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Is this neglect?

(22 Posts)
theduchessstill Sat 21-Oct-17 22:05:49

Ds2 (8) was sick this week and collected by ex from school early on Weds (he isn't in regular work, so this made sense). He stayed off with ex on Friday, but hadn't been sick since Thursday afternoon.

When I collected him on Friday evening he was wearing a short dress (he went through a long stage of wearing dresses, though now rarely does, except maybe to slip a tutu over his trousers!) that he had two years ago, so now very short. His legs were bare and he had to wear school shoes with no socks to come home with me.

Ex told me angrily that he had no trousers, as if that's my responsibility (we've been apart 3 years). He thinks this because I am a far higher earner than him - not hard, he rarely works. turns out he took ds2 to school to collect ds1 in that state, with a coat over the dress that barely covered it so must have looked like he had just a coat on angry, with bare legs on a cold day. God knows what people must have thought and ds is old enough now to feel embarrassed going out in that state.

The wanker lives opposite a supermarket, smokes and drinks (not around dc afaik) and bought ds2 a fucking doll that day but no adequate clothing.

AIBU to call it neglect and consider limiting the amount of time the dc spend with him as a result. He pays no child support and I have been meaning to raise that so may combine the two emails...

NapQueen Sat 21-Oct-17 22:07:34

His dad could have washed through the clothes he wore home from school on the wesnesday or even asked you to drop in some bits. Or as you say popped to the ahop for somethi g.

Its not on that he doesnt keep some clothes there for him.

theduchessstill Sat 21-Oct-17 22:09:11

Sorry - he was sick on Thursday, not Wednesday. Was with me on Wednesday.

Bubblebubblepop Sat 21-Oct-17 22:09:47


What a stupid fucker your ex is. He hasn't bought any clothes for his children? They do they have to go over night?

In terms of neglect- well
It's hard to say. But what I always wonder with these posts is, are you venting and looking for a label, or do you want to take some sort of action??
Action wise, SS aren't really going to be concerned but keeping records of incidents like this might be a way to stop contact later

Neverender Sat 21-Oct-17 22:10:45

Neglect? No...

Neverender Sat 21-Oct-17 22:12:00

Do you have any idea of what neglect is? It’s not wearing socks/trousers? Really, there are much, much worse things happening to children.

NapQueen Sat 21-Oct-17 22:13:20

Never would you ever say to a child "this isnt bad, you could be havibg x y or z done"?

Its not on to compare this by saying other kids have it worse.

CheshireChat Sat 21-Oct-17 22:14:52

Actually not dressing a child in suitable clothing is neglect as far as I know.

It's definitely neglectful from a moral PoV, but I'd expect SS would agree.

Do your children actually want to see him? Would he take you to court for access?

Because if they're not keen and he's probably not going to fight for access then I think you have your answer.

theduchessstill Sat 21-Oct-17 22:15:48

I know far worse things happen, and I also know he does love them, or I would obviously have tried long before now to limit contact. But surely failing to dress them adequately for the weather and never wanting to spend any income on the boring stuff is neglectful, if not neglect with a capital N?

dontbesillyhenry Sat 21-Oct-17 22:16:51

It's not neglect by itself but not dressing kids in appropriate clothing isn't ideal

Bubblebubblepop Sat 21-Oct-17 22:17:21

Well no, not once. It's not neglecting the children to fuck up at once. Are there other things that concern you?

MistyMinge Sat 21-Oct-17 22:17:22

I wouldn't class it as neglect. I'd class your ex as a thoughtless and lazy wanker though. He could have washed the clothes or bought some cheap supermarket ones. I bet your DS was mortified.

LIZS Sat 21-Oct-17 22:18:00

What happened to his uniform? At least he could have washed it in that time . A pair of joggers and top wouldn't have cost the earth either, or he could have asked you to drop a change round. Not neglect as such though.

FenceSitter01 Sat 21-Oct-17 22:18:49

with bare legs on a cold day

Makes you wonder how our grand parents managed to get to adult hood when long trousers weren't worn until puberty.

Misspollyhadadollie Sat 21-Oct-17 22:19:25

Nope it isn't

KeepServingTheDrinks Sat 21-Oct-17 22:20:21

I agree that not dressing a child adequately for the weather can certainly be neglect [but look at any school playground in Jan/Feb and you'll see kids in t-shirts refusing to wear jumpers and coats]; but SS won't take any action for a one-off incident of neglect unless the child is at risk of serious harm, and that's the case in this situation.

He does sound like a total arse though.

theduchessstill Sat 21-Oct-17 22:23:22

FenceSitter It's not that though - ds1 has refused long trousers until halfway through this week, but even his shorts come down to a few inches above his knees. In ds2's case the coat/dress ended halfway up his thighs. It looked awful and for all the world like he had nothing on under his coat. nothing at all like a child out in shorts when a sane adult would be in trousers.

tempstamos Sat 21-Oct-17 22:28:44

Sounds like he’s an idiot but it’s certainly not neglect, social services wouldn’t bother getting involved and he could fight you in reducing hours. Did your son not protest and ask him to buy him proper, warmer clothes?

( I had to carry DD (3) around all day, as we had stayed in a hotel and I forgot to pack her any shoes and couldn’t be bothered/didn’t have time to go and buy her some. It wasn’t ideal and definitely wouldn’t be my proudest parenting story but it certainly wasn’t neglect. )

StigmaStyle Sat 21-Oct-17 22:38:34

Was there an element of "look what happens when you make me have them for longer" - i.e. strategic incompetence to make you feel bad that DS suffered?

I suspect if you combine complaining about this with asking for maintenance, he'll be more likely to bridle.

(My ex never buys the kids clothes - and never did. I provide the clothes for his house. I suck it up because it's not worth the argument and at least the kids get clothes they like.)

permatiredmum Sat 21-Oct-17 22:49:30

The (state primary) school near wear I work makes all the boys wear shorts all year round. I am sure they wouldn't do that if it were considered neglect.

AssassinatedBeauty Sat 21-Oct-17 22:58:39

The OPs son wasn't wearing shorts, just pants and what was effectively a long t shirt and was also not wearing socks. That's not at all the same as wearing proper school shorts on top of pants with socks.

As a one off it's probably not neglect, but it's very poor parenting not to be able to find clothes - as PP have said, there were several options.

SomewhatIdiosyncratic Sat 21-Oct-17 23:06:21

I have a year round shorts wearer, that's his choice, and he has trousers available just incase he ever has a whim to wear them. That's very different to having to wear obviously outgrown clothing and not having appropriate clothing available.

Not providing some basic clothing is neglectful. If that was the parenting of the resident parent, it would be a safeguarding concern. He's had the opportunity to wash/ obtain something for DS to wear.

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