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One of my neighbours has reported us to social services

(164 Posts)
LittleTopic Tue 30-Jun-20 10:11:15

And I’m absolutely fuming.

Quick background - DH is furloughed and at home with 14 month old DD. I’m working full time (key worker). A neighbour has called SS to say that DD is screaming all day and that she is dirty and never dressed. So I got a phone call yesterday to ask me about it.

DD has been unsettled for the last week as she has four teeth coming through. She spent most of last week in a nappy in her paddling pool because of the heat (it was 34c here) and DH also strips her off when she invariably gets lunch down her clothes. She likes to run away at that point! More often than not, she has crushed tomatoes or blueberries around her face which we can scrub off in the pool or when she’s distracted.

Anyway, I had a chat with SS and they said everything sounded normal and they’re closing the case down with no action or home visit. But I am so utterly furious. I think I know which neighbour it is and whilst we are not friends, as we are with our neighbours either side, we say hello when we see each other and take parcels in etc. DH is devastated as he adores DD and is now too upset to play with her in the garden in case he’s being watched. He’s been a stay at home dad for months now and has been fantastic, and one malicious act has knocked all his confidence.

Ugh, just needed to vent. Does a happy child in a nappy really sound so bad?! I’m also really concerned that these people will keep making complaints, if they’ve done so once before, and we’ll end up with a bigger issue on our hands sad

OP’s posts: |
MummyGoingItAlone Tue 30-Jun-20 10:15:22

You child sounds exactly like mine this last couple of weeks! He’s almost 2, doesn’t like clothes, has berry juice on his face and usually mud from the garden. He’s also a huge tantrum thrower. I’d be gutted if anyone reported what is, to most, standard toddler behaviour. I’m so sorry someone has done this to you. I hope your husband can quickly regain his confidence

Sunnydayshereatlast Tue 30-Jun-20 10:18:11

An envious ndn who sees a df having a great time making the most of stuck home with a precious dc...what a sourpuss..
Buy a gnome from Asda that has it's bum showing and face it to the ndn.
And stop taking parcels on for them.

LittleTopic Tue 30-Jun-20 10:19:20

Honestly, I’m at work and I could cry. Even though SS have said they’re not doing anything I feel like I’m being judged as a shitty parent (and it’s not even me they’ve complained about!)

OP’s posts: |
StrictlyAFemaleFemale Tue 30-Jun-20 10:20:24

Oh thats a bit rubbish but ss were satisfied so try not to dwell.

blue25 Tue 30-Jun-20 10:21:53

Perhaps the screaming all day is driving them crazy and that’s their revenge.

BelindaBl1nked Tue 30-Jun-20 10:22:23

Well it's a good thing isn't it? They saw something that concerned them and reported their concerns. How you explain it sounds like nothing - hope your neighbour perceived it , maybe not

SS are there so no children fall between the cracks. I can understand you being furious but, unless this was a malicious and false report, I say good for them for reporting what concerned them

AlphaJura Tue 30-Jun-20 10:24:06

That's must be horrible for you. I can understand how your dh would feel like he's being watched. My dd is 2 and sounds much like yours! She's got into the habit of stripping off recently (because she's learnt how) and when it's hot, I let her run round in her nappy. She screams when she gets tired or has to come in from the garden and it's typical 2 yo behaviour to get food all round their mouths. I'm surprised this mean neighbour decided to report you.

Dowermouse Tue 30-Jun-20 10:26:44

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

SnuggyBuggy Tue 30-Jun-20 10:28:21

It could be that they are people who don't appreciate how chaotic normal life with a toddler is. Most people are more idealistic before they actually have kids.

Goostacean Tue 30-Jun-20 10:30:01

I can see why you’re upset and really feel for your DH - I’d feel very down and self-conscious too after something like that. But realistically I think Belinda is right, try to turn around your perception of it, feel reassured that other children who are genuinely in need will hopefully get the help they require, and at least SS are doing their job. Easy for me to say, I know, but you can’t change what’s happened- only your perception of and response to it. Try to put it out of your mind. FWIW, my toddler is similar!

LittleTopic Tue 30-Jun-20 10:31:26

@blue25 I’d like to think people don’t make SS referrals as “revenge” hmm

OP’s posts: |
formerbabe Tue 30-Jun-20 10:31:56

That's horrible, no wonder you're upset. Keeping a child spotlessly clean, quiet and indoors would be so much worse for them.

I wonder if the person who reported you is very old fashioned and doesn't believe a man can properly look after a child?

LittleTopic Tue 30-Jun-20 10:38:48

@BelindaBl1nked I can absolutely see where you’re coming from, although it doesn’t make it any less horrible when it happens to you. And SS were fine, we had a quick chat and that was that.

There’s a neighbour in between us who is lovely but a gossip. He mentioned when we first moved in that they’re “a bit difficult” - apparently they once had a run in about him parking in “their space” and the following week one of his tyres had been let down. So who knows? I thought staying out of their way might be enough 🤷‍♀️

OP’s posts: |
Lightuptheroom Tue 30-Jun-20 10:39:04

Try to put it behind you. On one hand, yes it's important people report what they see. On the other, it's hard being on the receiving end, but they aren't taking any further action. Children's services have a duty of care and that's the best way to look at it. It is horrible, it's happened to me and some of them aren't as sensible as the one you spoke to. Your husband just needs to carry on as normal. Children's Services received a report, followed it up and have closed the case, that doesn't = that they think something was wrong with what he was doing, they have to follow up reports regardless of how bizarre they may seem.

WhentheRabbitsWentWild Tue 30-Jun-20 10:44:42


Meow . You don't even know the OPS DH but don't let that stop you attacking some poor sod.

Allington Tue 30-Jun-20 10:48:24

It does feel horrible - we got a 'welfare check' from the police after a trip to the Council recycling depot with some garden waste. Someone apparently thought DD looked upset and took down our car number plate...! I felt very uncomfortable going there again with DD and ran over and over again what we did, how DD reacted.

In the end I just had to accept that there was nothing I did wrong, and grit my teeth and refuse to let it affect my actions.

pigeon999 Tue 30-Jun-20 10:53:56

Move on, and stop taking in parcels for them. Time for just a nod as a hello and a lot of distance.

Make sure your little one is out there running around as normal, have even more fun than usual and don't allow this to upset you or your dh. They get to win by killing the joy. So ignore them and carry on playing. Your child is a baby, and can run around to their hearts content covered in strawberries and naked, that is why is is cool to be two!!! smile

Let it go op. Sourgrapes should not win!!

saraclara Tue 30-Jun-20 10:55:22

Post references deleted post Talk Guidelines.

BlingLoving Tue 30-Jun-20 10:55:57

It's such an incredibly spurious report that I definitely wouldn't take it seriously and your DH should see this. A few things that could have triggered it occur to me without even putting any meaningful thought into it:

They are terribly old fashioned and believe children should be seen and not heard, perfectly dressed and groomed at all times etc.

similarly, they don't approve of fathers looking after DC and immediately assume that the child is being abused (these sorts also don't approve of male staff in childcare settings, will nod knowingly and with concern at male sports coaches etc).

The don't like the noise of a child in the garden and want it to stop.

There are probably others. There is no reason to take it personally except in the context of now knowing you have batshit neighbours who you should be careful around.

GETTINGLIKEMYMOTHER Tue 30-Jun-20 10:57:26

Neighbours must have some very weird ideas about normal parenting of little ones.V upsetting about them calling SS - I’d be livid, too.

I used to live (abroad) among neighbours who thought I was a bad mother to let my dds ever get dirty or run around (when it was safe) in bare feet. I should have dressed them nicely in pretty dresses with shoes and little white socks at all times, and kept them away from any messy play.
I was also neglectful for failing to start potty training at 12 months, oh, and taking them swimming from babies - dangerous, and they were sure to catch cold!
I smiled nicely and ignored the fussy lot of them.,

slipperywhensparticus Tue 30-Jun-20 10:57:37

My son is usually naked at age 7 (yes he does have special needs 🙄) I'm shocked my one set of neighbour's hasn't reported me

formerbabe Tue 30-Jun-20 10:59:09

DH needs to nut up and carry on as normal. "his confidence has been knocked"? Poor delicate creature. Men don't usually suffer this kind of blow to their ego without the wife having to pick up the pieces

I'd be incredibly upset if this happened to me and I'm a woman. Most parents, irrespective of their sex, would be upset.

I think there's definitely a whiff of sexism about the reporting. There's lots of old fashioned people who think men can't look after can practically hear the inner dialogue of a neighbour tutting that the child has food on their face because dad is incapable.

TheStuffedPenguin Tue 30-Jun-20 11:01:23

Just a thought - was your child protected from the sun if she spent"most of the week" in her paddling pool ? Maybe that is what neighbour was concerned about ?

Lostmyshityear9 Tue 30-Jun-20 11:05:58

It wasn't necessarily malicious, OP. Don't assume that. If someone has seen a fruit stained child running about without some of her clothes and same child can be heard screaming a lot, it could have been perceived as a genuine problem. It is better, I think, to make the report and have got it wrong than a child continues to be abused. People forget how difficult it is to manage small children and the stages they go through - all mine would have fitted your description at that age but someone viewing it from a window, hearing the screaming, well, better to be safe than sorry.

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