A couple wrote a letter to the Guardian detailing their negative experiences with living next to a toddler. The letter has gone viral, and many are criticizing the writer for being entitled and selfish. While the writer repeated over and over again that they don’t doubt their neighbours’ parenting skills, they did mention how they want an apology for all the noise.
The letter begins by detailing their three years of living beside a toddler. Every single day, they hear her shouting, running around, and crying. As a couple, the writer and their partner have decided they’re not having kids, but this neighbour’s daughter has put a strain on their relationship, according to the letter. They were woken up by crying almost every night, so the couple lost valuable sleep time.
In the letter, the writer mentioned how they don’t doubt their neighbours’ parenting skills, nor do they judge their decision to have children. However, the writer repeatedly blames the toddler for their domestic issues. They even highlighted how their neighbours never apologized or mentioned it, and they haven’t seen any proof that the parents are trying to mitigate their daughter’s noise for the sake of the neighbours.
The letter had the subheading of “the letter you always wanted to write”—suggesting that many share the same opinion. However, many online have critiqued it as an entitled opinion. They argue that whoever wrote the letter lacks compassion, as sometimes a child just needs to cry or scream in uncontrollable excitement. For sure, the child’s parents are more stressed and upset because they’re the ones who need to calm her down.
In the letter, the writer states that “to expect [your neighbours] to share your discomfort is deeply selfish,” but it’s also deeply selfish that they expect a silenced child. Since they don’t have one of their own, it’s hard to imagine that they truly understand how difficult it is to raise a child. While the writer complains about the noise, they don’t really propose a solution. They just want acknowledgement that their peace is being disturbed by a toddler who is still not self-aware. It’s doubtful that they know that you can’t just scream at a child to make them stop crying and doing so will just traumatize a child.