How Fine is the Line Between Lazy & Neglectful?

     At what point would a parent be considered lazy or neglectful? I'm contemplating contacting CPS regarding a family with four children: 8, 6, 2 and 1. Mom has made it clear that she doesn't want children, and I am seeing the effects of her lack of parenting, which is either lazy or neglectful, as evident by the condition of the children and things that just aren't normal for development.
Neglectful Motherhood - So Fashionable  (Jezebel)

     The 1 year old has black wax build up in her ears that has been there for over two weeks, and it was brought to the mother's attention. That level of wax should not exist, and often times one has to have wax flushed out of their ears by a doctor. This was last week, and the wax is still there. They are brought to school without shoes; on Monday this happened and the 2 year old was able to borrow a pair from the center, which Mom explained he lost them and she didn't know where they were. They bought him new shoes which are a size smaller than he needs (we figured this out by having the 2 try on a peer's shoes and they fit better than the one he is wearing) causing blisters on his feet. They arrive with dirty faces and clothes, reeking of odor, like they haven't been bathed. Yesterday, the 2 arrives with a face full of chocolate and dried food stuck to his shirt, today he arrived playing with the handle of a toy purse. His clothes and him smell like neither has been washed.

     From a development observation, both children are way behind. The 2 is unable to sit for group time, in a chair to eat a meal. He cannot use utensils or drink from an open cup. He is also non verbal, showing lack of understanding when you speak to him, shows no emotion or empathy for anything or anyone. He cannot sit down for group time, runs away from the group, and takes toys from other children. I get that these are typical behaviors of 2's, but in comparison to the other 2's, he is clearly behind. The other 2's are able to sit for group time (for the most part), they show emotion and empathy, are verbal, using two word sentences, do pretty well with utensils, and they do take toys from other children, but understand "please give that back," or "she/he had it first, let's find something new to play with", etc. This child understands nothing, and the saddest part is Mom does nothing, and that's obvious. As for the 1 year old, she eats off the floor and other's children's plates, cannot sit in a toddler sized chair, and cries non stop. The older children have dropped hints that they are responsible for the siblings care quite often, leaving many of us to wonder who is actually caring for these children.

      It's frustrating and draining, because of the situation. Call me judgmental if you want, but this mother is a flake, and I wonder if she is on something. This child needs an intervention, an evaluation, and IFSP. My gut is telling me something isn't right with this family, based on what I have seen. Everyone can see it as well, from directors to teachers. We are documenting everything that is said by the parents, the children's condition they arrive in each morning, along with things that we ask for from the family in a log for both of the younger children. This child needs one-on-one care, and I cannot provide that for him with a roomful of other children. It's almost as if Mom doesn't even know her own children or has a lack of contact with any of them.

Lazy parent or neglectful? At what point would you call social services?

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Bunny Wilson said...

You are wondering if you should call cps? Um... Yeah, like yesterday! These children are neglected to the point of abuse. Unless you know of another remedy, which clearly you don't, something needs to be done to help these children.

Anonymous said...

Aren't you required by law to report neglect to the authorities?

You should take photos too.

Contact the authorities immediately.

OTNanny said...

If you work at a care center, you are a mandatory reporter. You should call CPS immediately; if you don't want to, ask your director to call, but mandatory reporters are protected, and will remain anonymous. I understand how difficult the decision probably is, but these children' welfare is clearly at risk, and it can't hurt to call.

RBTC said...

you and your co-workers are heroes to care and go the extra mile documenting things - how often does a child die and those in contact said they knew something was wrong? This is beyond the pale neglectful - you have the documentation - don't wait to call the authorities - these kids are literally in danger, not just neglected - and thank you for putting yourself on the line

nc said...

Call it in. You are a mandated reported, so you have to. Then it is up to the state/city to rule it in or out, and it is out of your hands, but you will have at least done your legal obligation.

Christine Ouzounian is a bitch said...


Doesn't matter what the line is though, you need to report as a mandated reporter. From the standard of the law, you have to report it and you have done your due diligence. I myself, think that is a problem. So many people report and nothing happens the first time, but the technicality is that they have done what they are supposed to.

It's very sad. Not your situation, I mean that is bad, but I am talking about kids you know don't eat but mustard sandwiches because Mom goes to work in designer duds and leaves her children in daycare just for the sake of trying to meet a man to marry, and probably kill. I don't know. Something like that.

But UES moms are the worst.

Anonymous said...