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View Full Version : Helped a little girl tonight, feel bad that I did it...Not feeling so bad anymore :)


bailsmom
11-18-2008, 12:06 AM
So DH and I are out walking our dog tonight as we do every night and we have a system that DH runs around the block one way and I go the opposite and we meet in the middle and walk the rest of the way home. We usually meet up at this certain street and head home, only tonight he didn't go the usual way he goes so we ended up meeting a block sooner than normal. Now we sometimes take this block but only once in a blue moon. So he meets up with us and we head down the street.

We almost get the end of the block when we hear this little voice calling for her dad to let her in the house. Odd, quite odd. So, being a woman, I of course stop and listen again. She's banging on the door and calling for her dad to open up the door. Now we can't see her as the house is a 3 family and the back porches are enclosed. She keeps banging and we keep waiting for the door to open, it doesn't. So we sit and wait for about a minute and a half and then my 'instincts' kick in and I start to wonder if she's got a coat on. She didn't.

So I hand the dog off to my DH and head up the steps, calling out to her if she was okay and needed any help. She was up on the 2nd floor and I start walking up the stairs and she peeks down and tells me she's okay but her dad doesn't hear her. So I get up to her, she's not even 7 years old, it's 30 degrees out, wind blowing and she's standing there banging on the door in her sock-footed feet and just a bath robe on over her jammies.

Oy, my goodness I almost took my coat off and wrapped her in it. So I ask her again if she's okay and she says yes, that her Dad was in another room on the computer. So I open the screen door and bang quite hard on the storm, which opens immediately as it wasn't closed to begin with. She just couldn't open the screen door. I think height was an issue. So the door opens and I scoot her inside and the dog greets me with a tail wag and I panic thinking it's going to bite me, then.....her Dad walks into the kitchen.

He looks at me like I'm a criminal. So I quickly explain that we were walking our dog and we heard her calling for him to open the door and waited and that's why I'm standing there on his porch. He doesn't believe me. I explain again and he looks at his daughter and says "Kayla, are you serious"? He was in shock which I totally understand. So I say my goodbye's and we continue on our walk.

Here's where I feel bad, I feel like I did something wrong. I keep telling myself that I did the right thing, but at the same time there's this nagging feeling that I shouldn't have done it. But we couldn't just walk away and let a little girl cry for her Dad in the cold. I knew he knew I wasn't lying when he looked at her face when he asked if she was really on the porch. That's why I left. I get the whole "OMG there's a total stranger in my open doorway claiming my daughter was out on the porch in the dark", but if I were a 'bad person' would I have knocked as loudly as I did? He was there in like 3 seconds.

Did I do the right thing? If DH hadn't changed his route we never would have gone down that street. I hate that I feel this way. I did something good and I feel bad. Did I do the right thing?

saracidaltendencies
11-18-2008, 12:15 AM
You 100% did the right thing. Just think of how much time might have actually passed had you not heard that poor thing, and, what could have happened. I'm sure it was a shock to him, but possibly more so because, it seems, he had no idea the little girl was even out of the house!

All that matters is you know your intentions, and, that girl is safe in her home. I'm sure her father talked to her more about what happened and the girl told him exactly what happened. He should be grateful you happened to hear her!

Gertie
11-18-2008, 12:28 AM
Inserting oneself into other's affairs is very uncomfortable for some. Perhaps that's why you feel bad. Perhaps you just were outside your comfort zone. You assisted a child in need. You did right. Good job.

MoniDew
11-18-2008, 12:32 AM
TOTALLY, TOTALLY, TOTALLY!!!!!

You did the right thing! Any time you take care of a child's needs, you do the right thing. She would have stood there forever knocking, unable to let herself in, with her dad not hearing! YOU DID THE RIGHT THING. :grphug:
________
Headshop (http://headshop.net/)

Jan in CA
11-18-2008, 12:59 AM
Being a protective mom I can understand the dad's point of view, however you did do the right thing! I would go over another time during the day and speak to him. Acknowledge his fears and then tell him that being a mom you were concerned when you heard a child crying out for a parent so you went to see if she was okay and that you just wanted to help. He may still be weird, but in the light of day and a few days thought he should be okay and feel good that there are good people in the world.

ArtLady1981
11-18-2008, 01:00 AM
Based upon where I live, after ascertaining that the child was young and no coat...I would have dialed 911 and let the police handle the 2nd part. I would have waited on the sidewalk until the police arrived.

Let the Dad explain himself to the cops.

The cops may or may not turn the case over to Social Services who are trained to handle family crisis or just bad parenting. The family may have a record with Social Services. You may not be the first Good Samaritan to report the Dad or parents.

And if nothing is wrong with the whole situation, simply being a thing that can happen to anyone...then the Dad is still "on notice" regarding his child.

And, let me not get shot by a nutty, maybe drugged-out, or drunk, irate Dad.

Ronda
11-18-2008, 10:02 AM
I think you did the right thing.

dustinac
11-18-2008, 10:06 AM
:hug: You did the right thing!! :hug:

bailsmom
11-18-2008, 10:21 AM
Thanks everyone for your reasurrances, it means a lot. Really, it does. I still feel a little off about the whole situation, but knowing you all would have done the same makes it a lot less confusing for me. :hug:

Abbily
11-18-2008, 10:56 AM
Inserting oneself into other's affairs is very uncomfortable for some. Perhaps that's why you feel bad. Perhaps you just were outside your comfort zone. You assisted a child in need. You did right. Good job.

I think Gertie said it exactly right. You ABSOLUTELY did the right thing. As a parent, I would initially be pretty surprised by the situation, too. That's natural. But it doesn't mean you did anything wrong. It's just the way of things. Perhaps the dad is an introvert and not good at talking to strangers- especially unexpectedly like that. He was probably also feeling bad about his little girl being stuck outside in the cold. I think you did fine, though. I think these days, people are surprised when a stranger offers help.

nephthys8
11-18-2008, 11:06 AM
You absolutely did the right thing! I know that I would be freaked out if some stranger had poked their head in my door, but that poor little girl must have been very cold and scared. The dad will get over it--the important thing is that the little girl is safe and warm because of you.

Crycket
11-18-2008, 11:14 AM
You did the right thing for sure....

I am so sad that the world is the way it is sometimes....If you are in a teaching or educational environment and a child is crying, you are not to hug them, if you see an emergency...you are to call the authorities...

They are really signs of the times...yes there are exceptions to every rule, and perhaps they are all necessary precautions, but sometimes it breaks my heart....

I was told by someone recently that there is even a thing as third party sexual harrassment....meaning that even though there maybe, for an example, two ppl consentually hugging...a third person viewing it all may feel uncomfortable by it...where does it stop?

Last year or so I stopped to help an old lady on a country road, her car had broken down and houses are fairly spaced out there. She accepted a ride back to her house, and was greatful for it, but I couldn't help thinking in the back of my mind that maybe it was a bad idea....maybe she would think I was an abductor, maybe she would hijack me....I mean both of them really horrible to think....in the end...she got back to her house safe and sound...and I went on my way feeling good, but still feeling like I was lucky that nothing bad happened....*sigh*

Yes....you did the right thing.....!

stitchwitch
11-18-2008, 11:28 AM
You did the right thing. I, myself would have gone the route that Artlady said but I think it boils down to my past experiences with things like that.

Simply_Renee
11-18-2008, 12:41 PM
100% the right thing, and thank you for not taking her and calling the police.

I know what I am talking about here.

Feb 1, 2007
I went to my folk dance group as usual. I took my daughter, my almost 4 yr old son wasn't ready to go in time and I left him at home with his dad. After class we went to Walmart to pick up cat litter & a few other things- it was 10 something at night.

I get a call from my husband who is screaming and crying that my son is gone- that some lady put him in her car and drove away. I am seriously panicking, and ran out of the store. I called 911- then called my husband back while we are frantically driving home. He said the woman came to the door, asked if we had a redheaded boy & where was he. My husband replied- "in his bed!" She said no he isn't, you're a sh*tty dad! When ran to his bed (he had put him down an hour before and had gone to bed himself.)- my son was gone, and she was driving away. (My son had showed her where he lived.) Thank goodness she stopped and picked him up- but she obviously freaked out.

It turns out- my son went looking for me because he wanted to go to class. It was 30 degrees out, he was barefooted, in his jammies and had gone up my street and down another! She said to the police (I never talked to her) that she found him in the road and almost hit him with the car. (this is still really hard to talk about)

911 said the police had him- 2 cops showed up and were complete dicks. I asked where he was- I was really still freaking out but trying to keep calm)- turns out he was being held up the street. They told me I didn't need to be worried about him being driven around without a car seat, ( I didn't know if he was 7 miles away at the station or what- we live way out in the county) that I needed to be concerned about him being outside like that. (are you kidding me- I was completely horrified- worse than I have EVER been in my life!) They brought him back.

I had to explain everything to the detective who called my work the next day, who told me it had been reported to Child Protective Services but he would call them and explain.

Next thing you know, CPS is leaving notes on the door trying to catch us home. We got investigated. (I am a Girl Scout leader, for crying out loud! I understand but it was terrible to go through.) The investigator was right out of college. I relaxed a little when she told me her brother did the same thing at the same age- but back then people just brought kids back home.

Whew. Needless to say- we deadbolt lock him in every night now. He is 5, and hasn't tried to get back outside, but he LOVED riding in the police car, and doesn't seem to have been afraid at all. He still talks about it. He just said "I was out looking for you, mom.)

I have about 20 gray hairs now.

Now that I have read all the responses- let me say I definitely advocate stepping in and helping kids. But be careful not to jump the gun. I could have had my kids taken away while they figured out if it was neglect or not. They came to talk to my daughter (she was 11 then) at school. I spent the night for 2 nights lying in front of the door to make sure he didn't try it again before we could get the deadbolt with the inside lock (with a key- we had the turn kind that he had climbed up on a chair and opened.) We are very caring and helpful parents who volunteer in the community, don't take drugs, etc. This situation made our life a living hell for weeks. (although I am thankful because it could have been much, much worse.)

bailsmom
11-18-2008, 01:46 PM
Thanks for your story Renee.

See, that's why I didn't call the police. I thought about the ramifications of that phone call and I just didn't feel the urgency to make a call that could have made his life quite difficult. If the situation had been different, her walking in the road calling for him, then I would have called the cops. But he was genuinely shocked that she was outside on the porch. I'm a good 'people-reader', actually very good, and he just didn't come across like a drunk or crappy dad.

Yes, I know there are people out there who con others all the time, but that isn't this situation. She didn't act scared of him he didn't grab her or anything like that. He was genuinely shocked that she was out there. And I really hate that I feel like I did do the right thing, yet at the same time I don't. I do know if I had left her out there I would have never fell asleep last night. So I guess I did do the right thing. I'm sure this naggy feeling will go away soon.

And I do get the whole shocked thing of a stranger standing on your porch and all, I do. I'm not saying he did anything wrong, but I still hate that he made me feel this way. I know I would have reacted the same way he did. I hate the way the world is now. You know, 20 yrs ago you could help someone's kid and not think twice about it and now you can't.

zkimom
11-18-2008, 02:18 PM
Based upon where I live, after ascertaining that the child was young and no coat...I would have dialed 911 and let the police handle the 2nd part. I would have waited on the sidewalk until the police arrived.

Let the Dad explain himself to the cops.

The cops may or may not turn the case over to Social Services who are trained to handle family crisis or just bad parenting. The family may have a record with Social Services. You may not be the first Good Samaritan to report the Dad or parents.

And if nothing is wrong with the whole situation, simply being a thing that can happen to anyone...then the Dad is still "on notice" regarding his child.

And, let me not get shot by a nutty, maybe drugged-out, or drunk, irate Dad.

I understand you did say that your reply was based on where you live but it still raised my hackles a bit. I'm not attacking your answer in any way but responding because of two things that happened to me.

First, when my son was about 4 or so, he managed to get locked outside of the house in his pjs on a pretty cold morning. It was a long time ago so I don't remember the details but I think he thought his dad was out in our studio and went out to see him. The door locked behind him and we didn't hear him calling to us because we were in upstairs and in another part of the house. We finally did hear him and let him inside. He was cold but none the worse for wear.

Not a family crisis or even bad parenting. Just what sometimes happens when you have a little kid around.

The second thing that happened was when someone (I'm pretty sure it was my dd's nursery school teacher) decided that she was going to teach me a lesson for a disagreement we had. She made an anonymous call to social services and accused me of abusing my dd (she was maybe 3 1/2 at the time.) It was a malicious act but one that will follow me for the rest of my life.

You see, once you have an active file with Social Services, even if there is no basis to the case and it goes inactive, it can get brought up at any time. Say my dd manages to break an arm and I have to go to the ER. There is the possibility that the ER doc will check me out and my file will come up. Despite the fact that there was no evidence of abuse, they will know that someone accused me once of having abused my dd and it will be an issue despite the fact that the case was closed.

I started writing this post before I got a chance to read Renee's story but my experience was similar to hers in that we also had to endure months of hell after Social Services got involved.

So intervening on the behalf of the child was the right thing to do for sure. I also think you did the right thing in handling it yourself and not calling the authorities to step in. It would have been a different story if you had seen obvious signs that there was something amiss.

Best,
Susan

Simply_Renee
11-18-2008, 03:24 PM
But he was genuinely shocked that she was outside on the porch. I'm a good 'people-reader', actually very good, and he just didn't come across like a drunk or crappy dad.

Now that he has had a little time to think about it he probably doesn't feel the same way. I think he felt threatened and surprised. I know I felt very upset at the woman who took my son in her car- but I quickly realized she was scared and just reacting.

You definitely did the right thing- and I bet dad realizes it now.

Simply_Renee
11-18-2008, 03:28 PM
You see, once you have an active file with Social Services, even if there is no basis to the case and it goes inactive, it can get brought up at any time.

Exactly. Not to mention that as the detective called my job- everyone found out there. I thought it was better to tell them once the call came in- so they wouldn't suspect worse. Also- my daughters school was notified to pull her out of class- and they probably couldn't tell her teacher why. So now they know we were investigated, but don't know what happened and suspect the worst. I also had to notify Girl Scouts as I work with children and am background checked. I thought I would lose my troop possibly- and I wasn't even home when this all happened!

My poor husband has beat himself to death over it. And it wasn't neglectful, and could happen to anyone. I wasn't mad at him.

Susan thanks for sharing your story too.

Luvmyrottnboy
11-18-2008, 03:48 PM
Oh gosh! Every little kid has done that, but these days it can get parents in huge trouble.

This past summer my tenant's little 3 year old daughter walked out of the house at 6:00 AM. Long stort short, my dog was instrumental and discovering this and finding her.

Because my dog is a Rottweiler folks were telling me to call the media because Rotties get such a bad rap and my Cyrus is a hero, etc.

NO WAY! I know my tenants are loving, responsible parents and it would have hurt them.

Mike
11-18-2008, 03:58 PM
Now that he has had a little time to think about it he probably doesn't feel the same way. I think he felt threatened and surprised. I know I felt very upset at the woman who took my son in her car- but I quickly realized she was scared and just reacting.

You definitely did the right thing- and I bet dad realizes it now.
I would've pushed it so far that she would have a kidnapping of a child investigation on her rap sheet. If the locals wouldn't have done it I would've went to the FBI.
Once she went to your door she turned it from being a good samaritan into being malicious and since she knew your husband thought the kid was in bed she was being malicious without reason.
There's no reason you should be the only one who gets punished for her stupidity.

You do know that the type of deadbolt you got is not recommended because in the case of fire you're locked in don't you?
You should leave the key in them in a residence which defeats your purpose.
Perhaps a chain would be a better idea.

Abbily
11-18-2008, 04:05 PM
I have to agree with Mike- and I would never call 911 in a situation like that without good cause. I too have seen, though thankfully not personally experienced, the havoc that it can cause to an innocent family.

Simply_Renee
11-18-2008, 04:12 PM
I would've pushed it so far that she would have a kidnapping of a child investigation on her rap sheet. If the locals wouldn't have done it I would've went to the FBI.
Once she went to your door she turned it from being a good samaritan into being malicious and since she knew your husband thought the kid was in bed she was being malicious without reason.
There's no reason you should be the only one who gets punished for her stupidity.

You do know that the type of deadbolt you got is not recommended because in the case of fire you're locked in don't you?
You should leave the key in them in a residence which defeats your purpose.
Perhaps a chain would be a better idea.

The police wouldn't tell me who she was. I was so happy to have him back I didn't pursue it.

I have the exact same qualms about a fire. We keep the key on a bookshelf right by the front door that everyone in the house (except him) knows where it is. We've always had a chain really high up on the door but he can undo it (plus it wasn't locked that night because I was still out.) It's a real conundrum- have to make sure he stays in (and perhaps now he has enough sense NOT to leave like that again) but still be able to get out. We have smoke detectors & a fire extiguisher- but I still worry.

Sunshine's Mom
11-18-2008, 04:23 PM
Based upon where I live, after ascertaining that the child was young and no coat...I would have dialed 911 and let the police handle the 2nd part. I would have waited on the sidewalk until the police arrived.

Let the Dad explain himself to the cops.

The cops may or may not turn the case over to Social Services who are trained to handle family crisis or just bad parenting. The family may have a record with Social Services. You may not be the first Good Samaritan to report the Dad or parents.

And if nothing is wrong with the whole situation, simply being a thing that can happen to anyone...then the Dad is still "on notice" regarding his child.

And, let me not get shot by a nutty, maybe drugged-out, or drunk, irate Dad.

This is what I was thinking. I don't think you did anything wrong, but I would have worried about what that little girl was walking back into. Why was she in her jammies and robe with no shoes on? Did he put her out of the house like that on purpose? Now, we weren't there so we don't know exactly how he reacted, but, in the future, I'd call the cops and wait until they show up and keep an ear out to make sure she's still banging and yelling and not huddled up in the cold on the porch.

Renee and Susan, I feel really bad for what you went through (and I agree with Mike that I would pressed charges against that woman who came to your house - unbelievable!), but you just never know these days. I trust that this dad was shocked that his daughter was outside, but it still makes me wonder. I might have questioned the little girl a little longer before I knocked on the door. It is a sign of the times that some of us react this way (getting the law involved), but it's not easy to be a good samaritan anymore. If you stop on the road and try to help someone out of a burning car and they get hurt, they can turn around and sue you. No "thanks for saving my life", but a lawsuit! Is it worth it when I can dial 911 and protect myself and someone else?

ArtLady1981
11-18-2008, 04:41 PM
Hi Bailsmom! :waving:

I should also add that I think YOU did what was right for you and the circumstances that you were faced with at that time!

You acted prudently, and you acted from your heart. :heart:

God Bless You! :hug:

Hugs,

Artlady

OffJumpsJack
11-18-2008, 05:22 PM
I quickly explain that we were walking our dog and we heard her calling for him to open the door and waited and that's why I'm standing there on his porch. He doesn't believe me. I explain again and he looks at his daughter and says "Kayla, are you serious"? He was in shock which I totally understand. So I say my goodbye's and we continue on our walk.

....

Did I do the right thing?

**
Bailsmom,

What you did was more right than wrong. It seems to have an acceptable outcome. I don't know what I would have done in the same situation. You deserve a thank you, but also a caution.

You didn't know or follow the first rule of a fist responder. "Make sure the area is safe before you enter or you may become the next victim."

I don't think anyone has yet given the best answer, but ArtLady had the closest start. Next time, call 911 but assume there maybe someone in the house that may need help.

First, you didn't know the child or the people at the address. It could have gone so wrong. Perhaps the risk was small, you sensed some risk, that is why you were cautious. I believe you judged the greater risk was to the child if you had walked away and no-one else had heard her.

What if the father was hurt and couldn't respond?
What if the "Dad" wasn't her real father, but had abducted her long ago?
What if the child had returned to the wrong door?
What if it had been a crack house?
What if the dog had been protective and taught to defend the owners or home?
What if dad simply had not heard her over the sounds in the house, or if dad was deaf?
What if dad expected his young daughter to be in bed and not outside?

There were so many "what if" that could have had terrible cosequences.

You were brave and knocked. The dog was friendly. The dad was surprised, but did not react with anger or violence. Was the child safe? Was there a lesson learned by father and daughter? Was there punishment? Was there thanks?

Excerpts of other's coments and my thoughts.

Based upon where I live, after ascertaining that the child was young and no coat...I would have dialed 911 and let the police handle the 2nd part. I would have waited on the sidewalk until the police arrived.

....

And, let me not get shot by a nutty, maybe drugged-out, or drunk, irate Dad.

**
Ah, not all those who can not hear a child are nutty, drugged out or drunk. Perhaps dad was deaf? Could dad be injured and unable to resond or move?


100% the right thing, and thank you for not taking her and calling the police.

I know what I am talking about here.

Feb 1, 2007
....
I get a call from my husband who is screaming and crying that my son is gone- that some lady put him in her car and drove away.
....
He said the woman came to the door, asked if we had a redheaded boy & where was he. My husband replied- "in his bed!" She said no he isn't, you're a sh*tty dad! When ran to his bed (he had put him down an hour before and had gone to bed himself.)- my son was gone, and she was driving away.
....
I had to explain everything to the detective who called my work the next day, who told me it had been reported to Child Protective Services but he would call them and explain.
....
Now that I have read all the responses- let me say I definitely advocate stepping in and helping kids. But be careful not to jump the gun. I could have had my kids taken away while they figured out if it was neglect or not.

**
So, you didn't press charges against the woman who kidnaped your son and who took it upon herself to judge your husband as "neglectful." (I see Mike also had a similar comment.) You are indeed kind hearted.

I understand your relief that your son was safe and the hurt or fear of having CPS investigate. That was the second crime commited by the woman who took your child, slander. You could follow up with the police to see if you can press charges for kidnapping and slander. You might be able to name the police and CPS as defendants for lible since they acted on the word of a possible kidnapper. They might plea bargan to sealing the file.

I'd want the woman to be required to attend counseling, she may have a past history that she projected onto your son's and husband's situation.

Thanks for your story Renee.

See, that's why I didn't call the police. I thought about the ramifications of that phone call and I just didn't feel the urgency to make a call that could have made his life quite difficult. If the situation had been different, her walking in the road calling for him, then I would have called the cops. But he was genuinely shocked that she was outside on the porch. I'm a good 'people-reader', actually very good, and he just didn't come across like a drunk or crappy dad.


Based upon where I live, after ascertaining that the child was young and no coat...I would have dialed 911 and let the police handle the 2nd part. I would have waited on the sidewalk until the police arrived.

....

And, let me not get shot by a nutty, maybe drugged-out, or drunk, irate Dad.

I understand you did say that your reply was based on where you live but it still raised my hackles a bit. I'm not attacking your answer in any way but responding because of two things that happened to me.

First, when my son was about 4 or so, he managed to get locked outside of the house in his pjs on a pretty cold morning. It was a long time ago so I don't remember the details but I think he thought his dad was out in our studio and went out to see him. The door locked behind him and we didn't hear him calling to us because we were in upstairs and in another part of the house. We finally did hear him and let him inside. He was cold but none the worse for wear.

Not a family crisis or even bad parenting. Just what sometimes happens when you have a little kid around.

The second thing that happened was when someone (I'm pretty sure it was my dd's nursery school teacher) decided that she was going to teach me a lesson for a disagreement we had. She made an anonymous call to social services and accused me of abusing my dd (she was maybe 3 1/2 at the time.) It was a malicious act but one that will follow me for the rest of my life.

You see, once you have an active file with Social Services, even if there is no basis to the case and it goes inactive, it can get brought up at any time.

**
zkimom,
Ah, that would be slander again. Any witnesses? There is another alternative.

bailsmom et al,
Make the asumption that the person in the house is a good person and needs some help (maybe just to safely alert them that their child needs assistance.) Your safety must come first; that is why you are told, pre-flight, by the attendant that if the air masks deploy, first put yours on then assist others. Because the longer you are alert the more people you can help if they need it.

It is not safe to enter property without the owners permission. You could have been accused of attempted obduction. You could have been bitten by the dog, if it chose to project the home or child. You could have...

Okay, you get the idea.

Here is what I think would have been the best course.

Call 911 for the address on the house. Report that a child is unable to enter the house and the ocupant is unresponsive. They should be able to call the address. It is part of the enhanced 911 service that is now mandated. Was there a life in danger? Was it cold and the child unprotected from the weather? If so then yes, but more likely you didn't know the condition of the person in the house.

Wait until the police arrive. They can safely determine if the dad needed help or just alerted to the childs wandering. The are trained to observe the condition of the house, child, parent, and overall environment. If they see "just cause" then they would call in child protective services or not.

Then, when the child was safely returned to the parent, and the child was given a safety talk, then the parent likely would have ask who called. Then you might have found the local news reporting how two neighbors who had been out for a walk became heros to a cold child and father.

Now, I just hope I can remember the lessons I've learned from this thread.

Thank you all for all your comments.

--Jack :guyknitting:

Time for some knitting and reflection.

bambi
11-18-2008, 05:25 PM
You did the right thing! My DD is three and I'm worried about her getting out. We live on a cul du sac but it is not far from a busy street. You don't have to be a bad mom/dad for a terrible accident to happen but you would never forgive yourself if you had heard that a child had hypothermia after not being able to get herself back in the house.

Bambi

bailsmom
11-18-2008, 06:46 PM
:passedout: Oy vey Jack. That was quite an unbelievable post that you wrote. And I must say a bit of an overreaction to the situation. The way you apparently think is the reason so many people are afraid to get involved in a situation. The odds of anyone getting shot helping a child is like a million to one.

And FYI: I'm not a first responder. I'm a typical person who tried to do the right thing and help a child who needed help. End of story. And if I would have gotten shot then it would have been my time to leave this earth. I'm sorry you feel as strongly as you do about an innocent situation but you are completely entitled to your opinion.

I don't want to be afraid to help someone in need, I hate that people make me feel this way, it really sucks. To involve the authorities would have been a complete waste of their time. She got locked out, I helped her get inside. Period. I hope that someday if me or my family is in trouble and someone can help us, depending on the circumstances, that they do help us.

And P.S. had the dog bitten me, it would have been MY fault, not theirs. And I would never sue someone because of something I did. Maybe if people would stop suing each other over the dumbest things, people would start helping each other a little more.

Plantgoddess+
11-18-2008, 07:24 PM
I wonder if part of the reason for peoples responses to the situation is where you live. I live in a rural area and we tend to help each other first whether we know you or not and worry about authority figures later.
We are somewhat of a fear based culture and if you watch too much news where you hear of much of the evil that goes on throughout the world you can start to think it is much more prevalent than it actually is on a per capita basis.
I find that almost all people are good and decent and that parents can lose track of children even in the house very easily.
I would have done the same as you bailsmom, but I wouldn't have felt uncomfortable afterwards. I would think the father would have been so scared about what could have happened to his daughter that he would be scared to let her out of his sight for quite a while.

Leafyberry
11-18-2008, 08:06 PM
You TOTALLY did the right thing!:yay:

miccisue
11-18-2008, 10:25 PM
You definitely did the right thing.

I know what you mean about feeling uncomfortable, though. It's become scary to try and help a child who is in trouble.

A couple of years ago, I was at my local WalMart in the ladies clothing department, and there was a little girl about 3 or 4 just walking around crying her eyes out. I stopped and asked her if she was lost, and she said yes. Fortunately we were in site of the customer service desk, so I pointed to where the ladies were working and said "will you let me walk you over to the WalMart ladies so they can help find your mommy?" She said yes, so we walked over to the desk and had them page her mom. Well, when Mom showed up, she gave me a look like I'd tried to make off with her kid, and then started yelling at the little girl for not staying with them. I just nodded at the gals behind the counter and went on about my business.

It's sad when you feel weird and creepy about helping a child who is lost, cold, or in a bad situation.....and it makes you wonder how many people just turn around and walk away from the same situation simply so they won't have to get looked at like they're a criminal when all they're trying to do is help.

saracidaltendencies
11-19-2008, 12:43 AM
Ok, I don't mean to step on any toes here but I must admit I was bothered by a certain post.

The situation bailsmom was in I think provoked a basic fight or flight human response, and, in those situations, a person never knows what they will do, until it happens to them.

When I was young, I always used to tell myself if our house ever caught fire there were certain things I would save such as my animals, photo albums, posters of my favorite band, etc. I had it all planned out. Then, when I was 18, just out of high school, we unfortunately did have a house fire. Know what I saved? Myself. I still beat myself up sometimes because we had a cat, named Blue, and she was sleeping on a couch in my room, (my room was in the basement and the basement was divided by a makeshift wall...the fire was on the side of the basement RIGHT next to my room). As I saw my room fill with smoke I didn't even think to grab my cat...She was RIGHT THERE, curled up on my couch. I had to run past her to get upstairs to get out of the house. But did I think to grab her? No, I didn't. The only thing going through my head was to get out of that house or be engulfed in smoke. There were also checks in my room, graduation checks worth hundreds of dollars that I hadn't even had a chance to deposit yet. Did I think of the hundreds of dollars in checks waiting to be cashed? Nope, sure didn't.

My point is, you can plan and plan and plan, but until you are faced with certain situations, you do what comes naturally to you no matter what you always told yourself you'd do or what plans you made.

All I can say is I completely back what bailsmom did, and I think most anyone who saw a child in a potentially dangerous situation would do the same without even contemplating the risk to themselves. And THAT is what hero's are made from. They put the safety of others before themselves, remove themselves from their comfort zones to help a person in need.

No one has the foresight to know exactly how a situation is going to turn out...Sometimes things turn out fine, sometimes they don't, but don't judge someone without walking in their shoes.

I for one applaud bailsmom for what she did, despite the personal risks, and can say with 100% certainty I would have done the exact same thing.

And, if bailsmom can look back, and know in her heart that if she were faced with the situation again, and she would do it exactly the same, again, then she made the right choice and no one has the right to criticize her.

Anyway, that's my 2 cents.

Simply_Renee
11-19-2008, 01:15 AM
Wait until the police arrive. They can safely determine if the dad needed help or just alerted to the childs wandering. The are trained to observe the condition of the house, child, parent, and overall environment. If they see "just cause" then they would call in child protective services or not.

Standard procedure is- in finding a child unattended and dressed inappropriately, CPS must be called. Even if the police understand it was a mistake, they are obligated to report it- "just cause" or not. If there was just cause, they would remove the child right then and not release him/her back to the parents. The detective told me they didn't want to report it- but they were required to. He said he would talk to CPS and they probably wouldn't even come out and would close it. They came out anyway.

I am definitely with Demonica on this one. As for me, I'll be d*mned if I ever DON'T stop to help someone. I refuse to be afraid to help other people. And if that lands me in trouble, so mote it be. I'm not trying to come across harshly- this is just me standing up for what I believe in.

bailsmom
11-19-2008, 10:36 AM
Pheww! (wiping the sweat off my brow :teehee: ) Oh thank you all again for your support and continued reassurance with this whole situation. I'm feeling a whole lot better about it this morning. I asked DH last night when he came home if he thought I did the right thing and he looked at me like I was crazy. :teehee: It didn't even take him 1 second to say yes. Which I knew he did, but that darn feeling was really taking over my thoughts yesterday.

And then we took our pup for her walk last night and we avoided the house as I wasn't completely comfortable yet (thinking the police would be waiting for me there ;) ) and we were walking up the sidewalk talking and then he says, "Oh hey, the cops are here for you!" I looked up and there was a cop car with his lights on (not flashing just lightly on so you could see he was a cop) I nearly had a stroke! Then I hit him a couple of times as he stands there laughing at me. Brat. :teehee: The cop was turning around on the road we were walking on.

If I were faced with the same situation I would most definitely do the same thing again knowing full well the consequences. I'd rather feel funny for a few days then live with the "what if" senario for the rest of my life.

:muah: You all rock! Thank you so much for your support. :muah:

Abbily
11-19-2008, 10:43 AM
I don't want to be afraid to help someone in need, I hate that people make me feel this way, it really sucks. To involve the authorities would have been a complete waste of their time. She got locked out, I helped her get inside. Period. I hope that someday if me or my family is in trouble and someone can help us, depending on the circumstances, that they do help us.

And P.S. had the dog bitten me, it would have been MY fault, not theirs. And I would never sue someone because of something I did. Maybe if people would stop suing each other over the dumbest things, people would start helping each other a little more.

I agree 100%! I know you know this already, but just wanted to say again- you absolutely did the right thing. I applaud you for putting the child's needs before your own comfort. If more people behaved this way, the world would be a better place.

Sunshine's Mom
11-19-2008, 11:16 AM
Bailsmom, I read Demonica's post this morning and I felt bad that my post may have been construed as criticizing you. I didn't mean it that way at all. It was just my opinion of what I would have done nothing more than that. Helping a child is always a good deed. I'm usually an optimist, but I just wouldn't have made the choice to walk around the back of a building that I'm not familiar with, much less leaving my husband on the street waiting for me. I would have demanded that he come along so I had back-up in case things got hairy. But, I'm certainly not criticizing you and it all worked out fine and I'm sure that girl was happy to be back in the house and warm. You did good!

iza
11-19-2008, 11:21 AM
911 is not there to protect us against lawsuits. And it's not there for the improbable "what ifs". It's for emergency situations and they should be called only when you truly fear for a person's safety, or for your own.

Bailsmom, you totally did the right thing. This little girl was obviously trying to go back inside the house, calling for her dad, and you asked her many times if she was ok. I think you judged the situation correctly. I had to call 911 twice in my life, and I can tell you waiting 5 minutes for someone to answer when you need help is absolutely horrible. :pout: I really wish people didn't call 911 "just in case". There are usually other resources you can use instead.

Crycket
11-19-2008, 12:46 PM
Well said Demonica! It is always good to have a plan, but when it all boils down to it, you do what you have to do! It is amazing what life pushes us to do when put in comprimising positions....ppl live though war, famine, depressions, etc...

We can all shake our heads and say we would or wouldn't do something, but in the end...you really don't know til it happens. How many ppl say "I would never touch poo" but as soon as you get that puppy or baby home, you are happy to do it!

Being in Guides for many years, I have dealt with every sort of parent in the world. All of them were well intentioned, but I got heat for stuff that really had nothing to do with me in the end...(got reemed for asking if badgework was done - it was just that the mother was dying of cancer, got reemed for leaving a Pathfinder leader postion - it had to do with the kid really likeing me as a leader, etc) that father was probably upset mostly with himself for not noticing what was going on with his kid, and you were the closest outlet....end of story...he probably took it out on her, he obviously took it out on you....but really...he was likely mad at him....

bailsmom
11-19-2008, 03:17 PM
Bailsmom, I read Demonica's post this morning and I felt bad that my post may have been construed as criticizing you. I didn't mean it that way at all. It was just my opinion of what I would have done nothing more than that. Helping a child is always a good deed. I'm usually an optimist, but I just wouldn't have made the choice to walk around the back of a building that I'm not familiar with, much less leaving my husband on the street waiting for me. I would have demanded that he come along so I had back-up in case things got hairy. But, I'm certainly not criticizing you and it all worked out fine and I'm sure that girl was happy to be back in the house and warm. You did good!

I completely understand your position as I am one of the most cautious people you will ever meet. I don't take risks - EVER. But I have this thing called a 'gut-feeling' that seems to find me whenever I need it, and most times when I don't expect it. And my gut didn't tell me to keep walking, it told me to stop. I would have never gone and helped her if I felt at any second my life was in danger. It was completely lit up in the back and the direction we were walking was from the back of their house to the front. So the back porches were in the open and again, lit up quite nicely and I didn't have to walk down a dark side of a house, it faced the street. And my DH would never have let me go alone if he felt it wasn't safe. He wasn't more than 30 feet away from me the whole time. Granted he couldn't see me as I was on the 2nd floor, but if anything would have happened he would have been able to get to me in seconds. And he would have let my dog go get me too. :)

I appreciate your clarification. :grphug:

Mike
11-20-2008, 01:24 PM
911 is not there to protect us against lawsuits. And it's not there for the improbable "what ifs". It's for emergency situations and they should be called only when you truly fear for a person's safety, or for your own.

Bailsmom, you totally did the right thing. This little girl was obviously trying to go back inside the house, calling for her dad, and you asked her many times if she was ok. I think you judged the situation correctly. I had to call 911 twice in my life, and I can tell you waiting 5 minutes for someone to answer when you need help is absolutely horrible. :pout: I really wish people didn't call 911 "just in case". There are usually other resources you can use instead.
You can't believe how many times I've argued with people about how 911 is not the number to the police station, it is an emergency number only.
"But it goes to the same place."
Grrrrr.

And if you didn't gather it, I think you did the right thing, bailsmom.

Dangles
11-20-2008, 07:59 PM
Yep, you did the right thing. You assisted a young child in need.

evona
11-20-2008, 08:44 PM
My DD was a real stinker when she was little (what am I saying was for, she still is!) and she always got her little brother involved too. Once when my DD was about 4 and my DS about 2 I set them down for naps. I sat down on the couch, and exhausted, wound up taking a little nap myself. Next thing I know there is a knock on my door. A woman I didn't recognize was at the door and behind her were my children - My DD in a t shirt and bare feet and my DS with his training pants on and nothing else (it was summer in the Los Angeles San Fernando Valley). It so happens that my DD decided to sneak into my room and out of the window and took her brother along. They went to a near by neighbors house, knocked on their door and asked for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I had just moved into the neighborhood and didn't know my neighbors yet. Thank GOD they weren't weirdos!!! Anyway, because the kids asked for food I got a knock on my door a few hours later from the police. The neighbors called them and told them they feared my kids weren't being fed. Thankfully the police were understanding. I showed them my full refrigerator and cupboards and they checked the kids for bruises and asked them a few questions about why they were outside. I don't recall having to go through anything more. But I was so scared that a simple mistake (yes I should have made sure my window was secure before falling asleep myself) and a child's curiosity and penchant for PB & J could get me investigated and may even have cost me my children.

I did have a good talk with both kids!!! I'm just very lucky it turned out ok. There are many times when I think about that day and I do have more sympathy when things like that happen to parents now than I think I would have before it happened to me.

You absolutely did the right thing bailsmom.

lizardknits
11-29-2008, 03:36 PM
I agree with what you said about 911.
It is an emergency number for a reason. I recently called 911 for myself a few weeks ago (November 12th, to be exact). I had called it on my cell phone, and my cell phone, when I had punched in 9-1-1, said "Attempting to make emergency call." I said to myself (out loud),"I know. I need it." After what I thought was going to help, eating a hamburger, I realized I was too weak to even hold the hamburger, and that I needed help.

To make a long story short, i had a hypoglycemic incident (combined with severe cramps/weakness from that time of the month and dehydration) at school (im a college senior) and was rushed to the ER in an ambulance because I very nearly fainted. I went to the ER a zombie and a ghost (I was 30% there mentally, at the most, more likely 25%. i was also as white as a hospital bedsheet. ) I got a room and was given IV fluids almost immediately (I had them for 3 hours). I was registered later because I was in such bad shape that I could not even sit up without feeling like I would faint. After a few hours of IV fluids, I was actually able to sit up without feeling faint and the color had returned to my skin. I went home (back to school...I live on campus) after three hours at the ER, able to walk and fully function. My friend Kyle (female) had been with me throughout the ordeal. I had asked her to go with me to the follow up, since she had been far more coherent than I and a wittness to what had happened. My GP (here in town) said that I may have a tendency to hypoglycemia since my dad is diabetic. He also said that the tests done in the ER made sense (all tests had come back normal).

lizardknits
11-29-2008, 03:39 PM
i am doing a lot better now, by the way. I have a medical ID bracelet (that I want to get engraved) and I watch myself more carefully now. I try to always have snacks available now.

tarrentella
11-29-2008, 05:25 PM
You definitely did the right thing.

I know what you mean about feeling uncomfortable, though. It's become scary to try and help a child who is in trouble.

A couple of years ago, I was at my local WalMart in the ladies clothing department, and there was a little girl about 3 or 4 just walking around crying her eyes out. I stopped and asked her if she was lost, and she said yes. Fortunately we were in site of the customer service desk, so I pointed to where the ladies were working and said "will you let me walk you over to the WalMart ladies so they can help find your mommy?" She said yes, so we walked over to the desk and had them page her mom. Well, when Mom showed up, she gave me a look like I'd tried to make off with her kid, and then started yelling at the little girl for not staying with them. I just nodded at the gals behind the counter and went on about my business.

It's sad when you feel weird and creepy about helping a child who is lost, cold, or in a bad situation.....and it makes you wonder how many people just turn around and walk away from the same situation simply so they won't have to get looked at like they're a criminal when all they're trying to do is help.

I've been in that situation a couple of times. Im not a huge fan of kids but i'm not going to walk by while a little kid is lost and scared. I will always ask if they are ok and where they last saw their parent/carer and then take them to the nearest shop assistant or security gaurd. but the number of times i have been looked at or even heard 'what are you doing with my daughter?' is ridiculous and now makes me hesitant to help. On one occasion where i was shouted at (whilst stood at the customer service desk where they were paging the mum) the little girl had taken my hand, presumably for comfort. I know the mother was probably shocked and scared herself, but it was no reason to go accusing somebody who helped of trying to abduct their child.

Im glad you are now at ease with your decision Bailsmom. I don't know if i would have done the same thing or alerted the police and stayed near/with the child ... i guess it all depends on the situation and the area you are in, but doing somthing is far better than doing nothing!

hummingbird
12-01-2008, 02:05 AM
You did the right thing.

I have a similar story. I was out by the front of the house, and I see this little girl walking down the street by herself, no shoes, and way to little to be by herself. I talk to her and ask her where she lives. She shows me the house and tells me her mommy won't wake up, she's freaking out about it. I starting thinking what's wrong with her mom, does she need to go to the hospital!? I open the door for the girl, she could reach to go out, but not back in. She pulls me to her moms room, and her mom was just asleep. No heart attack after all. I must have really scared her, waking up to a stranger in her room. That little girl just had me so scared that something was really wrong! I explained and left, and didn't see them again.

TEMA
12-03-2008, 06:19 PM
My dear, do not even question yourself about this. Your instincts are right on and the fact that you followed your instincts is so wonderful!
So many people see a problem and are afraid to get involved but you saw the problem and did something about it. Good for you!

TEMA :hug: