U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Parenting
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 09-04-2010, 06:07 AM
 
59 posts, read 221,874 times
Reputation: 38

Advertisements

Hi there,

I'm new to this forum, but I hoped that I might glean some advice or insights into a situation.
I live in a building in which a 14 apartments have windows facing a small courtyard. From one of the windows I can hear a child in a room crying. He cries for long stretches.

I cannot see him, nor am I very knowledgeable about children, so I will try to describe as best I can. He's a little guy, maybe 2 or 3 years old (can walk, Mom usually holds his hand because he's little, dwarfed by his knapsack for example). He will cry for long stretches, at least 30min at a time, sounds like in a room alone. I have reason to believe Mom is actually home, but leaves him in his room alone. On multiple occasions I can hear her come into the room, and snap angrily, for example "now shut up, be quiet," then I hear a rapid succession of slaps, then "shut up or you'll get another one!" Sounds like he's being hit, but I can't visually confirm that. I've heard that series of events (ie "shut up," slaps) twice in the past 2 days.

So here are my questions and concerns. My impression is that there is some very poor parenting happening, to say the least. Should I call childrens' services?

My hesitation comes from 2 places. First, not only am I concerned and disturbed by why I hear, but I have to admit I'm bloody annoyed, and I'd like it to stop because it keeps me up. But I don't want to call CS out of annoyance; I want to call them if it will be best for the little guy. Second, and related to the first, can I reasonably expect that calling CS will help things out there? I've heard that CS can really f things up in a family.

So, I'm not sure how to weigh things out here. I have to admit I've learned that I'm a bit naive to how maltreated, by my standards, some children are, and I don't know if I'm overreacting or not. After all, it's not necessarily illegal to hit children (I believe? please correct if I'm wrong) nor to be a ****ty parent.

Any advice that people can offer will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 09-04-2010, 06:21 AM
 
6,295 posts, read 9,772,977 times
Reputation: 7487
All I'll say is you should call. Little children have no one to stand up and speak for them. If you can stand up and be this child's voice then you should. There is no reason for a parent to speak to their child like that, and from what you've described it sounds like hes being slapped for crying.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-04-2010, 06:53 AM
 
4,502 posts, read 12,930,862 times
Reputation: 4084
From you post, you said you've seen him with his mother a few times. Next time, why not casually follow them into the building and find out what apartment they're in? Just get in the elevator and get off at the same floor act like you're walking to someone else's apartment but keep an eye on her to see what apartment she goes into.

If you suspect this kid is being abused (and from what you said you hear, it sure sounds like it), I would call Child Protective Services. Don't worry about it "f-ing" up things in the family. If the mother can't deal with this child, she needs to either get counseling, parenting classes OR allow someone else to take care of the child until she can. The child does NOT deserve to live like this and he WILL be screwed up for life because of it.

Do the right thing ---- find out which apartment they're in and call CPS!
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-04-2010, 07:08 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,502 posts, read 50,646,600 times
Reputation: 47755
definitely call. you may end up saving the kid's life. too many of us are complacent and don't want to get involved.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-04-2010, 07:30 AM
 
943 posts, read 3,208,905 times
Reputation: 684
Different opinion here that what's been posted. I am a mother with a lot of experience with kids. You're right that CS can really screw up a family. Unfortunately, CS (or CPS) doesn't always have a kid's best interest in mind whether you want to think they do or don't. I can tell you they have their own agenda.

You honestly don't know that the kid's being hit. Are the walls that thin that you can say with certainty that the kid is being slapped? I don't think so. As a parent, you just do end up yelling at your kid. Things can get overwhelming...dad can be on a long trip or in the military deployed and mom's carrying the burden alone and the kid's sick or mom is sick and she didn't get sleep and she hits a breaking point and yells at her kid. It happens in the best of families.

Now, if you see the kid and he's got bruises on him, that's a different story. Have you actually see the kid in question ever with injuries on him? Is this the only child? Do you know any of this woman's direct neighbor's? Could you consider asking them to intervene for the child?

My instincts say don't call CS. I would write/type an anonymous letter that gives the mom addys and ph. numbers of help lines for parents in distress. In the letter tell her what you hear and that you're concerned about the child. Write with compassion so maybe you touch something in this mother that is her wake up call and she calls someone to get the help she needs.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-04-2010, 07:36 AM
 
556 posts, read 758,048 times
Reputation: 854
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skatergirl View Post
Different opinion here that what's been posted. I am a mother with a lot of experience with kids. You're right that CS can really screw up a family. Unfortunately, CS (or CPS) doesn't always have a kid's best interest in mind whether you want to think they do or don't. I can tell you they have their own agenda.

You honestly don't know that the kid's being hit. Are the walls that thin that you can say with certainty that the kid is being slapped? I don't think so. As a parent, you just do end up yelling at your kid. Things can get overwhelming...dad can be on a long trip or in the military deployed and mom's carrying the burden alone and the kid's sick or mom is sick and she didn't get sleep and she hits a breaking point and yells at her kid. It happens in the best of families.

Now, if you see the kid and he's got bruises on him, that's a different story. Have you actually see the kid in question ever with injuries on him? Is this the only child? Do you know any of this woman's direct neighbor's? Could you consider asking them to intervene for the child?

My instincts say don't call CS. I would write/type an anonymous letter that gives the mom addys and ph. numbers of help lines for parents in distress. In the letter tell her what you hear and that you're concerned about the child. Write with compassion so maybe you touch something in this mother that is her wake up call and she calls someone to get the help she needs.
I like what you have to say!

Almost all mothers have yelled at their kids, most have spanked them too. For all you know that child could be punished in that room. Maybe he turned the stove on or over flowed the toilet after being told not to touch them. Maybe he was sent into his room as punishment and is having an unholy fit. Maybe Mom finally decided to go in and "give him something to cry about". I can't say if spanking a child for having a fit is right or wrong, to each their own.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-04-2010, 07:38 AM
 
Location: Texas
44,254 posts, read 60,347,905 times
Reputation: 73758
Get some info from the mom. If it seems fishy, contact CPS. Maybe she doesn't know that everyone can hear her kid and he's having tantrums or something.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-04-2010, 07:41 AM
 
Location: Chicago 'burbs'
1,022 posts, read 3,236,748 times
Reputation: 749
I would call the police WHILE this is happening. Explain to them what you hear and let them do their job. If the child is being hit, there will be red marks on the child when the police arrive & they will contact CPS.

If the kid is just having a tantrum, then nothing will happen.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-04-2010, 07:43 AM
 
59 posts, read 221,874 times
Reputation: 38
Hi All,
Thanks for the replies and thoughts so far. The discussion here captures my ambivalence about calling. On the one hand, there's clearly something wrong happening, it feels like something has to be done; the range of options are limited; calling CPS is commonly held to be the thing to do. But as Skatergirl says, I can't see what's happening; and am I (and perhaps others) naive for believing that calling CPS will "make everything all right."

I've thought about writing such a letter. I do like that idea. Perhaps if others are going to weigh in on the discussion, they can give their thoughts on that option too.

I do sincerely appreciate the thoughts and insights. Please continue to offer wisdom if you feel so inclined.

addendums: in light of recent comments: the crying (I'm quite sure alone in the room) happens multiple times/day, for durations of what seems like 20-30 min at a time, ie, it's not just the occasional tantrum/time out in the bedroom.

In light of treeg26's comment: Thoughts on the appropriateness of calling the police during an episode?
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-04-2010, 08:28 AM
 
268 posts, read 428,738 times
Reputation: 165
My son's time out space is in his bedroom with the door shut by himself. Depending on his particular mood, he can be given time out 3 or 4 times a day easily. Usually though, it only takes him 3 or 4 minutes before he comes out and says he's done and he's sorry. That lady's child could very well just have a more difficult attitude though, I don't know.

The letter sounds like a good idea, but I know a lot of parents that would take offense to a stranger intervening in their disciplinary methods. I'm betting you'd probably just get a "mind your own business" kind of reaction. But I don't think it could hurt anything to try.

If I were in your situation, I'd let my intuition be my guide. If my gut told me there was something seriously wrong going on, I'd contact CPS.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Parenting
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2022, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top