24 answers

Neighbors Playing in Our Yard

The children in our neighborhood have always played out in the front due to our backyards being very sloped. This past fall we had our peach trees removed which made our yard the only one in the neighborhood with no trees in the front yard. Before the removal of the trees most of the play was out in the street, or in the yard of one of the children playing. Now the play is in our front yard. We are not all too happy when the children are playing in our yard. Both my husband and I were taught not to go into others yards when we were growing up. We have no problem with them playing in our yard if they are playing with our children, or if they were coming into the yard to retrieve a ball that got away from them.

Our main concern is if we are responsible for any injury that is obtained while playing in our yard. We don't know the parents of all of the children so we don't know what the chances are of someone taking action against us if their child does get hurt. Our ground is not level all the way across the yard, and their favorite game to play is football which ends up becoming tackle football. (Which our children are way to young to play.) Tonight we had to dodge them to just get out our front door to go on a walk, and dodge them again to get back into our house. Then we had to go to our backyard to play with our children because our front yard was already taken by the bigger neighborhood children. Also, if our grass is going to get worn out by being played on we would like it to come from our children. We take time and pride in trying to make our grass look as good as we can.

Does anyone have a good way to let the children know that they are not welcomed to play in our yard without sounding like the old lady with the rolling pin chasing the children off her lawn? Thank you for any ideas to help us resolve this situation.

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you for all of the suggestions. We are relieved to see that our feelings on this subject are not too off. We really like the suggestion of telling them they are not allowed to play in our yard when we are not outside. This is a great way to start to handle this situation. We also feel this is the best way to keep encouraging them to keep playing outside since most children like to stay inside to watch television all day. If this does not work then we will have to take it to the parent level. We really hope we don't have to go that high because the parents we do know could care less as to what their children are doing as long as they are not in their hair.

As for putting up a fence it is not possible because our town doesn't allow fences in the front yard that would be high enough to keep them out. Thank you again for all of the wonderful suggestions.

More Answers

Embrace the Old Lady within. (I love my inner Old Lady.)

"Hey, Kids,I'd appreciate it if you would go play at your own house. Our yard is private property and we don't want kids playing in the yard. No more playing in our yard guys. Thanks."

Then watch them until they leave.

I don't think you can be any more polite and direct. If you are having a difficult time managing your own space, it might be time to watch where the kids head home to, and then just talk with the parents. I'm sure they would understand that their children are not being considerate.

And yes, if you know the kids are playing on uneven turf and don't put a stop to it, you could be sued.

Another remedy would be to print up a short, neighborly letter explaining the situation and claiming that you will not be responsible for the safety and well-being of the children who persist in using your yard, despite your requests not to. Perhaps these parents will have a nice conversation with their children about private property and what that means. And this might protect you legally, if neighbors had been informed.

Fences make great neighbors.

7 moms found this helpful

Turn on the sprinklers... nicely tell them not to play in the yard without your permission and explain why... seriously, if you want to play in your yard just yell, "Okay everyone, you all need to go home and play at your own house, those are our rules." If it doesn't work then talk to their parents.

7 moms found this helpful

we have the same problem in our neighborhood. we have swings on our tree and all the neighbor kids swing on them. i do not know the parents of many of the kids and they have totally destroyed our lawn. so, when we are not outside no one is allowed in the yard and i simply tell them that. "sorry kids when we aren't out you have to find somewhere else to play." they all say ok and go. it's ok to sound like the old lady with the rolling pin so that your own kids can enjoy their yard:) good luck!

5 moms found this helpful

Politely but firmly tell the kids that they are not to play in your yard. You don't have to give a reason. It is your yard. When you give reasons, you're opening the discussion for arguments. for example: we'll leave when your kids come out or we won't sue.

You will have to do this several times. As long as you remain friendly there shouldn't be difficulties. If you know any of the parents, or now might be a good time to get to know your neighbors, talk with them about wanting kids to not play in your yard.

5 moms found this helpful

How strange!!! I've never heard of such a thing. What do the kids say, "Hey mom, I'm going to play in the random neighbors' yard!" I don't know why this strikes me as so odd, but it does!! Totally not appropriate for them to be playing on your lawn. I could see it if they were small kids and their yard adjoined with yours and they didn't always stay exactly on their lot, but this sounds ridiculous! You say they're bigger kids, so I think you should tell them that they need to play in their own yards - you should not have to dodge footballs to get into your own house! Hilarious... I still can't believe parents are allowing this!

5 moms found this helpful

Just go out and talk to the kids nicely. Kids I know you like to play in the yard buy I am sorry to ask you to play at your house or a park. Sorry but we prefer you play at your house. Gently remind them of this 3-4 times as needed. If they ignore you or are disrespectful then go to their parents. You really don't have to give them a reason. Just say that you prefer that they not play football in your yard and ask that they talk to their kids as you already have. Start off gently and go from there.

5 moms found this helpful

I would voice your concerns with the parents. Explain it to them exactly how you laid it out here. Ground rules are the basis to a happy neighbor hood. When we had neighbors next door to us last summer it took about two weeks to get it through their heads they could not walk into our garage just becuase the door was up. I then had to speak to their mom about it.

I have since gone as far as making all the neighbors sign waivers that I am not responsible in the event their kids are hurt on our property. I dont mind being the neighborhood house to hang at. I just had to learn to put my foot down. I was major concerned one of their kids would walk into our back yard with out my knowing and get hurt. they never felt the need to tell me if they were back there. There were a few mornings that I was shocked to hear them out chattering by our fire pit.

Chances are these kids dont have alot of ground rules to follow at home. They have not been taught to stay out of others front yards. It is not fair you would have to fence your yard in, to keep this from happening. If you see them out there, give them one warning. If they choose not to listen, escort them home and have a firm yet calm talk with the parents. The kids are only part of the equation. It starts with the parents.

Good luck.

4 moms found this helpful

I would not turn on sprinklers or put toys out or pay for a fence. I would simply and politely tell the children, the next time they all come over, that they may not play in your yard unless they ask permission first. Occasionally, let them, when it is convenient for you. Maybe even introduce yourself and your kids and get to know them a little bit. If you respect them, they are more likely to show you respect. You may even have a whole group of kids who will look out for your little ones when they are old enough to be out alone. Turn this into something positive for everyone. Good luck!

4 moms found this helpful

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