Has the boy's father always acted this way toward this child, or is this something recent?
It doesn't sound like the child has had much opportunity to think about his preferences, let alone voice them. Maybe his mother doesn't talk with him much either.
Just ignore hawkeye, he's an idiot!!
You are doing wonders for that boy, believe me! I just don't understand how any parent can ignore their child(ren) to this extend. Eating a burrito in front of the kid while he has to watch and not have had anything decent to eat the entire day is borderline abuse.
Kids look up to their parents, they want their validation, their love and their attention, they're emotionally starving if they get neither. In this case, the poor boy is malnourished on top of it. The damage it will do to his health will be apparent in the years to come.
Things like this make me so angry - for everything you need a license these days, except for bringing children into this world.
I'm glad to hear it. I really cannot stand to hear about child neglect. Maybe coming from a "friend" something will get through.
see you know how to go about handling jerks - butter them up a bit.
I agree. I think in general people shouldn't try to tell others how to raise their kids, especially when they don't have kids themselves (like me!) So I got on the forum instead to ask. I've just never seen this behavior from a parent before, and I used to teach, tutor and provide personal childcare. Thanks for being the devil's advocate, though, because if I was wrong I'd like to know it before I stuck my nose in!
Likewise I need to be reasonably sure that interferrence into the family and personal freedom is justified before I advocate such action. Now that you have provided more information I can fully support your getting involved here, though not to the extent that you sic the state on them. You have lots of choices besides calling CPS, and I am thrilled that you are trying a few.
Jesus Christ, the kid is EIGHT YEARS OLD!, plenty old enough to look after himself during the day. Dad not being full time playmate to his 8 YO does not make him a bad dad. Hopefully the mom and everyone else is smart enough to ignore this busybody roommates GF. I am however not optimistic that they will.
Hawkeye, whilst I agree that 8 years of age is not as bad as 3 years of age, although I am betting the Father would do the same thing in any case. Doesn't the kid deserve to eat properly? Doesn't both children deserve to use toilet paper and flush it away, as aposed to paper towels, left in a garbage bin, which is un-hygenic? Doesn't the boy deserve to not sit for 5 hours a day, in a room, watching TV, rather learn some lessons of life, see some things in life? And, does a little boy deserve to be left in danger, playing with microwaves, possibly putting a tin in there if he found one, thinking it's "ok" possibly walking on a rusted nail as it's not fixed whilst he explores the basement..
He's a kid that will become a loner and could be in danger and certainly is eating crap.. You can justify this ? Really?
He could already be a loner, and is in his current set up because he asked for it, we don't currently know. However, if I were living in that house I damn well would find out.
Yes, very impressed with everything you've said so far about how you're handling this, savari07.
Any progress in discussions with the boy's dad?
I know I am going to sound like David here, but the person to talk to first is the boy.
It sounds like she has been, actually. With the clinging etc. it seems pretty obvious how the boy feels about it all.
Plus she relayed some conversations where it sounded like he wasn't exactly forthcoming. It's tricky to talk about it more explicitly with a kid that young, if they don't just volunteer info. It can be done, carefully, but I do think that since the dad is in the picture the logical next step is to talk to him and see where things go.
It's always about gathering more information in order to try to ascertain how to help or what opinion to offer, glad you were given more info. He could be, but honestly, usually that's the parents fault for making him spend hours upon hours alone. Sure does sound that way, the kid is clinging to this woman who understands children from her employment... It's quite sad really. So, I think we do know a little there H... I think she is magic for doing exactly that, establishing.
Or / and, kids sometimes will lie. What if he sees the OP as a Mother figure better than her own Mother. He may lie in order to ensure he stays there and his Dad is not taken away as that means that he will not see her again.
Update on the whole situation.
My boyfriend talked to the dad, pretty intensely, and then told me what happened. What really brought on my boyfriend speaking to the dad was yesterday, because the dad said "Fix your eye" again to the kid. My boyfriend hadn't heard this before and it got him extremely angry because his father was abusive, which I'd already known, and he'd do the same kind of thing to my boyfriend. My boyfriend was pigeon-toed when he was younger, and apparently when his feet turned in, his father would either kick him in the ass, hit him, or shout at him to "walk straight." So I guess when he heard the roommate snapping at the little boy about his lazy eye it really got to him, because it's basically making the kid feel wrong and ashamed for something he can't control. The dad doesn't know that, naturally, but that's why he finally had to talk to him, I suppose. I didn't know all this until yesterday, and we weren't planning on approaching the dad yet until this happened.
Anyway, they had a long conversation while the boy and I stayed out on the porch. My bf basically told him everything I've told you guys on the forum and asked him "don't you want your son to have a better life than you did?" From what my boyfriend says, the roommate gave kind of a half-hearted "I guess" (which I have my own problem with, but we won't go there).
When my boyfriend started laying out everything about the son being ignored and the 'fix your eye' stuff, the dad actually started crying and didn't say much. In the end they hugged and assured each other they were still friends, and we basically told him we're here to help, he just needs to ask us if he needs it. He's been pretty close to the kid since then, still kind of unsure I think, but later yesterday we started a water gun fight and the dad even joined in!
I'm hoping it's more than just immediate aftermath of my boyfriend's talk, and that he's going to start implementing changes. We'll see what today brings, I suppose.
Thank you all so much for your help, I was at a loss for a long time and it's refreshing to have it out in the open with the dad. I'm also glad I wasn't the one to talk to him - I'm sure it was received better by my bf, who's been his friend for so long.
I hope this is the start of a better life for all.
Thanks so much for the update.
Lots of encouraging news there.
Sounds like your boyfriend handled his side of things really well, too! That's a difficult conversation to have, tough balance. Sounds like he really got through to his friend, though. The watergun fight is awesome. Hope things continue to improve....
I'd imagine that clinging to the one other human being that has shown some interest would indicate otherwise (that the kid isn't a loner).
yeah - I'm so happy! Thank you both for helping this child. It is small steps, but just think you both may have had a huge impact in a child's life.
If I was there, I'd give you both a big hug.
I'm hoping it's more than just immediate aftermath of my boyfriend's talk, and that he's going to start implementing changes.
I hope so too, and it sounds like a promising start.
Hearing these things from such an old friend probably did make a difference for this father, and it does sound as if he was moved by what he heard if he began crying. I'm so glad your boyfriend finally had that long conversation with him.
No one should ever ignore it when they witness a child being mistreated or neglected or abused, but sometimes it is hard to know what to do or how to intervene. I'm glad you were able to find a way to address the issue with this parent, and that's the first step in helping to improve his treatment of his son. Let's hope the father can continue to take positive steps on his own.
You are a very caring, and kind, and compassionate person, savari07, and what you have already done for this little boy is very admirable. People like you restore my faith in human beings. It's been a pleasure to meet you.
Isn't this such a nice story to end the week on. Every time I open it up to read, it makes me cry a bit.
This may actually be very good for the dad too. He will likely find something special and special moments now, that he would never have experienced before.
I think you likely helped two people.
I had a very similar thought, Linkat, that the father has been missing out on being able to find pleasures, and rewards, in his relationship with his son. He's been depriving himself as well as his child. I also hope that greater, and more positive, involvement with his son will be good for him as well and will bring him special moments to enhance his life.