Ms. Demeanor's Vertical Etiquette

Dear Ms. Demeanor: My loud kid is bothering the neighbors

By Jamie Lauren Sutton  | July 21, 2010 - 6:46AM

Dear Ms. Demeanor:

My three-year-old hasn't quite left the terrible two's behind. To know her is to love her, but not to know her is to hear her screaming when leaving for school, eating dinner, getting a bath, going to bed...  

My neighbors are starting to make snide comments.   What should I say the next time someone makes a nasty remark?


Quiet Mom of Loud Child

Dear Quiet Mom:

I am working on the presumption that you have discussed the behavior with your pediatrician/partner/caregiver/child’s teacher etc. and done at least some parenting homework (How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk, 1-2-3 Magic, The Happiest Toddler on the Block, to name a few). 

That aside, noise is part of the package when it comes to living in a vertical village.  This is a toddler with a limited vocabulary and poor impulse control, not a teenager playing basketball in his bedroom at 10 pm.  

If you are doing everything possible to work on her behavior, both you and your neighbors will simply have to be patient.  An understanding nod and simple “I am sorry for all the racket” should more than suffice.

For your part, remember that the things we find most difficult about our children when they are young are the things we love the most about them when they are older:  Imagine your Loud Child as the Loud Mom of a Loud Child.  

What would she say to those pesky neighbors?  Probably say something like, “You have to show me the fabulous platform clogs you just bought!  I heard them over my head at 3 a.m.!!!”


Ms. Demeanor is channeled by a longtime Manhattan vertical dweller and real-estate voyeur who writes under the pen name Jamie Lauren Sutton. She is here to commiserate, calm and correct. Please email your quandaries to [email protected].

See all Ms. Demeanor's advice here.

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