To ask everyone not to ignore abusive parenting, including cursing a child in public.

(164 Posts)
missmarplestmarymead Fri 02-Aug-13 18:44:39

I know some think it is unreasonable to intervene but in the light of the details we have heard today about the tragic Daniel Pelka, can we please all stick our noses in especially where they are not wanted.

Don't let abusive parents abuse their children on the street and either be too frightened to say anything or dream up possible excuses for their behaviour. hey will think they are getting away with it, especially if they can pull the wool over the eyes of social workers and teachers.

It really is our solemn duty not to look the other way.

I don't ignore it.

I have had a word with a mother before and glared menacingly at a few others. It's absolutely disgusting how some people talk to their children.

I don't care if people think it's none of my business, kids can't stick up for themselves and if I don't do it, who is going to? clearly not the person they are with, that's for sure.

Shellywelly1973 Fri 02-Aug-13 18:51:50

Although i think your well intentioned, it will not make a difference in cases of extreme abuse. Only the removal of a child from the home will.

GameSetAndMatch Fri 02-Aug-13 18:53:12

ive done it too. the lovely mum obliged me with a punch but luckily she was restrained and arrested. God only knows what happened to the poor child- oh, sorry, it wasnt a young child it was a ''shit cunt, little fucker''.

and luckily it was in the middle of a high street so plenty of witnesses.

not nice to get a punch but rather me than the poor kid.

and i got free coffee as a reward!

Sirzy Fri 02-Aug-13 18:54:29

What Shelley said.

And unfortunately someone confronting them in the street only poses to make the parent more angry and chances are they will then blame the child for that - "see what your behaviour made that interfering cow do...." Type things.

If you have reason to believe a child is in danger then of course you should report them to anyone who will listen but I don't think confronting people in the streets is going to do anything to protect a child in the long run.

Firebomb Fri 02-Aug-13 18:55:32

honestly it depends on what you deem abuse. Blatant hitting and belittling is obviously abuse, but someone reprimanding their child sternly (even yelling at them) is not abuse. Telling a child they are stupid is wrong, calling a child any kind of curse word is wrong but yelling at your child for being inappropriate or misbehaving is not wrong, even DISCIPLINING a child is not wrong. There is a very fine line between abuse and discipline, I think you should only butt in when it's obvious which one is happening.

Bowlersarm Fri 02-Aug-13 18:57:04

That won't work OP.

I'm as mild mannered as they come. Very very easy going. Seriously. I have sworn at my children in the hearing of others. It can act as a safety valve sometimes. I am not an abuser, just a slightly frustrated mum at times. (In the past, not now they are teens so much)

RoseFlowerFairy Fri 02-Aug-13 19:01:11

It won't work.

What will work is for the schools, teachers, medical to follow government guidelines and to communicate as they should be doing, they never do follow the guidelines, bet that will be the result of the serious case review again.

All you will get is a whole new load of parents like the one who has been posting in Chat (Mrs DeVere) being falsely accused and children stressed and distressed, who never should be put in the position.

It was not just Daniel and his siblings that were abused, any parent with a thin child will be looked at with suspicion now.

DragonsAreReal Fri 02-Aug-13 19:01:25

Interfering like that really doesn't help, all it does is make it worse for the child. They have to go home and be a punch bag for you belittling them.

If you were that concerned about a child ringing around local schools with a really good description (esp with names) is a better bet.

I also believe that its the dc you don't expect, the ones that are clean and don't stink of fried food and fags are the ones that need help the most. They are the ones who slip under the rader with the parents showing a degree of middle classness. Swearing at your dc may not be nice but it's not enough for any action to be taken.

hermioneweasley Fri 02-Aug-13 19:02:51

What bowlersarm said - if those of us who have yelled at our kids in public were deemed abusers, not many parents would have their kids at home!

RoseFlowerFairy Fri 02-Aug-13 19:04:53

All the school had to do was ask for the parents permission to write to the GP and confirm the eating disorder, they didn't do that.

RoseFlowerFairy Fri 02-Aug-13 19:05:43

Sorry I think the guidelines are that the school should have asked to write to the lead paediatrician to get confirmation of the diagnosis, the school didn't do this.

pigletmania Fri 02-Aug-13 19:06:46

We are not perfect parents, sometimes we are harassed to the point of raising our voices at our kids, even if it's in te street. This intervention will embarrass the good parents trying their best to get through the holidays, but won't make a blind bit of difference to the abusive arents, I suspect te poor child may be used as a punch bag as a result

pigletmania Fri 02-Aug-13 19:09:45

My dd 6 is thin (not skeletal) its a struggle together food down her, she was never a big eater from the wrd go. If she could eat MacDs every day she wold, but tats not going to happen

RoseFlowerFairy Fri 02-Aug-13 19:13:29
Sirzy Fri 02-Aug-13 19:15:09

We don't know the ins and outs only what is being released to the media. We know the school did report concerns on more than one occasion.

Lets leave it for the people who in depth knowledge of the case to judge what went wrong rather than trying to blame individuals (other than the mother and step father of course!)

RoseFlowerFairy Fri 02-Aug-13 19:20:27
longingforsomesleep Fri 02-Aug-13 19:20:45

I did once ask a woman to stop being physically and verbally abusive to a young girl (prob about 8 or 9) in Morrisons. I thought I was being helpful but as I walked away I realised I had just made things worse for the young girl as the mother redoubled her assault complaining to the child about her having 'got that woman involved' .....

cakeandcustard Fri 02-Aug-13 19:32:24

There is a huge difference between a parent losing their rag at a child - which we all have done at some point - and what happened to that poor little boy. Swearing at a child is not seen as a reason for intervention from social services whatever you think about that. Long term abuse and neglect is and that can really only be detected by someone in frequent contact with the child.

There is a massive risk here that a lot of well meaning do-gooders are going to make unwarranted referrals to social services for minor events. These referrals need to be followed up but that means less resources are available to focus on the cases where it is really needed.

Don't interfere in other peoples parenting based on a moments interaction, what we need is proper investment and training in child protection so this kind of thing is picked up by the professionals as early as possible.

ageofgrandillusion Fri 02-Aug-13 19:48:59

I would say something. As for people saying they will only go home and take it out on child, well, 1, you dont know that, 2, if a child is being abused how can things really get any worse, and 3, well frankly i think you are making an excuse for not getting involved and adding extra hassle to your day. Public policy alone will not solve the issue of children being abused. Broader cultural change - whereby being nasty, swearing aggressively at your child etc, becomes very taboo - is what is needed.
Bollocking your child is one thing. Calling them names, being vile and threatening towards them etc is quite another. We all know the difference.

pigletmania Fri 02-Aug-13 19:49:37

Exactly cake!

pigletmania Fri 02-Aug-13 19:53:05

Oo I bollocked dd 6 today for stopping her scooter in te middle f the road when crossing a quietish road. I told her to fecking not stop in te road and guided her quickly across it. I was worried that a car could come speeding round the corner (as they do sometimes), the consequences would be far wires than my swearing

Sirzy Fri 02-Aug-13 19:59:10

age - how do you know they won't and behind closed doors things can get a hell of a lot worse.

What exactly do you think telling the parent off is going to achieve?

GameSetAndMatch Fri 02-Aug-13 19:59:39

ageofgrand exactly.

missmarplestmarymead Fri 02-Aug-13 20:22:20

I don't mean yelling at, telling off. I mean calling a small child, 'a fucking stupid cunt/ shit/ wanker.' There is a difference and although it's hard to put it into words, it's not easily confused when one witnesses it.

I guess I mean that by confronting, we contribute to an atmosphere where no-one, teachers etc, will feel that maybe they shouldn't investigate further and neighbours will be able to knock on doors to ask what the hell is going on.

Children are being abused and killed in our midst, in terraced houses, in flats, on housing estates, not in lonely locations where no-one could be expected to know. There seems to be to be an atmosphere of turning a blind eye, hoping that someone else will do something.

Calling a child a fucker etc on the street might be the first step because abuse where children end up being murdered is done in incremental steps. maybe as a society, we should take incremental steps to stop it.

Now there is yet another enquiry into a case where a boy was killed in more or less plain sight because the parents pulled the wool over people's eyes and no one wanted to call them liars or, and I hope this won't turn out to be the case, was too concerned with helping them with their parenting skills.

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