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To be sad at the amount of horrible parents out there (not a happy thread)

156 replies

Doubtfuldaphne · 08/06/2013 22:37

In town shopping today I was behind one lady who told her dd to 'stop waving your toy around or the ladies in the shop will smack you'
And I held a lift for a lady to come in with her toddler and baby. The toddler instantly sat on the lift floor and looked scared. She said 'sorry mummy'' and the mum shouted 'I don't care of you are' aggressively. The 2-3 yr old was covered in bruises mostly on her face and arm and Very very thin.
I can't stop thinking about it. There's nothing I could've done, don't know who she is, or what their story is - I just know that here's no way I would treat my children aggressively or with anything but love! Yes, I can lose my temper after a hard day but wouldnt be aggresive. something about this situation has really played on my mind and I feel sad.
There's nothing I could've done though is there?

OP posts:
Oblomov · 09/06/2013 08:54

I appear to have different views to most of MN.
I shout at the ds's, quite a bit really.
Op says she is not aggressive. But she thought this woman was.
I am not sure that I agree on the severity of the situation.

ILovePonyo · 09/06/2013 09:07

I shout at my dd too oblomov, but I don't tell her to "shut her fucking mouth" or put her down like the parent I was describing.

It's not whether you shout at your children or not, it's what you say too?

ParadiseChick · 09/06/2013 09:15


You do not know that, don't make assumptions on behalf of social services.

If you have concerns you pass them on.

ILovePonyo · 09/06/2013 09:20

Paradise, I work in ss office (am not a sw) I spoke to my manager and she said it wouldn't meet their threshold. So I'm not making assumptions Hmm

Ilikethebreeze · 09/06/2013 09:24

Agree with MinitheMinx.

This thread makes for a bit of perturbed reading.

Because, it is possible, as a society, that we can brush off abuse quite readily.
Oh, it is only this that or the other.
It may be, but equally, when things are put together, it may not be.
And there was not imo, enough info by quite a way, for the op to go on on this occasion.
But I so hope, that for people reading this, that they do have the courage to contact someone if there may be enough info.
I would hate for it not to be done.

And that is not judging a person.

I think judging gets confused on MN and in real life.

A behaviour can be wrong, but that does not mean you are judging the parent.
Like someone says, there are all sorts of reasons for parenting going a bit astray.
A parent should be still loved and supported, but their bad behaviour still does need to be dealt with.
That is not judging, that is caring.

Ilikethebreeze · 09/06/2013 09:27


Can I ask. Sometimes it is still a good idea to get things logged isnt it. Not maybe with the father you talked about, but in some other circumstances?

TheToysAreALIVEITellThee · 09/06/2013 09:33

tbh neither of those situations would have made me Hmm mainly because I've been that parent.

Ive told DS that the lady in the shop will shout at him if he keeps fingering the fruit as no-one wants his crow covered hands touching their grapes (not the same as smack I agree but along similar lines). Ive said that to him once when I was at the end of my tether in the hope it would work. it did.

Ive also had to shout at DS because he kept hitting his brother and deliberately poked him in the eye and wouldnt stop despite me trying to reaosn with him. he has then put on his best "mummy scares me" face for the benefit of passers by and then been laughing his head off 2 minutes later poking his bros eye out again.

He also bruises like a peach and has a shiner at the moment from running into a door and his legs and arms are peppered with them from the climbing frame when we had a lovely picnic in the week at the local park.

ILovePonyo · 09/06/2013 09:34

I know what you mean likethebreeze. I have been thinking of talking to nursery about my concerns to see if they have any too, I've seen him a couple of times and it has stuck with me which shows it could be worth doing doesn't it.

TheToysAreALIVEITellThee · 09/06/2013 09:38

ILoveponyo - the nursery wouldnt (shouldnt) share with you if they have any concerns

Triumphoveradversity · 09/06/2013 09:42

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ILovePonyo · 09/06/2013 09:45

I know thetoys but if I share what I've seen they may be able to use that IF they are referring to ss

CrapsWithBears · 09/06/2013 09:50

There are horrible parents out there, OP might have seen a child who was being abused, or she might have seen a child with a blood disorder, or just seen a child who was clumsy and with a tired mother in a bad mood.

Surely we shouldn't be getting pissey with people who notice things like this and wonder whether it's abusive? If everyone ignored suspicious signs that may point to abuse or may just be entirely innocent then many children would continue to suffer abuse with no help.

It's better to proven wrong after you've reported than to not report and be proven right.

Ilikethebreeze · 09/06/2013 09:51

I dont work in ss myself, so I dont know IlovePonyo.

But I do know that sometimes, even if information cannot be acted on there and then, it can help in some circumstances further down the line.
It helps to build up a picture.

TheToysAreALIVEITellThee · 09/06/2013 09:52

ah sorry misunderstood your post.

FWIW I agree in your case, from what you've said there would be something about the way that man speaks to his kid would make me very much Hmm, and Im never normally one to screech "omg a man shouted at a child call SS".

TheToysAreALIVEITellThee · 09/06/2013 10:01

"It's better to proven wrong after you've reported than to not report and be proven right."

maybe for the person who can sleep better t night because they reported a kid being shouted at.

I can tell you its not better for the family who has been wrongly accused.

I get what you are saying, but Ive had SS involved for something that didnt happen and it most definitely wasn't better for me. I guess Im trying to say I don't think reporting to SS should be taken lightly, and to say report any concerns and if nothing is going on them no harm done is just a bit flippant IMO.

littlewhitebag · 09/06/2013 10:05

I have been involved with families who have been wrongly accused of abusing their child. Not just quick chat and realise things are okay but major investigations including medicals for the children. It can be devastating for these families but most realise that if there are concerns they need to be followed up and investigated. In some cases they have even revealed underlying medical conditions which would not have been discovered for much longer.

ILovePonyo · 09/06/2013 10:06

It's ok toys, I don't think I've been very clear in my posts today!

coronalover · 09/06/2013 10:09


Last week I was on a busy shopping street and a man shouted at his son who was 3-4yo "come here you fucking little shit...I'm gonna smash your head in in a minute"

I was with DS 3yo and Dd7mo. I was so shocked it's really stayed with me. makes me so sad that this kid (and the baby the man's DP was pushing in a pram) will grow up thinking that is the best he's going to be treated and probably will be how he treats others in the future.

CrapsWithBears · 09/06/2013 10:11

Yes TheToys, obviously your response still needs to be appropriate. I wouldn't think of reporting someone for what the first parent said, even if it is a ridiculous thing to say and a parenting cop-out as far as I am concerned, it's in no way abusive to me.

I was talking more about the second example, if I saw a child cowering, an aggressive parent, and visible bruising, I'd report it.

Someone mentioned previously that abusive parents wouldn't injure a child around the face. That's nonsense, especially if they're angry and not thinking straight or plain don't care. I, unfortunately, am very familiar with a high profile child abuse case, where the murdered victim was continually covered in facial bruisers.

Ilikethebreeze · 09/06/2013 10:11

For the ones that have been wrongly accused, there must a far greater number who have been accused correctly, and an even greater number who have not been reported, and needed to have been.

Tryharder · 09/06/2013 10:12

I have been that horrible aggressive parent in public. I once lost my rag with DS1 in Sainsburys and got severely tutted at. I'm otherwise quite nice though.

But I raised an eyebrow the other day at a lady in the swimming pool changing room who was severely castigating her teenage daughter who had Downs Syndrome. She shouted at her for not drying herself properly and for getting her jeans wet. She was so nasty, it wasn't just an exasperated rant. She caught me looking at her and went a bit red. I did feel bad as I hate judgemental people.

tallulah · 09/06/2013 10:17

I'm really torn on this issue. OTOH we have another recent case of a child murdered by his parents, but on the other I really hate this knee-jerk reaction we get on MN about "reporting" people.

We were reported to the police for something once ( and to the RSPCA for something else). Nobody bothered to approach us first and actually check they had the full picture, and the people who reported us to the police had children at school with ours. (something was said to one of our DCs by one of theirs, later).

It's a horrible feeling when you know you've done nothing wrong having the authorities turn up on your doorstep, and even when they've decided there is no case to answer they won't tell you who reported you. You are looking over your shoulder all the time wondering who is watching you, and you can't go and tackle that person either. It was 20 years ago and it still makes me angry when I think about it. Perhaps the solution is to tell the accused who the reporter was if it transpires that they've done nothing wrong?

But of course if a child is being abused then someone should step in.

We had a bad day yesterday. I've got an infection in my jaw and the pain is so bad it's making me really miserable. Took DD (6) to the beach and she whined and dripped. Ended up shouting at her quite a lot, because when you aren't feeling great then your whine tolerance is very low. Should we actually not go anywhere in case the children don't behave and other people decide we are abusers?

tallulah · 09/06/2013 10:19

In the time it's taken me to type that essay, Toys has put it much more succinctly Blush

AmyFarrahFowlerCooper · 09/06/2013 10:22

If someone approached someone first to "check they had the full picture", it would give that person chance to cover up any abuse that was happening or hide it better. If someone had approached that little boys parents, do you think they wouldn't have lied about why he was scavenging food etc? And then that delays SS involvement when whoever asked goes away pacified. Its always best to report it rather than try and check/investigate yourself because the people you report it to are trained to look for certain things and assess a situation properly.

CrapsWithBears · 09/06/2013 10:24

Perhaps the solution is to tell the accused who the reporter was if it transpires that they've done nothing wrong?

I really disagree with this. There will be plenty of times when something has been reported and is not true, but there'll be times when something is reported and it's true but there's not enough evidence to prove it happened.

Plus, it would put people off reporting if they believed there was a chance it could come back to them and they'd suffer repercussions.

I reported an EXDP's NDN to SS for smoking weed in the same room as her daughter who had severe asthma and for being in an volatile abusive relationship, despite moving halfway across the country to protect her kid from another abusive man, when she found out someone had reported her she went on a rampage and smashed up the flats he lived in because she didn't know who would have done it. I don't know what happened with SS because I left my EXDP soon after that, but imagine what might have happened had she known it was me?

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