Would you report an abusive parent?

@claire03 (1444)
United States
October 10, 2007 10:27am CST
If you have a neighbor who is abusive to his/her kids, would you report them or just say something to them? Would you be concern as a neighbor if they hurt and hit their kids? do you think abusive parents should be put to jail? If you seen the parents hitting their kids to discipline them would you say something or just let it go? do you think it is right to hurt the kids even if they are wrong? In my view, there is no valuable reasons why we should hurt the kids physically even if they did something wrong, they are only kids and they don't know much and we should be the one to teach them that what's right and wrong since we are the parent. if i would ever have a kid, i won't ever hurt them physically or let anybody hurt them. As parents we should be the one to protect them. We can discipline them in a different way by telling them they were wrong but hitting them won't solve any problem and they will just learn to be violent when they grow up. If i'll see any parent being physically abusive to their kid, i would be really concern about it, i would report them to the police if they won't change how they treat their kid, i won't just watch there and wait till it's too late. What do you feel about this? Would you report an abusive parent if you seen them hurting their kid or not? would you do something to stop them? share us your opinions.
4 people like this
25 responses
• United States
10 Oct 07
At one time I was what is called a "Mandatory reporter". In some states (like mine) people who work with children, such as teachers, nurses, doctors, daycare workers, and the like, are required by law to report suspected child abuse. So, yes, I would report suspected child abuse. I know what to look for and would turn anyone like that in immediately.
3 people like this
• United States
10 Oct 07
Spanking is not abuse. But if someone's actually beating their kid or worse, I wouldn't hesitate to call the police or child protective services.
@claire03 (1444)
• United States
10 Oct 07
thanks for your thoughts kathisharpe. we all know that child abuse is wrong. God bless!
@Lifeless (2638)
• India
14 Oct 07
I wudn't straightaway go and report the matter to the police, I wud first discuss with the child and also with the parent as to what is the matter.. If its a small one, I wud try explaining it to the parent that its not good to abuse ur child.. Little scolding is alright, but abusing is not the way.. If he dosen't understands, I wud just pick up sm more neighbours from my locality and discuss with them abt the matter, and then go on make a final decision whther to go to the cops or not...
1 person likes this
@kitty1234 (1476)
• United States
10 Oct 07
As a teacher it is my responsibility to report any signs of abuse. Even if I weren't guidelined by law I would. I would report an abusive parent in a New York minute! A little swat on the behind is not abuse but there are parents who actually leave welts on their little bodies. It would never even cross my mind not to report an abuser!
@elemental69 (1562)
• Ireland
10 Oct 07
Thankfully I have never been in that situation where I have seen anybody hitting their kids or being abusive. But I have been in the position where I have witnessed neglect. It was someone I know very well, and her two kids were not being bathed for a length of time and the poor kids were starting to smell horribly. I had no choice but to have a word with her about it. I felt terrible having to do it and I apologised to her too, but at the end of the day it wasnt the kids that would have been talked about it was my friend. Thankfully it hasnt affected our friendship and we still talk every day. But there was no way on earth that I would have reported her.
1 person likes this
@ryanphil01 (4186)
• Philippines
11 Oct 07
Disciplining a child is even encouraged in the Bible. It is used to correct and train people to go in the right way. "No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening - it is painful! Spanking should never be used to cause lasting physical harm or pain, but a quick swat (on the bottom where there is the most padding) to teach the child that what he did was wrong is acceptable. Never should it be used to vent our anger and frustrations, or be uncontrolled. But if the parent does it without restraint that's a different story, it's totally child abuse. If I found my neighbor doing this so-called 'discipline' extra-inhumanly, I think I have the right to inform the proper authorities, like here in our place, known as Bantay Bata 163, to rescue and assist the abused child from further infliction. Abusive parents should be properly taught about the rights of children against physical harm and abuse. Parents should recognized of their wrongdoings. Besides we have a new law on child abuse (RA 7610) that incorporates physical abuse which, if found guilty, would send anyone to jail for not less than 6 years. So for parents out there, here are words to remember - Don't make your children angry by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction approved by the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4). Raising a child in the “discipline and instruction approved by the Lord” includes restrained, corrective, and yes loving, physical discipline.
@claire03 (1444)
• United States
12 Oct 07
i agree with you parents should know better about all the rights of a child and they should be more concern of their kids more than other people. thanks for sharing your views and thoughts to us ryanphil01. hope you have a great day!
• Philippines
12 Oct 07
thanks for the compliment, claire. i am having great fun interacting with my fellow mylotters which includes you of course. in addition, what do we expect from children who were brought up by negligent, irresponsible and abusive parents? we are what we are by the fruits we bear! if there are anyone to be blamed for misdeeds and wrongdoings of children, it is because of the kind of rearing we introduced to our kids. it is sad to note that in our country today, many children are suffering from any kind of abuses be it physical, verbal, social, or intellectual.
@claire03 (1444)
• United States
12 Oct 07
it is sad but it's true. hope we do something to change the world at least to help somebody in need. i agree also that parents are responsible for what their kids would be in the future cause they learn first at home and as parents we should teach them what is right from wrong. Raising kids is not easy but that is part of life and part of being a parent. God bless you.
@wisconsin26 (3859)
• United States
10 Oct 07
In a way this is a tough one cause you don't want to get in the middle of someone's parenting but yet at the same time when they are abusing their children you want to help them as best as you can.. Yes I would report a parent that is abusing there children, NOT just to be mean but to help the children.. There are many other ways to decline a child and hitting and abusing them isn't the way.. Your right the child isn't getting anything out of it anyway, only that it's ok to hit and abuse other's.. Yes I will tell my son no and if that don't work I will send him to his room. Most of the time he has fits and screams but I'd rather listen to that than hit him... Something I'd never do..
@claire03 (1444)
• United States
10 Oct 07
i know what you mean wisconsin26. it's really hard to get involve in someone else's life. But being a concern citizen we shouldn't let bad things happen when we know we could've done something to stop it. i would never hurt or lay hands on my kids also, it's not just the kind of person i am. thanks for stopping by. God bless!
• United States
10 Oct 07
Your very welcome, The sad thing of it is though that kids do get hurt and abused.. alot of people after the fact say "only if" that always seems to be the things.. If i would have done something this wouldn't be happening.. So sad too see...
@Pose123 (21667)
• Canada
10 Oct 07
Hi claire, I agree with you, parents should not physically punish a child. It will only cause them to become violent. There are much better ways for a parent to discipline a child. I too would be very concerned if I saw a child abused by a parent, and yes I would report it. Abusive parents are often those who were abused themselves as children. They probably need help, rather then being sent to jail. This is a big problem and one which society has yet to address successfully. Blessings.
@claire03 (1444)
• United States
11 Oct 07
i agree that the parents who abuse there kids have a problem when they were a kid, maybe they grow up to be like that because they were abused as a kid before and for them they feel it's just ok or right, but it's definitely wrong wherever we look at it. Abusive parents should learn from their experience if they we're abused also. It sad how could a parent do this to their own kid but we see a lot who do this nowadays.
@kimthedane (1000)
• Denmark
10 Oct 07
Hi Claire. I entirely agree with you, the is no acceptable excuse to hurt your kids in any way shape or form. Yes, I sure would interfere if i see anybody hurting their kids and if i know who they are and where they live i would not hesitate to repport them either. Actually this is my duty as i am a social worker, lol. But no, i do mean this as a privat person too. Unfortunately the law about cruelty and abusing you kid and the punishment for breaking it not not add up at all. You can completely ruin a childs whole life by physical/psycological abuse and sometime only have the kid taken into care, but not face criminal charges. And if you face charges it is usualy that ridicilous small in comparrison with the life in hell facing the poor kids.
@claire03 (1444)
• United States
11 Oct 07
yah, it affects the kids psychologicaly and that means they can have a phobia or can be violent when they get old. Disciplining a kid is good if we know how. God bless!
@goodsign (2287)
• Malaysia
10 Oct 07
Thanks for your good point of social life discussion. In handling and manging this issue, my first step that would be is to have the neighbor diplomatic contact with them. Making eye to eye discussion for what caused the problem. Even though I know that my approach will be dislike by them. Secondly, I will take 'sort and solve' the problem with feasible enumeration. Previously on my first step about handling their case. And now how to manage their case. Third step, if don't want to share with me, of course and definitely, I will report that such case to the relevant authority body. And ready to be as legal witness if that case pursued to be in court case. I know my way towards solution findings will hurts the parents side, but that is my highly sincere in social life standing. I have to be at embonpoint in helping the abused children and I hate abusive element to children. Thanks, Claire03. Much thanks.
@claire03 (1444)
• United States
10 Oct 07
i like how you deal with the situation, the step by step plan and the diplomatic approach, thanks for sharing us your thoughts goodsign. nice meeting you :)
@eden32 (3976)
• United States
15 Oct 07
Having seen first hand through several situations just how corrupt child protective services can be, I am very hesitant to call them for anything except clear witness of something truly abusive. Spanking, although I don't agree with it is not in & of itself abuse. Yelling, again not my approach, is not abusive. Poor judgment, difference of opinions, those are not good reasons (usually) to take children from their parents. Most parents imo are good people who make mistakes sometimes- just like everyone else. I'm pretty diplomatic when I speak to others, or at least I try to be. If someone I know is doing something I think is out of line, I try to intercede without sounding judgmental and that alone often works. My very good friend was going through a ton of BS a few years ago. She's a single mom of 3, her oldest was getting into trouble, she had a car accident that left her unable to work, just a ton of problems happening one right after another. As her friend I could see her reaching the end of her rope & snapping at her kids over things that weren't big deals. Rather than report her, or yell at her that she was doing something wrong; I offered to have the kids at my house once a week for dinner. It gave her a break, helped her budget out a little & gave her kids a chance to be out of the situation for a few hours. Within a couple weeks the problems she was having were fixed & I know what I did helped in some small way. I also know she'd do the same for me if the situation were reversed.
• United States
15 Oct 07
Claire, I not only would report them, I have reported them. If a person is aware of child abuse and does not report it, they are just as guilty as the abuser. This is something that cannot be stressed enough. If you are in a home where abuse is happening (by the other parent, by a sibling, by a friend, etc.)and do not report it YOU can be charged with abuse. If someone else reports that abuse and CPS comes in to investigate, finds out that the abuse was happening in front of you and you did not report, it is taken most seriously. I have stepped in to intervene in a situation at the mall and one at Walmart. Personally, I am not against a swat on the butt in extreme situations. If a small child is about to do something that could cause danger to her/himself (run into the street, put hands onto hot surface, etc); spanking MAY be a viable option. Again, in my opinion it is preferable to yanking the child's arm (which might also just be a "knee jerk" reaction by a wonderful but frightened parent). There is a discreet difference between discipline and abuse. The observer should know the difference. If you see a mother in the store with a new baby bundled lying in the cart, another sitting in the cart, and a toddler running around pulling things off the shelf and she yells at that child and perhaps smacks him/her on the bottom or on the hand, before running off to report her; I would approach her and ask if there is any way that I could help her with either her children or her shopping. It is a shame that our society has changed so drastically over the years. It used to be that if the above scenario happened the mother would most likely immediately let an "outsider" lend a hand with the children and be very grateful. Now, that poor mother has to be afraid that the "helper" is going to steal her children and either harm or sell them; but she may let you help her with the shopping. Each situation is different. As I said, abuse and neglect should never be condoned, but there also needs to be more help available to parents when they seek it besides just a doctor handing them and anti-anxiety medication.
@djmarion (4901)
• Philippines
12 Oct 07
i will talk to them first and will warn them that if they will not stop abusing their children i wont hesitate to have them investigated. if after talking to them and nothing happens, i will report them to proper authorities.
@drmt57 (295)
• United States
12 Oct 07
Now days yoy have to be very careful about what you see and the action you take especially when it come dowm to children, because sometimes what you think you see is not always what it appear to be. the children now days know that they can call 911 if they are abused in any way, some of them abuse their parents , what punishment do they get. I am from the old school I believe that a child has a place and adults has a place both should respect each other. There is a difference in abuse and chestisement, some kids need a spanking (not a beating) whereas another child only need to be talked to, some you have to take away privilages, I agree that as parents we should protect them, love them,provide for them, train them properly . it start in the cradle , some parents think it is cute when the child is small and they allow them to hit them that is the biggest mistake that parents make when their children are small, then the child get bigger and they think this is ok, do you ever watch the tv shows and see how out of control and disrespectful those kids are. yes I think abusive parents should go to jail. and I think that abusive children should go to boot camp,kids must be taught and learn that they must follow rules and obey authority because one day they will be the one in authority and making rules and expecting other to follow. Kids are special and precious.
• United States
12 Oct 07
It would depend on what they was doing to the children if they was in danger yes I would in a heart beat. If they was hurting the kid yes I would cause chances are if they are hurting them it was not the first time
@CatsandDogs (13964)
• United States
11 Oct 07
Yes I would in a heartbeat because children are totally defenseless. For a parent to belittle their children is one of the worst crimes in our world today. Instead of doing that, they should consider themselves in the child's position and realize how they'd feel if they were talked to or hit on and then maybe they'd not do it. I can understand that kids can get on a person's nerves but the parent is the adult and they need to act like an adult and show the kids how to behave and the rights and wrongs in life by talking to them and maybe even a punishment such as time out or something like that. But hitting or yelling at them is plain wrong.
• United States
11 Oct 07
I don't think giving them a pop on the bottom is abuse because sometimes you have to get their attention. But I don't think you need to do it hard. But if I saw a parent abusing their child I would most definitely turn them in. I do not think anyone should be abused whether it's a child or an adult. I think that is just wrong and I do believe they should go to jail for abuse. I would never abuse my child and yes we as parents are supposed to be the ones that protect them.
• China
11 Oct 07
i won't be likely to do that. there is other thing for them do that. i think they are hard to try be a goog parents although they are not. the kid will be pity if we ask their parents to jail. but i do think the govnment should do somethings against. we can do so. but i don't think it is a good way to do with it.
@violeta_va (4834)
• Australia
11 Oct 07
I would agree with the others that spanking is not abuse if you dont use anything other than your hand and you spank below the neck. I only spank my son when he does something that can hurt him (like leting go of my hand and runing on the street). That said I would probably call someone if I suspected abuse.
• Philippines
10 Oct 07
First, I'll talk to them to know what happen. If it happens again and the child was harmed, I'll report it to the police. Yes, abusive parents should be put to jail if they're hurting their children with lame reasons. They should be responsible in disciplining their children. Discipline should not be physical. Parents should let them understand what is right and wrong.