Don’t ever second guess your gut reaction. The boy was wrong in swearing at his father, but what his father’s reaction was, was inexcusable. God was speaking through you at that moment. You did the right thing. The wrong thing would have been to have done nothing. It probably wouldn’t hurt to invite them over for a barbecue at a some point. It sounds as though they are both under an incredible amount of stress. I’m sure this isn’t the first time the man has taken his aggravation out on his child in this manner. You can reach out by being a source of caring for both of them when you feel it would be a good time, and the man doesn’t think you’re doing this to be a busy body. It sounds like they both need someone to watch over and to show them some kindness, and maybe a little charity, right now.
that adore our children and the other ones next door (to the right) hate children altogether. They put a fence up as soon as they could after moving in (knowing we had a boatload of kids!). The occasional ball or frisbee goes over the fence and last fall they threatened to make my son pay for each ball if he wanted them back…Mind you this was November and it had been MONTHS since anything had gone over it.
This Spring has been really bad. They’ve had our oldest son in tears too many times and I stormed over there so mad! I let the Mama bear come out and I felt horrible because I knew I’d burned that bridge to the ground so to speak.
They threatened one son when he was 6 with jail if he touched their mailbox again…Just the other day my children were riding their bikes with the neighbor kids and our neighbor drove by saying real loud “All these kids just piss me off”.
Being a large homeschooling family we get many looks and comments and if the neighbor doesn’t like us then we have a bit of concern that a false report might someday be filed. We joined the Heritage Foundation so we have a team of lawyers in place in case we get worker showing up at our door….*sigh*
We are so hoping to MOVE out of the house at some point and buy some property a bit farther from all the people!
Nope. Was it the right thing to do? Yup. Physical abuse is never OK. I don’t care how bad a time he’s having. Should he tolerate being cussed at by his son? No. Are there other ways to deal with it? Yes. Does his son need to know that a line needs to be drawn on personal conduct, both for his own behavior and his dad’s? Yes. Did you make an enemy of your neighbor? Probably. Tough call. But consider this – if you had done nothing, would the situation be better now because of your non-intervention? We can’t wind back the clock and un-do or re-do our actions. But I’ll bet you would regret not having stepped in if you’d heard that boy being whipped. And maybe, just maybe, the dad will think twice before resorting to physical violence in the future to resolve his problems. We all have to live within boundaries. Putting your neighbor on notice that he was about to cross one, is OK in my book. But a call to the sheriff might be in order, simply to get this one on the record and create a paper trail in case of, ahem, future incidents.