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Neglected Neighborhood Child-WWYD - Page 4

post #61 of 86
This definitely sounds like a bad situation.

On the other hand, I let my 3 and 4 year olds play outside alone. I watch out the window; I go outside periodically, but I don't constantly have them in view. We live in a very kid friendly neighborhood, and there is almost 100% of the time an adult on a porch within 3 or 4 houses, keeping an eye on the kid aggregate. The girls have never crossed the (almost non traffic existent) street without an adult. They mostly wander between our yard and the little girl next door's house and yard. I'm not wild about them going over to the girl next door's house bc they watch Sponge Bob over there, but honestly, I guess I figure one of the joys of going to other people's houses is getting to do things you aren't allowed to do at home.

I do worry occassionally if it's wrong to let them play outside without constant supervision by me. But my gut says it's okay. And it does not seem to be out of line with neighborhood norms.
post #62 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Authentic_Mother View Post
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!
I think all of those kids need an advocate. Good luck, Mamma. Let us know how it goes tonight.
post #63 of 86
I am glad you've spoken to her directly and that you plan to do it again. I'm just going to ask that you come at her from a position of compassion and understanding when you do. I know you are probably frustrated and angry at the situation, and I know that something has to be done... but coming from a mom who has had cps called on her for something similar, I can tell you with pure honesty that I truly wish my neighbor had simply talked to me before calling the police/cps. I did get the help I needed, but I would have preferred a gentler way of bringing about that change in my life. I didn't need the whole police showing up at my door and putting my kids in a patrol car while (some of) my neighbors stood in their driveways staring. Maybe this mom is just overwhelmed. Maybe her relationship with her BF is difficult. Maybe she's dealing with depression on top of it all. Let her know you are concerned that cps might get involved if something doesn't change and that you would like to help. If you don't have the time to help her, maybe you can help her find someone who can. By all means contact CPS... not to report, but to ask them about resources for people in her shoes. There were a whole slew of programs that I didn't know existed that would have been very very helpful to me.

GL and hugs to you and yours and to this mama and her kids.
post #64 of 86
I understand your concern with everything and even saw your last post and agree with almost everything,..except the shoes.
Some children do not like shoes! I really dont think no shoes is a big deal I went with out shoes till school age,..then no shoes when not at school. I ran outside in the yard, on the street..

In highschool I would take my shoes off and carry them because I have always hated shoes. At 17 I went more than 6 months with NEVER wearing shoes even with going to stores and things! I just carried them with me and no one ever said anything. . It ended when a mall security gaurd finally said something!

I just wanted to chime in that I don't think a little kid should be wandering around like that and it does warrant a call to CPS.. BUT I really don't think no shoes is a big deal and it really seems to bother you for some reason.

I dont want to offend just adding my POV.
post #65 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.
just so you know, I didn't jump on any sort of bandwagon. I stated my thoughts and they happened to trigger some defensiveness, it seems. I did read the entire thread before I posted and I still stand by what I said. To be honest, now even moreso I'm wondering at the purpose of the thread. Clearly I misread or misinterpreted something because I was going by the 'wwyd' part of the title. It seems like your mind is made up and this thread is more to just talk about the woman and her situation maybe? At any rate it doesn't seem like you want to hear different perspectives.
post #66 of 86

Shoes!!!

Oh my, I bet you wish you had never mentioned the shoes to begin with. I can't believe how many people have taken exception to that, even after you pointed out that it's not a primary concern, and just part of the whole picture.

You are doing great, mama, and good for you for caring so much for another woman's child. The primal panic you felt when he was missing means that you have taken him into your heart in the truest sense of community. The world needs more people like that.

Good luck to you in your communication with this mama. Be sure to ask her what she needs in order to do her job as mommy the best that she can.
post #67 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa Lubner View Post
I am glad you've spoken to her directly and that you plan to do it again. I'm just going to ask that you come at her from a position of compassion and understanding when you do. I know you are probably frustrated and angry at the situation, and I know that something has to be done... but coming from a mom who has had cps called on her for something similar, I can tell you with pure honesty that I truly wish my neighbor had simply talked to me before calling the police/cps. I did get the help I needed, but I would have preferred a gentler way of bringing about that change in my life. I didn't need the whole police showing up at my door and putting my kids in a patrol car while (some of) my neighbors stood in their driveways staring. Maybe this mom is just overwhelmed. Maybe her relationship with her BF is difficult. Maybe she's dealing with depression on top of it all. Let her know you are concerned that cps might get involved if something doesn't change and that you would like to help. If you don't have the time to help her, maybe you can help her find someone who can. By all means contact CPS... not to report, but to ask them about resources for people in her shoes. There were a whole slew of programs that I didn't know existed that would have been very very helpful to me.

GL and hugs to you and yours and to this mama and her kids.
Unfortunatly, most of the time they will not offer their services UNLESS a report has been made. I tried to get my neighbor across the street some assistance (she is a grandmother and has 3 grandkids living with her. One of them has some severe behavioral issues and she is constantly out on her porch trying to find him and/or having neighbors complain because he steals our mail). She loves the kids and provides for their needs - but there is a little bit beyond what she can do by herself in regards to the boy (I would help but I felt he could be a danger to my child). The kids finally moved back with their father and it went out of our hands anyway. But its sad that when a parent is trying to do the best they can and are reaching out for help from agencies like CPS that they wont do it unless they basically go in there and tell them that they cannot parent at all
post #68 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by chimpmandee View Post
oh my, i bet you wish you had never mentioned the shoes to begin with. I can't believe how many people have taken exception to that, even after you pointed out that it's not a primary concern, and just part of the whole picture.

You are doing great, mama, and good for you for caring so much for another woman's child. The primal panic you felt when he was missing means that you have taken him into your heart in the truest sense of community. The world needs more people like that.

Good luck to you in your communication with this mama. Be sure to ask her what she needs in order to do her job as mommy the best that she can.
ita!
post #69 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Authentic_Mother View Post
Unfortunatly, most of the time they will not offer their services UNLESS a report has been made. I tried to get my neighbor across the street some assistance (she is a grandmother and has 3 grandkids living with her. One of them has some severe behavioral issues and she is constantly out on her porch trying to find him and/or having neighbors complain because he steals our mail). She loves the kids and provides for their needs - but there is a little bit beyond what she can do by herself in regards to the boy (I would help but I felt he could be a danger to my child). The kids finally moved back with their father and it went out of our hands anyway. But its sad that when a parent is trying to do the best they can and are reaching out for help from agencies like CPS that they wont do it unless they basically go in there and tell them that they cannot parent at all
Honestly, I still believe it is better to explore that option before calling CPS.
post #70 of 86
Sorry I haven't read pages 2-4 but

1) you have seriously got to get over the shoe thing. this in no way indicates bad parenting. good grief. not everyone is hung up on shoes. I am barefoot all the time and am perfectly happy to let my kids run all over the world barefoot.

2) i really don't think he sounds all that neglected. he could perhaps use some closer supervision but I hardly think this is something social services needs to get involved with.

but then I live in the hood . . . my bar is pretty low. kids are running all over the place and doing things i am uncomfortable with but no one has ever gotten hurt.
post #71 of 86
Thread Starter 
Ok, I started this thread because I was originally fearful that I was being overly critical of a parenting style that is different than mine. NOT TO GOSSIP. I truly don't have the time for that kind of garbage. I DO want everyone's perspective but I've valued the opinons of those who've taken all of the information into account and written their own thoughts and ideas more than those who took a few pieces of the puzzle out of context and waved them around accusing me of just gossiping about this woman and/or got on my case about not helping her enough.

Over the course of this thread, new incidents have happened and yes, that coupled with many level headed responses here have caused me to decide to both talk to her directly and get CPS involved. I want to help this woman and her children, ok, more her children as I don't have a TON of compassion for mamas who make themselves look "done up" while their kids run around dirty and in clothes that are too small or for the wrong season. Flame me if you will, I am entitled to personal opinions and that happens to be one. Still, every conversation I have had with her and will have with her is from a place of compassion. I had two kids and was living alone in Germany, with my husband deployed to Bosnia by the time I was 19. I don't have supportive, or even nice, extended family. I'm not some privledged suburban housewife sitting around judging other mamas.

If I wanted to cause trouble, gossip or make her look bad, why would I do it on a board where no one knows either of us? That's stupid. I asked WWYD here for objective opinions, and for the most part, got many helpful ones, so thank you!!!

In any event, I made her a folder full of the resources she can use. I also talked to my supervisor and briefly explained the situation. Because I am a home visitor, that would be the procedure if she were a client. My supervisor also felt is was a very borderline case. She suggested calling cps to at least make sure we've covered all of the county resources in the packet I put together. I did, and they wanted more infomation and I think I ticked off the worker because I refused. She tried to lay some professional obligation guilt on me and I told her I felt comfortable with the way I am handling this, which is a total lie but I am not ready to take that leap. I did see the mom at the game on Friday but she was busy so I just excitedly told her I had some great information on getting the little guy in preschool and to please call me over the weekend. She looked shocked and said she would and I didn't hear from her. Friday I got some really bad news about my oldest dd's health so I didn't get a chance to go to her house. I plan to this evening. Her bf was glaring at me so I think he knows that I am "butting in" and isn't liking it but I don't care. Still, he's kind of scary looking so I may take dh with me tonight, he's pretty scary looking himself, lol.
post #72 of 86
Wow! I'm impressed by your compassion, your concern and your working toward a resolution that is good for the kids and tries to keep them where they are. I hope your talk with the parents goes well! (Definitely bring your dh - scary looking boyfriends could be nice or could be scary!)
post #73 of 86
OP, same as what poster LynnS6 said! I hope it goes well. Keep us posted.
post #74 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSUmama View Post
Ok, I started this thread because I was originally fearful that I was being overly critical of a parenting style that is different than mine. NOT TO GOSSIP. I truly don't have the time for that kind of garbage. I DO want everyone's perspective but I've valued the opinons of those who've taken all of the information into account and written their own thoughts and ideas more than those who took a few pieces of the puzzle out of context and waved them around accusing me of just gossiping about this woman and/or got on my case about not helping her enough.

Over the course of this thread, new incidents have happened and yes, that coupled with many level headed responses here have caused me to decide to both talk to her directly and get CPS involved. I want to help this woman and her children, ok, more her children as I don't have a TON of compassion for mamas who make themselves look "done up" while their kids run around dirty and in clothes that are too small or for the wrong season. Flame me if you will, I am entitled to personal opinions and that happens to be one. Still, every conversation I have had with her and will have with her is from a place of compassion. I had two kids and was living alone in Germany, with my husband deployed to Bosnia by the time I was 19. I don't have supportive, or even nice, extended family. I'm not some privledged suburban housewife sitting around judging other mamas.

If I wanted to cause trouble, gossip or make her look bad, why would I do it on a board where no one knows either of us? That's stupid. I asked WWYD here for objective opinions, and for the most part, got many helpful ones, so thank you!!!

In any event, I made her a folder full of the resources she can use. I also talked to my supervisor and briefly explained the situation. Because I am a home visitor, that would be the procedure if she were a client. My supervisor also felt is was a very borderline case. She suggested calling cps to at least make sure we've covered all of the county resources in the packet I put together. I did, and they wanted more infomation and I think I ticked off the worker because I refused. She tried to lay some professional obligation guilt on me and I told her I felt comfortable with the way I am handling this, which is a total lie but I am not ready to take that leap. I did see the mom at the game on Friday but she was busy so I just excitedly told her I had some great information on getting the little guy in preschool and to please call me over the weekend. She looked shocked and said she would and I didn't hear from her. Friday I got some really bad news about my oldest dd's health so I didn't get a chance to go to her house. I plan to this evening. Her bf was glaring at me so I think he knows that I am "butting in" and isn't liking it but I don't care. Still, he's kind of scary looking so I may take dh with me tonight, he's pretty scary looking himself, lol.
You're a great neighbor and that little guy and his sibs are lucky that they ended up living next to you. I hope they get it together!
post #75 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilyka View Post
Sorry I haven't read pages 2-4 but

1) you have seriously got to get over the shoe thing. this in no way indicates bad parenting. good grief. not everyone is hung up on shoes. I am barefoot all the time and am perfectly happy to let my kids run all over the world barefoot.


Sorry, I know you haven't read all the replies, but all the responders *seriously* need to get over *their* shoe thing!!!!

The OP was stating the lack of shoes in the context of a very long string of possible indicators of neglect -- a very long string. She wasn't saying that because the kid wasn't wearing shoes he was neglected!

Obviously, the no shoes thing has made some people feel defensive. I, personally, love to go barefoot, but if people would bother to read the OP, you would see that the shoes were just one of the many worrisome signs.

IMO, the OP is a woman of great love and compassion who went out driving around in the dark looking for a kid whose parents can't or won't keep up with him! She's really trying to work out ways to help the kid and his mother. Let's give her a break and deal with her with the same love and compassion she is trying to show a possibly overwhelmed mom who needs some help. To be honest, it seems a lot of posters are bending over backwards to find benign reasons for the mom's lack of supervision of her very young child, but are bending the other way to call the OP a gossip and to ignore her positive intent!
post #76 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by DariusMom View Post


Sorry, I know you haven't read all the replies, but all the responders *seriously* need to get over *their* shoe thing!!!!

The OP was stating the lack of shoes in the context of a very long string of possible indicators of neglect -- a very long string. She wasn't saying that because the kid wasn't wearing shoes he was neglected!

Obviously, the no shoes thing has made some people feel defensive. I, personally, love to go barefoot, but if people would bother to read the OP, you would see that the shoes were just one of the many worrisome signs.

IMO, the OP is a woman of great love and compassion who went out driving around in the dark looking for a kid whose parents can't or won't keep up with him! She's really trying to work out ways to help the kid and his mother. Let's give her a break and deal with her with the same love and compassion she is trying to show a possibly overwhelmed mom who needs some help. To be honest, it seems a lot of posters are bending over backwards to find benign reasons for the mom's lack of supervision of her very young child, but are bending the other way to call the OP a gossip and to ignore her positive intent!
I totally agree! We should be thanking the OP for taking the time and energy to reach out to an overwhelmed mother. IMHO, the fact that a very young child is roaming unsupervised during all hours of day and night is reason enough to involve CPS. Especially since the mother has not been receptive to this point with the help and advice being offered to her. Good luck OP with a very complicated situation!
post #77 of 86
To the OP, I really think you are doing the right thing. There could be a number of things going on in the home that you don't know about. All the things you've witnessed makes me wonder if things are worse off in the home. I would have done the same thing in your situation. It is always better to be safe than sorry! I truly hope things get worked out
post #78 of 86
I hope your daughter's health is ok. I think you're doing more than you're obligation here. I hope all goes well with this child.

Lisa
post #79 of 86
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilyka View Post
Sorry I haven't read pages 2-4 but

1) you have seriously got to get over the shoe thing. this in no way indicates bad parenting. good grief. not everyone is hung up on shoes. I am barefoot all the time and am perfectly happy to let my kids run all over the world barefoot.

2) i really don't think he sounds all that neglected. he could perhaps use some closer supervision but I hardly think this is something social services needs to get involved with.

but then I live in the hood . . . my bar is pretty low. kids are running all over the place and doing things i am uncomfortable with but no one has ever gotten hurt.
Ok, I just noticed your location as I was scrolling down....forgive my ignorance but there's "hood" in Sioux Falls, SD??? Granted my idea of the "hood" is Detroit, no offense to anyone, I love the city and so wish the leaders could get it together, but we were stationed in KS for three years I think of SD being like KS, wide open and breezy, lol...and I would totally be fine with barefoot kids there!!! lol Just not in our neighborhood with HOUSES under CONSTRUCTION!!!!
post #80 of 86
Thread Starter 

Update for those of you who were following this...

Wow has it been a bad week all the way around...

I gave the mom all the information I had an encouraged her to call Head Start. I don't think she did, one of the teachers is job shadowing me and I kind of hinted about it, she didn't know of any newly interested parents...

My husband takes care of our kids from noon on and he said the little guy had been by a few times, still without shoes and now it is VERY cold.

I was still perplexed about what to do, and I've been busy putting out my own fires so I never did call CPS to report her.

Tonight the 11 year old came by trick or treating. My oldest dd asked where the two little one were, as the oldest is on a hunting trip and we thought we'd see them with the 11 year old. The look on his face was horrible, he went on to tell us that their dad found out that mom's boyfriend smokes pot (IMO not the worst possible offense, but I've never done that so I can't be sure) and is a convicted something. If he's a sex offender, he's violating because he can't live in this neighborhood. I'm guessing it's felon. The dad called CPS and no less than 5 (which is probably ALL of our town's) sqad cars showed up earlier this week and removed them to their dad's custody.

I hate that this has happened. I'm glad they are in a better situation, if they are, I don't really know that. I just feel so bad for the two older boys and the little ones. I can't believe CPS rolls in with guns blazing like that, they must have been so scared. I'm just sick about it. That should not be standard operating procedure.

Hopefully they are going to be taken better care of and hopefully the two older boys will get to spend time with them. It would be wonderful if the two dads of the four kids could get together and work it out so they could see each other daily. Wouldn't life be great if it worked like that?????
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