Be A Better Neighbor

Occasionally people send me articles and ask me to comment on them. Sometimes I don’t because I can’t find anything interesting to say, but this typical entitlement mommy really annoyed me. Here’s my thoughts on the article, Love thy neighbour? Not with kids.

The article stars off with the woman complaining her neighbor isn’t understanding enough of her children, who like to play on the balcony of her apartment and throw things into the neighbor’s yard. Really? This surprises her?

How would she like it if people were dumping garbage in her living room all the time? I bet she’d bitch like hell! The neighbor is responsible for keeping her yard cleaned up and doesn’t want her yard littered with other people’s trash and discarded toys. It’s RUDE to expect other people to clean up after your kids. You’ll notice the woman doesn’t even offer the woman an apology! This entitled mommy thinks the neighbor should just blissfully clean up after HER kids.

Additionally, Mommy is upset that the neighbor lady yelled at the kids for continually throwing stuff in her yard. Well, if Mommy wasn’t going to do it, SOMEONE needed to teach the kids that it was wrong! If you have a problem with the neighbor yelling at your kids, teach your kids yourself!

And of course, this mommy whines about “bad language.” She has a problem with people using “dirty” words in front of her children. (The neighbor apparently said “pissed off” and this was objectionable.) I hate this argument because parents do not want to behave or make their children behave to the rest of society’s standards, and yet they want the rest of society to conform to THEIR standards. Talk about a double standard! You expect me to live in a world full of screaming kids? Then you need to live in a world full of swearing adults. (When did “pissed off” become a “dirty” word anyway? For that matter, when did “suck” become a swear word? Give me a break!)

The Mommy writes:

I usually care what other people think, but as I get older I’m finding if people take issue, I’d prefer they take themselves and their issue to some far corner of the globe, face the wall for a while and think long and hard about their actions before rejoining the group.

See, typical entitlement Mommy attitude! “If you doesn’t like my behavior, you need to go somewhere else! But if you doesn’t like MY (or my children’s) behavior, you need to go somewhere else!” The rules NEVER apply to mommies and their precious little snowflakes. And they wonder why no one in the village likes them!!

From the comments to the article:

Kids make noise. If they don’t like it (within reason) they should live in an adults only, no kids, no pets block.

Lovely idea. Let’s start building them now! Sadly, they are illegal, since The Powers That Be realize that no one would want to rent to people with kids if they weren’t forced to. (This article is from Australia, where, apparently they aren’t illegal. I’m jealous, but not enough to move there.) Of course, this solution wouldn’t satisfy the mommies at all, because then they’d be forced to live near other people’s kids and they don’t want to deal with the noise from other people’s kids, either.

But you do see the subtle subtext here, don’t you? “If YOU don’t like my children’s noise, YOU go live somewhere else.” Again, the typical entitlement minded breeder attitude.

I didn’t read all the comments, but I was pleased to see that many of them (even other parents) told the Mommy she was totally wrong. There is still some common sense out in the world

But here is my favorite part of the article:

In my day balls, kites, frisbees, remote control planes and all manner of objects landed in the neighbour’s yard and there was no issue with asking your friendly neighbour if you could simply retrieve it.

Not so in the stifled existence of an apartment complex where the world is riddled with boundaries and rules and noise restrictions.

There are two big differences between your-day and to-day. In your-day, people actually got to know their neighbors and were friendly with them. As a general rule, folks tolerate a lot more from their friends than they do from rude and demanding strangers. If you mommies continue to refuse to befriend your neighbors and refuse to build these close-knit communities you feel nostalgic for, you can’t complain about people not being as friendly.

The other big difference is that in your-day, parents were, generally, more considerate of others than they are now. No neighbor would have ever had to yell at me for throwing stuff in their yard because my mother would have been yelling at me before they even noticed their yard was littered with my toys and trash! After yelling at me, my mother would have marched me to the neighbors house and forced me to apologize, then she would have apologized herself and sworn it would NEVER happen again, and then she would have made me clean up the trash from the neighbor’s yard while she and the neighbor watched and made sure I didn’t miss anything. And it was GOOD for us kids to have parents behave like that. It taught us personal responsibility and that every action (even an accident) has consequences. When was the last time you saw parents behave in that way? 1989? Quite possibly.

You know how they show people in movies throwing things, breaking glasses and shattering mirrors? Every time I see scenes like that, I get distracted from the movie and think, “Who is going to clean that mess up? You know you have to clean it up, right? I know you’re mad, but think about the mess!” I would NEVER throw something in anger, because I don’t want to have all that extra work to do cleaning it up! I’m very consciously aware that my actions have consequences – something parents taught in your-day but have lost in the last generation or two. This is the sort of thing that you should be teaching your children, Mommy!!

Here’s a clue: Until you start behaving the way parents behaved in your-day, you have no right to complain that the neighbors of to-day don’t behave the way they did in your-day.

Here’s another: If you want better neighbors, you need to BE a better neighbor.