is ths a form of child neglect / child abuse???

Kat - posted on 07/26/2010 ( 18 moms have responded )

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my sister-in-law has a daughter (Riley) who'll be 3 in late November.

my SIL has never paid attention to her daughter, since she was born. she cant say a single word other than "dada" (my son is 13 months, and can say more words than she can), she doesnt jabber (never has). she doesnt know her name. she cant feed herself finger foods. all she does is sit on the floor and watch tv all day. no reading, no playing, etc. her father let his brother's band play thrash metal in the house IN THE SAME ROOM AS RILEY, without protecting her hearing, since she was around 6 months old.

my SIL wants to put her in preschool come December, but she doesnt know how to do anything. to get into the local preschool she wants to send her to (ages 3-5), the kid has to know primary colors, count 1-10, know their name, address, phone #, parent's names, basic shapes (triangle, square, circle, rectangle), and a few other things i cant remember. and when i told her this, she said "i'm sorry, but Tristan is a year old, Riley's 2-1/2, i'm sure i know more about raising a child than you do." and has a degree in early child development, too. she told me she'll learn when she gets to preschool, that it's not HER job to teach her kid.

i know it's not her daughter's fault. my SIL said when she took her to the doc, he said she's just stubborn. my son is stubborn, too, but he knows his name, and can talk, and tons of other things.

she's had double ear infections since she was a few days old too, and the doc said "you dont treat ear infections right away because you need to strengthen their immune system to fight it themselves." my SIL stands by this doc because he's also a preacher, and has 8 kids (to her and my MIL, having 8 kids = being a great doc). so i'm sure she's at least partially deaf. when i suggested this to my SIL, she removed me from facebook, and refuses to talk to me (as does my MIL because i questioned the doc, since i'm not a doc). a couple months ago, she had a major double ear infection, with drainage and everything, and i asked if she took her to the doc, and she told me she didnt have time, that she had to go to a friend's house and watch movies because her friend broke up with her boyfriend. so she dropped Riley off at a babysitter.

why do you have a kid, if you say you have no time for them? and what's more irritating, is she's talking about having another child.

i'm sure i'm not crazy in thinking this is a from of child neglect.

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[deleted account]

Honestly, I have a hard time believeing what you are saying and I'm wondering if there isn't more to the story. It seems like maybe you just don't like your SIL. And that more than one person (your MIL, your SIL, your brother) seems to think you are being a busy-body. It doesn't sound like your really that involved in your SIL or her daughter's life in any event, so how accurate are your observations? If she didn't pay attention to her daughter, how did she make it to 2 1/2? Someone must have feed that child, diapered her, cared for her. Plus, you keep comparing your son to her daughter, which isn't really appropriate. Kids develop at different rates. Period. Maybe her daughter is just a little behind schedule. Maybe your son is ahead. So what. It doesn't make you a great parent and her a bad parent. Frankly, based on your description of the girl, it sounds like she might actually be autistic. Your SIL has taken the child to the doctor, so obviously she cares enough to at least get her medical care. Plus, I don't know of a preschool on the planet that "requires" kids to know anything, so I find it hard to believe that the preschools in your area require kids to know the information you list. The fact that her parenting style isn't the same as yours doesn't make her a bad parent. If you are truly concerned, call child protective services. Otherwise, leave your SIL alone.

Giacci - posted on 07/30/2010

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My son has had ear infections and has been taken to the doctor several times for them. but i NEVER didnt have the time to take my son to the doctor when hes sick. i have to agree with you on this that is deff neglect and shes not realizing it. If you confront her she may stop talking to you. so i think your best bet is when she cant take the baby to the dctr bc shes too "busy" you tell her ok well ill take her. and then speak to the doctor about all the things shes been doing and the doctor will then speak to her about it. just be there for your neice and show her that she has somebody that loves her. and eventually I know this is messed up, but when she grows older, if her mother is still this way she will hate her for not being there. and she will look up to you if your there for her when she needs it. I hope this helps.. :)

[deleted account]

More children than we would like to admit grow up in far worse conditions than that. That doesn't make it right. You may not have a case for neglect, but you can be an inspiration to that child. Perhaps you can spend some quality time with her, outside, away from the TV.

Have you spoken to the father about your concerns?

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[deleted account]

Well, what I would do is definitely keep an eye out for the little girl who doesn't have her choice in parents and if you feel that strongly about it being neglect or abuse..there are numbers to call for that service of help. If you don't feel that it is that severe you can take another approach and apologize to the your sil and ask to spend more time with the little girl and maybe you can be a better influence on her than her own mom.

Sheena - posted on 07/29/2010

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I think that it is neglect, but the state is probably not going to do anything about it because they don't do anything about kids who are in much worse situations. The only thing that you can do is bite your tongue and try to spend as much time with her as you can. At least that way she can get some sort of positive influence and love in her life. The good thing is that once she is in preschool she will hopefully start getting caught up and have some structure in her life, they will also do hearing test and what not when she is in school. If the school reports to her that there are hearing problems, speech problems, etc with the child and she still does nothing about then the school will report her for child neglect as well. My son had a hard time talking and when I would take him to the doctors they could never figure out why, they told me that it was probably because of hearing two languages at once. In kindergarten they did a hearing test on him and we found out that he was totally deaf in one ear and partially deaf in the other ear, hence the lack of being bale to talk. He has had numerous ear surgeries and can hear better, but he has to have an operation when he is about 12 to replace some bones in his middle ear. He never had ear infections as a child, so the damage to that little girl could be pretty bad. Just try to be there for her because she is going to need you and try to stay on your SIL's good side so that you can have access to her because she is going to need you throughout her life with a worthless mother like that. Good luck and please keep us updated. I would like to know how she is doing.

MICHELLE - posted on 07/29/2010

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i have a friend exactly like that, her daughter is two going on three and doesnt know anything, she dosent talk, she still drinks bottle and lalways has a runy nose. i thinks its just laziness and them being selfish. it upsets me to know that people can belike that to their own children. to me that is child neglect i hate to say it but i reported my friend and not because i was being mean , but because that baby dosent deserve to live that way. i think you should talk to your husband and see how he feels. if they dont want to talk to you its becauswe they know your right and they hate to be wrong.

Anna - posted on 07/29/2010

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It is a form of child neglect especially if the child was sick and not seen by a doctor due to her mother 'needing' to watch movies with her sad friend...get over it.
You should raise your concern with your husband, and the father of the little girl since talking to your SIL and MIL seem to get you nowhere but a headache. My daughter just turned 1 has a vocabulary of 4 words...Mama, Dada, Nana, and ByBy. So if the child is 2 1/2yrs and doesn't have a solid vocab it's a red flag...just because she acts like she has all the knowledge in the world doesn't mean squat...she should see something is wrong with her daughter and if not someone should especially if you are already picking up on it. Girls mature faster then boys so there's another red flag...
And it doesn't make someone a great doctor if he is a preacher and has 8 kids. Building up their immune system...bull...what it leads to is inner ear damage, hearing loss, and that's just to name a few.

Carrie - posted on 07/29/2010

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I agree with you the child prob is half deaf and as far as not treating ear infections who the hell ever heard of that if my doc had told me that I would have gotten a second opinion let me guess do they smoke around this child as well some ppl should not be able to reproduce and it sounds like she is one of them GGGrrrr good luck to you

Danielle - posted on 07/29/2010

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well, if giving my child homemade fromula was considered neglect by the state of wa then i am more than 100% sure that your sister is neglecting her child. being a parent is not just about feeding and bathing your child, the best part is getting down to their level and watching them learn and grow, the look in the childs eyes when they fully understand what you are trying to tell them is the greatest satisfaction. besides the fact you get to act like a kid most of the time actually take the stress from day to day life away. wouldnt you agree!

Caroline - posted on 07/28/2010

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i feel really sorry for that child, she is not going to have a fair chance in this world unless someone ssteps in and teaches her, i can honostly say it won't be the mother.I don't think she is a fit mother, my lil girl is 23 months and i think she has a larger vocabulary then i do.because i spend time with her and teach her. how will they learn anything unless we teach them. i think your sil needs a lil counciling, so she can understand that having kids is not a hobby but a life time commitment and she should not have another one untill she can get rid of her selfishness. you cannot be selfish and a mother at the same time.i'm sorryif i seem mean but i don't think ant child should be treated poorly and they should have the best chance at life we can give them.

Rebecca - posted on 07/27/2010

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I agree with you, it is a form of child neglect, I have a 2 1/2 year old son who is smart as a whip, stubborn at times, but never smarter, because I read with him, play, swim, when I am not working (28hrs, per week) I am with my son 24/7. It goes up my ass sideways why people bring children into this world and don't want them, or neglect them. Shame on her, I feel bad for the children it is not their fault, its the parents fault!

Shana - posted on 07/26/2010

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yes, a dr. may not want to put them on antibiotics bc kids can build up an immunity the the antibiotics and they will not work for them when they get older but they can also treat constant ear infections with tubes that are placed in the ears. I feel sorry for that little girl and i'd consider it neglect.

Tamira - posted on 07/26/2010

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I would say that it is a form of neglect. With the ear infections...well it is normal for the doctor to say no to antibiotics cause it is better for the child to fight it for themselves. But if it is frequent then this could be what is causing her to not be able to hear well and may need gromits.
But the fact that the chld cannot feed themselves or communicate any needs is a worry. This mother needs to be concerned or taking action to help her. I would defentley be worried...but there is only so much you can do. Try to be encouraging and a positive person in the childs life.

[deleted account]

Most, if not all, ear infections under 2 years of age are supposed to be treated to prevent permanent hearing loss. That poor girl needs a lot more help and attention than she is getting. Maybe there are developmental delays and such and your SIL is in denial, but that's not any type of excuse to not care for your child. I hope she does get into preschool soon. Maybe she'll get the time, attention, and help that she deserves.

Annie - posted on 07/26/2010

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Yikes. That is really disturbing to me on a number of levels. I'm not sure the State would consider it neglect though. I think the government has a pretty low bar for acceptable parenting. I feel really sad for that little girl.

Carisa - posted on 07/26/2010

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I have heard the ear infection thing before...I took my daughter in when she was 10 months old and the doctor told me it was my choice whether I wanted to put her on antibiotics or let her try to fight it. However, I was to bring her back in if she didn't start getting better in a few days.

I don't know if this is child neglect, but maybe it's a SIL thing. My SIL has a baby five months younger than my youngest and she is way behind where my girls were at that age. Reading your post made me think you were talking about her. I know how annoying it can be.

Deborah - posted on 07/26/2010

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It sounds like more of a mom who wasn't ready for parenthood, If you can talk to her without her getting upset see if you can get her hooked up with some local agencies that help teach parenting and such things. If not I would put a call into the local child protective services and just tell them that you think she really just needs a little help. They can get her into parenting classes and such things, plus maybe even therapy for the little one. Hopefully things can get better. Good luck.

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