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to call SS?

(46 Posts)
nightowlmostly Tue 20-Sep-11 09:34:38

I'm a bit concerned about my next door neighbour's kids but am not sure whether it is serious enough to warrant a call to social services or not. I don't want to make that call if it's nothing so wanted to see what you all thought of it!

Basically, I have posted about my newish neighbours a couple of times, as there is a lot of noise coming through the walls most days and it is doing my head in a little bit! The family consists of a mum and her 3 kids, two about 6 and 7, and one of about 2 or 3. She shouts at them a lot , all I can ever hear is her yelling and swearing at them.

The other day I was woken on a sunday morning by her coming into the bedroom next to ours, screaming at the littlest one "fucking hell, I've had enough" and more that I can't remember exactly, I was half asleep! It went on for a bit anyway, then she stomped off downstairs and I had to lie there and listen to the poor wee thing wailing for about twenty minutes by himself. He's only a baby really, it made me really angry that she would treat him this way.

I spoke to her only once, she seemed really young and sweet actually, which confused me because of what I hear all the time, I think she just has no idea how to deal with her kids. I must add at this point that I am expecting but have no kids as yet so I really don't want to sit and judge when I don't know how hard it must be but it just doesn't sit right with me. Sometimes when I hear her yelling I turn the TV off for a second to see if I can hear any slaps but I haven't yet so I think it's just verbal abuse.

So what do you think about it? I feel like she needs help, she's not coping, but I don't know if this is something that would concern SS. Any advice gratefully received!

CauldronsTrulyReign Tue 20-Sep-11 09:36:12

She sounds like she needs a friend.

AKMD Tue 20-Sep-11 09:37:50

Are you in a position to offer any help? It sounds like she isn't coping and SS should be able to find her the support she needs.

SenoritaViva Tue 20-Sep-11 09:39:07

I agree I think she needs a friend and some guidance on parenting. The first you can give!

Also you could call the NSPCC to ask their advice.

Springyknickersohnovicars Tue 20-Sep-11 09:39:34

Not one for SS that would be a complete overreaction to shouting. I think you'd do better to befriend her and see what support she gets or could access.

domesticdiva Tue 20-Sep-11 09:40:17

Nightowl - do you have children?!? I'm afraid shouting (though not swearing), often appears regularly in childrens lives. Ringing SS seems abit drastic, to what appears to be just a mum under alot of strain dealing with three young children. Maybe you could have a chat with her, maybe offer to take one or two of her children for a couple of hours so she has a moment to herself? As a mum of 2 under 2 myself, sometimes it feels like you do not have a moments peace, and that can put a strain on anyone. Please be abit more sympathetic before getting SS involved :-)

ellisbell Tue 20-Sep-11 09:41:32

Introduce her to home start www.home-start.org.uk/homepage , she needs a friend not SS

sheepgomeep Tue 20-Sep-11 09:44:00

I also think she sounds like she needs a friend tbh. Is she bringing the kids up on her own? She may be struggling and depressed.

Before anyone shouts, I have been in her shoes and its really not nice. You know that you are shouting and being horrible but the coping mechanism is just not there, I just felt overwhelmed and so miserable and it really affected my relationship with my kids.

If you are that worried then ring them by all means. I am with homestart who have been great with me. Maybe something like that is what she needs

DooinMeCleanin Tue 20-Sep-11 09:44:34

Is she a single parent? Does she get any help from her family that you can see?

I'm another who thinks it sounds like she needs a friend and some support. I struggle when I am left with two on my own, let alone 3 and I have the luxery of knowing that at some point DH will be home/I will go to work and I will have a break/some back up. I don't think I'd cope well without this.

Wrt the shouting - when is happening? e.g all day or just at certain times of the day? Our house is madness on a morning and it has been known that "For the love of all things holy, put your sodding socks on!" can be heard from down the street blush, this is after 5 or ten minutes of "dd2, socks on please. Dd1 please help your sister put her socks on while I make your lunch. Socks. Now. Socks please. Dh can you help dd2 with her socks?" etc etc.

Parenting can be stressful at times and we all lose our tempers. It shouldn't, in an ideal world, be happening daily. But nor is it a sign that she is physically abusive.

sheepgomeep Tue 20-Sep-11 09:46:12

mind you I shouted For fucks sake Ive had enough at my 11 year old who has been constantly pushing boundaries 2 days ago blush god knows what my neighbours thought

nightowlmostly Tue 20-Sep-11 09:49:25

It's not that I'm unsympathetic, I realise she isn't coping. It's not just a bit of shouting though, that's the point, it's full on top of her lungs screaming every day . I know kids get shouted at sometimes but I can't remember my mum ever talking to us like that.

I don't really want to befriend her, that might sound harsh but she is making my life a misery with all the racket and as for taking the kids, I know nothing about them so that wouldn't really be a plan. They aren't well behaved either obviously, so there's no way I would ever get involved with them.

Ok, maybe SS is an overreaction, that's what I was asking after all, thanks!

pigletmania Tue 20-Sep-11 09:52:04

Yabu to call ss, does not sound like abuse at all but someone who is finding it hard to cope and might be depressed. Why not invite her to yours for tea/coffee, suggest she see her GP. This was me a year ago before dd was dx with sn and before I went on the hanen corse for children with AS. Now thong are so much better, I was in a dark place now I see the light

Tenacity Tue 20-Sep-11 09:54:43

Let SS make a judgement whether she needs a friend or not. No child deserves to shouted at or to have a parent swearing at them to tears.

If the parent/s are not coping then that is the child's fault.

sheepgomeep Tue 20-Sep-11 09:54:57

i do think you need to talk to her though but dont be aggressive with her or confrontational. my neighbour came round to talk to me during my not coping period. I was mortified but glad she did.

I feel for both of you actually, it must be a nightmare

Tenacity Tue 20-Sep-11 09:55:42

*That is not the child's fault.

HeadfirstForHalloween Tue 20-Sep-11 09:55:48

I second homestart, it sounds like she's not coping.

If you ring ss make sure in your head you are doing it for the benefit of the dc, not because the noise is annoying you, as that is the main thing you mention in your posts.

Kladdkaka Tue 20-Sep-11 09:57:16

So you're not actually interested in the welfare of the children, just shutting the racket up for your own benefit. hmm

RitaMorgan Tue 20-Sep-11 09:58:08

Maybe call her Health Visitor instead of SS? They might be in a better position to offer support/refer to Home Start/suggest parenting courses etc.

nightowlmostly Tue 20-Sep-11 09:59:14

That's not why I would call SS, please give me more credit than that! Yes it's annoying but I wouldn't dreamm of calling SS unless I was concerned about the kids. They do my head in but that's because they are not parented well and left to their own devices so I don't blame them. They yell and scream all the time because she does, they are learning from her.

I am not thinking of calling SS because I want to punish her, it's because I think she needs support and I am not the one to give it to her.

PopcornMouse Tue 20-Sep-11 09:59:27

I'm in exactly the same position, nightowl - It's been going on 5 years, here. We go to bed to the sound of her screaming at her kids (and we're not talking an odd shout, she can go on for 40 mins a time, several times a day), and then we wake up to it and wonder if she ever actually stopped inbetween...

But we never went to SS, and the kid's now 14 or something and it's so constant that it's now water off a duck's back for him - he doesn't pay any attention - and he now even gives as good as he gets grin

PopcornMouse Tue 20-Sep-11 10:00:40

PS - if he's young, the health visitor sounds like a good starting point smile

nightowlmostly Tue 20-Sep-11 10:01:17

And thanks kladdkaka for that wonderful insight into my motives. When you have to try and sleep through a child crying for twenty minutes because his mum has just screamed and sworn at him yet again, see what you would want to do.

pigletmania Tue 20-Sep-11 10:02:22

There are many options than ss, try Homestart, Surestart, contact the HV team. Encourage het to see a GP, I did and he was so helpful and nice

dreamingbohemian Tue 20-Sep-11 10:08:33

I was in a very similar situation in our last flat, our neighbour shouted and swore at her kids a lot and it was very disturbing. I just imagined those poor kids crying and hiding from her, how awful.

I do understand being shouty from not coping, but this was all the time, and really shouting at the kids in an aggressive way.

I thought about calling SS sometimes but in our area they were so overloaded with serious abuse and neglect cases, I didn't think they would do anything.

I don't know what you should do, but just to say I understand why you would be considering calling SS.

And it's not unreasonable to be disturbed by the noise either, it's really awful to listen to and I personally found it very triggering due to my own childhood issues.

nightowlmostly Tue 20-Sep-11 10:14:59

This is why I was asking for advice, thanks everyone. I don't know about these other agencies and what other support there is. It would be more difficult though, if she doesn't ask for herself wouldn't it? I don't feel I can approach her directly.

And for all those suspecting me of purely selfish motives, we are moving soon so it's really not about that!

I just wanted to see if you thought her behaviour is extreme or not as I have limited experience of these things! It just seems OTT, especially with the littlest one.

I guess I'll leave it for now.

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