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

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

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

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

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

I don't ignore it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and i got free coffee as a reward!

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

What Shelley said.

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

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

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

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

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

That won't work OP.

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

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

It won't work.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Exactly cake!

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

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

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

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

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

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

ageofgrand exactly.

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

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

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

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

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

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

candycoatedwaterdrops Fri 02-Aug-13 20:50:20

Neighbours knocking on doors or confronting an abusive parent is not the answer and you are naïve to think this is so. If you are genuinely interested and not stirring, skim through a couple of serious case reviews. Peer pressure will not stop abuse. Professionals communication with one another and policies being reviewed are just 2 of ways to move us forward. The law is clear - the interpretation of it is not.

Tee2072 Fri 02-Aug-13 21:01:17

Confronting is the worst thing you can do unless you are in a position to hold the parent and call 999 immediately and have actual cause to do so.

You intervene. The parent stops. Then gets the child home and beats them severely for 'making them get in trouble.'

ageofgrandillusion Fri 02-Aug-13 21:08:05

Tee2072. Where is the proper evidence of that? And don't just give me the odd anecdote. Where is the prooer evidence that people intervening generally is less beneficial than people simply walking on by? There isnt any and you know it.

TimothyClaypoleLover Fri 02-Aug-13 21:10:12

I have seen a mother shouting and swearing at her two little girls on the school run. Broke my heart that she could speak to them like that and I felt awful that I didn't say anything. But I honestly don't think confronting the parents is the answer. If they are abusive parents the poor child/ren are likely to get it worse at home as a consequence of being confronted.

ThePowerof3 Fri 02-Aug-13 22:08:29

I have got quite a temper and know what it is like to feel at the end of your tether but would never swear at my children, it's over stepping the mark and who knows what you'll do next. It isn't just 'having a bad day' when you call your own child a cunt surely??

Bowlersarm Fri 02-Aug-13 22:11:32

What Tee said makes absolute sense. 'Just wait til I get you home' has been used over the centuries. Much more sinister these days.

holidaybug Fri 02-Aug-13 22:12:20

YANBU. I don't understand why after the event, neighbours/schools etc will say they had concerns, heard screams etc. I wouldn't hesitate to call the police, social services etc and do what I could to ensure it was followed up.

Sirzy Fri 02-Aug-13 22:13:29

Age - you seem to have ignored my earlier question so I will ask again. What do you think telling a paren off is going to achieve? Do you really think an abusive parent is going suddenly stop after some stranger telling them off in the street?

Bowlersarm Fri 02-Aug-13 22:18:07

Agree Sirzy. The people shouting in the street are often not the ones carrying out the diabolical abuse. They hide it better.

betterthanever Fri 02-Aug-13 22:22:43

No matter what we do the courts let it carry on anyway - I don't know how to put on a link to another thread on but there is on in legal now - the parent has committed sexual abuse and allowed to have contact. I sadly know a personal case of two poor girls who may be facing a residence order with a sexually abusive parent, never mind verbally abusive parent - the child's rights are being used as a way to get parental rights.
Two wonderful chidlren's services staff were talking to me in our office block a few weeks ago - they said just that about parental rights, they are pulling thier hair out with it all. They feel powerless to stop what they know is happening to some children. Whilst we don't want children running wild without discipline - good discipline is too difficult for some and they use abuse as the easy way. lawyers make the money on defending the parents and the courts are run by ex lawyers - what hope do we have?

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 02-Aug-13 22:23:00


Even people correctly trained in cp have to asses the risks of informing the parents of a referral or concern on a case by case basis its often considered to be do dangerous to do so until such time as the child can be removed.

People without the knowledge to do so should not intervene other than by passing the ball on to people who are correctly trained.

MrsKeithRichards Fri 02-Aug-13 22:25:28

The tragic thing is, these poor excuse for human beings, Daniel's parents, were most likely never seen publicly losing it with the poor boy. Awful case. I hope that boy is at peace.

mumofthemonsters808 Fri 02-Aug-13 22:32:43

Sorry for sounding so negative but all this will achieve is to increase the abusers anger. A stranger's intervention is not going to miraculously stop the abusers behaviour or even change their way of talking to their child.I also agree with Bowler who points out that the vile person screaming in the street is usually not someone who beats their child black and blue.

SanityClause Fri 02-Aug-13 22:33:22

DH was talking about this, and said that his teachers must've known there was a problem, and why didn't they do anything about it?

Well, I think you'll find they did report it, but that, for whatever reason, SS didn't act in a way to protect the child. (Whether that was lack of funds, lack of good leadership, or something else, no doubt we will find out. Ironic if it's lack of funds - plenty of money to find out what went wrong, but not enough to make sure it didn't go wrong in the first place.)

Apparently 50-60 children die at the hands of their parents/carers every year, through abuse and neglect. That's one a week. I wonder why this particular photogenic child is getting so much media attention? I mean, it's obviously a terrible tragedy, but so it is for the other 59 children who have/will die this year.

betterthanever Fri 02-Aug-13 22:33:33

Sorry that other thread is in lone parents not legal.

PeriodMath Fri 02-Aug-13 22:43:36

I agree with all those who've said confronting a stranger will achieve nothing and probably only make things worse for the child.

It only works if you KNOW the person, where they live, where the child goes to school etc. Then you "could" make a difference by contacting the school and social services and allowing it to be looked into properly.

ageofgrandillusion Fri 02-Aug-13 22:48:24

Bowlersarm - where is the evidence for your assertion?
Sirzy - it lets them know what they are doing is wrong and goes against social norms.
Sockreturningpixie - what do you mean by 'correctly trained'? Genuine question - what, exactly, does this training involve?

Sirzy Fri 02-Aug-13 22:53:34

Do you really think they believe it is normal behaviour?

ageofgrandillusion Fri 02-Aug-13 23:01:17

It is probably normal to them, or rather, to some parents. Drink driving was normal to many people at one time. It is now very much taboo.

Sirzy Fri 02-Aug-13 23:02:57

Yet people still drink drive knowing they won't. It is very naive to believe that a stranger saying "don't do that" will make them stop abusing their child.

Bowlersarm Fri 02-Aug-13 23:03:20

Don't be ridiculous, Age. I had no 'assertion'.

Just common sense.

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 02-Aug-13 23:48:29


Do you seriously need to ask what I mean by child protection training?

Have a little think perhaps you will work out I'm meaning the various levels offered on a professional basis to people working in child protection.

I have worked for SS, I work with marginalized people. Don't challenge in the street. The people who swear near or at their children may well not be the people abusing them and vice versa. I know a really challenged Mum who repeatedly swears at both hers. She is a great Mum. I have been at meetings about her and the consensus is that this is her verrnacular.

Do, however, always report if you suspect abuse, always speak up about abuse, always believe if a child discloses and LEAVE THE HEAVY STUFF TO THE PROFESSIONALS. Sorry to shout.

betterthanever Sat 03-Aug-13 00:31:01

Are you being serious that the mum you talk about mrs is a `great mum' and she swears at her children confused.
It maybe best you no longer work for social services. Challenged Mum or not - allowing her to swear at children is not the answer - they are children they don't know she is `challenged'.
I think this is exactly what people feel is wrong with our system. I can see it isn't always the right thing to do, to challenge a stranger but I do at the same time understand the taboo argument.

Yes I am. It is also probably better that unqualified, nosy, judgmental people don't work for SS. By good mother I mean that her DC are well fed, cared for, clean, always attended school and programs they were enrolled in. Her house is spotless and, most importantly, she loves them and they know it. She was also open and honest with the professionals involved in her life. The same cannot be said for the partners who she got rid of when they were obviously not the people who should be in her DC's lives. I didn't allow her to swear at her children, I'm not her jailer. She is an adult and all SS and agencies should be worried about is whether children are abused or neglected.

BTW I also found it shocking, because we see swearing as an indicator of 'badness'. "Fuck off, Mummy's busy right now" is not actually any different to "go way, Mummy's busy right now" if they are both said in the same tone and with the same intent. I never saw her raise her voice to her DC, never hit, never endangered them. I did wonder if they would be judged and bullied at school when they came out with those words.

Name-calling IMO is very bad but we allow, "you are naughty" and not, "you are a little fucker". Words are just words. The intent and what people mean by them IS important. Also, the surrounding care is important as well. If a child is constantly told, "you are naughty, naughty DD" that, IMO is worse than swearing as long as the swearing is not damaging the child.

CalamityJ Sat 03-Aug-13 00:46:38

Smoking pot in the park and calling your child an arsehole. WWYHD?

It's all in the context. Children that look badly cared for, parents very under the influence (whether that is pot or alcohol) and aggressive language, whether that is swearing or not... Not good and should be dealt with. I'm lucky that I know a LOT of Police officers so they is always someone I can drop a text to for advice or help. Do I think a random stranger in a park telling people to stop is going to make the situation better? No. Do I think it might make it worse? Yes. It just doesn't really do anything. Professionals getting involved does help in a lot of cases.

I just had a look at the stats and it is interesting that Canada, where I live currently has a far higher incidence of child deaths from maltreatment than the UK, where I normally live. I have heard people swearing near or at their children masses in the UK and next to never in Canada.

People also forget that the choices when a child is in the system are limited. Everyone says that children should be removed from their parents care if things are bad. Children in care have a higher incidence of abuse, drug taking, violence, suicide, criminal behaviour, self harm etc. etc. than children not in care. Removing children doesn't solve anything. It may be the lesser of two evils for a child like Daniel but it is not a happy thing.

Catrin Sat 03-Aug-13 01:00:23

I am a teacher.
I have worked with children I am SURE are being abused. I have followed procedure and informed my CP co-ordinator, who has told SS who has followed it up. I know, on at least one of of these occasions, the SS visit meant the most hideous of hideous nights for the poor, poor baby I had in my Reception class and her mum. I know, that no matter how many times she told me about the awfulness of her life, and the times I cwtched her and tried to reassure her she was so loved and beautiful and wonderful and amazing, it will never have stopped what she saw and what happened to her.Eventually they were moved a zillion miles away. She was the most beautiful, kind, wonderful little girl and I will never stop wishing I could have done more.

cockerpoodle Sat 03-Aug-13 04:56:00

I was trying to grab 5 minutes peace in the garden when dd called out from indoors, 'Muuuuum' for the thousandth time, making her thousandth whiny request that day (estimate).

The neighbours might have heard me hiss 'Fuck off' under my breath... DD wouldn't have, though. But it's a fine line.

NutcrackerFairy Sat 03-Aug-13 07:30:41

Oh come on, I think everyone on here is reasonable and intelligent enough to realise that a mother saying "Fuck off Mummy's busy" is although not great parenting is not the same as a mother aggressively screaming "Fuck off you useless little cunt!"

I wonder if people who have some professional experience in this area are actually desensitised to the awfulness of the parent's words and actions, as long as they are not hitting or starving their children they are deemed as 'good parents' hmm

OP, I agree with you. I work in a profession where welfare of the child is a primary consideration. I feel that as a society we absolutely need to stand up for the rights of children and also be seen to be doing so.

So if some of these poor children are daily given the sense that their parent's vile verbal or physical abuse of them is not acceptable or warranted then this must be a very important thing for them to understand about themselves. And perhaps allow them to confide in these other interested and concerned adults, not the person on the street perhaps but perhaps a teacher or school dinner lady... I guess if poor little Daniel had been able to tell someone just what was going on at home then that person would have had to get SS involved and something might have been done...

Sirzy Sat 03-Aug-13 07:38:59

But nobody has said people shouldn't intervene when they have genuine concerns for a child's safety. People have said that needs to be done properly not just a complete stranger having a go at them in the street. If you have concerns about a child report them to the people who are in a position to make a real change in someone's life.

filee777 Sat 03-Aug-13 07:41:34

Wasn't the point of the case with Daniel Pelka that the parents were polite and kind in public and abusive behind closed doors?

I haven't seen ANY reporting that they had be found to be 'shouting at their children in public' so what is the point of this thread please?

MrsKeithRichards Sat 03-Aug-13 07:44:54

The point of this thread is so the op and others can feel smug and happy with themselves as they are under the illusion they have the power to prevent all child abuse ever, just by shouting at someone.

filee777 Sat 03-Aug-13 07:48:15

The issue is with social services, we had an investigation (the munro investigation) after Baby P and it was supposed to bring real changes to social work, and it is, slowly. But its only this year that it is bringing changes to the education of social workers and there is still the enormous battle to face of the existing, overworked and stressed out social workers who will seek to close a case as quickly as possible rather than investigate it because of the sheer amount of other cases they have.

Then there is the issue with funding, now I totally agree with them cutting the funding for 1st year students in social work because actually people should not be picking the course because it comes with a £4500 incentive but the changes in funding to the actual job are scary.

But anyway, this case is NOT about people being cowboys, this is about better training and cooperation with teachers, so that they can actually be a part of the process rather than just an informer. Who better will know the child and the succession of injuries? This should be the start of any investigation and then further investigations should come from that, this quick phonecall and let SS deal with it culture has got to stop because it does not work.

filee777 Sat 03-Aug-13 07:50:37

MrsKeith thats so sad, because actually what these people should be doing is donating to the NSPCC or volunteering some of their time to disadvantaged families, not shouting at people in the street! Its like a forum version of 'click like and save this childs life' it doesnt work that way, you actually have to DO something proactive.

MrsKeithRichards Sat 03-Aug-13 07:56:47

That's exactly what it is. 'Share this picture to stop child abuse' mentality.

Some people refuse to think what happens beyond what they might witness on the street.

Don't ignore, by all means. But always pass on your concerns. Don't be the person in the news saying you thought something wasn't right but done nothing about it. Be the person saying I reported them several times, something should have been done.

But don't be naive enough to think shouting at someone is the best thing you can do.

Dozer Sat 03-Aug-13 08:04:53

Social services are under-resourced, and the cuts in local government budgets won't help. Energy would be better directed lobbying for changes to provide more resources and help social workers, schools, doctors etc do what they need to do, than confronting parents directly.

Altinkum Sat 03-Aug-13 08:12:49

I was going to come on and say what MrsT said.

Also as a ex CPU social worker, I would also advice about commenting on a parents parenting in the street, it could potenaionally make things a lot worse for the child.

I became a social worker due to my own abhorrent childhood, on one occasion my dad was pulled up in the street my a elderly lady, due to him pulling and shoveing my sister and me, he shouted at the lady and told her in. O uncertain terms some selected blue choice words. My sister and me were beaten with a belt that night, as we embarrassed him in public!!!

Swearing at you're children isn't a indication of abuse, the manner in which those words are said IS, I've swore plenty of times at my children, as do most parents.

The people who failed this child is all who knew him, and the sad reality is, he won't be the last!!!

All this nonsense why didn't SS take the child away.... This sentence here is massively indictive that you simply don't understand how the services work.

As for rosé saying all they had to do was ask the school to get permission to write to the GP, also shows lack of knowledge, as all that letter would say, was that a referral was made to a pead, the school had the consultants letter about that refferal and that the child's illness was under investigation and in their care!!!

As I said with baby p, Victoria etc.... Daniel won't be the last.... Even with the best services in the world, abysses will still abuse!!!

NutcrackerFairy Sat 03-Aug-13 08:34:05

Sorry Altinkum, but I don't actually think that most parents swear at their children hmm

I am sorry to hear of your abusive childhood at the hands of your father... but please don't try and make out that swearing at children is normal or acceptable.

You may be happy to do so, a lot of parents aren't.

betterthanever Sat 03-Aug-13 08:34:19

I didn't allow her to swear at her children, I'm not her jailer. She is an adult and all SS and agencies should be worried about is whether children are abused or neglected. swearing at children in my opinion IS abuse.

This is exactly how children slip through the net - you say you don't `allow' should we say enable then.

It is a broad subject and I agree that some parents can be very poliet and not swear/shout/hit children in public but the abuse is carried out behind closed door. I am generally interested to know from those with SS working experience - where is the line drawn between police and SS involvement?

filee777 Sat 03-Aug-13 08:35:59

Swearing at your children does not equate to child abuse

in the same way that leaving a child to CIO does not equate to child neglect.

A child would rather live in a home with their parents who swear at them sometimes than in a childrens home i assure you.

Sirzy Sat 03-Aug-13 08:47:55

So what do you want better every childs whos parents have ever sworn at them to be reported to SS for them to 'deal with'? lets stretch SS even thinner on the ground meaning they haven't got the man power to help the children who are really at risk?

Lets make the parent who has a "oh won't you just shut up moment" and dares to say something they know they shouldn't really have but then has a second calms down and carries on the same as the parents who actually do abuse their children why don't we!

betterthanever Sat 03-Aug-13 08:47:57

A child would rather live in a home with their parents who swear at them sometimes than in a childrens home i assure you. no one said otherwise but it doesn't mean that swearing at children isn't abuse, of course is it abuse. If you had a DP/DH that swore at you all the time would you see that as acceptable? what lessons is the child learning on how you treat people as adults?
Children are vulnerable and they most love thier parents no matter what, most still do when being physcially abused too - it does not mean it is ok for parents to do it.

Altinkum Sat 03-Aug-13 08:48:39

Most parents do swear, under there breathe, or at their children.

You will notice also I've said most, not all!!!

Altinkum Sat 03-Aug-13 08:52:07

Better, well you don't know what abuse is then, a parent saying, by god they've been little shits/stop bro little shits, really isn't abuse!!!

Rest assured, that is really is not!!!

filee777 Sat 03-Aug-13 08:55:50

I am really glad that some people think that abuse is swearing at your kids. It means that for the most part, Social services do a great job.

betterthanever Sat 03-Aug-13 08:55:57

sirz I don't want people to think it is acceptable to swear at children because it is not - I don't think it is acceptable to swear at adults either for that matter. It's abusive and agressive and show a lack of intellect, if there are no consequences to it then it often exscalates as it is seen as ok. It's lazy parenting - discipline and punishment are to me two very different things - swwearing at a child does not help them develop thier behaviour for later life - it is a quick fix solution to something that is irritating the parent.
I know that I just would not want to be around parents who did this - if those parents find they have no friends they may modify thier actions - that costs nothing.
We can't sit by and enable people to be abusive, just because SS don't have enough money the cart seems to be before the horse.
On the other hand you are entitled to your opinions and if that extends to you feeling it is ok to swear at children then that is what you think, I don't think like that and I don't my DC to be victim to the abuse from the DC who learn it is ok to do that in later life.

AnnaFiveTowns Sat 03-Aug-13 08:59:11

Challenging abusive parents in the street will achieve absolutely nothing for the poor child, except make the situation worse behind closed doors. The challenger may feel good about doing their good deed for the day but for that individual child no good can come of it.

Swearing in itself is not abusive. As another poster pointed out, it's just as abusive to say "You are a vile, horrible child" as it is to say "You are a little shit". They are just words and every other aspect of the parent/child relationship is what is important. You can be still be a good parent and swear at your kids.

Sirzy Sat 03-Aug-13 08:59:16

Wow better it must be hard for you being such a perfect parent, and person in heneral!

Seriously what is the difference saying to a child "will you shut up for a minute" and "will you fucking shut up for a minute" in exactly the the same tone and manner? Nothing other than one includes a word that society has decided is 'bad' for some reason.

It may not be nice to swear, but to start labelling it as abuse simply minimises what abuse really is.

AnnaFiveTowns Sat 03-Aug-13 09:02:02

I agree absolutely, Sirzy.

LondonNinja Sat 03-Aug-13 09:32:01

As Filee said, Daniel's mother behaved convincingly well in front of teachers, GPs etc. So, saying that reporting parents to prevent cases like this is rather pointless.

I cannot understand how no one professional stepped in though. Maybe I don't know how the system works, but it didn't work, did it??

Altinkum Sat 03-Aug-13 09:46:26

I love hmm the standard line that because people choose to express themselves in a different manner to what society deems, it means they lack intellect, are lazy, etc...

I, at times have told my children they have been little shits, because frankly they have been.

I remember being in hospital with ds2, we had been in isolation for 3 weeks and one day he was clingy, winey, nothing settled him, I remember shouting in complete dispair, to shut up!! We were both at the end of our terrors, it's human, it's life.

My children have temper tantrums too, and I'm frequently told by them to "stop telling me what to do" "I know mum" all said in raised voices, I must phone social services because as a adult my children are abusing me hmm

I have never been aggressive towards my children, EVER!!! Have I swore at them/too them, of course I have, I'm human!!!

Altinkum Sat 03-Aug-13 09:47:09

Even at birth I swore at them, I wanted te little shits to get the fuck out my body grin

MrsKeithRichards Sat 03-Aug-13 12:00:24

My husband's family swear at each other all the time. Took me ages to realise that they could speak to each other like that and love each other because it wasn't normal to me.

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 03-Aug-13 14:18:32

I think I shall phone cs and tell them to start offering language modification course.

Because that will really help them to stop abuse especially in cases where children are being starved and beaten.

In fact lets fill up there time by reporting everyone we perceive to be not as good a parent as we are and the ones who are a bit abrasive in there communication. And the ones who don't dress there children in new matching outfits and don't buy clarks shoes.we could have a sw posted on the doors of Iceland with a stack of EPO's or looking in the shopping trolleys at tescos to spot value products and fags.

That will save the children

RhondaJean Sat 03-Aug-13 14:28:38

There are obviously a lot of people here brought up in very polite families where there is little or no swearing (as I was).

But honestly you need to remove the blinkers about how other people use language. A swear word is only a swear word because you percieve it as such. Now, I am not suggesting that children should become desensitised merely pointing out that people use language in different ways and that because a word is regarded as a swear word it doesn't mean it's being used as a form of abuse.

I know people who genuinely drop two or three swear words into every sentence.

Just using swear words ON ITS OWN does not make you a bad parent. The offence the words cause is after all a societal construct.

Also agree that linking this to cases such as Daniel, baby p etc is a bad move because the parents who carry out sustained and calculated campaigns like that Are covering their tracks at all times and probably don't put a foot out of place in public.

betterthanever Sat 03-Aug-13 16:33:30

sirz wasn't claiming to be a perfect parent at all, now you put words in my mouth - known as gaslighting that - I just don't swear at my DC.
anna you agree then now? As another poster pointed out, it's just as abusive to say "You are a vile, horrible child" as it is to say "You are a little shit". yes it is JUST as abusive, no one said it wasn''t.

I did also put that you have the right to a different of opinion it just isn't mine but it sounds like I can't have my opinion.

Out of interest how would you feel if teachers for example spoke to your DC like that? or a stranger? or is it a privilidge reserved for yourself?

And what if DC in turn swore at someone else? - genuinely interested to know where the line would be drawn with that.

zatyaballerina Sat 03-Aug-13 17:04:38

Nowhere is it suggested that Daniels mother or stepfather abused him in the street. The problem was that all the signs that he was being starved, beaten etc... were excused by his mothers very convincing explanations and lies, she even managed to convince medical professionals, this was a very intelligent, devious and manipulative pair of sociopaths and the problem was that the professionals involved didn't see through them.

The most endangered children are not being sworn at in the street because their abusers are too smart to get caught like that, the most dangerous will have everyone else convinced that their harmless and even good parents.

Abuse shouldn't be ignored but the answer is better trained professionals, not a more paranoid society.

Sirzy Sat 03-Aug-13 17:07:17

I don't swear at DS, all I said was that it wasn't abusive to do so. Different people have different standards and you seem to be unable to accept that having different standards doesn't mean that a child is abused simply their parents do things differently.

To focus so much on use of language which you have decided is "abuse" you are very much belittling the seriousness of proper abuse.

holidaybug Sat 03-Aug-13 17:21:57

Regardless of whether his parents swore at him or not, the fact that Daniel was being abused/neglected should have been obvious to those around him - neighbours, school, other parents at the school etc etc. He resembled a concentration camp victim at the time of this death.

So in the spirit of what the OP is saying, we all have a responsibility to report abuse/neglect where we see it or have reasonable grounds to suspect it.

Twostep Sat 03-Aug-13 17:46:19

We need to look close to home - friends, family - the children beaten and starved must have had grandparents, aunties, cousins... It's always so sad to hear an estranged family member say 'if only I'd gone over'. We do need to poke our noses in - but in the correct way - if that is the SS or police, but with evidence and facts.

We need more child welfare professionals. The cutbacks in education and CW is getting worse and worse, but it seems as if more children are at risk. As in the latest case of Daniel, the 'carers' of this child were sneaky, lying, selfish people who pulled the wool over many peoples' eyes. So many people must be wracked with guilt over the Daniel case.

I also think people don't have the smallest clue what CP and adult protection is like. On my case load at SS there would have been a few cases that could have ended in a death at any time. I had a relatively small case load. You manage them, worry about them, do what you can but ultimately, if all the people around the child or adult are saying the same reassuring things, they could be lying, how do you know? You do know that you have lots of cases where you KNOW everyone is not saying the same reassuring things and can actually do something about. Yes, every line of inquiry should be followed and this might have saved Daniel but there could be tens of potential Daniels on every SW's case load.

SWs have lots of dangerous cases that they carry and none of these are, 'person swore at child and no other concerns'. Most have lots of cases of children or adults that they know could end in a tragedy. That is the nature of the job.

People who say that an isolated case of sunburn or one observed incident of swearing at a child are 'abuse' may be right. The idea that SS have the time, workers, resources or support to do anything about these things is madness.

Next time you want to shout at someone in the street for swearing at their child, give money to a children's charity, vote for someone who doesn't want to slash and burn public services, volunteer somewhere, go round and offer to help your neighbour with their kids, do something that might help.

AnnaFiveTowns Sat 03-Aug-13 18:58:35

Wise words, Mrs TP.

GameSetAndMatch Sat 03-Aug-13 19:21:39

swearing at your children isnt an indication of abuse


verbal abuse in many ways is worse than physical, those scars never heal, and I speak from experience.

I hardly ever swear (except in print on MN!!!!) and certainly never swear at DC yes I tell them off but theres telling off and verbal ''you're a cunt'' type thing.

betterthanever (think thats posters name) made a good point in her first post.

GameSetAndMatch Sat 03-Aug-13 19:24:06

and her latest post too!!

Sirzy Sat 03-Aug-13 19:25:51

swearing isn't necessarily verbal abuse though, and verbal abuse can take place without swearing. You seem to be focusing on the wrong things.

HappyMummyOfOne Sat 03-Aug-13 19:57:52

Whilst i would cringe and feel desperately sorry for the child, an adult who can shout and swear at their child in public is not one I would be approaching for fear of what would happen. Far better to donate to childline or a charity that ploughs all the money into helping rather than paying directors etc.

As an adult, if another adult shouted and swore at me it would be abuse so if being done to a child its emotional abuse too.

I dont think most parents swear at their children just as most dont abuse them. SS do all they can, their will be mistakes but the majority of cases are handled well.

betterthanever Sat 03-Aug-13 20:30:00

sirzy - you said - To focus so much on use of language which you have decided is "abuse" you are very much belittling the seriousness of proper abuse.

Just because someone isn't being starved to death or beaten does not mean they are not being abused.

Game puts it very well verbal abuse in many ways is worse than physical, those scars never heal, and I speak from experience.

Sadly I feel that it is fair to say this is something that is often misunderstood. Any abuse on any level is wrong in my eyes.

I hope in time people of both genders will realise this. Abuse almost always increases in magnitute so what may start as a quick comment, ends up turning into a more, a quick slap etc.

Swear words are called such and usually used due to the impact they have or the feeling that someone has for the other person. Said to an adult or child it is usually because the person saying its wants to get the other person to do something they want them to do or not do something they don't want them to do. It is also often used to intimidate and cause fear.

I am sure some who do it are not aware of the impact it has and the damage it can do, especially as the actions are picked up on and then repeated especially by DC - many do know exactly what they are doing and the impact it has on the other person.

SaucyJack Sat 03-Aug-13 20:34:25

YANBU. Just as long as you plan to be equally aware of the naice ham munching, Guardian reading trendies down the road, where the dad rapes the little boy whilst the mum is as ballet lessons with the little girl.

Sirzy Sat 03-Aug-13 20:39:44

To judge someone as being abused by hearing parents swear at them once in a street is madness and does belittle the real abuse.

You can't take anything from such a snippet of family life.

You seem to focusing on all the wrong things instead of looking at the much bigger picture. Perhaps read some of the posts by professionals who work in this area to get a bit more idea of the reality of such things?

betterthanever Sat 03-Aug-13 20:42:23

swearing isn't necessarily verbal abuse though, and verbal abuse can take place without swearing. You seem to be focusing on the wrong things. - correct, when someone says `Bl**dy brilliant* they are not abusing someone and no one is saying that swearing is the only form of verbal abuse.
I don't think some posters inc. me are focusing on the wrong things.

The OP did not mean that if someone shopping with thier DC dropped a bottle of ketchup in the supermarket and went `oh shit' they should be reported to social services - and I am not saying that, saying a swear word in front of a DC isn't wrong but that is not abuse but NOT what the OP was talking about.

Sirzy Sat 03-Aug-13 20:45:25

But the OP was talking about judging based on such a small part of the life of a stranger. That is impossible to do when it comes to things like swearing.

betterthanever Sat 03-Aug-13 20:47:19

It may well be a one off `sirzy' but at that moment they were acting abusively. I haven't commented on if I would intervene - probably not (which may be cowardness on my part) unless I knew them or saw it regularly - I would then report it. I wouldn't be friends with someone who did it to thier DC all the time.

TimeofChange Sat 03-Aug-13 21:12:42

I used to live in a village in a shire county.

I knew a lot of people, some rich and some poor.
The rich Judge was well known for beating his wife and shouting abuse, including a full range of swear words, at his DCs. The DW was terrified of him.

Another (Family law) Judge and his DW actively disliked their DCs, who all had EDs.

The daughter of a retired Army Major told me her father used to scream abuse at her all through her childhood. She would cower terrified, sobbing on the floor.
To the outside world they were the perfect family.

Some of you naice people need to think outside the box.
Child abuse is across society.

Altinkum Sat 03-Aug-13 22:04:22


If you're going to quote me, make sure you quote *the full quote" instead of just using the bits that suit you're ideology!!!

Swearing at you're children isn't a indication of abuse, the manner in which those words are said IS,

mumthetaxidriver Sat 03-Aug-13 22:07:55

Someone else objecting to the sugestion that most parents have sworn at their children - I have not and my sons are 14 and 15. Nor did my own parents swear at me ever. I'm sure there are many more families like ours.
Kids copy what they hear. I work in a community centre with children - the language coming from some of them is totally appalling. Just this week we've been out on day- trips and had to deal with children under 10 using "fuck" and "cunt". I know for a fact that their parents use these words constantly . It's not the kids fault they think its normal. Obviously we tell them its not appropriate and the looks from other parents at the park we were visiting certainly backed this up.
So its all very well swearing at and around your children but are you happy for your children to be using it too - even when in their teens? There is no doubt that other people make judgements about children and young people when they hear crude language.

mumthetaxidriver Sat 03-Aug-13 22:19:42

Just to add to this - I do agree that whilst I hate hearing parents swearing at children it isn't necessarily a sign of abuse. It's simply how some people choose to speak - sadly.

foreverondiet Sat 03-Aug-13 22:23:12

Not sure what you can do wrt stranger in street, but if its a kid at your kids school you can anonymously report to social services. My friend who is a GP said she thinks the problem is that a) no one thinks the buck stops with them and b) reluctance of social services to take child from parents even when evidence of abuse / drug taking etc.

Btw I do agree with previous posters - fine to lose rag with child but never ever fine in any circumstances to be abusive to them. Eg fine to say: "B" you are driving mad, behaviour is awful, I'm really angry with you. Not fine to say "B" you fucking cunt etc

Trigglesx Sat 03-Aug-13 22:37:26

It's a funny old thing, this argument. My parents never swore at us. They shouted sometimes, but hated swearing. People thought we were such well behaved children and what a nice family. At home, we got spanked with a belt (and other things) and told we were stupid and not good enough, then expected to pretend it didn't happen. I guarantee you that NOBODY knew this was going on in our home. I guarantee there were never any social services reports. No investigations. Nothing. Because nobody saw it. Ever. And we certainly weren't stupid enough to talk about it then.

Whereas someone I know is quite loose with her language. Loves her kids and is wonderful with them, however, she swears in front of and occasionally at them. Would I report her for that? No way. Why? Because I have a very good perspective on the difference.

holidaybug Sat 03-Aug-13 22:45:49

There seems to be a lot of focus on this thread on the issue of swearing, bit of a red herring IMO and it is distracting I think from the key point of OP's thread i.e don't look the other way, make it our business.

MorrisZapp Sat 03-Aug-13 22:49:21

Of course swearing at your kids is crap parenting. I've sworn, vociferously, about my kid. And near my kid. But at him? No. Swearing is part of my life but I'm an adult, and as such I know how to restrain myself near small kids. My dp called DS a little shit the other day, and I was pretty upset by that, although I understand the frustration etc that needs an outlet.

I think that referring to a mother who swears regularly at her kids as a 'great mum' is PC gone mad, forgive that hideous DM-ism. Only a social worker could be so desperate to say good things about 'challenged' people that they flag up the most paltry positives. Basically, this mother turns up. She is teaching her children obscenity but hey, she feeds and clothes them so isn't she great. Objectively speaking, no, that's not really enough.

If I came on here saying that my DP called me a fucker, a cow, a fat bitch or whatever I'd be told that he was an abuser. But apparently swearing is just another, equally valid way of expressing feelings when it's small children on the receiving end. 'What the fuck' indeed.

mumthetaxidriver Sat 03-Aug-13 23:12:31

morriszap I agree completely. I have worked with a 13 yr old boy who used all these words to his mother. Interestingly she never swore at her son ( we knew her well) but he mixed with other (younger) local children whose parents constantly swore. Not a good situation at all.
I also agree that this has distracted from the point - we must all continue to be vigilant for signs and report through the correct channels.

vivizone Sun 04-Aug-13 01:48:21

Of course it needs to be challenged, just like this woman being challenged in Walmart

Trigglesx Sun 04-Aug-13 07:50:07

I think that video is ridiculous. The mum in question wasn't shouting until the person filming confronted her - and then she was shouting at the filmer, not the child. The mum wasn't paying attention because her phone rang, she told her child to sit down in the trolley and then moved the trolley while distracted, causing the child to fall. She then checked the child and was rubbing her head to make her feel better. What did you expect the mum to do - burst into tears, hold her child and wail uncontrollably that she'd fallen? Or check her, see that she's okay, rub her head a bit with her arm around her to calm her down, and make light of it so the child doesn't get upset.... like many parents would do. Although yes, most parents have the brains not to put children that old in the back of the trolley and allow them to stand up, that child is also old enough to know better - she's what, 8 or so??

The woman filming actually started shouting first and was acting VERY aggressive and honestly I would not have reacted well to that as a mum either. I don't know many who would - if you were distracted and your child fell out of the trolley in the store and someone ran up to you filming on their camera and shouting at you, how would YOU react? I'd be willing to be you wouldn't be very happy with them.

And no... sometimes challenging them is not the way to go. If there is physical abuse and you know you can safely keep them there until police show up, then yes, challenging is probably okay. But if it's not physical abuse just shouting, you're better off noting details and reporting it so it can be followed up. Otherwise the child could likely get it in the neck when home, because the parent will blame the child for the embarrassment - "look what happened because of you."

And those of you saying "show me stats on that"... don't be ridiculous. It's common sense. And having worked in law enforcement, I've seen the reports and statements from victims that say just that. That's enough evidence for me. If you don't believe it, go talk to someone that works in child protection who can tell you the same thing.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 04-Aug-13 08:27:36

I think its entertaining just how many people think they are so great because they don't swear.

a huge amount of those parents are just as rubbish at times as every other person in the world, none of you are Mary poppins you just think you are.

MorrisZapp Sun 04-Aug-13 08:52:51

I don't think I'm Mary Poppins. I'm on anti depressants and often consider myself a failure at parenting. But calling your kids fucking wee shites is just pointlessly shit parenting, isn't it? I hear this stuff regularly on buses etc and while I don't consider it abuse, I think it is desperately sad that some people can't see anything wrong with it. Presumably because their own parents called them fucking wee shites too.

mumthetaxidriver Sun 04-Aug-13 09:44:47

Certainly no Mary Poppins here either. But just concern about kids getting mixed messages about what is acceptable. At home they hear words that are not socially acceptable so at school and out and about if they use them they get in trouble.
Tell me that if you had an 8 year old child to play and you overheard him referring to someone as a " fucking cunt" you would have him again - I bet not - Mary Poppins or not!

Posterpreviouslyknownas Sun 04-Aug-13 10:23:30

I cannot believe some of the self righteous stupidity I have read on this thread. What do you imagine is going to happen when you confront an abusive parent?

Let me tell you my story..I WAS one of these parents. I swore at my elder child in public, hit her. WHY? Because I could not cope. I desperately wanted to stop. I searched the phone book for someone I could call but there was nothing. If I went to the GP or SS and fessed up, I think my kids would have been taken away.

It started when my second child was born when my elder child was 3. I had had PND when i had her after a traumatic birth which I concealed. The elder one would not stop whining and playing up continually. I had to go to work in the evenings when DH came home - I had to go back to work when baby was 4 weeks old - I had to prepare ALL the meals, express milk. I had no money I was constantly exhausted so lashed out. I wasn't entitled to a nursery place because I was middle class and working. I had to work because we couldn't pay rent otherwise. We couldn't claim HB. Live in London and not entitled to social housing. I had one pair of shoes, one pair of trousers and 3 shirts all my other clothes had holes. Both DH and I had low paid jobs. Couldn't afford proper food for adults,stuff at Xmas even an ice lolly in the park.

Eventually child 1 got a nursery place. Things got better I stopped hitting her. DH never knew. I could easily have killed her. Next time you feel self righteous about an abusive parent think what her life must be like. I sometimes see parents like me in supermarkets and shops, worried about money, not bring able to buy their kids stuff and feeling ugly, fat and inadequate. Looked down on by the snooty who feel they are so perfect.

If you want to intervene try and support these wretched women not abuse them more - many including me had an abusive childhood themselves and know what they are doing is wrong but don't know how to stop. My children are now teenagers and happy. Child 1 does not seem to remember the abuse but I constantly feel guilty as I should.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 04-Aug-13 13:47:57

If a child in my house used words like that,I would very nicely explain to them that in this house we don't do that.

I would not consider it to be there fault so it would not impact on any further invitations, I would just assume they came from a household where swearing was used in casual conversation lots do.

PresidentServalan Sun 04-Aug-13 14:00:02

But people can report abuse when they see it, it doesn't mean that SS actually does anything about it. And to the OP who said that things wouldn't get any worse for the kid if the parent was confronted - how do you know that? All you are likely to get by confronting the parent is a smack in the mouth - how will that help an abused child?

MorrisZapp Sun 04-Aug-13 16:01:21

Posterprevious, that's a horrible story and most people would sympathise. But children's welfare always comes before that of adults, as they can't speak for themselves or make choices.

Most people who hit their kids and swear at them will simply be repeating their own upbringing, and absolutely they should be supported in changing.

But for most of us, the quickest way we can help kids who we worry might be neglected etc, is to get SS involved. What else can a stranger do?

Posterpreviouslyknownas Sun 04-Aug-13 18:43:41

If you see this in the street are you really going to ring the police or SS or just abuse the woman involved who already is abused and knows damn well she is wrong.

Frankly the causes are abusive childhoods, mental illness, drug or alcohol abuse and poverty.

I would have liked to have someone to call or go to without the threat of my kids being taken away or being judged as a bad parent. 99% of the time I was OK. Most people try desperately hard to be good parents. Being told I am an awful person in the street won't help, a kind word or deed might.

Altinkum Sun 04-Aug-13 19:13:03

Some adults can't speak for themselves, they either don't know how, have the confidence to do so, or their own childhood is what they believe to be normal!

All this, a chd cat speak for themselves is a bit far fetched, most children tell the truth when asked, only a minority don't, due to sever abuse, be that physical, mentally, emotionally or sexually.

My last day of school, my 6th form teacher asked me whether I'd been sexually assaulted, she knew I had been physically abused by my father and in her word felt "powerless" to do anything about it.

When I told her yes, but not by my father, she said "oh"

This was only in 2000

NutcrackerFairy Sun 04-Aug-13 19:26:20

Poster, I think you are quite courageous in sharing your story here.

But if you knew what you were doing was "damn wrong" why did you not try to seek help or support, particularly if your feelings were so strong you feel you could have killed your daughter? You didn't want your child 'taken away from you', you didn't want your husband to know... I imagine you were suffering and feeling absolutely awful. But the reality is you were the adult and your three year old daughter bore the brunt of your out of control feelings.

Just because people are concerned about child welfare it does not make them snooty or mean that they think they are perfect parents... I have a lot of empathy for parents living with stress, extreme tiredness and lack of support... I have been there myself. However if things were so bad that I was hurting my children I would want someone to take them away to where they would be safe.

Posterpreviouslyknownas Sun 04-Aug-13 21:09:23

As I stated up thread I did not know WHERE to turn. I sat one evening looking through the phone book, desperately trying to find help. The only option that I could see was turning my elder child over to SS and they would have taken both of them. I also considered handing over my baby as my elder child would be devastated going into the care system. I know people who have beem through it. Most likely as white non SN children they would have been adopted and i would never had seen them again. There needs to be a safe place where people can admit their mistakes and be supported through them not condemned and have their kids taken away. When my daughter was given a place at nursery 9-3, I could cope and I stopped assaulting her.

Posterpreviouslyknownas Sun 04-Aug-13 21:16:49

The point is there was no support for me to access. That IS the problem. I don't condone anyone in this situation but I can understand how they feel. You don't have any idea how it feels, sorry! It is not just feeling tired or a normal stress. It is a type of mental illness. I was able to conceal it from everyone because I am white with a middle class accent - there must be many others like me.

Being tutted at, abused in the street or condemned does not solve the problem.

CoffeeOne Sun 04-Aug-13 21:25:26

Children aren't removed from people who ask for help. It's an absolute last resort (or an immediate temporary measure). Child in need support plans coordinated by SS can go on for years if needed.

Goldenbear Sun 04-Aug-13 21:40:23

To name call your child with a certain 'attitude' is often meant to humiliate a child, belittle them and that makes it emotional abuse. Sadly, this country is not especially progressive in it's attitude towards child protection and phoning SS would probably not help in any way.

Swearing and name calling are harmful to children in another way as frequently being exposed to this kind of language normalises it. Normal conversational language that can be used to communicate in the wider world is not full of profanities and indeed is not tolerated in most work contexts, especially those that are rewarded highly and not associated with a life of poverty. Whether you think it's twee or judgemental is irrelevant, it is fact that a dialogue littered with swear words and abusive name calling is associated with being 'rough'. It is very harmful for children in that sense because on the whole it keeps them locked into that cycle of poverty. Posters will protest with claims of working in professional or highly paid jobs where swearing is acceptable. My response to that would be A- your are lying or B- you're in a position of power already and swearing and name calling is part of an extensive vocabulary, I.e it is not your ONLY vocabulary.

There is no doubt that it is harmful to a child, to direct at them a continous tirade of verbal abuse. It is emotionally abusive and normalises language that used regularly in isolation has 'rough' connotations. This in itself is harmful to a child If they are already stuck in a poverty striken situation.

Goldenbear Sun 04-Aug-13 21:56:52

The priority has to be the child every time but it is not in this country, so people don't get their children taken away when in some cases it is essential for the safety of that child. Criminal age of responsibility is 10 in England, one of the lowest in Europe and yet we do not protect children from assault until they're 18.

With any assault or crime against an adult you wouldn't automatically care for the needs of the perpetrator of the crime first. This is not the case for children, when they're victims of physical assault or mental abuse we provide support for the adults, worry about their needs, how can we support the instigator of the abuse- this isn't right.

Goldenbear Sun 04-Aug-13 22:19:55

Keanu Williams was another child, only 2 who was failed by the system, beaten to death. People saw him be sworn at and hit but know one intervenes because it is a 'snapshot' and smacking ISN'T illegal. Assault on a child isn't illegal- its fucking barbaric! This 'Mother' got 'support' and went on a 'parenting skills' course but he is still beaten to death. There is something seriously at fault with a system that prioritises an abusive adult over a 2 year old.

Posterpreviouslyknownas Sun 04-Aug-13 22:26:53

Coffeeone - yes children are taken away from parents who ask for help which is why I didn't dare to ask for any.

Goldenbear it is fine to blether on like a textbook but you don't have the faintest idea what it is like to be in this situation. What do you suggest taking hundreds of thousands of kids into the care system which is also abusive?

ourlittlestreet Sun 04-Aug-13 22:30:26

I haven't read all thread but fear someone interfering in street would cause more harm to child who would probably get battered for drawing attention to them.

It needs teachers, drs and those seeing the children on a regiular basis to have the confidence and back up to raise flags earlier.

NutcrackerFairy Sun 04-Aug-13 22:56:59

Oh give over Poster, Sorry but you also have no idea of the history or experiences of others commenting on this thread.

I know you will keep defending your actions and why you did what you did.

But I can promise you you're not the only one who has experienced depression and despair. So please stop with the defensive crap.

However the reality of your situation was that, as you yourself say, you did not want to "fess up" to hitting your three year old because you feared she would be taken away. So you chose not to access support, it wasn't that you couldn't find any.

Goldenbear Sun 04-Aug-13 23:00:12

I said Child Protection in this country is woefully inadequate and that includes Children's homes. There needs to be a sea change in attitude towards child's rights in this country so that their interests are represented something akin to what the scandanavian countries practice.

Goldenbear Sun 04-Aug-13 23:06:17

Poster, I don't think we should advocate leaving children in vulnerable positions for the sake of sparing the 'Adult's feelings'. Keeping abuse a 'secret' is not really a way forward is it?

Posterpreviouslyknownas Mon 05-Aug-13 06:39:04

Nutcracker - support and having your child taken away are totally different things. There was no fucking SUPPORT available. I did not defend my actions quite the opposite. I am off now so please continue to revel in your own judgey ignorance.

Posterpreviouslyknownas Mon 05-Aug-13 06:40:43

Golden it was not to spare my feelings but to find a way to stop hitting my child without her being taken away. I knew I needed help but could not find any.

TimeofChange Mon 05-Aug-13 06:57:55

Poster: Best wishes to you and your family.

Some people are too quick to judge others.
Thank god that there are not the SWs.

The care system can be abusive too.
Foster parents aren't all angels.
Some are downright cruel and hide it well.

Goldenbear Mon 05-Aug-13 08:25:26

Timeoutchange I've already said that I think ALL Child Protection Services need to change and that it needs a total overhaul, a completely different way in thinking about CP, a completely different way in operating. Children having the right to be protected from assault by the law which would mean a complete ban of corporal punishment. Corporal punishment in Sweden has been outlawed since 1979, it has meant a generation of children have not been hit and that children are treated equally by the law in cases of assault. The law also forbids mental humiliation.

A large publicity campaign for the law ensured a sea change of attitudes towards children within a generation. The Law and more importantly the Educational campaign that accompanied it provided a complete 'attitude' shift towards child welfare within a generation and that is what is needed here IMO. The Law as it stands now silently sanctions corporal punishment, making it harder to provide early intervention and support/education on better techniques to bring up children.

NutcrackerFairy Mon 05-Aug-13 13:31:55

Whatever Poster. Call me ignorant and judgemental if it is pleases you.

Personally I think you didn't do all you could to protect your own child from your abuse. All you cared about was not having her taken away.

Yes, perhaps it's quite a good thing that I'm not a SW [although I do work in a field connected to child protection] because I can't quite summon up enough of the sympathy for you that you obviously feel you deserve. Have tons for your daughter at three years old though.

Goldenbear Mon 05-Aug-13 13:46:11

Yes exactly NutcrackerFairy.

You are an adult Poster, whilst you take for granted that you are protected by the Law from assault, your daughter was not automatically given that protection. No one is saying the children cannot test your patience or even unfortunately in some peoples' cases create mental health issues but are you honestly expecting all people to have more sympathy for you than a vulnerable toddler?

Caster8 Mon 05-Aug-13 21:27:57

So what should Poster have actually done?

candycoatedwaterdrops Mon 05-Aug-13 21:38:00

Goldenbear What planet are you on? Of course there is legislation protecting children from assault!

NutcrackerFairy Mon 05-Aug-13 22:40:49

Well Caster, I don't know about you but if I was hitting my child to the point of feeling I could kill them I would probably start by begging for help from my GP, practice nurse or anyone that would listen. Husband perhaps?

I may not say to them that I feared I might kill my child but I might say that I was feeling really stressed and needed help.

I wouldn't just keep harming my child and decide not to try to get support purely because I was afraid that my child would be taken away.

And I certainly wouldn't post on a thread like this with a defensive and contemptuous attitude towards anyone who doesn't immediately tell me oh don't worry, you did the best you could, there was absolutely no support and nothing else you could have done except take your misery out on a vulnerable toddler.

Goldenbear Mon 05-Aug-13 22:45:58

Unfortunately, I'm on a Planet, a specific part of a planet called England, where corporal punishment in the home is still legal. As soon as a child turns 18 it is 'Common Assault'. How is that protective? As I said up thread it is barbaric!

Caster, I've already said what I think would reduce that kind of behaviour from a parent. At the end of the day we are all legally responsible for our actions at 18 unless we can prove otherwise. If you need help you have to access it, it is not a 3 year old's responsibility.

GoshAnneGorilla Mon 05-Aug-13 23:05:49

I do think it's very peculiar that we are very zero tolerance when it comes to emotional abuse of women in relationships - saying "oh he's a good provider" cuts no ice and rightly so.

But when it comes to emotional abuse of children, all sorts of excuses are made.

I don't understand the idea that people are too quick to phone social services, I can point to several Serious Case Reviews where numerous members of the public saw a child being abused "but didn't want to get involved".

I hate the "don't interfere, SS know what they're doing" attitudes that are frequently trotted out on these threads. We can all help to make things better for children in society and social workers et al are only human.

Cheeseatmidnight Mon 05-Aug-13 23:09:29

I saw a very aggressive lady in the supermarket generally ranting at her daughter and I was too scared to say anything as the little girl was already being blamed for everything. I had no idea what to do as I think I would have got punched and was pregnant but couldn't exactly report her as I had no idea who she was...I wish I had though

candycoatedwaterdrops Tue 06-Aug-13 08:14:25

Goldenbear You are not allowed to slap your child around willy nilly which is what you are implying.

Goldenbear Tue 06-Aug-13 08:36:19

No, I'm not 'implying' anything, the Law permits corporal punishment in the home.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 06-Aug-13 09:28:31

Candy you are providing you don't leave a mark.

mrsjay Tue 06-Aug-13 09:34:52

If you confront a random parent in the street for verbally abusing their children you are more than likely get a punch in the face and the child being abused more because it makes the parents angrier and embarrassed for being called up on behaviour in the street, if anybody is concerned for a childs welfare phone the police , I have stepped in once and was told to fuck off and the little child was dragged off, I asked the mum to calm down as she was roaring at him, was awful,

Goldenbear Tue 06-Aug-13 09:35:23

Sockreturningpixie, I am also right- corporal punishment is permitted. You are not allowed to leave a mark but it is STILL corporal punishment.

Goldenbear Tue 06-Aug-13 09:44:31

The UN Committee On the Rights of the Child' define Corporal punishment as:

" any punishment in which physical force is used and intended to cause some degree of pain or discomfort, however light".

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 06-Aug-13 09:59:50

Golden before you go off on one getting all defensive, go and reread my post as a direct response to candys.

I was agreeing with YOU and telling her that yes you can hit your children willy nilly as the law allows you to.

Interestingly you don't even have to have a justifiable reason as its 100% up to the parents choice the only time an issue will be created and the parent could be punished is if a marks left.

Its one of the few things about uk law that makes me ashamed to be in the uk.

Goldenbear Tue 06-Aug-13 10:07:35

Oops! Apologies for the misunderstanding.

Altinkum Tue 06-Aug-13 10:12:27

The uk does not use the UN, corporal punishment.

They use physical chastisement, if you read ed balls report you should have a little better understanding.

We are by far a country that has specific laws in the understanding of physical chastisement do a child.

Now I you go to turkey, where children lose their hands for stealing a sweet, or a child in Africa who has been whipped publicly for not doing their chores/homework/answered back etc....

Oh I don't condone physical chastisement, but please don't confuse those who do use smacking as a form of discipline, to that of abusers, the law is very clear in this.

That's not to say you're opinion isn't valid, it's just not lawfully correct.

Goldenbear Tue 06-Aug-13 10:55:36

Frankly, it comes down to an argument in semantics then Altinkum. I was referring to the definition of 'Corporal punishment' not the specific phrasing within English Law. I personally chose to refer to the UN definition.

The definition of Corporal punishment is the same all over, regardless of the Laws of a country. I'm therefore NOT incorrect in stating England still prohibits Corporal punishment in the home.

What is the purpose of highlighting the barbaric treatment of children in other countries it does not equate to English Child Services being Gold standard.

Altinkum Tue 06-Aug-13 11:01:24

Because not everyone is aware that English laws are different, say from Scotland!

And more importantly not everyone here is British, hence my comment about OUR laws and not te in laws, here the is of te land, not the United Nations.

Altinkum Tue 06-Aug-13 11:03:42

Our services is gold service to most countries tbh, we had a lower rate of deaths in child services to that of most.

Their will always be abusers, and sadly human psychopaths and human failure will not save all, harrowing but factual.

Altinkum Tue 06-Aug-13 11:04:01


Arnie123 Tue 06-Aug-13 11:10:31

I had one recently (I started a thread about it) when a woman came out of the supermarket shouting to a toddler you better come on now or I am fucking twatting you you little shit. She then shouted it again and caught me giving her an appalled glance. She then started on me saying what the fuck are you looking at I am going to fucking twat you you interfering bitch. I went absolutely beserk at her and told her I hope the ss remove the child. I wish I could have done more but as she did not get into a car I could not take the registration so if I called the police they would not have traced her

Arnie123 Tue 06-Aug-13 11:11:46

In future if I ever come across anything like this I am filming it on my phone and then showing the footage to the police

Dahlen Tue 06-Aug-13 11:16:44

I think there is a fine line between making it clear that abusive behaviour is socially unacceptable and interfering simply because it makes us feel better. The vast majority of abuse goes on behind closed doors; that much is at least fact. What you see on the street is a mere snapshot, and it is highly likely that interfering will result in dire consequences for the victim. The sort of person likely to be shamed by a stranger's condemnation is more likely to be the sort of person who's simply having a very bad day, rather than behaving in an established abusive pattern.

However, sometimes another adult interfering can let a child know that other adults find abusive behaviour unacceptable.

It's a personal judgement call ultimately.

What is far more beneficial to victims and society generally is that we all take far more note of what is going on in our own communities rather than with random families in the high street. If everyone looked out for the children of their neighbours that would achieve a lot more.

My DP stood in between a man and a toddler yesterday after witnessing him slapping the child across the face and screaming that he was a worthless little shit cunt. angrysad

As soon as DP stood in between them and calmly told the man to calm down and leave the child alone or he would call the police the man went very quiet, apologised to the child and hugged him and went on his way.

I hope to god DP didn't make it worse for that kid. sad

betterthanever Tue 06-Aug-13 11:48:16

Dahlen I think you put that very well.

FairyJen Tue 06-Aug-13 12:09:00

This will put me but fuck it.

I used to work for Coventry ss in the very office where Daniels case was - I left before all this. I know first hand how thin the resources are. There is also a strict procedure that must be followed and evidenced before you can remove a child.

I know Colin green and the other workers and trust me nothing written on this board will make them feel any more shit than they already do!

I have as well been known to swear in front of/ at my dc. Shoot me

aldiwhore Tue 06-Aug-13 12:45:50

Whilst I agree that we shouldn't stand by and watch a child be treated badly, in many cases there are no obvious clues.

I recently found out my best friend from childhood was horrendously abused, physically, sexually, emotionally. She was tortured, humiliated and denied her basic needs.

I never knew.

The only clue was her quietness, and there are many happy quiet children.

I think educating children, even young children, about how they should be expected to be treated, in very simple terms, and making them feel able to talk is important... but even then, good parents can often come under fire.

My son once told his teacher we never have any food in the house, she beckoned me into her office and we had a chat. She was not accusing, just seeking clarity. What my son actually meant was that there is rarely food in the house he can grab and eat without any prep... this is true, we never have convenience food in, because I cook from scratch as much as possible!! We have LOADS of food.

I felt actually confident that this teacher had done absolutely the right thing in speaking to me.

NutcrackerFairy Tue 06-Aug-13 14:12:36

I agree Aldi, although I can imagine it was a bit wtf for you initially!

I would actually feel reassured that other adults in society are looking out for my child.

As parents we can sometimes feel very isolated in caring for the wellbeing of our children.

It is good to know that other adults entrusted to his care take their wellbeing as seriously as I do and would intervene if required to do so.

betterthanever Tue 06-Aug-13 21:59:24

There is also a strict procedure that must be followed and evidenced before you can remove a child. I mentioned this up thread and this is a big issue and not just in public cases either. I hope the SS department you worked at are able to shout from the hill tops why it happened and the problems they faced and not just have thier manager/director give the usual line `we could never have predicted this would have happened' or things will not change and the good social workers with have an even harder time. Too many good people are silenced to protect those not so good.

I think educating children, even young children, about how they should be expected to be treated, in very simple terms, and making them feel able to talk is important... but even then, good parents can often come under fire. I think this is important and setting a good example has to be one way to education children surley or they think it is ok, especially if they see a trusted parent do it - someone who is the centre of thier world? I don't think it is acceptable to be swore at and I don't want my DC to think it is, in turn I hope they don't do it.

I want my DC surrounded by people who are nice to them, I recon it will make them happier. Can't say it has ever filled me with pleasure when I am sworn at. I don't mind debate and critisism either it gives me other perspectives and educates me and I hope makes me act better towards others as a result, I can't say being sworn at ever achieved that.

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