Case of Neglect?

[deleted account] ( 7 moms have responded )

I have a friend of a friend who has a 5 year old little girl. Everyone seems to talk about the little girl because she has some problems. I didn't even like my own daughter being around her for a long time because of the things she would say and the way she would act towards my daughter. She would mostly say hurtful things that included curse words. The little girl started kindergarten this year and she has already been suspended for her behavior and had to be evaluated. She has a single mother who seems to be more concerned with her men and herself than her daughter. She basically always makes sure to make arrangements for someone else to make sure her daughter is taken care of, I understand we need child care for jobs and things but this goes beyond normal child care needs. The mother has random men in and out of the house and around the child. I have not spent a lot of time around the child and have only been told by mutual friends what is going on with her. Tonight this little girl came to my house and my heart is breaking for her and I feel so horrible that we have not had much to do with her. There was no extreme behavior just basic trouble listening, slight disagreements with my daughter that we're easily solved. I know that she doesn't see much of her mommy and in the few hours that she was here I heard her say numerous times "I miss my mommy", or "I want to go home and see my mommy", or I want to do that with my mommy" and there is something so sad in her eyes. I just wanted to scoop her up and hold her close. When her mother is around she provides little interaction or discipline and on top of that the friend that usually cares for her seems to be so impatient with her. The little girl loved being here and interacting with my daughter. She also seemed a little shocked but intrigued with how we interact with and treat our daughter. For example the structure and routine we have for bath and bedtime. She always brushes her teeth before bed, climbs in bed and then I sing to her and kiss her and her daddy reads her a story. The little girl in question seemed to love this idea and once again made her talk about missing her mommy. Am I right to think that with her mommy always pawning her off on someone, or throwing parties while she sleeps upstairs and being more concerned with her risky lifestyle that this is a form of neglect? Also with all the strange men in and out some of them complete strangers who will live with them for periods of time I am afraid maybe (if she hasn't already) that she may be sexually abused. The child and her mother are frequently talked about among our circle of friends but you never hear of them spending time together or anything positive at all. Lately I have been hearing that on her days off the mother has been flying off for nearly a week at a time to see her out of state boyfriend leaving the little girl bouncing between friends and relatives houses to receive care. The school issues that I am aware of are violence, cursing, refusing to listen, acting out, and saying pretty disturbing and obscene things to the other kindergartners. My daughter is 8 doesn't even know half the curse words or anything about the disturbing things this 5 year old is talking about. Like I said we didn't really have any problems while she was here and I def need not see any of this extreme behavior. What I did see was one very cute, and sad little girl who seemed to be crying out for attention from others but mostly the attention of her mommy. I can not get her off of my mind now and I'm not sure what to do or that it's even a case of neglect. Advice please?

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Sarita - posted on 03/19/2014

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if possible, you should see if you can keep the child more, since you are more experienced at childcare. She needs some caring adults to show her how life is supposed to be, and if you can do this without insulting the mother all the better. growing up, there were 2 girls who would ALWAYS come over our house. I didn't realize why at first, but now I know it was for similar reasons to the girl you are speaking of. You could potentially change her life, and it's a great feeling to be able to bless someone like that. Those girls still call my mom and thank her for all she did in providing a safe place for them and showing love and compassion.

Jodi - posted on 03/18/2014

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Well, given all of your evidence is hearsay (i.e. you have not witnessed her living conditions first hand, you do not know her mother and have only been told about these things), this is really not a case of neglect that is in any way reportable. I think it is very dangerous to be gossiping about this woman, and also extremely inappropriate. If your friend who is doing all the gossiping, is so concerned then SHE needs to be the one to make the report. Gossiping is not going to help that little girl, and if anything, is more likely to escalate the issues she has. Yes, mum's lifestyle is neglecting her child to a degree, but if the child is fed, clothed and has a roof over her head, is not being abused, then it is nobody else's business. While sad, it is not an offence that will have her removed from her home.

Brittany - posted on 03/24/2014

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It's sad that this type of things happen but I agree you could add light to the little girl you speak of. Children should know magic and love and some people don't realize how important it is to see the world through the eyes of a child.. Sounds like this little girl could use some general love as a human being and it's great that you notice her. Bless you for that.. As for advice do what feels right. Listen to your heart that usually leads you right. Maybe I'm just a softy and always have been but children have always reminded me of how blessed we are to be alive and there's no love like a child's

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Lady - posted on 03/27/2014

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If you are genuinely concerned about the child there is nothing wrong with reporting it. You can even do so anonymously, in most cases the law requires that even if you suspect any form of child abuse, then it is reportable.

Kennishia - posted on 03/24/2014

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I love that you are so concerned for the young girl. I agree with Sarita, if you can try having the girl with you more, invite her for play dates, and offer to have her over when her mom may be out, it may just make a huge difference in her life having a good family setting around her just as a positive example. I believe that could be one of the best things you could help provide her with as someone who genuinely cares. God bless your heart!

Jodi - posted on 03/18/2014

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I'm sorry. When you say "I have not spent a lot of time around the child and have only been told by mutual friends what is going on with her. " I'm assuming it was all hearsay because that's what it sounds like.

You didn't offend me at all, I was just suggesting that it is unlikely that it would be investigated unless there is absolute evidence of neglect. I am a teacher, I DO understand your concern, but I have also been in situations where without disclosure of some sort, or real evidence of abuse or self harm, there is little we can do, and no report can be made.

[deleted account]

I have seen her living conditions that's why I try to stay away and keep my daughter away and have spend time with and know her mother sorry that wasnt clear. Not trying to gossip just concerned, for the child. Seeing that kind of constant sadness in a child's eyes I think would make any decent person concerned and seek advice. I agree that the friend who has her all the time should be the one to report it but often times the person who should does not. You are right though she is fed, clothed, and has a roof over her head. Didn't want her removed again just looking for advice. I guess as a mother and having cared for many children in child care facilities I just don't like seeing sadness in a child's eyes like that. No parent is perfect and again not trying to gossip. I apologize if I offended you and I thank you for your advice.

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