Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Joe and the Neighbors

My children love to play with the neighborhood children. I tend to be happier if the children hang out over here. Don't get my wrong, my children are allowed to play at the neighbors' homes. But, our family values are different from other families in our neighbor. One neighbor continually screams and swears at her children. She doesn't talk that way to my children, but I don't want them exposed to that situation regularly.

Joe hangs out with this neighbor's sons quite a bit. Whenever their mom comes outside, Joe walks away or comes home. Joe isn't rude, but he doesn't like to be around her. She eventually figured out what was happening and told me that Joe was afraid of her. I said that she speaks to her children differently than I speak to mine and he is uncomfortable. Don't assume that I think that I am a model parent. I yell at my children upon occasion and have lost my temper many times.

For the rest of last summer, Joe continued to avoid this parent when she was upset. Today, Joe was playing with Buster in our yard and the neighbor called him to the fence line. She explained that she wanted him to know that she had changed over the winter and no longer yelled at her children. She told Joe that he no longer needed to be afraid of her. Then she turned to her child and began screaming and swearing at him because he had let their dog out of the house accidentally. Joe saw a lot of humor in the situation. I don't think that she won him over. :)


Cheryl said...

I was about to say, oh how wonderful that Joe had such a positive effect on that woman. But then I got to the end of the post--haha. But who knows--in spite of the humor of the situation maybe she has been doing some thinking that in the long run will help her to make some changes, if even small ones.

MaryAnn said...

How sad. That mom doesn't have a relationship with her children where they will feel like opening up to her. Kids are a pain at times, but oh so much more a blessing and so humerous!

Karen said...

I was pleased that she recognizes that her behavior is out of line at times. The positive outcome is that she is trying to improve the situation.