8

Background

So I am living in a 3 party house, which was a generation house before 1 flat got free like 2 years ago and I moved in half a year ago (Might be relevant).

My landlord and his wife live in the flat under me, and his wife's mother under them. He has a daughter I would estimate in the age between 6 and 8. It has happened 3 times now that a playmate of his daughter (I would estimate the same age) rang my door bell and asked me if she could come out to play. I told him that he had to ring another bell, and despite he was kinda confused, that sort of solved the problem for me the first 2 times.

But the 3rd time, on this Sunday was really annoying. The boy rang the bell and asked me if she could come out, I told him the same thing as the times before, a few minutes later he ringed me again, informing me that no one is answering, so I told him they apparently aren't home in that case. So he started asking me when they will be back and if I could tell her to come out to play.

I asked him to please not ring my bell anymore, which didn't stop him ringing it again 5 minutes later asking if she is finally available. And saying no, he asked continuous "why?"'s. After I hung up, he started to ring ongoing for like 10 minutes and was licking the camera of the duplex system.

So absolutely nothing I want to spend my resting time on a Sunday evening with.


Problem

Now I want to ask my landlord if he could tell the child to not ring my bell anymore, as that boy seems to have a misconception about my bonds with the family of my landlord and apparently is not able to get it from my explanations.

Now the problem is, what ever I consider telling them, it sounds sort of demanding or could even be taken as a complaint. That could be a bad thing, especially since I don't know how much they actually could do themselves or if they themselves are eventually annoyed by that boy as well, because he is rarely understands the things they tell him to respect (And many other things that are unknown to me, making it difficult for me to decide how to approach).

I am on quite good terms with my landlord and his family.

My goal is to not make it sound like it is his responsibility or he is to blame for the bother (well he is from my point of view, but for the sake of living in the same house I want to avoid communicating that), and rather put emphasis on the fact, that the boy seemed to not see me as authority, since he ignored things like "Don't ring my bell again", and my landlord telling him the same thing might lead to a different outcome.

Note: The doorbells are labeled and it is very clear that my surname is totally different from the surname on the other 2 buttons. I assume, tho, the boy can't read yet.


Question

How to approach my landlord about the Boy, disturbing my relax time, when they are not at home?

  • 1
    Where are the parents of that child? – Taladris Oct 22 at 15:01
  • 1
    Are the doorbells labelled at all, or could they be? – Upper_Case-Stop Harming Monica Oct 22 at 15:26
  • @Taladris: How should I know? as mentioned, its a random child, ringing my doorbell and asking for the daughter of my landlord/neighbor ^^ – dhein Oct 23 at 5:05
  • @Upper_Case: Yes they are labeled and it is very clear that my surname is totally different from the surname on the other 2 buttons. I assume, tho, the boy can't read yet. – dhein Oct 23 at 5:06
  • 3
    @Taladris on IPS, comments are here only to either ask for clarifications or suggest improvements. Yours seemed to be trying to answer the question. If you have ideas on how to resolve this, please write an answer, not a comment. Thanks! – avazula Oct 23 at 6:21
18

Time for a small frame challenge.

The problem as I understand it is that the boy doesn't realise that the 2 doorbells means you're just neighbours sharing the same front door. From my experience with my nieces, nephews and neighbours kids I can tell you the best time to teach a new concept is in the moment they're stuck on it. In this case, when nobody answers him when he rings the correct doorbell.

teach him yourself

The best option to get him to stop in the long run is thus to teach him yourself (Only if you're somewhat OK with handling children. I know not everyone can do this.)
The idea here is to actually go to him in person (works far better than through a door-phone) and show him the difference. In this case it means showing him the 2 doorbells. Then showing him in the hallway that even though you share the same front door, it's still still 2 completely separate houses. So you're only the neighbour of his friend. Then ring the doorbell of the landlord together with him. And since nobody answers explain him that they're not home and that he will have to go home now. (Always tell kids what they should do, not only what they can't or shouldn't do).

how to ask the landlord anyway

Ok so maybe you are really bad at explaining things to kids, or you're really uncomfortable talking to kids (not blaming you, some people just are).
You can indeed still try asking your landlord to teach the kid (or ask his parents to teach the difference). Don't be too afraid that it's a complaint. As long as you frame it as a friendly request it shouldn't be an issue. Try formulating the following points in your request in your own words:

  • You noticed last time that when [landlord] wasn't home that [boy] kept ringing your doorbell instead for more information.
  • This makes you think [boy] doesn't understand that the 2 doorbells means you are only a neighbour.
  • ask if [landlord] can try explaining this concept to [boy] the next time he comes over to play with [daughter].

pretend you're not home

If all else fails, you still have the camera on the doorbell so you should know it's that kid that rang your doorbell. If he doesn't get any response when he rings the wrong doorbell he might learn that it's fruitless to do so next time. If you respond to your doorbell he knows you're home and so he will keep asking questions to get what he wants, even though you can't magically get your landlord and/or his daughter to be home again.

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