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  #1  
June 25th, 2008, 10:02 AM
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Ok... We live in Germany and my so called friend... not really but acquintance lets her soon walk about 1/2 mile to the park by himself... he's 6... I can't fathem (sp) letting my 6 yr old who is very mature for her age do that... I can't... She lets him walk down and he is a horrible child... I mean horrible... He also has shown up to my house for numerous meals... because "mommy was sleeping", when I know she left him at home the night before to go drinking... I have tried talking to her about it and she blows me off... I have had to send him home because he is picking on my daughters... Question is... would you turn her into the German authorities (she's German married to a soldier) or turn her into the base for letting her son wonder off for hours at a time and her calling me to look for him... I am torn because I am not sure if its ok to let your child wander the streets because I don't let mine.
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  #2  
June 25th, 2008, 11:12 AM
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If you've made a genuine effort to tell your acquaintance what is going on and she has done nothing, then yes I'd report it to the appropriate authorities. A six-year-old child who regularly goes to a neighbor for meals, who is allowed to walk a half-mile to the park by himself, all because mommy is sleeping... that child is being neglected and he is in danger every day.

In doing so, I'd write down a log of recent instances including times and dates, so it's not just "She always lets her son run off...." without examples. But do it sooner rather than later - that type of neglect just kills me. No wonder her son acts out - sounds like his mom disregards him completely.
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  #3  
June 25th, 2008, 11:23 AM
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I would def. turn her in. With a log just as TigerMom said of actual dates and times etc
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  #4  
June 25th, 2008, 11:46 AM
mommywannabe's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Same here. I'd make a list of every date and time I could think of off hand and report her immediately. Every day that he's allowed to walk that far alone he's in danger. And every day that passes means another day he could be going without being fed. If he's not coming to your house for meals he could just be going hungry because she's "sleeping". It's no wonder he picks on your daughters or other kids....he obviously has no clue how to socialize if his life is like that. I HATE situations like this. And it will feel like your "butting in". But when it comes to kids...there's no such thing as being too nosey in my opinion. If you have a genuine concern for this child, it is only fair to him that you report his mother.
Good luck!

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  #5  
June 25th, 2008, 12:10 PM
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I would definately call the mps on her.
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  #6  
June 25th, 2008, 12:12 PM
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I agree with the other ladies. If you have made efforts to confront her and solve the issue without involving authorities and she has ignored you and continued, then I would definitely report her.

I agree you should write down dates and times for sure, and I would also try to take pictures of the child walking to the park by himself, because if authorities don't see him doing it, then she can just say "No he doesn't..." and they can't do anything. I'm not sure how it works in Germany, but that's how it works here - if there's no proof they can't do anything about it.

Good luck - I hope she can shape up and start feeding and supervising her child. I feel sorry for him, he is the one that is suffering here.


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  #7  
June 25th, 2008, 01:19 PM
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Thank you guys. I feel so bad for the kid because the other kids pick on him and vise versa... kids are going to be kids. I'm not the greatest mom in the world but I don't let my kids wonder off...
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  #8  
June 25th, 2008, 03:15 PM
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Well *I* personally wouldnt let my 6 yr old HOWEVER, I will say that the european culture is much different than ours in this regard. They don't have the same type of crime & worries that we do although kidnapping IS a very real concern there, moreso than it is here. Even still, my sister grew up in Italy and I cant imagine my stepmother letting her go at 6 that far from home alone. Perhaps 8 or even 9, I think she probably would though I think by that age, it would have likely been with friends.

That said, have you talked to her husband at all? And is she married to an american soldier? If so - you may find that contacting the base authorities or his commander to be an effective tool. I'm not really sure what German authorities would do - I'm willing to bet that their regulations are looser in that regard.

Lala...

eta - Its funny you mention this, my grandmother was stationed with my grandfather in germany & shes said time and time again that she was appalled at german women for this very reason! lol. A lot of soldiers married german women while stationed over there if they were single when they got there, and she said a LOT of german women thought NOTHING of leavnig the kids home alone at a pretty young age or just let them roam around without worrying. Its totally against everything we are used to in America, but again, I think its just a cultural thing.
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  #9  
June 25th, 2008, 03:52 PM
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I think generally there is a much more laid back attitude towards some aspects of child-raising in Europe ... perhaps due to simply living in a place with less violence, etc. there is less concern about safety ... so the "walking to the park alone" part doesn't really raise any huge alarm bells for me. Even when I was a kid (not in Europe, but in Canada) in the late 70s and early 80s, I routinely wandered around wooded areas for hours just exploring ... we took off on our bikes for ages, and no one thought anything of it. We walked to school, which was quite a distance away.

But the other stuff, especially the part about getting meals at your house because mommy is sleeping, yeah, that's a bit worrisome. I'd definitely make note of the things you see, and talk to your husband first too - there may be some informal ways to get it dealt with that doesn't involve a more public "embarrassment" for this mom and her hubby?
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  #10  
June 25th, 2008, 04:54 PM
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Ok, I have to preface this by saying that I am truly NOT trying to bash you, or trying to start some big thing - honestly, not trying to get a brouhaha started. After I posted my above response, I went on and read a few other threads. When I got to the one about spanking/no spanking, your post stood out to me because you seem so adamant about the idea that no one has the right to comment on your parenting style. (Bolded below, quoted from the other thread).

I know that you feel that this situation with this other mom is neglect and not "parenting style", but still ... I guess this seems a bit hypocritical to me that you want to confront another mom about something that you see as dangerous, and yet others would think that your spanking is inappropriate and dangerous but no one has the right to comment on it? If the issue is genuine neglect, that's one thing, but if you feel so strongly about someone else not having the right to comment with their opinion on your parenting choices (ie. spanking) then be careful about throwing your opinion around on other people. I'm not saying that there isn't neglect possibly going on here, and I do believe that people have a responsibility to help protect other children if they see them in danger, but just perhaps be sure about what you are seeing and that it's not just a "difference in parenting style". (Keeping in mind that someone saw you spanking your child, clearly thought they were "in danger" and said they would call the cops, which you thought was ridiculous - basically what you are suggesting you should do to this other mom).

Quote:
What I want to know is you sit here and say gentle discipline... We do alternate disciplines... blah blah blah... from the beginning of time it does say spare the rod spoil the child. I was spanked by my mom as a child... I was literally BEAT by my father~who can rot in hell... see my point... my dad thought I needed a beating for everything... my mom spanked and I completely respect her out of knowing that she didn't put up with my crap I pulled. I HATE TO SEE PARENTS WHO SAY PLEASE DON'T DO THAT SIX THOUSANDS TIMES... I HATE IT... the kids are tearing down shelves and yelling at mom... mom is pulling her hair out... I ask my kids once then yes I smack on the butt after that. I don't have time to put up with bad behavior. I'm a single mom of a 6 and 3 yr old... My 3 yr old has a horrible temper. There's no way in hell that I am going to try to "get on her level" and talk to her... She needs to listen and whether that is a turn in the time out chair or a spanking it depends on what she does... But I hate quack doctors who think spanking is beating our kids. I swatted Alissa's behind in a store once because she threw herself down and screamed. I was BF my youngest and I swatted her bottom and a woman had the nerve to say I'm calling the cops. I told her the last time I checked I spent 19 hours in labor with her and I could swat her bottom if I wanted to and to take her new age parenting somewhere else. People think by spanking that your beating your child, and most of them say well my parents spanked us and we don't respect them. Well that's your own fault. Thats not because your parents spanked you, its because you think they were wrong for what YOU yourself did... People get on a high horse and say don't spank your kids... thats the key word here... YOUR KIDS! Its MY child... keep your opinions to yourself... Oh and if that was my child... she would have never made it to the courthouse because I would have spanked her and then loaded her stuff up and she could have figured out real young on how to get a job and support herself...[/b]
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  #11  
June 25th, 2008, 04:55 PM
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I don't know. I am not big into butting in others business because I don't want people in mine. The consenses says call, but I am not so sure. I have no idea of what it is like there or how the culture is, so I can't say I would call. GL on whatever you decide and go with your heart!
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  #12  
June 25th, 2008, 05:32 PM
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I'd be careful butting into other people's business. You DON'T KNOW what's going on in that house. Just because the child comes to you and says he's hungry and mommy is sleeping doesn't mean that it's true. At 6 kids are testing limits. The mother may be at home cooking or whatever and not even know that he is out begging for food. I'll give you an example.. my bff has 3 kids and the oldest is 6 also, the middle is 2 and the baby is 1. Her oldest knocked on the door upstairs (they rent an apt out upstairs to friends), and told them that she was hungry and there was nothing to eat in the house. Definitely not true, my bff works in a grocery store and has the pantry stocked. She just knows that Carolina will give her candy or chips or something that her mom won't give her. So she goes there and tells stories.

As far as allowing him to walk to the park alone, I wouldn't allow my kids to, but as a kid I was allowed to. Things are different here now though. I don't know what the culture is there. I just know that we survived growing up with out cell phones and our parents' knowing exactly where we were at every minute of every day. We knew to be home when the street lamps went on.
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  #13  
June 25th, 2008, 05:43 PM
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Quote:
I just know that we survived growing up with out cell phones and our parents' knowing exactly where we were at every minute of every day. We knew to be home when the street lamps went on.[/b]

I don't know what it's like in Germany, but a lot of kids didn't, and don't, survive.


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  #14  
June 26th, 2008, 06:00 AM
mommywannabe's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Quote:
Quote:
I just know that we survived growing up with out cell phones and our parents' knowing exactly where we were at every minute of every day. We knew to be home when the street lamps went on.[/b]

I don't know what it's like in Germany, but a lot of kids didn't, and don't, survive.


Lisa
[/b]

I agree. At least not now, not in these days.
When I was 10, 11, 12 years old...I would leave in the morning and ride my bike until the wheels almost fell off, from one end of town to the other. As long as I was home by the time it started to get dark, my mom didnt ask any questions. But times were different. Even as early as 10 years ago, things were different. There is just too much risk in allowing a young child...especially a 6 year old!...to wonder on his own that far from home.

And as far as "butting in". I dont consider looking out for the best interest of a child who you feel is possibly being neglected as butting in. We ALL have a responsibility to make sure children are not being abused or neglected. It sounds to me that this little boy is crying out for someone to butt in! And, true, he could just like to tell fibs to get what he wants. He could have a perfectly stable and normal home life. But he could be going hungry and truely need help. I'd rather be the nosey neighbor than the one who did nothing. Myself...I just called the police 4 days ago. I saw two children in a car alone. I saw the dad leave the restaraunt that DH and I were eating at and take his child to the car and come back alone. I witnessed him take toast out and come back in alone. When we left the dinner I saw the kids alone in the van and called the police. However, I also saw a woman standing a good distance away from the van but still within sight of it. I knew it was possible that the kids and van belonged to her, but instead of just HOPING she was the mother or responsible adult and chancing those poor kids being left in that van alone for who knows how long, I called. When the police came they talked to her and it turned out she was the mother. I still didnt feel it was right for her to be so far from the van, talking on her phone with her back to it, while the kids sat inside..hot and crying and wanting to be out. But, I didnt feel bad at all about calling. She can be mad all she wants...to me, thats not a parenting style, that's neglectful!
So......I dont think it's fair to the child to NOT butt in if you feel they are being neglected or abused. All you can do is call and then its up to the police, or whoever you call, to make the determination if there is any neglect happening. I'd rather have the mother mad at me and nothing be wrong, than have the kid suffering and do nothing.


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  #15  
June 26th, 2008, 06:03 AM
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Quote:
QUOTE(Mommy2n1 @ Jun 25 2008, 05:32 PM)
I just know that we survived growing up with out cell phones and our parents' knowing exactly where we were at every minute of every day. We knew to be home when the street lamps went on.[/b]
Yes we survived back then BUT times have changed and the world is different now I'm not sure if you can say the world is a scary place now cause as a kid I didn't watch the news. More and more now you hear about kids murdered or children gone missing. Unspeakable crimes against children. It may have been safe when we were kids we were lucky nothing happened to us. In this day and age we are more aware of the dangerous that may or may not lurk around the corner. Its our job to watch our children and keep them safe.
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  #16  
June 26th, 2008, 08:34 AM
LaLa's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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But its also very true that things are totally different in most European cultures. Violent crime & such are almost unheard of and most people in european countries dont even blink an eye. So - in a way its just like it was if not even more laid back than when we were kids (considering violent crime back then in the US was still higher than it is in Europe now).

As for the begging for food - I know very few 5 & 6 yr olds that dont tell stories to test limits, get snacks, get their way, you name it lol so I didnt think much of that in the initial post. I wouldnt put as much stock in that unless he looks like hes truly not being fed.

Lala...
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  #17  
June 26th, 2008, 09:00 AM
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Quote:
We knew to be home when the street lamps went on.[/b]
That is so funny you said that, I was just telling my kids that when I was a kid we played outside all day, and actually Mom's rule was to come in when the street lights came on and we were alway's so mad because we still wanted to be out playing. Not kids anymore....alright back to the debate.
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  #18  
June 26th, 2008, 02:11 PM
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Maybe you could spend some time with them and see for yourself if there is a real problem before involving authorities?
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  #19  
June 26th, 2008, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
Maybe you could spend some time with them and see for yourself if there is a real problem before involving authorities?[/b]
I think she mentioned in the op that she has.


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