Advice needed: parent does not watch over kids

I have a similar issue with my guests. A mother staying with her two children. The problem is not just that they are screaming the whole day around the house, as their mother doesn’t take them anywhere, but that they also enter my neighbours’ property and use their garden. My neighbours are always trying to be polite to my guests, but they told me they were bothered. I told them to react, as they will take the owners of the property more seriously, but they are wary of reprimanding other people’s children, I can understand them. After warning about this, the answer that I got was that “these are not my things anyway, and the neighbours didn’t react, so what’s my problem”.

Additionaly, kids are constantly doing a mess in the garden and there would have been some damage if I haven’t reacted promptly. After my last reaction mother reacted very defensively and started complaining about feeling unsafe (?!), and telling that children are just being children. I pointed out that we often have children as guests, basically all the guests are either couples or guests with a child or two, and we never had these problems. Actually, we had it once, but the lady in question, although mostly unbothered by my warnings, at least wasn’t supersensitive about the issue.

As they are planning to stay over an extended period of time I’m thinking about offering her to return her the money for the rest of the stay, although it will costly dearly. Part of the problem is also that we have other guests staying in the apartment next door and they seem to be irritated by kids screaming around the house the entire day. I’m afraid that it will be the same with our next guests as well… What do you think I should do? Should I contact Airbnb before offering her the return?

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I just moved your post to this new thread. I wasn’t sure what to title the thread but I believe you can edit the title to your liking or just ask me to edit it if you wish. The thread you posted in was over a year and half old and you will receive more responses on your issue if forum members don’t have to scroll through old topics.

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I saw your post because it was on my original thread about the parents with the 2 kids.

After that stay, I changed my listing to non family-friendly. People just don’t watch their kids.

It’s sounds like you’ve had this problem with more than 1 guest? Sounds like quite a hassle. Airbnb should work for you in a way that’s as hassle free as possible. Hosts often have reasons why they want to be family friendly. Mine was to get my listing off the ground. Life improved after dropping the family friendly (and pet friendly) bit.

By the way, neighbors will never want to intervene or react. They will silently blame you every time.

Just get rid of her. Call airbnb and he their advice but whatever they say, it’s your house. They don’t get to tell you how to run it, within reason. The mom feels unsafe?lol you should feel unsafe, because these kids could easily get hurt while she’s not watching them.


Thank you for your advice! I am a seasoned Airbnb host with at least 150 reservations, and I had this issue only once so far. Interestingly, the previous time the issue was also with a mother being alone with her children (not a single mother, so that no one gets offended; just husband wasn’t around). I have a limitation to three guests and the usual combination is parents+1 child, although sometimes we allow for 2 children if they are really small. I don’t want to make my listing completely children-free because 99% of the time there are absolutely no problems. Actually, there are people staying with a child in another apartment at the same time, and it is different because they supervise him and also take him to activities throughout the day that make him tired. :slight_smile: Of course, I cannot suggest this to my host, since people are really sensitive on commenting their parenting skill. I’m just not sure whether to bring the issue of a refund, or just restate my rules and ask her whether she agrees with them, and then wait for her to make a move and suggest a refund? I’m afraid that the mention of cancellation, even with a full refund, will further antagonize her, and I just want to avoid big dramas.

How long are these guests staying and do you know the reason why they are staying with you for an extended length of time?

The mother is unemployed or on a maternal leave and decided to spend some time with her kids on the seaside while her husband works in a nearby country. It didn’t seem too suspicious to me, and the kids behaved much better when the father was around (he stayed for 2 days after dropping them off at my place) as he was actually entertaining them. The kids went to my neighbours property on the first day and I reacted promptly and warned the father, who reacted normally. But it seems that the info didn’t make it to the mother, or she just doesn’t care. From her rant after my warnings I figured out she is rather overwhelmed by taking care of them alone, but this is really not my problem. And she also really doesn’t try, from what I can see… Kids are bored as hell.

Call Airbnb and explain the situation. This family can ruin your reputation as a host and with your neighbours. Airbnb will help you sort this out and, more than likely, get rid of the guests for you.

How long are they staying? What do you mean by she wanted to spend some time with kids on the seaside? Where is their permanent residence?

I don’t want to expose too many details of my guests’ lives, but I can say that they are usually living on another continent, but they are both originally from Europe, when I’m located as well. The father is working in his country of origin which is just a couple of hours from my place, and while he’s doing that, the wife decided to spend time at a nicer place in my country. :slight_smile: I don’t know how else to explan it… Which part is not clear? They should be staying for a month, it has been almost a week that they’re here so far…

Well, I thought that it would maybe be overly dramatic to contact Airbnb immediately. I wanted to send her the message now and then if she again reacts overly emotionally, involve Airbnb to handle the matter from then on. What do you (and other experienced hosts) say about this tactic?

With any troublesome guest, my first thing is to talk to the guest directly. Then I summarise the conversation on the Airbnb message platform where the guest can either respond or reply.

If the situation doesn’t improve, then it’s time to call Airbnb.

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I would suggest that you talk to your guest specifically about what you need her to do differently. Instead of saying that she’s not watching her children and that they seem bored you should tell her that she must not permit them to be on the neighbors’ property, that they must not use voices louder than normal speaking voices when they are on your property, that they may not run indoors on your property, etc.

Thank you so much for the advice! This is exactly what I was planning to do. As our previous communication was via phone and face to face, I’ve decided to send her a message via Airbnb stating that she should explain her kids not to go to my neighbours property, and that the fact that my neighbours didn’t say anything only means that they didn’t feel comfortable with reprimanding her children, but did express their dissatisfaction to me. Also write to her that I expect from her the same level of responsibility as I expect from my other guests with children, and which majority of them displayed so far. So two things: making sure her children do not use property which does not belong to me and making sure that children do not damage my property.

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Thank you, that is exactly what I wrote. I just sticked to the facts, without any reference to her or her parenting skills. Also, in the end I asked her whether she agrees with these two things that I mentioned in the previous post and said that in the case this is not acceptable for her, I will refund her for the rest of her stay, as I want guests to feel comfortable in my house. What do you think?

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I don’t have any practical advice to give you Inna, but just wanted to offer some moral support. This is a very difficult situation and I feel for you. I kind of feel for the mother too because she is clearly not coping at all. But maybe you have another perspective on that and are far too polite to say…!

I completely agree with EllenN that the most important thing right now is to stop them impinging on your neighbours. If you lose your neighbours’ support - your airbnb business could be over and you’ve lost trust with some important people in your life. Is it a kind of communal garden, where everyone has their own space but it’s not clearly defined? I have a similar set-up and decided that guests do not have access to it because my neighbours were not happy about strangers being there.

PS. Sorry, Inna, to interrupt your thread with this but looking at the previous thread - can anyone say what happened to dcmooney? She was such a lovely poster and hasn’t been seen for ages.


Hi, thank you for your support! It is not a communal garden; I have my garden and just across the common access road that we share is my neighbours’ garden. Neither of us have a fully fenced-off gardens so it is really easy to get to their place, but it is absolutely clear that this is not my property. There is no confusion there. The mother knows this very well and yet she doesn’t see the problem as “people do not complain”. What I found interesting is that she is usually living in a culture very sensitive to trespassing, and yet sees no issue in doing this in my country. :slight_smile: She also parked her car once in a way that blocked my neighbours’ entrance, and after being warned about that, it took her eternity to move the car. Luckily no one was leaving the house so it wasn’t a big drama, but still…

It just seems to me that they have a problem with functioning in the community and being considerate, and then blame it on “I’m busy, I’m a mom, do you know how difficult it is to look after two small children” kind of story. I mean, I never even bothered to put the note into my houserules that children should be supervised by their parents and that guests should not use property which is clearly not mine, but I guess I’ll have to do that… :smiley:

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Yes, I think you should ask your guest to leave. She is infringing on your, your other guests and your neighbors’ peaceful enjoyment of your properties. Not to mention that unsupervised children are highly likely to get injured or injure others. If I were you, I would call Airbnb to see if you can get them to cancel the booking. This would mean that you wouldn’t be punished and you would be able to rebook.

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Do you speak the same language as your guests?

We communicate in English. They live in an English-speaking country, and I think my English is pretty decent, so I don’t think we have a language barrier.

It’s time to get tough. Doesn’t matter where they’re from or what they language they speak - people from every teeny corner of the world understand the basic tenets of hospitality and boundaries. There may be cultural differences in how these boundaries are negotiated but essentially it’s in our dna. So she is willfully ignoring her responsibility She Needs Told in no uncertain terms that this is unacceptable. Sometimes people just need a good telling off, it’s the only thing they seem to understand sadly.