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Challenges Family Things I've Learned

Calling Protective Services? A Message to the Concerned Onlooker

Do you leave your kids in the car? {Mom of Many}
Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I just read an article about a mom who left her 4 year old son in the car for a couple of minutes to run into the store.

Read the article here.

She is a good mom, cares for her child, works hard, is faithful and loving. She did what her mom did with her back when she was little. She did what she thought was best in the moment.

While she was in the store an onlooker called the police and took a picture of her son sitting in the car alone. Since the whole fiasco, this mom has decided her choice was unwise and plans to never do it again. She does a great job in the article laying out the situation and ramifications.

My comments have to do with calling 911 to deal with situations like hers:

This onlooker though she knew best and felt the need to “protect” a stranger’s child.

  1. She didn’t know the mom.
  2. She didn’t know the kid.
  3. She didn’t know the circumstances, age, or maturity of the boy.
  4. She thought she knew better than the mom.
  5. She perceived “danger” when there was none, until she grabbed her phone, that is.

SHE was the danger to this boy.

  1. Her one phone call caused this family a year’s worth of pain and loss.
  2. Because of her reaction to a perceived danger, the mom was charged with child endangerment.
  3. This one act created a long lasting fear in the child that someone would come take him away from his mom.

You might say, “Well, she deserved it.” or, “No, the mom caused it with her decision to leave her child.” Regardless of your opinion regarding leaving kids in the car for a few moments, one thing we must agree upon. The mom is the mom. Her parental rights say she and the dad alone have a say in how they parent. Period.

Would you call 911? {Mom of Many}
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The boy wasn’t in danger

  1. He wasn’t in trouble, causing trouble, or in any type of distress.
  2. It wasn’t hot out.
  3. He had the maturity to handle himself and was happily sitting, playing on an iPad.

Stranger danger? Yep…danger from someone who thought they were responsible for a stranger’s child while walking by.

A different lady on one of my Facebook groups saw a boy in a car alone and asked what everyone thought she should do. Should she call 911 or leave him alone and mind her own business? The responses were split. Half said leave it alone and half said she should call 911. What do you say?

Guess what she did…

  1. She stayed with the boy while he sat in the car until his mom came out – because she was concerned.
  2. She didn’t call 911 – because it wasn’t any of her business.
  3. She limited her “social responsibility” to observation, not judgement or action.

Win. Win. She alleviated her doubts and helped a mom in need (or so she felt was in need – it’s called appropriate, non threatening concern).

Is there a better way?

  1. Why don’t we just help instead of criticize?
  2. Why don’t we give people the benefit of the doubt and do what is best for everyone involved?

People don’t understand that by calling 911, or protective services, they are creating a danger in the lives of the entire family that is just as damaging as the perceived risk of leaving a child in the car (if not more).

One day I was in a bathroom stall and heard a mom come in with several little kids. She keep saying, “Stay right in front of the door while I am helping your brothers go potty.” She kept talking to her 6 year old son to keep him occupied while she took care of business. She had three little kids.

Was the boy standing outside the stall in any danger? No. Could he have been? Maybe. If I’d been a pervert or kidnapper, I definitely had opportunity. But I wasn’t. He was fine. Was I concerned? A little Was there a minor possibility of a problem? Maybe.

Are you a help to others? {Mom of Many}
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Rather than criticize or assume she couldn’t handle her kids, I decided to help.

  1. I told her I would stay with her son and watch the door until she was done.
  2. I explained I was a mom of a bunch of kids and I understood her situation.
  3. She profusely thanked me when she came out and explained that she was frazzled trying to manage them.

I certainly knew what she meant because I’ve gone shopping with a passel of kids and know what it’s like to try to manage all of them alone (which is why I seldom went out alone without my DH!)

He was fine and she was encouraged by a concerned onlooker.

Let’s not judge, intervene or criticize.

  1. Let’s not cause a problem where there is none.
  2. Let’s not assume we know better than the parents.
  3. Let’s not step in where we don’t belong.

Let’s decide to help rather than create a problem where there is none.

  1. If we see a need. Let’s help.
  2. If we see possible danger. Let’s help.
  3. If we see a mom needing help, let’s help!

Let me know what you think or if you’ve had experience with the “helping hand.” I have a comment section and I read every one!

Val @ Mom of Many

 

 

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Categories
Family Events Humor

Yo’ Mama Wears Army Boots

With the help of my son, Andrew, this slam has become a reality in our family.  April, Lauren, Katie, Jesse, Devin, Marissa, Andrew, Nathaniel, Daniel, Mollie, Jillian, Jonathan, Jacob, Levi & Caleb…your Mama DOES wear Army boots – well, Marine boots, that is. Thanks, Andrew, for the boots. They really came in handy!

Our family has rogued the corn fields for the last several summers for college money and since our boys went to Camp CoBeAc this week, the last field was left for Mark to do on his own. I saw this as an opportunity. You know that expression, “Problems are just opportunities turned inside out”? Well, I decided that since the boys were gone, it would be a good opportunity for Jillian to make some money for college. She had elected to work at Meijer for the summer rather than do fields – since rogueing is quite the distasteful chore. I had tried to talk her into it only to be given the brush off. Well, I decided to make her an offer she couldn’t refuse! I told her that if she’d work the 263 acre field, I’d work alongside her and donate all of my earnings to her college account. Ha ha! She couldn’t turn that one down since working at Meijer hasn’t gotten her the $$ she’s needed to go back to college in the fall.

Of course I had to have Mark take a picture of me in the field to prove to all my kids that I really did get out and rogue the field!  This was supposed to be a vacation for me, since the boys are out of town for the week, but I decided that you can’t pray and ask God for $$ and then turn down an opportunity to make a lot of it in a short amount of time. I had to talk Mark into letting me do it, but he eventually relented and I think I surprised everyone! I got tons of comments from my kids, saying they “won’t believe it ’till they see it” on facebook. So here’s the picture to prove it – I worked 15 hours trompin’ through the field with a bean hook, cutting down rogues. Since I went into it with the thought it was going to be horrible, based on all the whining and complaining of past years by my kids about how awful a job it was, I was pleasently surprised that it wasn’t as awful as I thought it would be. Of course God was gracious enough to me to answer my pleadings that it not be too tall, or too hot, or too full of bees and other bugs. I had pleasant company, and a nice breeze both days. The second day we hired AJ and Ross to help and they were great workers. It was the biggest field we’ve ever been assigned.

Just call me Ma Podunk!

corn crew

Categories
Humor

Thanks, Mom

WHY I LOVE MY MOM

Mom and Dad were watching TV when Mom said, ‘I’m tired, and it’s getting late. I think I’ll go to bed’

She went to the kitchen to make sandwiches for the next day’s lunches. Rinsed out the popcorn bowls, took meat out of the freezer for supper the following evening, checked the cereal box levels, filled the sugar container, put spoons and bowls on the table and started the coffee pot for brewing the next morning.

She then put some wet clothes in the dryer, put a load of clothes into the washer, ironed a shirt and secured a loose button. She picked up the game pieces left on the table, put the phone back on the charger and put the telephone book into the drawer. She watered the plants, emptied a wastebasket and hung up a towel to dry.

She yawned and stretched and headed for the bedroom. She stopped by the desk and wrote a note to the teacher, counted out some cash for the field trip, and pulled a text book out from hiding under the chair. She signed a birthday card for a friend, addressed and stamped the envelope and wrote a quick note for the grocery store. She put both near her purse.

Mom then washed her face with 3 in 1 cleanser, put on her Night solution & age- fighting moisturizer, brushed and flossed her teeth and filed her nails.

Dad called out, ‘I thought you were going to bed.’ ‘I’m on my way,’ she said.

She put some water into the dog’s dish and put the cat outside, then made sure the doors were locked and the patio light was on. She looked in on each of the kids and turned out their bedside lamps and TV’s, hung up a shirt, threw some dirty socks into the hamper, and had a brief conversation with the one up still doing homework.

In her own room, she set the alarm; laid out clothing for the next day, straightened up the shoe rack. She added three things to her 6 most important things to do list She said her prayers, and visualized the accomplishment of her goals.

About that time, Dad turned off the TV and announced to no one in particular. ‘I’m going to bed.’ And he did…without another thought.