Mishmeres HaSholom: Ask the Rav

Q: A neighbor of mine hired a babysitter in her home for her two children. In the interim, I’ve noticed things that would probably not sit well with her, and I think I should apprise her of them. For example, I saw the babysitter leave with one of the children while the other was napping in the house. On other occasions, I have heard one of the children crying incessantly and I don’t know if the babysitter tried to calm down the child or ignored him. The babysitter makes an impression as a fine young woman, but I have witnessed incidents bordering on neglect, and would like to know what to do.

A: Generally, one should not jump to conclusions based on one incident, because one can never know all the reasons involved. But if the incident repeats itself, and it seems that there is some neglect going on, it is your obligation to advise the parents as such. Take heed to minimize your words, not to exaggerate and to keep in mind the to’eles. The information should be relayed in a way that there remains room for doubt, and that you might be mistaken.

The questions and answers above were taken from the Mishmeres Hasholom pamphlet in Israel. For details and inquiries please e-mail us at office@hasholom.org or call 972-2 5379160.

The views expressed are of the individual author. Readers are encouraged to consult their own posek for guidance.