Neighbor Threatens to Plant 'Prickly Bushes' in Front Yard To Keep Next-Door Kids Away


boy knocking on the window of a wood house

We’ve all heard the horror stories of someone who had a really terrible neighbor. Some people are challenging to live next door to, for several reasons. Perhaps they’re not a "kid person" and decided to move into a kid-friendly neighborhood? Some of us hit the jackpot and have amazing neighbors who let our kids play in their yard or always go the extra mile to make sure we feel like a community. That’s not the case for this one person who threatened his neighbors because he didn’t want their kid around.

  • A Reddit user took to the popular AITA forum to ask advice on how they handled a particularly prickly neighbor situation.

    The Redditor wrote: “I moved into a detached townhouse a few months ago. It’s a rental, I’m leasing it for a year with the option to extend that with a second year or possibly buy the house.”

    The story continues, “My driveway is right next to the neighbours’, it big enough to fit 2 regular sized cars and halfway down my driveway there’s a path leading around my house., on side side of the path is my house on the other sides about 3m of yard , that’s mine.”

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  • The person continues, noting the issues with the neighbors who live next door, specifically with the kids.

    “Ever since I moved in I’ve been having issues with the neighbours using my driveway for parking, turning their cars, storing their other stuff, playing, etc etc,” the frustrated Redditor wrote. “Asking them to stop using it and keep their items on their own property has not worked, so I placed a few large plants, installed a camera and a no trespassing sign, and that helped a bit. At least the cars are gone.”

  • The stay-at-home orders are different where the Reddit user lives, but it still has the next-door kids home while the poster tries to work from home.

    “They’re about 5 and 7, boys, and they keep ringing my doorbell multiple times a day to ask if they can play with my dog, if I want to play with them or anything else they can think of,” the user explained. “I asked them to stop it so I can work, which of course didn’t work, so I asked their parents, and was told boys will be boys and they weren’t going to do anything about it.”

    They’ve put in some measures to try and limit what the neighbor kids are doing, but it didn’t seem to work. “To keep my sanity intact I removed the battery from the doorbell but now they keep running around in my front yard, on the path around the house, banging on my windows, banging on my doors and actually tried to open the gate to my backyard this morning as they heard me in there.”

  • And then the Redditor got really frustrated and threatened the family.

    The poster wrote: “I once again asked them to stop, told them I will not be allowing them to play with the dog anymore at all if they keep this up and they left, sending over their dad. I told him to keep the boys away from my property and door, if not, I’ll be planting some prickly bushes to teach them to stay away from other people’s property and shut the door in his face.”

  • He wants to know if he would be an a--hole for following through with his threat and people didn’t hold back what they thought.

    They wrote, “WIBTA if I actually did that? I’d love to place a fence or something, but as it may be a short term rental I have to be able to return everything in it’s original state for now.”

    Most of the comments sided with the Reddit user, blaming the neighbor kids' parents for their behavior. One person wrote, “their parents are lazy and horrible and sound like they just want to make you a free babysitter,” another agrees and said, “These parents are j--ks. Be petty and install a motion-sensor that sets off a sprinkler system.”

    Another person suggested going to the law, “If they’re banging on your windows and trespassing, call the police,” they wrote. Adding, “No amount of prickly plants or cameras is going to change that these parents are basically shoving off their responsibilities to you so they don’t have to deal with their own kids.”

  • It sounds like there has been contention for a while between these neighbors.

    The OP replied to a comment that suggested planting something that will “itch” or “ruin the kid’s clothes,” but they’re worried about repercussions. “Not sure they’re the type to sue, but they have been badmouthing about me to other neighbours, saying it’s ridiculous I set up a camera and blocked the entrance to my driveway,” the OP wrote.

    Sifting through the 430+ comments, there didn’t seem to be one person who said the OP was being unreasonable. Some suggested other methods of keeping the kids off the yard but most placed the blame squarely on the parents of those kids.