I feel so bad for the little boy who lives across the hall. - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 36 Old 03-22-2011, 05:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I live in an apt. building. About a week or so ago, I heard a child screaming. These were not bloodcurdling screams but loud enough to get me to go out into the hallway to see if I could tell which apt. they were coming from. Out in the hallway I could hear the sound of a belt snapping and in between the screams a child's voice crying "No, I'm sorry!"

 

I went back in and called the police and the dispatcher said they'd send someone. Don't know what happened after that.

 

Just last night, I heard the same little boy (he looks like he's about 9) sobbing out in the hallway and the sound of footsteps going back and forth to the trash chut. I walked closer to my door to see if I could tell what was going on and that was when I heard the little boy repeatedly crying, "Mommy, please don't throw all my toys away. I'm sorry."

 

This went on for about 10 min., where the whole time I could hear the trash chut opening and closing.

 

His grandmother, who was really nice, was staying with them for a while but she went home.

 

I don't have kids in the same age range as him, so no excuse to invite him over to play.

 

Not sure that there's anything I can do. I am sad.

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#2 of 36 Old 03-22-2011, 07:11 AM
 
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Poor kid. greensad.gif


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#3 of 36 Old 03-22-2011, 07:19 AM
 
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It's not illegal to spank with a belt, fyi.

 

So I doubt the police will do anything and neither will CPS unless the kid is bruised up or something.

 

Does this happen all the time or just a one time thing?

 

I'm sorry, that must be so hard to listen to.

 

I'm pretty sure the people under us do CIO with their newborn because I hear her crying a LOT. It bugs me too!


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#4 of 36 Old 03-22-2011, 07:26 AM
 
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I saw this on the front page ... I realize that it's not illegal to spank a CHILD with a belt, but why is it that if you call the police and say you hear:

 

*two people fighting, say, a man and woman, several smacking/hitting noises, and crying, the police will come right away and haul someone off to jail more likely than not.

 

*but, if you hear an adult and a child fighting, several smacking/hitting noises, and crying, the police do nothing.


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#5 of 36 Old 03-22-2011, 07:38 AM
 
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They didn't do anything for me the many times I called. Honestly the police in most places just suck. Unless you are dying in the middle of the street ime they don't really care. I'm sure there are exceptions but I haven't found any.

 

I highly HIGHLY doubt they would do anything other than issue a citation for noise.


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#6 of 36 Old 03-22-2011, 07:40 AM
 
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You can call CPS and make a report on what you have witnessed.  Spanking isn't illegal, but it's been my experience that they look down on physical and other punitive discipline forms.  CPS involvement does not necessarily mean a child is removed from the home.  That is a last resort, not an automatic consequence of an open case.  But they may be able to provide parents with services such as in-home therapy and parenting classes, etc, if they validate the claims. 

 

 

 

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#7 of 36 Old 03-22-2011, 08:02 AM
 
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Where do you live?  It *is* illegal in Canada.  You can't strike a child with an object, and you can't hit a kid under 2 or over 12 here.

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#8 of 36 Old 03-22-2011, 08:04 AM
 
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This thread makes me want to cry.  It keeps going to the top so I keep seeing it in new posts.

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#9 of 36 Old 03-22-2011, 08:18 AM
 
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Maybe you could offer to watch the boy if she ever needs help.  At least then he'd know your house could be safe for him.

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#10 of 36 Old 03-22-2011, 08:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I can't figure out how to multi-quote:

 

I only heard it that one time. They moved in about 6 mns. ago.

 

I live in New York City. I assumed when I called that they wouldn't do anything unless he had some visible injury when they got there. The belt was snapping loud enough for me to hear it from the hallway so he might've. I don't know.

 

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.

 

 

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#11 of 36 Old 03-22-2011, 09:25 AM
 
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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.

 

 



So do it, please.  Before its too late. Remember to offer FREE babysitting services too - as the mom may not be able to or want to pay.

 


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#12 of 36 Old 03-22-2011, 09:35 AM
 
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Julep: I'm sorry. That must be hard to listen to. greensad.gif

green betty: How strange. I wonder how they determined that it is wrong to hit under 2 or over 12, but perfectly OK for the 10 years in between.
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#13 of 36 Old 03-22-2011, 09:51 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capretta View Post

green betty: How strange. I wonder how they determined that it is wrong to hit under 2 or over 12, but perfectly OK for the 10 years in between.

yeahthat.gif That is so sad.

Julep, I wish I had some advice for you but I don't know what I'd do. Do offer babysitting or the dog-walking job at least, if that's something you can do... greensad.gif Poor kid.

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#14 of 36 Old 03-22-2011, 12:47 PM
 
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Spanking is illegal in New York.

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#15 of 36 Old 03-22-2011, 12:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capretta View Post


green betty: How strange. I wonder how they determined that it is wrong to hit under 2 or over 12, but perfectly OK for the 10 years in between.


I believe the supreme court determined that you can't even pretend a child under two or over twelve can learn something from a spanking. They actually put enough restrictions on spanking and I do wonder if they were trying to stop it without banning it out right.


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#16 of 36 Old 03-22-2011, 12:50 PM
 
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Do you know for sure that he got spanked? I've known parents to threaten with a belt by snapping it...it can be really scary, but not physically harmful. I'm not saying it's okay...


 


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#17 of 36 Old 03-22-2011, 01:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AFWife View Post

Do you know for sure that he got spanked? I've known parents to threaten with a belt by snapping it...it can be really scary, but not physically harmful. I'm not saying it's okay...


 


It went on for too much time.
 

 

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#18 of 36 Old 03-22-2011, 02:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Julep View Post


It went on for too much time.

 


Ah, ok. It was just a thought.

 

I really have no suggestions. Unless you can prove abuse there isn't much you can do...

 


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#19 of 36 Old 03-22-2011, 02:24 PM
 
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I seriously can't stop thinking about this and its been making me cry at work.  I feel so bad for that little boy.  I hope you, or someone (cops, DCFS), anyone, intervines.praying.gif


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#20 of 36 Old 03-22-2011, 02:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Julep View Post


It went on for too much time.


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.)

 


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#21 of 36 Old 03-22-2011, 03:42 PM
 
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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.

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#22 of 36 Old 03-22-2011, 04:52 PM
 
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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.


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#23 of 36 Old 03-22-2011, 04:59 PM
 
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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.


Mama to a preschooler and a baby.

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#24 of 36 Old 03-23-2011, 02:37 PM
 
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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.

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#25 of 36 Old 03-24-2011, 02:07 AM
 
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.View Post

 

 

 

 

 

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#26 of 36 Old 04-04-2011, 12:47 PM
 
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Hi OP, any updates on this?  It's been on my mind ever since I read your thread....

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#27 of 36 Old 04-04-2011, 01:33 PM
 
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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.

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#28 of 36 Old 04-04-2011, 03:29 PM
 
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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. 

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#29 of 36 Old 04-04-2011, 06:00 PM
 
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I find the toy punishment very upsetting. I think the dog walking idea is great.
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#30 of 36 Old 04-04-2011, 06:49 PM
 
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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.

 

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