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Witnessed very poor parenting today, feel atrocious, what on earth can I do?

(53 Posts)
Jumente Thu 18-Jun-09 21:51:58

I was driving to Argos after leaving ds at a friend's house after school.

Along a busy road by an industrial estate a woman was walking away from a child of about 8 or 9, who screamed as I drove past in such a heart rending manner i COULD not carry on - I drove up the road to a mini roundabout and came back.
His mother had left him at the side of the road, crying his heart out, and carried on walking with her buggy and a 2/3 year old strapped in, who seemed Ok.

The boy was walking slowly when I had parked, and I had seen his mum hiding with a look of glee on her face behind a hedge.

The boy was crying and looked blank. I said 'Are you Ok? Your mum is just behind that hedge' and he kind of looked at me and pointed vaguely after her saying 'gone look for my mum' in a way reminiscent of a four year old.

She came out from the hedge grinning at me and I said something or other about it, and she told me she thought he would hurry up if she hid. I said 'it didn't work, I don't think he understands' and she seemed unpeturbed, and made to go off at which point the boy obviously annoyed her somehow and she grabbed his arm viciously and threw him onto the pavement, where he lay crying again.

I went back (ds2 was in the car) and started asking her if he was getting any help, and she said 'he's got problems, he's got ADHD and stuff' I said #are you getting any help for him' and she said 'yeah I'm doing the forms at the moment'

she seemed very happy to talk, despite being obviously pretty cruel and kept saying things like ;he's a little shit, he's been winding me up all the way from school, he's fine with his dad, does everything right for his dad but me, he knows how to wind me up. They're both little shits so I'm not having any more'. She also said it was very frustrating for her, and I can see it must be if he behaves like a small child continually, but heck, adhd? Why has his probable autism (I mentioned this and she agreed) or similar not been picked up? He was 8 or 9.

All the time smiling - she looked really deranged. I was trying so hard to think what to say while I ahd a chance, but all \i could think of was to say to the little boy 'you're a good lad aren't you' and smiling at him, and telling her I found my ds1 really hard at times but you need to step back.

I left them saying 'you need to watch it treating him like that, you'll get into trouble, it looks quite violent' but she just seemed oblivious and wandered off with them both.

I turned round again and as I drove by, he was again sat on the pavement further up the road - i waved, he waved back blankly and started to try and come after the car sadsad
but I had to go or she might have thought I was following them.

I have felt wretched all evening about it. It was truly shit and I even rang the nspcc who suggested contacting his school, in case they are able to identify her/the lad, but there was nothing they could do.

What should i have done or said. Poor kid.

Jumente Thu 18-Jun-09 21:54:15

Sorry I didn't mean to put autism, as such, just some kind of severe learning difficulty sad which I could not obviously diagnose myself. Sorry if that sounded a bit stupid.

SlartyBartFast Thu 18-Jun-09 21:56:18

the nspcc suggested contacting school?
do just that.
she must need help with him.

tattycoram Thu 18-Jun-09 21:57:08

Oh god I don't know. Sounds very sad. Poor thing.

tattycoram Thu 18-Jun-09 21:57:34

I agree, I would def contact school.

Jumente Thu 18-Jun-09 21:58:18

Yes, I will, I tried at about 4.55 but they were closed. I am not sure it is the correct school but it has to be worth a go.

Maybe they are already aware? I don't know and am torturing myself about what I oguht to ahve said whilst I had the chance. Sorry if it sounds rambling, I'm typing too quick as both of MY neglected kids are still up and I'm trying to herd them into bedhmm

Jumente Thu 18-Jun-09 21:59:46

I should have asked what school it was, but my mind went blank. I was so crap, I couldn't do anything to help him, I wanted to offer to take him for half an hour so she got a rest but I didn't dare.

And what good half an hour when he lives like that every bloody day?

Shit, I wish things like this never really happened.

Pannacotta Thu 18-Jun-09 21:59:51

How very sad, that would have made me feel very upset too.
Do you know which school he is at? Is calling them a possibility?

Jumente Thu 18-Jun-09 22:00:40

and it might have been a cry for help, it was so vicious and in public and the way she looked so chuffed hiding like that - I am wondering now if she is totally loony, herself, SN child or not.

herbietea Thu 18-Jun-09 22:00:58

Message withdrawn

Jumente Thu 18-Jun-09 22:01:35

Panna, it was a green sweater, I didn't see a name - but the direction they were walking it might well have been the one near my parents' house, I can't think of another one nearby with that colour.

tattycoram Thu 18-Jun-09 22:03:32

You did brilliantly, I don't know what more you could have done at the time sad.

ilovehenryboy Thu 18-Jun-09 22:03:46

agree with contacting the school - if they don't sound that concerned / interested i'd give nspcc a call back for advice, but probably think of calling SS as well.
Can see why it bothered you, sounds horrid.

Jumente Thu 18-Jun-09 22:05:16

The nspcc woman was nice, she understood and said it probably made a huge difference that someone stopped but I am really not sure about that. I want to stop him being hurt by a crazy woman, no doubt he is used to it but it makes me feel so helpless. Ithink of the times I've smacked ds1 (when he was a rampaging toddler - not for a few years now, and never ds2 - have learnt how to NOT smack iyswim with much effort and parental guilt) and am so ashamed but it was not comparable to this...I stood there wanting to get across how she might stop it, like I have stopped, but could not get it into words.

Pannacotta Thu 18-Jun-09 22:06:11

I think if it were we I would call the school you think it might be and if it sounds like the right place (in terms of uniform etc) explain what happened and that on calling the NSPCC you were advised to contact his school.
It sounds like he might need some help, poot lad.

Jumente Thu 18-Jun-09 22:08:16

Yes, thankyou I will ring them first thing tomorrow. I half know the senco there, as ds1 nearlt went to that school a few years ago, so maybe I could have a word with her. At least i think she was the senco, she set up a M&T group I went to once.

They have 48% SEN there so must know what they are doing, well you'd think. I have a feeling even if the SN is being dealt with the abuse needs to stop NOW and they are perhaps not aware of the extent of it.

bigstripeytiger Thu 18-Jun-09 22:09:06

I would also contact the school.
If she is filling out DLA forms then I expect that she will be in contact with some sort of health professional, so hopefully any issues will be apparent in that context.

Jumente Thu 18-Jun-09 22:14:36

I think the forms were about his SEN, perhaps trying to get him statemented or an IEP or something - but tbh he semeed as though he had a mental age of about 5, it didn't strike me as ADHD so that is odd.

Yes I hope they already have a handle on the situation. Poor little lad. And his poor brother too. sad

Noonki Thu 18-Jun-09 22:15:18

I would also contact social services and tell the school you have done so.

how very sad.
Well done for stopping many wouldn't.

Jumente Thu 18-Jun-09 22:17:54

How can I get in touch with SS? I thought about waiting for them to get home and watching where they went but I couldnt think how to do it without causing a riot, being noticed etc.

I might try and drive that way tomorrow actually, and see if I can see them'll be a bit tricky getting an address though. Or I could wait by the school.

SlartyBartFast Thu 18-Jun-09 22:19:27

start with the school. the family will probably be known to them.

Noonki Thu 18-Jun-09 22:21:51

for ss call your local town hall, they will know.

I say to call them as if they are known sometimes the schools fail to pass on info (though they should)

it is also more likely to make the school act appropriately if they know another service has also been informed. rightly or wrongly.

Jumente Thu 18-Jun-09 22:23:39

Thankyou, I will try both avenues. Tempting just to go and find the child and take him somewhere safe, that's just a fantasy though - it's not that simple is it.

BananaFruitBat Thu 18-Jun-09 22:33:24

Can I ask where you live? It sounds a daft question, but the area you describe sounds like somewhere I know - complete with colour of kids uniform.

Just on the off chance.

Jumente Thu 18-Jun-09 22:46:51

BFB I am in Kent, does that help?

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