Are You Your Brother’s Keeper?

Are you your brother’s keeper?

And does that have to do with the way you raise your children? Let’s get your opinion on this scenario?

What would you do if one day when you walked past your neighbour’s home, their child gave you the middle finger? The child is in the living room and their parent is in a separate room and is totally oblivious to what is going on in the living room; but it is obvious that this gesture was being directed at you.

What would you do?

Would you knock on your neighbour’s door or just let it go?

What would you expect your neighbours reaction to be?

What consequences would you expect the child to endure as a result of your actions?

Now let’s turn the tables on you:

What if this was your child?

Would you be surprised that your child even made that gesture?

Do you think your neighbour would knock on your door to let you know?

Would you expect it of your neighbour or not?

And what would happen after your neighbour gave you this news?

The central question in this scenario really, is, are you your brother’s keeper? Your neighbours children are the individuals that are going to grow up and live in this world with your children. As a parent, I pray that you will knock on my door and let me know. Not so that I will punish my children, but so that I am aware that there is a lesson about character that I need to spend a bit more time on with them.

The social health and well-being of your family may depend on how you would react in this scenario.

The big lesson is here is that, parenting is not a one-man-mission.

Are you your brother's keeper?

Are you your brother’s keeper?

If you were the parent in this scenario, would you appreciate your neighbour letting you know? Why or why not? Let me know in the comments below.

7 thoughts on “Are You Your Brother’s Keeper?

  1. Tori Gabriel says:

    Hmmm, that really made me think. I’m not sure how I would react if a neighbour knocked on my door to tell me what my child had done. I’d be really embarrassed but my child would have to be punished for it. Hmmm, awkward.

    Great post!

  2. Helena Clarke says:

    It’s a difficult one isn’t it? I would like someone to tell me if it were my child, but I still don’t think I would knock on someone’s door to tell them. It’s hard to find a balance between leaving people to raise their own children as they see fit and having a sense of collective responsibility. I am not sure quite where the line is.
    I would however, address bad behaviour in a public place like a park – e.g. tell a child not to hit if they were attacking another child and their parents were not around. I have also spoken to teenagers in the park about swearing around younger children.

    • Una Opiyo says:

      Nowadays you can’t be too sure about how liberal people are with their parenting styles. In the children’s defence, they may just be practising what they’ve learnt at home.

  3. Sarah Norris says:

    I’m not sure about this one.
    I think I would probably ignore it unless it happened frequently or to my face.
    Parenting is a very touchy subject and parents nowadays are under a tremendous amount of pressure to be ‘perfect’ and they are bombarded with other peoples opinions from the second anyone knows they are pregnant.
    No parent likes to be criticised and would probably be extremely defensive if you intruded in to their home to criticise their children. Even if you did it in a gentle and understanding way, I suspect you would upset them.
    I suppose if the situation was real you would know the neighbours well enough to know whether they would want to be told or not,
    Interesting question though 🙂
    Sarah x

  4. StressedMum says:

    If I knew that the parents did not condone this, I would probably let it go at the time as we all know kids see these things and try them out at some stage. I may tell the parent at another time, but say don’t say anything as it happened a few days ago etc. If my neighbour knocked on my door I would ask my child to apologise and then have a chat as it is not acceptable behaviour and I do not want to hear or see they have done it again

  5. Absolutely Prabulous says:

    Yes I would want to know. But society is fragmenting and so many people won’t have a thing said against their kids. It used to be different. The community used to raise the child. Not anymore… Great post. (Via blogging mums club)

    • Una Opiyo says:

      That’s so true.
      You find parents arguing with teachers and saying that there’s no way their kid/s could say or do such a thing instead of looking at ways to discourage a negative behaviour. I know I’d want to know.

Leave a Reply