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Old 07-02-2012, 07:44 PM   #1
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*title should actually read neglect not abuse *
I'll preface this by saying I am a bit over protective and while I wouldn't call myself helicopter I'm certainly not free range.

I apologize in advance for my book.

Anyhow family of 3 kids couple houses down from us. 2 youngest are 5&7 same as my 2 oldest. Older girl is maybe 10.
The family are have been here from Africa for 15 years ( I'm mentioning it because I'm wondering if it may be some cultural differences. )
Please no one take any offense it is not intended to be offensive.

The kids are stuck outside with no supervision all day long. When we first moved in here it was still under construction. The kids are running through in bare feet with nails and construction materials in the dirt and no parents and sight. This was two years ago so if littlest was just 3.

They ride bikes with no helmets which is illegal here. I'm too many occasions I've seen them just about to get hit by cars riding on the road or behind someone backing out of their driveway. Also on several occasions fall off their bikes and almost hit their heads.

Littlest would always come to school with no snack and no proper winter Attire. When it's 30 below. In the middle of Canadian winter he was wearing a spring jacket with a broken zipper.
I don't think it's a money issue because they are in one of the biggest houses on our street and the parents drive nice cars and always have nice clothes. They also have someone come and clean their house weekly.

They also do not have proper child seats/boosters. The youngest is maybe 35lbs soaking wet but he rides in an adult seat. Law here is booster min 40 lbs - 80lbs or 8 years old.
This kids should still technically be harnessed.

The kids just run wild and have no concept of others property. We had to put a pad lock on our gate to keep them out when we are not home.

When we first moved in they came to my door after school saying they locked themselves out.
They waited here and used my phone. I gave them snacks and so forth. Then it started becoming a regular thing. I was pregnant sick and tired. These kids are not even close to well behaved and the 7 year old drives my 2 yo to tears picking him up and such. They don't share and fight with my kids. They broke our swing set twice and many other toys.
As much as I felt bad I had to put a stop to it.

I guess my question if you are still with me is wwyd ? Myob or contact children's services?

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Old 07-02-2012, 07:58 PM   #2
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If it were me, I wouldn't contact children's services. But maybe you could bring up your safety concerns to the parents. Maybe they don't know or understand since helmets and car seats may not have been required where they are from.
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Old 07-02-2012, 07:59 PM   #3
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Re: Opinions please abuse or different parenting?

I don't know that I woulc call it abuse, but it definitely sounds like neglect to me. I would call.
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Old 07-02-2012, 08:07 PM   #4
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Re: Opinions please abuse or different parenting?

Oh, wow.
Honestly, if it was me, I would start by analyzing my own motives. Are my feelings about how the kids treat me & my kids playing into my desire to do something? Not saying that is the case with you, but it would be easy to do, and it is better to check yourself either way.
My biggest issue would be with the car seats. Unfortunately, that is a case of both safety AND the law. Most of what you are saying sounds cultural, and I don't know that you can do much about the rest, but the car seats are a pretty big deal. I would worry about those kids every time they pulled out of their driveway!
You could maybe buy some bike helmets and anonymously leave them on the doorstep...perhaps with a printout of that particular regulation. At least then, the kids' heads would be protected when they ride around.
Also, looks can be deceiving. If the family is provided for through a church or charitable organization, their house, cars, and some living expenses (like upkeep of the house) may come from donations to the church. This was often the case at one of the churches I used to attend. People donate all kinds of stuff.
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Old 07-02-2012, 08:15 PM   #5
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Re: Opinions please abuse or different parenting?

most of it sounds cultural.

but you might want to address the helmets and carseats - they just might not understand that they can get in legal trouble for it.

After that, if they want to play with your kids, they need to play by your house rules. So, that's what I'd require. With any kid. From any culture. At any age.

If you're worried about being offensive, you could probably get some pamphlets about both items from the internet or police department and leave them on their door.

As far as the clothes, well, unless the child looked bothered, I wouldn't worry. If they look cold or are shivering, then you might take a different approach.
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Old 07-02-2012, 08:36 PM   #6
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Re: Opinions please abuse or different parenting?

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Originally Posted by EmilytheStrange View Post
most of it sounds cultural.

but you might want to address the helmets and carseats - they just might not understand that they can get in legal trouble for it.

After that, if they want to play with your kids, they need to play by your house rules. So, that's what I'd require. With any kid. From any culture. At any age.

If you're worried about being offensive, you could probably get some pamphlets about both items from the internet or police department and leave them on their door.

As far as the clothes, well, unless the child looked bothered, I wouldn't worry. If they look cold or are shivering, then you might take a different approach.
I agree. I think it's probably mostly just different parenting. And they probably are new to the safety issues...lets face it, a lot of those laws haven't been around for a super long time, and in Africa it's probably not even close to the same. I wouldn't call. And I agree with the clothes. It's one thing if they act like their freezing, otherwise maybe they're just really hotblooded. I personally wouldn't even be too pushy with the carseats/helmets. Yes it's law. But honestly, are you going to call someone in every time they're speeding with children in the backseat? Or speeding at all? That's law too. I do think you should talk to the parents and maybe build a relationship with them and then mention the safety/legal issues. If you inform them about the situation and they don't do anything, well, that's their choice. Let them get pulled over and get a ticket. But I wouldn't do anything else about it.

I do think that if they are at your house, they should follow the guidelines you set and respect your stuff. Make it clear that if they don't, they will not be there and then follow through. Good luck!
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Old 07-02-2012, 08:44 PM   #7
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Re: Opinions please abuse or different parenting?

I do think its cultural, depending on where in Africa they're from. I would talk to the parents before calling anyone. They might just not know about the way things are done. Definitely bring up the things that are illegal such as helmets, child seats etc... As for running around barefoot with nails and such...plenty of cultures cannot avoid their children playing around dangerous things and so they don't see them as a danger the way we do.
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Old 07-02-2012, 08:49 PM   #8
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I definitely dint think it's reportable to cps. my guess is it's just cultural stuff. the only thing I would address with the parents is the carseats and maybe the helmets. I would present it to them as get did you know you could get fines for such and such. so its like you are looking out for them and not judging their parenting

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Old 07-02-2012, 08:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TooBusyBearcubs
Oh, wow.
Honestly, if it was me, I would start by analyzing my own motives. Are my feelings about how the kids treat me & my kids playing into my desire to do something? Not saying that is the case with you, but it would be easy to do, and it is better to check yourself either way.
That's exactly why I started this thread
I would like to think I'm more concerned about their safety/ well being .
That's why they were here constantly until I got pregnant even though they drive me crazy.
I glossed over a few things. It gets so cold here in the winter that exposed skin freezes quickly. I'm not just talking cold but dangerously cold.
FWIW I gave a coat to the little guy anonymously as well as a helmet.

I will not talk directly to them because I don't want Neighbour drama. I unintentionally got involved in some in our last neighborhood.
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:02 PM   #10
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Thanks for the opinions everyone.
I won't call. In either case considering it was not out of any kind of malice but rather not wanting to bring up any issues to them myself.
I had unintended cultural clash with a previous Neighbour that was not pretty. Long story very male dominated culture something said innocently was taken completely the wrong way.
I'm scared to death to have that happen again.
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