Professor Mom

Chronicles the life of a mom, teacher, and writer trying to stay sane amid the chaos of daily life.

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Annette's picture Annette

I read your article and what I found interesting is that on the one hand you are envious of how life used to be, when neighbors and friends looked out for kids in the neighborhood - and yet you bridle at a stranger giving your son a hand gesture. I'm 50 years old and can remember exactly the same lifestyle where everyone in the neighborhood watched out for each other, that included being spoken to, corrected, reprimanded by folks in the neighborhood. If we were seen on the street during school hours the school would be called by a neighbor, if we were see doing something wrong the neighbor would step in without fear of a parent coming to tell them not to interfere. We even had some old, cantankerous folks who would say the worst things, but we never complained or ran to a parent! If you want a neighborhood like it used to be, you've got to be prepared to take the good and the bad.


Aliki McElreath's picture Aliki McElreath

You're right, it's all a give and take. I think what I was saying, though, is that the "neighborly" feel of days long gone had to do with people who really knew you and your family stepping in the help out with the child-rearing. I'm not sure it's ever a stranger's place to step in, out of context, and try and discipline or correct a child.

Maybe that's just me...!