Posts tagged ‘Parent ‘

What would your mother say….about unruly neighborhood kids?

It’s Wednesday, aka Moms Council Day! Here is the question of the week and my answer below. If you want to read the setup, as well as what the rest of the Peanut Gallery had to say, here’s the link. Hit or miss, I’d love to hear what you think….


Scene: You’re playing outside with your children and little Johnny comes along to join the fun…again. He’s a nice kid, but can get overly excited, and even aggressive, at times. He also stays on your side of the block for hours on end, without any parental checking-up-on.

Question: How do you address the situation with the neighbor? Are you responsible for the safety and well-being of this child (in addition to your own) since you’re the only adult present?

My Answer: In my neck of the woods, moms act as cook, nurse, craft leader, playground supervisor and disciplinarian to all children, regardless of whether those kids are her own. I wouldn’t say it’s my adult responsibility to assure the safety and well-being of a child not my own, but certainly my neighborly responsibility. But it’s also my neighborly responsibility to be upfront with the parents, especially if the situation is ongoing. The scenario presented assumes the mother is being negligent with her child. The question that begs to be answered is “why?” Is there a situation that keeps the parent from supervising their child’s outdoor play? Young siblings, work, or illnesses are some possible guesses, as is plain old parental fatigue. If it’s a real situation and I can lend a hand, then sure I’ll be happy to do just that. However, if the mother sees me as a free babysitter in order to chat on the phone or shop online, then it’s an entirely different story. I would insist she be present when her child plays outside, or sadly, discourage my own kids from playing with hers. Who wouldn’t want to be considered Best Mom of the neighborhood, but if the adjective “schmuck” comes with the title, I politely decline.”

4 comments March 9, 2011

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