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should i say something?

(16 Posts)
cloggs142 Mon 29-Oct-12 15:48:26

ok, im probably being snobby and interfierring and stupid....but really im not usually like that.
basically, my ds has a little friend the same age as him (18 months) and i met her parents through a playgroup. They have become good friends over the past year or so, and we have got to know eachothers family quite well. We are very different people, and have a lot of different views on things.
The thing is.......some of the ways in wich they are bringing up their little girl just seem wrong to me. i only have one child and am not claiming to be a perfect parent.....far from it, but i listen to advice and try new things....and genuinely care about how my ds is being bought up.
anyway....this child is 18months and literally does not eat. that is unless its macdonalds chocolate crisps or junk food. i have seen her eat rice (plain white) a couple of times. but that is the only other thing she will eat. i understand that kids can be fussy...fair play, but everytime they come over for dinner....which is very often....i cook a meal for everyone....varies everytime but usually something like spag bol etc. So the food gets put infront of the child she throws it around, screams, and is then given crisps chocolate and a bottle. You can see why she refuses to eat anything else?!?
the mum and dad live at the mums parents house at the mo, and have had two litters of puppies recently, the little girl is left to walk around in all the mess puppies have made, and at some point they get around to wiping the floor, but never the child!
she was ill a few months ago, so was taken to the doctors, and given antibiotics. did half the dose, and then when the child got ill again 2 months later, her mum gave her the old antibiotics she found in a drawer without even going to the doctors.
she is constantly dosed up on calpol.....if her cheeks go a bit red....'oh shes flushed ill give her some calpol' if she winges....regardless of circumstance...'oh she must be feeling rough...ill give her some calpol' and is then given it every 4 hours....sometimes 3 for the next 2 days!!!!
The child has started nursery now, and they seem to just be getting worse with her. The dad works full time as an apprentice and the thing that gets me..........the mother is a nursery nurse.
Im not meaning to judge, i know both parents love her to bits but seriously, theres some things that are just common sense. They come round to me moaning and moaning about how she wont eat and is always ill etc....then make a mess, go home stick a horror movie on with the kid there and let her scoff chocolate!
i dont know how to tackle the subject....they are constantly asking me for advice and ive tried taking the softly softly approach.....but nothing!! im just starting to get a little concerned about the child tbh.

sorry for going on and on. i just cant really talk to anyone about it.

LadyMaryCreepyCrawley Mon 29-Oct-12 15:51:49

I wouldn't. Do you know who their health visitor is though? I'd get in touch with her instead.

cloggs142 Mon 29-Oct-12 17:02:49

really? do u think im over reacting though? and she dosent have a health visitor. they dont bother around here after your child is a few months old

LadyMaryCreepyCrawley Mon 29-Oct-12 17:27:07

Everyone has a HV. Maybe have a chat with the NSPCC? It's not neglect per se, they both sound as though they are lacking in parenting skills though. A bit of a worry for a nursery nurse!

cloggs142 Mon 29-Oct-12 17:30:50

exactly! i know that the child isnt in danger, like you say just lacking a bit. ill have a chat with somene then maybe. just didnt want them to get into masses of trouble....sounds stupid i know. and obviously the child is much more important.

QTPie Mon 29-Oct-12 18:00:40

Sadly, I think that this level of parenting is not uncommon... sad

I think that you have too approaches:
- firstly, just keep giving very subtle advice (or good example) when asked by them. If you start giving unsolicited advice, I doubt it will be welcome.
- secondly, go down the (already suggested) HV route. As a previous poster says, everyone has a health visitor. The HV can contact the parents and strongly recommend a visit (just because she "hasn't seen the child for some time"....). But I don't think that they have a lot of power, except to speak to social services if they feel that a child is being neglected/harmed. So a HV visit - and anything they recommend - is just advice and can be adopted or ignored as a parent sees fit.

I was staying with friends this weekend and the mum was telling me about friends with two very spoilt children - especially in regards to food (not junk food, but lots of cakes/sweets/chocolate/puddings because they wont eat their main course). Apparently it all started when one of the children had horrible reflux as a baby and wouldn't keep most things down: so the parents became (and still are) desperate for the kids to eat ANYTHING. The parents of these spoilt kids? One is a GP and the other a professional Psychologist!

I know this is awful, but personally I would probably distance myself from people whose parenting was hugely different to mine. If nothing else because I would worry about my child picking up bad habits/attitudes (or me constantly having to explain "just because so-and-so does it, doesn't mean that you can do it") when they are older...

HollyMadison Mon 29-Oct-12 18:02:38

Hmm, tough one. Some of that doesn't sound great but you do sound a wee bit judgey. But I would say that, being the mother of a fussy eater. I don't rush in with the crisps etc but fussy eating isn't just solved by plonking a healthy meal in front of the child and steeling yourself. I'm trying to say it's not "just common sense".

I think the worst of what you've said is re the dog mess and the antibiotics. Can you help them find homes for the dogs or source a kennel so they can live outside? And maybe bring up in conversation how your GP told you antibiotics won't be properly effective unless the course is completed?

I wouldn't say you're overreacting but maybe HVs and other organizations would have their time taken up by high priority cases. Sounds like the parents are upset that their DC is often ill and has eating issues so hopefully they'll slowly find ways to deal with those things which will get better over time hopefully.

LIZS Mon 29-Oct-12 18:05:10

If you say anything directly it won't go down well and they may just retaliate with criticism of your parenting. Speak to your hv and distance yourself.

cloggs142 Mon 29-Oct-12 18:14:32

holly.....i do know what you mean about the food...i totally agree with the fussy eating/healthy meals thing...but ive looked after her a few times....and she likes food! not just the crap....but at mine she wasnt given an alternative after 30 seconds of throwing it at me! :P but yes, i do understand that it must still be very hard. ive already taken one of teir dogs in. and they are looking into homes for a few but keeping two or three. tried the antibiotics convo....deaf ears unfortunatley. i hope it all gets a bit better too for ll their sakes!!

qtpie...i agree that it will be best to distance a bit. ds is already starting to throw fits whenever she is here. just hard as they are such good little friends. he waits at the door for her every wed thurs n sun sad

but thankyou all for the advice, really helpfull to talk it through n get some opinions

SecrectFarleysNibbler Mon 29-Oct-12 18:22:13

If you say your piece be prepared for it to end the friendship. If you feel the child is being neglected - then a call to social services or speaking any local HV is your only other option. I dont think you are over reacting but its a difficult one to sort

cloggs142 Mon 29-Oct-12 18:35:32

yeah i know that it will endthe friendship....and i know i am over reacting to alot of it. i dont think shes being neglected as such, like i said just a few things that really cant be doing her any good at all. its just hard to sit back and watch some of these things :/
it must sound like im a total busybody. im really not, and im not saying im perfet either, my life is hideously chaotic, and theres a great number of things tthat i could improve on...im just worried when it comes to medicines mostly. i care about this kid like a family member :/

QTPie Mon 29-Oct-12 19:45:07

Assuming she isn't overdosing her daughter, she should be ok. IIRC, recommended Paracetamol doses were fairly recently (3 years?) reduced quite a bit to reduce the risk of overdosing. She should stick to the current recommended doses though - Paracetamol is nasty stuff and it is easy to kill someone with even a small overdose.

18 months can be prime teething time and I was pretty guilty of regularly using Calpol before nap and sleep on "bad days"... blush (although WELL within the stated dose, not full daily doses and not every day).

If you have serious health worries about the child (i.e. serious chance of overdosing and regular contact with dog poo within the house), then definitely contact the HV or similar.

If it is more "disliking their parenting style" (poor diet, unsuitable TV, accepting unsuitable behaviour), then I think that you have to let it go (one way or another). Sadly sad

cloggs142 Mon 29-Oct-12 19:55:44

im the same with calpol. ds had had a rough time with it, and i have no qualms with giving him calpol if he needs it! its more when she gives it after 3 hours, and if she drops a bit off the spoon does another whole spoon just incase :/ some of it, i accept is just me disagreeing with the parenting. think i might have a chat to my own hv and see what she says and go from there. thanks so much smile

cansu Mon 29-Oct-12 21:23:26

Tbh if this is your friend the next time she asks for advice tell her what you actually think. If you can't do that then stop spending time with them. Most of what you describe is probably not the best parenting but also a bit judgmental. Of course junk food isn't the best diet but unless you live with them 24/7 I really don't know how you can say all she eats is McDonald's. Plus some children are incredibly difficult to feed. My ds, who later turned out to be autistic ate nothing but dry bread and choc cakes for a while and had to be fortified with vitamins I am sure from a well intentioned 'friend' that could look like poor parenting but it was all he would eat at that stage. I would never give out of date medications but many people do and I assume this isn't a regular occurrence. Giving paracetamol to her dd is her call if she thinks her dd is unwell or has a temp. It seems like your initial feeling that she is a poor parent due to her feeding choices have led you to question all her parenting decisions. You don't really sound like you like her much at all! Training puppies is messy work, it won't last forever, you witnessing the dogs messing and getting panicky because the dd stood in the mess could also be described as an over reaction. I think that unless you think this child is being neglected and is in danger of harm, then you should take off your perfect parent hat and give this family a break.

cloggs142 Tue 30-Oct-12 14:22:21

i do like her, this is why im not just barging in and sying something. the think that initially led me to question was the out of date antibiotics, and this has happend four times to my knowledge. it is dangerous. I really dont think im being overly judgemental with the food, she has told me herself that her child regularly eats macdonalds around5 times a week. this in her words is because 'she does not want to cook'. dont get me wrong, i by no means say that my child eats only the best healthiest food all the time....he certinally does not, and theres nothing wrong with that! i understand that children can be fussy, ive been through it myself, i was lucky, my ds grew out of most of it, so please dont think im up on my high horse about this because im really not. This woman has told me herself that she gives her child junk for an easy life. which now and again good god can be a lifesaver. As i said in a previous comment, i realise that some of these concerns are just me not agreeing with parenting choices, and fair play, i totally accept that and back down....but i dont accept that leaving your child to walk and crawl around in an entire kitchen full of dog mess that has been there for hours on end is ok! especially when undiluted bleach is slopped ontop of it and left...while the child still plays in it. like i said i do like these people, we hve become very close over the last year, and they have some great points to, and ive regulary taken advic from them about the areas that i really need to improve in. They love their daughter, 100% and this is why i have the dilemma. im really not saying that im perfect, far far from it....but wouldnt you question it if you saw some of these things happen to a child and family that you cared about? they live a couple of doors down from me, and literally have no qualms about going into detail on any subject...im obviously not saying that i know what goes on behind closed doors.....but i get a pretty good impression, as they are both at work full time and here most evenings and some of the weekend.

cansu Wed 31-Oct-12 09:37:45

I honestly think that if it is as bad as you say it is you should be straight with your friend about the issues you consider to be the worst ones and see what she says. If she is upset and offended then the friendship will end but she is more than likely to have taken some of what you have said on board in the process. I would much rather be straight forward and honest with her than reporting her to ss or via the HV. I would be very upset if someone who was a friend did something underhand. Just be straight with her if you are this concerned. If you can't do it all in one go do it as and when things come up. Ie next time she mentions her dd being unwell tell her you mustn't give out of date antibiotics they are dangerous. I was very worried when you told me that last time. Please promise you will stop doing that. See how that goes down. If you keep calling her on what y ou consider is dangerous she will reconsider. She may stop socialising with you but you may have to accept that.

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