Is this considered child abuse?

United States
April 16, 2007 1:38pm CST
My sister-in-law has a problem, she is a pot user, is married and has 4 kids, one of which has autism. I worry because she usually smokes around her kids and ignores the autistic one. I don't want to make anyone sound bad, but I am concerned as is the rest of the family about her. She's been doing this for years now and almost got caught smoking it in her car on the way to the store. My question is, is this considered child abuse, if one does this around the kids, and if the kids know and don't say anything? Or am I just overreacting in worrying about the saftey of her and her kids? What do you think?
13 people like this
19 responses
@SageMother (2277)
• United States
16 Apr 07
If her children are clothed and fed properly, then her smoking isn't necessarily interfering with her family life. What I suggest to people when it comes to situations like this is to really analyze why you have the concern. Is it that you don't like the idea of her doing this? Is it that you have other issues with her and this is just one thing in a long line of things about her you disapprove of? Is she doing it with YOUR family and its a problem..by that I mean your nuclear family. If her family isn't suffering from starvation and other signs then its best to leave things as they are and let them work themselves out. As for the autistic child, she might be doing what is best in simply leaving him alone. Autism has its own peculiarities that may warrant her behavior.
3 people like this
@Michele21 (3094)
• United States
16 Apr 07
I would say yes, smoking pot is illeagal and the fact that she is doing it in front of her kids is terrible!! If she ever got caught smoking it she would be arrested and what would happen to the kids?? They would be terrified seeing their mom takem away in a police car!! My ex-husband smoked pot and one day I came home and he was doing it in the living room with our daughter (7 months old) laying on the floor in fronnt of him. I was furious that he would do that in front of her and I left him that day!! I wouldn't raise my daughter around that stuff and have her thinking it is okay when it isn't. He doesn't see her anymore and I am thankful for it.
2 people like this
@whywiki (6070)
• Canada
16 Apr 07
Let me get this straight your 7 mo old was in the same room as him and you left him for it? I think there must have been some real problems there. But was it worth it to have your daughter raised without a father? Don't you think that maybe she would be better off knowing her dad? It is just a plant after all.
3 people like this
@wachit14 (3600)
• United States
16 Apr 07
You are absolutely right to worry about those children. Second hand smoke is dangerous to young children and increases their risk of getting asthma. I'm not so sure it is abusive on her part as much as being neglectful. She needs to have a professional sit down with her and discuss the consequences of her smoking on her children and besides, she should quit for herself.
@kodie420 (872)
• Canada
16 Apr 07
K although many people here will disagree Im going ahead with this anyways. I believe what your sister is doing is a kind of child abuse. Not because she smokes pot but because she does it around her kids. I personally think if its kept away from the kids and they can never get their hands on it or find out then why not smoke if you want but dont bring the kids around. I smoke pot to but never around my kids and never would they ever find any in the house where as my gf doesnt. I think if she could get it under control which she cant then she be alright but if she sits there smoking aorund young children and almost got caught in the car with it then yes I think she might need help and those children are being abused in a way.
2 people like this
@Calais (10899)
• Australia
17 Apr 07
OMG Of course it is. I feel so sorry for those innocent children. How selfish of her, she dosnt deserve the privlidge of having children if she treats them like that. What a selfish woman. The safety of those kids should come first before her destructive habit.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
17 Apr 07
That's pretty alarming. There's a good reason to be worried for her kids. I believe she's not her usual self whenever she's under the influence and that endangers her children's safety. If you are really concerned then you have to do something. Ask for help in your local community. But be subtle on her because she might misunderstood your help. Ask help from people who also know her. Just get help and do something.
• Canada
17 Apr 07
That is to me called child neglect and child neglect is a form of child abuse. It is wrong, and the children are suffering for it. It needs to be stopped, and the children need to be removed and taken somewhere safe.
1 person likes this
• China
16 Apr 07
Yes.
1 person likes this
@loved1 (5336)
• United States
17 Apr 07
I am pretty sure using an illegal substance around a child would be considered abuse or at least child endangerment. She is exposing her children to second hand pot smoke which could affect them. I have no problem with pot smokers but I have a huge problem to people who do that in front of their children. In my opinion, ignoring a child (autistic or not) is abuse. That is sending them the message that they are not worth paying attention to. If we need to do anything for our children, it is to make sure they know how important and special they are.
@soccermom (3200)
• United States
17 Apr 07
I have 3 kids(11, 4 and 18 momths) and smoked pot up until I got pregnant with my last one. I used to say it was the only way I could relax and stay sane, I never smoked around my kids, but I'd sneak off to the bedroom alot. I don't know if what your sister is doing is considerd child abuse, but I do know that when I decided to grow up and quit it was the best thing I did. Why? Because it got me more involved with my kids. Istead of sitting around on the couch thinking about what kind of munchies I wanted I got busy volunteering for school activities, I coach soccer and joined the AYSO board. Someone should tell your sister to give it up, just for a month, and see if her quality of life improves, if she has more money to spend on the important things and if her relationship with her family gets better, I can almost bet the farm that after that month "trial period" she won't want to go back to it. You are not overreacting, it is your right as her family to be concerned about her and her kids.
• Pakistan
17 Apr 07
i thing so.its too bad imprestion on the children
• India
17 Apr 07
yes it is child abuse...she is driving them to smoking...child do imitate their mother and they trust her most...so other than injuring them thru passive smoking she is just setting them off for smoking....she should be carefull of not smoking in their presence...and you should try to stop her ...tell her its bad for her kids..no mother intends to her her baby...
@viper123 (29)
• India
17 Apr 07
In my opinion you are not at all overreacting.You are telling right.It is considered as child abuse.May be the person be the parent of the child but then what?Does she get the right to smoke infront of the child.It is a social abuse.It should be stopped.It is a matter of shame for the society because a mother is doing such a act.It is not tolerable.It is a social evil and should be punished.
@ESKARENA1 (18299)
17 Apr 07
well, im not sure if it is child abuse but would certainly come under neglect in my book. If i was you i would be in touch with child welfare, these what their take on it is good luck blessed be
@lafavorito (2964)
• Philippines
17 Apr 07
It will probably help if you speak to social services or a guidance counselor in one of the kid's school about this matter, because they may have a solution for the situation. I'm glad that you're very concerned with the children's welfare especially the autistic one, good luck to you.
@sallyxu126 (1185)
• China
17 Apr 07
I think it is a kind of abuse though it might not in law. I think you can try to pursuade her to give up smoke,but you can't use law method.
• United States
17 Apr 07
I think a big problem with whether or not to report something that you're not sure is child abuse or neglect, is that the idea we miss is this: the agency that investigates abuse or neglect is the one to do the investigating, not us! We are not trained to know if a child is abused or neglected. We are to turn to an agency to interview the children, the parent(s), teachers, doctors, etc. They may even order their own medical or psychological exams. On a personal note, I do think your sister-in-law is neglecting her children, all of them. I believe substance abuse is illegal in all 50 states. I also believe it's illegal to drive under the influence. If anything happened to your neices or nephews and you knew your sister-in-law was driving while smoking pot or having the affects of pot in her system, I think you'd feel guilty. I try to live my life with this motto - I don't ever want to know I could've or should've. I pray you'll make the right decision for the sake of the children.
• Malaysia
17 Apr 07
hi.. its okay for us to feel care so much towards somebody.i think this is also one way of abusing our next generation cos it concerning their health.but we r human.. sometimes we tend to forget stuffs and probably ur sister forgot bout this.maybe u can help her by trying to make her remember bout her action..we need to have good bonding to make our family strong and healthy...
• Philippines
17 Apr 07
I think that is child abuse eventhough she doesnt hurt her child or speak ill of them but the mere fact that she is setting some bad example to her children tells us that she is abusing them