I live in New Orleans and with the consturcution that has been going on around here for the last few years I have learned a few things...
-if you do not have a fence, your dogs and children must be very well behaved. You must be present with them at all times and if they do not resepct the boundries of your yard they do not go outside and the dogs will have to go on a leash and harness. Walking the dogs three times a day will ware out the kids and the dogs making them better behaved.
-Once a neighboor has their house in order they want to keep it that way. So you are respondsible for making sure the workers on your property are neat and respectful. This means no littering, no foul language, no unsightly or unsafe constuction debris, proper use of the bathroom, and that they are dress appropriatly(shirtless plumbers crack, not welcome).
-GOOD COMMUNICATION. If these constucttion projects have been dragging on for whatever reason you need to let people know that you are resolving the situation and what the time frame for that is. Share your constuction plan with your 4 adjacent neighboors (the houses to the left, right, across the street and behind you). You can do this with a simple letter, drop it in the mail box, express your appreciation for their pacientce and ask if there is anything that you can do to make this process easier for them, tell them you would like to know. Add your contact information and be ready for some not so nice comentary. This will give people the opportunity to express any grevences they may have with the consturction.
If after that you find it is not the consturction, you can try to speak with the mother one on one, ask frank, direct questions, be honest about how you have felt and how you would like things to be different. The ball would then be in her court so to speak.
However, some people just carry around with them a lifetime of anger and fear, which makes them not nice peole to be around and you can't do any thing about that.