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Need some advice

(28 Posts)
desperateandanonymous Fri 17-Mar-17 13:49:35

I've changed a couple of details and name changed.

I have a toddler niece who for various reasons I am very close to, see on a regular basis so I know all of these details to be factual.

At first I thought none of this was any of my business but now I'm worried about her well being and will she grow up wondering why none of the adults around her did anything. Plus my DM is beside herself but gets shut down and shouted at if she tries to help.

DN is never given breakfast despite sometimes sitting down at the table and asking for food in the morning.
She is put to bed far far too late (think 9pm) and is often screaming with exhaustion in the evening.
She is up at 7am and taken to nursery crying with tiredness and hunger despite the fact there's no need for her to go until midday sometimes.
She is never given fruit or vegetables despite the fact that she will eat them if given to her by someone else so not a fussy thing.
In the evening when she's exhausted she is sometimes smacked or made to stand in the naughty corner for being bad even though surely it's clear she's just exhausted.
She is clearly ready for toilet training, asks to go and is just told to go in her nappy. I'm assuming they just can't be bothered??

I realise some of these things in isolation aren't too much of a big deal but I don't feel like I can watch a child asking for breakfast and not being given any. My DM has been told off for interfering when offering to make breakfast and I'm too scared to offer now!

When I am looking after DN she eats well and goes to bed at an appropriate time without a fuss so she's clearly craving routine.
Most of the time her parents are messing about on their phones or arguing about whose turn it is to change nappies, take her to bed, bath her to actually just bloody do it.

She is also sent to nursery sometimes with no coat or hat in the winter.

I'm sorry if any of this is judgemental or jumbled. I do love her parents but feel that as she is a small child she deserves more.

She is also permanently pale looking and ill (I know kids do get ill but I feel with more sleep and better food she'd surely be healthier).

I don't know what to do or even if I should do something?

desperateandanonymous Fri 17-Mar-17 13:51:25

Also sometimes she's not even given lunch to take to nursery.

It's only a matter of time before the nursery say something surely?

HarryPottersMagicWand Fri 17-Mar-17 13:54:49

The fact she is asking for breakfast and not being given it is enough. Report this to SS. It's neglect. I was starved as a young child. When I finally went to live with someone else at the age of 4, I was taken to the doctors and weighed half the weight I should have done for my age. The nursery I went to was crap so don't count on them doing anything. It's this sort of thing that perpetuates abuse when people who see it do nothing.

notanothernamechangebabes Fri 17-Mar-17 13:55:10

Ummm that's a pretty clear picture of neglect, OP.

I think I would look for some help from an outside agency.

A child not eating all day - and asking for food- is abuse.

BirdPerson Fri 17-Mar-17 13:55:53

* even if I should do something?*

Yes. You should. This is physical and emotional neglect, and it is a form of child abuse.

GahBuggerit Fri 17-Mar-17 13:56:34

what have the parents said when they have bern queried about this?

im normally one of the first to say "beak out" on threads with concerns about children but they are usually "i saw a child once for 10 secs crying and the parent ignored it aibu to report" but what you post is unaccrptable.

Schwifty Fri 17-Mar-17 13:56:45

I realise some of these things in isolation aren't too much of a big deal

Yes they are. I'm afraid I can't advise but you're right to be concerned imo.

BirdPerson Fri 17-Mar-17 13:56:58

PamplemousseRouge Fri 17-Mar-17 13:58:15

Hi OP. Sorry to hear about this, it sounds difficult. Have you tried to discuss the situation with her parents at all? I know you've said that your DM was told off for making breakfast before, so I completely understand that you may not want to say anything though. So sorry again about this situation - it sounds really tricky flowers

MrsT2007 Fri 17-Mar-17 14:00:19

If I was nursery I'd be ringing SS

Those are signs of physical & emotional abuse.

Moanyoldcow Fri 17-Mar-17 14:00:26

Please report to SS - you have to be prepared for the fallout but it's worth it for the wellbeing of your niece.

Your niece is being neglected without a shadow of a doubt and she will be glad you stepped in even if she can't articulate those feelings at such a young age.

RNBrie Fri 17-Mar-17 14:00:40

Call the nspcc and talk it through with them. They'll be able to advise you of next steps. 0808 800 5000

desperateandanonymous Fri 17-Mar-17 14:01:03

I'm gutted that my suspicions to do something were right. On the whole they seem to love her so maybe that's why I've been fooled sad
Anyone that suggests anything is told to stop interfering to mind their own business etc.
I'm sitting here crying now that I've clearly been failing her too. I've never written a list of it all down before.

I'm worried if I report it then her parents will know it's either me or DM and we won't be able to see her again. We do some childcare so at least we know she's ok etc when she's with us.

desperateandanonymous Fri 17-Mar-17 14:03:37

She is given healthy snacks at nursery thankfully but that's obviously not enough. I'm not sure what she weighs. Maybe I will weigh her tonight.

GahBuggerit Fri 17-Mar-17 14:03:53

you can do it anonymously, they will prob suspect the nursery

BirdPerson Fri 17-Mar-17 14:03:55

OP, if you do something now, you won't be failing her. These people are your family - naturally it's difficult when you have to consider whether or not they are neglecting their own child. No matter what happens, you are absolutely doing the right thing.

desperateandanonymous Fri 17-Mar-17 14:06:20

gah the nursery wouldn't know the details of breakfast or bedtime though.

I agree something needs to be done but I'm scared of doing something that means she then has no contact with the extended family and it makes things worse.

I will phone and get advice from a professional though. It's so hard to see the woods from the trees when it's your own family that you love.

Derlei Fri 17-Mar-17 14:09:21

I think you have 2 options:

1> You and your DM need to sit her parents down and give them some home truths about their parenting flaws and that if they don't change, you will report them to the authorities. If they kick off you need to get social services involved, please don't let this continue, think of your niece rather than your access rights.

2 > speak to the nursery manager and express your concerns. They probably already have some concerns themselves as surely they would notice if a child is turning up on a cold winters day with no hat or coat and will definitely know the signs of a child who is hungry or sleep deprived. The least they will do is keep a closer eye on things and file a report themselves

desperateandanonymous Fri 17-Mar-17 14:10:03

I would have her live with us in a heartbeat. My baby DS loves her.
It would be much better if her parents were made to see what they should be doing though so she could stay with them. Maybe they'll listen to a professional??

SleepFreeZone Fri 17-Mar-17 14:12:35

Honestly just report.

desperateandanonymous Fri 17-Mar-17 14:13:14

Thank you all for making me see what I obviously haven't wanted to see sad

GahBuggerit Fri 17-Mar-17 14:14:29

so leave the bedtime details out? 9pm isnt that bad if she goes straight off, but its very plausible that nursery staff can tell shes tired/hungry and i assume she is talking so again plausible she could have told nursery about being sleepy, naughty corner, being smscked, hungry etc. i get what you mean about heing worried you wont see her if they suspect it was you, thats where your best poker face would come into play

i see youre going to call someone anyway so the above is irrelevant! youre doing the right thing

BirdPerson Fri 17-Mar-17 14:14:32

OP, all the things you are saying, you need to say to a professional. Write everything down, and do it as soon as you can.

ItsNachoCheese Fri 17-Mar-17 14:14:57

Id report in a heartbeat, your poor dn sad

OddJobMan Fri 17-Mar-17 14:17:02

Sometimes you really do have to be cruel to be kind.

IF you do decide to go to SS make sure you have noted down all of the times certain issues have happened. going in with no evidence and the parents will just deny it...

Always remember family or not no little child should go through life in a situation like this. neglect is neglect whether it be by a family member or stranger.

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