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I have an unusual problem.   I am sooooo tired of parents not parenting.  I have
adopted all 4 of my grandkids and this may be the straw on a camel's back thingy.

We have new neighbors.  They seem nice enough.   I don' t want to make the call but the gut thing inside of me tells me that I might should.   I am tired of having to parent
other people's kids.  At least babysit them.   Let me first say I have NEVER called DCF in my life to report anyone but the time is coming and I see it.

There is a young mother about 27 or so who lives across the road with either her husband or boyfriend.. ( none of my business) BUT from day one...since they moved in their little 3 year old crosses the street alone and knocks on our door.  Sometimes she just wanders in.   She is constantly playing in the street.  She is constantly going unsupervised.   The other night around 9 PM I heard a bunch of giggling and my 7 year old had opened the door and let her in.  That child's Mama had no idea where she was.
She doesn't know US.     I gathered up her toy bear and walked her across the street.
The next night around 9:30 I find her again sitting on my porch playing.   Now....I am a bit perturbed when the young woman states, "   I have been looking for you everywhere" and takes her by the hand to walk back across the street.  She says, " Sorry, she wanders off.   I shrug my shoulders thinking, "Has she never heard of locks up high"....Oh well none of  my business.

Three days ago I walked to the mailbox on the edge of the street when a car turned the corner and I looked to my left and here is this child barefooted   ( cool that day) 40 something, heading right towards me.. I jump in the street as she is too little to be seen.  ( We don't live on a busy street but busy enough no kid of that age should be in it.)  I knock on the door and no answer.  I am very frustrated.  Finally she comes to the door and starts yelling at the child.  I glared and turned away.   I keep delivering this child home.  

A new neighbor directly left across the street sent the baby home more than 4 times during a yard sale two weeks ago.  Now when my child comes home she has supervision playing the yard.  Us, or her 17 year old sister.  Today, was the last straw.
I had talked to my neighbor who had the yard sale about some pressure washing on their way out of town and knew they were not home.  I am visiting with a terminal veteran in our home when I glance outside the window and see this child again in the neighbor's yard...sitting near the road but in her yard and I had to excuse myself from the veteran and now I am mad.  Very mad !   I squatted down and said, " Does your Mama know where you are"?  She shook her head no.  I took her by the hand and told her please do not leave her yard as it is scary out here.. Please don't go off like that.
I knew she understood but would not retain it.  I know kids.   I knock on her door and finally told my neighbor.." Look..she was not where she should have been".  This is getting real old and I am not a babysitter.  You need to watch your kids because we other neighbors do not want anything to happen to this child".   She calmly says, " Well she wanders off."   I calmly said, " I won't be the one calling on you again"...
Ten minutes later the kid is wandering the neighborhood.

I know I should call DCF.. I just hate going through all that crap.   What is wrong with this woman and why can't she understand this is neglect and child endangerment and she will get investigated?  I  know I can call anonomously.   I hate CPS.   This is stressing me out.

If that child gets killed I feel if I don't call, it will be my fault.
If it is a young mother with three other kids....maybe she is overwhelmed.
I just don't want to feel obligated to look after that little girl.

Is calling DCF the only answer?  This is Florida afterall.  This county had the case of
the little Haley child who was kidnapped from her own home.  Kids come up missing in this state.  I know they do in every state but Florida seems to have some real doozies.
It really worries me.  I tried talking to the Mother...she don't get it.

Now I won't let the little girl come over at all because I think it best if the Mother gets the message I am not the babysitter and this is " Come over anytime" section .  I just grounded my 17 year old for coming in and saying, " That's not fair..she like to come over.."  I looked up from typing this post and said, " I'll tell you what's not fair, your opinion right now and you just opined yourself out of your social date this weekend.
Now how you like that for fair?   Hmmmmm.  had to get that off my chest.

Any suggestions.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I Don't Know. I'd Call DCF (23+ / 0-)

    I can't wrap my mind when I would say that. But I don't know what else you do. Seems you have done a lot.

    When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

    by webranding on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 01:58:10 PM PST

  •  Call DCF (18+ / 0-)

    Like you said, if anything happens to her you'd be devastated. This is why these organizations exist.

    I would call if I were in your shoes.

    Now, there may well be repercussions since you've exchanged pleasantries with the mother but letting a 3yo go free range with a semi-busy street is way beyond the pale.

  •  Call DCF. I know it's not your first choice. I (29+ / 0-)

    know you have enough on your plate, and do not want to get involved in parenting someone else's child.


    That child's well-being may very well depend on you, whether you like it or not.  It sucks, but that's the reality.

    You can make the phone call anonymously.  Do it.  

    If that child gets killed I feel if I don't call, it will be my fault.
    Isn't your peace of mind and her well-being worth that one phone call?

    Bless you for caring as much as you do!!  Please, please, make the call.  If that child's mother is overwhelmed, she needs help.  But that child needs it more.

    In case I didn't make myself clear enough, see my sig line.

    Make the call.  Then give yourself a break.  Once you've done the right thing, don't beat yourself up over what you cannot help.

    Take care,

    We cannot call ourselves a civilised society if we refuse to protect the weakest among us.

    by The Marti on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 01:59:45 PM PST

  •  thanks... I needed that reassurance (23+ / 0-)

    and I have a particuliarly hard time doing this considering I knew what three of my kids endured in state care. ( Before we got them)   I am almost in tears today over fearing for that child and I think a community effort would be a good thing.. If they will.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 01:59:46 PM PST

  •  Punishing your daughter because you can't (11+ / 0-)

    make up your mind is not fair. Call the Child Protection Service. It's what we pay taxes for.
    It takes a village.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 02:00:59 PM PST

  •  Normally, I would say maybe an overwhelmed (22+ / 0-)

    mother, who could use some support and encouragement, but saying: "She wanders off" when she's clearly not even being watched sets off my flags.


    I hate Florida DCSF, they suck, and I'm afraid the child may end up in a worse situation (as my niece did) but she also can't be allowed to live unsupervised.

    "Mitt Romney looks like the CEO who fires you, then goes to the Country Club and laughs about it with his friends." ~ Thomas Roberts MSNBC

    by second gen on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 02:01:23 PM PST

  •  Is the little girl typical? (16+ / 0-)

    I ask because at that age my son was managing to sneak out, even with alarms on the door, chains up high, and locks on glass sliding doors. He'd push chairs up to undo things while I was in the bathroom, or at night while we were asleep. How old are her other kids?

    That doesn't mean you shouldn't call DCF for the little girl's safety if she's constantly getting out in the road. It doesn't mean the mom is doing everything she can, but maybe she doesn't know what else to do. At the very least this child needs a wanderer's bracelet from the police department. She may not have a diagnosis yet, they may not know anything is wrong yet, but somewhere on the spectrum is a possibility if the mom is paying as much attention as she can while watching two other kids as well.

    Part of the reason I suspect this is the timing. 9pm seems a frequent time, like Mom is in bathing another child and the little girl unlocks doors and sneaks out.

    Just a thought. The mom probably DOES need help and resources. Unfortunately DCF won't bother giving her any of those most likely.

    "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

    by FloridaSNMOM on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 02:03:35 PM PST

  •  Want a wake up call for the mother? (16+ / 0-)

    Call the police and let them know a young girl is wandering your neighborhood.

    Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

    by KVoimakas on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 02:04:24 PM PST

  •  Apparently you care more than the (17+ / 0-)

    mother does, which is not normal [for the mother]. Something is off.

  •  Easy does it (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jabney, mint julep, hnichols

    First things first.  You should immediately unground your 17-year-old.  I’ll wait here for you to tell him you were wrong and that you are sorry.

    OK.  Now that you have done the right thing, I will urge you not to do the wrong thing.  Do not call CPS or DCF (whatever that is).  The child is really not being mistreated.  It’s not as though she is going without food, or going around with bruises or cigarette burns.  And quit trying to change her mother.  There is nothing worse than a running fist fight with your neighbor.

    If you don’t want to let the girl come over, that is fine.  If her being over at your house bothers you, you have every right to shoo her away.  Although, it sounds to me that she is just lonely and wants someone to play with.  But that’s up to you.

    •  Well Hell that was easy (5+ / 0-)

      first of all it is a she not a he.....I have better things to do than chase a kid that is not mine.   I care about children and  neglect is abuse, For your information.  Everybody on here knows I am not a busybody.. I gotta be pushed hard to get involved in neighbors shit.  You obviously do not know me or what DCF does.   Damn...
      i am so glad you commented....should I offer to pay funeral expenses when she gets run over as well ?
      How about I let my 17 year old tell me what she thinks about parenting?   Damn you got it all figured out......

      That was a lot of help !!!!

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 02:15:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This child is being mistreated (8+ / 0-)

      This is neglect, plain and simple.

      This is a 3 year old child being allowed to wander out of sight and out of mind at all hours of the day.

      9pm?! This child should be in bed, not wandering the streets.

      I'm going to go with the others who have said "call dcf".

      But, vetwife, I do think you were perhaps unfair to your 17 year old, who seems to have expressed concern that your were unfairly punishing the 3 year old because of your annoyance with the mother.

      That said, your house and your rules and teens don't get to set the rules.

      Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them - Thomas Jefferson 30 July, 1816

      by Roiling Snake Ball on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 02:24:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  i disagree about "punishing" the 17 yr old. (9+ / 0-)

        teaching a 17 yr old about responsibility and the dangers of not taking care of a 3 yr old is what vetwife is doing. just because a 3 yr old LIKES coming over is NOT a valid reason to allow a 3yr old to wander around unattended (or attended by a 6 yr old sibling) after dark - and the comment by the 17 yr old shows a serious lack of good judgement on vetwife's dtr's part.  i think vetwife is teaching her the seriousness of this situation in a way that her daughter will remember it.  remember, one day that 17 yr old will have children of her own - what is the lesson learned here?  that allowing a 3 yr old to make "decisions" or having an adult make them.

        i always have somewhat harsh feelings toward "parents" who neglect their children - i've said more than once that if they didn't want children, they shouldn't have become pregnant!

        call dcf - describe the situation - keep records of when the child is unattended, garner neighbors' support (if possible) and then send a letter to back up your concerns.

        for anyone who questions what to do - with the number of children abducted, killed, struck by cars, lost - if you can save this one (or two, if her little brother is there, too), then you have done the right thing!

        EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

        by edrie on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 03:07:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks edrie and this is one (5+ / 0-)

          reason the date was called off.   She knows talking back is a grounding offense but to say it in front of the seven year old was worse.  She turns 18 this month...she is free to leave if she doesn't like our rules but right now she says she wants to live at home....As long as she is under my roof ......eating my food....she doesn't say things that could cause problems with the 7 year old.   She knew that... she was testing her legal age thingy...
          Seeing how far she could be all grown and argumentative.  Well now she knows.   She will have a college professor and a job soon... She will find out ....Opinions in a nice way is one thing.... they will fire you if opinions have attitude.

          We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

          by Vetwife on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 03:13:17 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  One small thought on your 17-year-old (6+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            weck, TiaRachel, viral, LinSea, hnichols, mkoz

            I don't know your daughter, of course, but I wonder if part of her jumping in might be an impulse to help. And if so, it might be part of a (not grown-up yet) response to seeing you help folks. (It's my guess, just from reading your posts, that you do a lot of helping that is visible and admirable from the point of view of a teenager thinking about how she wants to be as a an adult.)

            Maybe, when the dust settles, you could also let her know you are proud of the part of her that wants to help people and in particular proud that she knew that the 3-year-old needs help. The flip side: She also needs to accept/trust that you know that child needs help, and that you are older, smarter, and more experienced in how to do that. You are going to try to find a solution that a) doesn't depend on random neighbors happening to spot the little child wandering, and b) might have a longer term impact on the parenting for that child.

            Yes,  your kid talked back, and that is not acceptable in your house, and your consequences govern things. But it sounds like she has inherited your concern for others, and some of the feistiness you bring to your efforts. The trick is to help her value those traits, but harness them to patience and good judgment! May the Force be with you...

            (Speaking as the mother of a challenging teenager, now grown to a wonderful mama herself.)

            •  that is sweet of you but in this case (0+ / 0-)

              my daughter was trying to undermine my decision of no more visiting from the little girl.   She had her own plans that got cancelled.   She had a responsibility to watch her little sister outside while playing and she thought if the 3 year old was here, then the 7 year old would  be entertained.   She already had her phone with boyfriend on line in hand.  She had a responsibility and was trying to undermind my rule of no visitation and get out of her responsibility as I was busy with a terminal vet just twenty minutes earlier and working on those issues along with a quick minute to post this,  when actually we at that point would have been responsible for the baby and she didn't want to watch her own sister.  I know why she had attitude.

              She know this as well.

                I did speak to her and she complains constantly about the kids coming over uninvited and trying to go into her room which I don't allow either.   She is a Teenager and she wanted what she wanted to get out of her big sister duty for an hr.
              I knew it and later she admitted she knew I knew as soon as she started talking, I knew where that came from.  

               She was trying to see her boyfriend. The date has already been cancelled.  She knows before she can do anything.. this sitution aside, her regular chores, homework, etc has to be completed and then she has freedom to socialize but not until.   Nothing changed except her attitude.   She was not trying to help.  She set a poor example in front of her 7 year old sister and I am lienant to a point but not when it comes to the house rules.   (Especially if her Dad or me  say no and she trys to change it to yes)  Don't work.  Never will.      

              We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

              by Vetwife on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 05:21:19 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Two lucky girls and maybe a third (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                Yep, cell phones and boyfriends - that makes sense. But there are two lucky girls in this story - and maybe, I hope, a third. Your daughters have a great role model - someone who cares, and sets high standards for them. (I bet, even if this was a case where she was just trying to game the system, that she has a warm heart, and a lot of courage. And she'll make you very proud someday, when she's all grown up.)

                And the 3-year-old, I hope, will get help, and better parenting. Hoping for the best...

                •  Oh honey, I am proud of her now.... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Laurel in CA

                  She made a bad judgement call this evening and I am very proud of her most of the time  and told her later that I was sorry that her date had to be cancelled but she knew I  don't go back  on a decision regarding a house rule.  A family standard values rule.   She was eating popcorn and said she knew she was wrong and even admitted she was trying to be with her sweetie,, which I knew and she apologized.   He will come over Sunday so it was not so bad... She knew she blurted out in frustration in front of folks...and that is not how she was raised .. She admitted that tonight.   She does have a warm heart...and she is a teenager.....but I sincerely believe in consistency regarding discipline....  I don't want my 7 year old to bow up like that.   They are like sponges...

                  We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

                  by Vetwife on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 09:34:03 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

  •  Yes the three year old is probably lonely. (6+ / 0-)

    or NEGLECTED.   I didn't curtail a 17 year old ...they can play in the street till the cows come home....a 3 year old..a toddler?

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 02:18:10 PM PST

    •  I Don't Like Kids Much (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Vetwife, weck

      then my brother and his wife had a little girl. I love, love her. I don't know where she doesn't have shoes on. Where she just runs around the street. Knocks on your door

      When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

      by webranding on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 02:22:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  One minor thing (7+ / 0-)

    'I just grounded my 17 year old for coming in and saying, " That's not fair..she like to come over.."  I looked up from typing this post and said, " I'll tell you what's not fair, your opinion right now and you just opined yourself out of your social date this weekend.'

    Far be it from me to advise you on this, but your 17 year old may have simply spoken half her thought.  You'd know better than I if that's the case.

    I'm reading this as not fair to the little girl, who has to go unmonitored.  If that's the case, your daughter is quite correct, she just didn't articulate the entire thought.  If so, I wouldn't ground her for that.

    (-6.25, -6.77) Moderate left, moderate libertarian

    by Lonely Liberal in PA on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 02:25:12 PM PST

    •  Well..none of my children are allowed (7+ / 0-)

      to question our decisions on anything.  They can give an opinion but to actually talk back on something is not negotiable here.  Our 17 year old had a motive and I damn well know it.  If the three year old was over here , then she could exuse herself, and let our 7 year old chase her in the backyard, or until I went outside with both.  I know MY kids.   She knew when she opined she was just going to tick me off and I am pretty strict with smart mouths.   She didn't state her opinion in a nice way....THAT  OPINION cost her a date tomorrow night and she knew that was a possibility when she started.

      No...FLSNMom met me and saw how reasonable I am with the kids but how I expect them to behave as well.

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 02:39:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Someone has to be notified. (11+ / 0-)

    Perhaps, if you know who the landlord is, you could find out who the emergency contact number is and call them - I know, a lot of investigative work. But the other choices are calling the police the next time the child is wandering alone or calling social services.

    It may not do any good.

    We have several children who used to play in the street all the time, the parents even set the basketball hoop up so that overhung the street so their kids would HAVE to play in the street.

    I called about it and was told it was perfectly legal for them to set the hoop up that way. I called about the children playing in the street and was told the children had a right to play in the street.

    We attended the funeral of one of the boys and the parents tried to get the city to put up road blocks to prevent any cars from coming down our street at all, meaning no one who lived here could drive down the street and park in our own driveways.

    That didn't go over well, so the parents moved, after leaving really nasty letters on all our doors and vandalizing our cars.

    So, if you call, it removes that level of guilt from you if the child is hit by a car - and maybe the mother will wise up and the child won't be hurt. Or maybe they will move to somewhere less concerned.

    All knowledge is worth having. Check out OctopodiCon to support steampunk learning and fun. Also, on DKos, check out the Itzl Alert Network.

    by Noddy on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 02:26:02 PM PST

    •  That's delightful (8+ / 0-)

      The next street over has that happen a lot, with the father screaming at passing cars who are simply trying to get into their driveways.

      I've thought it wouldn't be an issue if the kids simply played in the yard instead of, y'know, in the middle of the street around darkfall when it's tough to see them.  I never drive that way any more.

      I'm waiting for one of the kids to get hurt or killed.  It's also perfectly legal to play in the street in this township.

      (-6.25, -6.77) Moderate left, moderate libertarian

      by Lonely Liberal in PA on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 02:30:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think 3 is perfectly OK (8+ / 0-)

        What is amazing is they have a fenced in yard in the back.

        We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

        by Vetwife on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 02:42:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think it should be (6+ / 0-)

        allowed for children to play in the street.

        When I was growing up, telling a child to go play in the street was the same as telling the child to bugger off and die. Parents who encouraged children to play in the street were considered unfit parents. Other children would tell the kids playing in the street that their parents didn't love them. No one wanted to be the unloved child playing in the street.

        Nowadays, they see it as an entitlement.  Our neighborhood has huge backyards and all of them are fenced. We live a block from an enormous park filled with baseball fields, basketball courts, running tracks, football fields, a frisbee course, bicycle trails, wilderness areas, a duck and fishing pond, and a huge open field for all kinds of other activities.

        Plus, just 2 blocks away, we have the city community center, with open fields and a bike trail and indoor activities and a basketball court.

        Within a 5 block radius, we also have 6 churches with playgrounds and fields that are not fenced in so neighbor kids can play there, and huge empty parking lots for biking and skateboarding, not to mention the school directly behind my house and its fields and parking lots for playing in.

        There's no excuse to have children playing in the street here.

        It makes no sense to allow children to play in the street unless the street is designated as a playground and there are no drives for people to want to get home to (I can think of some densely urban areas like that...).

        All knowledge is worth having. Check out OctopodiCon to support steampunk learning and fun. Also, on DKos, check out the Itzl Alert Network.

        by Noddy on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 02:50:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Call DCF. (9+ / 0-)

    And unground the 17 year old after a talk about the difference between "fair"  and   "right".

     This is a teachable moment for your own daughter, give her the chance to put herself in the role of parent and not the role of kid.  Then, if she gets it, she has earned the ungrounding.

    And keep a journal of this stuff if you haven't already started one.

    She is not your toddler, but you are part of her village ♥

    If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever. &

    by weck on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 02:28:19 PM PST

  •  My own granddaughter is 3. I understand your (7+ / 0-)

    concern and the strength of your feelings.  While I cannot tell you what to do, I applaud your decision to come here to describe the situation and ask for input.

    All I have to suggest is that you do whatever else is necessary to get yourself into a calmer thinking place before taking action upon whatever decision you ultimately reach so you know that, whatever results, you have done your very best. Blessings.

    Dance lightly upon the Earth, Sing her songs with wild abandon, Smile upon all forms of Life ...and be well.

    by LinSea on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 02:46:17 PM PST

    •  Thank you...... (6+ / 0-)

      I wish the Mother was more concerned.

       I know the rule...In the best interest of the child.  

      I did not have words with the child's mother.  I was very concerned and let her know that as had my other neighbor but it went right past her.  There were no words exchanged.  My other neighbor was concerned that this kid could end up at a not so friendly neighbor's home and never be seen again....she said.   I agree
      What about dogs?  
      Bee stings
      stepping on glass
      what about all of those things?

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 02:53:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  If you don't want to involve DCF (7+ / 0-)

    you could offer (or have some handy person offer) to install child-proof door latches (like this one) on her doors.

    That will send the message that you are concerned but also that you want to help. You'll also get another chance to see if this is a case of an overwhelmed mother or not. If she refuses, or if this fails to keep the 3yo indoors, then definitely call DCF.

    "A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul." - George Bernard Shaw

    by Drobin on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 03:00:17 PM PST

    •  Oh, God (0+ / 0-)

      we dont know what is going on in the home.  If the mother doesnt care where her child is and there is music blaring when vetwife goes over there she could be doing all kinds of stuff.  This state is awash in does anyone know mom isnt on zanax or oxy?  if the kid is locked in the house she's in even worse danger.  

      You do know they drug their kids, dont you?  If theyre gonna party they dont want wandering kids so they put them to sleep.  I live here.  My daughter and her boyfriend do it.  

      The Landry case is being tried this week...they killed their toddler at 17 mos., and when DCF saw fit to remove the other two children 6 mos. later, the older of the two had oxy in its urine.  (One of my clients works at the courthouse..she cried in my chair, said the childs stomach was ulcerated and he bled to death).  DCF is horrible, but this case might go to a young, idealistic caseworker who isnt jaded and angry yet and will do the right thing.  Thats my hope for my granddaughter.

      God, I hope I dont sound like a raving lunatic but I'm speaking from direct knowledge.  I would call either police or DCF, and you may have to more than once.  I was told I'd have to get at least 1/2 dozen people to call for my granddaughter.

  •  Tell her that if she leaves you no choice (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife, weck, arizonablue

    but to call on her both her and the child will be ruined for life and you would rather not have to.

    Sometimes you must scare people.

    "Til you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules" John Lennon - Working Class Hero

    by Horace Boothroyd III on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 03:35:39 PM PST

  •  Same shit around here. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife, weck, FloridaSNMOM, arizonablue

    Course I do live in a gated community, but I never see any kids supervised other than MINE.

    My kids know that if I trust them to play on the playground alone I'll be checking on them, CONSTANTLY and randomly.

    Perhaps it's because I am so paranoid about CPS getting called, considering I had to fight so hard to get them back when my ex lost them when I wasn't there.  Maybe it's because I had to fight so much to get my kids back to normality after the abuse they suffered.  

    Maybe it's just because I don't trust people that I don't know.

    But unfortunately, there's a lot of people who are too wrapped up their own lives to even remember they HAVE kids.  At least that's what it seems like.

    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 03:37:44 PM PST

  •  I say call (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife, FloridaSNMOM, weck, arizonablue, Smoh

    as a person who did call CPS on one of her friends, and no I did not feel bad about that at all. Lost a friend but made certain a baby was out of a dangerous situation he was in.

    Don't watch it dad, you will have brain cells jumping to their suicide. Me, when I learned dad had been watching Fox.

    by glescagal on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 04:08:06 PM PST

  •  I don't know what I would do (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mayfly, Vetwife

    It does seem as though you've been given some very good advice about calling CPS, though.
    I would do it anonymously.

    I don't know whether to laugh or cry or bang my head on the desk about some of the comments telling you to apologize to your 17 year old daughter.
    My first question is to ask if the commenters have children?
    If so, do they have teenagers?
    You don't owe anyone an explanation about your parenting.
    My gosh, I just cannot believe it.
    I applaud you, Vetwife.
    You are definitely a much better person than I am.

    •  Thanks arizonablue.... LOL.. I have to admit it (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      does sound in some of the comments like teens writing.
      I know my teenager and we all know they can get mouthy when they think they are all grown up and what is not being said here is that teenager and me both know that  the 7 year old was kidnapped when she was 15 months old and it happens just that fast !!!  yes it was a bio relative who lost cusotdy  and walked in the house and took her  and she was in danger and I had custody so I probably fear more for that little girl than just a neighbor normal does.

      My teen knew the danger and my concern and no my discipline needs no attention.  We don't spank our kids but we do discipline them when they cross the line and her attitude was out of line..not only in front of me and my 7 year old but in front of a visitor.  At leat I put the computer down and told her the consequences in private.  That was more respect than I got..

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 05:32:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I am so glad your are going to make that call. My (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    arizonablue, Vetwife

    daughter was the same age as Amber Hagerman when Amber was abducted from a parking lot just a few miles from our home. Being hit by a car is not the only harm that little girl could suffer. And yes, I have called CPS. When my daughter was in jr. high, a friend of hers showed up on our doorstep at 9:00 pm because she was afraid of her step-father. It's a very hard call to make.

    "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's the thing you know for sure that just ain't so." Mark Twain

    by Expat Okie on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 05:01:55 PM PST

  •  i'm afraid of the police and dcf- i just am (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife, Smoh

    they make alarms that are really easy to put on windows and doors- they're not even expensive. that could solve the problem quickly. if i were you, before i make the call to dcf, i'd make that suggestion, and tell her how much you don't want to have to call dcf.

    my son got out of our apartment when he was two years old- i didn't even know he left. he got down two flights of stairs and out the front door. a man who didn't even speak english knocked on my door and handed me my son. i put another lock on the door, high up. w/ my son i could never stop him- i could only slow him down.

    about a year later he got out of the library w/out me noticing- we were there at a kids event. he went down the elevator and out the front automatic sliding doors. when i got to him he was looking up at a lady and telling her his name. thank god she stopped him.

    another friend of mine had the same kind of kid- she put a hook and eye lock on the door at the very top to stop him- he took a broom and got it unlocked and left. can you picture a two year old doing that?

    my daughters are pretty good- i haven't had a problem w/ them getting away from me. they're just not like that.

    i'd give talking to the woman and helping her problem solve one last try- maybe she is afraid to damage the door and window frames w/ the little alarm kits? is she afraid of her landlord? i don't know what she's thinking.

    i have neighbor kids coming into my house all the time, but they're older- i don't think i've had anyone younger than five or six show up on their own. three years old is way, way too young. it's a miracle nothing tragic has happened. or a long, long series of miracles.

    "...i also also want a legally binding apology." -George Rockwell

    by thankgodforairamerica on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 05:14:02 PM PST

    •  My brother (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Vetwife, thankgodforairamerica

      Was put in a harness and leashed as a child (in the early 1960s). He was the kind of kid who could get on top of the refrigerator to get to the bananas at 18 months. The only way to keep him from disappearing when out & about was to physically keep hold of him.

      •  I feel very strongly this little girl (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        and actually the little boy are not runners.   They are just allowed to do as they please....There is a huge completely fenced in backyard and I see no reason the kids could not play there. ( out of obvious harms way)
        I have a pool....a deep pool that is enclosed... I now have started locking outside doors but a kid could still unlock it if shaken.   Our neigbor who just moved has a pool and whomever the neighbors are even though fenced  are liable for the safety of others.  That door is accesible ..Small fence on that property that a kid could climb over   ( wooden).     There are at least 5 pools on this street.   Mine is the only one totally enclosed.  Scary.

        We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

        by Vetwife on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 09:24:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I dont trust (0+ / 0-)

      cops or DCF either.  When a child is in danger and you know it, to whom do you turn?  It is a law in FL that if you see abuse and neglect and fail to report, you may be see jail time and up to $1M fine.  (Yup, $1M).  Its an asinine law for obvious reasons, first of which is why should you report of nothing is done?  

      There is too much of this going on.  We must do something to protect the kids.  

      Please sign my petition.

  •  I do no know this woman (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    radical simplicity

    I don't know the landlord.  I leave my neighbors alone and so far we all get along just fine but this lady is ticking off the other neighbors with children because whether true or not she does not want to be bothered with her kids.  The 6 year old has free reign as well.  

    Did anyone think that child could have gotten into the antifreeze that was left outside of my other neighbors home or his pressure washing chemicals?  There are sharp gardening tools left in her yard and I know that child was alone over there  for some time before I went and took her home.  I could not even conduct some very important business due to the carelessness one too many times of this new neighbor.  

    When my neighbor came home ( the ones that were out of town) I told her about the little girl and she told me that every night she takes that child home and almost every day.  She was extremely upset.  She said she guesses they will have to find a place to secure their working equipment.   This is not right.   She and her husband thanked me for making sure that little child got home safely and didn't bother the tools.  
    She told me she had repeateadly told the lady to watch her children and the woman shrugged it off.   She never even thanked me for bringing her home.  

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 05:53:48 PM PST

  •  That wasn't fair. Your 17 year old daughter (3+ / 0-)

    has every right to express herself now and in the future with no fear of retribution. Period.

  •  I have 7 children including the stepkids (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    6 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. ( one on the way)

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 06:13:51 PM PST

  •  My sis is a military wife. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The whole of what I understand of the mormon male dominance comes from her recounting about seeing her neighbors raise their children, far away from utah and not among the supportive web of other mormon families, which led me to believe it's just that ingrained. Of which I will say in a nutshell - No child should be raised to submit to sexual assault by a sibling; there is a limit to freedom to practice religion.

    Either call DCF, or the next time you see the child outside call the cops and tell them nobody answered her door. Please.

    •  Thank you as there is certainly a moral (0+ / 0-)

      imperative involved on my part.  i hate the system as it is, but being in a situation tht can endanger a child, then I Have to do something.

      As stated above I feel bad when the state gets involved but maybe there are relatives who will step in if they find an investigation is warranted.  If not, then maybe she will become more aware there are real dangers out in this world that little ones are exposed to.  From pediphilia to poison.  I will have done in good conscience to try and report neglect.   I do not want to.   I really do not want to but feel there is no other choice but get in touch with my vet friend who works with the county who knows the go to person.   She would probably come out and observe for herself before bringing in anyone.    

      Thank all of did jar my memory of Darla ( the vet) and as far as my teenager...Well she will think next time before interrupting adults over her whims.   i want to assure you she has opinions and expresses them often when a situation regards something pertaining to her and listened to but she doesn't get to interfere with bill paying, people allowed or disallowed in the home, time outs and loss of privileges due to rude or disrespectful behavior.  She will have plenty of time for those kind of calls when she is on her own and responsible for her home and the liabilities.    Not before.
      I am southern and strange as it may seem, we still deem a lot of sourthern tradition of manners and respect.    Not that the North does not but we still emphasize the yes mam, no sir and please and thank you's.   It is our culture to be very respectful to elders especially parents whether you agree or not.  I still say Yes Mam and No Man to my elders and I am 62.

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 09:17:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  what to do? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I recognize from the content of your diaries that you are an extremely giving person and I too am afraid for the child's safety.  Maybe this young woman needs a friend, maybe spending time with you and your kids would give her an example to follow of how to be a parent.  I shudder to think of another child getting swallowed up in the foster care system.  I have often thought that parent mentoring programs would be a good idea.  

    •  The system sucks doubt (0+ / 0-)

      She is as young as my grandchild... ( the mother)  I do not think she wants to be around a person of my age and the reason I am so sure, my neighbor, Holiday, a nickname we gave her, offered her coffee and was welcome to come with her children during playtime..She rejected her invitation and she is about 40.   Soooo.  The young woman prefers to do whatever she is doing, with her own circle of friends, family or whatever.

      I think she needs Supernanny to explain boundaries and dangers but I have a whole new appreciation for teachers now.   There is no way I could be in the presence of total disobedence and ignorning instruction, if they are receiving any.  Hats off to teachers. !!!!
      Parents do have a difficult job but this Mom does not work in public work and does have time to watch after this child...I have seen this kind of behavior before and the me generation of "It's all about me and no sacrafice which one has to do for kids.  The me time is not there..not until bedtime or schooltime.  If sleeping in and maybe using ....then there is no time for children.   Like I said before....she is used to someone caring for the kids or they have been on their own for a long period of time and the adjustment period is not going well.    

      It is not the child I blame.. It is the parent who has the responsibility and a child wanting to roam the neighborhood is alien to me ( at that age)   Mine never wanted me that far away.   They were taught very young some real dangers and to listen.    We have something called The Minding Tree.   The kids when little had to sit under the minding tree for thinking out why they were placed there.  It is a huge Fica plant in my living room.  All my kids want that minding tree for their own kids... I find that reassuring.

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 05:55:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I saw three more (0+ / 0-)

    signers on my petition this morning.  Each one is like a kiss from God.  I cannot express my thanks enough.  {{{{{{{{{{signers}}}}}}}

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