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What action should I take against a friend that is getting increasingly worse as a parent?

When a friend had her son, she never really changed her outlook from her life without a baby to her life as a mom. She never really stopped partying, dropping her son off almost everynight with anyone willing to watch him. She never set any kind of routine for him. She'll smack his arm all the time whenever he's doing anything disagreeable. The babysitter has found bruises on his upper thighs on days after she's admitted to "getting so frusterated with him she wanted to throw him against a wall" I am torn because I don't want to assume the worst and have it not be true. She has been talked to about it, and has really good excuses everytime. I have no evidence of actual abuse, just lousy parenting in general.

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Asked by Anonymous at 6:59 PM on Jan. 9, 2009 in General Parenting

Answers (13)
  • Document, Document, Document! Make a record of everything you think could be or is abuse or neglect. Have the baby sitter make a statement. If you truly believe the child is in danger, you have an obligation, as a mother, to report her to the authorities. You can't just go making a bunch of allegations without some proof to back it up. Next time you see bruises, if it's possible, take pictures.

    Answer by Rebecca7708 at 7:01 PM on Jan. 9, 2009

  • she has PPD, she needs help before she does something awful. tell her to talk to her OB and write a script for an antidepressant. other than talking to her i wouldnt involve CPS. is her baby sitter like an actual licensed place or a friend or family member? because an actual licensed place is legally supposed to report suspected abuse

    Answer by aliciatron at 7:02 PM on Jan. 9, 2009

  • The babysitter is a friend. The mom is a friend, but I'm not very close with her, so I don't know all the details or access to take pictures, etc.

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:05 PM on Jan. 9, 2009

  • I agree with Rebecca......Document until you cant anymore.

    Then I would take serious action and put your friendship to the side.....that babies safety is more important. Keep a close check on him. Poor kid.

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:09 PM on Jan. 9, 2009

  • You do not need pictures to make a concern call to social services and they will keep it anonymous. When making a call, if they have enough information to go and investigate, you need to be clear and specific. It means nothing to the state that a mom drinks or parties as long as the child is provided for - which she does when she has a sitter. Now the marks on the other hand...if you have never seen them yourself they will not take your report. They will take the report of the babysitter. They cannot have second hand or third hand information. The babysitter is one who is key here. When a situation happens to call immediately. There doesn't have to be marks. I know of many investigations where a case was opened and no physical marks were evident at that time. But for this child's safety someone should call who the child or mom has spoken to or has directly seen marks.


    Answer by frogdawg at 7:14 PM on Jan. 9, 2009

  • tell the babysitter as a person who cares for children she is considered a "mandated reporter" in the eyes of the law. she is actually commiting a crime if she even suspects abuse and does not document or report it depending on sevarity... ask her to look it up. i am a teacher so same for me, same for doctors, social workers, etc... anyone who works with kids and sees something that relates to their job with kids that is possibly abuse has to be delt with or you could be in hot water! the sitter has access to the kid and can document it. as easy as a pic and a note in a journal ... when it gets to be enough... call it in... if it stops... good! n e ways seems like the "friend" isnt into being a fit mother and understanding the blessing she has... i have seen kids taken many times. the moms do one of two things, shape up or give up (either way) the child is better off in the end....

    Answer by AmaliaD at 7:23 PM on Jan. 9, 2009

  • You could report her and have child services look into it. Even if there is nothing wrong with her parenting in their opinion it may make her smarten up.

    Answer by AmandaH321 at 9:01 PM on Jan. 9, 2009

  • yikes i would so call...

    Answer by LexsiesMommy at 9:34 PM on Jan. 9, 2009

  • Is your friend a single mom because if so maybe you should lend a hand rather than accuse. If not then still lend a hand maybe she is having a hard time. I say that because I am a single mom. My daughter just turned a year old on Wednesday and Im honeslty having a rough time dealing with it. Im a full time teacher, full time grad student and a full time single mom and sometimes I get so frustrated I just have to go in my room and closed the door. I dont drop my baby off often because I dont have anyone to watch her, but if I could I would because I so need some adult interaction.

    Answer by lilmsnay83 at 9:50 PM on Jan. 9, 2009

  • Being a mom is hard and being a single mom is even harder. Im not excusing her behavior by no means, but maybe try to understand her more and ask her for help. If she doesnt admit she has a problem then lend her the help anyway. If she is your friend like you say she is then you already know what areas she need help in. Suggest some. She may say she dont need it but I guarantee she will use it. Offer her your schedule or routine or something.

    Answer by lilmsnay83 at 9:50 PM on Jan. 9, 2009

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