Lazy parenting?

United States
May 10, 2007 6:01pm CST
We have a single mother at the end of our cul-de-sac of a 6 year old boy. The neighborhood refers to him as Dennis the Menace. We he is outside by himself his mother will come out of the house and yell at him to get back in or she is going to get the belt. Than she walks back into the house while the child continues to do whatever it is he is doing. More then once he has walked into other people's houses without being invited, when she finally does come to get him, she does not knock on the door herself, she just barges right in, then instead of getting her son and walking out, she will stand there and try to talk to you while he son is now roaming your house picking things up ect... Well today something happened that realy made us take notice. The child was outside naked! I am not talking about in his underwear like we are use to seeing, I am talking about the day you were born-birthday suit-naked. I have tried many times to say something to her but she always has an excuse as to why her child acts the way he does. Personally I think he acts this way because he controls the house. Even if he is misbehaving his mother will try to pacify him with toys from the store, trips to a fast food place ect.. She bought him a $100 toy because he had been good, I asked her when was that and she just laughed and said when he is asleep. He had the toy for about an hour before he decided to see "what it was made of" and threw it on the sidewalk only to break it into a million pieces. The doctor told her the child must lose weight, he is a heart attack waiting to happen. Being 6 years old about 4 feet tall and weighing in at 130 pounds! She claims he is on a diet but then admitted he had gained 18 pounds in the last 3 months. It is sad that when my children see him walk out the door they scream and run to hide. I know I am not the perfect parent myself, sometimes my children and be terrors but when I speak they listen and do what I say. Do I get more involved and try to help the mother and child or do I keep my mouth shut and let it be?
5 people like this
6 responses
@Woodpigeon (3710)
• Ireland
11 May 07
I hate to say it, but it sounds like if you do try to ge involved she will only resent it. I would save myself the headache and just leave it and hope the school will tackle the situation. I pity you and your kids having to live beside them. It can't be easy!
@deebomb (15322)
• United States
11 May 07
The schools arn't supposed to handle this type of problem. Schools are for education
2 people like this
• Ireland
16 May 07
Of course schools are for education but I guess my kids' schools have been better than some. They do catch children that need speech therapy or physiotherapy and point it out to parents who would rather not know. The same is said for weight problems (maybe a gentle suggestion as to whether they are taking enough sport, and implementing required standards for a lunch policy) and behavioral problems. It isn't a neighbours problem, either, but thanks for your feedback :-)
@okn0tok (569)
• United States
10 May 07
This is sad. If she wants help and advice you may always give it but if she doesn't it's really her own struggle to figure out. Perhaps calling nanny 911 and try to get her help like that. She definitely needs direction but she needs to want it as well.
2 people like this
• United States
12 May 07
It is funny you said this because just yesterday one of the other neighbors had said something about calling the show. The neighbor (she is older) said it would take a lot of work for the nanny because she would be working with 2 children and no parent. It is sad but true.
@Foxxee (3653)
• United States
10 May 07
Well obviously the child has some issues. He is 6 years old and running outside naked? Well he isn't a normal 6 year old for sure. But I also feel the mother has issues as well and needs to start putting an effort in her parenting skills. And weighing that much and only being 6 years old is most deffinitely dangerous. She needs to work with him on that before it gets even more out of hand. She must have some kind of common sense whem ot comes to parenting skills. She needs to wake up and she needs to start paying a little more attention to her son.
2 people like this
@deebomb (15322)
• United States
11 May 07
The way I see it this kid is in your neighbor hood and it looks like he will be for a while. This woman could really use some help with parenting skills. Why not get together with your neighbors and have some parenting party something like a Tupper ware party only have some one come and teach parenting skills. Besides ever one could use some extra help. This way she won’t have a chance to be offended . If you and your neighbors don’t do something you could be in for a greater headache down the road. Have you told her or her son to plese knock and waite for some one to come to the door. Why do you let the boy roam around your house? You have the right to tell him to leave things along. Start doing some teaching your self.
• United States
11 May 07
Trust me, we are neighbors do the teaching ALWAYS. Just the other day when he wouldn't listen to his mother and was at an older neighbor's house and wouldn't leave, the mother said "you had better get back over here before Janna gets a switch and takes it to your backside" Janna, the older neighbor, gets in the mother's face and says "No, you get a switch and take it to his backside". The mother also made a comment yesterday about how the new teacher at school told her to take the child to different places so other's could keep him in line and she wouldn't always have to be the bad guy. She is never the bad guy, we are the ones that try to teach him rigt from wrong. Now I know they say it takes a village to raise a child but come on doesn't a parent have to do some of it?
1 person likes this
@deebomb (15322)
• United States
11 May 07
May be the mother needs to have the switch taken to her backside.
@wmaharper (2316)
• United States
12 May 07
This is a difficult situation, that I have found myself in as well, not with a neighbor but with a close freind. I did the 'keep my mouth shut' method for awhile, trying to maintain the friendship, thinking I could maybe help the child, but have found it doesn't help much, and the mother thinks somehow, because I don't speak out against her actions, that I actually condone them! I am trying to be more forthright with her though. I have come to the conclusion, that yes, I could maintain my relationship with my friend, and never say anything, and hope for the best, or I could jepordize it to try to help her and her daughter. I am actually still in the middle of making this descision. Because another part of me says, she problably won't listen to me, and she will no longer be my friend, and so I will have absolutely NO way to positively influence her child or her. It's hard. I always try to do what would be the most loving thing to do, and it's hard, because love would say, you have to say something for the sake of the child, but you need to say it in a manner, where she hopefully will not be too offended. If she and you are not really close anyways, I would just say something, outright. If you are not that bold, or if you are trying to foster a relationship with her, I found that reccomending, or buying a book about the topic sometimes helps. I have said to my friend, "I am reading this great book about discipline, and it has really helped me with my son, I'll lend it to you when I'm done, it has some great insight!" That way she will be less threatened, and feels that there is common ground between you. ALso, some mothers simply are insecure, and would rather be friends with thier children than their parents, because they want them to love them, maybe this is the root cause? Like I said, I too am facing a very similar situation, and have not yet made up my mind exactly how I will handle it. I wish you luck though. I'm sure you'll do fine!
1 person likes this
@Swtrose (3399)
• Canada
12 May 07
This is sad. If the child is being neglected then perhaps you need to get child welfare involved. I'm sure he would be a good child if he actually had a mother that cared. Some times children just need guidance. I don't think it will help to speak to the mom. Obviously she does not want to hear it.