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To worry about the little girl downstairs?

(28 Posts)
dizietsma Tue 12-Oct-10 20:29:20

I live in a tenement, and have heard my downstairs neighbour screaming at his 7yo-ish DD whilst she's in floods of tears a total of 2 times, DH has heard it today and I've heard her crying a couple more times too.

They've been our neighbours since the spring, so not too frequent I suppose, but I am a bit worried about her.

The neighbour in question does seem a bit mentally unwell, he's quite paranoid about other neighbours and concocts fantasies about them being out to get him. We are apparently OK because we have a kid, which is why I hear the stories about the other more evil neighbours who are out to get him. I suspect that he's not coping with being a parent very well because he's unwell.

So what to do? It's not much to go on, is it? I've emailed the NSPCC to ask them what I should do, but wonder what the MN jury think I ought to do about this, any suggestions?

thisisyesterday Tue 12-Oct-10 20:33:26

well... if oyu lived near me you'd have heard me screaming at my kids more than twice. and them crying too

i dunno

DeadPoncy Tue 12-Oct-10 22:32:31

Is your DC of the same sort of age? Or are you at home with him/her, meaning you could offer to walk the girl to school, give her and her father some time away from one another?

What you do depends how much you want to get involved.

But more information is needed if we are to make any sort of sensible comment.

brassband Tue 12-Oct-10 23:05:50

You've heard your neihbour shouting at his DD and her crying twice in 7 months and you've phoned the NSPCC?
No wonder so many children suffering serious abuse don't get the help they need when charities/agencies there to help them are being clogged up with stuff like this.

thornrose Tue 12-Oct-10 23:09:10

I think you need to wait for a while before acting. You really have nothing to go on yet in my opinion.

saffy85 Wed 13-Oct-10 06:44:25

You'd have called social services on me if you lived next door. I've screamed at my DD on more than 2 occasions in 7 months and she has definately cried a fair bit (the tears magically dry up when she gets her own way).

Tbh if this man is as mentally ill as you are making out, chances are the Social Services are already aware of the family.

We all have bad days/weeks. Children DO act up at times and test the limits and I know I overreact sometimes and have issued a few grovelling apologies to my DD.

Obviously, if you think he has beaten his DC up call the police, but he's shouted at them twice in 7 months. I think contacting NSPCC is like building a sandcastle with a JCB....

PhishFoodAddiction Wed 13-Oct-10 07:29:56

Well I think YAB a bit U.

If you lived near me you'd have heard me yelling at my kids twice in the last week! I have depression, but I'm not shouting at them because I'm mentally ill, just because they were being so naughty at bedtime.

I think parents do shout at their kids once in a while, and kids do cry for minor things. The amount you've mentioned doesn't sound excessive to me, unless there's evidence the child is being beaten or something?

scotsmuminengland Wed 13-Oct-10 09:24:10

Th amount of times my son screams during the day for no reason (like me switching off lights or opening the curtains in the morning) is shocking and I am always worried the neighbours call SS as it gets to me at times and I end up shouting at him. I am a loving mother and I never hit him. I think you should leave it for now as you don't know the situation.

CrazyPlateLady Wed 13-Oct-10 09:30:28

I dread this from my neighbours (your post I mean). I am pregnant, tired and hormonal. I have a 2 year old who is very good a lot of the time but is going through the normal 'terrible twos' some days. I end up losing my rag and shouting at him, I feel awful about it and always appologise to him, I try to remember its not his fault I'm tired but then when he is purposely playing up, shouting gets through as he really doesn'y like it (I don't do it that often).

Making a girl cry twice in a day is nothing. YABU, particularly as you have already asked the NSPCC for advice. Way OTT.

Oblomov Wed 13-Oct-10 09:43:22

What is the basis for your concern ? Are you accusing him of abuse or neglect. Becasue it has to be one, the other or both to warrant a referal.
I am shocked and saddened by your busy-body antics, wasting SS's precious time.
sreaming, whilst she's crying. twice. in 7 months.
Have you heard yourself ? How ridiculous you sound.
God save us from people like you.

There may very well be cause for concern. But as others have said, to initiate that, there would need to be more evidence.
But based on this alone. it can not be.

lucysmumisgoingtowork Wed 13-Oct-10 09:55:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BeerTricksPottersField Wed 13-Oct-10 10:00:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

veritythebrave Wed 13-Oct-10 10:08:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NordicPrincess Wed 13-Oct-10 10:08:38

its not unreasonable, its rediculous. find a hobby and stop potentially harming the home life of innocent normal families

veritythebrave Wed 13-Oct-10 10:10:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TattyDevine Wed 13-Oct-10 10:16:17

Does it concern you more because he's a man? Sometimes the booming deeper voice of a male shouting can seem far more aggressive than a woman's voice - I notice this if I raise my voice at my child (not very often thankfully) and if my husband does, it gets a much more "scared" reaction simply because it sort of sounds worse <<pissweak girly voice emoticon>>

That aside, I think YABU. Thank god I live in a detached. If you could have heard me bossing my son around this morning trying to get the little sod darling out the door to preschool...yikes.

fedupofnamechanging Wed 13-Oct-10 10:21:09

My 9 year old son screamed the house down earlier this week because his brother had thrown a cushion at him. He did it because he was frustrated and annoyed and the two of them had been bickering, but to a neighbour, it would have sounded as if his head had fallen off!

My DD (3) is also a screamer if things don't go her way or if she is very tired.

By contrast, my oldest child has always been quite calm and not prone to crying/screaming for no reason.

Some kids are inclined to be loud if they are being told off/not getting own way and I would hate for my neighbours to judge me on the fact that I have a 'screamer'.

dizietsma Wed 13-Oct-10 10:30:20

I know kids are often screamers, DD is a terrible and loud screamer when she's in full flow.

It probably is knowing he has mental health problems that has coloured my interpretation.

I do try and tell myself that all kids have tantrums and all parents scream sometimes, I can't know what's really happening, but it just feels a bit more sinister for some reason.

I grew up with domestic violence and as a result I don't want to be the sort of neighbour who ignores the abuse of other neighbours, which is why I'm worrying about it. I am aware I might just be projecting though, which is why I'm posting for advice, so thanks smile

iliketosleep Wed 13-Oct-10 10:31:58

Oh god my DC are always fighting then one of them gets hurt so they cry, but not the kind of sobbing cry the loudest wail they can make for full sympathy! Cue me going mad at them "why can't you play nice" etc thats after school. First thing in the morning I'm exactly the same "get off your xbox and get dressed now!" "why aren't you dressed yet we are going to be late" it seems they only take me seriously when i'm at my loudest blush So yes alot of shouting and crying here too but more along the lines of everyday than twice in 7 months!!!

fiestabelle Wed 13-Oct-10 10:39:24

For what its worth, I think you are right to be concerned, you have children of your own, so are used to the usual tantrums, tears, shouting that happens, so presumably something else has triggered alarm bells, go with your gut instincts, all too often in cases of abuse/neglect, after the fact neighbours come to the fore stating "I knew something wasnt right", by which time it is often too late. I dont think its OTT to ring NSPCC for advice, horrible situation to be on, damned if you do, damned if you dont.

QuoththeRaven Wed 13-Oct-10 11:38:59

im also a mum of a 2 year old and very pregnant/hormonal/tired/crazy and i think ive probably shouted at my ds twice this week (probably more) i dont feel good doing it and always apologise. DS had a tantrum this morning, screamed the place down because he pressed a button on the remote and switched cbeebies off hmm

i think you may be over reacting a bit, keep an eye on the situation. If you have a dc of a similar age, why not invite the child (with permission from parents) to yours for an afternoon to play with your dc. if dad is going through a hard time, try and see if theres anything you could do to help, especially as he says he likes you/ trusts you

beaker25 Wed 13-Oct-10 13:39:58

I think it's good to just keep an eye out if you feel uneasy. My mum had sever mental health issues and paranoia when I was about 7, and I lived alone with her. Quite often her paranoia centred around me and it was a horrible and frightening time. Some of our neighbiurs must have heard stuff, we were in a bedsit, but no one ever did anything.

I'm only mentioning this to give the other side of the story really, the situation you're hearing is likely different, but definitly worth keeping an eye on if you feel unsure. 7 year old me would have appreicated someone keeping an eye out!

JoanHolloway Wed 13-Oct-10 13:44:49

Lovely post beaker

dizietsma Thu 14-Oct-10 16:55:24

See, it's not like its "GET YOUR JACKET ON NOW!" or "STOP FIGHTING WITH YOUR BROTHER THIS INSTANT!" type shouting which I am occasionally driven to and certainly understand, it's ranty sustained shouting as she's sobbing. Just doesn't seem right.

GibbyS Thu 14-Oct-10 19:45:15

I hope you will listen to fiestabelle and beaker25. If something is making you uneasy, then that is an important bit of info to notice. Normal family life wouldn't give you this reaction. Do you have any contact with the little girl's school? Could you have a casual conversation with someone on the staff there? Maybe ask how she's settling in?

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