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Lisa R.

So I spoke up. Right or wrong?

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Please don't quote as I will delete later.

 

We have a two story house, and each floor has 10 foot ceilings plus an attic. So, the house is at least 30 feet tall. The roof is steep with multiple angled pitches. When we've had roofers, they've commented on the steepness of our roof.

 

My neighbor has a similar complicated roofline and house height.

 

Yesterday, I observed her 12 year old son on her roof with two friends of similar age.

 

I don't know neighbor too well. I've found her to be very friendly and known her to be a responsible person. (My dd has babysat for her and ds has done work for her as well. She's always been awesome.)

 

I like to mind my own business, but I was so concerned given height and multiple kids and what professional roofers have told me about my own roof. 😯

 

So, I texted neighbor and said, "just wanted you to know your son and friends are playing on the roof. I'm not judging as that likely something my son would have like to do at one time. Just wanted to make sure you knew."

 

She replied back, "I'm aware and son knows I don't like it. I hope he doesn't break his neck!! Thanks for letting me know, though."

 

Then today, they were back on the roof again.

 

 

I guess I'm just astonished given the height and steepness of roof and the liability of having other children on there too.

 

I've never tattled on neigjtbor kids before, and now that I did--parent is ok with that behavior.

 

Hive thoughts?

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There are 12 yr olds on top of the roof of a 2 story house?   Did I read that right?

 

 

Honestly, I might be inclined to place an anonymous call to the police.  That's insanity.  How are they getting up there?

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There are 12 yr olds on top of the roof of a 2 story house? Did I read that right?

 

Honestly, I might be inclined to place an anonymous call to the police. That's insanity. How are they getting up there?

Yes, you read it right. She is honestly a very responsible and concerned person. (She's a PTA and neighborhood volunteer.) it seems like a wild and odd lapse. I'm afraid this kind mama will have someone calling CPS on her.

 

I don't know how they are managing to get up on the roof.

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I think you did the right thing. I would have done the same thing. Like you, I'd be wondering why she'd be comfortable with other children on her roof even if she was fine with her son doing it.

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I am personally afraid of heights; I have never willingly been on a roof.

 

That said, I climbed some very high trees at that age - well over 3 stories.  DH helped his grandfather clear gutters on their 3-story house at that age.  I dunno.  It would not strike me as weird.

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Is it possible for you to call/contact the parents of the other kids?  Maybe with a story about how you can't get in touch with the parent who's home it is, but you wanted to let them know that their kid was up on a roof like that?  I mean, I would want to know that if I was letting my kid go to a friend's house, with the understanding that the parent was home...and then that parent was letting the kids up on a high up roof like that.  If I found out something like, I would arrive at the house immediately and my kid would no longer be allowed to play over there.  Perhaps having his friends disappear for that reason might make being on the roof less appealing to him?

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You did fine. We've got a kid that climbs on our roof. I chase them (not literally lol) off but their mom is aware and they can be seen on other people's roofs.

 

Obviously it's not ok in the sense that it's safe, but it's ok in some other sense.

 

You did well. Cross all fingers and toes he doesn't fall. Take his mom some cookies cause I bet he's a handful and a half.

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Yes, I think you made the right call....there are a lot of 'iffy' safety situations but that would have had me knocking on the front door (if I didn't have their contact info).  

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I don't know if I'd call child services for just her kid - my kids climb tall trees all the time. I'd consider calling about other kids, though. You're doing her a favor if you do, honestly - if somebody else's kid falls off and gets hurt, she's looking at legal charges.

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I helped my dad replace the roof of our house at that age so I wouldn't think too much of kids sitting on a roof. Now goofing off on one would concern me.

 

I used to sit on the first floor roof of my house daily. It was a nice place to write. If I could easily get to the second story I might have sat there as well.

 

All that being said I don't think you did anything wrong letting the mom know.

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You were right to let her know.  I would be nervous for them when I saw them in the future, but not a lot you can do about it.

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I helped my dad replace the roof of our house at that age so I wouldn't think too much of kids sitting on a roof. Now goofing off on one would concern me.

 

Depends how steep the pitch of the roof is. Our house, the pitch is so steep, you have to be tethered to go up there. I know, because we pay extra for reshingling and roof repairs and chimney inspections and the like, and every time the guys comment "Wow, your roof sure is steep!"

 

I wouldn't like to see a kid up there at any age.

 

But when I was younger, and lived in an apartment, I practically lived on my roof, which of course was flat. Bugged our neighbor to no end, the old biddy. Did she imagine I was going to suddenly go crazy and climb over the wall, jump to the street? Nobody else went up there, so I had the whole block of roofs to myself. It was great. The only risk was that I'd forget which one was mine and go into somebody else's building by mistake!

 

Edit: The buildings were all connected. Here it is, right across the street from Queen Anne Ravioli.

 

Really we were the second floor, but the upstairs neighbors weren't interested in the roof either.

Edited by Tanaqui
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Depends how steep the pitch of the roof is. Our house, the pitch is so steep, you have to be tethered to go up there. I know, because we pay extra for reshingling and roof repairs and chimney inspections and the like, and every time the guys comment "Wow, your roof sure is steep!"

 

I wouldn't like to see a kid up there at any age.

 

But when I was younger, and lived in an apartment, I practically lived on my roof, which of course was flat. Bugged our neighbor to no end, the old biddy. Did she imagine I was going to suddenly go crazy and climb over the wall, jump to the street? Nobody else went up there, so I had the whole block of roofs to myself. It was great. The only risk was that I'd forget which one was mine and go into somebody else's building by mistake!

 

Edit: The buildings were all connected. Here it is, right across the street from Queen Anne Ravioli.

 

Really we were the second floor, but the upstairs neighbors weren't interested in the roof either.

I love few things better than a flat rooftop!

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DH's teenage friend was killed falling off a roof. I think there was a game of hide and seek. I am not sure what the house was like, but two-story houses are not that common where he grew up, so it might have been a one-story fall. We have allowed my cautious son on the roof to do actual work on our one-story, as unsteep as you can get roof with lots of supervision. 

 

I think playing on the roof is "ok" in some parts of the country, but I think it's good you spoke up. I hope she listens. I don't think I'd call CPS. I would probably call the other parents if you have any way of doing that. If you don't have a way to do that, I would speak to the neighbor lady again and put some fear into of what could happen if the other kids fall on her watch. 

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I think the strangest part is that she is not ok with it, but is still allowing it to happen. I know some parents who are perfectly fine with their kids doing physically risky things, they even encourage it. But why would she allow it if she's not ok with it?

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Steep and or slipper is a no go here. 

 

My kids do play on the roof at times. They have a line at the edge that they aren't allowed to cross. But the roof has a very small angle. My 2 nephews are over for a 3 night sleepover. We dragged a mattress onto the roof and had snack buckets of cut up peppers, apples, and some popcorn. I then read till it got dark. I would say the roof has maybe a 15 degree angle. The material is rolled out rough roofing material. The previous owners had finished off 1/3 of it as a patio, but decided they wanted something nicer so ripped out the patio ---- and then did nothing. 

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Usually when I see these tattletale neighbor kind of stories, I roll my eyes, but this seems like it was definitely the right thing to bring to her attention.

 

If the pitch of the roof is as steep as you say, I think she's being incredibly foolish, but I still wouldn't call CPS for something like this. Just let her deal with it. You did your part. I think I'd mention it to her if you see her that you did see them again, but I wouldn't text about it unless she asks you to do so.

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I'm guessing she told her kid not to do it, but the kids are getting on the roof without her seeing and then refusing to come inside or something like that? I think it might be best if she got some type of locks on the windows (I don't know if there's a kind that only she could open with a key or something) if she can't get her kid to cooperate.

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There are 12 yr olds on top of the roof of a 2 story house? Did I read that right?

 

 

Honestly, I might be inclined to place an anonymous call to the police. That's insanity. How are they getting up there?

Telling her was the right call, but calling the police seems over the top. It would be obvious who called anyway. Edited by Word Nerd
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I have climbed on roofs frequently as a youngster but they were one story and not super steep.

 

One of my college friends lost his dad because the man fell off their one story roof. He lost his balance while working to install something. The pitch was fairly steep.

 

The pitch of a roof matters very much.

 

OP you did the right thing. If she hadn't known, you didn't say anything and something had happened...

 

I am a bit shocked she is letting other kids climb on her second story especially with a steep roof, whatever she thinks she should or shouldn't do regarding parenting her own child. I wonder if the other parents are aware?

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You should take a picture next time you see them out there. You did the right thing informing the parent. I cannot imagine she really thinks it's an okay thing, especially with friends along.

 

When I was in college, a friend had a great flat roof for stargazing. But, we were legally adults and....flat roof. A bunch of 12yo kids on a steep pitched roof is not at all the same thing. A friend of mine lost his (grownup) brother to a fall off an 8 foot latter. A two story + drop onto the wrong surface, especially onto a head, bad outcome there.

 

If I were you I would contact the parents of the other children, if you are acquainted with them. sure would be grounds for a lawsuit if one of the friends fell. I also wonder, was the mom at home while they were doing this? Could she possibly face a negligence charge if one of the kids were injured?

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I think the strangest part is that she is not ok with it, but is still allowing it to happen. I know some parents who are perfectly fine with their kids doing physically risky things, they even encourage it. But why would she allow it if she's not ok with it?

My mother was one of these. It's because she's a wuss, and unwilling to enforce boundaries.

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I think you were fine to tell her and her answer was fine, too. Once at a party at the park a woman told me my son was really high up in a tree and asked was I aware. I wasnt, but told her it was fine after a quick glance.

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I would add, I climbed douglas fir trees. We had one of the tallest in a neighborhood of 2nd growth. I went on our 2nd story -but shallow -roof.

 

I would have an issue with a steep pitch. Once someone starts sliding, there's nothing to stop them. Even our shallow "cream puff" roof has a ring to attach a safety harness.

Trees are generally safer as there are many branches to grab.

 

I would also have an issue with other kids up there. I doubt they're just sitting there. Boys especially tend to egg each other on.

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I too find trees inherently safer than roofs.  I have a fear of heights and would never get willingly on a roof; trees don't make me scared at all.  Footing is more secure, there are handholds, etc.

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Well, her response (especially the cavalier, offhand second sentence, breezily punctuated) would suggest to me that she is actually fairly unconcerned about the actual peril. (I mean, if you were to text back, "Yes, I also hope he doesn't die," it would be on a whole 'nother level, you know?)

 

In any case, I think your text was the right thing to do in this situation. While I wouldn't take it any further, I also would probably lose trust in that particular neighbor's judgment for future occasions. (I would not accept her offers to babysit or playdate invitations, in other words!)

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Well, her response (especially the cavalier, offhand second sentence, breezily punctuated) would suggest to me that she is actually fairly unconcerned about the actual peril. (I mean, if you were to text back, "Yes, I also hope he doesn't die," it would be on a whole 'nother level, you know?)

 

 

 

Either that or her husband is okay with it & she lost the argument on that one. She might care but may not want to express it to other people because it upsets her to think about it.......

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Dh lost an adult uncle to a fall from 2nd story roof while up there doing some work. I hope the neighbor doesn't end up regretting her decision to allow the kids to play up there.

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I think the strangest part is that she is not ok with it, but is still allowing it to happen. I know some parents who are perfectly fine with their kids doing physically risky things, they even encourage it. But why would she allow it if she's not ok with it?

I've done things like that before. I have one kid that learns by making his own mistakes. I needed that as a kid also. Now, I'll admit that I would not let a kid on the roof. I will let them leave the house without a coat in the winter if they are not using common sense. They'll learn by the time the get to the curb or school.

 

Kelly

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Wow!  It's hard to imagine a scenario where that would be ok.  The only one I could think of is if the place where they're playing on the steep roof has an addition under it so that they would only have a short (less than 8 foot) fall to the roof below.  Even so, it's foolish on so many levels -- no pun intended.  

 

I'm pretty laid back AND my kids have helped to shingle roofs even at a very young age, but that is totally different than unsupervised play on a steep roof plus allowing other people's kids to do so is just mind boggling.  

 

Her 12 yo "knows she doesn't like it" ????!!!!!!! Someone has to be the adult here.  If she's not going to do it, I would make an anonymous phone call to the police.

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Sometimes I ask myself, "If something WERE to happen, and I could have spoken up, would I feel horrible for having NOT said anything?"  Then I feel I have to speak up, even if they don't agree or like it.

 

 

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You did the right thing. The parents are informed, and they know that at least one neighbor has witnessed it. That said, I would not pursue it further. CPS in our area would not come out for something like this. Kids are climbing trees that tall or taller all the time. If they ran for calls like this, no one would be available for the far worse calls.

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As someone else said, I would also try to contact the parents of the other boy(s). For something as dangerous as this I think all parents need to know what is happening. I would not call CPS.

 

Kelly

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As someone else said, I would also try to contact the parents of the other boy(s). For something as dangerous as this I think all parents need to know what is happening. I would not call CPS.

 

Kelly

 

If my kid were talked into doing something like that at someone else's home and got injured......oh man.

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OP here. I have no idea who the other boys are and no way to find out, really.

 

Ah. They could be other family members. Maybe as mentioned above Mom didn't agree with behavior but another adult(s) were okay with it.

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I think you were right, but now I would let it go. 

 

I would not call the police or cps. 

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I think the strangest part is that she is not ok with it, but is still allowing it to happen. I know some parents who are perfectly fine with their kids doing physically risky things, they even encourage it. But why would she allow it if she's not ok with it?

The subtext might be that she said no, but dad said yes.

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My neighbors have allowed their sons and friends to play on their roof.  They also let them throw watermelons off the roof onto the driveway.  Maybe that's supposed to be some kind of lesson about how their heads could also go splat if they fall off?    

 

 

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Sound like you were just being concerned parent. Which is all good in my book. I was a climber. I don't know about this parents situation. Possibly she does tell them not to, so they do it when she isn't home.

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I'd call the cops next time. I might take a couple pics the same time I was calling 911. 

 

I wouldn't be able to live with myself if one of those kids got killed and I hadn't at least reported it. The cops can scare the kids and/or hassle the parents enough to motivate them to find a safer summer rebellion. 

 

Yoikes. 

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I'd call the cops next time. I might take a couple pics the same time I was calling 911. 

 

I wouldn't be able to live with myself if one of those kids got killed and I hadn't at least reported it. The cops can scare the kids and/or hassle the parents enough to motivate them to find a safer summer rebellion. 

 

Yoikes. 

 

I dunno. Is it against the law to be on a roof or to let a minor be on a roof?

 

If they think it's legitimately child endangerment, they are duty-bound to get CPS involved, right?

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