Concerned About DS Friend - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 01-12-2011, 05:18 PM - Thread Starter
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I wasn't sure where to put this and I apologize in advance if it's in the wrong place.


My 11 yo DS is good friends with another boy in his class that lives in an apartment complex down the street from us. I'm becoming concerned about his family situation and I'm not sure what to do... This boy, who I'll call Sam, doesn't seem to have much or any parental supervision. The father is out of the picture and his mom doesn't seem to be home often, leaving him  alone to fend for himself. I know the mom works one job during the day, but according to Sam is not home much at night. He usually has no idea where his mom is and will often come knock on our door and ask to come in to hang out, even as late as 9:00 pm.  He's at our house daily, and every time he tells me his mom is not home.


Also concerning is that my DS tells me Sam misses a LOT of school, often as much as 1-2 days a week, every week. When I ask Sam why, he tells me he overslept and had no way to get to school. 


I've met Sam's mom once, when I happened to bump into her at a community event. I told her that Sam was often at my house and asked if she worked nights... I was just trying to get a sense of the situation. She said that she has to run lots of errands and Sam is fine at home alone. 


Just to clarify Sam is 11 and an only child.


Is this a situation I should become more involved? Try to get more info, if I can?


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#2 of 8 Old 01-12-2011, 05:54 PM
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I think if Sam is missing as much school as you're being told, the school will get involved (if they haven't already).


I would probably continue to do as you are- provide a safe place to land for this boy (as long as it isn't a burden on you). You could be just what he needs to keep out of trouble.


Good luck!

Steph, DH Jason (1-1-11), DS Owen (10-3-03) and DS Kai (10-13-11)

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#3 of 8 Old 01-16-2011, 09:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for responding, StephandOwen, I appreciate it much.


This boy is generally very sweet and not a burden at all. However, there are times when he'll knock on our door late in the evening (he's come to our door as late as 9:30-10pm) and it's just too late for us, so we have to turn him away. There's also been times when I've had to turn him away because we were busy with something else at the time, only to have him come back a half hour later asking if now is a better time. Sightly annoying, but not a huge deal. He also eats dinner at our house a couple times a week. 


I guess I'm just in a conundrum about if I should be more concerned about his situation. One one hand he is 11 and fairly self sufficient. I don't want to cause problems for his family if there's no need or if I'm not understanding the whole situation clearly. But on the other hand... I sometimes feel that this boy is being genuinely neglected. 


Yesterday when he was over he told me that his mom was going to be gone until late because she went out with friends to dinner and a club. He said he had nothing to eat for dinner except toast and milk.


That's just wrong.....right?


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#4 of 8 Old 01-16-2011, 10:39 AM
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you could be getting a mix of things going on.  It does sound like mom is gone more than she is home.  It could also be that she believes he's at home in bed at 9pm when he's showing up at your house-perhaps she would be home more if she knew he was out wandering around that late.  I have been known to go grocery shopping without my older dd at 9pm, but I *know* she's at home when I am out (because I call and check, knowing she will be awake.  If mom thinks she's asleep she may not be calling to avoid waking him up.)  He said he only had toast and milk for dinner, but that doesn't mean that mom didn't leave him anything.  Could be mom left him something to eat and he didn't want it.


Or their could be real neglect going on, but at this point, it's hard to tell based on just what you know (or have posted here at least.)  I agree with the previous poster about just continuing to do what you are doing, providing a safe place for him to come over when you can, just kinda keep an eye on the situation.  And, if he is missing that much school, the school will step in in that respect. 

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#5 of 8 Old 01-16-2011, 10:50 AM
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Gosh, what a tough situation


It does sound wrong.  I certainly wouldn't leave my 11yo alone that frequently.  But OTOH, I do think that most 11yos are capable of looking after themselves for a few hours.  My 11yo is, and I babysat when I was 11.  It sounds like your concern is the frequency with which the child is being left alone. 


I'm not sure how you could improve the situation, other than continuing to be a safe haven for this boy.  Do you think that talking with his mom or calling CPS would help?  Or would it simply result in the child being forbidden from leaving home when his mom is out for the night?  As for the food issue- no, I don't think that milk & toast is sufficient for dinner every night.  But he is being fed... and it could also be that the friend had access to more food but didn't want to go to the effort to prepare it, especially if he knew that you would feed him. 


I think that I would probably continue to open your home to this child, when it works for you, and keep an eye on the situation.  You're doing a good thing.

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#6 of 8 Old 01-16-2011, 06:22 PM
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I would always let him in the house, any time. I would encourage him to leave a note for his mom, and attempt to make sure she had my number.

I wouldn't call cps because he's isn't in any real danger and it could easily make things worse for him. If you say anything to the mom, the boy most likely will not be allowed back to your house and may get in trouble.

So I'd take care of him, but very quietly.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#7 of 8 Old 01-18-2011, 09:33 AM
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What Linda said.   

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#8 of 8 Old 01-19-2011, 11:27 AM
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Truly the best way to be involved and help this child out is step up to the plate.


Call him in the morning to get up, or have your son.  Do it repeatably if need be.  


And, I wouldn't trust him on his food assessment.  Sorry, but I have been dealing with this with my 12 year old recently. I have had her exclaim there is nothing to eat the day after shopping day.  

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