My neighbour came over yesterday and addressed me in a rather aggressive tone, he complained that 'kids will be kids' and that 'my bins shouldn't be where they are'. He has never mentioned the bins before so I'm treating that separately.
With the kids though, he was unhappy that once again I had asked them to return a toy that they had taken from behind my wall. Now it's a low wall, and I have no gate. But I don't think it's unreasonable to insist that they can't take things from behind it. I'm perfectly happy for his kids to play with any toys we leave out, but I feel that if they are behind our wall, they are not 'out'.
In this particular case his second youngest (3) was playing with our trike and I asked him to return it, his sister(9) and some other children asked if he could continue playing with it, I said no as it had been taken from behind the wall without my permission. At which point they insisted it was already out. Now I had only let my son out 5 minutes before, he was on his bike and I'm 99.9% sure he didn't take it out and 100% sure it wasn't already out. But I do feel I made a mistake by saying 'I don't think it was out and I don't appreciate the lie'.
I think I could have worded that better as I think the child was upset that I was calling her a liar. I would like talk to my neighbour, make an apology for saying she lied when I'm not 100% sure she did. And try and address his other concerns.
But due to the way he reacted yesterday, my wife was scared it might escalate to violence. But I'm worried if I leave it it will escalate anyway. When I waved at him a few hours later on my way out with the dog he said 'I'm not waving I don't have any respect for you'. Which I thought was a very odd way to behave. But he had drank a few cans by that point it seems.
I was thinking of either a letter or to go over on Saturday, first apologise for the remark about his daughter lying but I also want to defend my point about his kids not entering my property.
One of his points was that my son has entered his property. But a.) to my knowledge he never has, other than to return one of their toys that had been left out or retrieve one of his own b. ) he has no wall or fence c.) I don't think it's relevant, if my son enters his garden I would expect him to tell him not too, just like I would. I want my son to understand boundaries and I can only teach him to respect other peoples boundaries if other people respect ours. One of theirs even took something from our porch...
Does anyone have any advice on how to approach this without simply caving in to letting his children take our things or having to put our things inside? I'd really like to avoid any further aggressive reactions against me or my family.