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Man bans neighbor's kids from playing in backyard after an 'incident' with garden gnome. AITA?

Man bans neighbor's kids from playing in backyard after an 'incident' with garden gnome. AITA?


"AITA for not allowing my neighbor's kids to play in my backyard after an incident?"

I (35M) have a spacious, well-maintained backyard that my family and I enjoy. Our neighbors, Mark (37M) and Jane (34F), have three children, and they used to be friendly with my family. However, our relationship took a hit due to an incident.

One day, their kids were playing in our yard without permission. They accidentally broke a cherished garden gnome, and my flower bed was trampled. I politely discussed the issue with Mark and Jane, explaining that while we don't mind their kids playing in our yard occasionally, they should ask for permission and be careful.

Instead of apologizing, Mark and Jane became defensive, saying kids will be kids, and they shouldn't have to ask for permission every time. They even insinuated that I was being overly uptight about my garden gnome.

Following that, I decided to set boundaries and informed them that their kids were no longer allowed in our backyard. They were visibly upset and argued that I was being unreasonable, punishing their kids for an accident.

Now, they're telling our mutual friends and other neighbors about the situation, painting me as the bad guy. Some of our friends think I'm being too harsh, while others agree with my decision.

So, AITA for not allowing my neighbor's kids to play in my backyard after the incident with the garden gnome?

Here's what the top commenters had to say about this one:

Gnd_flpd said:

NTA. Mark and Jane not only didn't say sorry or even replace the cherished garden gnome, but became defensive about their children's bad behavior. Naw, no more playing in the garden, since they don't respect it.

Equal-Implement-5922 said:

Sounds like Mark & Jane never learned how to respect someone else's property, or take responsibility for their actions, and they are teaching their kids the same thing. Unfortunately, this forces you to be the teacher and you did what you needed to do. NTA.

Vegetable-Cod-2340 said:

NTA. They think it's no big deal until one of the kids hurts themselves and then OP is liable and they’ll demand compensation. Op, put up signs and cameras, your property is your property, they don't have rights to it.

Also how hard is it to text you "Can the kids use the backyard?" Also please get pictures of the damage and let anyone who asks why their little terrors aren't allowed back there without supervision.

PsychologyNeat6993 said:

NTA you can bet if those kids got hurt on your property they would be suing you.

ConvivialKat said:

NTA. The entitlement of your neighbors is ridiculous! Also, having them on your property is a huge liability. My advice is to: Build a fence with a gate that locks. Put up "No trespassing" signs.

Put up cameras and lights. Get Umbrella Insurance because I promise you that if those kids get hurt in your yard, the parents will sue the shh out of you.

AstronautNo920 said:

NTA the neighbors who don’t agree ask them if they’re inviting the kids over to play in their yard whenever they feel like it without any warning?

Everyone here was on OP's side. What's your advice for this neighbor vs. neighbor feud?

Sources: Reddit
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