21 answers

Nosy Neighbors!? Whats Up..

We just bought a cute little house and really enjoy the acrage so the kids can run around BUT we have neighbors who spy on us and send their over 14(yr old) children out to ask our (8 and under) children about what we are doing or other strange questions. We've asked them to leave our kids alone but if my children go outside at all you can bet within no time someone from next door is out too watching our children. The yard is fenced and our children don't even the yard but I scaried to let them outside without an adult out there. Our dreams of the quiet life in the country is slowing going out the window as the weather warms up :(

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you everyone! First their kids are over 14 years old and our are 8 years old and under. I've spoken to a few of the other neighbors who told me that the neighbor children can be sweet but also stir stuff up and making up stories which ends up causing problem with the parents. Will try some of everyones suggests as it gets warmer... or maybe look for another house and make sure I interview the neighbors before I buy. HAHa

Featured Answers

Perhaps you should try to become acquainted with this family and you may find that they just want to be friends. Often in the country that is the case and these children although a little older may just want to be friends. Talk to the parents and the family and you may find babysitters and good neighbors. Also you can become friendly with other neighbors and learn about this family from them. Sounds like they just want to be neighborly from what you are saying.

1 mom found this helpful

Could it be that they are desperatly wanting new friends? Maybe they don't really know how to approach new poeple. With that many children maybe they are not taught this.

More Answers

Remember the old saying "if you can't beat them, join them"? While you don't have to "join" the neighbor's family, probably the best way to diffuse the situation is to go next door with cookies or cake & get to know them. Answer questions and ASK the questions you have.

Someone else pointed out that neighbors can be the difference between life & death in lightly-populated areas. You don't have to become bosom buddies with these people, but knowing them genially could provide comfort rather than the anxiety you are experiencing now.

These questions from the teens are probably not from their parents; kids do say the strangest things & want to know "inappropriate" information. Befriend these folks & you may have a bevy of babysitters to call upon.

Consider that the neighbors have lived there for decades & have questions as to how long you will be there. They may not want to impose upon you, which is why they haven't come over to introduce themselves; yet their curiosity is causing them to watch you in a way that makes you uncomfortable. If you go introduce yourself, take away the mystery of who you are, then the "spying" will most likely stop.

Consider also that the watching of your children is coming from a place of concern: maybe they have experience of the dangers of the area.

The only way to truly resolve the situation is to talk directly with the parents. Despite appearances, they may be wonderful, interesting people. At least they may not be as creepy as they seem from a distance.

I wish you the best.

4 moms found this helpful

I would get to know the neighbors. Take some cookies over, knock on the door and say we'd like to get to know you. IF they say it's a bad time aske them when would be a good time. Or you could invite them over to your house.

When the kids come over spend some time getting to know them. Ask them the same question they're asking your kies.

Did I understand that 14 children come over at a time. If so calmly tell them that your rules are that no more than 2 kids visit at a time and for a specified amount of time, say an hour 2-3 days/week.

You didn't say how old your children are. Early teens enjoy babies. My daughter had help from a couple of 11 old girls that lived in the same apartment complex. sometimes I'd take both girls with me so that I could do my chores and they would help with the kids.

Are their other kids nearby? If not kids get tired playing only with each other. I think it's normal and should not be threatening for the neighbor kids to get to know your kids. And you do need to get to know the parents, also. Even if you have acrearage you're still neighbors. A lot of unpleasntness is caused by neighbors not knowing each other.

If you you've given the neighbor's a fair chance to get to know you and and you them you can decide to not allow the kids to play together, Whatever decision you make you need to discuss it with the parents, diplmatically explaining the reasons for your choice.

As to strange questions. What seems strange to one is routine to another. Please don't judge the whole family based on the kids questions.

4 moms found this helpful

They have probably lived there for some time and are wondering who the new neighbors are. You always want to get to know your new neighbors and are a little leery until you do. What types of things are the older kids asking? It's a problem if they're being inappropriate. Maybe have the neighbors over for dinner sometime? Then you can all get to know one another and they will see they have nothing to worry about or spy on.

3 moms found this helpful

If I am reading your request correctly it is the kids that are asking the "strange" questions. That's what kids do. They ask questions that embarass us and make you want to hide under the chair. They are just curious, and your children probably answer them, which is normal too. If htere is a fence around the yard then you really don't need to worry, and unless it's people with a telescope poking into your living room, or adults just STARING at you without asking you any questions, it's probably just curiousity. They will calm down after a little bit, and you don't want to put your paranoia onto the kids. Also, how do you know that they "send their kids to spy"? I think the other mom's gave good advice, AND you could go out there with your kids, talk to the other kids, talk to the parents, communication is key to having a good relationship with your neighbors. Good luck

3 moms found this helpful

We had neighbors like that. The whole gang came out and greeted us. They started telling us such personal information that it completely creeped me out. One day I saw the boy in my yard and when I investigated they were replacing my back door screen.

It comes off as super creepy and I never could go outside with out them in my business, but once I took a deep breath and opened myself up to the experience I realized how much information they had about the neighborhood and various other things that I was able to see that they were good people and willing to work with me on stuff.

I would definatly investigate the situation and find out if they are trying to be 'nice neighbors' or are just nosy obnoxious folks.

2 moms found this helpful

Living in the country? or just wanting to get away from it all and everyone? When folks who live in the country they depend upon one another for services, help, and friendships. People are fewer and far between. The neighborhood kids are just learning about you and your kids, period, end of report. So far you have exhibited the behavior of someone who doesn't want to inter-relate with their neighbors or community. Let your kids go outside and play, run around, enjoy the fresh air. Go outside yourself and play with them and when the neighbors, regardless of age, stop by and inquire about you and your family, start up a conversation, learn as much about them as they do about you. You never know when you might need a cup of sugar, a babysitter, a jump for a dead battery, whatever... They can be a resource of where to go and what to do for your kids. Your kids can go outside and play without constant supervision in your fence yard, don't make them so paranoid that every person is a potential threat. Knowledge is power and you've got to start singing "Getting to Know You" to understand that life in the country, life in the city, life anywhere is full of joy, fun, promise and people who are living it. You and your family are new. Your isolation makes the community curious, like what's wrong with these people that they don't want to be a part of our community? Introduce yourselves. You didn't just buy a cute house with acreage and a fence.... you bought into a community, a neighborhood and you will never realize the value of your home unless you open up your door, your windows and your mind. Kids are much more forthcoming and inquisitive than adults.

2 moms found this helpful

Where did you grow up at? People who live in the country are a different breed of people. How close are these neighbors, and how far out in the country are you? Many times your nieghbors can be a life line durning sudden situations when you may need help. Unless these people are down right scary, you should get to know them better. After all they are your neighbors. If you want this place to be you comfortable life in the country, then your going to have to work at it. Where these people living there when you moved in? I think your best bet would be to get to know them and tell them what you will allow. Just set down some guild lines. What ever you do I hope it works out for you.

1 mom found this helpful

I would find a way to approach the neighbors within good taste and ask them to politely to please ensure that your children are given their privacy in your yard. You shouldn't feel as though you are under lock and key, from what you call a beautiful home for your family. I would find a way to present the situation so that they may understand how this makes you and the rest of your family feel. (This is if you know for sure that they are asking questions that they shouldn't.) They might just need you to introduce yourself to them and get to know them a bit. They might be a bit shy as to who is new in the neighborhood and is just curious. :D

1 mom found this helpful


Why not have a BBQ, and make it a potluck? That way you all can get to know each other, and maybe the nosiness will go away. I agree with some of the other posters, they are just curious and want to get to know the new neighbors.

Hope this helps,

1 mom found this helpful

That is a lot of kids! Overwhelming for anyone. You need to meet the parents and set your boundaries. Tell them that your kids may only have a few friends over at a time and you like to keep them with their own ages. Maybe later, the older ones can babysit for you, but you need to get to know these people first. Their kids are probably just glad to see someone else to play with other than their own siblings.

1 mom found this helpful

Maybe your "nosy" neighbors just want to be friendly and get to know their new neighbors. I guess if they really want to be friendly, the adults should come over and meet you, but you sound like you're not interested in getting to know them. I'm just thinking that they may want to break the ice by using their kids since you have kids too. Maybe you should speak with the parents and see what kind of people they are before you assume that their nosy or unusual in any way. If you talk to them, they probably won't be curious about their new neighbors and won't have a reason to "spy".

1 mom found this helpful

Perhaps you should try to become acquainted with this family and you may find that they just want to be friends. Often in the country that is the case and these children although a little older may just want to be friends. Talk to the parents and the family and you may find babysitters and good neighbors. Also you can become friendly with other neighbors and learn about this family from them. Sounds like they just want to be neighborly from what you are saying.

1 mom found this helpful

Hey M.! Hopefully it is not quite as bad as you think! I would bake something and you and your kids can take it over there, and meet the people who live there....actually find out more about them. Maybe they are just lonely, and looking for some friendships. And if they are being too nosy, if you develop some kind of speaking relationship, then you will be able to tell them to back off a little! I think communication is the answer here!

1 mom found this helpful

I think I must be reading this differently. I'm reading as: the kids next door are over 14 years old - and your kids are under 8 years old? Is this correct? If so, I would not be comfortable either, especially since you have asked them to leave your kids alone. I would probably introduce myself (with my husband) to their parents, and try to see what is up - to meet them and to get a feeling for them - and for their kids. It may turn out to be nothing to really worry about. I grew up in the country too, and we had neighbors across from us, who, although we knew them, would stare out the window at us (you could see them looking out behind their curtains), just being nosy. They were also bad about talking about our, and other people's business. So there are some people out there that are like that, and not so innocently just wanting to be friendly or neighborly. To me, friendly or neighborly would be them properly introducing themselves.

Maybe embrace it a little and things will get normal. I do think that their kids are a little old to be "playing" with yours. However, living in the country can also get lonely for kids. They may just be excited to get to know you. Maybe the novelty of your newness will wear off if you give them a chance to get to know you a little. If you develop a friendship it will be easier to set boundaries and expectations.


I would go over there you and your hub and speak to them. Let them know that you are not impressed with the fact that everytime your kids go outside theirs will be out in only minutes. Let them know that you moved out to the country to get away from nosy people and dont mean to be rude but if they are curious about the family maybe come over and do a bbq or something and then leave youguys alone!! You shouldnt have to put up with that stuff. You didnt send a bunch of money on a house and a big yard so that your kids would have to be couped up because of the neighbors!!!

No one like to conflict with their neighbors but, it happens. Get in your neighbors face and tell them to stop spying on you and your family. Tell them I moved to the country for privacy and would like a lot more than they are giving you.

Maybe you can write them a letter. I know i'm not one for confrontation or anything even remotely close to that. You really need to express to them how uncomfortable it makes you and your family. I know I wouldn't want some strange neighbor I don't know (new or not) staring at us everytime we did anything. I'd make me nervous too. We have only lived in our neighborhood about 2 years now, but our neighbors were nice enough to come over and introduce themselves instead of just stare at us or send their kids over. I wouldnt' agree to have all their kids over either I can't blame ya for that one. I hope you can find some way to resolve this so you can feel comfortable in your new home.

Could it be that they are desperatly wanting new friends? Maybe they don't really know how to approach new poeple. With that many children maybe they are not taught this.

People who are isolated can sometimes be a little lacking in the social graces; maybe they don't know they are being nosy and a little rude. You might start planting some privacy hedges :)

Hi M.,
I would be concerned also if a 14 year old kid is wanting to ask my under 8 year old questions. Sometimes older kids (although curious) can also be really bad influences. I just remember a time when I was young and some older girls would pick on me and my friends constantly in our own neighborhood.
Personally, I don't feel that you should feel obligated to have them over for a BBQ or even want to get to know them. I feel like I have pretty good instincts about people, and if you just generally don't have a good feeling, or don't like them then don't push the issue of wanting to "get to know them."
Tell your kids how you are feeling. If the older kids come out every time your kids are outside, just let them know that your kids would like to be left alone. I don't feel like these kids would be spying on your kids, but I can certainly understand how it would get annoying. If the neighbor kids are really being inappropriate to your kids, then definitely go over to their house and speak to the parents.
We too have a nosy neighbor, but he doesn't have kids, and we tend to just ignore him.
You should be enjoying this exciting time of owning your home!
Sorry for your trouble, and good luck with your new neighbors.

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