Child Neglect

Canada
November 3, 2007 12:02pm CST
What would you do if you didn't agree with another family's parenting? Would you confront them? Would you call the authorities? I'm torn with a decision I have to make. In my books, and I know in at least one other person's opinion, the situation I'm referring to is 100% child neglect. However I believe that mom does the best she can do with what she's got. I don't agree with a lot of her choices, and so I've respected them. However dad in the house seems to overpower mom's authority, not in a violent way, more like sympathetic way, if that makes any sense. Mom could not discipline or put her foot down in the house because dad will say it's not fair to the kids and then he let's them do what they want. Speaking to my husband about it, I confessed that I'm torned because of selfish reasons. I want to see these children in a healthy loving home however I don't want to lose contact with them either. And if they were placed in another home, I would LOVE to take them in however I know I'm too close to their parents for that to work, that's assuming the authorities would allow it. I would forever feel guilt if the parents lost their children but at the same time I will forever feel guilt that they are not meeting their needs nor their potential! A part of me tells me to leave it alone, it's none of my business, but then another part of me screams it IS my business because someone has to advocate for the children! Have you ever been in that kind of situation? What would you do?
5 people like this
8 responses
@devilsangel (1817)
• United States
4 Nov 07
I read through this twice and nothing you have said indicates neglect. So unless you are leaving something out I think you might just want to stay out of this. In order for them to be neglecting their kids they have to be paying no attention to them, abusing them in some way or mistreating them. Nothing you've said indicates any of that. Sounds like you just have a problem with their parenting skills. If thats the case then its not your place to get involved.
3 people like this
• Canada
4 Nov 07
I appreciate your comment. I have left a lot out only because I worry the parents would see this however right now I don't care. There is a whole story on how the youngest's needs are not met. I'm not the only one who has been worried as I received a call from her teachers from school asking me questions about their life at home. Since I'm the closest to them, I'm the one with the answer so I feel it is my duty to do something about this situation. You're right, I don't agree with their parenting skills but I'm fully aware that we are all different! My own skills, I'm sure are not approved by many. That is not my drive for concern.
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Nov 07
I would call child services and let them handle it.
• Canada
4 Nov 07
I am planning to call in the morning. Thank you!
2 people like this
• United States
4 Nov 07
I work at a child advocacy center and let me tell you, it is so hard to get help where help is sometimes needed. By this I mean, if they are not doing anything to outrightly harm the children in any way, shape, or form, then child services won't be able to do anything. Child services can only intervene when the child is at immediate risk. The risk is set in each state. It is based on each state's standards. So just because you call it, doesn't mean it will get done. They will go out and take a looksy, but even if the worker thinks they need help, sometimes the judge rules otherwise. So don't be disappointed if calling child services doesn't get you the help you need. You can keep calling them over new incidents and possibly after so many they will take it more seriously. Hope this doesn't offend you, but I know what it is like to know a family needs help or even needs their child taken away, but it can't always be done. It is disappointing that the people who really need the help don't always get it. Possibly you can get some parenting help for these parents. Do you have a local DHS that might have some suggestions?
3 people like this
• Canada
4 Nov 07
In no means do I want the final results to have these children taken away. I would like to see someone come in and say Listen! You can't do this! You have to make sure this and this and this is done. You have to bring your children to their therapy, you have to bring them to get better, you have to feed them better, you have to... and this is how we're going to help you. That is what I'd like to see! I am concerned that if they are taken away it would dramatize the middle child to a point of no return although the other two would possibly be much happier. I am concerned that if they find out I took actions, I will lose contact forever. I love those guys so much, I couldn't bear it unless I cut the ties myself! You have not offended me at all. When I call in the morning, I will be asking a thousand questions before I launch a formal complaint.
2 people like this
@Riptide (2761)
• United States
4 Nov 07
Unless they are being abused,I don't see why you should call the authorities. From reading all the posts,it appears to me that the parents might just be a little overwhelmed. They probably both have to work to make a living and I'm sure caring for a disabled chils is costly so they probably can't afford to spend money on a babysitter. Instead of meddling and sticking the dogs on them,maybe you should inquire if they need more assistance and HELP them instead of making their life even harder then it probably already is.
2 people like this
• United States
4 Nov 07
well if there are serious issues going on and the parents are aware of it. then someone or somthing needs to be dealth with. the diet they are on could esily make them sick after so much. not eating right often leads to a eating disorder. obesity and other things. a 13 yeard old yes can stay at home and can even baby sit~ but only 1 child and for so many hours..why is it that hwen someone says this is going on ,they only think about the imidate effect it could have on the child.. becassue things that happen today to a child may veary well effect them 10 years down the road...and what u dont think the internet is a veary potential danger to a 13 year old alone by herself? okay theres no phsyical abuse that she can post on here..so dont call and report physical abuse. but clearly theres dangers in the home.and like she said the parents relize what there doing they try but always fall back again..help is needed in my opinnion..and just becasue children services are called doesnt mean they ganna take the kids away.. they veary well just offer help to the parents...How would you feel if all this was happening and one day the parents leave the 13 year old home with 10 and 7 year old..the 13 year old is on the net not paying any attention,and one of the kids get seriously hurt... the parents come home they change for about 2 weeks keeping cloe eyes on the kids paying a baby sitter. cleaning and feeding their children right.. they fall back and leave the 13 year old alone with the kids again he she isnt paying attention again this time hte child gets hurt but far worse then before.. life threatning or even life taking.. how would you feel knowing theres a good chance they would fall back like that and u could have prevented it from happening...yall can live with it. i couldnt..my friends children come before my friends they all know that...if i suspected and only withy evidence i would call.....
• Canada
4 Nov 07
The reason I am so close to this family is because I have been helping. I take care of those children on a regular basis for the past year. I never claimed I was going to call to report on physical abuse. Only neglect. My greatest fear is that the youngest is going to be seriously hurt one day because of the lack of supervision. And after eating hotdogs for 10 years, I'm sure that little body is beyond starving for any other nurishment. I left earlier for a drive that took 1.5 hours. I had this time to really ponder on this subject. Through my tears and frustration, I have decided to do a little bit of research before making a formal complaint. There are a few things I need to confirm. I will be calling them in the morning for some information. Then I have a doctor's appointment so I'll be asking him other questions. There are a few people I need to call and then I will make a final decision.
1 person likes this
@sid556 (30997)
• United States
4 Nov 07
I guess I would need more details to feel ok in calling in authorities. While it surely isn't healthy for mom and dad to disagree on discipline issues, i'm not sure that constitutes removing a child from his parents. Perhaps councelling would help. Children love their parents and it is hard to see a child in an unstable home with parents who struggle with each other. It seems like it would be much healthier to maybe work with the parents if you are that close to them. Sometimes if there is not real abuse going on, i think it can cause more trauma to the kids if the authorities are called in. I have known many kids in some questionable homes and I tend to just try to be a positive part of their lives. Without knowing details, it is hard to give you a real good answer here.
• Canada
4 Nov 07
Discipline issues was only a minor peek into the window of this family. I have myself been a positive part of their lives for over 2 years and I can no longer stand to watch what they are doing. I cannot divulge much more information until I check on some resources. I found something out on Friday that spun me into rage however I need to verify with a doctor before I confirm they are wrong. I cannot fanthom this new knowledge to be true. I will keep everyone updated. Thank you!
1 person likes this
@gsnarayanan (1705)
• India
4 Nov 07
Child neglect may be due to many reasons. Lack of knowledge is more likely in many cases. If your child has to move with such children it is better to talk to the parrents and request them to take care of their child.You can first develop a good friendship with them before adivising them since it is a delicate subject. Further, take care of your interests first and contrl your child if possible so that they do not mingle with such children.
2 people like this
• Canada
4 Nov 07
I completely agree with your comment that lack of knowledge is more likely, especially in this case. However when it is brought to their attention, they try to do something and then they don't follow through and get right back into their old routine. I don't understand what you are saying about my own children. My children are involved in their lives and I want them to mingle. The other children see a healthy family unit and the oldest has begged me numerous times to 'adopt' her. The youngest has made a difference in our lives and the middle guy has a very special place in our hearts! To let go of these children would be heart breaking to all of us. I did tell my husband last night that I'm seriously thinking of breaking my ties because it is emotionally draining me.
1 person likes this
@babyangie27 (5177)
• United States
3 Nov 07
Well you can talk to the parents,maybe they need a Supernany to point things out to them,sometimes we have so many things going on we don't see the harm we are doing to others around us,they need to be on the same page to raise the children. If you are really afraid for the childrens saftey and or anything else,you must call someone,as you said you are an advocate for the children.
• Canada
3 Nov 07
I don't think it is a case for a supernanny, more like a smack upside the head and say HELLO LOOK AT WHAT YOU'RE DOING TO THOSE POOR KIDS! I'm not afraid of their safety, even though they are left alone everyday (oldest is 13), although I don't agree it is right. you are right tho, they need an advocate and I'm the closest person they can count on! I suppose I'm just really scared of the outcome!
2 people like this
• United States
3 Nov 07
that is understandable,but you want to help the kids right? then the only thing you can do is talk to them,maybe they will open their eyes maybe not,but at least when you go to sleep at night you will know you did what was right,please keep me updated and the best of luck.
1 person likes this
@sid556 (30997)
• United States
4 Nov 07
You say they are left alone everyday. 13 is old enough to be alone for a time. how long are they left alone and how old are the other children?
2 people like this
@jillmalitz (5132)
• United States
5 Nov 07
You are right. At the best that family need counciling. They are not doing anything to help those kids. I don't know if you could talk to the mother or give her some suggestions that might help. Many people just dont want to look at the truth because it is so hard to change it. Especially if they think there will be problems with the other adult.Talking to a child advocate or child protective services person might give some insight into what to do.
@SViswan (12071)
• India
21 Nov 07
I've read your discussion and a few of the replies too and here's my suggestion. Why don't you talk to the parents and offer to take care of the kids when they are not home. You seem to be concerned about the kids and know the parents. They have been left in your care quite a few times earlier. So, it wouldn't be too difficult to convince the parents that it's in the interest of the kids. If you are ready to take them in, taking care of them when the parents aren't around shouldn't be a problem. As a friend, it is your business to point out the mistakes that your friends make (in an objective way). But I don't think going to the authorities would be a very good idea. Try to talk to the parents first.