To have confronted this poor excuse for a mother?

(553 Posts)
TeddyPickleStick Wed 24-Jul-13 13:58:12

So I'm sat at work, window open. I hear a commotion outside so get up and look out the window. There is a heavily pregnant woman with two small children - a boy of around 3 and a girl of maybe 4.

She is screaming at the boy .. ' you fucking piece of shit, what the fuck are you doing? ' and ' Come on you little prick ' etc etc.

I shout down ' Don't do that! Don't say that! ' in complete shock. ' Who the fuck are you? Fuck off ' she shouts back.

I then deliberated on what to do. I felt really angry so ran down the stairs onto the street but she had gone into the bank. And then I ground to a halt and couldn't work out what to do.

So did nothing more. I mean, what CAN you do? Only a bit of swearing after all eh? I have no idea what I would have done if I'd managed to confront her anyway.

I detest this, really hate it. If you swear at your children like this, in the street, then you are a shit parent.

Aren't you?

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Wed 24-Jul-13 14:00:45

That's awful. I can't imagine what it must do to a child to be screamed at like that.

And I don't think that someone who can scream that at their kids is simply having a bad day and the rest of the time they're mary gloody poppins.
I think the only snapshot you're seeing is a snapshot of that poor kids life.

BrainSurgeon Wed 24-Jul-13 14:01:12

Oh dear hmm

Good on you for telling her to stop.... Even if she had a really bad day, there's no excuse....

TeddyPickleStick Wed 24-Jul-13 14:02:19

Oh and she was not having a bad day or an extreme parenting moment. We ALL have those - Blimey, I've often had to err 'discipline' my two in public over the years!

No, this was just the norm. She was just awful.

I feel so sad about it

sad, I don't know what else you could have done, but it's very sad when you hear things like this.

TeddyPickleStick Wed 24-Jul-13 14:03:52

It is sad isn't it? This was at 10 am ish. I'm still all bothered about it!

Turry Wed 24-Jul-13 14:05:07

Wow. YABU, YABU, YABU! I just wish there was a way of identifying her/ reporting to SS! sad

quesadilla Wed 24-Jul-13 14:05:40

YANBU. Try as I might I can't think of a reason to justify swearing abuse at children. Unless she had extreme PND. But there are just people who don't know any better. Good on you for tackling her, I think I would have resorted to a dirty look.

Turry Wed 24-Jul-13 14:06:53

Oops, MANY apols - by YABU x3, I obviously meant quite the opposite! Doh!

TeddyPickleStick Wed 24-Jul-13 14:07:29

My colleagues were amazed! I ran down two flights of stairs and have absolutely no idea what I intended to actually 'do' once I got down there. I would have asked for her name and address, definitely.

Which is just bloody stupid I know : )

yellowsnownoteatwillyou Wed 24-Jul-13 14:08:13

I wonder about the same thing as my neighbour screams such things as

"You are nothing but a fucking waste of space"

"Why don't you just fuck off you fucking fanny"

And the best one

"For fuck sake, why don't you just go fuck yourself <name of child>"

This is every day to 4 year olds.

TeddyPickleStick Wed 24-Jul-13 14:08:45

I know Turry : )

WHY do these people have kids? This wasn't normal parenting. This wasn't an exasperated mother - or even one at the end of her tether.

She was just horrible. And sadly....having another one.

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 14:09:00

She did a shit thing.
It doesn't mean she is a shit parent.
She might be but you can't possibly tell from what you saw.

She shouldn't do it, its horrible but there are hours and hours and hours of her life that you don't see.

Where she could be a loving parent.

Well done for telling her to stop but most people would react in the same way tbh. People don't like being told off in front of their kids and in public. They are likely to react in an aggressive way.

I made a report due to a similar incident a while back. The child's response was heartbreaking. I knew something about the family and I simply reported what I had seen. Made no guesses about what might be going on. I did it through school welfare.

Nancy66 Wed 24-Jul-13 14:09:06

Good for you. You did what you could at the time. I doubt it will make any difference (sadly) but at least you didn't let it pass unnoticed.

TeddyPickleStick Wed 24-Jul-13 14:09:17

yello - I couldn't stand this. Do you phone SS?

TeddyPickleStick Wed 24-Jul-13 14:10:49

MrsD - if I was a betting person, I'd stick my house on the fact that she's a rough, shit parent. The volume, the tone, the look on the kid's faces....

I'm depressed all over again!

ouryve Wed 24-Jul-13 14:12:51

That poor childsad

Yellowsnow - report it. Seriously. You only hear what she's saying, and that's bad enough.

Purple2012 Wed 24-Jul-13 14:13:20

I phoned ss years ago. A neighbour who wasn't that close distance wise was constantly screaming at her kids, both under 4 years. Things like

Get away from me you fucking twat.

You little cunt

And lots of other similar things. There was also crashing and banging along with the kids screaming. I don't know if they were being hit.

So I reported her. I never knew the outcome but I couldn't listen to that and do nothing.

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 14:15:47

Fact is you don't know.

And people making assumptions based on very little information can cause untold misery to families who are already coping with awful situations.

I am not disagreeing with you that she shouldn't have spoken to her child in that way. Its horrible. But it really was just a few seconds out of their lives.

You could be right but the chances are equal that you could be wrong.

I wouldn't be depressed about it.

What do people think the SS would do about a child being sworn at in a single incident?

TeddyPickleStick Wed 24-Jul-13 14:18:39

They would do nothing at all. But this doesn't mean that folk should turn a blind eye.

And to try and defend this woman < if anyone feels they need to > is just defending the indefensible. It makes no difference if this is just a few seconds out of an otherwise charmed life. I saw her < shan't describe her as I'd like to as you'll all lynch me and it's probably not vital >, I heard her. This was not the first time, that's for sure.

LookingForwardToMarch Wed 24-Jul-13 14:20:24

That wasn't really just a child 'being sworn at' was it?

A child being sworn at would be an exasperated parent crying 'oh ffs child'.

Which ok, maybe means its a very very bad day and your not a totally shit parent.

But what the op heard sounds like extreme verbal abuse of a small child.

Op no wonder you were sickened. I would have run down those stairs too.

Floggingmolly Wed 24-Jul-13 14:22:38

It doesn't mean she's a shit parent. She might be, but you can't possibly tell from what you saw
Of course you bloody can hmm. No decent parent subjects their toddler to the indignity of hearing "you fucking piece of shit", "you little prick", etc.
That's verbal assault, just like it would be if a stranger screamed it at you in the street.

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 14:22:41

I didn't tell you to turn a blind eye.
I am not defending her.

I am just saying that you cannot possibly tell what is going on from a few seconds on the street. You are guessing. You might be right but you might not be.

'This was not the first time, that's for sure'. You think she has done it before. There is no 'sure' about it.

You cannot argue with that. You don't have second sight.

TeddyPickleStick Wed 24-Jul-13 14:22:48

LFTM - Yes, that's it. I don't swear at my kids as hate that too, but it is one thing to say ' Oh FFS child ' and quite another to verbally lay a little boy out.

KFFOREVER Wed 24-Jul-13 14:23:31

You never know ss may already be involved.

yellowsnownoteatwillyou Wed 24-Jul-13 14:23:33

I haven't reported it yet, she never does it when the dad is in so I was going to point it out to him first, but haven't had a chance to speak to him yet. Also im very pregnant so didn't want an altercation just now

I'm hoping she does it when my hv is in as surely they have to do something. I do feel bad I've not done anything just dealing with my own stuff just now and she doesn't seem the responsible type

For the first time yesterday I heard one of them getting dragged across the floor and thumped down. Then hysterical screaming.

I think this mum is not coping with twins and never seems to be with other adults rather than her partner, and she just drags the kids up to the supermarket and back never anywhere else.

Twirlyhot Wed 24-Jul-13 14:23:37

SS won't do much about DC being sworn at full stop.

maja00 Wed 24-Jul-13 14:23:39

That kind of verbal/emotional abuse isn't an otherwise decent parent having a tough day imo.

THINKING that way about your little child, let alone SCREAMING it at them is not good enough parenting.

I'm sure she does love her children. But love isn't always enough if you are an inadequate parent for whatever reason.

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 14:24:00

I am going to leave you all to it.

You all know what you know and have vast and wide experience in working with families and children.

So I cannot add anything.

Do carry on.

TeddyPickleStick Wed 24-Jul-13 14:24:03

Why are you trying to < mildly> defend this MrsD? Out of interest?

I have stated very factually exactly as it was. Exactly what she said. And you're saying .. ' it's awful..but but but '

I agree that it was just a few seconds. I think I'd have done the same in your situation, I'd have been upset too, but to suggest ss should be called for swearing at your children, however unpleasant it is to hear, is very silly.

I'm not saying that using that language was justified, but how do you know that she wasn't having a really bad day, with hormones added to the mix? Had you just seen her win the lottery or something? Confused as to how you can be so sure.

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 14:25:20

Bit ironic though.
On a thread about a child being sworn at, there is a child who is being physically abused and no one is doing anything about it.


ViviPru Wed 24-Jul-13 14:25:38


how bloody awful for you sad

TeddyPickleStick Wed 24-Jul-13 14:25:57

Yello - please report immediately. It is anonymous so no come back on you. Don't stand by

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 14:26:07

I have not even mildly defended her.
I am just questioning your psychic skills.

TeddyPickleStick Wed 24-Jul-13 14:26:59

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hermioneweasley Wed 24-Jul-13 14:27:13

You stood up for those kids. They saw another adult take their side. That is massive.

We have all had parenting moments we're not proud of. I have screamed at my kids. But I have never spoken to them like that. It is abuse.

TeddyPickleStick Wed 24-Jul-13 14:27:34


Maybe she is a perfect parent just having a bad day.

Still defending her actions today?

Turry Wed 24-Jul-13 14:30:52

Yellow, please, please report your neighbour.

MrsDeVere, really?! Good parents do NOT call their small children pricks. EVER!

LookingForwardToMarch Wed 24-Jul-13 14:31:24

You don't have to be psychic.

I'm not saying no good parent can swear in extreme circumstances.

I'm saying that NO good parent would ever ever scream 'fucking piece of shit' and 'prick' at their tiny child.

If it looks, smells and tastes like crap. It's crap.

Twirlyhot Wed 24-Jul-13 14:32:10

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MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 14:32:12

Teddy don't try and be passive agressive with me pet.

I work with social workers. I am impervious.

How many times have you had to make an actual referral? Support a family during the process of assessment and removal of their children?
How many actual, real life, decisions have you had to make regarding the welfare of a child?

How could you tell? How?

but the point is you cant tell. you dont know. you know nothing about this woman whatsoever.

Its not about defending her actions, its just the way you presume to know her circumstances. And to be honest, the way you said that you didnt want to describe her just makes me thinkof the sort of description you are likely to give. And why you are so certain that you know something.

The poster who is actually hearing dcs being physically abused and saying "oh ill have a word with the dad is acceptable though?

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 14:35:06

Another poster who finds it hard to read through the fog of self righteousness.

Have I said she is a good parent?

I will try and be clear because its hard, I know, for people to grasp.

You cannot and should not make an assessment of a person's parenting capacity based on a single incident and your own conjecture.

You may not swear at your kids but don't ever think that this could not happen to you if you were caught at the wrong moment.

yellowsnownoteatwillyou Wed 24-Jul-13 14:38:52

The dragging an thumping happened yesterday and has never happened before.

What would have been the best reaction to this?

Me dragging myself out to chap their door which they will ignore as I have done it before when the screaming got too much.

Was this better than me shouting thru the ceiling that "enoughs enoughs"

As I said im very pregnant and in a lot of pain and she would ignore the door or probably try and attack me.

Turry Wed 24-Jul-13 14:39:08

Yellow, please, PLEASE, PLEASE report! It can be anonymous. If you don't trust that get somebody else to report. Sod it, tell one of us her address and WE'LL report. This must be reported.

MrsDeVere, perhaps you've been desensitised by the nature of your work, if you're ok with children being spoken to that way, and keen to scoff at mention of unreported physical abuse, rather than asking - begging! - for it to be reported?!

ifyourehoppyandyouknowit Wed 24-Jul-13 14:40:05

We'd all get on with our lives with a bit less stress if we stopped making vast sweeping judgements on everyone else based on a 2 minute sample of their life.

LookingForwardToMarch Wed 24-Jul-13 14:40:10

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well no yellow of course do not go and confront her.

but you phone SS.

GoodTouchBadTouch Wed 24-Jul-13 14:40:15

Social services? Really?? Perhaps you could've made a citizens arrest

You think yelling and swearing warrants SS involvement?

There are LOADS of parents like that. Horrid, but true

well looking lets hope nothing ever happens in your life that causes out of character behaviour and your whole life is judged on those 15 seconds.

Turry Wed 24-Jul-13 14:41:42

Yellow, believe me, i don't blame you for not wanting to contact the neighbour directly, but an anonymous report is surely not too much to ask?!

TeddyPickleStick Wed 24-Jul-13 14:42:32

I think I'd rather be self righteous than try and defend a woman who does this

LookingForwardToMarch Wed 24-Jul-13 14:42:36

Oh yes.

And shouldn't you be more concerned with and advising the poster who is hearing physical abuse?

Rather than bothering with us inexperienced retches?

Or would your advice be that just because she hears banging and screams that she can't possibly KNOW that it's abuse or judge the woman?> hmm

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 14:43:25

Who is telling you to go and sort it out yourself?
Pick up the phone and ring the duty social work team. The number will be on your council website.
You don't have to tell them your name. You tell them what you have heard and its up to them to investigate.

and turry don't talk bollocks. I am not desensitised. I am just not hysterical

Scoffing? WTF are you on about?

Keyboard warriors.

PrettyKitty1986 Wed 24-Jul-13 14:44:04

You may not swear at your kids but don't ever think that this could not happen to you if you were caught at the wrong moment

This incident is not simply 'swearing at your kids'. Ds2 once dropped a heavy ish toy on my toe and the words 'for FUCKS sake!' came out through watering eyes. Not exactly brilliant, but I am the first to admit that people are not perfect, can snap etc.

Giving my toddler a quite lengthy tirade of personal abuse that involves swearing is something that I CAN say would not happen to me, no matter how bad the moment.

LookingForwardToMarch Wed 24-Jul-13 14:44:17

Tantrums I am 100% certain that nothing, absolutely nothing, would make me scream that at my children.

(One exception possibly being if they were older and stabbing me to death. But then I doubt I'd be judged for it)

yellowsnownoteatwillyou Wed 24-Jul-13 14:44:35

It can be anonymous but I'm the only neighbour so it would be obvious it was me, and it is daunting to put myself in a situation when I will have a new baby in a week, hence why DH was going to speak to the woman's partner but he hasn't done it yet for some reason. And he doesn't really want me doing it.

It sounds pathetic but you can't judge unless you are in the same situation.

The same as seeing a 5 second snap shot of some bodies day.

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 14:45:02

looking what are you on about?

I just told her what to do.

Admittedly I didn't beg her.

I gave her the information, its easy to find, but I told her anyway.

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 14:47:04


Well you either can or you can't.

So either we are assuming this woman is a terrible, rough, crap parent based on the information given or we are not.

They won't know its you. Social services won't go and tell them that a neighbour has reported them.

You could be putting the children at risk by going in their and trying to deal with it yourself.

LookingForwardToMarch Wed 24-Jul-13 14:47:14

I didn't ask you to beg. I believe that was another poster.

At the time I posted suggesting that as you had knowledge maybe you should advise the poster instead of being patronising to others.

You just happened to do that as I posted.

Actually, she can't know if it's abuse or not. My DS likes to throw and bang things, whilst screaming, when in the throes of a tantrum. That's a possible scenario. She can't know unless she sees it. That's what the anonymous reporting system is there for, so they can investigate your concerns for you.

This is all a bit ridiculous tbh. I'd love the OP to explain exactly how she knows that this woman makes a habit of swearing at her children and this incident was not a one-off. I think it'll have something to do with the way the woman was dressed/colour of her skin/accent/something superficial that makes her so sure.

<obligatory disclaimer stating that I am in no way defending this woman's actions> hmm

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 14:47:58

pretty you have misunderstood my post.

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 14:49:20

Sorry to ruin your moment of triumph looking

LookingForwardToMarch Wed 24-Jul-13 14:50:33

I'll forgive you Mrs.D

Surprised you didn't react sooner.

Yellowsnow there is a child who needs protecting. Please, just do it.

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 14:51:15


Give over.

I gave a different opinion and people got cross with me.

Started telling me I was defending the woman, thought she was a good parent and even that I must hit my own children.

Because I suggested that the OP didn't know for sure what was going on.

looking I said out of character behaviour
Not swearing at your children

yellow with respect. You said you have been hearing this for a while. And you heard enough yesterday to know they were being dragged across a floor. So that's not quite a 5 second snap shot.

And judging the person the Op saw, whilst ignoring what you hear on a daily basis doesn't quite add up to me.

There's so much of this. Someone sees or hears something, from a stranger, for 10 seconds and immediatley judges their entire life from that. Gets all outraged, judgemental, self righteous.
And someone else witnesses day after day children being treated horrifically and they don't know what to do.

I honestly hope that no one ever goes through any trauma that causes them to behave in an out of character way.
Because apparently those 10 seconds are indicative of your whole life and you are looked down on for all eternity because of it.

EarthtoMajorTom Wed 24-Jul-13 14:51:55

It's shit parenting. End of.

The overwhelming probability is that the woman IS a shit parent.

And the woman probably behaves better in public than she does at home.

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 14:53:39

Kirjava my son screams, shouts, cries, thows things, breaks things and says that he is being murdered.

I am also a bit rough sounding and have been known to wear a velour tracksuit.

So obviously everyone knows what really goes on in my house.

Nancy66 Wed 24-Jul-13 14:55:32

yellow - it's a very bad idea for your husband to try and intervene with your neighbour's treatment of their child. You have to live there and it's highly unlikely that they are going to admit the error of their ways and not do it again. Leave it to the professionals.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Wed 24-Jul-13 14:58:26

I'm with MrsDeVere. How do you know this was 'the norm'? How do you know she 'was just horrible'?

LookingForwardToMarch Wed 24-Jul-13 14:59:13

Another poster who finds it hard to read through the fog of self righteousness.
I will try and be clear because its hard, I know, for people to grasp

Yup, patronising.

I gave a different opinion too. I thought that was allowed?

yellowsnownoteatwillyou Wed 24-Jul-13 15:01:07

It's not that I don't know what to do, it's just progressed from the odd screaming to verbal abuse since the schools have broken up and I've been on maternity leave.

I haven't said I won't do anything.

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 15:01:13

Not patronising Looking
That there is sarcasm.

TeddyPickleStick Wed 24-Jul-13 15:02:46

Kirjava- of course I can't explain why I know for sure that this incident possibly wasn't isolated. But I don't think it takes too much of a leap to assume that it wasn't a one off.

To the poster who told me to fuck off - err why? It wasn't below the belt to ask mrsD if she swore at her own kids - and if it was, I'm sure she's more than capable of telling me so herself no?

I know this is AIBU and I enjoy a good debate - so it's interesting to read all the different opinions.

I don't really want to try and analyse why I behaved like I did - it was almost instinct I suppose: I heard this very loud commotion , I was so shocked at hearing a little boy being called a little prick amongst all the fucks, and well, I judged. Because if you do this where I can see and hear you , then ill judge you

I stand by what I said. If you scream this stuff to your very small children, regardless of your terrible stressful day, then you are a shit parent.

I won't keep posting though as I've said my bit and I ( obviously ) believe i have right on my side. I will say that if you hear this stuff or witness it, yes, I think you should always confront. Part of trying to keep children safe isn't it? I know the SS comment I made was ludicrous - I just felt so disturbed and impotent ... I can't do a thing! And really - it seems that for some folk this is normal daily life. Thank god not for my kids ( and incidentally, I am far from the perfect parent )

You defend this stuff - you defend abuse. Simple as that

LookingForwardToMarch Wed 24-Jul-13 15:02:55


I took it as patronising.

But then we do seem to have differing opinions so I'm not that shocked. grin

PramelaAftersun Wed 24-Jul-13 15:04:28

Yellow, stop thinking of yourself and put the abused child(ren) first. PLEASE.

I see the usual Left-wing liberals are urging us to not judge what is quite evidently appalling emotional abuse. No point ringing SS for several reasons, only one of which is that they are likely to be staffed by clones of MrsDeVere sad

PramelaAftersun Wed 24-Jul-13 15:05:40

Is anyone else going to report the poster who told Teddy to 'fuck off'? Oh, goodie.

piprabbit Wed 24-Jul-13 15:05:40

The incident the OP is talking about is an example of poor parenting, but all we know is that there was a pregnant woman in the street on one of the hottest days in years, trying to cope with two preschoolers and having a meltdown. We don't know if it happens regularly, we don't know if there was a particular set of circumstances leading up to the incident, we don't know if the children are a risk or if the mother shocked herself silly when she realised how she had behaved. Given that neither we, nor the OP, know who these people are it is a bit of a dead end (unless they start walking past the OPs window on a regular basis).

Yellow's situation is much more worrying as it appears to be regular and has escalated to include physical violence. I hope yellow finds the courage to report the situation and get the children some support.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Wed 24-Jul-13 15:06:40

'You defend this stuff - you defend abuse. Simple as that'

It is not that simple, OP, and you've made quite a leap there, just like the leap you think it's OK to take to decide 'that this incident possibly wasn't isolated.'

If you'd just posted that you shouted at the woman and then ran after her, I'd have said YANBU, tbh. But your jumping to these conclusions is what changed my mind.

TeddyPickleStick Wed 24-Jul-13 15:07:11

Ha ha - yes pip. Poor woman . So hot she was forced to scream abuse at her little boy and call him a fucking prick. Terrible for her

I don't mind being told to fuck off on here. Par for the course over the years grin

LadyClariceCannockMonty Wed 24-Jul-13 15:08:08

'I see the usual Left-wing liberals are urging us to not judge what is quite evidently appalling emotional abuse. No point ringing SS for several reasons, only one of which is that they are likely to be staffed by clones of MrsDeVere'

That's a highly unpleasant comment, Pramela. But I do love it when the words 'left-wing' or 'liberal' are used as pejoratives, and here are two together. Bingo!

Where is the defending of her behaviour?

Just because do not agree that she is a shit parent based on 10 seconds doesn't mean thinking what she did was just wonderful does it?

TeddyPickleStick Wed 24-Jul-13 15:08:22

I don't care clarice.

I'm pretty sure I'm right. And, if I'm wrong, I'd rather be wrong than try and defend this utterly vile woman. That sits a lot better with me

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 15:08:52

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Owllady Wed 24-Jul-13 15:10:48

I hate people swearing at their children too, it's just completely unnecessary, small children too. It makes shudder to think how they will handle it when their children start being mouthy and answering back confused

TeddyPickleStick Wed 24-Jul-13 15:10:59

Yeah I think I'm right . And no , I didn't deserve to be told to fuck off on your behalf - although I'm not too stressed about that

I must stop posting now : ) kids to sort out. ALthough good to know that if my youngest irritates me to the point that I feel the need to tell him to fuck off, you'll be right there defending my parenting and excusing it smile

PramelaAftersun Wed 24-Jul-13 15:11:03

Why is it 'highly unpleasant'? SS is full of bleeding-heart liberals.

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 15:11:20

pramela I don't work for social services.

I work day to day making sure children are kept safe. I spend my time protecting them and supporting them and their families.

I make referrals to social services when a child is at risk. I have also stepped in to stop children being hurt on several occasions.

I just don't judge people on a few seconds in their lives.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Wed 24-Jul-13 15:11:57

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piprabbit Wed 24-Jul-13 15:12:10

I'm not asking for you to sympathise with her, just to acknowledge that you cannot possibly know more about her than you observed in those few minutes, and that everything else is pure speculation.

pramela so now not only are you able to diagnose emotional evidence over the Internet based on second hand information on a forum, you can also adequately judge the capability of an anonymous poster and the entire Social Services?

That's quite a skill you have there

You knew you'd 'get a lynching' if you described her in the way you wanted to, which seems to me that you know you aren't just judging her on her nasty language.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Wed 24-Jul-13 15:13:30

'SS... are likely to be staffed by clones of MrsDeVere'
This is the part that I found highly unpleasant. You've basically said that SS staff are useless AND made a personal slur on this poster as well.

Emotional abuse, even.

ResNulis Wed 24-Jul-13 15:14:06

Really, this thread makes my blood boil

No-one here has said that they think the behaviour was the right way to speak to a child, so when did we get to the point in society when everyone says "its not right, but oh its OK because she was having a shit day"
Its not OK. Its totally unacceptable, however shitty her day was.

I appreciate parents have rubbish days, and extreme stresses.......God knows I did when mine were younger BUT that doesn't suddenly make the behaviours OK. I appreciate that no-one knows what may have been going on the womans life at that moment. It doesn't matter. The behaviour is unacceptable, full stop.

Stating that the behaviour is totally unacceptable does not mean that someone is an over-critical, judgemental, unsympathetic, biased example of an interfering idiot. It means they have the guts to say that its wrong whatever kind of a rubbish day the mother was having.

Why do we have to justify every lousy act on the grounds that it can be tough to be a mum?

Owllady Wed 24-Jul-13 15:14:29

I am rather bemused that a thread about swearing at your children now contains people swearing at people that don't like the swearing confused

PramelaAftersun Wed 24-Jul-13 15:14:55

Yes, Tantrums, I can. And that is because I work for social Services <takes a bow>

Cherriesarelovely Wed 24-Jul-13 15:15:34

Crikey.....if anyone heard a man scream that at his partner would they think that he may actually be an excellent partner having a bad day? I doubt it. I do agree Mrs. D that you can't jump to conclusions but that is quite a tirade of abuse from a parent to a young child. I also work with children and their families and can say I've seen people lose it many times but to be that abusive I've never seen that from a decent parent.

Owllady Wed 24-Jul-13 15:15:52

a lady in Cannock? shock are you sure?

LookingForwardToMarch Wed 24-Jul-13 15:16:10

Yeyyy Pramela <applause>


theres nothing wrong with saying that Res

Theres something wrong in saying " I know she is a shit parent. All the time"

Because that cannot be true. You cannot know that.

PramelaAftersun Wed 24-Jul-13 15:17:05

You've basically said that SS staff are useless AND made a personal slur on this poster as well.

Not quite in the same league as telling a poster to 'fuck off', though, is it. Lady? Have you reprimanded them for being 'highly unpleasant'?

LadyClariceCannockMonty Wed 24-Jul-13 15:17:26

ResNulis, no one has said the behaviour was OK. People are just pointing out the jumping to conclusions the OP was doing in saying that this behaviour was 'the norm' for this woman and that 'She was just horrible.' (not to mention 'And sadly....having another one.'), which is one of the most spiteful things I've read in a while.

But I'm going now. There are a lot of people repeating the same things over and over and other posters probably deliberately misunderstanding. Enough is enough.

Yellow Please please report it. For the sake of the 4 year old.
No other reason (your own baby, your pregnancy, your husband) should be put above the safety of that little one.

what the actual fuck does working for SS have to do with anything pramela?

AFAIK that still doesnt give you the skill to diagnose abuse based on 10 second account from another person.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Wed 24-Jul-13 15:21:55

Right, before I go properly:

Pramela, I don't care about the 'fuck off'. Neither did the OP.

Working for SS still doesn't mean that you can (with thanks to Tantrums for the highly articulate wording here) diagnose emotional evidence at second hand on an internet forum, or adequately judge the capability of an anonymous poster and the entire Social Services.

PramelaAftersun Wed 24-Jul-13 15:25:56

I didn't pretend to be able to diagnose abuse from anecdotal evidence. I claimed to know and despise the bleeding heart ideology entrenched in the SS.

arabesque Wed 24-Jul-13 15:28:10

I think you're being quite patronising MrsDevere. Most of us can tell the difference between a bit of stressed out but meaningless swearing at children and aggressive verbal abuse of children.

* what is quite evidently appalling emotional abuse

Those are your words pramela

dollywobbles Wed 24-Jul-13 15:29:13

I work in Child Protection, and I know there are far, far, worse things going on every day.

I'm not so distanced from what is generally accepted as being 'good parenting' though, to think that shouting 'you fucking piece of shit, what the fuck are you doing?' at a child is ok.

It's not ok and it's not 'self righteous' of people to think that.

ResNulis Wed 24-Jul-13 15:32:59

I accept that completely, Tantrums, but so much of this thread has been the usual "you can't know what sort of a day she was having" tirade, that I finally decided to come out and say my piece.

And to be outright honest, I think most people witnessing the (described) event would have thought that it was dreadful behaviour from a poor excuse for a parent. Whether that means she is always a poor excuse for a parent is another matter, but she is being judged by her actions, and every man jack of us is judged by our actions in this life....unless it happens to be on MN where someone is bound to say that no-one can know what the pressures were on the poor dear.

I am a survivor of abuse. The fact of the matter is that what other people are allowed to witness is often only the tip of the iceberg.
But hey, the mother was having a bad day.

madoldbird Wed 24-Jul-13 15:34:23

Well either the heat's getting to you all, or is it the anxious wait for the Baby Cambridge name that's got all of you in a dither?

Either way, it's providing good work avoidance fodder grin

Tanith Wed 24-Jul-13 15:37:44

I once read an article by a journalist where she admitted, to her distress and shame, to having grasped her daughter by the throat and screamed at her in the supermarket: the climax of a truly awful day and she was at the end of her tether.
She commented that witnesses just tutted and judged and her point was that most people are too selfish to try and see past the incident. It's much easier to just sit in judgement.
She needed help that day and no-one cared enough to give it.

So, Op, apart from shouting out of the window, running down the stairs and standing gaping in the street, what will you do to help prevent child abuse? My guess is you have a long way to go before you match MrsDV's efforts.

Judged by their actions, yes. Their actions at that time

As in, her behaviour at that time was horrible.
Not that she is a shit parent all day every day.

fromparistoberlin Wed 24-Jul-13 15:38:25

"But it really was just a few seconds out of their lives.

Mrs DeVere I am sorry but I dont agree. I am no angel, I shout and I swear and have veen been know to hit . not proud

But I am 99.99% sure this lady aint mother of the year , and I bet she is worse behing closed doors

fromparistoberlin Wed 24-Jul-13 15:41:49

I once lost it with DSs, we were coming back from park and they refused to walk, so I had to carry both and 2 scooters

I was screaming at them in the street and in the end I carried DS2 like a plank (he is heavy!), and I was not gentle

I got some FUNNY looks from people, and later I was mortified and ashamed. But even at my worse I dont think I would call them a "fucking piece of shit", and I have anger management ishoos!

and I am having counselling and since then, no anger! at least not w kids

piprabbit Wed 24-Jul-13 15:42:20

fromparis then, by your own admission, you are what the OP describes as a 'shit parent'.

fromparistoberlin Wed 24-Jul-13 15:46:28

maybe, maybe not

But I think there is a difference between losing your temper, and abusive language.

but hey opinions are like arseholes

ANG I think OP was right to call this lady on it

I called myself on my own behaviour, and I am glad I did

fromparistoberlin Wed 24-Jul-13 16:00:51

what I was trying to say is that on that day, when I behaved so disgustingly if someone had called me on it I would have been mortified

and whether they are abusive or just having a shit day, I think in a good society people should call each other on bad behaviour, and be brave and courteous but say something


TeddyPickleStick Wed 24-Jul-13 16:02:39

What will I do to prevent child abuse tanith?! I'm not on a crusade here you know. I don't work in child protection. Part of the reason for posting is just how impotent I felt. I wanted to follow her round bloody town and then home so I had her address for a mad moment.

I did as much as I could. I think. Maybe not. What else could I have done? Caused a scene in the bank where she was when I got downstairs and out into the street? Probably not.

Abuse of any kind sickens me. I know the difference between abuse and losing your rag.

Another thing that sickens me are abuse apologists. Judging by this thread - there's a few out there.

And to pick me up on a throwaway line where I said I knew that this wasn't a one off .... Why do that? It's not the main thrust of the thread is it? You can bang on and on about that but it's not what I wanted to say really. Hey, for all I know, she's an angel at home. But I doubt that

Whothefuckfarted Wed 24-Jul-13 16:04:00

If a mother is willing to scream abuse at her children in the middle of the street like that in plain sight who knows what she's willing to do behind closed doors.


fromparistoberlin Wed 24-Jul-13 16:07:05

its really upsetting OP

look fuck the thread, hide it. arguing with strangers on a web forum wont do anything

but I think we should all keep our eyes and eays open and not "walk on by"

I am obssessed by the story around Daniel Pelka and I keep wondering why noone fucking called them on their behaviour

so, HIDE thread and focus your energy elsewhere if its bugging you

But no one disagreed with your opinion that her behaviour was horrible. Not one person said its ok to talk to your children like that.

People did disagree with your apparent absolute knowledge that she was a shit parent. For the very simple reason that you cant know that.

You pretty much admitted that part of your judgement was based on how she looked as well.

And, to me, that's wrong. You cannot look at a person for literally seconds and believe you have her all figured out.

I was 19 when dd was born. She is mixed race. People assumed just by looking at me that I was a single mum on benefits when in fact I was engaged and working full time.

Snap judgments are wrong. Yes, judge the behaviour at the time. Not the persons entire life.

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 16:21:12

I have yet to see one post from anyone that is saying the mother's behaviour is ok. But don't let that stop anyone from carrying on with that particular line of angst.

Prams anyone who works with SS knows that they have very strict boundaries that they have to work within. Bleeding hearts don't come into it. You sound quite embittered and jaded. Maybe its time to move on? SWs with that kind of idea tend to be the ones who make poor decisions. Just an idea....

Plenty of families who have had the misfortune to get entangled with SS would not agree with your ideas of how soft they are.

Once you get involved with SS you can be subjected to a cascade of interventions that may lead to catastrophe for a family. It can start with the idea 'well if they do that in public what do they do in private?'
I have never understood that theory. It doesn't follow. People can feel safer acting out in public because they feel it will limit them. They keep it under wraps at home for fear of it getting out of control.

Its just not as simple as 'bad outside = worse at home'

So if this woman swears at her children so she MUST be a crap parent does it then follow that people who don't swear at their children must be good parents?

If that is the sort of logic we are applying to these situations?

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 16:23:52

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

libertine73 Wed 24-Jul-13 16:33:44

yellow I think your dh talking to her dh is a terrible idea. if you do that and it gets so bad you do call as they will definitely know it's come from you. next time you hear it, phone ss PLEASE. if something terrible were to happen you would never forgive yourself,I know it's hard, I've done it myself, but you must.

fromparistoberlin Wed 24-Jul-13 16:39:10

what confuses me is how grey it all is

often people say that once SSS are involved it can become a cascade of intervertions and can ruin lives, and I believe them. But why were they involved in the first place

and yet, despite often good efforts tragedies occur

so "good" parents are penalised unfairly
and bad parents are left to harm kids

sounds to me like there is some poor management and prioritising across the board

basically, we need more good Foster carers , ha! easy to say

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 16:45:42

Because SWs and families are all human beings from
So things depend very much on who your SW is, what funding is available, what has happened in the news lately, new guidlines being introduced, how manipulative parents are, how experienced SWs are, what access families have to support....

It just goes on an on.

But at the heart of it is the law. Social workers have some discretion but they are bound by the law.
Its hard to explain but two families with the same issues can go down different roads depending on what they say, how they act, how their actions are interpreted etc.

Its why its so hard to predict how a case will go.

I have been astounded that SS have got so involved with some families and won't leave them alone and equally astounded that no further action is taken in some cases.

IMO one of the biggest problems with SS is their unwillingness to change course once they have made a decision. Its come up time and time again in reports.

coco87 Wed 24-Jul-13 16:47:04

This is Mumsnet, so you will be told not to judge.

Wibblypiglikesbananas Wed 24-Jul-13 16:51:08

Well done for saying something. At the very least, those children know now that her extreme behaviour (whether a one off or an every day occurrence) is wrong and should be challenged.

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 16:51:55

Your question 'why were they involved in the first place?'

Can be a woman was in care as a child. She has a baby. According to SS lore this means she is at risk. They want to do a voluntary core assessment. Care leaver is understandably pissed off about this intrusion and tells them to fuck off.
It is noted that she is refusing to co-operate with SS. The case goes to supervision. SS decide that this is enough, with her history to escalate.

Mother gets more and more pissed off, less inclined to co-operate. More obstructive and so it goes.


Parents are disabled. Someone decides that they need 'support' when the baby is born. Parents think they are perfectly capable. Concerns include (not making this up) 'but they don't have a bath, they can only use a shower. A baby has to have access to a bath', 'They have a stair lift. That is a potential hazard to a child' or 'mother is deaf. How will she hear the baby when it cries?'

Now at the end of it all, SS may well back off. Not before the family have been left traumatised.

Because who on here would fancy strangers coming to your house and questioning you on every aspect of your life?

redfairy Wed 24-Jul-13 16:58:23

Perhaps heavily pregnant mum of two under fives in a heatwave might have appreciated an offer of help rather than recrimination?

spotscotch Wed 24-Jul-13 17:02:46

Of course you cannot know that a woman who shouts 'you fucking piece of shit' at her 3 year old, is a bad parent in other aspects of life.

But lets face it, a smidgen of common sense will tell you that the chances that this woman is a model parent who doesn't even utter the word 'bum' in front of her kids normally, are well, verging on zero.

But hey, maybe she was just having a bad day, we've all been there eh hmm

fromparistoberlin Wed 24-Jul-13 17:04:36

It all boils down to money

money for foster carers
money for training
money to allow time for proper mentoring
money to allow a more fit for purpose review, and redesign of the system


but its so sad that efforts are being mispent, there is always waste in life but this is tragic waste

spotscotch Wed 24-Jul-13 17:05:06

Perhaps heavily pregnant mum of two under fives in a heatwave might have appreciated an offer of help rather than recrimination?

OMG it's classic Mumsnet response! Perhaps the OP could have given her a bit of help as to what other choice swear words she could have hollered at her son?

MumnGran Wed 24-Jul-13 17:06:01

" Because who on here would fancy strangers coming to your house and questioning you on every aspect of your life "

As a young mum, I knew a girl who felt like this about HVs. She saw them as an absolute intrusion into her life, and that her baby was no one's business but her own.
My view then is the same as now.....I don't care how many people want to call and check children, if that system is finding and protecting children who are not being cared for. I don't care how many parents are called on, and have to justify having a bad day, if it prevents one of those children suffering endlessly out of public gaze.
I admit my view is coloured. I was abused as a child. I was a new parent when the Maria Colwell case hit the headlines. And I watched the Baby P case with growing horror that we are still unable to truly protect children. All children.

True protection has to start with zero tolerance because children have no voice.

arabesque Wed 24-Jul-13 17:06:39

What help exactly redfairy?

cushtie335 Wed 24-Jul-13 17:09:21

A few years ago me and DH were in a shopping centre on the outskirts of town. A woman with 3 kids, one in a buggy and 2 others who were both under 5 was calling all 3 of them disgusting names but particularly her daughter who could only have been 4 years old at most. She kept saying to her "Amy, you're nothing but a cunt, why are you such a cunt Amy". My DH was horrified (so was I obviously) and he said to her "steady on, there's no need for that" and got a mouthful of the worst abuse I think I've ever heard. We felt completely useless and heart sorry for the children. Three years on and I still think about them and wish there was something I could have done.

fromparistoberlin Wed 24-Jul-13 17:09:30

"Perhaps the OP could have given her a bit of help as to what other choice swear words she could have hollered at her son?


Maria Colwell, yes that was the case when the neighbour "did not want to interfere"

Funny thing is, whilst everyone gets lost in the subtext, the child is forgotten...

JassyRadlett Wed 24-Jul-13 17:25:41

I am a bleeding heart liberal and I think that what the woman OP saw did was unacceptable, inexcusable and unquestionably poor parenting. Don't conflate those two, it's inaccurate and boring.

If those things were screamed by an adult at another adult, in the home or in the workplace or on the street, it would be decried as abuse. If a poster's partner screamed them at her in the home, most people I've seen would rightly call it abuse and many would tell the poster to leave the relationship. But when it's directed at a child it's a 'snapshot'.

To me, the power differential between adult and child is infinitely greater and therefore the abuse is infinitely more damaging and unacceptable.

If this behaviour happened in the workplace, it would be a disciplinary matter. Wherever it happens it's verbal abuse and there are no excuses. Certainly not heat or hormones.

I'm not perfect. I lose my temper, including with my kid. But there is a huge difference between losing one's patience and losing control, just as there is a difference between swearing in front of/at your kid and directing foul vitriolic abuse at them. The parent's job is to maintain that control, because if they don't who's to say where it stops? If this woman's 'meltdown' or loss of control had manifested itself as a beating instead of a verbal tirade, I suspect many people here would have seen it as much more cut and dried.

I have no idea what goes on in the rest of her life any more than the OP does. But I don't think there is any reason or excuse that doesn't make that incident appalling and damaging parenting.

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 17:34:30

No one is saying what the mother did was ok.

and mumngran I am genuinely sorry that you were so badly let down as a child. I too have zero tolerance on child abuse. Its why I do all I can to make sure I don't let anything slip. I never assume someone is following something up, that someone else will do something. I follow everything up personally and keep on doing it until something is done.
It has taken me literally years in the past.

But having a zero tolerance is not the same thing as making huge assumptions about someone based on how they look, what they say and how old they are.

HVs are optional. There are 100s of posts on MN every year from educated, confident women who do not want HV support. They are almost always agreed with by other posters.

Why should a less well educated, younger mother have to deal with the intrusion just because someone has decided she looks a bit like someone who might do something?

That misdirects resources. What about the MC woman with PND who is desperate for help but can't get it because they are not a priority?

I didn't want HVs when I had my youngest DCs. Why on earth would I want someone I didn't know coming in to my house and questioning me? The booking in visit was bad enough!

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 17:37:57

jassy has a good point about conflating two different issues.

Dont agree that this woman must be a bad parent?
You therefore must be a person who ignores abuse.

Its already been shown that those who think its is proof may not be the first ones to actually do something about suspected abuse.

Those who are saying you can't state that the woman is a terrible parent as a fact may be people that have stuck their necks out on several occasions to protect a child.

How many times does someone have to say they don't find what the mother did acceptable?

Yanbu OP, it was awful.

However YABU for assuming you know everything from her appearance (you just knew) and the minute or so of awful behaviour you witnessed of hers. That's it.

GameSetAndMatch Wed 24-Jul-13 17:40:30

and Kate said all parents have this feeling or whatever she said about her baby.

erm. no they dont, not people like THIS.

no loving caring parent would talk like that to their kids.

yes i get mad at DC sometimes but NEVER put them down or speak like that.

spotscotch Wed 24-Jul-13 17:42:08

If you heard someone racially abusing another person would you not make the assumption that they were a horrible racist? Or would you think 'oh well, mustn't judge on a one minute snapshot, it is quite possible that they are really open minded and kind normally'.

spotscotch Wed 24-Jul-13 17:45:05

But mrsdv we are not talking about a young mum, who perhaps has a mixed race child or whatever. Anyone who judges someone just on that is a bloody idiot. We are tAlking about someone who verbally abused their very young son in public.

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 17:46:07

If you saw someone not racially abusing another person would you state as a fact that they were not a racist?

If you saw someone walking down the street with their kids and not hitting them would you state as a fact that they never hit their children?

That would be pretty dangerous and is a reason why some children end up dead. Because they come from 'nice' families who don't swear and know how to behave in public.

PramelaAftersun Wed 24-Jul-13 17:53:50

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

MumnGran Wed 24-Jul-13 17:58:42

MrsDeVere .... this has absolutely nothing to do with class. Money and position have never precluded abuse. It is certainly not a judgement that I make, to say that children from financially & socially deprived backgrounds are the only children at risk. In some ways its a damn sight easier to be an abuser when you live in leafy, MC, middle england. Small screams don't carry far across large detached plots of land.
I digress.

The point I was trying to make is exactly the one you have demonstrated; as you say, there are 100's of people declining HV visits. ....because they don't want the intrusion.
We need a better safety system to protect children across the board.
Would those people really mind so much if they knew that a legal requirement to be visited was ensuring that vulnerable children were identified? can society not accept that toleration of a system designed to protect children is in the widest public interest, not an intrusion into their own lives.? Do we ever stop to consider that in demanding the right to exclude professionals, we enable those who are hiding from professionals for a good reason.

Every time we assume that something is a one off, we turn our face away from children potentially at risk. They are at risk until it is proven that the behaviour is not standard, and the child is normally happy and safe. Would parents really disagree if resources allowed for the introduction of a system which required a professional to see every under-5, in its home, once a month.............if those parents knew that substantial numbers of children might be rescued from abuse under such a system?

Really, I don't give much of a damn about how parents feel while there are children out there suffering daily.

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 17:59:56

Of course you don't pram
It doesn't fit your agenda.

MrsKeithRichards Wed 24-Jul-13 18:01:02

Trouble is, as much as some people will hate to admit it, you're standards of what is and isn't acceptable slip when you're a social worker or in the field.

Of course shooting and starting at your child is out of order.

But trust me, for some clients, if that's the worse thing they done all day on to of managing to get to the shops it's called progress!

MrsKeithRichards Wed 24-Jul-13 18:01:58

Shouting and swearing

PramelaAftersun Wed 24-Jul-13 18:03:55

Kindly tell me what my agenda is, Mrs.

spotscotch Wed 24-Jul-13 18:06:10

Huh? Mrs DV you didn't answer my question at all, just made an irrelevant point. Of course it is much easier to judge someone on the actions that they have done, than what they haven't. Its kind of why we only convict someone of murder when it has been proven that they undertook the act of murder, rather than just shoving everyone in jail hmm

Of course abuse takes place in 'naice' families, that is not the point here at all. I don't particularly care if the woman in the OP is Vicky Pollard or Kate Middleton.

So are you saying that you would not make the assumption that someone who racially abused another in the street was a racist?

That's a scary thought, MumnGran. I'd genuinely think about emigrating if that law came to pass. I couldn't handle being supervised as a parent, as a precaution because 'you never know', and knowing that if I resisted the intrusion in any way, as MrsDevere pointed out, I'd probably be labelled as someone who has something to hide and have it elevated beyond my control until I lost my child altogether.

Mumsnet makes me scared to be a parent sometimes.

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 18:07:03

mumngran I don't disagree with you
The trouble is that the system is not set up that way currently so when a professional is involved it is generally because something has been flagged as an issue.

Take our borough for example. If you have a disabled child you cannot get SS involvement unless there are CP concerns.
If you do not have SS involvement you cannot access resources e.g. respite care, short breaks and even some therapies and equipment.

So in order to get help families have to be pathologised. The have to be 'troubled families'.

How many families are going to agree to that label? So they struggle on without support until they get to crisis point.

All this is wrong. We are supposed to be about early intervention. Getting there before families are at breaking point.

Its becoming harder and harder to do that because of the massive cuts to services.

GeneHuntsMistress Wed 24-Jul-13 18:07:47

I can't actually believe that Yellow is witness to actual physical abuse and making excuses about making one simple phone call, and everyone is arguing semantics about swearing.

Yellow just fucking phone SS for gods sake.

Floggingmolly Wed 24-Jul-13 18:11:25

is a reason why some children end up dead. Because they come from 'nice' families who don't swear and know how to behave in public
What is your point, Mrs.D??? Are you suggesting that the mum in question has in fact kept her children safe by releasing her anger verbally rather than being physically abusive? confused.

MumnGran Wed 24-Jul-13 18:13:49

To be honest Kirjava, it was not a realistic proposal (on a resources basis alone) smile ...but a point made to emphasise that we need to really "see" children, and not simply be accepting.
And to ask if society needs to re-adjust its thinking

SmiteYouWithThunderbolts Wed 24-Jul-13 18:17:44

YANBU, OP. And YWNBU to report this woman somehow to someone. IF she is otherwise a terrific parent and was merely having a shit day, SS would find that out pretty quickly and leave her alone from then on. I do not think it is likely to be the case, but it's better to act than to ignore. All that is required for evil to flourish is that good people do nothing.

I don't care if much worse stuff goes on daily in families already under SS observation. Swearing AT your children in this manner is not ok. I have sworn in front of my children on occasion, but never, ever AT them. It is emotional abuse, no matter how much you try to downplay it.

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 18:18:18

now who is being disingenuous pram?

GeneHuntsMistress Wed 24-Jul-13 18:21:01

And still the rhetoric goes on.... Yellow CALL SS PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 18:22:07

The racist comparison does not hold water.

If someone holds racist ideals they are racist.

If someone swears at their child all it can tell you at that moment in time is that they swear at their child.
It may mean they are abusive, it may mean they have lost control, it may mean they are drunk, it may mean they go home and cry in shame at what they have done.

On this thread I have been told over and over that I have defended this woman, that I am an abuse apologist, that I must swear at my own children, I am a clone, a bleeding heart liberal...why?

Because I challenged the OPs assertion that she knew, as fact, what this woman was like all of the time.

But again, don't let that stop the stream of accusations.

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 18:24:35


spotscotch Wed 24-Jul-13 18:37:55

So you would make an assumption about someone, based on what they say then Mrs DV?

I think shouting 'you fucking piece of shit, what the fuck are you doing?' at your own son and calling him a 'little prick' says rather a lot about someone's 'ideals' to be honest. Because whilst I cannot guarantee that I will never swear in front of my son (actually that ship has already sailed), I can be as sure that I will never call him a fucking piece of shit as I am that I will never call someone a insert hideous racist remark here.

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Wed 24-Jul-13 18:43:24

Yanbu. The woman sounds like an utter waste of space. You have to pity the poor children. How vile that tiny children are being g spoken to like that. Well done for trying to intervene. I would have been temped to call the police. Not sure they would have been able to do anything but it may have at least have alerted the authorities to the excuse of a mother.

HugAMoo Wed 24-Jul-13 18:43:51

If you talk to toddler's in the language that the OP heard, you are a completely and utterly shit parent. Who swear's and name calls to toddler's like that unless they are the absolute pits? If she talks to them like that in public, what the hell is she saying at home?

Absolutely disgusting and no excuses. Poor, poor kids.

I don't quite understand what this argument is about.

I don't appreciate being called an abuse apologist either.

I will say this-again. For the benefit of people who just read whatever they like and ignore the rest.

There has not been one single person on this thread who has even whispered the suggestion that its ok to swear at your children in that manner.

There have been people,myself included who have said that whilst the behaviour of the person was pretty shit, you cannot possibly know how she behaves at any other time

She may be like this all the time. She may not.

It pisses me off to the extreme to read things like-and I paraphrase here- I would describe her but you lot would lynch me or she is a rough shit parent.

So, clearly she looks a bit, what word shall we use here?
Common? Chavvy? Rough?
Clearly she didnt have a nice accent or look "decent"

Well you know what? I reckon I look a bit common when I'm not at work. And I have a north london accent which horrifies people. And I am loud.
I also don't swear at my children or abuse them in any way. But I know for damn sure that people judge me. Not because of the way I talk to my kids. But because of all the things I mentioned before.

The OP has decided, based on 10 seconds that she is a shit parent. Based on those 10 seconds and the fact she was "rough"

I happen to think that a pretty shit thing to do as a person.

I keep saying this. And I'll say it again. Judge the behaviour that happens. You are fully within your rights to say look I saw this parent screaming and swearing at her children. It really upset me, I called out to tell her to stop but she swore at me. I think it is completley wrong to talk to children like that.

It is not ok to sit there and assume she is a rough, shit parent who is emotionally abusing her children every day.


And yet, we have someone else listening to a parent saying this to her child daily and no one apparently bats a fucking eyelid.

And the racist comparison being made?

Please stop. Seriously. Everything has to be compared to racism and it is stupid.

Holding racist views is very far from using unacceptable language and it irritates the fuck out of me. Really it does.

Racism isn't actually something that you can compare to anything else. It is what it is. And to be on the receiving end of racial abuse from ignorant tossers on an ongoing basis is a serious thing, beyond anything you are tring to compare it to.

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 18:52:02

Perhaps it would save time if posters just lined up and tell me what they think I have said.

Instead of me disagreeing with someone who said she can tell, for a fact, what someone is like based on 10 seconds.

spot what are you blithering on about? If deliberately say racist things you are a racist. If you swear at your children you swear at your children.

Those are the only true conclusions that can be made.

If someone says deliberately racist things they might also be a child abuser or a coke dealer a nurse or a donkey botherer but I cannot assume these things about them based on them being a racist.

TeddyPickleStick Wed 24-Jul-13 18:52:54

She was rough. In the absolute true sense of the word. Horrible woman.

So, if we saw a man do exactly the same to his partner in the street - remember , loudly screaming ' you fucking prick, you piece of shit ' amongst lots of ' just fuck off ' in her face ... ' you'd say ' ah well , that was only a ten second snap shot - he's probably really nice at home ?'

Would you say that? If so, of course you're an abuse apologist. Or a use minimiser. That's probably more apt for you

TeddyPickleStick Wed 24-Jul-13 18:54:34

And it's perfectly ok for me to assume she's a shit parent. If you don't want me to think that then don't scream foul abuse at your defenceless little boy. I won't judge then as it had not been made my business to do so. Remember, I was up on a top building. She was in the street. That's how loud she was. I heard her perfectly well

TeddyPickleStick Wed 24-Jul-13 18:55:30

How mean of me to not be more supportive of parents screaming this stuff at three year olds.

What CAN be wrong with me?

GeneHuntsMistress Wed 24-Jul-13 18:55:38

Um. Wile you're all discussing whether swearing constitutes abuse.... There is a poster on this thread who is witnessing actual physical abuse. And has not called SS because she is, er, pregnant.

yellow please please, call SS, it's anonymous, there is no comeback on you. Please.

GeneHuntsMistress Wed 24-Jul-13 18:55:51


TeddyPickleStick Wed 24-Jul-13 18:57:03

I said immediately that yellow should call SS anonymously to report her neighbour and that I couldn't stand to listen to what she has. Being as err 'sensitive' as I appear to be about this stuff, I'd have been on the phone within moments of the first incident

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 18:58:46


And you know bloody well that I haven't and no-one else has either.

I am very, very sorry that I didn't join in with the virtual back slapping and this thread didn't go the way you wanted it too.

You haven't actually done anything though have you? You made yourself feel better but you did nothing.

What do you know about abuse? Are you living with it? Do you take your child to weekly therapy for years to help him deal with what happened to him? Have you taken any teenagers in and helped them get LAC status so they can get away from their abusive homes? Do you work with vulnerable children on a daily basis to help protect and support them? Have you called and called and called SS until they stop ignoring a family despite knowing that you might be identified and all that goes with that?

No. You ran down the stairs and tell someone off and then come and start a thread about it. Well done.

PramelaAftersun Wed 24-Jul-13 19:00:36

Nearly every woman on this thread has attested that, to them, this woman is a shit parent. And guess what? None of us feel a scintilla of shame for saying that. I'd like to ask anyone who refuses to judge this woman what they would have said to her had she spewed her vicious bile to her kids right next to you in your supermarket queue. She's right in front of you screaming, 'you fucking piece of shit...come on you little prick'. What do you say? What do you think of her as a mother?

For the love of fucking god. No one said "oh I bet she is really nice at home" did they?

Because I think if you actually read the responses instead of bleating on about abuse apologist you may notice that what was actually said was "you cannot possibly know she is a totally shit parent" in response you you declaring with absolute certainty that you knew this.

You know there are actual abuse apologists in the world?
People who let their partners, their families, their neighbours, emotionally, physically, mentally abuse their children, who sit back and say nothing?

My sister in law is one of those. Which is why my nephew now lives in my house.

People who knew abuse is going on, who see and hear it on a daily, hourly basis but "don't want to get involved"

They are the people you are thinking of, love.

Not people with enough common sense to know that you can't actually see her life, other than that 10 seconds.
Maybe that's street smart eh? Maybe you need to be a bit "rough" to understand that?

And please, please share your definition of rough with me.

spotscotch Wed 24-Jul-13 19:03:00

spot what are you blithering on about? If deliberately say racist things you are a racist. If you swear at your children you swear at your children.

I would change this slightly tbh, I would say if you swear at your children in the way described in the OP, then you are a verbal abuser.

And to be on the receiving end of racial abuse from ignorant tossers on an ongoing basis is a serious thing, beyond anything you are tring to compare it to.

Yes, tell that to the 3 year old boy who got called a 'fucking piece of shit' and a 'prick' by his own mother today.

dollywobbles Wed 24-Jul-13 19:04:46

It's not Top Trumps, Mrs DeVere. You may not think the OP's views are valid/relevant, fair enough. But to suggest they're not relevant because she hasn't "taken any teenagers in and helped them get LAC status so they can get away from their abusive homes" is preposterous.

How many people actually have? And yes, I know you have, hence you mentioning it.

PramelaAftersun Wed 24-Jul-13 19:05:27

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 19:06:42

You can turn it round anyway you want to Spot. The fact remains that you and the OP are not psychic.
You do not know what happens in those children's lives.

FFS you don't even know that this woman is the poor kid's mother!

Did he call her mummy? Was the umbilical cord still attached? Did the OP get a glimpse of the birth certificate?

But she was rough, people. Of course OP knows exactly what her life and parenting is like. She's rough.


PramelaAftersun Wed 24-Jul-13 19:08:29


Agnesboo Wed 24-Jul-13 19:09:49

The police turned up on my door because they had seen myself and dp drag a screaming child into my house against her will.

What they had actually happened was my sn dd threw a major wobbly and tried to run off where she would have in all probability hurt her self.

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 19:10:05

You can suggest it pram but you would be wrong.

And you are fine one to talk about being sneery.

What part of this thread is confusing you? I have not condoned or excused the woman's behaviour. NOT ONCE.

I have not stated that she is nice or lovely or anything else.

I stated a fact.

I said in my very first post that the op should be condoned for stepping in.

But I will not let her foolish and unsubstantiated remarks about abuse minimising go unchallenged.

And I suspect they are made out of pure spite an ire at being disagreed with.

PramelaAftersun Wed 24-Jul-13 19:10:58

Of course we know what happens in these children's lives: whenever this woman is having a bad day she shrieks at her kids calling them pricks and little shits. I have no problem deciding that this woman is a shit parent and nor would any other sensible person.

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 19:12:20

dolly I am not playing top trumps.
Why is it that I am not permitted to respond to someone who is claiming they care about abused children more than I do?
What am I supposed to say?

Top trumps? How offensive and inappropriate on such a thread.

TeddyPickleStick Wed 24-Jul-13 19:13:06

Thanks for the support pramela etc.

I'm amazed at the level of support for this. Astounded. I'm also not surprised that calling her 'rough' has been jumped on. Any woman who calls a little boy a fucking piece of shit is rough. But do carry on defending that

I seem to remember some of you on a previous thread defending swearing at children. I seriously don't care if that's how you choose to bring up ( drag up? ) your children. But don't make me witness this shit in the street. It was bloody awful, I keep thinking of his face and there was next to nothing I could actually, tangibly DO.

If you're posting in support of her ' having a bad five minutes ' then shame on you

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 19:13:37

Tell me how you know she was the child's mother pram

dollywobbles Wed 24-Jul-13 19:15:25

Who's preventing you from responding? And where does the OP suggest she cares more about abused children than you? She's defending herself, that's all.

Do you take your child to weekly therapy for years to help him deal with what happened to him? Have you taken any teenagers in and helped them get LAC status so they can get away from their abusive homes? Do you work with vulnerable children on a daily basis to help protect and support them? Have you called and called and called SS until they stop ignoring a family despite knowing that you might be identified and all that goes with that?

I honestly do not see the relevance of that ^. You know the answer to all those questions is 'no', so what's the point?

TeddyPickleStick Wed 24-Jul-13 19:16:54

Oh I don't mind being disagreed with. I've been posting on MN for 7 odd years - and you'd jump on me even more under my usual guise grin

So, it's not 'ire at being disagreed with. ' it's frustration that some of you will choose to nit pick a tiny throw away comment I make about her being rough, or focus on the fact I said I just KNEW she was a shit parent

Honestly , don't defend these scum bag parents. I defy anyone on this thread to have heard the tone she used and the words she said and then come here and say ' poor woman. It's the heat/ her hormones '

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 19:18:11

And who dolly is saying the things i have been accused of saying?
Where on the thread have I condoned or excused anything?

I am merely defending myself against pages and pages of unfair and unfounded accusations.

If you cant see the relevance of my post when accused of being an abuse minimiser then I can't see how I can explain it to you.

Floggingmolly Wed 24-Jul-13 19:19:48

So what if she wasn't the child's mother?? She obviously has access to the children, and she spoke to them in a disgusting, abusive way.
Stop splitting hairs, ffs.

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 19:19:50

Sorry to nit pick again OP but I have not said the word rough once.

Nor have I said 'heat or hormones'

I can only conclude that you are confusing me with someone else or you simply lump everyone who disagrees with you into one.

I said heat, hormones and rough, and am still not defending her.


TeddyPickleStick Wed 24-Jul-13 19:20:56

Don't minimise abusive behaviour then if you don't want it mooted that you may be an abuse minimiser. Don't leap on my sentences and hook onto some irrelevant. The focus should be on what she said surely?

I didn't place my own little interpretation on her words. I a bit surprised at how sad this made me feel though - as in , sad for those children. I'm a grown woman , I know this happens day in day out. Just never nice to actually witness it

spotscotch you ever been racially absused?
Ever had the police stop you 3 times in one week for walking the dog at 8pm?

Ever had a teacher tell you be is surprised you are in his class because black boys normally don't work hard?

Ever been called the n word whilst playing football? For 80 minutes?

Ever had your school mates ask you if you carry a knife and rob people because that's what black boys do?

Ever been accused of being in a gang?

Ever been sent KKK pictures on your phone by your "friends" because they think it would be funny to see what you do?

No? Well, that's my DS1 life. No doubt ds2 will have the same experiences.
So when you have been through all that, you come back and tell me how that's equivalent to 10 seconds of swearing at a child.

See, this is a regular thing. It's not the same as seeing 10 seconds of shit behaviour. And no idea what happened after that.

You can actually call me what you want. You can call me an abuse apologist til the end of time.
I took my nephew out of an abusive situation.
I reported my ds2 friends family to SS because he had black eyes and broken wrists on a regular basis.

I volunteer with families who can't afford to feed their kids. Who can't afford books or school uniform.
I volunteer in my community to help families who don't actually know what to do or where to turn.
Who no doubt look rough, swear a bit in general conversation, came from families that were not so great and as a result need help with the basics of parenting.

MrsD works with families in need. She cares about helping people, about getting people the help they need.
There are a lot of families to scared to ask for help. They think SS will remove their kids.
I'm pretty sure mrsD tries to help their families. So do I.

But yeah. We are the bad people. The abuse apologists.
Because we didnt give you a fucking pat on the back for doing fuck all. Actually no, you did judge her entire life. And then start a thread about it.

And the person here witnessing child abuse every fucking day is not an abuse apologist. Or enabler.

I'm glad I ain't part of your screwed up little universe.

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 19:21:41

Show me where I have minimised abuse.

dollywobbles Wed 24-Jul-13 19:22:44

In that context, yes - it makes sense. But it didn't (to me at least) come across as you defending yourself, it read (to me) as an attack on the OP.

But, if it wasn't then I absolutely understand the relevance.

I think it was the 'what do you know about abuse' that seemed a bit antagonistic, along with all the 'you did nothing' stuff.

TeddyPickleStick Wed 24-Jul-13 19:22:47

Err of course she was the child's mother! Ha - who said she might not have been?! Do we think she may have been some sort of childminder? Or err a family member? One who saw fit to call her charges / nephew / whatev a piece of shit and a fucking prick?

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 19:24:11

Again. You do not know. You are guessing.
Show me where I minimised abuse.

spotscotch Wed 24-Jul-13 19:25:46

But the act in itself is what makes her a crap parent. You could be the most luffly and fluffy parent, who only uses the most careful language all of the rest of the time. The moment you speak to your kids in that way, you are a crap parent. Yes, with help you may be able to overcome anger issues or whatever it is that you need. But speaking to your kid in that way is inherently shit parenting. In the same way that a man who gives his wife a smack round the chops is a crap husband, even though he may have lost control, have been drunk, or had a good old cry about it afterwards.

Oh and whether or not it was their mother is irrelevant tbh. She was someone who has obviously been trusted to be a carer for those children.

teddy please cut and paste where I or anyone has defended this woman?

Do you actually not understand that every single person is saying what she did was wrong?

Are you not actually reading that?

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 19:26:23

Show me where I have minimised abuse.

TeddyPickleStick Wed 24-Jul-13 19:26:54

Why is it screwed up to object to children being abused like this? How odd. I don't want a pat on the back for doing fuck all either.

Some of you are quite mad. Really. I'm sorry for your children if you think this sort of thing needs explaining away as a 'snapshot'

Anyway - I really AM going now and shall hide the thread. I don't want to go round in any more circles.

But I stand by all I said and I hope some of you maybe look at your attitudes towards the abuse of children and err ... Stop minimising it


MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 19:27:53

Its not irrelevant!
The OP has been calling her a crap and abusive parent.

The whole thread is about her being this child's mother.

AGAIN read the thread. Show me where anyone has said what she did wa ok.

And where I am minimising abuse.

missmarplestmarymead Wed 24-Jul-13 19:28:01

You did the right thing OP and I hope if you ever see anything like that again, you do the same thing.

There is no excuse for effing and blinding at a small child like that on the street.

That is how abusers starve their children to death, beat them to death, make their lives a misery because some bleeding heart will come along and make an excuse for them.

If they are questioned about it time and time again, it will be less easy to abuse children. Question them, draw attention to them all the time.

Well done. you deserve a medal.


MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 19:28:29

Before you go OP

Please do show me where I have minimised abuse?

missmarplestmarymead Wed 24-Jul-13 19:30:56

Yes, Kirjava. Maybe that is the best place for it.

Please point out the minimizing.

What's that? You can't? Because it doesn't actually exist?

Funny thing, how people are so quick to make up stuff but amazingly reluctant to read responses and answer them in a proper manner.

Please don't feel sorry for my kids, they are amazing. Totally amazing. My dd is doing the volunteer program with me this summer. My ds1 is volunteering with young boys in our area that need a "big brother"
So, no need to pity them.

They actually have common sense and the ability to debate a subject without resorting to making things up and refusing to address any rational points.

spotscotch Wed 24-Jul-13 19:36:34

No Tantrums, I have not been through any of that, it sounds absolutely shit for your poor DS. But neither have I ever been sworn at in such a horrendous way by my mum/carer.

As I said in my very first post. There is absolutely no way of knowing what life is like for those children. Of course we are not psychic. But deep down, if you had to put money on it, would you say that you honestly think that that is the first time and only time ever that they have been/will be exposed to that sort of verbal abuse? Seriously, if you really think about it, what are the chances?

Anyway, am bowing out now, as I feel circles are now being made.

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Wed 24-Jul-13 19:40:31

I'll admit I don't have any professional qualifications or experience in the field of 'parenting.' I'm just an ordinary parent but the behaviour of the woman described by the OP (whether she was the children's mother or not) was disgusting.

There is (quite rightly) zero tolerance for abusive behaviour by men towards women on this forum and yet when people describe abusive behaviour towards children there are often people who won't condemn it. It makes me hmm and confused

The point is, I don't know.

I can't know. And neither can anyone else.

Being subjected to racial abuse isn't comparable to the 10 second incident today.

Both are very horrible, hurtful things. But not comparable.

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 19:41:09

I gave it a bit of time.

No minimising appears.

So what should we assume about someone who name changes to start a thread and then buggers off when she is challenged about the stuff she has accused other posters of doing?

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 19:42:21

OH FFS it is never ending.

WHERE Justgive WHERE has anyone said it was ok?

Please for the love of God show me where.

justgive please copy and paste where any poster did not condem her behaviour.
Just find one example of anybody saying what she did was ok?

This is the problem with this thread. What's the point of saying anything if people are ignoring what has been written?

X posts MrsD

Seems to be happening a lot at the moment.

I need to think and type quicker grin

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Wed 24-Jul-13 19:46:49


If a poster came on here and said she'd witnessed a woman having the shit kicked out of her by her husband on the pavement outside her street would you respond by saying 'you can't judge him', 'he may be a loving husband behind closed doors' etc?

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 19:48:54


WHo kicked the shit out of anyone?

What are you talking about?

If I called my husband a prick when I was out shopping would that mean I was a husband beater? Or would it mean that at that moment I was being rude and out of order?

Would depend if you looked rough or not.


Please show an example of a poster condoning this woman's behaviour.

If you can't do that, I suggest you stop arguing. Because you are arguing with yourself.
There's no point responding to something that no one actually wrote.
Respond to the actual posts, that's how it works.

Then whoever wrote what you are responding to will defend their point.
As it stands now you are asking people to respond to something they did not think or write.

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 19:51:58

show me minimising of abuse.
Show me anyone condoning what she did.

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Wed 24-Jul-13 19:53:32

Don't be obtuse MrsDeVere. You are a clever woman. You know what an analogy is.

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 19:54:54

I am off now.
But please, please if someone can find a post where I have minimised abuse
condoned the woman's actions
has proof she was their mother
has proof of anything other than she swore at a little boy in the street
can find her so a proper investigation can be undertaken
manages to get someone to report the sustained verbal and possible physical abuse described on this thread.

Just PM me.


MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 19:57:50

Its a crap analogy.

Because we are not talking about a child getting the shit kicked out of them.

Nor are we debating whether swearing is a good thing to do to a child.

We are maintaining that the OP does not have a fucking scooby about anything other than she saw a woman being horrible and swearing at a child.

IF you are going to use that analogy why are you not baying for the OP's bloody? Because she went down, said something and then fucked off.
IF you are going to use that analogy why are you not castigating the OP for not calling the police?

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Wed 24-Jul-13 20:00:16

Calling a child a fucking piece of shit and a fucking prick is ea of the highest order. I don't know how people can't accept that confused

SmiteYouWithThunderbolts Wed 24-Jul-13 20:00:49

Will MrsDeVere et al please at least accept that this instance of behaviour IS unacceptable and IS abusive behaviour, be it a standalone incident or part of a spectrum of abuse?

Let's forget about context and the wealth of unknown factors for a moment. There is no possible instance where it is acceptable for a grown woman to scream profanities into the face of a small child. That much we all agree on, yes?

Nobody can know whether this was an exception or the rule in this woman's parenting. I agree with what MrsDV is saying I think - that this incident does not necessarily mean this woman is continually like this.
Parenting is just so complex. I hate hearing parents swear at their kids and it's something I never, ever do. I do shout though and I get angry and I smack/have smacked/may smack again. All of which behaviour could have some of you lining up to call me a bad parent - but am I? Really? No I'm not. I do fine and so do my kids.

There is abuse and there is good supportive parenting and in between there are about a million bits in between and I reckon nearly all of us will find ourself in the inbetween zone at some point.

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Wed 24-Jul-13 20:02:53

As for the OP's reaction, I'm not going to condemn her. Why would I? She was in complete shock and as she said couldn't work out what to do. I genuinely don't understand how you can critisise her.

Well, that is what I have been saying since the start of the thread. People have just refused to actually read that part.

justgive find me a post where someone said it was acceptable?

I've asked you that 4 times now. And each time you have refused to acknowledge that no one has actually said that.

But don't let the truth get in the way of a good rage though.

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 20:05:39

In what context have we NOT accepted that Smite?
Genuine question...have you read the thread or are you just going by the last few posts?

Because to be honest (and this is general, not applied to you as an individual) I am getting absolutely sick of being accused of things that are not true.

Because I have been continually misrepresented on a thread in order for someone to be 'right'.

Its is an interesting tactic and not one I have been subject to before but I have seen it happen to others.

People do not respond to actual posts by someone, they respond to posts about a person by another poster.

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 20:06:42

justgive what do you think the op has been criticised for?

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Wed 24-Jul-13 20:07:31

I'm not 'in a rage' Tantrums. Stop trying to make me look like an idiot to further your point.

That's exactly it MrsD

No one has yet responded to anything I am saying.
Just keep on repeating that I am condoning this woman's abusive behaviour.

It's quite odd and a very foolish way to try and win an argument.

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Wed 24-Jul-13 20:10:32

MrsDeVere. You asked me why I wasn't baying for the OP's blood. A lot of what you say in your post of 19.57.50 implicitly critisises the OP or have I got this wrong?

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Nobody's said anything to the contrary smite, that's the thing.

^'She did a shit thing.
It doesn't mean she is a shit parent.
She might be but you can't possibly tell from what you saw.

She shouldn't do it, its horrible but there are hours and hours and hours of her life that you don't see.

Where she could be a loving parent.

Well done for telling her to stop but most people would react in the same way tbh. People don't like being told off in front of their kids and in public. They are likely to react in an aggressive way.'^

Now I'm very tired this evening but unless my eyes deceive me that's a pretty clear condemnation of this behaviour balanced with an informed and nuanced understanding of how people 'tick'.

From MrsDV right at the start of the thread so perhaps we could pack in the minimising bullshit now?

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 20:15:03

You have got it wrong.
YOU insisted on the analogy being a good one. If you thought it stood then you would have to take it to its logical conclusion.
You can't have it both ways.

Either you think that the actions describe in the OP are akin to a man beating the shit out of his wife or you don't.
I don't therefore I have not criticised the OP.

You DO therefore should be criticising the op.

My only criticism is that the OP is claiming to know facts about this family that she does not and can not know.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 24-Jul-13 20:16:42

MrsD did actually say that right at the start her very first post makes a point of saying its unacceptable.

But anyways I can not be arsed to get into a bit a chest puffing about swearing in the street from rough looking women not after the day I've had I just wanted to say...

If you hear or see something that gives you reason to believe a child is being physically abused at the time don't piss arse around with ss you phone 999 and report it as a crime in progress after that you then phone ss. A social worker cannot act in many circumstances without a police officer they are not crime fighters the police are that's there job.

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Wed 24-Jul-13 20:17:52

Has the OP really claimed to know 'facts about this family that she does not and can not know?' Really?

Lizzylou Wed 24-Jul-13 20:19:58

This was obviously an awful thing for the Mother to have done, obviously. Swearing and speaking to her children, to anyone actually like that is horrendous.
But, it was just a snapshot.
Mrsdv, as Northern has pointed out has nowhere said that the behaviour was acceptable, nowhere.

Personally I would have liked to think I would do the same as the Op. But it doesn't mean that that Mother is the same with her kids day in, day out.

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Wed 24-Jul-13 20:21:26

On and Tanntrums, it agreeing that OP did a good thing on intervening in the ea of a young child and maybe making this woman think twice about her behaviour in future makes me an 'idiot' I'm happy to be given this label. I abhor abusive behaviour whether it's a mother and child, a man and a woman, prolonged or only lasting long enough to call a small kid a fucking prick.

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 20:21:52

yes she did just
Do us a favour and just read the bloody thread.

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 20:23:22

Now who is being obtuse just?
Are you really trying to convince readers of this thread that tantrums think you are an idiot because you support the op intervening?

Come on now...

PramelaAftersun Wed 24-Jul-13 20:31:08

*So what if she wasn't the child's mother?? She obviously has access to the children, and she spoke to them in a disgusting, abusive way.
Stop splitting hairs, ffs.*


JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Wed 24-Jul-13 20:31:49

Nowhere have I said this woman must be like 'this' all the time. She may be the world's most brilliant mother behind closed doors.perhaps she has some sort of personality transplant when she takes her kids out. If I'm being honest I doubt it, but I suppose it's possible.

My point has always been (and others have also said this but have been too intimidated by other posters to
stick around on this thread) that the incident was disgusting.

PramelaAftersun Wed 24-Jul-13 20:34:31

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JassyRadlett Wed 24-Jul-13 20:35:02

A very frustrating thread in which I find myself agreeing with almost everyone at some point. However I did come away from some posts with the impression that while no one condoned the activity, suggestions of what might have helped to trigger the abuse have been interpreted as excusing unacceptable behaviour. I accept this probably wasn't as intended, but it's certainly how I first read some posts, and ultimately I walked away from the thread for a bit so I could come back more composed.

While no one has condoned this woman's activity, my impression has been one of a troubling (to me) comparison between someone swearing at their child in the style of 'oh for fuck's sake' and the kind of verbal abuse the OP has described. I agree her appearance is irrelevant. Her behaviour is not, and what was described I would classify as verbal abuse no matter what the target. The fact that it was a toddler makes it worse, because there is a clear power differential in the relationship. However I accept that I have a very low threshold when it comes to verbal abuse based on events in my own past.

So was this an instance of awful parenting? Unquestionably.

Is she a bad parent overall? Impossible to know without knowing her parenting history to be able to judge in a balanced way. But this was an instance of damaging parenting.

Was this abuse, not just swearing? Yes, from what has been described.

Can verbal abuse be as damaging as physical abuse? Yes, at least emotionally, and occasionally physically.

* Assumption: the woman is the child's mother.

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 20:35:44

And my point is just is that noone has disagreed with it.
And lay off the intimation tossery. You will be going on about royalty next.

I have been flamed for things I have not said by various posters, you included.
And instead of admitting it and apologising you are now moving the goal posts.

And pram what is your point? That post like many others was responding to imaginary posts by me.

My point (as I am sure you are more than aware of) is that the OP didn't know half as much as she was saying she did. A clear example of this was that she had no idea who the woman was.

That response would only hold water if I had actually said that the swearing was acceptable.
Which I didn't (again, something you are aware of).

Do you work in Africa?


AlanMoore Wed 24-Jul-13 20:37:18

I kind of like the idea of social services being staffed by clones of MrsDeVere...

I think she made a good point in her first post on this thread an it's a shame that she and tantrums, who should also be cloned by SS IMO, got drawn in to a silly argument.

the op's intentions were good but her thinking is very black and white and idealistic mixed with a bit of 'ivory tower' judginess and that's what got picked up on. Nobody is saying she shouldn't have acted or been upset.

The thread shows me that lots of people care passionately about child welfare and that's got to be a good thing.

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 20:38:40

jassy I cannot see anything in your post that I have disagreed with at anytime on this thread.
Nor have I at any time suggested that the woman in the op might have been doing anything other than the OP said she was.

So although your post is sensible and non confrontational, I will admit to being frustrated by it.

Because it is still cleaving to the assumption that anyone has minimised this behaviour or dismissed it in anyway.

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Wed 24-Jul-13 20:39:44

Maybe you should read the whole thread MrsDeVere. Whether you've won the argument or not, I don't think you've covered yourself in glory on this one.

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 20:39:45

pram has been goady throughout this thread.
I believe this is against MN rules.

AlanMoore Wed 24-Jul-13 20:39:57

Sorry, her thinking SEEMS, not is - now who's assuming! Argh. Peace.

PramelaAftersun Wed 24-Jul-13 20:40:21

Mrsd, by arguing for eleven pages that this woman could possibly be a great parent behind closed doors/on a cooler day/when she's in a better frame of mind you are minimising the impact of the emotional abuse she dealt out to those kids at that moment. We don't care if she's the epitome of Kirstie fucking Allsopp when she's at home; she is a shit parent whenever she chooses to demean and frighten and belittle her children by calling them 'fucking pricks' and 'little shits'.

SmiteYouWithThunderbolts Wed 24-Jul-13 20:40:51

Yes, I have read the thread but it's gone round in so many circles it's impossible to keep on top of who has said what and who has missed which points.

So nobody doubts that this incident is entirely beyond normal and acceptable boundaries of behaviour. Good.

I do also think it's logical for MrsD et al (sorry, I can't keep up with who is in which camps!) to say that you cannot definitively extrapolate someone's entire character from a few moments of either good or bad behaviour.

However, I do think that this particular incident is severe enough (if we take the OP at face value) to presume that the child in question has suffered some degree of emotional trauma. That could be as a result of a one time occurrence of his (again, presumed) mother screaming in his face OR it could very well be part of a pattern of abusive behaviour directed at him.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but what is being argued is whether or not you can reasonably determine, from today's incident, that the mother is generally abusive. To do so is obviously conjecture, but I think in these circumstances - given the precise language used towards the child and the apparent viciousness in it - it is not unreasonable to draw such conclusions.

I have no experience of working with families or dealing with child abuse beyond having been a victim of it many years ago, so my opinion is completely personal and not a little bit biased.

crashdoll Wed 24-Jul-13 20:42:04

MrDV is spot on as usual. The lady described in the OP behaved appalling, there is no way of knowing if she is or is not an appalling parent at other times. If that makes me an abuse apologist, then erm....!

AlanMoore Wed 24-Jul-13 20:42:48

And fwiw I think the behaviour described in the op is emotional abuse, but I agree that the lady is not necessarily a shit parent all the time. She might be and she might not, in an ideal world nobody would talk to their kids like that but there are a lot of chaotic families where this is seen as no biggie as well as a lot of nasty cruel parents, we just don't know which that lady is.

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 20:43:08

In what way just?
or is this just another vague, passive agressive post from you because you have realised you have not actually read the thread?

I have not tried to cover myself in glory. I objected to someone telling me she could tell, without doubt what was happening in the lives of people she doesn't know.

I have not accused anyone of anything other than not reading the thread properly and not having psychic powers.

I have defended myself against attacks from goady posters and based on things that I have never said.

I have asked for examples of these things and no one has come up with a single example.

marriedinwhiteagain Wed 24-Jul-13 20:43:38

Sounds like a parent who was badly parented to me. Somehow the chain needs to be broken and criticism is not necessarily the way to go about it.

hollyisalovelyname Wed 24-Jul-13 20:44:18

Well done you, OP. Evil triumphs because good people do nothing. It's so sad and so many people would give anything for a child/ children and would treat them so well. Life is so unfairhmm

PramelaAftersun Wed 24-Jul-13 20:44:44

If I called my husband a prick when I was out shopping would that mean I was a husband beater? Or would it mean that at that moment I was being rude and out of order?

Disingenuity of the highest order. Preposterous. Your husband is not a young child being abused in the street.

JassyRadlett Wed 24-Jul-13 20:46:10

MrsDV, for me it's been comments like redfairy's (on phone so can't copy and paste, sorry), and the 'just a snapshot' comments, or those condemning the act but throwing in the influence of heat or hormones as if that were relevant, that have made me upset/angry because to me it feels like if not excusing, then creating space to excuse. Because I wonder if those comments would be made if the mother had given her child a black eye.

Ditto the comments that the OP's post was somehow less relevant because the mother looked 'rough'. I don't give a shit what the mother looked like, what OP has described was abuse to a toddler.

Apols for general incoherence. Verbal abuse, and the fact that it's all too often in society not treated as seriously as physical abuse, is a hot button issue for me. Physical abuse is appalling and potentially lethal, but so is verbal and emotional abuse.

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 20:46:33

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AlanMoore Wed 24-Jul-13 20:46:48

Ooh marriedinwhiteagain I often disagree with your posts but absolutely concur with that one.

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Wed 24-Jul-13 20:47:12

We 'judge' people by their actions. If a man beats his wife, even if it is one-offwe view him as an abuser. If somebody murders another, they are a murderer. We don't say he may never have murdered another person in his life so we can't judge him. Perhaps these are too many analogies for some, but I think they are worth thinking about. In my neck of the woods we say we speak as we find, and in this instance, this woman was abusive. It matters nothing that she may not swear at her DC all the time. Once is once too often.

Emilythornesbff Wed 24-Jul-13 20:48:46

Wise words JassyRadlett
Good point well made IMHO.

Lizzylou Wed 24-Jul-13 20:48:51

Agree totally with Crashdoll and Marriedinwhite.
And Pram, the post where you state that only people in Africa could not afford to feed their children speaks volumes. Are you actually for real?
Have you not even seen the donation points for foodbanks in local supermarkets? Really?

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Wed 24-Jul-13 20:50:20

What do we do if we don't critisise this behaviour then? I agree she should be given support if this is a pattern of behaviour but people will only change if the open their eyes to the fact that e is wrong!

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 20:50:39

Jassy but that is the problem when you mix everyone up together as if they were one person saying all of those things.

It produces a myth.

Those things have been said by various posters in response to claims by other posters. Out of context and if they were written by one person they would suggest disbelief and minimisation.

But in the context of this long thread they are an attempt to persuade the OP that she doesn't know what is going on behind closed doors. They were seperate responses to posts continually claiming that this incident was proof of sustained abuse plus hints that if only we knew what the woman looked like we would all agree.

Surely that cannot be left unchallenged?

PramelaAftersun Wed 24-Jul-13 20:51:08

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marriedinwhiteagain Wed 24-Jul-13 20:52:42

OP did it occur to you to say something like. It's hard sometimes isn't it? I have torn mine of a strip on occasion albeit never in public and not necessarily with that sort of language because that sort of language isn't what I grew up hearing but by golly I can let rip and have made them cry probably too often. Parenting is hard when everything is right - exceptionally difficult when it isn't.

PramelaAftersun Wed 24-Jul-13 20:59:26

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JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Wed 24-Jul-13 20:59:46

So the woman's calling a small child a 'fucking piece of shit' and the more correct response to the woman would be 'it's hard sometimes isn't it?'


MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 21:00:47

This woman's behaviour has been criticised over and over and over again.

I don't think a single person on this long thread has not crticised it.

So I am not getting your point.

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Wed 24-Jul-13 21:02:42

Read marriedinwhite's post again MrsDeVere.

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 21:05:16

I have.

She has not condoned her behaviour has she?

She has offered some reasons why she may be like that and ways of breaking the cycle.

Do you think that in order to condem a behaviour you have to hate the person?


JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Wed 24-Jul-13 21:06:57

I'm sorry MrsDeVere that we are never going to agree on this. I am looking at this from the pov of the abused child whereas you only seem to want to focus on the woman. I don't we are ever going to find any common ground.

PramelaAftersun Wed 24-Jul-13 21:07:56

Are you saying I don't have the right to believe that a statistc telling me that 1 in 3 children is in poverty is utter bullshit? That is not goading or inflaming. That is my giving an example of the bleeding heart ideology seeping from some of these posts. It is the same set of beliefs which compel those posters to jump down the throats of people who deign to judge shocking behaviour in the street: Let's not place any blame; we don't know the facts; this could just be a snapshot; you shouldn't jump to conclusions; lots of great parents do bad things occasionally.

It is disingenuous to pretend that this woman could in all probability be anything other than your run-of-the-mill mother from hell, but some posters on here are determined to make people feel bad for judging what possibly (probably) goes on in this woman's home. It's not rocket science.

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Wed 24-Jul-13 21:08:31

And for the record, I don't 'hate' anybody. That isn't part of my personality.

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 21:09:03

That isn't true either just but nice try.

VerlaineChasedRimbauds Wed 24-Jul-13 21:09:22

MrsDeVere and Tantrums - I understand what you have been saying throughout the thread.

There has been no minimising of abuse. There has been no-one saying that the behaviour described in the OP was OK. No-one. Absolutely no-one. There has been no suggestion that the mother was a brilliant mother the rest of the time.

There has however been the perfectly reasonable point made that the OP cannot KNOW what the mother is like the rest of the time. She can't. She has surmised and made assumptions based on a small amount of evidence. She might well be right. But she can't know that she is.

It is not the same as witnessing someone kicking the shit out of someone.

It doesn't mean that the OP was wrong to tell her to stop shouting at her children like that , but as far as I can tell only one poster has suggested that she was - and that wasn't MrsDeVere or Tantrums.

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 21:10:36

That was in response
to your monumentally passive aggressive post about you caring about the child and me not.
I have no idea about the other thing.
But I can see you are trying to find a way out of this thread .

marriedinwhiteagain Wed 24-Jul-13 21:11:20

I'm confused. Just too tired to read the whole thread.

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Wed 24-Jul-13 21:12:18

'It's not the same as witnessing someone kicking the shit out of someone.'

What exactly are your views on ea then Verlaine?

BRB, just gonna go tell the foodbanks to shut up shop. They'll be so relieved that food poverty was a big statistical misunderstanding. I know I am.


JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Wed 24-Jul-13 21:13:49

I am happy to stick around MrsDeVere. I'm not looking for a 'way out.'

JassyRadlett Wed 24-Jul-13 21:14:14

Smite has put it much more eloquently than I have.

Married, if she'd decked her kid would you be suggesting the same response??

MrsDV, you'll note from my posts that I have been incredibly careful about ascribing comments to all posters, or to 'mix everyone up together'. I've in fact referenced specific comments that upset me, and then gave my own opinion on the OP and the discussion, which as far as I'm concerned is a valid one.

However, since you and I are in what I hope is a constructive conversation, if I'm honest one or two of your very early comments made me very angry and upset, where you said:

^But it really was just a few seconds out of their lives.

You could be right but the chances are equal that you could be wrong.^

To me, it's a few seconds in which a child was abused in public, which actually as Smite says probably reduce the chances that OP was wrong. So to me it's not 'just a few seconds' any more than a husband breaking his wife's arm or a parent beating a child is 'just a few seconds'. I'm fairly sure, reading your later posts, that this is now how you meant to come across, but I can also see how other posters interpreted it the same way I did.

And again when you said:

On a thread about a child being sworn at, there is a child who is being physically abused and no one is doing anything about it. FFS.

I became quite upset. Partly because very many people were urging yellow to take action - it had not been ignored although the thread hadn't altogether been diverted in that direction, and whether that's right or wrong is up for grabs - but also because to me verbal abuse is just as worthy of intervention as physical abuse, while your statement suggests either there should be a hierarchy of intervention, or that this was just a bit of swearing and not that serious. Perhaps neither was your intention, but that's how it came across to me.

I'm honestly not attacking you - but explaining how those comments came across to me.

However I do question other posters who suggested that it was 'silly' to suggest that it was appropriate to call SS for 'swearing at your kids', which made me very upset and angry.

chubbychipmonk Wed 24-Jul-13 21:16:18

That makes me feel sick to my stomach when I read posts like that. I always think if that's how she speaks or acts in public thn God only knows what goes on in private.

Doesn't bear thinking about.

PramelaAftersun Wed 24-Jul-13 21:18:43

Brilliant post, Jassy, thank you.

JassyRadlett Wed 24-Jul-13 21:20:02

^not how you meant to come across, not now. Sorry

libertine73 Wed 24-Jul-13 21:20:18

I phoned SS once b ecause someone was repeatedly shouting obsenities at their 2 year old. They did take it seriously, and investigated, I don'[t know what happened, other than this summer with the windows wide open, I've heard nothing of the kind, thank god!

VerlaineChasedRimbauds Wed 24-Jul-13 21:20:43

Emotional abuse? I'm not defending it, if that's what you are getting at.. The way that the woman behaved as described in the OP is terrible - it is, however, not a physical assault for which I would very definitely call the police. Is that any good? Will that do. I wouldn't say they were "exactly my views" - it would depend how much I knew about the emotional abuse, I suppose, for me to be able to give you a clearer view.

Are you going to suggest I'm an abuse apologist now?

I do not call the police when I hear people swearing in an angry fashion in the street. It doesn't mean I think it's good. If someone swears in an aggressive fashion it is frightening and horrible. I feel very sorry for anyone on the receiving end of it - especially children.

I do not regard someone kicking the shit out of someone as being the SAME as someone calling someone else a fuck and a shit. It doesn't mean that calling someone a fuck and shit is something to be applauded.

Do I work in Africa?

Are you actually taking the piss?

I actually volunteer in haringey. North london.
With families who's children won't get a hot meal during the summer because school is closed. So we provide a meal service. For anyone that needs it.
We also do a collection of school clothes through the church.

And it's lovely that you don't believe children are living in poverty.
Pop down and volunteer this summer. Then you can see it.

What an utterly stupid, idiotic, response.

missmarplestmarymead Wed 24-Jul-13 21:21:42

I think that one doesn't need a foot to lick the shit out of someone. It can be just as well done with a nasty and foul mouth, especially when directed towards a defenceless child.

I would also think that a woman who lets her mouth run like that in public will show the same lack of control when it does come to using her literal foot when she is in private with those children.

JassyRadlett Wed 24-Jul-13 21:22:31

Libertine, that's an incredibly reassuring story. Thank you.

missmarplestmarymead Wed 24-Jul-13 21:22:50

I meant Kick, not Lick.

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Wed 24-Jul-13 21:24:12

I haven't called anybody an 'abuse apologist' and I never would.

I think ea is as bad as physical abuse so clearly we disagree verlaine

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 21:25:46

I don't think you are attacking me jassy and I hope you don't think I am attacking you. I appreciate your posts are carefully considered.

But I when I made the second comment people had not actually been taking a great deal of notice of what that poster had said. And my post was more directed at the poster who was discussing this horrible stuff than the others on the thread.

My comments about it being a few seconds out of their lives was not about it being a non-event. I was in response to the OP stating that she knew what was going on because she had witnessed 'just' a few seconds out of their lives.

perhaps it was the use of the word 'just' that confused you?

However, as you say I made it perfectly clear over and over again that I did not think that swearing at children was ok or that this woman was a good mother.

I have probably said this on every single page of this thread. Because this issue is very important to me. For lots of reasons.

I perhaps should have given up pages ago but as someone who feels strongly about this subject yourself, I a sure you can appreciate why I couldn't let the accusations go unchallenged.

VerlaineChasedRimbauds Wed 24-Jul-13 21:25:55

Would you call the police JustGive? If you had witnessed what the OP did?

missmarple thinking it is one thing.
Stating you know that is another.

Everyone has their opinion but some people would do well to remember a opinion is just that. It's not a fact.

VerlaineChasedRimbauds Wed 24-Jul-13 21:28:18

Leaving the thread though now - have other things to do.

JassyRadlett Wed 24-Jul-13 21:29:03

MrsDV, suggesting as you did that I am or was 'confused' is actually very insulting. You words were clear and very open to misinterpretation, as a number of people on this thread have clearly done subsequently.

PramelaAftersun Wed 24-Jul-13 21:29:14

No, Tantrums, I am not taking the piss. I simply don't believe 1 in 3 children in Britain is living in poverty.

libertine73 Wed 24-Jul-13 21:29:42

Tantrums I don't know how you've got this far on this thread with only one deletion, you are clearly much more zen than me grin

Lizzylou Wed 24-Jul-13 21:29:56

Pram, you can believe what you want. The facts and the evidence speak for itself. I find it utterly frightening that a reactionary such as yourself, with no empathy for those around you and no concept of what UK families are up against is working for the very system set up to help people.
I don't believe that you do. The people I know who do, and the people I work with are far more in tune with what is going on in the UK today.
Oh to live in your bubble.

Like I say come and volunteer then.
Speak to the families who suffer when their children do not get free school meals. Who can't afford uniform because they are paying back payday loans that they took out last year to buy uniform.
Come and actually see the reality of child poverty

And then tell me it's a lie.

libs I am very restrained today grin

I am finding that the sheer ignorance on this thread speaks for itself better than I can.

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 21:34:04

Jassy they were not meant to be.
I am sorry if it seemed that way.

I am actually getting quite upset with all this now.

I don't think my words were misinterpreted tbh. I think that people were responding to posts about me, not from me.
But I have had enough now.
I tried to write a nice, considered post and I have insulted you.

Enough is enough.

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Wed 24-Jul-13 21:34:53

I witnessed ds2's best friend from nursery being verbally abused (in a very similar fashion to what the OP witnessed) by his mother. I discussed the matter with nursery and i callled ss. I hope this very troubled lady got the help she needed Nd more importantly I hope it stopped the little boy from being abused. I have zero regrets.

Mental health is a huge issue in this country. Some of it stems from ea whether it's from a parent, friend or partner. The damage is less visible than a broken arm or bruised leg but it is no less severe. So yes, I still disagree with you that ea is less series than a pHysical attack.

missmarplestmarymead Wed 24-Jul-13 21:35:54

Naturally, I'm only thinking and of course, I don't know.
Neither do you though, you only think too.

We base our conclusions on life experiences and there is no way of knowing which of us is right. I hope you are, I really hope that you are.

However, where there is doubt, I would rather err on the side of protecting the child even if, by doing so, I caused embarrassment for both myself and the woman in charge of the children.

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Wed 24-Jul-13 21:36:00

I am sorry Mrs. deVere if Nything I have said has upset you. That wasn't my intention. I really disagree with you but I don't want to upset you.

marriedinwhiteagain Wed 24-Jul-13 21:37:22

justfiveminutes no - just saying it's hard isn't it, isn't enough. But a bit of empathy and support and a door left open is hugely more helpful for someone who may well be a vulnerable adult and her child than downright condemnation. I little bit of sympathy opens the door to receptiveness re support and in turn receptiveness to re-education. I don't think it's all black and white.

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Wed 24-Jul-13 21:37:26

My post at 21.34 was for verlaine btw.

My whole point miss is that I don't know anything.

Every post I make, I say that.

That you cannot possibly know what goes on after that 10 seconds.

Is no one actually reading that ?

PramelaAftersun Wed 24-Jul-13 21:38:09

Lizzy, I can tell you for a fact that 1 in 3 children are not living in poverty. I'm not prepared to debate the issue, either, as I am sick of being labelled as 'goady' and 'inflammatory'. I know the truth as I see it and that is all I need to know.

JassyRadlett Wed 24-Jul-13 21:39:36

You know, a few people being willing to say 'sorry, I worded that badly' probably would have made this a much shorter thread.

MrsDV, clearly I misinterpreted your words. From my reading, I suspect others did (not all, but some).

But you don't see it, do you?

I volunteer in one of the most deprived boroughs in london.

Or is that a lie as well? Maybe I am a fucking idiot and actually everyone's rolling in cash, living it up and they just fancy a free dinner?

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Wed 24-Jul-13 21:40:40

According to the latests statistics one in six UK children live in poverty sad

And pramela you have a loose grip on the definition of fact. In my very honest opinion.

Emilythornesbff Wed 24-Jul-13 21:41:41

Bloody hell jassy
Gold stars for eloquence.

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 21:45:42

I can't agree with you jassy
You misinterpreted a post at the beginning of the thread.
That may have been because it was worded badly.
I think the majority of posters later on had not even read that post.
They had read posts by other people.

As I said. I am sorry you found my choice of the word confusing insulting. I have told you that was absolutely not my intention.

I found your last post upsetting. It seemed you were accusing be of deliberately trying to insult you.
I have told you that is not the case. In fact it was very far from my intention.

I will leave it at that.

missmarplestmarymead Wed 24-Jul-13 21:46:26

Sometimes, we can know what is going on after 10 seconds, Tantrums. 10 seconds is a long time to be at the end of a verbal attack, especially for a child. A more powerful person was abusing a vulnerable one, it wouldn't take long to see that.


pram has been goady throughout this thread.
I believe this is against MN rules.

Indeed it is. We are on the case.


The thread shows me that lots of people care passionately about child welfare and that's got to be a good thing.

Well yes. Sorry to be late to the party.

our guidelines for those who may need them.
Peace and love

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 21:47:20

'it may have been because it was badly worded'
That is not meant to be insulting or have a hidden meaning either.

sunshine401 Wed 24-Jul-13 21:49:05

Not nice behavior, however to this women she may know no different. Maybe that is how her parents were with her. Maybe she has health problems, maybe she just is a shit parent who knows...
Without all the information you cannot really state facts

Lizzylou Wed 24-Jul-13 21:49:41

For an absolute fact, Pram? Really?and you won't debate the issue? May not be be exactly 1/3, but yes, people in the Uk struggle to feed their children. I have seen the evidence and I find your lack of empathy scary.
You have no clue. No clue.

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Wed 24-Jul-13 21:50:32

I'm pleased this thread is being looked at. Lots of people had views on it then disappeared after being jumped on.

JassyRadlett Wed 24-Jul-13 21:51:28

The fact is, MrsDV, that neither of us can say with certainty what people have been responding to or reacting to any more than we can say with any certainty what sort of mother the abuser in the OP is behind closed doors.

I think we may start to circles if we continue. I accept that you did not intend to mislead or be misinterpreted through your choice of words, and neither did you choose to offend. Let's leave it there.

JassyRadlett Wed 24-Jul-13 21:52:36

smile, Emily. Am painting skirting boards in between MNing, it helps me to order my thoughts. Going to run out of skirting boards in a second though....

For the nine hundredth time miss I know.

That. Was. My. Point.

We can see that her behaviour, that the OP witnessed was horrible. And wrong on every level.

We cannot presume to know anything other than what happened in. That. 10. Seconds.

kali110 Wed 24-Jul-13 21:57:28

Wow, mrs d hasn't said she agrees with what happened, but we honestly dont know what the lady is like with her kids 100% of the time.why is everybody jumping on her?mrs d been in ur place, had whole load of mn on me last wk because i went against the majority.

The only people jumped on and insulted and called abuse minimisers, enablers, apologists were those who didnt agree that this woman was the spawn of satan every second of the day because there was no actual evidence of this.

I believe we are still here.......

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 21:58:02

I could have gone a long while back just considering I have been accused of being emotional abusive to my own children, minimising abuse, condoning abuse, not caring about abused children etc.
I chose not to dump and run.

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 21:59:36

Thank you kali

MumnGran Wed 24-Jul-13 22:00:45

Good grief. I didn't run away, but have eaten dinner, walked the dog, watered the garden, etc ... and am stunned to come back and find this is still going on. shock

Could we not just agree that ...... the OP should maybe have qualified an assumption......and ..... that a lot of the responders latched onto just that element that because it pushed a specific button for them.

Oh, and that.....
if it quacks like a duck then a lot of people are going to consider it to be a duck, but would be happy to be corrected if it turned out to be a chicken having a bad day.
A lot of other people will consider it isn't a duck until its proven not to be a chicken

Does that sum it all up?

kali110 Wed 24-Jul-13 22:01:51

Btw op i wouldnt confront ur neighbour or the partner as they may be aggressive towards you and you don't need that!

JassyRadlett Wed 24-Jul-13 22:04:28

MumnGran, admirably succinct. I'd only add that there's a group (maybe just me) who think that even if the chicken was having an incredibly bad day, it was a duck for those 10 seconds. And a really small discussion about different species of duck.

I think I just broke the analogy. grin

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 22:05:21

pretty much gran

MumnGran Wed 24-Jul-13 22:09:06

Its amazing the distance that dog walking can give smile
And inspiration for analogy.

KateShmate Wed 24-Jul-13 22:11:54

I really hope that Yellow comes back on and realises that it is absolutely unbelievable that she hasn't rung SS yet. Sorry, but in my eyes it's disgusting that she has heard physical abuse to a child, and done absolutely nothing about it. It's not hard to pick up a phone and ring a number.

Like a PP said, I cannot believe the Daniel Pelka case - how can no one have seen the abuse and not taken further action? It makes me feel physically sick to think of the abuse that he had to endure; that poor, poor little boy.

Cases like that do tend to make me wary about parents; but at the end of the day I would much rather ring SS and be wrong, than to do nothing and know that some poor child had been abused because I couldn't be bothered to phone. SS aren't going to take action if nothing is wrong.

Of course YANBU OP - it's so hard to know what to do in situations like that. I can't bear all this '10 seconds of her life' rubbish - is that to say that if you saw me slapping my child around the face in the street that you could just brush it off and say 'Well, it's only a snapshot of her life - she's probably lovely at home'.. The likelihood is that these kinds of parents will be worse at home, and behind closed doors.

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Wed 24-Jul-13 22:14:08

If you have been called those things MrsDeVere they certainly didn't come from me.

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 22:15:12

I don't know the full details of that awful case.
Did people really do nothing?
Was he not on anyone's radar?
I thought the school reported.

BTW kate
no-one said any of those things.
not one single person.
at all.

crashdoll Wed 24-Jul-13 22:17:30

Interesting that those of us who have experience in working with safeguarding issues all seem to agree that writing off this lady is a bad idea. I, for one, am grateful that people like tantrums and mrs dv work with vulnerable families. I'm sure all of our codes of conduct expect workers not to disempower individuals by labelling them.

Thesunalwayshinesontv Wed 24-Jul-13 22:18:45

Have skim read the thread, not interested in the slinging match(es).

OP, I totally agree with you. It was appalling parenting, and she is an appalling parent to speak to her child in that fashion. That's it.

I am sick to death of people constantly aiming for the lowest acceptable standard. Why can't people aim high and have some shame if they fall short, instead of excusing poor behaviour with "well, at least I didn't do x...", or "well, there were extenuating circumstances in that...".

And yes, I know that woman is a bad mother, without having even witnessed the episode. If it was true, good (or even passable) parents do not behave like that. Bad parents do. That is all there is to it.

fromparistoberlin Wed 24-Jul-13 22:19:57

whu has this turned into a bitchfest? MN at its worst

I think everyone genuinely cares about child welfare on this thread, even the ones that might have read as "apologists", which I am sure they are not

I know its AIBU

but I find it depressing we could have had a chat about "dont walk on by" and how hard it is to challenge this. aBout how we do need a cultural shift.

and no, its turned into a spat and someone who should hide thread and have a wine (thats you MrdDV) is getting increasing upset

Its such a shame


fromparistoberlin Wed 24-Jul-13 22:21:31


I mentined Daniel upathread, its haunted me,

sentancing for those evil evil people this week

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 22:22:29

I'm sorry MrsDeVere that we are never going to agree on this. I am looking at this from the pov of the abused child whereas you only seem to want to focus on the woman. I don't we are ever going to find any common ground.

This is the post in which you accuse me of not caring about the pov of an abused child.

Wannabestepfordwife Wed 24-Jul-13 22:29:29

yellow if your still reading this I understand your pregnant and scared but your neighbour needs to be reported. Those children have the same right to a decent life as your unborn baby. If you can't face it then pm the details and I will report.

Yanbu op the child's mother behaved in an appalling manner and I wish I had your balls.

I'm disgusted by some of the comments regarding ss and people who work with them. I would rather work down a cesspit then have to deal with the shit they do.

They are over worked and how they cope with the emotional baggage astounds me. I think we all have a moral obligation to support ss and report abuse when we see it.

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Wed 24-Jul-13 22:31:47

I didn't say you didn't care. I said you were focussing on the woman. I stand by this. I've had shitloads of flak on this thread. Somebody said I was making an idiot of myself, everything i've said has been jumped on. I've said sorry if you were upset and you haven't had the courtesy to acknowledge this.

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 22:43:16

I didn't call you an idiot.
Why on earth would you bring that up?
This is getting ridiculous.

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Wed 24-Jul-13 22:46:05

It wasn't you MrsDeVere. I said SOMEBODY did.

InMyShreddies Wed 24-Jul-13 23:18:08

This thread is ridiculous.

MrsDevere - what are you posting for? You aren't actually contributing anything, providing no opinions or information. Only defending yourself repeatedly without actually posting anything confused it's really derailed the thread. And you seem intent on putting yourself above the OP in terms of she only ran down some stairs, but you work daily with people - please use your experience to discuss usefully rather than post without actually saying anything!

It's utterly baffling that it's being criticised on this thread to make the assumption that this woman is not a good parent, and probably worth referring to social services. Isn't it better for a family to be involved with social services than not, if they are struggling or not doing right by their children (which this woman clearly is not)? Mrsdevere do you not think OP is entirely human and compassionate and correct in what she did?

mynameismskane Wed 24-Jul-13 23:37:22

Got to agree with shreddies here

Ilovediago Wed 24-Jul-13 23:37:47

I doubt I would have been brave enough to do what you did OP but good on you, she was being horrid and no child deserves to be spoken to like that, no matter how much of a bad day their mother may have been having. I can also understand the frustration - yes, the OP does not know exactly what kind of mother this she is, but that small glimpse is worrying and shocking and probably indicative of what goes on on a regular basis.

Salmotrutta Wed 24-Jul-13 23:53:05

There is an awful lot of frothing on this thread.

I've read it all.

At no point did MrsDeVere* condone/minimise/be an apologist for this woman's actions.

She just pointed out that yes it was awful, of course it should not have happened but that it wasn't the whole picture.

And OP - you said you ground to a halt whilst the woman had gone into a bank? Did you phone the police or anything while she was in there? Clearly you feel she was a shit parent?

I'm actually staggered at the Do you work in Africa?? Comment from whichever mind-glowingly offensive person posted that! shock

Salmotrutta Wed 24-Jul-13 23:53:54

mind-blowingly obvs!

missmarplestmarymead Thu 25-Jul-13 00:21:25

It doesn't matter that we haven't got the whole picture-we have enough of it to know that things are not right and frankly, the child's right to be protected ranks way way above any adult's no matter how terrible a day, life they're having.

If those who work in a professional capacity with inadequate parents really do fall over themselves looking at why the parent might behave like this instead of stepping in and protecting the child, then I really am not surprised that we regularly, after yet another horrific child abuse case hits the headlines, have social workers wringing their hands and promising to learn nauseum.

There is only one lesson to be learned...put the rights of children to be safe first. There is no justification for anything else. There really isn't.

As for the OP, she was right. I shudder at the fact that we are becoming a society where children can be abused in the street because the abuser knows nothing will be done. if a few more were pulled up on it by all of us, we decided that we were not going to put up with it, then not so many would do it,

The child's right to safety trumps the adult's every time. It is impossible for any reasonable person to argue against this.