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Advice needed re: parent's possible drink problem

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by edenhendry, Apr 26, 2011.

  1. Okay, I am in a dilemma as to what to do. This is a specific situation, and I need advice from you guys as you aren't involved in this as I am.
    My daughter had a friend over last weekend (they are 7 yo). The friend's parents were 20 minutes late collecting her so I was a bit peeved anyway. They had been at the pub across the road (literally) and didn't realise what the time was.
    Whilst I was waiting for them to turn up, their daughter said to me out of the blue (no leading questions asked) "They've probably forgotten about me again. They always do when they are drunk. Mum stopped drinking red wine as it made her puke, soo now she drinks white wine".
    When they turned up, they were tiddly but not staggeringly drunk. However, they thought being late was a bit of a joke and weren't apologetic at all. (so I've already got my back up!)
    On the face of it, I'd probably wouldnt think anymore of it. However, her mum has just been banned for 2 years for drink driving a couple of months ago. I also know that a couple of years ago, she was put in police cells overnight for punching her husband repeatedly whilst they were both drunk.
    I don't socialise with the parents, so I can't comment anymore on it. I also realise that when a young child says something happens "all the time" it may have only happened once.
    My question is, should I approach someone about my daughter's friend's comments? Is it something I should pass on to their class teacher? Or would this be over-reacting? Should I just brush over the whole event? Is it a school matter at all?
    Very confused, and hope you can help.
  2. Firstly a question- if you (god forbid) hear in the future that something happened to this child because of her parents drinking and you hadnt told anyone about your concerns could you live with yourself? coz i dont think i could.
    It's a difficult situation but if someone doesnt say something then nothing will be done. You can ring social services and voice a concern or the nspcc but that may be too far if you dont know something is happening. Find out who is incharge of child protection at the school and ask if you can have a word. school will then keep an eye out and if they are concerned too will be able to flag it to the relevent people. If the situation is serious they are often already aware and no one else needs to know you are involved if it's just the child exaggerating.
    good luck i hope things work out
  3. I would phone the NSPCC and talk to someone there. It's better to be safe than sorry.
  4. I would speak to the CPO at the child's school.
  5. Thanks for your advice. I know as a TA, I wouldn't think it odd if another parent came to me to voice concerns about a child - but I just felt a bit weird about doing it myself.
    It may well be nothing, but you are right, if there is a problem school will probably have an inkling already.
    I'm going to have a quiet chat with class teacher this afternoon to let him know what the child said, and then I've done what I can.
    I feel bad in case there isn't an issue, and I've just blackened the parent's name, though. Fingers crossed I won't look like some deranged woman tittle tattling!
    Thanks again. x
  6. I found myself in a similar situation a number of years ago with a neighbour. I did tell the school, but it was at a time when this type of concern was not 'followed through'. These days concerns are manadatorally reported to the correct agencies. It's about voicing your concerns and allowing the next person in the pecking order to make the appropriate call. You can only do your best. remember it's the kids you are concerned about .. the agencies can give their support. At the very least the parents may get the wake up call they need to recognise there is a problem.
  7. Nobody ever said anything about my mum's drinking to the right people and she was so damn good at hiding it when she neede to-though that was back in the day. I spent yrs being emotionally abused (wouldnt admit this to you if this wasnt anonymous) until I had a child of my own and knew I had to cut her out of my life to protect him from the same thing,yet still struggle with self esteem issues to this day. Tittletattle? Please do.

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