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when would you call CPS? - Page 2

post #21 of 251
Does CPS do anything about verbal abuse? I'd guess about 85% of the adults I know were verbally abused as kids. I seriously doubt that the authorities would give a rats' unless there were other major problems as well.

Even at that, though, I would want to see a pattern of verbal abuse before calling. Yeah, it's wrong to call kids names. Definitely. But I really don't see the point of going all lights and sirens on a stranger over one moment observed on the fly.
post #22 of 251
But see, "do anything" doesn't necessarily mean "take kids away." They're probably going to visit or call and make sure that nothing worse is going down.

Yes, in my area, they offer counseling, resources, and other assistance. Verbal abuse is taken as seriously as physical abuse - there are ad campaigns against it, etc.

I'm just saying, I wish someone had called any one of the NUMEROUS times my father called me or my siblings names in public. That mom could probably use some help regarding better ways to deal with frustration, maybe there are money issues, who knows?

From http://www.helpguide.org/mental/chil....htm#emotional

Emotional child abuse is any attitude, behavior, or failure to act that interferes with a child's mental health or social development. It can range from a simple verbal insult to an extreme form of punishment. Emotional abuse is almost always present when another form of abuse is found. Surprisingly, emotional abuse can have more long-lasting negative psychiatric effects than either physical abuse or sexual abuse.
post #23 of 251
I don't know. Our whole culture is verbally abusive. Truly. You can't take a trip around town without hearing someone cussing someone out on their cell phone or putting down someone considered to be their inferior or talking about how sweet it was to see some catty guy rip a woman to shreds on TV. It doesn't make sense to me to single out some mom in a parking lot for "intervention" on this subject and I strongly suspect that if we criminalize something as widespread as verbal abuse, it's going to be harried working class moms who get the brunt of it, fair or not.
post #24 of 251
And ffs don't do the "as a survivor" thing. I was called idiot like it was my legal name and hell yeah, I know it does harm. It's not a question of whether it's right or wrong: it's wrong. It's about how much "society" should be punishing individuals for being a part of a generally toxic culture.
post #25 of 251
Well, to each their own, I suppose. But if I saw a man calling his wife horrible names, I might call that in. And if I saw two guys calling each other names on the street, about to come to blows, I'd call then too. I don't like to see it, and I think mamas who are calling their children names out of a lack of other options, need help.

We can see a culture of violence around us, but we can also be instrumental in stopping it.
post #26 of 251
What crime would a man yelling at his wife be charged with? Is there one? I honestly don't know of one, unless he was yelling an explicit death threat.
post #27 of 251
Originally Posted by BelgianSheepDog View Post
It's about how much "society" should be punishing individuals for being a part of a generally toxic culture.
That's assuming calling the CPS is to try and punish someone. I just don't see how offering "counseling, resources, and other assistance" is a punishment. Of course whether the CPS (or equivalent) actually offers that or thinks of themselves as parenting police depends on the area you live in. I personally have only good things to say about the CPS work I've witnessed in my life. Your mileage may vary.
post #28 of 251
Originally Posted by BelgianSheepDog View Post
And you know, frankly it annoys me to think that someone is sitting there with her finger on the phone dial because someone is swearing around kids. Honest to pete, the Victorians have died out already.
There is a difference between swearing around your children and swearing AT them. IMO, It is really terrible to refer to your child as a f-ing brat.

However, as a mandated reporter, I wouldn't make a report on either situation. I'd pay close attention to the goings on at my neighbors house and depending on our relationship may try a friendly intervention. Not much you can do about the random person out and about.
post #29 of 251
Originally Posted by flyingspaghettimama View Post
But see, "do anything" doesn't necessarily mean "take kids away." They're probably going to visit or call and make sure that nothing worse is going down.

Good point- Just because they are called doesn't mean kids are going to be removed.
post #30 of 251
I wouldn't call in either case. I run a fan at night to help me sleep. It might make me not hear the baby/ kids at night right away. Should you call CPS on me?
post #31 of 251
NO WAY would I call CPS, NO WAY! I would only consider it if I felt a child's life was in immediate danger...then I'd call 911, not CPS.
post #32 of 251
I wouldn't call in those cases.

Although I think they fall under "poor parenting" I don't think they are enough to call. It may be my area, but I honestly don't think CPS has the resources here to go and offer counselling to every parent who swears at their kids or practices CIO, and the time spent investigating it can bog the system down.

I have called CPS for other things, and I do agree that it is fine to call on a suspicion (you don't have to have total proof) because it is their job to go from there.

I think there are ways to help a bit though. With your friend I agree that some gentle talking about it might be helpful.

I do see parents losing it at their kids some, and when I worked in retail I saw it a lot. As I've gotten older I've taken the approach to walk up to them and say something sympathetic like "wow, hard day?" Mostly that just diffuses it a bit (and it's amazing how much it does). If I have the chance to do it compassionately I also try to add in, "I thought it must be to hear you raising your voice" - not so much for the parent's benefit, but for the kids'.

It's important to be genuinely sympathetic though; any criticism and I always think it just probably gets taken out on the kids more later.
post #33 of 251
I'd just like to point out that some of the non-mainstream parenting practices that research *DOES* support (i.e. co-sleeping, EBF, or for that matter not vaxing) could easily be considered abuse by the mainstream population. Mainly for that reason, I try and give other people some wiggle room on what I would personally consider "bad parenting practices" because if I'm calling on them (anonymously or not) why would anyone else afford me the wiggle room to do what I do? I'm sure I'm not the only one scared to DEATH to have CPS called on me for practices that have actually been shown in research to be beneficial, but are not considered "normal". Of course, in the case that was mentioned previously where the house was disgusting/unsanitary (diaper piles, and all) that *might* move me to call, or if I see a beating in public, but.... I feel like I need to give other parents the space that *I* want to make my/their own decisions about the respective children.
post #34 of 251
My 9 yr old ran outside screaming at me over me telling him he had to do his homework yesterday. Mind you, I had not raised my voice to him at all. He is very dramatic. Thankfully, our neighbors know us and him. My middle child, who has Autism, often screams or has meltdowns, even in the front yard. I suppose some people might think we are abusing our kids. However, it is because of people who seem to have an itchy dialing finger, that I have to keep documentation of my son's Autism, so if he meltdowns in public, the police won't take me in for suspected abuse. I once had a lady follow me out to my van, thinking I was beating him because he was having a bad temper fit.

I wouldn't call in either case. If the children are being beaten in front of you, call. But, even verbal abuse, as bad as it is, probably won't be taken seriously.

I also wonder how a new mom has time to keep the phone and number to CPS so handy.
post #35 of 251
As a former mandated reporter, I would not report either of those situations. Are they crappy, borderline neglectful/verbally abusive parenting? Absolutely. Should these people have kids? Not in my opinion. But, what they're doing isn't illegal. And CPS wouldn't be able to do much about it.
post #36 of 251
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies so far...

I know I'm speaking not from experience, but from naivete. I know I'm a bleeding heart, I need to grow some thick skin, etc. I also know I'm not normally a nosy person... I have always stuck to "do what you will as long as it doesn't harm someone else". But I do think this is harming someone else - i.e. the kids in question. Whether CPS agrees is up to them.

My original thoughts were:
-kid is being neglected/verbally abused
-"authorities" are set up to help
-I should link up the problem with the potential help source

I've considered just calling to get it off my chest, but don't know if even that's a good idea. The one thing I need to do is learn how to speak compassionately in the moment. I am anti-confrontational when it comes to strangers like this, so I feel awfully underhanded to call as though it's a reprimand/punishment. Can you tell I'm conflicted?!
post #37 of 251
I understand your feeling; I truly do. But CPS just isn't equipped to help in a situation like this.

Not much you can do about the woman cussing out her kids...you don't know her. But you could at least leave some literature with your neighbor, and talk gently with her about how YOU parent YOUR children.
post #38 of 251
Unless I saw clear physical abuse happen in front of me, I would not call CPS. So no, I wouldn't call in either of those situations in the OP.

Swearing is now criminal behavior? I'm quite sure my husband and I have sworn at each other before and we are definatly not in a domestic violence relationship. Swearing does not always equal some horrible abuse going on. Sometimes people just do swear when they're angry. What good would come for calling the cops on a couple swearing? (or as this thread makes it seem, only the husband swearing at the wife.)

Theres a line somewhere between being concerned, and violating the rights of others.

As much as I might not like CIO and swearing at kids, I don't feel its my place (or anyones place) to tell others how to raise their children. As long as its not clear abuse, its really not my business. If I called CPS on every mother I know who used ear plugs to block out crying.. I'd be calling on nearly every mother I've ever known IRL and also on myself 9 years ago when I was a frustrated new mom who was following my pediatricians advice! Yes, I was told to wear eagplugs at night so my baby could CIO without me caving and picking her up.

Parents are told so many things. This is right. No this way is right. Oh no! Not that way. It can be so confusing sometimes to people. The rules are always changing too. (side to sleep, back to sleep, no pacifier, use a pacifier!) I know the way I parent many mainstream mothers don't agree with. I have several friends who are mainstream who raise an eyebrow at much of my life. They've never called CPS on me because its not their business. They know that my children are fed, clothed, loved, and not abused.. so all the other stuff is just that. Stuff they don't agree with. I feel that I need to afford the same courtesy to other moms that are not AP and simply following the advice of doctors, relatives, etc.. because I used to be that mom myself.

Advocating for children, and other AP topics of child raising in a positive way is more beneficial IMO than calling CPS on mothers we see who are not parenting the way we wish they were. CPS is a crap shoot. And dispite all the, "Oh they would never remove the kids, they'd only help the family"... are you willing to bet your childrens life on it? I know I wouldn't. It happens all too often.

Nope. I wouldn't call them. If it was an emergency, I'd call 911. They'd obviously call CPS, but I personally will never call them again. They are the last agency that any family needs in their life.
post #39 of 251
well, cio isn't a crime. So, unles they were shaking the kids to get them to sleep or driving around town leaving the kids unattended... there's no crime. Just bad parenting... otherwise known as mainstream parenting!:

and swearing isn't a crime. That woman could have been having the most awful day of her life and swearing like that was her release so she didn't lash out at her children. I swear I had pregnancy induced turrettes syndrome when my son was a baby (high needs) and sometimes turned heads with my vent-swearing.
post #40 of 251
Originally Posted by rmzbm View Post
NO WAY would I call CPS, NO WAY! I would only consider it if I felt a child's life was in immediate danger...then I'd call 911, not CPS.
Yes, I agree.

If it were anything else and I thought it was serious enough to get the parents in trouble, I might try to intervene personally.
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