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I know this friend is wrong but how can i explain it to her

(72 Posts)
Mumof3angels90 Wed 11-Dec-19 14:15:52

So I have this 'friend', I use the term lightly only because I've not known her very long. She has 4 young kids, youngest only 18months. I also have 3 young kids similar ages to her. However she is a single mum and I can only imagine how hard it must be for her and from what shes told me shes had a really difficult couple of years with ex partner so I dont want to start reporting her to ss, id rather use a different approach first.
I see her walking everywhere- she lives on the same street I'm not a stalker (school runs, after school clubs) and often without the younger ones who are not yet at school so I asked her a couple of times where they are and she said they are at home and fine. Shes left them watching tele or in their bedroom with the gate closed. The school isnt close, think 30 minute round trip that's a long time to leave 2 small kids, sometimes 3 all alone! This is a regular occurence, even more so now that it's cold and it makes me feel sick with anxiety to think what can happen to them as I could never ever even imagine leaving mine alone. Also one of them has ADHD who she leaves alone and she is a handful.
I've mentioned to her that she should really be careful and not leave them and she always says they are absolutely fine and they r locked in one room. I dont want to keep saying it or sound judgey I know shes got it tough but I cant help feel responsible if anything was to happen. I hope to God it never ever does.
What would you do and what's the best way to address it? She seems so strong willed and there seems like no easy way to convince her to not do what she does.

GruciusMalfoy Wed 11-Dec-19 14:18:46

Contact someone at the school and mention this. I believe they'd have to refer to social services. Perhaps she needs a bit of support, because leaving 2 or 2 young children at home is not safe. I understand you have sympathy for her, and don't want to report this, but it's really not safe, and it doesn't sound like she is going to listen to anything you say.

Aquamarine1029 Wed 11-Dec-19 14:21:03

You have to report this immediately. There is no other alternative and it's not your responsibility to convince her how foolish she is being. She clearly doesn't agree with your concerns.

MarySidney Wed 11-Dec-19 14:22:54

I agree, this is not something you can or should keep to yourself. Ask to speak to someone at school, tell them it's about a safeguarding issue.

user1493413286 Wed 11-Dec-19 14:23:30

I’d call the police when you see her out without them and know they’re at home alone. I can’t even list the amount of risks of leaving such young children alone for that period of time and something could happen at any time.

MinisterforCheekyFuckery Wed 11-Dec-19 14:24:43

You need to call your local Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) and report your concerns. These children are at risk of significant harm. How will you feel if you do nothing and something happens to them?

nokidshere Wed 11-Dec-19 14:26:45

Don't go to the school, speak directly to children's services and just tell them what you said here. There's nothing to be gained from making the information 3rd hand. I never understand why people can't just pick up the phone and speak directly to children's services.

BreatheAndFocus Wed 11-Dec-19 14:28:10

If she’s just going to keep saying “they’re fine” then could you focus more on the ‘getting in trouble’ angle?

If not, and if you don’t want to phone SS, try phoning the HV and ask them to pay a call and stress what she’s doing is dangerous (and against the law?).

She needn’t know it’s you who told them. It could be anyone who’s seen her out without the younger children.

Apolloanddaphne Wed 11-Dec-19 14:28:29

I am a social worker and I think you should report this. You can do this through the NSPCC and remain anonymous if you wish. But you really need to ensure the safety of these children. The mother is being very neglectful

HoneysuckIejasmine Wed 11-Dec-19 14:28:45

Oh goodness, you need to report that asap.

MinisterforCheekyFuckery Wed 11-Dec-19 14:33:54

I don't understand why people are telling OP to speak to the school when she has already explained the children being left unsupervised are pre-school age. There is nothing stopping OP picking up the phone herself and reporting it to her local MASH, which is all the school would be able to do but then the information would be third hand. School safeguarding teams are overstretched enough dealing with concerns about their actual students, without members of the public calling them up about babies and toddlers that aren't even known to them.

MarySidney Wed 11-Dec-19 14:38:10

I got the impression that the woman's older child or children attend the same school as op's children? Therefore the family is known to the school, and the school may be aware of other issues.

TheReluctantCountess Wed 11-Dec-19 14:44:33

Report it via the nspcc before something terrible happens. You’d never forgive yourself for not acting if something happened.

Itsnotalwaysme Wed 11-Dec-19 14:46:48

Try to get her to look at it from another perspective... they might be grand but if she gets hit by a car on her journey then what happens??

formerbabe Wed 11-Dec-19 14:52:42

I'm a mind your own business type of person generally but I'd report this.

As for being a single mum, that's irrelevant. For most mums on the school run who have a partner, that partner is often at work at that time...they don't leave their children home alone.

Terrifying behaviour...and if they're locked in one room, god only knows what would happen if there was a fire sad

Snowglobes Wed 11-Dec-19 14:52:45

Definitely speak to MASH. She needs support and to realise how unsafe this is. like pp have said you’d never forgive yourself if something happens.

Beautiful3 Wed 11-Dec-19 14:54:05

Report to the nspcc. They will talk with ss and look into this. You know that she is wrong for leaving them at home alone. Talking to her isnt getting anywhere. You need to think of those vulnerable children. If there was a fire, they wouldnt be able to escape would they?

Geppili Wed 11-Dec-19 14:57:04

The fire risk terrifies me.

CakeandCustard28 Wed 11-Dec-19 14:59:18

Report her. Or sit her down and explain she can’t continue to leave them alone because of multiple reasons mainly how dangerous it is. Or offer her support if you can if your on the way to school maybe take it in turns someone stay home with the kids while the other does the school run if possible.

5zeds Wed 11-Dec-19 15:02:43

How old are the children she’s leaving?

churchandstate Wed 11-Dec-19 15:08:01

You have to report this straight away. You can’t leave small children unattended like this.

churchandstate Wed 11-Dec-19 15:09:12

And I agree, go to SS, not school.

Obligatorync Wed 11-Dec-19 15:10:15

What if there is a fire and they are locked in?? Let alone anything else that could happen!
If she's been unreceptive so far, I'd just report her. Be prepared for the fact she will likely know it's you.

KellyHall Wed 11-Dec-19 15:12:47

Report it, now. Don't wait. There could be a house fire today!

TheTrollFairy Wed 11-Dec-19 15:13:08

I know you want to do right by her but really, this is pretty dangerous. Not only if something was to happen to them but what if something prevents her from getting home?

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