A Toddler Melts Down, A Busybody Calls 911, Cops Arrive, Guns Drawn, And Then…

Readers — Why do I keep blogging? It’s to remind us, literally daily, that there are HUGE CONSEQUENCES when we believe the BIG LIE that our kids are in constant danger. One consequence is that we interpret normal parenting behavior through the lens of both sanctimony and fear, seeing danger where there’s just the usual chaos of raising kids. The consequence of that consequence? Read on:

Dear Free-Range Kids: When my son, now 15, was about a week shy of his fourth birthday, I ran out to pick him up from his preschool, located four short blocks from home, with just my keys and no purse, something I had done many, many times before.  (I know — stupid.  No ID.  REALLY stupid.)  I picked him up, and in the course of walking home, he decided he was going to have a meltdown because he wanted to walk down a street that would have taken us far out of our way, and I was in a hurry to get back, so I said “no, not today.”

Well, he proceeded to try and run down the street he wanted to take, screaming and crying, and almost ran headlong into oncoming traffic because he was so worked up that he wasn’t paying attention to anything.  I grabbed at him to keep him from going into the street and caught the hood of his jacket and yanked him back to me, whereupon he screamed louder.  Out of nowhere, a woman materialized, yelling, “I saw the whole thing!  She’s beating that child!  I was across the street and down the block and I saw the whole thing! Call the cops!” 

A crowd began to gather, screaming at me and telling me what a lousy mother I was, which of course terrified my son, and he clung to me, but he was still sobbing and crying.  I yelled at the crowd to please leave us alone, couldn’t they tell that my son was upset, that I wanted to calm him down and go home, but they kept converging and screaming and flinging invectives at me — it was terrifying.  I sat down on the sidewalk and cuddled my son to me, and he began to calm down…until three police cars and no fewer than TWELVE cops, guns drawn, descended upon us, wrenched my screaming child from my arms (at this point he was struggling to get back to me and yelling, “Mommy! Mommy!  I want Mommy!”), tackled me, HANDCUFFED ME behind my back and forced me to await the arrival of a city ambulance. 

A man in the crowd did take pity on me and let me use his phone to call my husband at work (which HE had to hold up to my ear, since they would not undo the handcuffs), but the cops would barely let me speak to him and it was hardly enough time to let me tell him what was happening.  They would not tell me where my child was, and of course since I had no ID on me (I have NEVER done that again, lemme tell ya! Stupid!), they apparently branded me a crazy woman who was trying to beat and abduct a child. The ambulance came, and they hustled me into the back (all the while refusing to tell me where my son was) and took me to the PSYCH WARD at the hospital, where they kept me for several hours in a room locked from the outside and refused to let my husband (who had arrived by that time) in to see me, though apparently he had gotten enough information to track down our son, who had been taken to the precinct and was being guarded by a detective.  We found out much later that he had been “examined” for physical and sexual abuse PRIOR to my husband’s arrival — which I believe is illegal.  They did let me call my therapist, who, thank God, answered the phone — but it was all she could do to get them to release me to my husband.  Fortunately, they HAD released my son to him instead of slapping him into foster care — I shudder to think what would have happened if not.

We were eventually allowed to go home, but I was contacted several days later by a worker from Child Protective Services, who said he was required to visit us, unannounced, every couple of months for a year to be sure that our son was not being abused. The first night he came to see us, I had a chicken roasting in the oven and even offered to feed him if he wanted. What he WAS required to do was look at our son’s bedroom to be sure he was being cared for (he had a big bed with lots of stuffed animals and shelves full of games and books, which I actually think surprised the guy, given what he was probably used to seeing in his work), examine our son physically to be sure there was no evidence of abuse, and ask him some very pointed questions about whether Mommy or Daddy ever did nasty things to him.  (He was FOUR, for God’s sake!!  Admittedly a precocious and highly intelligent four, but holy crap…the continual insinuations of sexual abuse turned my stomach!)

Anyway, of course no signs of any kind of abuse were ever found — but we lived for SEVEN YEARS with the threat of having him taken away from us, because that is how long these cases stay open on the books.  We worried about every bump, every bruise, every argument we had — because of course he was also smart enough to know that he could hold it over us and threaten to “tell at school” if we had an argument, not understanding what the consequences would be if someone believed that we had hit or abused him, or if someone at school noticed a bruise or scrape on his body and thought we had inflicted it.

I swear to you: all I ever did was grab my kid’s coat and yank him back to prevent him from flinging himself into traffic because he was screaming himself blind.  He was four, he was having a meltdown. But a bunch of total strangers who were “down the block and across the street but who saw the whole thing” and called the cops as a result could have totally and utterly destroyed our family and ruined my son’s future.  He was, and is, a smart, beautiful, charming, talented boy; he has gone to gifted programs throughout school and currently attends a magnet high school, and he has nothing but promise ahead of him. But the actions of one “well-meaning” stranger who thought that a mother struggling with a screeching four-year-old was her business and that she had to “protect” the child, and who was able to draw a crowd around her, could have ripped a family apart and destroyed that child forever.

We are lucky — truly lucky — that eventually cooler heads did prevail and he was allowed to come back to us immediately.  I know that in some cases, this does not happen, and it’s a nightmare for the family to get the child back, sometimes going on for years. But let me tell you that I TOTALLY understand the fear of the mom who wrote to you when she said she was afraid that the woman who yelled at her outside the post office had called the police and that they were going to track her down…because I LIVED something like that.  It is, quite possibly, the most terrifying thing that can happen to a parent. And I must ask when it became everyone ELSE’S business regarding how to be a good parent to one’s own child.  It’s hard to be any kind of a parent these days, especially Free-Range, but we MUST stick to our convictions and raise our kids as we, their parents, see fit.

Thank God for this blog. – Shaken Mom

A toddler screaming, a busybody assuming the worst, and then -- the authorities.

A toddler screaming, a busybody assuming the worst, and then — the authorities.

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74 Responses to A Toddler Melts Down, A Busybody Calls 911, Cops Arrive, Guns Drawn, And Then…

  1. BL April 14, 2014 at 9:32 am #

    “I had no ID on me”

    What, comrade? Your papers are not in order?

  2. Amy April 14, 2014 at 9:45 am #

    This story is just horrifying. What kind of crazy world do we live in, where we persecute parents because a 4 year old acted like a 4 year old? My son is 3, and he loses it in public from time to time. I shudder to think that we’re one busy-body away from this…

  3. Warren April 14, 2014 at 9:59 am #

    Nice cops. Most cops I know would have gotten here name, and date of birth and hit the computer. Problem solved.

    Let’s face it, how many people have gov’t issued photo id on them, of their child, to absolutely prove the kid belongs to them. For most minors the first photo id they ever get may come as a student id in highschool.

  4. David DeLugas April 14, 2014 at 10:03 am #

    Horrible. Horrible. In our zeal as a society to protect children, we are doing such harm to children and their families by giving such level of authority to those who can invade, intrude and destroy families. Let’s push back, together. https://www.parentsusa.org

  5. Papilio April 14, 2014 at 10:21 am #

    There you go again, truth is stranger than… whatever dystopia novel.

  6. Renee Anne April 14, 2014 at 10:45 am #

    And this is why I will do something that is, apparently, unheard of. I will ask the mother/father/older sibling if they need some frickin’ help before I go calling the cops. I have a three year old son who has been known to have EPIC meltdowns, including in the middle of downtown San Francisco in the early evening. It’s happened on more than one occasion. Also, unless we’re actually OUT somewhere, I leave my ID/purse at home. I don’t need that dragging me down.

    And these damn busybodies need to start worrying about themselves.

  7. Manny April 14, 2014 at 10:58 am #

    I know — stupid. No ID. REALLY stupid.

    Why? This isn’t Nazi Germany yet. You aren’t required to carries your “papers”. Unless I am driving I make it a point to go about without identification.

  8. Michelle April 14, 2014 at 11:27 am #

    It sounds so outlandish, yet I have heard equally outrageous stories in the newsletter of a legal organization to which I belong. I am so, so sorry this happened to you, Shaken Mom. I know *exactly* how terrifying it can be. :(

    For anyone else who may ever go through something like this (God forbid!), please get a lawyer and find out your rights! You don’t always have to acquiesce to everything CPS wants! For example, we were able to refuse them entrance to our home, and get our own doctor to examine our son for signs of abuse — without ANY repercussions. Don’t be combative, but do get professional help to find out where there’s wiggle room and PROTECT YOURSELF. My SIL let the cops in because she thought she had no choice, and because she thought, “I haven’t done anything wrong,” and that made things worse because they nit-picked every possible thing they could find trying to make a case against her. We even had to repaint her walls! It was ridiculous!

  9. Havva April 14, 2014 at 11:36 am #

    There are no words for how horrifying that story is.

    But, I don’t think ID was the real issue here. I think the lack of ID is serving as a way create a sense of control over a horrendous incident.

    The police came 12 strong with guns drawn, and the first thing they did was rip her child away. They couldn’t have known she had no ID when they dispatched that many police and determined to come out of their cars with weapons drawn. And I think the not telling a believed to be abusive mom where her kid is, is a for the safety of the child thing.

    I think it was initially triggered by the melodramatic person who came out of nowhere shouting: “I saw the whole thing! She’s beating that child! I was across the street and down the block and I saw the whole thing! Call the cops!” I strongly suspect that was just a sampling of the lies told. Beyond that, I think this might fall into the overly militant cop issue. Seriously 12 cops? for a mom allegedly beating a 4 year old. How could that not be handled by 2-4 cops?

    I’m not sure how exactly one deals with people who let their prejudices fill in the blanks and thus are driven to bear false witness against others. Perhaps more people calling the cops when someone behaves like that to advise that an erratic person is making serious accusations that don’t quite make sense and demanding police be called on another individual/or claiming to have called the police.

    My husband and I have been puzzling over it ourselves this weekend. On his walk home he came across an angry man yelling at some teens. Upon seeing my husband walking along, the man accosted my husband clipboard in hand claiming my husband had “seen it all.” And demanded my husband’s name address and phone number as a “witness.” Despite my husband’s confusion the man could not be swayed from his belief that husband had “seen it all.” Supposedly my husband had seen these teens kick the leaves off a tiny shrub from several blocks away. Frankly, considering that the man couldn’t entertain the possibility that my husband wasn’t a witness. I’m not sure the screaming man saw anything but a damaged plant, and people he deemed inherently untrustworthy in the vicinity. The instinct to stay out of stuff involving cops, particularly when you didn’t see anything, makes a ton of sense. But at the same time I wonder if acting as a witness to the behavior of those summoning police might be of value.

  10. Danielle April 14, 2014 at 11:44 am #

    How did that happen to you, but no one ever called the cops when mom beat me bloody and naked twice a week in our front yard?

  11. Donna April 14, 2014 at 11:57 am #

    “But at the same time I wonder if acting as a witness to the behavior of those summoning police might be of value.”

    I don’t know how much it would help the immediate situation, but as the person’s attorney in either their criminal or CPS case, I would love to have witnesses who say that the “victim” or reporter was acting like a raging lunatic. Even if you do no good with the police, if you stick around, your name may make it into the police report and allow us to follow up. But I definitely understand the reticence and lack of willingness to wait around for what could be an extended period of time and I am not even sure that I would do it myself.

  12. Anon April 14, 2014 at 12:40 pm #

    Danielle, I’m so sorry that happened to you. It really seems so unfair the way good parents get caught up in the system, while bad ones fall through the cracks. Maybe it’s because the good ones try to cooperate with the police and CPS?

    I know a mom whose children should have been taken away long ago. I’ve tried to make it happen. I’ve spoken to police and CPS, to no avail. But another mom I know nearly lost her kids just because they were playing in her yard during school hours (she homeschools). It’s insane.

  13. Uly April 14, 2014 at 12:49 pm #

    Anon, we don’t actually know who is “closer” to losing their kids unless the kids are actually removed. It may be that your homeschooling friend is more concerned and worried about it, so it seems to her much more likely that her kids will be removed, whereas the neglectful or abusive parents don’t care enough to even register it as a possibility. Or it could be that one of them has a scarier social worker than the other, just due to a quirk of bureaucracy.

  14. Anon April 14, 2014 at 1:05 pm #

    I guess that’s true, Uly, but put it this way. The “Good Mom” had cops invading her home within hours of the complaint, and a list of things she had to “fix” before they returned later that week or, they said, she’d lose her kids. The “Bad Mom” has had no consequences in 15 years despite being reported multiple times by friends, family, and the public school system.

  15. lollipoplover April 14, 2014 at 1:15 pm #

    What should have happened instead of a cellphone being pulled out is *concerned* citizen asks mom if everything’s OK. Instead of accusations, try listening. Maybe offer some encouraging words- I’ve gotten “Stay strong, mom” when darting after a runaway kid in traffic. Those words meant a lot. Calling the police is a side effect of this new virus that is plaguing communities- Busybodyism.

    Busybodyism is highly contagious. Person feels instantly better when she whips out her phone and makes that police call and tells others to judge as well. Resources are wasted every minute because of these busybody calls. They take precious resources away from real victims of child abuse. THIS should be the crime. I prescribe taking away their phones. Seriously.

    What did we do before cell phones? We actually talked and got involved with our neighbors. Problems got resolved. Those that didn’t went to the authorities. Now, it’s easier to not get involved and show your concern with an anonymous call. It makes the person feel better because they got their anxiety off their chest. I only wish those calls that lead to years of wasted resources could bill the busybody caller who was intiated the investigation with an incorrect judgement. There should be accountability to those who file these police reports against good parents.

  16. Powers April 14, 2014 at 1:47 pm #

    Isn’t one of the precepts of free-range parenting that kids are safe because most strangers are nice and will look out for them?

    How do we reconcile that (fully justified) belief that people will look out for kids with the (fully justified) invective against the “busybody” who, to her mind, was just looking out for this kid?

  17. mamajoan April 14, 2014 at 2:00 pm #

    Awful story. Mine was somewhat similar, albeit not as dramatic. Instead of pulling my 4-year-old out of traffic I was pulling her off the Little League field where a horde of much bigger kids were about to run her down as they chased the baseball. Apparently I yanked her off the field too roughly for someone else’s taste — well, you try wrestling a determined 4-year-old in the direction she doesn’t want to go! A few days later I got a call from Child Services and had to submit to a lot of questioning and having my kids questioned both with and without me present. It was a really demeaning experience and for months afterward I was paranoid every time I was parenting in public, which was really unpleasant. Possibly the worst part was knowing that whoever reported me had to have my name and contact info — which means it had to be a fellow Little League parent, probably someone on my child’s team, because those would be the only people with access to the team roster. That was 4 years ago and it still frustrates me that I don’t know who it was.

  18. SKL April 14, 2014 at 2:05 pm #

    Thankfully nobody took my kids away when the police were called on me. But it is very scary and I wish folks would understand that. It is not a benign act to call the cops “just in case” when you see a parenting style different from your own. It can be devastating.

    I also fault the cops for the extreme reaction. Unless there was a lot more to the story, there was no reason to arrest her or do any of what followed. Actually if they were going to take people to the nuthouse just in case, they should have done it to the witness as well, just in case she was overreacting. :/

    At least she has a husband who could go collect the child. As a single mom, I’d be screwed if they took my kids. Correction, my kids would be screwed.

    Although she says she did not do anything but restrain the kid, so what if she did spank him? I thought spanking was still legal everywhere in the USA.

  19. SWaldron April 14, 2014 at 2:35 pm #

    We had a similar situation two weeks ago. A neighbor called the cops on us to report “children not being allowed in their house.” We had given two of our children (ages 7 and 8- I raked a much larger yard from 6 onward when I was growing up) the chore of raking our 10 ft X 15 ft front yard. The kids told the neighbors they were not allowed in the house. The neighbors did the kids’ chore for them, and called the cops. We were lucky (maybe, CPS hasn’t shown up yet) the responding officer listened to me and said, “Yeah, I figured it was chores or something like that.”

  20. Michelle April 14, 2014 at 2:54 pm #

    “How do we reconcile that (fully justified) belief that people will look out for kids with the (fully justified) invective against the “busybody” who, to her mind, was just looking out for this kid?”

    I think it’s pretty simple. I don’t think “not being a busybody” means looking the other way when someone is in trouble. But how about finding out what’s going on before jumping to conclusions and assuming the worst? Calling the cops (often anonymously) is a refuge of people who want to “do something,” but don’t want to actually get involved. Let the authorities figure it out! It takes more effort to walk over and say, “Is everything ok?” and find out what’s actually happening.

  21. Michelle April 14, 2014 at 2:57 pm #

    (Although, I think it’s obvious that in this particular case the busybody wasn’t refusing to get involved. Rather, she was trying to get attention. Still less about actually helping a kid — which would be better accomplished by finding out what’s going on — and more about being the “hero.”)

  22. Steve April 14, 2014 at 3:09 pm #

    Everyone who carries a cellphone is a potential threat to your freedom.

    If anyone with a Worst-First Mind suspects you of “anything,” you could be arrested if the charges sound convincing. (Think about how convincing you could make a report sound by allowing your worst-first thinking to wonder.)

  23. CrazyCatLady April 14, 2014 at 3:16 pm #

    I think that the thing that one clearly needs to carry at all times is a phone. And be ready to use it FIRST. That is the key to who the cops will believe, whose call gets in first.

    Had this mother been able to take out her phone and call and say that she was in fear of her life, the 12 cops would have been looking at everyone else standing around instead of her.

  24. SKL April 14, 2014 at 3:48 pm #

    By the way, I don’t always carry ID either, when I’m not driving and not wearing jeans with pockets.

    But I do keep a couple photos of my kids in my wallet. These are little photo ID cards that are provided free when they take school pictures. I don’t buy the pictures, but I cut out the cards and put them in my wallet in case anyone tries to accuse me of stealing my kids. (My kids don’t look like me, and we travel to countries where transracial adoption is sadly less common than child slavery.)

  25. lollipoplover April 14, 2014 at 4:22 pm #

    An old friend from high school is going through a nasty divorce from her abusive ex-husband. He also beat the children. They have a shared custody arrangement (unfortunately) and although she has a PFA against him, the kids are not so lucky. She has repeatedly reported him to the police. She gave the kids a cellphone to call her but the dad takes it away when they are with him. The last time her son called her from the dad’s house phone screaming in a panic, the police told her she needs to “talk it out” with her ex-husband and did nothing. Her son has broken so many bones yet CPS investigates this mom for years for just pulling on a jacket?
    Unbelievable.

  26. anonymous mom April 14, 2014 at 4:25 pm #

    I often go out without my ID. We live in a high-crime area, plus I’m really prone to losing things, and I don’t like taking my purse or wallet with me if I’m just out for a walk (including when my oldest attended a preschool about half a mile away and I’d walk to get him). I just take my keys and my phone. I really don’t think we should all need our papers on us at all times. Unless I’m going to be driving, I usually leave my wallet at home and just stick my keys, phone, and cash if I need it in my pocket.

    Fortunately, my children all look both a lot like me and exactly like each other, so I don’t think there’d be any question that they are indeed mine. In fact, that is generally a point of embarrassment, that I cannot pretend to not know them when they are behaving badly. ;)

    The thing is nosy, busybody strangers is that you cannot please them. If you reprimand or restrain or discipline your child in any way, they will think you are a horrible, abusive parent. If, on the other hand, you choose to allow or ignore a behavior they don’t like, they will think you are an irresponsible, neglectful parent. People who want to find fault with other people’s parenting always will. In my own experience, those tend to be the people most insecure about their own parenting, who are trying to make themselves feel like they did a good job by imagining that everybody else is doing a horrible job. Some of the worst parents I know are the most judgmental about other parents (the other really judgmental people I know don’t have kids, but I can forgive them, because I know that I was there once).

  27. hineata April 14, 2014 at 5:15 pm #

    @Lollipoplover – sadly, Busybodism isn’t a new virus. I think it’s been around since the dawn of time – I know it was rampant in my small town growing up. Sometimes it was useful – a few blokes heading around to have a ‘chat’ to a guy who’s beating on his wife, for example. Other times less so, all the rumour spreading if someone didn’t like someone else, or someone didn’t have enough to do in their lives, like the crazy woman mentioned here….

    I do agree that busybodism with cellphones does take it to a new, more anonymous level. It was much harder for busybodies in my one-horse town to remain anonymous – we didn’t get an automated exchange until 1976, and so the telephone ladies (often the biggest busybodies in town, actually) always knew who was calling in. Maybe that should be happening more with cellphones – the police can trace back who reports these non-events, so maybe it’s time to put some serious police time for a few months into tracking down these busybodies and putting them out of business. Once te word got round that you could actually get into serious trouble for reporting non-events, the trend might reverse.

    I must say, though, I find aspects of this story a bit hard to believe. All I know of US cops is from silly fictional crime shows. Do the police really regularly pull out guns when dealing with ordinary citizens? And what jurisdiction would have 12 spare cops around to go on a single minor case? Was it a slow day or something?

  28. hineata April 14, 2014 at 5:19 pm #

    @SKL – am with you on the photos. I gave birth to my kids, and I’ve still been questioned by ‘officialdom’ as to whether they were mine or not.

    Though it has its advantages, doesn’t it – unlike anonymous mom, you and I can get away with denying al knowledge of our progeny :-)

  29. Orange Roughy April 14, 2014 at 5:24 pm #

    I am in tears reading this story. I tried to hurry my son along at a swap meet and I swung my purse at his butt (in a very playful manner) and some woman announced to everyone “child abuse”. I was shocked and drove home thinking the whole time somebody was going to show at my door and take my kids. I figured she had taken my car plates and reported me. What is wrong with busy body people? My mom used to discipline me in a store, nobody said a word, why would they?

  30. CATRIONA April 14, 2014 at 5:27 pm #

    The world has gone crazy we had a case in Australia where a man took his granddaughter to the beach. She didn’t have a bathing costume so being a 6yo girl she stripped off and went for a swim and was totally in her element splashing around having fun but being supervised not perved on by her grandfather. Some busy body decided to call the police instead of going to check the situation out. Sure if he was doing something to the kid or she was uncomfortable that’s different. Fortunately the police understood it was all a misunderstanding and went away again but really people need to mind their own business unless it is really called for.

  31. Papilio April 14, 2014 at 6:42 pm #

    @Catriona: that reminds me of a story of a 9th or 10th grade school camp. Those teachers also took the kids to the beach, some of the braver girls decided they wanted to swim, so they stripped naked and went. One teacher had taken it upon himself to take pictures during the whole week, so he also took some pictures of the girls swimming, which ended up in a file on the school computer, among all the other photos of that week and all the other events on that school, accessible to the school personnel. Then…

    …nothing happened.

  32. anonymous this time April 14, 2014 at 8:05 pm #

    Oh, I don’t know, even if this mother WAS whacking the daylights out of her kid, it’s not a police matter.

    “I just grabbed his jacket!” she protests, as if whacking him would merit the treatment received.

    I say parents are getting a raw deal these days. Every parent has moments when they lose it. Now I guess if you lose it, you risk losing your children.

    Kids are not permanently damaged by a parent’s outburst. It’s what FOLLOWS that makes the difference. A parent who takes responsibility, and relieves the child of thinking they were so “bad” they “deserved” the screaming and hitting or whatever… well, that goes a long way.

    But removing a child to foster care does NOTHING to help a child’s welfare if it’s a one-off, “lost it” moment. In fact, it’s so incredibly HARMFUL that people should never call authorities unless they know a child is being SYSTEMATICALLY ABUSED OVER TIME or is in IMMEDIATE DANGER OF DEATH or GRAVE INJURY. And I’m not talking about “what if” sh*t. I’m talking about actually being beaten to a bloody pulp, or dangled off a balcony, or burned with a cigarette.

    Kids were were ignored and neglected, who weren’t clean, whose clothes were dirty in ways that weren’t from playing, who had scars and bruises in places that weren’t easily explained, who had ways about them that seemed congruent with torture victims… people used to say, “It’s the families’ business.” Then we got religion, and decided no, these kids needed intervention and protection from those who were harming them.

    Somehow that morphed into stories like this one.

    Dial it down, folks. Don’t be too eager to be a “hero.” Kids’ lives are RUINED by the authorities in anything but the MOST IMMEDIATELY DIRE CIRCUMSTANCES.

  33. lihtox April 14, 2014 at 8:13 pm #

    @Powers: Remember that, just as child kidnappings are rare, so are stories like these.

  34. JND April 14, 2014 at 8:23 pm #

    Pig cops, running wild.

  35. Hazel April 14, 2014 at 8:38 pm #

    So lucky that this four-(and five)-year-old was honest with that social worker who came to call. When I was that age I was very talkative, very imaginative, very attention-seeking. If I’d been repeatedly asked questions about wheter my parents hurt me, I might just had made things up if I sensed that this is what the social worker wanted to hear and I thought I’d get something out of it.

  36. SOA April 14, 2014 at 8:43 pm #

    How horrible for that family. I don’t worry about it. I have had my kids throwing tantrums in public a lot having a kid with autism. I figure all I have to do is use the a word and everyone would back off.

  37. Reziac April 14, 2014 at 10:24 pm #

    Someone says:
    =====
    How do we reconcile that (fully justified) belief that people will look out for kids with the (fully justified) invective against the “busybody” who, to her mind, was just looking out for this kid?
    =====

    As I’ve said before — if the situation is so dangerous for the child that the cops/CPS must be called, then it’s too dangerous to leave the child in for another moment. And if you’re not willing to intervene personally, then IT’S NOT AN EMERGENCY and no authorities are required.

    A big reason we have busybodies is because no one feels any community responsibility of their own anymore — all that has been delegated to various authorities. Scream for mommy when you get bullied; scream for the cops/CPS when someone spanks their kid. It’s a side effect of raising kids to be special snowflakes who must be protected at all costs … they grow up to believe authority will save them, therefore it will save everyone and they need not dirty their hands.

    And I’ll repeat this too: I’ve come to believe it’s better that some kids (and animals) suffer, than that we all be under the jackbooted heel of this kind of authority, that takes a frantic busybody accusation as fact, but won’t believe the obvious evidence they can plainly see for themselves.

    Of course, obvious evidence that there’s nothing wrong fails to justify their jobs, too. So they must find at the very least a suspicion of mistreatment… and act accordingly.

  38. Reziac April 14, 2014 at 10:30 pm #

    And about ID: my college roommates’ family had escaped from Soviet Ukraine. My roommate never carried ID on principle. Once he spent a night in jail because he would not identify himself to the cops (and at least in Montana, you’re not required to unless a crime has been committed).

  39. Andy April 15, 2014 at 5:31 am #

    “How do we reconcile that (fully justified) belief that people will look out for kids with the (fully justified) invective against the “busybody” who, to her mind, was just looking out for this kid?”

    Looking out for kids is not the same as meddling myself into every situation. Looking out for kids does not mean that I’m going around looking for reason to call cops. It means that when I suddenly see crying kid head stuck in fence and no caring adult around, I will help the kid.

    Ultimately, it is about judgement and goal.

    I suspect that whoever calls CPS on slight pretexts is not trying to help or looking out for kids. I suspect he is usually someone trying to punish the word or get sense of control over other people lives. You know, my live sux and I got a lot of work and I am frustrated and stressed and suddenly someone else “cheats” and gets himself free time. I will give him a lesson!

    I suspect so because impulse to punish seems to be extremely strong in many of these stories and stories that come from criminal system and work related stories and school related stories etc.

  40. common sense April 15, 2014 at 6:09 am #

    @lihtox…no stories like this are not uncommon, the fact some one is brave enough to talk about it is. if she had written about it when it was happening do you know what cps would have done to them? the child would have been removed[probably for good] and the parent chanrged with emotional abuse for
    ‘ using your child against us[cps]’.. the powerhungry,guard my job at any cost i know better than you no matter what f****s that work there do not allow any critisism of what they do.

  41. BL April 15, 2014 at 7:42 am #

    As someone said on an earlier thread:

    Calling the cops is the nuclear option.

    (I would add the CPS to that.)

  42. anonymous mom April 15, 2014 at 8:45 am #

    @Reziac, yes! If you feel comfortable walking away from the situation to call CPS or the police and give them the time it takes to investigate, then it’s not an emergency, and you don’t need to call.

    I’d say that some people, like teachers or close relatives, are in a different situation. They see a child day after day, so they are able to recognize patterns of mistreatment and distinguish them from an off day. They are generally in a more informed position to report neglect or abuse.

    But a stranger has no business calling CPS, ever, as far as I can tell. If they are witnessing a child in truly grave danger, they need to call 911 and intervene if they can. If they are witnessing something questionable or even that just offends their sensibilities–a child being spanked, a child being spoken to harshly, a child out for a walk alone, a child playing in the yard during school hours–then the only right response is minding their own damn business.

    While I don’t think we need to make more things illegal, I do think there need to be more consequences for people who make false or frivolous calls to the police or CPS. At this point, the consequences of police or CPS involvement in your life are just so dire, even if you are ultimately found to have done nothing wrong, that it’s not just a no-big-deal thing. And, certainly the volume of frivolous calls diverts attention from truly serious cases.

  43. Betsy in Michigan April 15, 2014 at 9:41 am #

    I like the idea of preparing ourselves to turn the table on toxic and/or insane busybodies,and call 911 FIRST. If I am walking, biking, or skating in my ‘hood, I usually have just my cell (maybe not even keys – my family all knows where we hide it (not under the doormat). The ONE time someone I know didn’t have her cell phone on her, she came home to her nice middle class subdivision to a robbery in progress at her house. Unlikely, yes, but I like the extra bit of assurance I get from having the cell(though my 12 year old walks and bikes w/out one, just like the “olden days”. And we’re so odd that we have $30 pay-as-you-go “dumbphones”. I do talk to my oldest (12) about not letting cops or whoever in the house if I’m not home, b/c of cases like this, though we do seem to have reasonable cops here, not Albuquerque versions.

  44. Marni April 15, 2014 at 10:03 am #

    So glad not all people are busybodies like this! My kid had a total and complete meltdown at Disney World. I finally had to sit him down on a curb and move about 10 feet away from him, just to give him a chance to calm down. I was worried that some busybody would cause a stink over a shrieking tantruming kid without a parent at arm’s length.

    Lots of people stopped, looked at me sitting there watching him, and said, VERY sympatheically, “Yours?” Once I confirmed he was my child, they would typically respond with a similar Disney meltdown story.

    Eventually he calmed down and we were able to enjoy the rest of the day.

  45. SKL April 15, 2014 at 10:50 am #

    Well here’s another thing happening right now on another site. Yesterday a 2nd grader came home and told her mom that another 2nd grader told her that she had been watching something (and describe what sounded like oral s*x to the mom hearing it 3rd hand) and that an older child came into the room and said that was “porn.”

    So, what should she do? A number of people are suggesting a call to CPS, because “what if” someone is grooming and molesting this child.

    OK so first of all, the child did not report that an adult was aware of the porn watching. The original poster’s concern was that the child was not being sufficiently supervised. We don’t know how any of it happened or how long the “porn” was watched or even if it really was “porn” (since a 2nd grader might not quite know where the line is drawn).

    I mean, yeah, I don’t want my kids watching oral s*x, and it won’t happen in my house any time soon because they don’t have the available technology. But if they did happen to see it while unsupervised, it would not destroy them. And if they hear about it from another child at school, let’s get real, it’s only a matter of time anyway. Now if there was an adult sitting and inviting them to watch, that is a whole other ball game, but that was not what the child said at all.

    The concerned mom said, “I hope it is unfounded, but what if it isn’t?” Note this is an adoptive mom, who surely knows the ramifications of disruptions in custody. If we’re going by “what if,” why not call the cops on every house in the neighborhoods, because for all I know, someone could be molesting a child in every one of them. You never know!

    Or is it that the parents of 2nd graders refuse to accept that their kids are out in the world now and they are going to hear about things we don’t like to think about? I think it’s time to wake up and smell the coffee.

  46. anonymous mom April 15, 2014 at 11:53 am #

    @SKL, stories like that are chilling. I mean, porn is so easily accessible via so many of our devices, that many children are just a wrong click or two away from stumbling across something they shouldn’t. Do we really want CPS investigations every time that happens? That should make all of us nervous.

    You also sometimes have no idea what kids are talking about. For a couple of days when she was 3, my daughter kept talking about her toys (ponies) having a “naked party.” I finally asked her, when I started to wonder if she had seen something she shouldn’t, what a “naked party” was. She loves baths, and she told me it’s a party where the ponies all take bubble baths.

    I shudder to think what could have happened, though, if she’d talked about her toys having a “naked party” in front of the wrong person. No doubt many would have jumped to the conclusion that she had somehow witnessed or participated in or been exposed to images of an orgy and called CPS, rather than asking a simple, non-leading question and finding out that she thought a party in a bubble bath sounded like a fun thing.

  47. anonymous this time April 15, 2014 at 12:32 pm #

    Sometimes I just want to say, as a pouty 9-year-old would, “It’s not FAIR! MY parents didn’t have to deal with all this crap!”

    The only reason I had kids was because I thought I could be the sort of parent my parents were. The “go play outside and don’t come home till dinner” parents. Oh, sure, they spent time with me. It was special when they did. I remember wonderful times with my parents. But basically, I was encouraged to do things on my own in the neighbourhood by the time I was 4.

    Sometimes *I* felt uncomfortable with the culture of “discipline” at another child’s house. I saw them get whacked for things I wouldn’t get whacked for, or spoken to in ways I didn’t get spoken to. I generally stayed away from those places, and invited those kids over to my house.

    But reporting people? Good Lord, I know for a FACT that there was absolutely NO concern among the parents in my neighbourhood that the authorities would be called in or even remotely interested about the way they were raising their kids.

    They had… autonomy. Freedom. And yes, some people truly abused that autonomy, hence the development of CPS.

    But I’m just SO FREAKING TIRED of parents being put under a microscope!!

  48. SOA April 15, 2014 at 12:59 pm #

    I guess I don’t have that same experience or fear a lot of parents on this site have about fear of being reported. To just about everyone as far as I know, I come across as a perfect parent. Even with free range attitudes. Because I go above and beyond to make sure my son gets taken care of in school with his special needs. Because my other son has never had a violent reaction with his food allergy because he has never had an exposure. Because I constantly do things fun and engaging for my kids like crafts, taking them to parks and playgrounds and museums and throwing parties for them, etc.

    So I just don’t worry that one day CPS would knock on my door. Even if I spank them in public. Even if I let them run around outside in the yard without me being out there. Even if I let them when they are a bit older walk to school alone or to the corner store. I would let my typical son do it now but my son with Autism just is not ready yet. I even will tell my friends stuff like “You don’t have to freak out because he is out of your sight for two seconds, there is only one exit/entrance to that little zoo exhibit so he has to pass by you to go somewhere. No one can kidnap him obviously. So just let him go look alone and we will wait here for them.” And I actually change their outlook.

    But I never never NEVER worry I would get CPS called on me and if I did that after more than 5 mins I expect it would be dismissed. When you have child psychologists from the school and teachers telling me what a good job I am doing all the time, I just don’t think I have to worry.

    Now, I am not bragging. I just want to make it clear, I don’t worry about this and why. I would think the good parents on this board, really would not have to worry either. I could be wrong, but that is one thing I most certainly am not paranoid about.

  49. Donna April 15, 2014 at 1:07 pm #

    SKL – That is scary. Why do people find the need to insert themselves into situations they hear about and know nothing about?

    When my daughter was younger, she got out of bed and walked into the living room while I was watching SVU and saw the crime take place before I even realized that she was there. I’m sure that she could have described seeing something that made it sound like she was watching porn too when what she saw was a minute or two of a major network TV show – one inappropriate for the 5 or so years old she was at the time, but definitely not porn.

    Why are people throwing CPS into it? Who knows what this kid even saw. Even if she did see oral sex, why jump to grooming or even a lack of supervision? It need not be porn to show oral sex. There was a brief oral sex scene in a R movie I watched at the regular theater Saturday. And I didn’t expect it. Even if it was porn, it doesn’t mean that it was intentional. Maybe the kid got out of bed and saw something a parent was watching. Maybe a parents-only movie got accidentally mixed up with a kid movie and everyone was surprised when Dumbo started. Maybe kid typed something wrong on the internet (2nd graders are not the best spellers) while doing homework. Maybe it wasn’t media at all that she watched and the poor kid, like many kids from all the previous generations before her, had the misfortune of walking in on her parents enjoying each others company. Stuff happens. Unless you know more, butt out.

  50. SOA April 15, 2014 at 1:09 pm #

    I am the type that if I see a parent really struggling with a child, I will go up and ask if I can help. Or I try to go up and distract the child by talking to them or being silly. It seems the decent thing to do if you see a parent struggling to drag a tantruming child out of traffic or something to offer assistance. Not call the cops.

  51. SKL April 15, 2014 at 1:13 pm #

    Yeah, Donna, would they call CPS if they heard a 2nd grader barged in on her parents during sex? Maybe some people would.

  52. oncefallendotcom April 15, 2014 at 1:13 pm #

    http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/audio/video/2010/2/19/1266607624275/Elian-Gonzalez-held-by-Do-001.jpg

    This pic would have been more appropriate for this article.

  53. anonymous mom April 15, 2014 at 1:19 pm #

    @SOA, I don’t think most parents really need to worry much about CPS. However, I get it. The thing is, there is often no rhyme or reason to these things. There are cases where children are clearly, obviously being abused and, for whatever reason, CPS refuses to take the necessary steps to protect the child. There are other cases where it’s very clear that there was no abuse, but CPS remains involved for years. So much depends on the caseworker, and, let’s face it, there are some vindictive, unstable caseworkers out there who will make the life of good parents a living hell because of a single anonymous complaint, as well as lazy, unmotivated caseworkers who are going to ignore serious cases (as well, of course, as many sensible, good caseworkers).

    I think it’s naive to think that you are such a good parent that CPS would just turn the car around and go home if ever called on you. It doesn’t work that way. You get an anonymous complaint and the wrong caseworker, and you could have everybody in town singing your praises and they could still make life very hard for you. It’s not worth getting super-concerned about, by any means, but there are plenty of good parents who get caught up in the child protection system because of overzealous caseworkers, as well as many truly abusive parents who fall through the cracks.

  54. SKL April 15, 2014 at 1:20 pm #

    Dolly, I have plenty of people who think I am the model of excellent parenting. People who actually know me and my kids. That doesn’t stop idiot stranger busybodies from calling the cops.

    When it happened to me, I was literally in between my kids’ fancy-pants piano lesson and a trip (for them) to the library one pleasant summer evening. My responsible professional side had a prepared FedEx envelope to drop off in the few spare minutes I had. My 2nd grade kids were sitting happily in their high-back booster seats in the cool, locked & off car for a maximum of 3 minutes in front of the FedEx store. The cop arrived as I was walking back to the car. Dolly, sometimes it has nothing to do with what a great mom you are or how healthy your kids are. People are obnoxious.

  55. anonymous mom April 15, 2014 at 1:22 pm #

    @SKL, I’ve heard not just accidentally walking in on parents having sex, because they didn’t lock the door, but even just overhearing their parents making sex noises as forms of sexual abuse. I have no doubt that many people would call CPS over it.

  56. Puzzled April 15, 2014 at 1:35 pm #

    Disney meltdowns. I’m 32, and until about 1.5 years ago, I felt guilty pretty often about the time I had a tantrum at Disney. I mean, really – my parents spent hundreds of dollars to go to a place that’s pretty uninteresting to them, in the broiling heat, just for my enjoyment, and I gave them a tantrum in return. Granted, I was 5, but I still felt awful about it.

    I finally got over it when I asked myself how I’d react if I took some random kid to Disney and they acted like that. I let myself fully experience just how angry I’d be. Then I asked myself how I’d react to the exact same situation with Eli and I realized I wouldn’t be angry at all, I’d still be grateful for the time I was spending with him before he grows out of the magic of Disney, and while I wouldn’t be exactly pleased, I’d know that what that’s important to me is doing things for him – not getting the reaction I think I deserve.

  57. SKL April 15, 2014 at 1:38 pm #

    Anonymous mom, I commented that I was probably in trouble because I bought my kids the book “It’s not the Stork” and planted it in their room. If you read far enough it talks about sex and even has a drawing of a man and woman getting it on. I guarantee that when my kids find this, they will tell the other kids in school. Will one of their parents call CPS, because my kids’ knowledge of s*x must mean they are being groomed / abused or at least neglected? I mean, what responsible parent lets their kids have access to materials about s*x?

    Another thing. My kids have only recently accepted the fact that a man is not “naked” just because he is shirtless. They have talked about “seeing men naked” many times. As far as I know, they don’t even know what a p*nis looks like, but whatever. They say they’ve seen men naked, so they must be victims.

  58. SKL April 15, 2014 at 1:44 pm #

    Speaking of Disney, even my extremely mellow 6yos each had a fit of crying/pouting at that place. The “happiest place on earth.” Must be some kind of vibe. It didn’t kill the whole trip. I really think that the rough moments are the ones that bring us and our kids closer. (Assuming nobody snatches them away!)

  59. Jenny Islander April 15, 2014 at 1:57 pm #

    My kids know exactly (artistically) what naked men look like because we are studying ancient Greece using primary sources. Even if you remove the stuff that’s downright raunchy,* you’re left with the problem that men, in that culture, did not feel an urgent need to wear clothes at all times. Should I expect the police?

    *Protip for homeschoolers: Do not blindly trust Safe Search. It will remove the tender but extremely explicit redware pottery painting of the young couple apparently having their first time, but it will not remove the one of the naked, drunk, and aroused satyr chasing a goat! Boy I’m glad I preview all of my searches before classtime.

  60. Donna April 15, 2014 at 2:20 pm #

    While I do think that I might get by with an eye roll if CPS was ever called on me, it is not because I am such a wonderful parent. It is because I know the CPS workers, SAAGs (attorneys who represent CPS) and juvenile court personnel and they like me. Membership has its privileges.

    That said, if I were not in the position that I am in, I wouldn’t think that I was immune just because people who know me think that I am a great parent. We all have those moments when viewed from the outside look questionable. We all have moments that could be misconstrued by strangers hearing about it 3rd hand from the mouths of 8 year olds. And there are apparently many people with cellphones and fingers just itching to call CPS (how the heck do they even talk to CPS; I can’t even track down the CPS workers I need to talk to half the time).

    And CPS workers are human beings. They bring their own life experiences, opinions, prejudices and agendas to the job. They form instant likes and dislikes to people that cloud their objectivity. Without knowing them, I couldn’t say for certain whether I would inadvertently run afoul of one or not.

  61. CrazyCatLady April 15, 2014 at 2:47 pm #

    SOA, I am glad that you do not have to worry about CPS. I don’t worry much about it….but, I do have the reporting neighbor from hell.

    She calls everyone when she doesn’t like something. Neighbors who didn’t mow their lawn? She called the fire Marshall, the weed control, the bank the mortage was at, and the health department numerous times when water was dripping into the road. Had kids still been there….

    Lets see, on me, she has called weed control because I have weeds growing up around my fenced pasture. We set up an aquaponics system and she called up the police on that because she thought it was illegal. For all I know she has called animal control because I have electric fence to keep my dogs in. I am expecting her to call the county soon on all the cars that we have, some that are parked in the pasture. They all run, have current tags and insurance. But soon she will be on her beautification kick.

    So far, she has not seen fit to call about kids. On the other hand it wasn’t her that found the neighbor’s two year old going up the road in her diaper one day when the toddler woke up from nap and went out the front door while everyone else was in the back garden.

    But, I don’t expect her to hold off forever. You see, she is sick. She has nothing to think about except her pain….and what the neighbors are doing. She loves drama, and makes up as much as she can. She talks shit to everyone about everyone. She claims that the cop neighbor has pulled over another neighbor for drunk driving on our private road, that the neighbors were making meth in their garage and other stuff that never happened. Calling CPS would be another way for her to have more gossip to talk about with anyone who will listen (which isn’t the neighbors anymore, because we all know she is full of it!)

  62. Stacie April 15, 2014 at 2:51 pm #

    Friends of mine got visits from CPS because their then-8-year-old daughter was seen on the playground at recess, on a cold day, without a coat. Another parent who lived near the school apparently called.

    You would think that a simple, “hey, did Sally bring a coat to school today?” would have solved this entire issue, because, in fact, Sally did have a coat, and mittens, and a hat and boots that she wore to school and wore home. One would think that, if a child comes to school with proper winter attire, that she’s not wearing it at recess is either her doing (8-year-olds know when they’re cold)–or the school’s responsibility?

    But no, this resulted in an actual home visit, interview with Sally, and some follow-ups. CPS closed the file with no action taken because it was absurd beyond words.

  63. SKL April 15, 2014 at 3:29 pm #

    Stacie, the coat thing – I don’t force my kids to wear their coats, but I do force them to carry them if it’s cold. At least if they have the coat in their hands, nobody can accuse me of neglecting their need to be warm. Or can they? Actually they probably can….

  64. Donna April 15, 2014 at 3:44 pm #

    CrazyCatLady – Weed control? You actually have a government agency whose job it is to patrol weeds?

  65. CrazyCatLady April 15, 2014 at 4:18 pm #

    Donna, can you see my eyes rolling…yes. They patrol for noxious weeds – weeds that are banned by the state. Things like Canadian Thistle, and such, that are invasive and take over native habitat.

    So far, in our little farm area, I have not gotten notice of any issues with my fence line. Two neighbors had thistles and were given a warning. No one has gotten a fine yet that I know of.

    But, that one woman, whose father in law used to own my place, thinks that no one keeps things as nice as she does or he did. The fact is, no one wants to be on a riding mower all day like her. I actually want hay off my pasture so I don’t have to pay for straw for my animals’ bedding in the winter. She hates it. She hates that it doesn’t look like a park, like she kept it after her father in law died (though she would have cut down all the trees if she could have.)

    Oh, and we have mosquito patrol too. They just spray, and she calls them weekly to come spray. I got on their notification list so that we can just shut the windows on the nights they spray.

  66. SOA April 16, 2014 at 8:35 pm #

    They actually have programs in our state called Parents are First Teachers where they come in if you sign up for it and will basically teach and show you different games and ways to interact with your children that benefits them socially, educationally, emotionally, developmentally. Even with all my child care education and experience before having kids, I still signed up for it because hey you learn something new every day and maybe they can teach me something I don’t know.

    While they did not really teach me anything I did not know, I found it fun and my kids enjoyed it. They also screen to see if there are any delays in your children that could be referred to early intervention. That is one main reason I signed up for it. I knew my son probably qualified for early intervention and I knew this way he would be referred.

    The point of this story is if EVERY parent knew how to actively educate and engage their children on their own with no guidelines, then this program would not even need to exist. But it does exist and is quite successful. Because not every parent knows these things and can use some guidance. I think it was more targeted at inner city/poverty parents but it was for any parent to sign up for.

  67. EricS April 17, 2014 at 11:24 am #

    Stupid people, with a sanctimonious (thanks Lenore, forgot about that word. ;-)) attitude. IMO, most of these people is no different than many Facebook, Instagram and Twitter users. It’s so that they can tell “stories”, in how they “saved a child”. Not so much actually about “saving” the child. This kind of mentality is so ingrained in people, it’s an automatic thing for them. And completely justified, even though it’s ill thought out.

    And stupid cops. You get to the scene, you see a child clinging to his mother, and in no apparent danger, yet they grab him away and man handle the mother (according to her letter). It’s not very hard to assess the situation when they get there. They should know better that people who report things, aren’t always accurate or truthful. Even law enforcement is not immune to common sense stupid.

    The worse part, the family had to endure being under the microscope for 7 years. Walking on eggshells to avoid losing their child. All because of some sanctimonious (that just has a nice ring to it, lol), stupid, ignorant biatch. Who probably is still bragging about the one time she saved this little boy.

  68. EricS April 17, 2014 at 11:30 am #

    P.S. I carry ID with me all the time. I’ve even made a u-turn home when I’ve forgotten it. And not because of the kids. But because, if ever I get into trouble, and incapacitated, people can see my ID and no who I am, and who to contact.

  69. Maggie in VA April 17, 2014 at 11:46 am #

    I was really terrified by this story as one of my boys has neurobehavioral issues and might easily run off from me like this child did. Trust me, I’ve had to do a lot worse than grab a hoodie to subdue him when he’s in a defiant state. I once did a TJ Hooker-style sprint through a shopping mall to catch him and bring him down when he stole a bonbon from a candy shop. Worse, I kept my surname when I married, but the kids’ have their dad’s name. And they’re donor-conceived, so they look nothing like me. How would I prove they’re mine on the spot?

  70. Foo Quuxman April 18, 2014 at 8:41 am #

    Seriously 12 cops? for a mom allegedly beating a 4 year old. How could that not be handled by 2-4 cops?

    Here is the scenario I am thinking:

    * Dispatcher makes the call of “woman allegedly beating 4yr old child”

    * Across the city hardwired protective instincts combined with hero cop mentality activates in every car that hears it

    * No one notices / cares that a dozen police are being absorbed in a single fairly small event BECAUSE CHILDREN OHNOES

  71. brandywine April 19, 2014 at 2:06 pm #

    Had similar things happen to me but they backed down when I threatened to sue, wrote every newspaper and US Rep/Senator. Know your rights and read the law.

    The thing that threw me for a loop when reading was “I called my therapist.”

    Who has a therapist unless they really do have “issues”?
    I wouldn’t even know where to go to get a “therapist.”

  72. everydayrose April 21, 2014 at 12:30 am #

    @brandywine…that is an awful and judgmental thing to say. A couple of my closest friends have therapists that they see on a regular basis, and they’re also wonderful mothers to their children. It’s thinking like yours that stigmatizes people and stops them from seeking the help that they need.

  73. Erin April 21, 2014 at 10:54 pm #

    Dear Shaken Mom,
    I don’t have kids but my parents have told me a story along these lines. My parents and I were at a restaurant eating and my mom finished eating before me. My parents told me I said “you beat me.” My dad told me there were more than a few nosy looks in our direction. I don’t recall if my parents had to explain to anyone but still. After reading this story, I am surprised there wasn’t a different outcome to my incident.

  74. Mrs. Grunion April 22, 2014 at 7:59 pm #

    She’s either not telling the truth or is outright lying. I am a CPS worker. Cases are closed within 60 days unless there is reason to “open” them.