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DieselPony 10-12-2013 01:14 PM

Non-Parent seeking Parent advice
...or anyone with experience with children.

The Bf, roommate and I have ended up in a situation which we aren't entirely sure how to handle, and several friends have recommended calling social services.

We have lived around children before, from newborns up to 7 years old. Never had any complaints, sure we could hear them time to time, but that was expected with the kids.

We moved this summer and the upstairs neighbors have a now 3 year old. When we moved we were told they were no complaints about them before, they had been here a few years. But then, the last tenants were kicked out, so I doubt they were complaining about others.

We have been here over 4 months now and have counted maybe 20 days where we have NOT been woken up by a crying child, and he has still screamed his head off at one point during those days.

And we get it, kids cry. But every morning? And we can hear the parents walking around, they don't go to him when he cries. So we figured, at first, he is in a phase and they are letting him cry himself out. But for 4 months?
And we can hear what he says now, he screams "I have to go potty" or for his mommy.
We have timed him cry for over an hour. And he'll do this several times throughout the day.

I tried to give them benefit of the doubt, and keep the guys from saying anything rude, but now I've hit my last straw as well. I came home from work this morning because of the flu and the kid has now been screaming like crazy off and on for the past 2 hours. I just want to sleep.

The place is rented through an agency, and I am going to be emailing them this week.
But we still have a few months in our lease and we've already had issues with them. Petty things like repeatedly flushing the toilet if we shower more than 5 minutes. Joys of shared water systems. So I am concerned on how they will take a noise complaint about their child.

But then we have others telling us we should call social services because it is not right for a child to be crying and screaming that much. But who are to decide if this is "normal" for a child or not? The 3 of us have no experience with raising kids, were all in our early 20's. Which may add to the frustration. Two of us are full time, working students. Sleep is limited as is and the roommate has taken to sleeping at the school.

So, is it "normal" for a 3 year old to cry so much?
Have we just been lucky and every other child our neighbors had were really quiet?

Is there a tactful way to approach the parents? Or just avoid that?

Is it fair to put a noise complaint in about a child? That was there before you moved in? It just seems so silly to me. Like moving to the country and complaining about the smell.
If there is an underlying cause for the crying, that's fine, but shouldn't that be explained to potential tenants?

We do plan on moving in January when the lease is up, so its only a few months of putting up with it.
But any insight, words of advice, suggestions, whatever, I'd appreciate :-)

gssw5 10-12-2013 01:39 PM

I feel your frustration crying kids are no fun. I have five children and we did foster care for 8 years I have a lot of experience with small children. Some cry more then others. But this kid does sound like he cries a lot. It could be he is a very strong willed child who does not accept no for an answer, he could be a spoiled brat and cries until he gets what he wants, he could have some kind developmental delay, some kids are more high maintenance then others. Maybe the parents have no parenting skills and just don't know what to do.

I don't know how to tactfully go up to them and say "hey your kid cries a lot why?" But maybe if you go up armed with some little cars, or coloring books as an offering for the kid maybe just meeting them would give you some insight as to how the kid is and the type of parents he has.

Calling social services is an obligation if you think the kid is abused or neglected, but it opens a big can of worms and is very hard on the child and family if it is not warranted. Good luck to you.

Saddlebag 10-12-2013 04:55 PM

Have absolutely no interaction with them whatsoever and call social services. It is their initial obligation to help the parents be parents and will do followup unless they feel the child needs immediate protection.

Lucky1inKy 10-12-2013 05:05 PM

There are an infinite number of reasons a 3 year old could be crying so much and it is IMPOSSIBLE to speculate what those reasons might be.

It COULD be neglect or abuse. It COULD be just the personality of the child. Or it COULD be something medical.... some sort of medical or psychological disability perhaps.

If you suspect abuse it is your DUTY to contact social services. If it is simply an annoyance I would talk with the parents and gather more information before jumping to conclusions.
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hemms 10-12-2013 06:09 PM

My heart is breaking for that child. Something is not right. Whatever the issue, the parents are not dealing with it.
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NorthernMama 10-12-2013 06:27 PM

If you don't have reason to suspect abuse, buy earplugs and get ready to move when you can.

There are just sooo many reasons this child could be crying and I don't think it's your place to intervene. Some parents will be quite understanding and may take the time to explain to you that there is nothing they can do because.... (medical? illness? behaviorial?). Other parents will tell you where you can go because it's none of your business regardless of the cause of the crying.

If you suspect abuse, then call social services.

AQHSam 10-12-2013 06:50 PM

I am going to chime in with the others. Only call social services if you suspect clear abuse. I have friends that have had the toddler that learned screaming gets more attention than a please and the word no was merely a challenge. They just prayed they could make it through the terrible tot years without buying him a car. :lol:

do you have other neighbors that may be able to provide you with insight?

If not, I would approach the rental management company. Maybe not make a formal complaint, but ask about the policy on noise.

Possibly, the parents don't realize how thin the walls truly are if they don't have music blaring through the walls or dogs barking at all hours. they may not realize that their child crying is reverberating in your home.

While renters need to enter into the rental agreement with an understanding that they won't have the same privacy as a home, there should be an expectation that when you are home you can enjoy yourself and go about your day.

What would you do if it was a dog barking? or music / tv so loud it sounds as if you are playing it yourself?

I would handle this situation the same way as those examples. Incidentally, you can approach the parents without it being an attack. You could ask if your apartment makes too much noise and it is disturbing to their child. Pose it as a "I want to be respectful of you."

Good luck. it sounds as if you are prepared to move so maybe the path the least resistance is to suck it up and get through the time. but, you shouldn't have to move because of the crying child. that's not fair either.

Blossom in Srping 10-12-2013 07:16 PM

My son was a 29 week premie, and I could not get him to stop crying. The only way was for a "man" to hold him. If my hubby was at work, I would have to listen to him cry for hours. Sometimes I would take him to my neighbor, and he would hold him for me.

When he got a little older, he was in his car seat with his shoe lace untied. He cried the entire way home because of the shoe lace (that drive home was about an hour).

Another time he cried almost the entire way from Florida to Va. Some babies cry and cry and cry.

It could be a medical reason? Maybe he is autistic, aspergers, colic, or could be he/she is really a little brat.

You say you could hear the baby crying about "potty", have you been able to hear the mother? Do you suspect child abuse or neglect?

I would be careful about calling social services. Once they get in your life it is hard to get them out. We had a neighbor call on us one time, my 6 yr old grandson was 3 houses down the street. We live in a rural area, 3plus acrea each property. We can see 3 houses down the road though, so we can watch him playing with another boy down there. If he got out of site our older child 13 would go down and check on him. Any way the social service people found nothing wrong and we were ok. But it can be a mess when they get involved.

Good luck with your decision.

Saddlebag 10-13-2013 08:02 AM

When my son was 4 Soc. Services paid a visit, that I wasn't feeding my child. I had him strip to the waist. His sparkling blue eyes and big smile and body condition told her otherwise. We lived in a 4 building apartment complex, with 5 or 6 kids close to my son's age. If they smelled cookies baking they'd make a bee line and of course lie about not getting fed to get the cookies. Someone had overheard this and I was reported. I don't know about the others. The agent was apologetic and said it was her duty to follow up on such a complaint. That was the last I heard of them.

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