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Section: manners, children, relationships

Dear Ann Landers,
I am writing on behalf of four families in our neighborhood. One of our neighbors has three unruly, screaming, screeching, constantly yelling children between the ages of 3 and 8. We can tell from the noise when they wake up in the morning, when they leave for school, when they come home and, thankfully, when they go to sleep. We have nothing against young children, Ann. Most of the kids in this area produce a normal amount of noise, and it doesn't bother us. We especially dread "pool time," which can last from one hour (bearable) to six hours (intolerable). Ann, these kids don't play. They yell and screech. During these "screamfests," it's impossible to read, watch TV, relax or converse. A nap is out of the question. When they bring friends over, it's so bad we have to leave our homes and go elsewhere. We have approached this neighbor and explained that the screaming is too much, but the man was not receptive to our plight and became extremely unpleasant. Our neighborhood used to be a paradise until this family moved in. We all try to be considerate of one another, all except for this neighbor. We have lived here for more than 20 years and don't want to move. What can we do? -- Frazzled in Florida

Dear Frazzled,
Make friends with the kids. Serve them treats occasionally, and ASK them to PLEASE not scream when they are playing because it gives you a headache. It won't eliminate the screaming, but it could cut down on the noise. Stereo headphones might be the answer. Listening to calming music at times such as these could be a blessing. Try it.

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A Note from Margo:
Hi! It's Margo here. I'd love to know what you think of the letters -- and the answers!

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Reader Comment
It seems that these 'children' may have issues that the parents are apparently blind nd deaf to. My first step would be to contact Child Protection and let them know that these little 'darling' sound as though they are being mistreated because of the screaming. Once the idiot parents may begin to feel they may be watched more closely, it's possible things may quiet down somewhat. If not, keep up the reports to the agency because talking with these inconsiderate louts isn't working. You should be able to enjoy your home as they do. I would also get the other neighbors around the noisy house to also get in on this problem so they are on board as well.

Lalia M Smith's Comment
To the woman who advised calling child services: Child services are there to protect children. Not become the go to people to call in petty complaints. You should be ashamed of yourself for even thinking it. DFYS reports often hurt innocent people because of spiteful call ins.

Reader Comment
I agree with the first reader comment. Lalia M Smith-you are an idiot and should keep your brainless comments to your Facebook page but I doubt anyone would agree with you there, either.

Reader Comment
To the commenters who suggested calling cps: CPS offices are being overwhelmed with more cases than they can handle. By making calls that aren't necessary, people like you prevent cps from reaching kids who actually need help.

Reader Comment
to the idiot who got their cage rattled about contacting CPS. How do you know it's unnecessary? Are you close to these 'other' idiots who let their noisy uncontrollable kids disturb the rest of the neighborhood? You're another idiot who should keep your opinions/comments on you Facebook page to also be ignored there.

Reader Comment
To the non parent non grandparent whom suggested calling the CPS. go bury your head in the sand where it belongs.

Maryann's Comment
Has anyone considered the possibility that the reason the kids are so obnoxious IS that there IS some abuse going on? Constant yelling and screaming all day long is not normal behavior, even for children.
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"Nobody ever drowned in his own sweat."
-Ann Landers