What should I do about a neighbor who verbally abused my child?

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I live in a small apartment building where you can easily hear what’s going on in other people’s apartments from the hallways. I was visiting recently and I heard my neighbor yelling at her 8 year old son about his homework. She was screaming like “You’re worthless!” and “You’re a terrible kid!” I was heartbroken for the boy. If I had heard his mother physically abusing him, I would have called the police. But what should I do about verbal abuse behind closed doors? I know this neighbor very well. I see him in the hallway all the time; She is friendly and nice.


The language you heard was brutal. There is no doubt about it. Still, it’s important to separate what we actually know here from what we don’t know. You heard only part of a conversation between a mother and her child. What We Don’t Know Dwarfs: What Happened Before and After the Shout? Was this an isolated incident, or is it a regular occurrence? Was the mother very stressed that day?

I think it is helpful that you have friendly relations with your neighbor. Talk to her when you see her, or knock on her door if you hear the raised voices again (if you feel comfortable doing so). Be kind; We’ve all done pathetic things. Tell her that you heard about any rift with her son and let her know that you’re available if she wants to talk or if she needs to see someone for an hour so she can walk – again, if you can handle it. can manage.

During this keep your eyes and ears open. It’s a complicated situation: We know enough to be concerned, but not much. If you would like to discuss this matter further or talk through other options, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline. This can be a great resource.

I’m part of four long-time friends: my fiancee, us and two of my closest friends. For months, we’ve discussed having our wedding in a friend’s lovely backyard. We also asked him to act. Recently, this became a big problem for another friend of ours. She has had (latent) romantic feelings for the marriage officiant for years and confronts him when she starts seeing someone else. The conversation turned sour, and she has now decided she never wants to see him again. We asked her if she could put aside her feelings for marriage, but she refused. What do we do now? ask him to reconsider? Having both of them there means a lot.


Excuse the tautology, but our friends do what they can. You’ve already asked your friend to fix your problems for the sake of your marriage, and she’s told you she can’t do that anymore. From afar, this may seem over-dramatic, but we don’t know what happened between your friends or how it makes him feel.

Respect her boundaries and move on with your marriage. I understand this is not your preferred outcome, but sadly, brides do not have subpoena power. Try not to make her angry. Years of friendship – with more to come, I hope – value me more than being present on the (big) day.

A man I know – a friend, I think – often lies about where he got his dog. At the dog park, he often claims to strangers that he saved it. But he told me that he bought it from a breeder. He also gave me the contact details of the breeder. Sometimes, when I hear him lying, I want to call him out. It’s like he’s giving praise to people he doesn’t even know. would it be terrible?


Here’s a distinction I’d make between “a man I know” and “a friend”: I might have a little remorse about calling a man I know a liar in public. (It can even be fun.) However, with a friend, I’d be more interested in understanding why he was lying. And I don’t want to embarrass her either.

You’re right: It’s weird of him to be so concerned about his image with strangers, but I’m glad he was truthful with you. Have you considered asking him about it in private? If there’s any chance he’s your friend, I’d go that route – and then take it from there.

I happened to check my Ring camera and saw my neighbor walking down my driveway to fix the cover on my car. was blown away in the wind. He was unaware that he was being watched. He was just a good neighbor. Should I thank him for his good deed, or should it make him feel bad that he was under surveillance?


I don’t think many people will be shocked to learn that neighbors use video technology as a security measure. And as you point out, being seen didn’t motivate the nice guy next door. He was just being friendly, and you happened to see him. Thank him for his kindness!

For help with your awkward situation, send a question to Philip Galanes on Facebook at [email protected] or @SocialQPhilip on Twitter.

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