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Can I Have Her?

Overheard today in a supermarket:

Parents with a child of possibly two years old.  Both parents were doing the shopping and moved some distance away from the trolley in search of different things.  The child made a noise, wanting them to come back and then threw her dummy on the floor.  Mother ( retrieving dummy and sticking it in the little girls mouth) "You are a horrible child."  Father agreeing, said "Monster."  Both put some items in the trolley and moved off.  The mother commenting as they went:  "Trouble, nothing but trouble."  It was the harsh, unloving tone of voice that got to me, as much as the words.

This made me so angry.  I wanted to go and offer to take the child home with me.

Maybe they really didnt want the child.  Perhaps it was an unplanned baby.  Or a difficult baby, that cried for hours.  There are all sorts of reasons why parents find it tough.  But you cant just give it away.  Can you?  Rehoming a child?  Even if that was what you secretly wanted to do.  Of course they cant admit that, its unatural, unnacceptable.  What would people say?  They would be appalled.  So they are stuck with it. 

Unless or until, someone who knows them looks at the way they are treating their child, realises the damage she is suffering and takes the step of calling social services.  The sooner the better as far as I am concerned.
avatarunknown avatarunknown 51-55, F 13 Responses Apr 2, 2011

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How? What was I supposed to do? These people were strangers overheard in a supermarket. I've no idea where they live. Or what happened to that little girl. She haunts me still.

So sorry to hear that. I hope that poor kid is in a better place (with a different family) now. Have you considered adopting her? And, really, have you considered calling the authorities on her "parents"?

Just two year old kid doing what all kids do. It sure is sad when we witness these types of behaviour from parents. Or were they?

Good Point maybe they were temporary baby sitters. We could all hope.

That was a sad sight to see I would imagine. I do hope you were seeing them at their worst.

What don't you see though? Could be the best or the worst parents 99% of the time, you may have caught a glimpse of the one time they both need a break

I wish I could think it was so. A moment of irritation, that's understandable. I have never heard a parent use that tone of voice to a child, before or since.

Let us hope it was one of those, off days...

Everyday I wish Child Protective Services were prevalent even here. Hate it when parents abuse their children. Insensitive and mean.

Miserable People, cruel and ignorant to speak and behave this way....they do not derserve a child.

Dear Sqigglefish, Who can help them you ask. Not I. Most of the time when I see a child mistreated I am at a loss. I don't want to feed the monster living in the parent. Mistreated children are hyper vigilant and as such are easy to communicate with using body language and facial expression. The selfish parent is usually oblivious. At least the child knows that a stranger sees, is saddened and feels equally helpless.
I am so grateful to folks who have the wisdom and skill to make a real difference.

Dear Sqigglefish, Thank you so much for your response. I am truly grateful. My best is so very often hopelessly inadequate. By taking time to respond to my comment you are helping everyone who comes upon it. Please keep up your good work and know that it is appreciated.

This kind of thing always makes me want to cry. Whatever else my mom & dad may have done, I always knew that they loved me no matter what, and even liked me and enjoyed me. When I see parents basically telling their kids they're worthless -- it makes me want to give the kid a hug and tell them exactly how special they are, no matter what their "parents" say.

its heartbreaking.

Oh gods, that is so sickening. Especially what Brainyblonde said... I want kids more than anything else in the world, my life cannot be complete without them, to see people treating them like this... I just want to go throw up.

What else does this little girl have to endure in private? Do they punish her for being trouble? If not now, will they sometime?<br />
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On the other side of the argument.<br />
A recent item in a newspaper told how the parents of twins have finally obtained custody. They are over a year old now. The whole thing was sparked by a joking comment from the mother only hours after an emergency cesaerian birth. She said to the babies: "Look what you have done to Mummies body." A nurse reported it and the system swung into action. Problem was no-one told the parents what was happening or why. <br />
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Over or under reaction, social services are always villified for either. The parents now think it was just timing. This happened while there was a lot of publicity about baby P.

There may not be a legal requirement, but surely this is still cruelty. Do you think the judge might have ruled differently if the child had been badly behaved as a result of their indifference?

Unfortunately, social services rarely intervenes when there is suspected emotional abuse. When I was a teacher of a 6th grade classroom, years ago, one of my students was a boy who was an A student and very well behaved. He told me that his parents hated him, would not give him a birthday party or a present for his birthday or Christmas, would not even give him a regular room but made him sleep out on the service porch on a cot. When a teacher called the parents into school to ask them if this was true, they readily admitted it. The mother said, "We hate him because his father abandoned me before he was born." The man was his stepfather. Both parents said they hated this kid and had told him he would never get a kind word or a hug from either of them.<br />
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The teacher called the Soc. Ser. people and an investigation was instituted. The parents admitted to everything but said they did not believe that any law could make them love their son or treat him lovingly. It went to trial.<br />
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The judge ruled in favor of the parents. The judge said that there was no law in the State of CA that said a parent must love his or her child or act like it. True story.

Wow! It is true about the law but surely the court would find a better home for the child

In LA County, they do not encourage parents to place children in foster care or put them up for adoption because it would cost the County money. These parents had already tried to have this boy put into a foster home but the courts refused.

Ugh, all the courts really care about is money! Sorry to hear that. :'(