'Cranky' letter about neighbour's 'screaming' children divides community

People have come forward with advice for a Melbourne mum who received a note complaining about the noise from her playing children.

A neighbour's complaint about a family's "screaming" children has divided people on what is the appropriate response.

The Melbourne mum shared the letter from the neighbour in question in a Facebook group, asking for advice "how to handle" the situation.

"Dear Neighbour," the letter read on the Mums of Boys Australia Facebook group. "You may not be aware, but your kids screaming, aggressive yelling, squealing and shouting can be heard, all the time. Sometimes as early as 6.56am, to as late as 10.30pm. Every day!"

"The basketball bouncing, again from early AM to late PM can also be heard loud and clear."

A generic photo of houses in Australia. Another photo of a letter a Melbourne mother has shared the letter she received from a neighbour, complaining about how loud her children are being at 7am.
A Melbourne mother has shared the letter she received from a neighbour, complaining about how loud her children are being at 7am. Source: Facebook/Getty, file.

"Everyone has the right to peacefully enjoy their homes, backyards and holidays. Last night’s late-night squealing was too much. Please keep the noise coming from your backyard and home to a respectful level."

The mum who wished to remain anonymous told Yahoo News Australia her three boys aged three, five and seven are not the ones "shrieking at 10.30pm" as they are often in bed by 7.30 or 8pm. However she did say they are out in the yard at 7am, just "not necessarily loud".

"(They) wake up around 6.30am. We leave for school and childcare around 7.30/7.45am as both my husband and I work all day. So typically we’re trying to get them out of the house to load up in the car or bikes to head to school about this time," she said on the Facebook group.

Parents react to letter from neighbour

The response about what to do was quite divided and attracted many comments, acknowledging that it's "a hard one to navigate".

"'Sometimes as early as 6.56am'! Clutch your pearls tighter Karen, imagine 6.54am?!" one person said.

"No need to do anything. They should move to a desert island," another said.

"You do not need to justify your children playing," a third person said.

However others believed having children doesn't make you "more entitled than anyone else".

"No one should have to deal with your kids other than you," one person commented.

"Just because you have kids, doesn’t give you a right to let them disturb everyone else," another piped in.

Solution is to 'give and take a little'

So what's the solution? Most parents agreed that 8am was an appropriate time to let the children out into the yard, saying 7am was just "too early" in a suburban setting.

"Imagine your neighbour’s dog barking that early every morning, it would compound every time and become really bothersome," one person said.

"They sound like cranky old farts but maybe just keep your kids in an hour longer in the morning — an hour’s extra sleep in might be (what) they need to get over their stinking attitude towards kids."

The mum told Yahoo News Australia that going forward she still thinks it's "fair to have outdoor play at 7am" but will try to confirm which neighbour wrote the letter and chat to them in a non-confrontational way.

"If construction is allowed, loud traffic, etc then I’d much rather my kids be outdoors then on a tablet / TV."

Though she cheekily said she'll be "conscious of those extra four mins".

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