Antivaxxer Mom Keeps Her Kids Malnourished, Goes Berserk When She Learns Her Niece Has Been Secretly Feeding Them
Every parent has the right to raise their kids their own way, right? Well, if they set unhealthy rules that lead to dire consequences, that should not be the case. While some may still say it’s not our place to dictate how moms and dads should do their job, Reddit user throwaway20030420 couldn’t just stand by and do nothing.
When her aunt, who is a “self-proclaimed hippie”, lost her job half a year ago, the 18-year-old was put in charge of looking after the little ones. Even though she obeyed the rules at first, the woman changed her opinion after witnessing how they affected her cousins: “They never had enough energy to do anything, didn’t want to run or play like most kids their age and just looked miserable in general.”
So she decided to take action. The woman secretly tweaked their diet and saw how the children started changing for the better. Everything seemed to go smoothly until one day, the aunt found out and completely lost it. But it turns out it was only the beginning of this whole family drama. Read on to find out how the story unfolded.
A woman recently turned to the AITA subreddit to ask whether she was wrong to go against her aunt’s rules while babysitting her cousins
Image credits: Kelly Sikkema (not the actual photo)
The 18 Y.O. couldn’t stand seeing how the kids are deprived of food and medical assistance, so she decided to take action
After the post received a lot of attention, the woman shared more details about the situation
Later on, she added she was able to locate the kids’ dad
Image credits: throwaway20030420
To learn more about the challenges babysitters face and how to respond to them, we reached out to Bethany, a professional nanny based in the UK. “Caring for somebody else’s children is a huge privilege and responsibility. It becomes even more complex when caring for close family and friends, as this removes the professional barrier,” she told Bored Panda.
She explained that ultimately, nannies must respect their employers’ wishes. “If there are legitimate safeguarding concerns, these should be raised with the parents and, if appropriate, with your local safeguarding team.”
However, Bethany argued that in this particular situation, there are many complexities. “Firstly, the person was not employed or working under any contract — they were simply carrying out a favor for a family member. Secondly, the author does not appear to have any training or qualifications, hence they did not know how to manage the situation.”
According to the professional nanny, ideally, the author should have followed these steps:
- Notice issues, and collect evidence (photos, videos, observations, etc.)
- Have a professional conversation with the parents, presenting their observations and, where possible, sharing best practices, local guidelines, and legislation
- Notify the parent that you have a legal duty of care towards the children and their well being
- Should you have further concerns, you can contact the NSPCC or your local child protection services for advice
“Raising a safeguarding concern is an uncomfortable situation, however, it is the right thing to do,” Bethany said and added that it is still never a nanny’s place to make parenting decisions on behalf of or without consulting the parents.
People agreed the mother’s actions were extremely harmful, here’s what they had to say
Ellen Smith, a clinical associate professor and child welfare training coordinator at the University of Wisconsin, told Fatherly that Child Protective Services (CPS) “has the power to intervene in one of the most fundamental relationships that Americans have: the right for parents to make decisions about how to take care of their own children.”
Smith stated that calling CPS is necessary for some situations, and explained the top three reasons when to do it. The first one is physical abuse. “Does the child have signs of injury or do you believe there’s an imminent threat of violence?” Then, sexual abuse: “Have you seen certain behavioral signs, such as flinching or raising of hands in a defensive manner?”
The last reason is neglect. She suggested raising these questions: “Does the child live in an unlivable environment? Are they left alone for long periods of time without proper care?” When it comes to neglect, other signs to look out for are noticing whether the child has been harmed, if the person who is legally responsible failed to provide a minimal degree of care, and if that failure caused harm or impairment to the child.
The professor also stressed that while some behaviors can be misleading, they should still be reported. You see, it’s not a caller’s job to determine whether abuse or neglect occurred. Their main task is to provide observations and information to CPS that helps social workers. So whenever you believe there’s a legitimate reason (and solid evidence) to call CPS, do so, so the experts themselves can determine whether the child’s living conditions are severe enough to warrant intervention.