Evicted—your toddler’s too noisy!
Noisy tots can drive neighbours crazy.
There was a time when my neighbour’s 2-year-old son would cry at midnight, rousing me from sleep. The parents would let him cry for an unusually long time. I’d lie awake for hours, long after the baby had quietened, struggling to go back to sleep. This is one of the disadvantages of living in flats.

To add to the drama, another neighbour’s toddler, also around two years old, developed a habit of screaming at the top of her lungs every morning when the parents were off to work. The persistent, high pitched screeching made my blood pressure to shoot up. What irritated me the most is not the children but the child minders’ inability to calm down the tiny tots.

Two-year-old’s cries like a “revving motorbike”

I was not surprised when I read about a UK couple in the Daily Mail who are facing eviction from their home “after their neighbours complained about the noise of their two-year-old daughter - comparing her cries to the sound of a revving motorbike.”

The couple was given an ultimatum by the housing group that maintains the property where they live. They were given a notice to move out unless if their daughter quietens down.

What did the child’s mother feel about the eviction notice?

'We feel victimised and I feel like I’m being punished because I’ve got a child,' she said.

Who is being victimised? I wonder. Is it the parents of this loud child or is it the neighbours who have to contend with the constant ‘sound of a revving motorbike’ which disturbs their peace.

Bad kids or bad parents?

I bet many parents of two year olds can sympathise with this couple, knowing how children at that age throw tantrums.

‘Children will be children,’ such parents may argue. ‘You have to bear with us. Remember, some time back you were also a clueless two-year-old.’

Those with a low tolerance of noise, like me, would feel victimised by parents who do little to keep their children quiet, especially when living in flats where walls are shared. Parents who leave their children crying for long periods of time not only show a lack of consideration for the child but also of neighbours who have to endure the constant uncomfortable piercing cries of a toddler .

However, in the case of this couple, I feel that an eviction order is too harsh. Introducing a hefty fine for parents who can’t control their children would do the trick. The case will be heard in court on February 21, 2012.

Read more by Sipho Yanano

Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.

Would you agree that parents are to blame if their kids are excessively noisy?

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