of grab-ass ever, sometimes until after 10pm every Wednesday and Sunday night. When our son was a baby, this was a huge issue. When we approached the adults with our noise/decency complaints, all we got in return was defensiveness, requests that we move our infant's room to the other side of our house and reproaches for owning a home near a church with a youth group in the first place. The police were even less responsive. But when we approached the kids directly, it least for the night. We still have to remind them to cut it out from time to time, but they've been much more understanding and apologetic than their parents and church leaders. Amazing. So, I guess I'm agreeing with SHM here.

  4. Most of the kids in my neighborhood are great...which is good because there are a lot of them! I don't really know the kids across the street as well, but if I ever catch them doing something like this again I'll definitely be saying something!


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