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Should I be worried about neighbour shouting at her baby?

(8 Posts)
BotBotticelli Thu 13-Feb-14 11:59:33

Genuine question: a neighbour in our block of flats is always shouting at her baby (who is the same age as my DS, 13mo) at the top of her lungs.

Working from home today and have so far heard at least 3 counts of
"<NAME> NO! WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING? NOOOO!"....really angry shouting at the top of her voice. Where is the line between someone being an angry shouty parent and it being a safeguarding issue??

Of course,I have raised my voice at DS too - he is a little handful and I have (to my shame) lost my rag with him a few times in the past year and shouted JUST SHUT UP or JUST LIE STILL at him during particularly difficult periods of whining/horrible nappy changes etc. But these have been rare ocasions and I always felt terrible afterwards. We hear this from our neighbour several times every day. Should I just ignore it and assume everyone has different parenting style, and if she wants to scream/swear at her baby that's her lookout? Or should I do something?

Having suffered from PND myself I am worried that maybe she is really struggling (I think she is on her own, it's her Dad's flat she's living in, she's quite young, and he's out at work most days so she's there on her own with her DS), but also am concerned that she's not struggling and it just an angry aggressive person. Really not sure what to do, if anything.


MiniTheMinx Thu 13-Feb-14 12:07:52

There are parenting styles and there is abusive parenting practices, shouting and swearing in a way which is designed to terrorise a small child is abusive, what ever the reason for it.

Do you speak to her? if you think its a case of loneliness, age, lack of good social skills and support or PND might it be useful to ask her round for coffee. Maybe then you can gauge better what the issue is, by observation and general chit chat. Otherwise, if you can't face that, ring your local SW dept.

Sammie101 Thu 13-Feb-14 12:10:06

I have had more moments than I'd like to admit where I have positively screamed at my DD and always felt so ashamed of myself afterwards. And had the worry of 'what will the neighbours think of me? What if they think I'm a terrible mother who abuses her young baby?'

It's a very tricky subject because on the one hand I can see how someone can become so upset and just lose it and shout, but on the other hand I think that level of shouting several times a day is worrying.

Do you have any contact with this neighbour? Or is it just a bump into each other occasionally type thing? Maybe it's worth trying to befriend her if the opportunity arises and see what type of person she is? She might just be like I was (thankfully past tense for the most part) and be so stressed, depressed and not knowing how to cope all too well.

littleballerina Thu 13-Feb-14 12:12:44

Could you maybe pop over with a cake and your dc and say hello. Explain that you have seen that you have dc of similar ages and know how hard it is. she might tell you to fuck off but she may welcome you.

CookieMonstersCousin Thu 13-Feb-14 14:27:26

I'd be worried if i heard that on a very frequent basis- an adult wouldnt accept such responses and a small child cant protect themselves from ea- which is what that might be.

Middleagedmotheroftwo Thu 13-Feb-14 14:31:50

Why don't you invite her round for coffee and cake and get to know her. I can totally understand her being at the end of her tether if she's on her own with the baby. And even if she's not, she might appreciate some bonding with someone with a child the same age.

BarberryRicePud Thu 13-Feb-14 20:02:33

I'd speak to your HV, who is also bound to be her HV, and say you're worried about what you're hearing. Write down specifics of what you hear and when.

Yes it would be nice to befriend her, but being completely honest, I wouldn't want to be friends with someone who swears and shouts at her baby several times a day. We all lose it sometimes, but that frequently suggests she either thinks it's ok to behave that way, or she is seriously in need of MH help. Either way, she needs the input of services that can help her and the baby. Your HV can access that help for her and make an assessment as to the baby's safety.

Abracadabra1 Thu 13-Feb-14 20:11:16

I think you need to contact social services. Her hv can visit but she is highly unlikely to behave in the way you have described infront of the hv. if you have concerns about the welfare of a child you can ring the local duty team at social services. Shouting and swearing repeatedly at a baby or child is emotional abuse and this mum sounds like she needs further support.

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