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I feel so bad for the little boy who lives across the hall. - Page 2

post #21 of 36

Could you invite the mom over for coffee or even just begin striking up conversations in the hallway to begin to build a relationship?  If you could befriend her maybe you could model nurturing appropriate interactions.  Also sometimes if a parent has an adult they can vent to they will be less likely to come down so hard on thier kids.

 

It sounds like she doesn't have a lot of good strategies to deal with the challenges of parenting and maybe if you could reach out to her you could help her learn some new ways to interact with him.

 

The situations hounds so hard.  Hope you have someone you can talk to about it IRL.

post #22 of 36

Neglecting a child includes unreasonably inflicting or allowing the infliction of harm or substantial risk thereof, including excessive corporal punishment. Family Court § 1012. [Civil Code] Parent/guardian/other person with care and supervision of person under 21, can use non-deadly physical force when and to the extent he reasonably believes necessary to maintain discipline or promote welfare of person force performed upon. Penal § 35:10. [Criminal Code]

 

I think the dog walking is a great idea. please try that and update us!

 

I would not call cps.9...if they actually bothered to remove him, which I doubt since you can't even get a response when you call 911 in  NY, he wouldn't be any better off where they would put him.

post #23 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Julep View Post

 

I have thought of telling the mom I babysit or asking her if he could use a little dog walking job (I have a dog) or something like that.

 

 


I think you should give it a try.

 

Poor kid. greensad.gif I really hope things aren't as bad as they sound.

post #24 of 36

I have several thoughts...

 

First, I understand why many have focused on the issue of him being spanked with a belt, but honestly I am just as concerned/saddened by the idea that someone was methodically going to the garbage and throwing away all his toys!  Yes, a 9 yr old could have done something awful, but my gut from what little you've heard so far is that this is a longstanding pattern in this home.

 

It's just a gut, please, no one mistake me for saying she should act on my little opinion on that!

 

Here's my advice though, given my gut: definitely take the PPs advice and ring the doorbell, comment that you're both moms (does anyone else live there with the mom and boy?), and that you'd love to have her over for coffee.

 

If she says yes, great, see if you can build a relationship and definitely make sure she brings her son over, even if your kids are not the same age.  Ask her what her son likes and try to show that you are interested in his interests.  If you can and are up to volunteering to babysit, YES yes yes, please do that.

 

Another thing to please do - although I know in NYC it's possible to live across the hall from soemone and rarely see them - but *whenever* you see her son, go out ofyour way to be nice to him.  Anything you can say that's nice and positive, say it.  He needs to hear it - of that, I am sure.

 

If she isn't interested in coffee or she says yes but never follows through, then next time you hear something going badly, go ahead and knock on the door (if you're comfortable with this) and simply say "Hi, just checking in, wanted to make sure you're ok and see if I can help with anything".  Yes, that might annoy them if they were in the middle of a big issue, but it interrupts the mania, gives everyone a second to breathe, and also gives you a chance to see if you see/hear anything that raises your concerns so much you feel you need to call CPS.  But it ALSO gives you a chance to offer specific help, if mom feels like telling you what is going on, maybe you can say "Oh, I can see how that can feel like a really big deal, but maybe you can manage it this way..." [hopefully you get what I'm trying to say - hard to offer specific words of support not knowing what you might see/hear].

 

I have been and always will be a big believer in not standing by if you hear a big amount of tension in a home that affects a child and trying to offer whatever little bits of support/positivity/relief you can manage.  And if a child is really in danger, i.e. if you hear him screaming again, go ahead in the hall (if you can and feel able to) and listen more to see if you feel like you need to call CPS.

 

I do understand that people have different levels of comfort/discomfort with intervening when they worry about someone else's child, but there is *always* *something* that you can do, however big or small, that may make a difference for that child.  Find that something... it can make a huge difference.

post #25 of 36
.View Post

 

 

 

 

 


Edited by podsnap - 3/24/11 at 3:21am
post #26 of 36

Hi OP, any updates on this?  It's been on my mind ever since I read your thread....

post #27 of 36

It is illegal to hit a child with any object. It is actually illegal to apply your hand if it leaves a red mark for more then 20 minutes.

 

In some proviences spanking is illegal outright.

 

I know of no where where you can use a belt in spanking. That scares me to death that places actually think its acceptable to hit a child with a belt...but if you hit an adult with a belt you would go to jail.

post #28 of 36

Maybe the police came and suggested different kinds of punishment, like throwing the toys away.  So sad.  We have been known to put toys in time out, or make a our kids choose to have one go away permanently, sometimes with options to earn it back.  I hate doing that so much. 

post #29 of 36
I find the toy punishment very upsetting. I think the dog walking idea is great.
post #30 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post




I'm not saying that the boy didn't get hit, but ds2 is capable of screaming and crying - LOUDLY - for as long as half an hour, over having one of us raise our voice at him. He probably sounds as though he's being tortured. (Actually, I know he does, as both dh and I have come running, thinking the other one must have snapped, or there was a horrible accident - like going through a window or something - only to find that he wasn't touched and is "just" upset.)

 


Everytime you post about stuff like this, I'm afraid that my ds is going to do this until he's 5 or 6 or 7 or whenever your ds grows out of it.  They just sound very similar to me about this kind of stuff.  I'm pretty sure my neighbors frequently think my ds is being tortured.  He's loud enough, and screams enough to think he's dieing.

 

post #31 of 36

I think you did the right thing by calling the police.  You don't know where she was hitting him so calling was a good thing, especially since she has shown herself to be cruel in other ways.  I don't think you should get involved with this family beyond calling CPS or the police whenever you think you need to.  If you were already involved then I could see stepping in to offer a helping hand, but you shouldn't go in trying to rescue this family unless you are in a stress free position and can pick up and walk away without any emotional attachment if you need to in order to protect your sanity.  Trying to rescue people that don't want to be rescued is a very difficult thing to cope with emotionally.  I used to get very wrapped up in things like this but it caused a lot of stress for me and that affected my parenting.  With CPS you probably won't see an immediate difference and they may investigate and do nothing this time, but they often have to build up a case of a lot of little reports that turn out to be nothing before they have enough suspicion to act so each call is very important in building that case up. 

post #32 of 36

One_Girl, you're definitely right that getting involved too much can create boundary issues and have an impact on you and your own family if it gets too deep/stressful.

 

But there is a whole stretch of levels of involvement between "not at all" and "too much".

 

I never ever ever think it is too much to always look for opportunities to be nice to a family in crisis, and especially the children in that family.

 

It's not for everyone to reach out and try to open communication... but offering coffee or to walk a dog is hardly trying to "rescue" a family either.  There is a lot of in between, and each person has to figure out what their limit is.

 

Knocking on the family's door when you hear what sounds like the son being hit and just saying in a concerned, supportive way "I heard some commotion and just wanted to make sure you guys are ok" is way way too involved for some people.  For others it's what feels like the right thing to do (and then calling CPS/police if it goes on).  People have to find their own comfort level of intervention, and for some, there's very little they feel able to do.  And that's real, and we have to be realistic about our own boundaries/limits.

 

But when you are concerned about the safety and wellbeing of a child, you do NOT only have 2 options "do nothing" or "call police".  There are a lot of other options that can be considered that do not amount to you being the calvalry trying to ride in and "save" the family.

post #33 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by LROM View Post

One_Girl, you're definitely right that getting involved too much can create boundary issues and have an impact on you and your own family if it gets too deep/stressful.

 

But there is a whole stretch of levels of involvement between "not at all" and "too much".

 

I never ever ever think it is too much to always look for opportunities to be nice to a family in crisis, and especially the children in that family.

 

It's not for everyone to reach out and try to open communication... but offering coffee or to walk a dog is hardly trying to "rescue" a family either.  There is a lot of in between, and each person has to figure out what their limit is.

 

Knocking on the family's door when you hear what sounds like the son being hit and just saying in a concerned, supportive way "I heard some commotion and just wanted to make sure you guys are ok" is way way too involved for some people.  For others it's what feels like the right thing to do (and then calling CPS/police if it goes on).  People have to find their own comfort level of intervention, and for some, there's very little they feel able to do.  And that's real, and we have to be realistic about our own boundaries/limits.

 

But when you are concerned about the safety and wellbeing of a child, you do NOT only have 2 options "do nothing" or "call police".  There are a lot of other options that can be considered that do not amount to you being the calvalry trying to ride in and "save" the family.


I think you really have to know yourself before finding levels.  I personally can't get involved just a little and be happy with that.  I get sucked in and it rarely turns out to be a good thing so for me and the well being of my own family I have decided to keep the boundaries I know I need to have.  There are some people that can get involved only a little and stay that way forever, but that is just not something I am able to do.  I get too attached to people, especially when I am worried about someone and I have a hard time getting out situations that are dragging me and my little girl down because I care about the people involved and find it almost impossible to say no.  Before getting involved in a very tough situation like this I think the OP should consider who she is and what her response to situations like this is going to be. 

 

post #34 of 36

Wow. First of all, being a former New Yorker, take this to heart when I say 'watch your back'......I think it's great that it's out there to offer to babysit, etc.....but also protect yourself in the sense that mom can all of a sudden start accusing you of abusing the child......I've seen it happen before. I agree with calling CPS.......but that won't guarantee anything..There are parts of NYC that make it really hard for authorities to do anything................and as another mom pointed out, maybe he wasn't hit (but that could be a stretch)............If you only heard it once, could it have been a one time thing.......maybe go bring over a plate of cookies.....maybe she's an overworked mom with no help and is at her breaking point........and (if she's using the belt, this is all she knows, bc it was probably used on her as a child).......good luck...

post #35 of 36

I hope you call CPS. That all sounds so awful!

post #36 of 36

I was hit with a belt when I was a child, as were my siblings.  It was never to the point of, what I felt, was abuse.  Although some will say that its abuse no matter what, as it is a belt.  As an adult, I still don't feel I was abused, however, from what I remember as a child, we were never hit so hard that you could hear the belt cracking from outside.  But it did still leave red marks on us.  As a mom now, I don't know how my parents ever did that, I could never hit my child with a belt.  While I do believe in spanking, again, I just could never use a belt.  I find it hard to even spank my child, so I do it rarely.  Honestly, what bothers me more about this story is the throwing away of the child's toys.  Maybe the mother is bi-polar or manic depressive or something, to where she would be nice most of the time, but have these episodes of being mean and/or abusive.

 

To the OP, any updates?

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