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crying toddler- concerned neighbor

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My next door neighbor has a toddler, I think he is two, and ever since I moved in (4 months ago) he has had crying fits that last for hours. I have confronted her on two occasions to ask if anything is wrong but I am concerned that her behavior is neglectful. I am not a parent but I think that letting a child scream for hours at a time without comforting him seems to go beyond letting him "cry it out." Is my concern warranted and should I involve the authorities?
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replied October 14th, 2009
Community Volunteer
I think it's best to stay out of the picture and not get involved unless you actually see something going on that warrants a call. Social Services can be a scary thing for parents who are really trying the best they can. Some children can scream for long periods of time because of their age and disposition, and it isn't the parent's fault. Sometimes mental illness can cause this and make a parent too embarrassed to talk about it...you never know.

However....

I admit it does seem a little out of the ordinary. So this women said that everything is ok or did she have an explanation for what was going on...like, oh he doesn't want to take a nap, or he was being punished in his room because he hit his sister...?

You can also offer your help to babysit (or lend a hand with) the child to give her a ten minute break from the screaming which would get on anyone's nerves. This would enable you to get an inside peek to see what's really going on if she allowed you to help out a bit.
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replied November 9th, 2009
Toddler Always Crying
Depending on the relationship that the parent may have with the neighbour, I don't think parents are obligated to explain to their neighbours what is causing their toddler to have a crying fit. Toddlers cry inconsolably at times. My daughter will be two years in the next two weeks and we just moved into a new neighbourhood. I am convinced that the neighbours think that she is being abused, I would think the same thing if I were on the outside looking in. But if there is no reason to suspect abuse, keep out of it.

My toddler throws a tantrum and goes into a crying fit before bath time in the morning and before bedtime like clock work.... screaming and dramatic wails that would set any concerned neighbour into action... Furthermore, there is now a newborn in the house so my toddler is really acting up, some people may understand the dynamics of raising toddlers, others dont.
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replied November 9th, 2009
Extremely eHealthy
Crying is a natural behavior for a child and it has a lot of causes. Hearing it an imagining a cause is not the same as knowing what's going on with the child next door. I wouldn't call CPS based on crying but it's a very valid reason to pay attention to what's going on next door.

Also while children aren't easilly controlled you do have a right to some quiet. If the crying is constant or occurs at inappropriate hours with no sign that the mother is able to stop it don't feel that you have no right to do anything about it. File a complaint with the apparment manager or home owner's association.
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replied April 11th, 2011
screaming child
See i have a two year old and he has lungs ... i want to believe nothings wrong with him .. he cries about everything i get told its always something diffrent like, hes adhd or mabey he has autism or maybe he genius, how ever i have my opinions. he will get so frustrated if i cant tell what he wants or he will scream in the middle of the night ... my biggest thing is if i say no to him he will let on ... if he can't have what he wants he will let you know how he feels can some one tell me what is going on, I mean he talks he walks he is slightly potty trained he has and imaginary friend ( wich is normal at 2) don't let some one tell you different.... i was always a little strict but now its all about how much he can make mom over the edge. Please some one help me !!!!
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replied April 11th, 2011
screaming child
See i have a two year old and he has lungs ... i want to believe nothings wrong with him .. he cries about everything i get told its always something diffrent like, hes adhd or mabey he has autism or maybe he genius, how ever i have my opinions. he will get so frustrated if i cant tell what he wants or he will scream in the middle of the night ... my biggest thing is if i say no to him he will let on ... if he can't have what he wants he will let you know how he feels can some one tell me what is going on, I mean he talks he walks he is slightly potty trained he has and imaginary friend ( wich is normal at 2) don't let some one tell you different.... i was always a little strict but now its all about how much he can make mom over the edge. Please some one help me !!!!
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replied May 3rd, 2011
Really only you can answer that because there could be something going on and if something happpends to thatchild you dont want to feel like what if i had step in and help on the other hand just keep an eye on things if you see the mother and child together getting social service invole wont really help if you dont have proof thats just hear say try to form a bond with the mother sometimes we women just need to talk to someone in case shes a stay at home mom i hope i was some help to you.
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