Children’s noise: what to do with neighbors when stressed?

"Don’t get me wrong, but I don’t want to be bullyed by children!"

BOOOM. This statement from my neighbor shocked and outraged me at the same time. I still don’t know how I managed to stay calm and explain to her that a baby and toddler can’t judge if they’re playing too loud. Because children just play.

Now imagine this situation briefly: We live in a tenement house and the neighbor above us feels like noise pollution. A 60-year-old woman stands there (by the way, she is very fit, very active) and stomps loudly so that my children become quieter. If I go up and ring the doorbell, "unfortunately she doesn’t hear that the doorbell has been rung" * uh, sure? *

1. Is the limit only reached when the neighbor takes out the shotgun??

Had that quality Wife one, then she would probably always be ready in case children from the area should have fun. Now I wanted to clarify it so far, was always friendly. She even got little gifts on behalf of the children for Christmas and Easter. Because I thought she was just lonely and therefore so sensitive. But where’s the limit? Mine was reached when the lady added drums on the heater to her pounding concert.

Late afternoon, children both sick, whining non-stop, living room was declared a battlefield – nerves lay bare. What is missing, what is missing ?! Do you guess it? Yup! The one man orchestra on my blanket is the missing link in the chain of my already ‘relaxed’ day. * grrr * Does an escalation have to take place to settle a neighborhood dispute? What rights do parents actually have and what do they have to consider when it comes to rest periods??

2. Is child noise = noise or rest disturbance?

Strictly speaking, according to Section 22 (1a), the Federal Immission Control Act Children’s noise ≠ noise (!):

“Noise effects caused by children’s daycare facilities, children’s playgrounds and similar facilities such as ball playgrounds are generally not harmful to the environment. When assessing the effects of noise, immission limits and guide values ​​must not be used. "

The smart-mama writes that our dishes in the private sector decide in this direction. Because child noise is "socially acceptable" and must be accepted by society.

Many neighbors have already complained because they perceived ‘child noise’ as a disturbance of the peace. The courts decided (mostly!) In favor of children and their parents. Below is a summary of the relevant judgments:

  • Laughing, crying and screaming of toddlers – even at night – must be tolerated by house residents as the children’s natural behavior.
    AG Bergisch Gladbach, 26 C 14/82, WM 83, 236
  • House rules only regulate the tenancy agreement between landlord and tenant and are not suitable for justifying direct claims between tenants. Noises, which typically correspond to the urge to move and play in small children, are to be accepted by the neighbors as contractual use of the apartment.
    AG Hamburg-Wandsbek, Az. 712 C 175/03
  • Neighbors have to accept the unrest in the house that arises as a result of the children’s normal play and movement instinct.
    AG Kassel 872 C 855/91, WM 91, 558
  • In the case of children’s noise, an extended tolerance limit is appropriate, because a multi-family house is not a monastery, children cannot be chained like young dogs.
    AG Neuss, 36 C 232/88, WM 88, 264
  • The residents of a larger apartment building have to accept noise, such as child screaming, children’s trampling or occasional dropping of objects.
    AG Trier, 5 C 194/00 WM 2001, 237

3. The age of the children is often decisive.

This is a clear advantage for parents with babies and toddlers. It gets more complicated with elementary school children and teenagers. In the worst-case scenario, the children’s understanding of their age must always be taken into account. Because infants and toddlers are unable to convey to parents that at certain times they have to restrict or even neglect age-typical sounds and behaviors.

“Child noise disturbance
The smaller the children, the more noise they make. It is difficult to explain to a two-year-old child that the neighbors feel disturbed by the romp. However, it is definitely possible to suggest to an eight-year-old school child that there is no need to knock on the railing at noon when he comes home after school. ”

4. When are my neighbors right??

There are also some things that the courts have no indulgence in:

  • rest periods [mostly from 1pm to 3pm and from 10pm to 7am]. Children must also adhere to the rest periods prescribed in the house rules, e.g. by play quieter. However, rest periods do not apply to babies and toddlers. They logically apply for children, who can understand and adhere to a warning. Nice to know: The law requires only a night’s sleep from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m..
  • Loud music. Especially during the night rest between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. no music should be heard outside the apartment.
  • Unnecessary noise in the stairwell, storage, elevator and basement. So you can’t go roller skating, skateboarding or cycling there.
  • Out fun with drive the elevator. According to the courts, this is not allowed because it blocks it and wastes energy.
  • Play in the ornamental gardens next to the house. According to the courts, the areas are too small and the plants can be damaged. (see LG Heidelberg WM 1997, 38; LG Berlin WM 1987, 212).

The courts do not always make the same decision, and the specialist literature and opinions of the experts are from Depends on the individual case. I found a good compilation of the information at Munich’s children’s representative Jana Frädrich.

5. What to do when tension arises?

1. Search for a conversation. Despite the fact that it practically did not work for us, I am convinced that you should first try to talk to your neighbors. Some tensions could be created in this way, provided you take it easy &# 128521; .

2. Switch on the landlord or administration. If personal discussions lead to nothing and the situation does not improve, then you should contact the landlord or the administration.

3. Last resort: the legal route. It may well be that it ends up in front of an arbitrator or mediator and everything goes to court only if there is no agreement. The whole confusion leads to a judgment after a long time, but the situation with the neighbors and the tensions do not get any better …

What am I doing? I am not a person who likes to argue. Unfortunately, with some neighbors it is not possible to avoid an escalation … So we had to go one step further and contact our landlord. She already knew the situation and then spoke to the neighbor. It got better, let’s see how long it lasts &# 128521; We will not take legal action. In the meantime, we are looking for something of our own and I console myself with the thought of not having to live in a house with this woman for long …

Just be you. Be mommy, you have what it takes!

P.S .: What experiences do you have?

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People complain about children – it would be more correct to complain about parents. It is they who are responsible for children learning to be considerate (not just siblings) and to respect other people’s property. As far as I know, no child has been overwhelmed, but most parents have. If parents took the correct responsibility for their offspring, there would not be so much argument. But as long as parents expect and demand that I do the damage that their children e.g. on my car, pay for yourself, as long as there will be arguments.

Marina Peters says

Hello mouse,
I am one of those people who always grab their noses first. Even in cases that affect my children, I try to act accordingly.
But not every case is the same, so it is difficult to generalize. How old are the children (baby, toddler, school child, etc.)? To what extent is the child able to grasp something? Because a 1.5-year-old toddler does not understand as much as a 6-year-old … What depends on the parents? Etc.
Therefore, the courts also judge individually (if the legal process has been taken).

Sounds like you’ve had a bad experience, right? There is no liability insurance for the damage caused by children?

Our neighbors above us have a two year old child. Since the child was born, we have always been involved in all indoor activities.
A loud child is one thing, but the fact that parents can do something about the noise is another. My wife and I would be happy if the neighbors would at least spread out a large carpet for the child and not let it play with wooden blocks on the floorboards. It remains to be seen whether the child stays on the carpet all the time. But then we as neighbors would at least get the feeling that we are understood. You can’t always just say: "They’re kids, they’re loud" if you don’t at least try something. No one should tie their child down or force them to rest, but you can try to contain the noise.

Marina Peters says

Hello Steve,
what do the neighbors say? Did you talk to her about it and try to find a solution?
Many conflicts do not arise when both sides are ready for a solution. In our case, it is unfortunately still the case that the neighbor is simply not ready for a conversation … But our children are probably not the real problem. Because as it turned out, it already caused problems for two of our previous tenants (both without children) …

Nico Carranante says

Depends on the situation. Babies or toddlers cannot understand that they are too loud for some ears. From a certain age, however, parents should educate their children to be considerate of other people. Who didn’t learn that as a child – when will it do it? As an adult, you shouldn’t listen to loud music, you have to pay attention to rest periods and room volume. But – when does awareness develop for this? Is a switch flipped in the head from the age of 18 according to the motto: “From now on you have to be considerate?” How often do I see that no seat is made free for older or frail people in the S- and U-Bahn. For us as children, that was and is still a matter of course today. This does not bother many young people in the slightest. Sometimes they make fun of people like that. The violence of the young people has increased, the girls also stand there “their husband”. No wonder, if you were used to kindergarten, loudly and by all means. Free development of the personality – whatever the cost – Hallelujah!
We lived in a three-family house – above us a Turkish family with two children. (8 and 9 years). They met regularly with their other family members, they brought their own children and then the mail went off: buggy driving, screaming, trampling … mostly on weekends (Sundays) and the whole thing took 4 – 5 hours. When we asked the father for a little more consideration (the adults were also VERY loud) we got the answer: “You just have to live with that”. No – we didn’t have to – we moved out, spent a lot of money again for the good and the development of the children and left the family to their happiness. Incidentally, the landlord was not bothered, on the contrary: we were immediately dismissed as hostile to children and foreigners. The next tenant moved out after only 5 months – the family still lives there and, as I’ve heard, hasn’t changed their lifestyle. Anyone who asks for a little more peace in today’s stylish and planned active world immediately becomes suspicious. Those seeking peace and quiet are now associated with loneliness, boredom, idleness – although – and studies have shown this again and again – constant noise can cause physical and psychological damage in the long run. And it doesn’t really matter that child noise is no longer classified as noise by law. The legislative gentlemen certainly do not live next to a kindergarten, but in their secluded Art Nouveau villa with a view of the countryside. And one more thing: you can’t get used to noise.
“THAT’S WHAT YOU HAVE TO LIVE WITH”… I mean that with consideration. The proud dad obviously didn’t learn it in his childhood – so how could he convey it to his children??

Marina Peters says

Hello Nico,
of course, it is the parents’ duty to teach their children to be considerate. My children are now 4 and 2 years old. Every time before I unlock the front door, I remind them again that they please go up quietly. In the meantime they understand why, even if they think that our neighbors are sleeping;).

Tip: If you move you should inquire about the neighborhood if possible. To decide if it fits. If I can’t bear children, I make sure that I don’t choose an apartment next to a school or kindergarten … Or I don’t move into a house where the apartments are designed for families with children. Just the other way round.

Children should be limited from a young age, consider other people. A Polish family with two boys 6 years old lives above me, the mail goes above me. The children are in bed until 10 a.m., extremely loud noise for hours 10.30pm the children are brought to bed, far too little sleep and underutilized, but when I complain I am the bad guy, I should move into the forest, then children are invited, furniture for page Moved, the apartment is turned into a children’s playground. Silence in the evening or at the weekend is out of the question. The landlord is of the opinion that I should move out. What laws you don’t have to understand!

Marina Peters says

Hello Elke,
I can tell from your comment that the situation with you is quite tense. Children need boundaries and you should also teach them to be considerate of their fellow human beings, I agree with you. I also think that you can expect certain things from a six-year-old. Clearly more than from a two-year-old toddler.
It was important to me with this article to help parents who are considerate of their neighbors and still have problems. And, of course, point out what to watch out for. "Being a child" is not a free ticket for everything;).
Unfortunately, our neighbor was a hater of people and children. No conversation possible. And we are a family that travels a lot, hardly at home – especially not on weekends. Children were always in bed early, no howling at night. Still, the lady kept stressing, pounding, and pounding. I would have been glad if she just came down and rang the bell.

I wish you find a common solution.
All the best,
Marina &# 128578;

Raphaela Gschwind says

You shouldn’t blame children! The fact that children are increasingly becoming a disruptive factor today are the only parents who are unable to bring up parents. Children have to be limited from an early age! Unfortunately, some young people today let their children run around worse than the wildest animals.
You don’t get along with a child and you need a few more children that you can let go.
You don’t want to act as parents anymore, but as a nice dear buddy. And that is exactly wrong for the upbringing of children. Children look for authority and they challenge parents to set limits.
It is inevitable that there will be stress in noisy apartment buildings or close to densely built-up residential areas if the little ones often make loud, shrill, animal-like sounds for hours. Nobody wants to have to endure this over a longer period of time, neither people who come home after a long working day and long for well-deserved rest, nor people who work in the home office for many hours and are disturbed by such children. Older people, for whom rest is often very important, feel disturbed by such noise attacks anyway. With today’s mothers who often spend the whole long day at home with their screeching children and keep their children away from kindergartens and who delay compulsory education for as long as possible, hops and malt are often lost. Conflict-solving talks are not possible with most child mothers because they insist on supposed rights that are not given in this way and often their children are even more persuasive in their performance. This is the result of the anti-authoritarian upbringing that many parents have enjoyed themselves. However, there was an increase here as so often in life. This increase is unhealthy for the child’s well-being. I have 3 children myself who have grown up and grown up with limits. They have become wonderful young adults. I now have 5 well-behaved grandchildren of my two sons and their wives, which I like to have around me. My daughter lives with her partner and that was never a problem either.
Please start being a parent to your children, lovingly set limits for them. It is not normal for a child to churn out loud “hello hello or tattoo”. If a child makes sounds like an animal, it indicates that such a child grows up in an extremely unfavorable environment. If neighbors disturbed by such attacks then turn on the police, the youth welfare offices are often turned on. It is logical that such unhealthy growing up children are “saved” from families more and more often.
Who loves his children MUST set limits for them.

I don’t think what idiots you are. I need my rest for WHAT.
How do you clear a little three year old autistic child.
Thanks for your articles …. We have the same problems and we tried everything.
NO – no tolerance for children ….!
The parents are always to blame

Marina Peters says

Hello father,
I know that some people go through feelings about this topic. Because you stand in front of a mountain of incomprehension and wonder how everything can be. Especially in your special situation. Like to express your opinion, displeasure too, but please without insulting &# 128521; .

We now live in a house with mostly families with small and elementary school children. I can really breathe a sigh of relief. Because stress with neighbors is extremely stressful.

I wish your family and you all the best and that you too will find a solution!

Can you imagine that there are also couples without children. We are 41 and 44, we have no children and we are still happy.We enjoy life to the fullest, have a lot of money and let us go really well. We do not know all the stress and worries that couples with children have! We still find it disturbing and selfish if, for example, there is a family with 2 3 or more children in the swimming pool, the children shout rum and everything is just about the children regardless to other people.

Marina Peters says

of course you can imagine that;). Hard to believe, but parents also enjoy their lives “despite” children.
It can be annoying in the swimming pool, especially with the current temperatures and the fact that 3 people “swim” per square meter of water surface.
But we were also children, weren’t we?? &# 128521;

I find it very reassuring that there are also people who believe that adults always have to bow to the noise. "You have to live with", "are children" are arguments that make me angry and helpless. In summer we cannot close the windows (currently 33 degrees) and hear our neighboring children (approx. 4 years) screaming in the garden.
Very exhausting before and after a hard day’s work and on weekends when there is no rest to relax.
I am glad that I am not alone in my opinion.
Today is the time to talk to the parents. I’m curious.

in our neighborhood, we live in a small village, where the roosters scream in the morning, the bleating of sheep can be heard, the lawn mowers and woodworkers are on the move, and in which many children we are all happy to play. Most beautiful idyll.
However, it is now clouded. A couple recently moved in with 5 children (from around 5 years old). The children mostly play unsupervised on the
Road (there were already dangerous situations in road traffic) and apparently never learned that there are quieter talking techniques in addition to screeching. Endless screeching… The role model is probably the father, who, if he can be seen, also only shouts at his children. You almost never see Mommy – and when she does, she’s only busy with your cell phone. It’s a shame that in addition to seriously ill people, night shifters also live in the neighborhood. Let’s see how long the current situation will be tolerated and also a shame that the parents are unable to explain to the children that somewhat quieter sounds lead to a more considerate living together. Social behavior must also be educated. Sad that these parents don’t give the children this chance. By the way, I’m also a mother and I know what I’m talking about ;-)

when I moved in, a very nice and calm old lady lived above me. Unfortunately, she had to go to the nursing home. So much for your thesis, you should check that beforehand. You have no influence on changing tenants.
There are many playgrounds and green areas in my area. They are intended for children to let off steam, run around etc. An old building, already bright-sounding anyway, is simply unsuitable for this purpose.
My solution is not counter noise, here your neighbor makes a mistake, unless she can declare it as gymnastics, then it is legitimate.
What I do instead is tune out. I turn up my meditation music or the sound of the sea to the point where I can no longer hear the noise. Because my interests, e.g. B. Reading or chess are no less important than those of other tenants.
Tolerance is not a one-way street, but works in both directions. And it cannot be that undisciplined Baelger, always the result of lazy and anti-social “parents”, terrorize an entire house.
It may be that children do not know when they are too loud – but it is YOUR job as a parent to take corrective and disciplinary action.


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