Originally Posted by Smithie
"Can't you mamas see, that this is the same thing?"
Cosleeping, nonvaxing and losing track of a toddler to the point where he repeatedly ends up a quarter mile down the street? Nope. Not the same thing. Not in the same universe.
We recently had a thread started by a mother who ended up with CPS at her door after her toddler ran down the street with her chasing right after him, carrying the newborn. Do you not see how THAT was a frivolous report, and THIS would not be? All ethical considerations aside, this situation (repeatedly losing the child, not the spanking and rudeness etc.) meets the legal definition of neglect. This toddler faces a real and persistent risk of death if his parents don't make changes in their supervision, childproofing etc. to keep him from leaving their property.
OP, you're the one who lives there and you're the one who's best qualified to judge what's right to do. And you've also had experience with toddlers. If YOU were the mom who had something going on (depression, ignorance, whatever) where your kid was being repeatedly put at this level of risk, how would you want the neighbors to react? If my neighbors had reason to believe that my 3-year-old was regularly cruising the neighborhood entirely unsupervised and I didn't even know she was gone, I sincerely hope that they would turn my sorry self in, because there would be something badly wrong in my life that was causing me to neglect my child.
(I have a 3-year-old, BTW, so this issue hits pretty close to home for me.)
Bolded = RIGHT...and **I** agree with you. BUT....I am not the parent of this child. *I* view no-vax and cosleeping as two wonderful gifts, born out of educating myself, that I can give my child. Others (some of these people are doctors, nurses, scientists, social workers) see my decisions to reject vax, cosleep, etc...not just as irresponsible...but as DANGEROUS. They see those loving choices, as remarkable failures in parenting. But they are my CHOICE.
**I** would be beyond frantic, beyond mortified and completely shaken, if I discovered my smal child got loose and ended up down the road a ways.
BUT...I also spent some of my youth living in very rural areas where young, young children could be seen walking all around. A young kid walking down the street to meet up with a friend was not a big deal...as the OP has described her environment as very rural...I think she said there is one house along the way, on this quarter mile trip from their house to hers...I think these parents probably have an extremely lax attitude because, in part, of their surroundings.
The OP should have complete control in regards to who gains entry and in what manner, to her home. but I don't think it's any of our place to call CPS for that reason alone. Like I said...if this kid was wandering aimlessly on city streets...or in grocery store parking lots, that'd be one thing. But it is clear: This child would rather be at the OPs house and so, escapes and heads directly for her house. There IS a difference there.
For those of you who would actually begin to say "Let CPS take her kids, they'd be much better off in a foster home" - I have no words, that's just wrong. But for those of you who say "well all CPS is gonna do is give the woman counseling" - takea look around you. Reread the loooong threads on CPS situations that mamas here have faced.
BEST case scenario...CPS comes into these people lives, examines every bit of it and doesn't find anything else they don't like...get the woman some parenting classes, therapy and shadow her for a good long time to make sure she is meeting their standards of parenting. BEST. the alternative to this best case scenario....if they find "other things" - like, the woman who had a SW tell her that the stains in her rugs were dangerous, because they were giving off fumes, or whatever - this could go really down hill really quick.
It's none of your business. What happens in your home - your business. The parenting styles of the people down the street, not your business. ACTUAL abuse, kids in REAL danger at the hands of their parents, kids being starved?? Your business. The OP stated that these children are fed, have shelter, etc...they aren't being neglected. Okay, they aren't being played with by an enthusiastic mother...they aren't as lucky as so many of OUR kids, to have parents who want to raise them with love, compassion, gentle wisdom and whole foods...but that doesn't mean we get to call CPS on them. You want to know what I think is terrible abuse?? Parents who stuff their kids to the gills with horrendous fast food, nothing but coke to drink...sugar sugar sugar and video games all day. I see that as 100000% worse than what the OP described as the situation these kids are living in. And the kids who are being fed these rotten, poisonous foods...there is actual scietific evidence, to support how very very bad for them it actually is. You don't have to guess or assume...you can see what this lifestyle is doing to these children. Do we call CPS on THOSE parents?? Why not? Oh...because they have a choice to feed their kids whatever they want...and because they're ignorant most of the time, to how truly terrible it is. Right? Well...guess what. these parents think it's funny whentheir kids runs down the old dirt road...because they think it's just a rural back road, and after all....he's just beelining it for his friends house! <--- Oh looky there, ignorance and parenting choices! Just like the kids being fed crap EVERY DAY of their lives...just like the mom who smacks her kid on the face in the grocery store, just like the people down the street who let their kids fight like wild dogs and laugh....just like the parents who are drunk every night (their kids are sleeping, yeah, but what if one of them passes out with a cigarette in his mouth and burns the house down?? Whos fault is that?)....all of these scenarios...we shudder, we hold out own kid a little closer, glad that they have us to love them and care for them gently...to make our whole life about them...but we must practice radical acceptance..and move on. Because it's not our place to report these people...it's not the job of CPS to come and do something about these situations.
So much of what's wrong with us, has to do with this idotic culture of ours, which is so fixated on what other people are doing. We have become a nation of stone throwers and judgement makers. All you have to do is say "but it's for the children!" - and automatically, it's okay.
You wanna save some kids?? You wanna make a difference in the life of a kid who really, REALLY needs it?? Because there are children out there, who have caretakers TRULY deserving of your scorn, truly deserving of your judgement...there are millions, upon millions of kids in this world, who require the kind of obsession that we are so willing to spend on our neighbors....but can't seem to muster up for kids who are starving to death, or dying of AIDS...or whatever else.
These parents, don't consider it a super big deal, that their kid gets loose and makes a beeline down a country road to the neighbors house. *I* think it's a big deal....but Mr. Bob Marley spoke some true words once, which I recall and take to heart from time to time: While you're pointing fingers, someone else is judging you.
So....yes. Whether the social worker is standing at your front door because you choose not to vax and a "concerned" nurse at your HCPs office made a call...or because your neighbor decided that you are way too comfortable with your kids straying further from home than you'd ever let your kids go alone...it's the same thing. Somebody got nosey, and decided to make it her business....and it wasn't.
Oh....and I have a one year old...so it hits close to home for me. Anyone who has a kid...it's gonna hit close to home. I'm not sure what that comment even meant....you're in a better place to judge these parents, because you have a three year old?? We all here, know that a three year old is a baby....that a three year old cannot be left to his own devices and CERTAINLY not outside the home unsupervised...but you know what? Some people DON'T think that. Some people think that three years old is NOT a baby anymore. It's true. Three years old is not so small to some people....I grimace thinking that someone could think that, but it's true.