You've got to get on the good side of the neighborhood kids early in their lives. When they get older and delinquent they will remember. I have quite a few in my neighborhood and I have helped them out with everything from repairing their bicycles or giving them a hand with their vehicles and they watch out for me. Buying stuff from the little monsters when they come soliciting, giving out good candy and not the cheap stuff at Halloween helps as well. Never had my trees papered, no vandalism, even the dogs have stopped crapping in my yard (who knows, maybe somehow related)
Not sure if it applies to any here but trying not to be a crotchety old fart goes a long way.