Neglect? Or just Permissivness?

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2002
Neglect? Or just Permissivness?
11
Wed, 05-21-2003 - 7:00pm
Okay ladies...here is a situation that *I* know MY opinion on, but I'm curious as to the thoughts from others.

To really understand, you have to know the set-up of my neighborhood. We are off of a major street, but set pretty far back from the street. There is a fence at the streetline, then a lot of grassy area, a clubhouse and pool, then a separate fence enclosing the housing area. However, the fence is not enclosed, as there is an opening for cars to enter and exit the housing area, and another entrance for people to walk to and from the next neighborhood over. The housing area itself is an oval (more or less) that is right at a mile around, with 4 streets that go across the "center" of the oval. I live on the end of the oval futhest from the major road.

There is a little boy who I have seen around the neighborhood and in front of his house lately. He showed up in my yard today, wanting to play with my kids. I told him that he could play, but first I had to meet his mommy, so he needed to go home and bring her down with him. After much prodding, this child headed home. Soon, he was back....alone. I tried to get him to go home, he just cried about mommy "not being able to come" and having "no one to play with". So I finally walk him back to his house to meet his mother. He is a good 1/4 of a mile around the circle. And you cannot see his house from my house at all. We walk all the way up there, and I send him in to get his mom, and explain to her that I don't mind him playing at my house, but the other day he just walked right in, and that I HAVE to have his mothers permission for him to play here each time he comes down. She just brushed me off with an explination that she works for AOL, and she is on the computer "working" while he is out playing, and if he wanders down my way, I can IM her anytime to let her know! Oh...this is AFTER asking me if I have kids. When I said yes, she said "oh, that's probably why he keeps coming down there.". YA THINK?!?!?!?

My thought is WHAT IN THE HELL IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE!!?!?!? My other thought is that a call to DHS should be made, but then again, I'm not sure they would care much.

I just don't know, and I REALLY feel for this little kid who just wants some attention. Any thoughts?

Okmrsmommy-36, CPmom to DD-16 and DS-14

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-08-2003
Wed, 05-21-2003 - 8:38pm
I don't let my child out of my sight so you can probably read into that how I feel about a child wondering that far away from home while mom is working on the computer and paying no attention to his whereabouts or caring apparently.

And children do need attention, obviously this child is seeking attention, thankfully he went to your home, a safe haven.

While parents do have to work (even us housewives can't sit and play all day, we have things that keep us busy in order to run the household) and parents who work at home (as in a job, not housework) is perfectly acceptable but the kids need mommy and daddy's attention or at least during the time they can't give it should be well supervised by a childcare provider whether it be in home or on other premises.

From reading your post I think we agree and our feelings are the same on this issue.

Sad, very sad.

And here we just took a family walk around the neighborhood and I wouldn't let my 7 year old get very far ahead on his bike and definately no where near out of sight and a quick leap (by dh of course since I'm 8mo pregnant) away from us.

Geesh. I wouldn't allow my child to walk down to the bus stop alone.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 05-21-2003 - 8:55pm
you know, this is when i *know* i was a good mom to my kids when they were little. my ds2 who is 15 now, has been independent since the day he was born. he would "escape" the second i shifted my eyes. i spent every waking moment literally watching him, trying to think of ways to entertain him, or ways he could entertain himself, so as to keep him from wandering off. i just dont understand how a mom can brush off her 4yo kid wandering the neighborhood. does she not read the papers or watch the news????? and then you have elizabeth smart who was safely tucked in her bed!

maybe the mother is just plain stupid....i dont know. i dont get it.....

calling dhs(or ours is dss) would probably be a welcome relief to her as she wont have to worry with him anymore. that is too bad for the little guy.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2002
Wed, 05-21-2003 - 9:12pm
That is the really amazing part of this...this isn't an only child. He has an older brother...I would say around 8 or so, and a sister who looks to be around 19 or so. Plus, there is at least one other child in the house...an infant. I don't know if this is the 19 y/o's or the moms. who the heck knows. Anyway....it isn't like this is her first child and she just doesn't get it. With a 19 y/o, I would think she could understand how incredibly dangerous this is!

Okmrsmommy-36, CPmom to DD-16 and DS-14

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 05-21-2003 - 9:52pm
not defending her, but maybe she is just tired, which obviously is no reason to compromise the child's safety.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 05-21-2003 - 10:58pm
I've confronted this situation before. We used to live in a neighborhood where a 3 year old girl would continually come over to play with my son...then 2. I was usually outside, so I let them play until someone came to find her, which was sometimes a long time. Usually her older sister was the one designated to find her.

Once she asked to use my potty. I let her, but that spooked me.

I wouldn't let my kids run free like that, and my oldest is now 4. But I never said anything to the parents, other than reporting her whereabouts to them. I felt it was my contribution to providing a safe neighborhood if I watched out for this little girl.

My mom did the same thing for two little boys who lived on her block. They were constantly coming over looking for attention, and she gave it to them. She baked cookies waiting for their visits. It developed into quite the relationship. She even took them out to an indoor amusement park one afternoon (with the parent's permission, I assume). The family moved away after the father was arrested for dealing drugs. Poor kids. I hope my mom had a bit of a positive influence for them.

Jill

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 05-22-2003 - 1:07am
My son wanders over to play with other kids all the time! Then again, he's 8 years old, and we know all of our neighbours. Also, he knows that he is NEVER EVER allowed to go into someone else's house, without coming home and getting permission from me first. I need to make contact with the other Mother/Father first, know where their house is, what their phone number is, etc. It's the same rule, for when a "stray" kid shows up at my door. I will at least have him telephone his home, to make sure his Mother knows where he is.....

I really feel for that poor little 4 year old...IMO 4 is WAY too young to be out unsupervised!! How long would it take her to notice that he wasn't around???????? And to have you "IM" her??! Good grief. I am NOT a perfect parent...but I would NEVER have allowed my child to 'wander around the neighbourhood' at that age......*shivers*...I'm sorry you're having to endure this. (not the child so much, but the wondering what to do about it all) Please keep us updated as to this little fellow! Lil
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 05-22-2003 - 9:12am
I haven't read the other threads, but of course this is neglect. I have an almost 4 year old, and can tell you quite definitively that for me this is waaaaay out of line.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 05-22-2003 - 9:44am
I agree. My kids are 3.5 and 4.5 and no way are they allowed to roam and wander the neighborhood.
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-04-1997
Thu, 05-22-2003 - 11:30am
Just don't come back and tell me this lady "works at home" so she doesn't have to put her kids in some evil daycare situation, OK?
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 05-22-2003 - 12:59pm
Good one. :)

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