|Story By: Jeff V.
When I was growing up in the small town of Ozark, Missouri, in
the 1960s, I knew that if I was driving and I peeled out from a stop
sign at 8 P.M. On any night of the week, I could expect my
parents to know about it by 8:30. I also remember the only fight I
had ever been in, was at the local Dairy Queen. Fifteen minutes
later when I walked through the door, Mom and Dad already
knew about it. This type of parent to parent “instant messaging”
is rare today. In our age of “non-judgmental tolerance,” we reason
that we don’t have any right to tell another parent about a concern
we have with his or her child. And children suffer for our failure to
help each other.
I have called parents about a behavior we observed in one of
their children, and I have been told (by the parent), “I don’t want to
hear it.” But we have also had friends—true friends—who cared
enough to courageously step up and express a concern about
something one of our kids was doing. I think the dangers of the
day demand that we drop our defensiveness and fear, and
encourage others to offer observations to us about how our
children are doing. Take the initiative by telling the parents of
your children’s friends, “If you see my son or daughter doing
anything questionable, you have the freedom to tell me. I want to
know.” You might even want to call a meeting of the parents in
your church or community—those with children between, say, fifth
and twelfth grade—and challenge them to work together to look
after one another’s kids. We’re all in this thing together. This is
the kind of accountability communities, families and friends can
Would you ever talk to another parent about your concern over
his or her child? How would you respond if you got that call
hope is all we can ask, that your love and concern will always
lead to positive, *prosocial actions and behavior patterns.
Written by: Jeff V.
Edited by: Bryan Saint John
"When I was a Child"
Prosocial behavior is caring about the welfare
and rights of others, feeling concern and
empathy for them, also acting in ways that