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Neglected Neighborhood Child-WWYD - Page 3

post #41 of 86
I'd talk very frankly with the boy's mother. I am not shy, though, and confrontation doesn't bother me. I would walk the boy home the next time you see him unsupervised. After introducing myself, I would say something to the effect of:

"I am not big on passing judgement on people, as I realize that we all do things differently and for different reasons. However, I feel like it's my responsibility to talk to you about the things I have observed little Jimmy doing because I am deeply worried about his safety....."

Then I would proceed to mention his wandering unsupervised at such a young age. "He's so young and although I consider this a lovely neighborhood, he is just way too young to wander alone."


I would maybe mention the shoes thing, but only as an aside... Such as: "I love to go barefoot just as much as any other, but you should be aware of the construction going on and that it has resulted in a few flat tires for me. I'd hate to see Jimmy have to get a tetanus shot!"

Then I'd put the CPS thing out there:

"Like I said, meddling in other people's business isn't at the top of my list of things I like to do, but Jimmy's safety is being conpromised and I'd hate to see CPS investigating it and making things even more difficult for you at home because someone will have to call for Jimmy's sake if he keeps wandering unsupervised. I understand kids can be squirrely creatures and they can slip away if you close your eyes to sneeze... is there something you can think of using that will help you keep him safely at home or in your yard?"

Then maybe she might mention that she could use some latches or knob covers.... She might mention that she can't keep up with Jimmy's growing feet... Maybe she will admit that what she really needs is just a break now and then and maybe you can let Jimmy safely play in your home for a few hours per week...

But I realize confrontation is not for everyone. And you might fear her backlash if she percieves you as threatening her. That's a risk I would take, though. I wouldn't just blindside her by calling CPS before giving her a warning that people are perceiving her poor parenting as worthy of involving the authorities.
post #42 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggysmama View Post
You say you live in a close knit community but what I hear is a bunch of people judging and gossiping about a working mom with 4 kids. She says her 3 yr old runs away,why are you taking the word of a 3 year old that he 'allowed' to be out?? If you see her 3 year old out by himself, take the kid back to his house. Hes 3. Seriously.
Sorry but if it happens over and over an over again she's not doing what she can. Running away or getting out once sure, twice okay but over and over again? Just keep taking him back, seriously? And for how long?
post #43 of 86
Ya know, maybe if you did a sex offender search on your area and printed out the list and showed her just how many sex offenders can be in a community right under our noses that would stop that.
Especially with so many forclosures I have noticed our community has more offenders. I wouldn't DARE let my child play outside even just on our porch without an adult present. Cause you just never know!
post #44 of 86
anonymous letter " if we see your little boy wandering unsupervised again we will call cps"....mail it w/ no return address...
maybe that will work as the wake up call
post #45 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by feest View Post
anonymous letter " if we see your little boy wandering unsupervised again we will call cps"....mail it w/ no return address...
maybe that will work as the wake up call
Anonymous letters are the lowest of the low actions I can think of.
post #46 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeca View Post
Sorry but if it happens over and over an over again she's not doing what she can. Running away or getting out once sure, twice okay but over and over again? Just keep taking him back, seriously? And for how long?
If everyone is so concerned that the whole community is talking about it. Then yes. If the boy realizes that people won't let him come over and play at their house then why would he want to escape. I think its completely odd that no one has thought of just bringing the little boy back to his house.
post #47 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggysmama View Post
If everyone is so concerned that the whole community is talking about it. Then yes. If the boy realizes that people won't let him come over and play at their house then why would he want to escape. I think its completely odd that no one has thought of just bringing the little boy back to his house.

That's what I'm saying! Someone needs to take the boy home and have a chat with his mother!
post #48 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggysmama View Post
If everyone is so concerned that the whole community is talking about it. Then yes. If the boy realizes that people won't let him come over and play at their house then why would he want to escape. I think its completely odd that no one has thought of just bringing the little boy back to his house.
She's already said that two middle school kids have taken him home before. That's not to say that there weren't other times that someone else has returned him home. I think that repeatedly there is a problem. I'm not saying it's all the mother's fault and she's neglecting him. Maybe he is a little escape artist and likes to sneak out the house. But if a reoccurring problem of him getting out and wandering around has been bought to her attention (and must have if she is looking for him at times) then it's on her to get a workable solution going instead of just I live in a safe neighborhood so someone will bring him home solution.
post #49 of 86
It just seems like in the "close knit" community of just a few streets that no one is acting very close knit. The OP states she has talked to several different townsfolk about this problem but is hesitant to talk to the MOTHER. She states that a neighbor is whining because the little boy got into his letterbox. OH NOEZ!
THIS IS A 3 YEAR OLD.
Walk the 2 blocks and take him home. He is a baby.
An adult needs to take him home, not a middle school kid.
Hes 3.
As for a workable solution it seems like the mother is on a waiting list for childcare. What else is she to do? She works at a restaurant and has 4 kids, she probably doesn't have tonnes of money for a babysitter.
MAYBE some of the people in the close knit community can do her a favour and bring the baby home when he escapes. Or, i dunno. Offer to babysit?!
If you are really that concerned I think that that might be a better options that calling the police.
post #50 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggysmama View Post
It just seems like in the "close knit" community of just a few streets that no one is acting very close knit. The OP states she has talked to several different townsfolk about this problem but is hesitant to talk to the MOTHER. She states that a neighbor is whining because the little boy got into his letterbox. OH NOEZ!
THIS IS A 3 YEAR OLD.
Walk the 2 blocks and take him home. He is a baby.
An adult needs to take him home, not a middle school kid.
Hes 3.
As for a workable solution it seems like the mother is on a waiting list for childcare. What else is she to do? She works at a restaurant and has 4 kids, she probably doesn't have tonnes of money for a babysitter.
MAYBE some of the people in the close knit community can do her a favour and bring the baby home when he escapes. Or, i dunno. Offer to babysit?!
If you are really that concerned I think that that might be a better options that calling the police.
I totally agree. I think that there hasn't been enough community intervention by perfectly capable adult members (forget middle school kids...that's ridiculous). A caring adult should take the child home and asses the situation. Ask the mom what she needs. IF anyone is capable of providing it for her then for goodness sake do it!! CPS should be for when the community tries and fails or is unable to meet the needs of its members. It doesn't seem much like the *try* part has happened yet. I would act before this family is further stigmatized.
post #51 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggysmama View Post
It just seems like in the "close knit" community of just a few streets that no one is acting very close knit. The OP states she has talked to several different townsfolk about this problem but is hesitant to talk to the MOTHER. She states that a neighbor is whining because the little boy got into his letterbox. OH NOEZ!
THIS IS A 3 YEAR OLD.
Walk the 2 blocks and take him home. He is a baby.
An adult needs to take him home, not a middle school kid.
Hes 3.
As for a workable solution it seems like the mother is on a waiting list for childcare. What else is she to do? She works at a restaurant and has 4 kids, she probably doesn't have tonnes of money for a babysitter.
MAYBE some of the people in the close knit community can do her a favour and bring the baby home when he escapes. Or, i dunno. Offer to babysit?!
If you are really that concerned I think that that might be a better options that calling the police.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamajama View Post
I totally agree. I think that there hasn't been enough community intervention by perfectly capable adult members (forget middle school kids...that's ridiculous). A caring adult should take the child home and asses the situation. Ask the mom what she needs. IF anyone is capable of providing it for her then for goodness sake do it!! CPS should be for when the community tries and fails or is unable to meet the needs of its members. It doesn't seem much like the *try* part has happened yet. I would act before this family is further stigmatized.
yes and yes.

It is much better to address concerns in person and be direct. Maybe the mom needs help or just some kindness from her neighbors. Regardless, CPS should be when everything else fails. Talking to the mom is still an option.
post #52 of 86
talk to her out of a true place of concern/compassion- offer to watch her kids for her, have dinner and playdates with her. . . if you see her son out, bring him home!
i am not anti-CPS, but i think they are a last resort. if you get to know the family better, you might be able to help.

if you continue to see her son out, i think calling the cops to report an unattended child is pretty reasonable.
post #53 of 86
No shoes?!?! OMG. Seriously, my 4 year old NEVER wears shoes. I actually keep a pair in the car, because I know she will not put them on in the house before we go. I have to threaten her when we go into a store... "Put your shoes on, or you can not go in". She usually puts the shoes on (but they are off again as soon as we're back in the car)

If this is such a close-nit community as you say, I'm sure someone would be willing to babysit for this mother who is trying her best to support her children. Instead of calling cps, try befriending the mom and talking to her about the situation (not your neighbors or us.. her)
post #54 of 86
Thread Starter 

Update.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggysmama View Post
If everyone is so concerned that the whole community is talking about it. Then yes. If the boy realizes that people won't let him come over and play at their house then why would he want to escape. I think its completely odd that no one has thought of just bringing the little boy back to his house.
Ok, did you read any of my posts? MANY people have taken him home, including STUDENTS who had to LEAVE their gym class to do so! Seriously, did you just get some sense of what the thead was about and go with your own ideas?

I don't know where I wrote that the whole community is talking about it. If I said that, I gave the wrong idea. This is NOT a gossipish area. There is concern, yes. Mostly from the older kids.

I already tried the "nosy neighbors could call" with her. Zero concern, and this was in a conversation we had while she was once again looking for him.

AGAIN with the shoes, I NEVER said no shoes was a reason to freak out, I said it was part of the ENTIRE picture!!!

As far as this being a tight community, yes it is. I think that's part of the reason a lot of neighbors are just looking out for the boy and overlooking that there may be a bigger issue here.

We live between a school and a church there are NO registered sex offenders in the subdivision, but thanks for the suggestion.

The past few days have been great, he's been clean, had on a shoes and coat, since it's cold here that IS important. Then tonight, he showed up around 7:30, DS was in the tub and I was nursing so my dd told him he could play tomorrow and to go home.

His 5 yo sister and 11 and 14 yo brothers were at the school as his sister is participating in junior cheer camp this week in the evenings. About 40 minutes after he left, his 14 yo brother came over in a panic looking for him. He said he thought his mom's boyfriend was at their house so when the little guy came over to the school he sent him home. It was pitch black at this time of night, and had been for about 20 minutes.

I grabbed my two little ones out of the tub, threw them in jammies without even putting on dipes and put them in the car to go looking. My 13 yo took a few neighbor kids and they set out to check the parks on foot. He was dressed all in black, I panicked and drove around with my brights on terrified I'd find him on the side of the road, he's hood high and it's dark, to me that's a recipe for disaster. I can't ever recall feeling that kind of pure panic.

After checking the neighborhood, I drove over to the high school parking lot. My oldest dd is a cheerleader and teaching at the junior camp. The coach and a few others were out in the parking lot. They said my dd had found a little boy in the parking lot and they were already walking home. My kids walk through the grassy area behind our house so I didn't see her from the road.

Supposedly mom's bf was supposed to be watching him, but he wasn't at the house. When I first started looking I stopped one of the groups of kids out looking for him where his mom was, they said work. His sister was in that group and asked me to "help her find her family", telling me her brother and her mom's boyfriend were missing. A 5 year old shouldn't have to say things like that!

When I went looking for my 13 yo to tell her we'd found him, I stopped in the street where his brothers and he and his sister and several neighbor kids were walking and asked the 14 yo to have his mom call me tomorrow. He looked upset but said he would.

I am just going to have a very frank conversation with her about my concern. I have already offered some resources but I am going to try again. Michigan just changed how they calculate foodstamps, including more child care payments than they used to. That may help her off set the cost of child care. I really wish she'd put him in head start and I am going to talk to her about that again. I am going to take her the applications and offer to take them in for her if she needs me to, even though I'm not really supposed to do that.

If this ever happens again, I will not only call the police, but also CPS, and I will personally make sure there is a complete investigation. I can't even explain the look on his 14 yo brother's face tonight. No kid should have that much responsibility for his siblings.

I do get it. I have four kids. My husband and I work opposite each other to help ease the burden on our older kids because we won't do traditional daycare and can't afford all day home care. ALL of my breastfeeding clients are low income, struggling moms and families. I really do get how hard it is. I also get that this child is not being taken care of the way he needs to be and I really don't give a damn what his mom's excuse it. There isn't a sufficent excuse for allowing your child to be put in harms way. Repeatedly wandering around alone is being put in harms way for a three or four year old.

Some of the posters here may think I am being judgemental and gossiping, and that's just fine. I almost threw up when I couldn't find him tonight. I dropped an f bomb in front of my daughter's cheerleading coach without even realizing it and I went home and cried when we found him. Until you've been in a situation like this, you have no idea.

There is no room for polite when a child's safety is at risk. Thank you, all of you who clearly didn't read the entire thread and jumped on some bizarre bandwagon, enough to get under my skin. You just reminded me of that.
post #55 of 86
MSUmama -- you are doing exactly the right thing. You should not have to feel both responsible and terrified for this child's safety all the time.

I think its clear your community is close-knit because people are noticing and paying attention to the situation. I've certainly lived in places where neighbors were so isolated from one another that they wouldn't have even seen what was going on.

However, it is unfair on the part of the mother to expect the community (however close-knit) to assume responsibility for the safety of her child.
post #56 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggysmama View Post
It just seems like in the "close knit" community of just a few streets that no one is acting very close knit. The OP states she has talked to several different townsfolk about this problem but is hesitant to talk to the MOTHER. She states that a neighbor is whining because the little boy got into his letterbox. OH NOEZ!
THIS IS A 3 YEAR OLD.
Walk the 2 blocks and take him home. He is a baby.
An adult needs to take him home, not a middle school kid.
Hes 3.
As for a workable solution it seems like the mother is on a waiting list for childcare. What else is she to do? She works at a restaurant and has 4 kids, she probably doesn't have tonnes of money for a babysitter.
MAYBE some of the people in the close knit community can do her a favour and bring the baby home when he escapes. Or, i dunno. Offer to babysit?!
If you are really that concerned I think that that might be a better options that calling the police.

He's three. Three. Like you kept repeating. There shouldn't be a problem where someone needs to escort him home. He shouldn't be out unattended in the first place.
post #57 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSUmama View Post
Ok, did you read any of my posts? MANY people have taken him home, including STUDENTS who had to LEAVE their gym class to do so! Seriously, did you just get some sense of what the thead was about and go with your own ideas?

I don't know where I wrote that the whole community is talking about it. If I said that, I gave the wrong idea. This is NOT a gossipish area. There is concern, yes. Mostly from the older kids.

I already tried the "nosy neighbors could call" with her. Zero concern, and this was in a conversation we had while she was once again looking for him.

AGAIN with the shoes, I NEVER said no shoes was a reason to freak out, I said it was part of the ENTIRE picture!!!

As far as this being a tight community, yes it is. I think that's part of the reason a lot of neighbors are just looking out for the boy and overlooking that there may be a bigger issue here.

We live between a school and a church there are NO registered sex offenders in the subdivision, but thanks for the suggestion.

The past few days have been great, he's been clean, had on a shoes and coat, since it's cold here that IS important. Then tonight, he showed up around 7:30, DS was in the tub and I was nursing so my dd told him he could play tomorrow and to go home.

His 5 yo sister and 11 and 14 yo brothers were at the school as his sister is participating in junior cheer camp this week in the evenings. About 40 minutes after he left, his 14 yo brother came over in a panic looking for him. He said he thought his mom's boyfriend was at their house so when the little guy came over to the school he sent him home. It was pitch black at this time of night, and had been for about 20 minutes.

I grabbed my two little ones out of the tub, threw them in jammies without even putting on dipes and put them in the car to go looking. My 13 yo took a few neighbor kids and they set out to check the parks on foot. He was dressed all in black, I panicked and drove around with my brights on terrified I'd find him on the side of the road, he's hood high and it's dark, to me that's a recipe for disaster. I can't ever recall feeling that kind of pure panic.

After checking the neighborhood, I drove over to the high school parking lot. My oldest dd is a cheerleader and teaching at the junior camp. The coach and a few others were out in the parking lot. They said my dd had found a little boy in the parking lot and they were already walking home. My kids walk through the grassy area behind our house so I didn't see her from the road.

Supposedly mom's bf was supposed to be watching him, but he wasn't at the house. When I first started looking I stopped one of the groups of kids out looking for him where his mom was, they said work. His sister was in that group and asked me to "help her find her family", telling me her brother and her mom's boyfriend were missing. A 5 year old shouldn't have to say things like that!

When I went looking for my 13 yo to tell her we'd found him, I stopped in the street where his brothers and he and his sister and several neighbor kids were walking and asked the 14 yo to have his mom call me tomorrow. He looked upset but said he would.

I am just going to have a very frank conversation with her about my concern. I have already offered some resources but I am going to try again. Michigan just changed how they calculate foodstamps, including more child care payments than they used to. That may help her off set the cost of child care. I really wish she'd put him in head start and I am going to talk to her about that again. I am going to take her the applications and offer to take them in for her if she needs me to, even though I'm not really supposed to do that.

If this ever happens again, I will not only call the police, but also CPS, and I will personally make sure there is a complete investigation. I can't even explain the look on his 14 yo brother's face tonight. No kid should have that much responsibility for his siblings.

I do get it. I have four kids. My husband and I work opposite each other to help ease the burden on our older kids because we won't do traditional daycare and can't afford all day home care. ALL of my breastfeeding clients are low income, struggling moms and families. I really do get how hard it is. I also get that this child is not being taken care of the way he needs to be and I really don't give a damn what his mom's excuse it. There isn't a sufficent excuse for allowing your child to be put in harms way. Repeatedly wandering around alone is being put in harms way for a three or four year old.

Some of the posters here may think I am being judgemental and gossiping, and that's just fine. I almost threw up when I couldn't find him tonight. I dropped an f bomb in front of my daughter's cheerleading coach without even realizing it and I went home and cried when we found him. Until you've been in a situation like this, you have no idea.

There is no room for polite when a child's safety is at risk. Thank you, all of you who clearly didn't read the entire thread and jumped on some bizarre bandwagon, enough to get under my skin. You just reminded me of that.
I think you have been more patient with this situation than I could ahve been. I would have had CPS out there that night if I could. Ignore those who aren't reading the whole thread. Do what you feel is in the best interests of that child. He needs an advocate and I believe you are it!
post #58 of 86
Thread Starter 
Thanks, I needed that. I am going home now to hopefully talk to her. Her little girl is cheering with my oldest dd at the varsity game tonight, I'm hoping to pull her aside at half time and talk to her. I didn't get a call from her today
post #59 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSUmama View Post
Thanks, I needed that. I am going home now to hopefully talk to her. Her little girl is cheering with my oldest dd at the varsity game tonight, I'm hoping to pull her aside at half time and talk to her. I didn't get a call from her today
Good luck! This is a very difficult situation that I am afraid can not and will not have a happy ending, but you have to do what you can to clear your own conscience and you are TRYING to make that boy safer. That's all you can do.
post #60 of 86
I have a problem with a parent that allows their young child (under 8 especially) to go to another person's home that she has never formally met. I'm not sure about the shoe thing, but perhaps the kid hates shoes, can't put them on himself or just gets in a rush and runs off.

I'd be more worried about the mother not meeting you first to see what kind of parent you are. That's first and foremost in my mind. If it were me, I'd escort him back to his front door every single time.
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