Neighbourliness

Successful parenting is founded on successful relationships between spouses and relatives. We must not neglect our spouse while we focus our attention on grooming our children to become the best they can be. Discuss relationship issues here.

Neighbourliness

Postby thebusybee » Fri Sep 25, 2009 6:47 pm

I'm staying with PILs in an old HDB estate, probably one of the oldest in S'pore. My hubby's been staying there since 5yo.

8-9 years back a young couple moved in to next door. Few years later she has a son (same age as my nephew who were then taken care by my PILs). We do talk to each other esp the 2 boys are same age. The problem came when her 2nd child arrived , she started to tell us to control my nephew's(around 2yo) noise level down, especially in front of her house as that affected her baby who's a light sleeper. My mil feels 'so unnatural for me to behave like a thief when reach home, open/close the gate/door lightly and not to speak as usual but whispering' - coz that's also part of neighbour's 'feedback'. My mil feel so restricted as she;s been staying there for 40 over years and no such issue! The bigger issue came during a CNY eve when all other siblings gather at our place for reunion and usual chit chat till 11pm +, the neighbour came knocking to tell us keep the vol down, once, twice and finally my hubs got so angry and tell her off. Come on, it's festive occasion, we know you don't celebrate (they are Chinese too) but at least be understanding a bit ok?

We've already been trying to keep noise level down by asking the little nephew not to talk, esp shouting in front of our house (her bed room is just next to our entrance) So she became the black face neighbour, did a few funny things like spray insecticide in front of her house (maybe trying to keep us away cos that's the path we've to walk everyday, in and out of house), told my maid not to wash the floor outside our door at 7pm cos her baby's sleeping....and endless 'not tos'

This neighbour has moved since Feb this year, an indian expat family with a 10yo boy rented their place. We are more conscious now and asked them to forgive my 2YO if he's too loud as he likes to cry in front of the house when he sees people leaving (esp the 2 cousins) and he can;t follow them. They are quite understanding and of course we are controlling the kids' noise level too.

Then the next complain came......

Few weeks back, another neighbour came knocking at our door saying we're too noisy as she's staying one floor below and she's not been able to sleep well since she moved in 3 months ago. My hubby spoke to her and told her we'll keep the noise down. After which we realised it's the kids' toy bikes that made the noise and since been keeping them out of their sight after 7pm.

Last weekend, my son was crying in the room for a few minutes as he refused to stay in there with the cousins while we were outside playing mahjong. Then this neighbour came by and complain about the crying, told my hubby to control our son's crying (my son's crying is very loud, and he cries almost every night, before sleep, middle of sleep but not more than 5 minutes each time) Her complain is not for that night only but any other nights. My hubby quite pissed off and asked if she has got kid herself and said if my son doesn't want to sleep what can we do?

Then the police came 30 minutes later while the MJ session still on and son fell asleep already. They've been standing outside our door to observe before knocking. They just told us to try keep our son's crying volume down, and said the mahjong is ok.

We know our son's crying is loud but didn't know the sound actually travel that far to downstairs...maybe the old HDB flat's sound proof not so good.

See, the 2 complaints are from new neighbours, made me wondering are we really that noisy or the old flat has poor sound proof wall? To what i see it's the tolerance level of individuals. Very often while sleeping in the middle of night i can hear foot stamping and furniture shifting above my room, i usually brush it off and don;t mind and fall back to sleep.

Do you have neighbours (noise maker and complainer) like that and how do you handle the situation?

I'm thinking of bringing my son to talk to this neighbour downstairs. What do you suggest to talk about other than 'promise to' control my son's crying at night?

How do you define noisy neighbours?

thebusybee
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Postby jedamum » Fri Sep 25, 2009 7:23 pm

I too stay with my PILs, but not in a HDB flat.
My husband had received complaints from our neighbour who live below our unit previously, but I'm not sure about now. While it is sometimes difficult to control toddlers, we just try our best to minimise active play during the evening.

It really think the fault lies with HDB flat design. I don't stay at one currently, and my 2 noisy boy's noise level is still within tolerance limit. But whenever I visit my mum or my sis, the noise level seems to multiply many folds. Size of their units and ours is about the same. I don't dare to think how it will be like when we eventually move to a fairly new HDB flat, the size of 4 room now is only 92sqm.

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Postby mrswongtuition » Fri Sep 25, 2009 8:06 pm

Maybe you should invite your neighbour in to calm your boy down so that he'll be quiet. I understand how toddlers can be cos I've a 2.5yo boy.

My boy is extremely noisy & our block is a point block with everyone's door facing each other.

Thankfully my neighbours opposite is an old couple with a teenage daughter. They understand that kids are noisy & they know we are trying our best to keep him quiet (cos they can hear us telling him to keep quiet). My next door neighbour is a middle age couple without children. They love kids and often play with my son, so they don't mind the noise. On days that they need to rest & find him too noisy, they just close their front door & that's it.

Sometimes my boy will cry non stop for no apparent reason, we keep him inside the aircon room so that it's not so loud for neighbours.

I'm not sure about the last unit cos they've yet to move in & they have a newborn. Worried that my boy will disturb their baby but they've already 'experienced' my boy's noise level when they come to check their reno.

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Postby Fluffy » Sun Sep 27, 2009 12:09 am

I recalled when I was staying in my previous apartment, my neighbour's kid above us stared playing marbles every evening between 8 to 10pm. Wow! The sound of dropping marbles really travel loud and clear. My family with my baby boy was so irritated by the excessive sound that we have no choice but to leave a note in their letter box politely asking them to stop. However, when it did not stop, we went up to speak to them nicely. Unfortunately, after a few nights of peacefulness, the sound restarted. We again told them politely to stop but they claimed it is less noisy. I invited them to come to my apartment to hear but they refused. In the end, I resorted to tic for tac tactics! Every night after they stop the dropping of marbles sound, I took a hammer and started knocking on the ceiling at length till midnight! It worked! I continued for a few days and surprised they must have understood our intention and all noise from them stop forever.

It is really sad that some neighbours do not believe in behaving neighbourliness manner. I believe there should be certain amount of tolerance between neighbours such as special incidents such as noises created during festive period and renovation work. I am fortunate my children from baby age till now rarely cry unnecessary. We always put a stop to their crying demand and educate them as soon as they could understand that crying does not accomplish their wishes. They need to reason with us if they want something badly. Of course, exception is when they hurt themselves.

I hope all neighbours can be understanding and tolerance towards one another. We can't avoid seeing each other everyday and lets make the best for our loving homes.

Fluffy
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Postby ChiefKiasu » Sun Sep 27, 2009 12:17 am

Fluffy wrote:... Wow! The sound of dropping marbles really travel loud and clear...


I thought there was some research done that found that the sound of marbles dropping on the floor can sometimes be attributed to the expansion and contraction of aircon pipes. See here.

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Postby Funz » Sun Sep 27, 2009 11:13 am

I think it is a lack of neighbourliness that has resulted to a lower tolerance of such things.

I grew up in a HDB estate. In the past, my mum will cook stuff or bake goodies and go distribute it to the various neighbours even those upstairs and downstairs. And this helps build bonds among neighbours. Our doors are usually open and neighbours' kids will just gather outside one of the units to play. Yes the noise of heavy footsteps, loud radios, dripping laundry, etc do exist. But our parents will deal with it by bringing some goodies to the guilty party, visit them and bring it up very nicely. Likewise when neighbours bring up to my mum about her chilli pounding, she promptly give them a bottle of her superb sambal belachan and the neighbours will say pound away or when they hear pounding, they can look forward to some wonderful fresh sambal belachan coming their way.

When DH & I moved into our own flat, we hardly see our neighbours. All the doors are closed and everyone keeps to themselves. It is strange that we hardly bump into any of them considering that our chute is outside and we have to pass their flats on our way to the lift. Even when we do bump into each other in the lifts, any attempts at small talk is greeted with only nods or grunts. We stayed there for the minimum 2yrs required of us and got out of there.

Our current neighbours are much nicer. I think we are about the noisiest family in our block but no one is complaining. Our new upstairs neighbour do have a habit of shifting things around in the dead of the nite but we are just too sleepy to bother and we figured it is cos they are still settling in. Ours is a groundfloor unit and the playground is just in front of our unit so at times, especially during th school holidays, the noise from playing kids can be pretty loud so we just close our windows and doors to reduce the noise level if the kids are sleeping.

I guess when we have a good rapport with our neighbours, everyone will be more tolerant of little stuff like noise and such especially when it involves kids.

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Postby jedamum » Sun Sep 27, 2009 1:22 pm

i had amended the title of the post to 'Neighbourliness' so that we can talked about neighbourliness, be it noise, smell, sight, boundary etc. :roll:

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Postby Fluffy » Sun Sep 27, 2009 9:08 pm

ChiefKiasu wrote:
Fluffy wrote:... Wow! The sound of dropping marbles really travel loud and clear...


I thought there was some research done that found that the sound of marbles dropping on the floor can sometimes be attributed to the expansion and contraction of aircon pipes. See here.


This is really news to me and there may be an element of truth to the speculation. Unfortunately, I am very sure that our neighbour who has a young boy loves to play marbles. They are not chinese but we could not really point out their race because they kept to themselves throughout the year they rented the apartment above us. My helper once saw their child playing marbles in our condo small playground after our complaints. At least, they are understanding neighbour and try to make things right. Most of our 48 units condo neighbours are very friendly and we really enjoyed the small community and peacefulness.

I agree that neighbourliness starts with oneselves. Currently, we stay in a small private estate and our committee organises many events which encourages all the neighbours to mingle. Although we may not know all the 180 over neighbours but we definitely are very closed with immediate neighboours. Parking is rather tight for the estates as most own 2 cars but we tolerated the inconveniences and fortunately do not have ugly saga like the "Everitt" estate. During festives period, we are more tolerance towards each other especially noises incurred even after midnight and parking woes.

My son is learning drumming and I always remind him to only play during the day whereby most neighbours are out at work and mute his drum set to lighten the sound. My neighbours upon hearing him practice told me that its alright for them if he wanted to play in the evening as they kind of enjoy the rythmn and sound too. However, out of consideration, my son never plays after 6pm.

Lets play our part and we will have a harmonious and happy living environment.

Fluffy
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Postby Luvkid » Sat Oct 03, 2009 2:23 am

We only started to greet our neighbours when we have ds1, and follow by ds2. They will ask like,"how old lah?""who look after lah?".....Ds 1 will attract lots of attention cos he will address them enthuastically. Ds2 will be more reserved, he will greet neighbours when he is in good mood, otherwise he will not look at them. This attracts the neighbours too as they "compliment" "heng cute hor". :lol: Before we have kids, we hardly know our neighbours. Now it is better as know more & more neighbours.

I have a "problem" neighbour staying next to me. They shifted here abt 5 years ago. An india indian family,excuse me, the way they talk is just like machine gun-loud and fast. I dun really want to hear but the noise pollution can be very bad. To make thing worst, they cry when they talk. There were times that i really worried that they couldn't catch their breathe in time cos they talk without any comma or full stop! :!: At times, they allow their naked kids to run round the corridor at 1-2am. DH hence become the regular caller of nearby neighbouhood police post/station. The officer in duty can remember him when he calls in. It dun happen often though, but once a while. It could be in wee hours. But that is bad enough.

Another incident is old grudges between 2 or 3 different neighbours. 1 of them at her fifties, coming to sixties named her as aunty A;the other one at her late forties named her Aunty B. I talk or rather greet on them. One fine day, aunty A saw me talking to aunty B. On the other ocassion where aunty B was not around, aunty A told me to avoid talking to aunty B cos she said aunty B is not a good person.I told her as neighbours we must try to he mu xiang chu (get along well). She replied with her (aunty B), dun need lah. And there she (aunty A) started to list out all the "not good person" to me. Me at that moment was like ???? Can i just excuse myself??? Anyway, i know the problem lies on only 1 person-Aunty A.

I am staying at an older neighbourhood, but still can see quite a number of young couples here. Going on quite fine, at least after staying for 10 yrs and with kids around, i get to know my neighbours.

Oops, before i missed out, this neighbour used to enter the lift and stand right at the door. Neither could she press the Door Open nor move back. She dun smile, dun talk to anyone. Very inconsiderate cum strange. DH give her name-zoombie. I am glad she is not anymore, and we will talk to each other now. Look like i am gossipping away......Oops!! :wink:

Luvkid
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Postby daisyt » Thu Oct 22, 2009 2:19 pm

I have a strange neighbour, only husband and wife, no kid. Hubby drives a Mercedez and wife a small weekend car. So we suppose, the hubby must be in high position or doing some business. But their house, is very empty, a few piece of furniture and no reno. Ok ... thats not the point. The strangest part is, the hubby is very "wierd". He never share lift with anyone. If we are waiting for lift, he walk pass, he would walk the stairs. If he is waiting the lift, we walk pass, he would walk the stairs, or he would wait for the next lift. Whenever we see him, he is always looking down at the floor. The wife is slightly better, still would smile. We call him the "emo" neighbour. :D

My hubby is more sociable, hence he knows more neighbours than me. Once, we met a pretty young lady and they were smiling to each other. I asked him "Who is she ? You know her ?" He said "This is our next door's daughter." :shock:

Now I get to know more of our neighbours, after his introduction. "This is the cashier who work in NTUC". "Nor ... this is the lady who works in that baby's clinic, we used to bring our girl to that clinic when she was a baby". I guess, I am very bad at recognising and remember peoples's face, hence I always find these neighbours very "strangers". (We have been staying in this block for 10 years) :D

daisyt
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