DSD constant headlice and poor teeth

(57 Posts)
Leuty Thu 04-Apr-13 22:20:11

My relationship with DH was complicated in that DSD was conceived whilst we were on a break. I've looked after her since she was a baby but have not had any children of my own yet. I adore my DSD, but I can't stand her mother (I keep things civil for her sake, I don't want her to see any negativity).

DSD first got headlice when she was a year old. I was horrified and treated it. However since then she's never been free of them (she's now 5) I comb and treat her hair every time she visits us (once weekly and every other weekend). I've mentioned this to BM and asked her if we could work together on this, she says she will but DSD is still riddled. Now I've got them (first time ever, perhaps I've been lucky?!) but I'm at the end of my tether with it. I understand children get headlice, but surely any parent, birth or step, should want to rid their child of them?!

Another issue is DSDs teeth. I've always brushed her teeth and taught her the importance of brushing and how to look after her teeth. She's got a mouth full of decay and now we've been told she will be having some removed. I'm heartbroken whilst BM continues to give sweets, fizzy drinks etc as 'they're coming out anyway'.

I don't have any parental responsibility and DH and myself just don't know what to do. I may well be flamed for this as 'the evil SM' but I honestly love my DSD and want her to be happy and healthy. These are only some of the problems relating to her personal care.

Am I being interfering? Am I wrong? Any advice welcome!

Thank you

Roseformeplease Thu 04-Apr-13 22:25:35

Not sure why all the "I" on this. Surely her welfare and health are the responsibility of your DH and he should tackle this?

Leuty Thu 04-Apr-13 22:35:16

Point taken, didn't mean to come across like that. He's tried to communicate with her, generally ends in the same promises with no outcome.

Nonetheless, we're a couple and trying to resolve this as one.

NotaDisneyMum Thu 04-Apr-13 23:52:45

The lice will have been noticed at school - if the problem is as severe as you describe, it won't be long before a referral is made to Childrens Services, particularly if your DSD is also missing school for dental appointments/extractions due to decay.
These are all signs of low level neglect that school staff are trained to identify and act on.

Is your DP active with the school? Does he meet teachers at parents evening/chat at the school door/take opportunities to participate in school events and activities?
If he's a 'familiar face' then the staff are more likely to involve him when discussing their concerns.

It's not something you can influence - your involvement begins and ends with your support for your DP as he deals with this issue himself.

Leuty Fri 05-Apr-13 00:04:07

Thank you for your reply smile.

DH is very involved with her school, attends meetings etc and keeps contact via email where possible. Perhaps he could bring his concerns up with them. He has a parents evening next term.

I've been the one that's treated the headlice only because he gets in a muddle and poor DSD ends up upset. However, I can continue to do this whilst DH tries to seek out other options to resolve this.

Again thanks for your reply, a more black and white perspective has helped as sometimes I find it difficult to detach myself!

ElenorRigby Fri 05-Apr-13 09:03:05

We have been through this with DSD.

She had head lice from when she went to school to around 8 years old. DP spent hours treating them but DSD's mother didn't so we never managed to break the life cycle until DSD was with us for an extended period of time. The lice got so bad once they were easily seen crawling on DSD's face and she had a face full of scabs from the intense itching (they managed to get that bad because DSD's mother stopped contact for months and so we weren't able to manage them)

Also DSD's mother didn't bother with oral hygiene and fed her lots of sugary crap, result DSD had 9 teeth extracted under anaesthetic aged 6.
The advice we took at the time was that if we raised the issue we would have been seen as hassling a single mother who was doing the best she could hmm
In hindsight it would have been better to raise concerns with the school and other authorities because at least then there would have been a record of the neglect.

We have a DD5 who is DSD's (half) sister.
To date she has had one very minor instance with lice (off her sister) at around 2 which we got rid of straight away. Also this week she had her second check up at the the Dentist, result DD5 has in the words of the dentist "perfect teeth". Amazing huh!

I agree it's horrid to see a child neglected, hope you and your DH can find a way to help her.

BTW You mentioned you disliked the mother can you expand on that. Also DSD was conceived during a break in your relationship with DH.
I'm asking because I have an idea the mother may be neglecting your DSD to hurt your DP.

Alwayscheerful Fri 05-Apr-13 09:05:15

I sympathise with the headlice, my 3 dsc had headlice for 2 or 3 years, in the end i was treating them once a fortnight, the bm just half heartedly treated them occasionally and said the children needed to take responsibility for themselves.

Chemical treatments arevexpensive and do not always work as lice become immune. It is vital that the whole family are treated together, combing through with conditioner is effective as the eggs cannot grip the hair but it is very time consuming and needs doing every evening,
lice do not like tea tree, you can buy tea tree shampoo or conditioner, add tea trea oil to normal shampoo and conditioner.

I tried everything but in the end I treated the whole family, including myself, one bank holiday weekend - chemicals, tea tree and then foul smelling neem oil, we have been nit free for 7 years.

I explained to the children that there is no shame in nits, but only shame in not dealing with them, the two girls, my stepdaughters were eternally grateful. I am sure the school knew the source of the headlice but other than the usual standard letters to the whole class the school took no action. I am convinceditbwas the neem oil which finally worked.

Good luck.

Alwayscheerful Fri 05-Apr-13 09:07:28

Oh and when the children's mother denied they had nits my husband gave her a pot of samples when he dropped the children "what's this exhibit A?" was all she said.

flurp Fri 05-Apr-13 10:40:43

I know it sounds harsh but I think you need to step back a bit.
My DSC have appalling teeth. They already look brown and they have loads of fillings. They drink coke constantly (even take a glass of coke up to bed with them shock) when at home.
I used to drive myself insane with it, and DP has countless arguments with their mum over it, we make them brush their teeth at our house and we never have fizzy drinks because my dc aren't that keen on them but what difference can we make when they are only here every other weekend? So now I just make sure they brush their teeth at my house and let the rest go! Very hard to do when you care so much about them, but as DPs ex pointed out "its hardly child abuse is it?". Apparently I'm posh for making them bath and clean their teeth every day! How can you argue with that mentality? You just can't.
I can totally see your point but it sounds is your involvement making the situation worse? Does her Mum resent you? Do you think she is doing this deliberately to get at you?

Jan45 Fri 05-Apr-13 11:01:45

Welcome to the frustrating world of step parenting. You can't do anymore than you already are, it's awful I know to watch what goes on and not be able to change it but you can't, the child is not yours, she has two parents, the mother who obviously has no problem neglecting her child. I know exactly how you feel, I have a step child whose mother neglected him but I also have the problem of my OH not parenting him, I don't know if it is out of laziness or he actually thinks it's okay not to guide his child etc, all in all, very frustrating for us who can see things are not getting done properly. Sorry not much help, I would try and step back a bit if I was you.

Xalla Fri 05-Apr-13 11:18:12

Keep your side of the street 'clean' when she's with you and try not to let yourself get too upset about the rest.

My DSD7 has had 2 abscesses in the last 3 months and 5 cavities in her milk teeth to date. My DS4 and DD2 so far have 'perfect teeth'. Admittedly my two are very young but I'm still pretty sure DSD's poor dental health is not down to the diet / dental hygeine routine we have in place here (she's with my DH 50% of the time). I remember picking my DSD up from nursery when she was 2 and finding a bottle of Dr Pepper in her bag that her Mum had provided as her "water bottle".

Unfortunately it's me that generally gets left to take DSD to dental appointments so it's me that gets the lectures from the dentist. I resist the urge to blurt out "but it's her Mum's fault" as DSD is usually standing right next to me but I really with I could....it's embarrasing.

Like Jan says, welcome to the frustrating world of step parenting flowers

Leuty Fri 05-Apr-13 11:26:22

Thank you all for words of wisdom!

ElenorRigby - I dislike her mother mainly because of the way she treats DSD. She used to try to interfere with my relationship when DSD was a baby but now causes no problems at all. She has actually admitted she only had DSD because she wanted DH. I find it all very sad. They were never a couple, just a silly fling for 2 weeks.. With time I've realised her mother must have felt very alone (takes two to tango!) and simply wanted DHs support which he wasn't giving. All water under the bridge now, her mother is happy for us to have DSD and we're happy to care for her.

I've got an electric nit comb which is fabulous. In one sitting it will pull as many as 45! Alwayscheerful, I have considered keeping the evidence, your comment made me smile smile.

I've bought tea tree shampoo, will use that.

xuntitledx Fri 05-Apr-13 14:20:59

I'm shocked at some of the responses here basically just telling the OP there's nothing she can do and to leave it alone.

I'd be referring this to Child Services because it's neglect. Pure and simple.

Baby teeth may not be such a big issue as they will be replaced but this cycle of behaviour is only going to continue and will then damage the permanent big teeth and enforcing good oral hygiene once a fortnight isn't going to make a jot of difference.

I'd refer it, then it's in the hands of the authorities. If they choose not to act on it then at least you can sleep easily at night knowing you did all you could.

FrauMoose Fri 05-Apr-13 14:29:47

I would be asking myself whether this was part of a larger pattern of neglect and - if the answer was yes - how the child's longer term well being - physical/emotional/mental - was likely to be affected. I might even be discussing with my partner whether the child's interests were better served by continuing to live with the mother. Or with you and the father.

NotaDisneyMum Fri 05-Apr-13 14:35:39

untitled From bitter experience, I know that 'the authorities' are likely to dismiss concerns raised by ex spouses and step-parents as malicious.

That's not to say it won't be held on file, but it isn't a solution and can be counterproductive to building a better co-parenting relationship.

My DSC are subject to far more significant neglect than that described by the OP, and unfortunately, DP has been unable to secure any form of intervention or support for them. He continues to firefight - seeking medical treatment for the DCs when they need it, offering a safe haven and setting good examples.
The reality is that society has far greater needs than those of the OPs DSD or my own DSC - DP has been told, quite openly, by a social worker that until "something happens" to the DSC, the authorities do not have the resources to support their Mum.

NotaDisneyMum Fri 05-Apr-13 14:41:28

frau How do you propose a change in residency is secured? It's idealistic to think that a family court would change a DCs place of residency on the basis that they have nits and bad teeth. Even when Childrens Services and the Police are involved, family courts are reluctant to disrupt the Status Quo.

The reality is that DCs are placed, by the court, in the residency of a neglectful parent every day - even when a less neglectful home is available and seeking to change the arrangement.

xuntitledx Fri 05-Apr-13 14:43:33

NotaDisneyMum - I'm sorry to hear about your experience. Again, my experience varies greatly from yours (without going in to specifics) and the authorities are working with DSC-Mum to help resolve issues.

To clarify, my comment was not intended as the first cause of action, not at all but clearly when communication is breaking down between both parties with no compromise on each side then I believe intervention is required and in my experience, this is something that the local authorities can support with.

Leuty Fri 05-Apr-13 14:47:35

We have questioned ringing social services in the past but had the same concerns. There must be thousands of children with worse problems than my DSD, at least she does have a second home where she will always receive health care and love. It took us 8 months to finally have her asthma treatment started as our GP wouldn't start any treatment as our surgery isn't hers. Apparently she's no longer asthmatic and doesn't need an inhaler after 6 months treatment?! This is not from the doctor, this is from BM whilst poor DSD continues to cough and wheeze.

Thank you all for allowing me to vent my frustration.

FrauMoose Fri 05-Apr-13 14:55:31

There is information about applying for a residence order available on http://www.sfla.co.uk/residencedetermined.htm

All I'm saying is that Social Service involvement is not the only route if concerns about a child's welfare continue to grow.

Leuty Fri 05-Apr-13 14:58:17

Thank you Frau. It may be something we have to look into.

flurp Fri 05-Apr-13 16:22:52

Thing is Frau and xuntitledx -it's low level neglect and SS are very over stretched as it is. They aren't going to be bothered by a bad teeth and nits. If they were there would be a LOT of dc on their books.
I doubt if you would be bale to convince a court to let you have residency over this either.
NADM is right - it will be seen as malicious and won't be taken at all seriously,mores the pity.
DSD has had asthma, an infected tooth, all manner of stomach complaints and skin allergies and DP has had to fight to get her to the doctors every time sad

KarlosKKrinkelbeim Fri 05-Apr-13 16:33:30

I disagree with the statement that this isn't child abuse. Every child is entitled to better care than this.
I have no helpful suggestions, OP, just wanted to say you sound like a good person and I wish you luck with your attempts to make a difference to this little girl's life. Don't give up- you keeping up the effort on her behalf, even if you're unsuccessfu,l is of great importance to her emotionally and psychologically. It means she matters to someone and that counts for everything.

FrauMoose Fri 05-Apr-13 16:45:14

As I understand it in a private law case about residence, these are the factors a court would consider. The information is from the Cafcass website:-

The Welfare Checklist - section 1 Children Act 1989

When a court considers any question relating to the upbringing of a child under the Children Act 1989 it must have regard to the welfare checklist set out in s1 of that Act. Among the things the court must consider are:
a) The ascertainable wishes and feelings of the child concerned (considered in light of his age and understanding);
b) His physical, emotional and/or educational needs;
c) The likely effect on him of any change in his circumstances;
d) His age, sex, background and any characteristics of his, which the court considers relevant;
e) Any harm which he has suffered or is at risk of suffering;
f) How capable each of his parents and any other person in relation to whom the court considers the question to be relevant, is of meeting his needs;
g) The range of powers available to the court under the Children Act 1989 in the proceedings in question.
For all proceedings under the Children Act 1989 when the court considers a question of the child's upbringing the child's welfare is the court's paramount consideration.

Xalla Fri 05-Apr-13 16:46:57

Leuty, I concur with the others before me who have labelled it low level neglect - it's not abuse, it IS what you and I would term neglect but SS won't be keen to intervene until it could reasonably be defined as abuse. Personally I think a change of residence based on poor hygeine at Mums is equally far-fetched. That's been my DH's experience anyway.

I think a more realistic approach maybe for your DH to try and get his contact increased. When my DSD was much younger my DH like yours had EoW and one week night. During this time DSD was really badly constipated. Mum wouldn't accept it but it was awful - tears on the loo, blood on the loo paper, exploding accidents... My DH took matters into his own hands in the end when he found out Mum had lied about taking DSD to the doctors (she claimed she'd taken DSD and doc said there was nothing wrong with her, it transpired she'd never taken her. DH took her himself and DSD was referred to a specialist nurse and prescribed medication). Anyway, the reason I say push for more contact is because once my DH had 50/50, DSD was getting a decent diet 50% of the time and the problem diminished very quickly. She still has the odd bout but nothing like as traumatic as it used to be. Another issue with my DSD was that her Mum smokes a lot, in the car, in the house etc and DSD invariably spent half and hour after she woke up hacking up phlegm. Again, once DH got 50 / 50, that improved massively too.

NotaDisneyMum Fri 05-Apr-13 16:51:26

frau you are quite right that the court does consider those things - but have you experienced it first hand and therefore are familiar with how they interpret that Act?

I'm sure many regular posters here will be able to regale you with their own experiences of family court and I don't know of anyone who would agree that the OP has any chance of securing residency based on what she has posted here.

Leuty Fri 05-Apr-13 16:56:23

KarlosKKrinkelbeim - thanks for your words of support. I won't give up on her, it's amazing how much you can love someone else's child!

It's quite interesting to see people's views on whether this is neglect or not. In my view, failing to treat medical issues is neglect. Does anyone know if my DH could register DSD at our GP as a full patient whilst she is still registered at BMs GP? They've always said they won't treat her unless urgent, as a temporary patient. We don't live near BM so attending her GP is more difficult.

Trying to keep relationship with BM as good as possible for DSDs sake. I'm in two minds whether to tell her I've caught headlice or not, I suppose it doesn't matter to her. She wasn't bothered about it 4 years ago, highly u likely she will now sad

Leuty Fri 05-Apr-13 17:01:53

In terms of claiming residency, we've spoken about it when BM hinted she would rather pay maintenance and us have her when she was little! We came to the agreement that whilst we do not support her mothers parenting, DSD is not in immediate danger. If we were given any reason to believe she was at risk we would of course push this further. For the time being, I'm hoping we can do as much as we can without claiming residency as I'm sure poor DSD would be heartbroken to leave mummy.

Will see about increasing contact, I don't think BM will have any objections so may be a way for DH to have a larger influence.

FrauMoose Fri 05-Apr-13 17:03:01

Without wanting to talk a lot about personal circumstances, my partner works in this area - however they are involved only in cases where there would be existing Social Services involvement.

Sometimes people who do apply to the Family Courts are poorly served by their solicitors, who may not be very experienced in this area. (Looking for somebody who is a member of the Association of Lawyers for Children is a start.)

I suppose the question in my mind is about the relative advantages of watching and waiting/generally being there/building up the amount of contact etc - and more radical attempted intervention like trying for a change of residency.

There was a situation with one of my own stepchildren - many years back when the courts were less inclined to give residency to anyone other than the mother - where my partner and I decided to go down the just watching/waiting route.

My stepchild has some difficulties as an adult, and my partner and I are troubled at times by wondering whether we made the right decision. Because I think we would have been better at identifying the stepchild's difficulties, working in co-operation with schools etc and giving my stepchild support and help that they needed.

So I think one sometimes has to try and do the impossible. Not just think about what's happening now, but also about the longer term impact of a degree of neglect on a child. And try to work out what the right thing is. It's a tough one.

NotaDisneyMum Fri 05-Apr-13 17:07:40

No, you can't register a DC with a second GP - my ex tried to with DD and got short shrift as it can be considered a precursor to child snatching.

While neglect is sometimes considered child abuse, it has to be far more significant than you are describing. If your DSD was suffering neglect to the extent that Childrens Services would be prepared to become involved then she would have been referred by the school - the fact that she hasn't been indicates that no matter what you think, the degree of neglect is not significant enough to warrant intervention.

Your DP (and you) would do far better for your DSD by focusing on what you can do for her, rather than trying to change things that are less than perfect.
Regardless of how your DSD was conceived, she has two parents, who probably won't always agree on what is best for her. Unless they (and you) pick your battles, this little girls life is likely to be fraught with hostility.

You can't change other people but you can waste an awful lot of effort trying.

Leuty Fri 05-Apr-13 17:12:01

That is exactly what we're trying to do. I have said we have no intention of taking her full time, or involving SS. Others have given fantastic advice on what could be viable right now, none of which seems too upsetting for anyone involved and of course would need to be discussed first between DH and BM

NotaDisneyMum Fri 05-Apr-13 17:34:39

Sorry leuty, my post does seem a bit shirty, reading it back!

I do get the impression that you're quite invested though. The fact that you are even considering mentioning to your DSd mum that you have caught lice from your DSD, even though you've been in a SM situation for 5 years, suggests that you are still seeking a level of interaction/involvement with her that most SM give up on a lot sooner.

You can't co-parent with her, and if was going to happen between your DP then it would have done by now. The best he can hope for parallel parenting.

Xalla Fri 05-Apr-13 17:38:54

Your DH however has every right to take his daughter to the GP she's already registered. He doesn't need to discuss it with Mum or get 'permission' first either providing he has PR. Obviously it would be preferable for Mum to be involved but my DH took his daughter without mentioning it to Mum (because he thought she'd be obstructive) and encountered no problems. He doesn't think twice about taking her these days.

Bonsoir Fri 05-Apr-13 17:42:27

IME you can get rid of headlice in a weekend if you treat/comb intensively and have hair cut short. If, as the OP says, her DSD is itchy and sore, cutting her hair short would be the kindest thing to do to give her a chance of remaining lice free for a while so the scabs can clear up. Again, scalps recover very fast once they are lice free.

Leuty Fri 05-Apr-13 17:45:17

Thanks notadisneymum! Was a bit worried there.

You're right about parallel parenting. Onwards and upwards smile

Leuty Fri 05-Apr-13 17:47:59

Bonsoir, I've done this on many occasions but she will always return with them. At worst I've removed approx 45 in one sitting, and that's without the countless eggs. Unfortunately it seems a case of managing the condition rather than being able to get rid of it entirely in the current situation

Bonsoir Fri 05-Apr-13 17:52:03

I don't know why you count the lice? You don't need to remove them individually. If you use a product that suffocates the lice and then comb with a nitty-gritty comb and repeat every day for three days, as well as cutting hair short, they will be gone.

Leuty Fri 05-Apr-13 18:03:17

Simply to illustrate the extent of the problem. I gave up using nit treatments years ago as the seem to become ineffective. The electric comb works very well.

If it were as simple as you say, we wouldn't still be having this problem 4 years later. We send her home nit free, she returns crawling again within a couple of weeks.

givemeaclue Fri 05-Apr-13 18:04:15

Why not apply for custody? Have you already? And bugger "harassing a single mum", I would have been on to health visitor, doctor, school or pre school, social services years ago. This has been going on for 4 years and your dh has allowed this to continue?why? Surely his daughter should come first.

I think its dreadful if he has not taken any action, he is complicit in the neglect of his daughter by doing nothing about it. Me course there are kids worse off who will be ss priority but that doesn't mean that they wouldn't intervene at all eg surestart worker or whatever, or discus with her, at least would be a record of the neglect which may help custody application.

I really get cross when people sit back and do nothing when their own child is neglected. Shame on your dh

givemeaclue Fri 05-Apr-13 18:13:31

And now saying dh may speak to school, but wait till parent evening? He should be out there doing everything possible for this child! Today! Not waiting four years!

freddykins Fri 05-Apr-13 18:21:53

I'm sorry to butt in late in the conversation, but I wanted to pick up on the untreated asthma. OP, I don't wish to be alarmist, but untreated or uncontrolled asthma can kill VERY quickly. I would say if your DSD's BM is refusing to get her treatment, then that really is cause for concern and serious enough to be a child protection issue. You obviously care deeply about her wellbeing, so I would really consider raising it with SS.

givemeaclue Fri 05-Apr-13 18:24:10

Ffs has the asthma not even been raised with ss..

NotaDisneyMum Fri 05-Apr-13 18:38:57

clue do you have advice as to how to engage with agencies such as Surestart or SS so that they will listen? I don't mean to hijack the thread but I'm sure the OP would benefit as well as other SM like myself smile

I frequently post about the neglect and emotional abuse that my own DSC are subject to but despite DP trying to obtain support for them, and applying for joint residency in an attempt to change things, he is repeatedly told that nothing can be done - even if DSC mum is spoken to, she lies and covers things up and it is all forgotten about.

How can DP present the facts in a way that doesn't come across as malicious, but that are acted on in the way he believes is best for the DCs?

Leuty Fri 05-Apr-13 18:41:56

Givemeaclue, what would you expect from SS? Perhaps you have some experience?

Freddykins, thank you. You're certainly not being alarmist and I appreciate your input

Leuty Fri 05-Apr-13 18:46:37

Notadisneymum - my thoughts exactly. How are we to prove anything should BM rubbish it all? She regularly promises change when talking to us with no outcome.

Inexperience with such organisations ill hold my hands up to

Xalla Fri 05-Apr-13 19:01:37

How about by-passing SS. Getingt your DH to take DSD along to her GP and voice his concerns. Hopefully then the GP would alert SS? Or do the same with her teacher / school nurse. That might avoid DH coming across as malicious or scheming.

Leuty Fri 05-Apr-13 19:04:39

Xalla that is a good idea. So simple too. Feeling silly for not thinking it myself. Thank you

allnewtaketwo Fri 05-Apr-13 19:22:51

It really does depend on the doctor though, many are very reticent to speak to an NRP without jumping through a lot of hoops. Even after DH did this and DSS was referred to a specialist, DSSs mother went in with him and managed to pull the wool so well over the specialists eyes that DSS was discharged with no follow up. DH did complain but they all just put it down to the 2 parents not getting on

KarlosKKrinkelbeim Fri 05-Apr-13 20:48:41

Is it not possible to have the little one seen by your GP when she is with you as a temporary resident? then that GP can write to hers about the child protection concerns, maybe get the ball rolling that way.
Certainly this used to be possible in t'olden days, though things may well have changed by now. I hope you find a route through this somehow.

Xalla Fri 05-Apr-13 21:33:36

I think you may be right Karlos.

Lilypad34 Sat 06-Apr-13 18:06:48

My dsd always has lice..ALWAYS!! I or dh treat her every time we see her 3-4 times a week but she goes home to her mum and by the time she returns we are back at step one. Dh has stressed that she too needs to be vigilant with treating her, he even bought her one of those Nitty Gritty combs that get eggs and lice..it's got to the point where I wear my hair on top of my head looking ridiculous and won't let her get her head close to mine.

The school do nothing, a letter goes out but nothing gets done. In my eyes this is neglect. I do my best to look after dsd welfare whilst she is in our care, however I cannot affect a change with the ex gf so it's a hamster wheel.

Alwayscheerful Sun 07-Apr-13 09:41:00

Bonsoir & lilypad

As I previously mentioned my stepchildren had lice for several years, I treated them every other weekend, the schools did nothing, the mother Did very little she treated it as a joke, I caught them once a fortnight, which was not at all funny. I am convinced the foul smelling NEEM oil did the trick. At one point, I did wonder if the children's mother needed treating but I am convinced the need oil was so repellent that the nots never returned.

Alwayscheerful Sun 07-Apr-13 09:41:59

Oh dead posting from phone NITS and NEEM

Leuty Sun 07-Apr-13 11:17:50

I'm going to find this oil and give it a go! Not heard of it before. Where can I find it? Thanks

ElenorRigby Sun 07-Apr-13 14:05:13

Thanks for the tip about Neem Oil Cheerful. After our struggle with DSD's head lice I'm always open to idea even thought she's been nit free for 2+ years.
These days we always was all our hair in tea tree shampoo and use tea tree conditioner.
You can buy Neem Oil from Amazon Leuty.
As for the treatment we swear buy, a nitty gritty comb and loads of tea tree conditioner. Each treatment took at least 45 minutes. Repeat every 3 days for 2 weeks.

As for people who say you didn't do enough report to authorities etc we had the same advice/experience as others here. ie it wouldn't have been regarded as significant neglect and we would have been seen as malicious.

However when the ex made false allegations against DP that he had been beating the crap out of me for years in front the kids and that I martyr like stood between him and the kids taking the beating for them.
Guess what, they (SS) believed everything she said with litle/no checking of facts) and continued in that vain even after six+ months family courts hearings and police hearings concluded nothing to see here.
Being a male NRP really is a different playing field.

Being a step-parent makes you damned if you do or don't.

Lilypad34 Sun 07-Apr-13 14:05:23


Try these?

Alwayscheerful Sun 07-Apr-13 16:20:07

I purchased my neem oil from a health shop, it may have been holland & Barrett. I agree with all Eleanor's advice. Tea tree is fresh and clean smelling and inexpensive, the oil can be added to shampoo & conditioner it's a very pleasant deterrent. Be warned neem oil is foul, my stepchildren cried and complained but they cried tears of joy and thanked me when they became nit free, the eldest explained that she had been to afraid to wear her hair down for fear of passing them on to her friends. I am told that nits find it difficult to infest dyed hair, the shaft of the hair becomes too smooth for the eggs to cling to. Good luck.

mumandboys123 Sun 07-Apr-13 16:50:32

NADM - from the other side, yes I have experienced this. My ex reported me to Social Services for a whole host of issues which went along the following lines: I had PND and it was untreated and I was refusing treatment and support that was being offered; our youngest child had green poo; all three children had 'unexplained' bruising; that my kitchen floor always had food on it; that the house was very dirty and untidy...other stuff along the same lines. At the same time, he was seeking residence of our children in court on the basis of my mental ill health and violence.

In terms of the court, it was taken half seriously. Yes, CAFCASS were commissioned to do a Section 7 report to see if there were any 'welfare concerns'. This consisted of interviewing me twice in their offices and once at home with the children. They did the same with my ex and interviewed our eldest child in school. No welfare concerns were reported as a result (on my side at least) and it was recommended that the child have residence with me (and that a residence order be made - this isn't always the case) and that my ex have EOW and one night midweek contact (this is less than was in place at the time by arrangement between us). Oh, and there was no evidence of my mental ill health via my GP or Health Visitor or police reports or anything else. He even went as far to say in court that I had attempted to commit suicide 4 times during our marriage and that he had proof - hospital records? GP records?!!

Social Services wrote to me asking me to call them. We spoke on the phone for approximately half an hour. She went through the allegations one by one and listened to my response: no PND, no refusal of support (how could he know I have PND by seeing me on the doorstep for 30 seconds twice a week, let alone know I had refused support?! Permission was given to contact my GP and Health Visitor and CAFCASS). Not aware of the youngest having green poo but had he discussed it with me at the time it occurred, perhaps I might have been able to explain it by way of what we had eaten the day before? Bruising on the children was normal as far as I was concerned, they were not all 100% in my care (often with the ex, in school, preschool etc. so I can't account for every bruise even if he had ever asked me to); ex had no access to my home to know it was dirty with food on the floor but yes, if you came in the morning at 8:30am likelihood was there'd be food there but if you came at 10pm when the day was done, everything would be clean and tidy and in it's rightful place.... you get my drift. She closed the case on the phone and I haven't heard from them since.

The problem with low level neglect - and I don't necessarily agree that is what is being described - is that it's impossible to really put your finger on it. Children shouldn't have their teeth pulled out for no reason - I did, I don't consider my parents were neglectful. They could probably have done better, but that's about as far as I proportion blame. Headlice are persistent - my neighbour's child gets it constantly and I can assure you she is in no way neglected and that it is always dealt with but there is clearly someone in her class who isn't dealing with it as it's being passed on again and again and again...And frankly, I would probably lie to my ex about taking the children to the doctor's if I considered it unnecessary. That doesn't make me right, I agree, but I can only manage so much as one parent with three children and a full time job so I make decisions based on how bad I think things are.

You won't get a change of residence of a child under about 13 for the reasons that are being described here. Would bet my life on it.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now