Roommate yelling at daughter at 11pm

mikefromearthAugust 30, 2010

So here's the story:

I just moved into a room in a 3 bedroom house with 2 other guys. One is 40ish and one is 27. The 27 year old lives with his 3 year old daughter in a room across from me in the hall. That's fine and all, ya know, I like kids, I know they cry and whatnot, but on this first night I am sitting in my room and he is yelling at his daughter to "shut up", "shut the f*ck up" continually from 10:15 to 11pm, which it is now.

Now, I'm not child psychologist, but this is clearly not a healthy way to treat your daughter. I have much less of a problem (though still a problem) with her crying, but when he starts yelling at her to shut the f*ck up, that makes it much more serious in my mind. I know the child will cry herself to sleep eventually, which is still irritating, but I dont know if there is much I can do about that. This clear form of child abuse on the other hand, I cannot tolerate.

She's now yelling "I want my daddy!" and he's yelling "I dont care, go to sleep!"


So the question is: what the heck can I do about this? I know this is my first night here, but is there anything I can do?

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This is one for which I would call CPS - a 3 yr old has no business being with someone who has no idea at all how to take care of her! Horrible!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 5:49AM
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It's not just the yelling or the hour but the obvious lack of caring or any comprehension of her age.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 5:52AM
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Is the guy actually her father? Children often say they want a parent when stressed, upset or hurt but they don't typically ask for "my daddy" or "my mommy" in the presence of the very parent they're asking for. Not saying a 3 year old would never do that, every child is different. But usually when worded "I want my ...." the person they want is not right there in front of them.

No offense meant to you, but I'm uneasy with the living arrangements in general for a little girl, but that's just me. She's also at an age where she should be in her own room, not still sharing one with her dad. (Could that possibly be pressuring & stressing her father?) Is her mother completely out of the picture? As far as how she's being treated, I agree it's not good and applaud you for caring. She may well need your eyes, ears and voice on her behalf. Use prudence in rushing to judgment and calling Child Protective Services. Again, I'm not condoning his behavior, only suggesting there is the possibility it might not be the norm. Perhaps he knows it's not the best living arrangement for his daughter, wants to improve it but is feeling hindered so takes his frustration out on her, the very child he's trying to shelter. If he's coming from a place like that, your move in could have tripped the switch of a situation that was already weighing heavily on him. If he's indeed her father and this isn't common for him, hasty calls to CPS can be a parents' and child's worst nightmare, split families apart & ruin lives. On the other hand, they can be a lifeline to a child being mistreated. You sound like a very mature person. My suggestion is to continue to closely watch out for her and hope for her sake it was an isolated and atypical incident. If it appears to by typical, then the little girl needs some help and sounds like her dad does, too.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 7:54AM
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Yes the man is her father. I suppose I should just wait to see if this is a repeating incident. I believe from what I was told that the mother is a drug addict and has been removed from both of their lives. He just moved out of his parents' house for the first time and seems to want to take care of his daughter and provide a better life for her by moving out on their own, but he is a full time student with no income other than financial aid and hence can't (or wont) find a job to make enough money to provide her with her own room.

I agree that this is not the right place for a 3 year old to live. I had to move here because of the immediate necessity to find cheap housing, and I at 26 can put up with a lot, but a 3 year old girl WILL be permanently damaged if this situation continues. I am myself dealing with anger problems most likely learned from my verbally abusive father as I was growing up, and I hate to have a child with promise have to go through with the same latent issues I am going through.

As for dealing with this.. What kind of advice on time frame and landlord contact would you suggest? If this happens a few more times in the next week should I contact the landlord? I certainly dont want to contact CPS on my own. I dont know how I would react if I knew someone in my house was taking steps to remove my daughter from me. I dont know what this guy is capable of, and he seems to have some sort of criminal history which I dont want to rear its ugly head.

Let me know!

Thanks a lot for the comments, I needed someone to listen.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 1:38PM
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Have you spoken to the other roommate about the situation? He would be able to share insight as to whether or not this is a regular occurrence, etc. Good luck to you.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 2:40PM
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You seem to be more worried about yourself with regard to the noise problem and the possible (tho' apparently unknown) criminal history of the father rather than the child's welfare. I wish you'd forward your address to one of us and let us take care of it for you - you've now really upset me (and who knows who else) by your not wanting to get involved and it's shameful in the extreme! I hope that someone does bother about you if you're in trouble some day, but they probably won't if they're anything like you.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 2:44PM
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Yes Larke, you seem to have the whole situation figured out, dont you? Keep spouting your high and mighty criticisms of a situation you know nothing about expect what I have relayed to you. You are so quick to judge me for not wanting to get directly involved that you seem to forget I am the one doing something about this.

Like I said, I have been here ONE day and I do not want to make assumptions about the life of these two people without talking to the other roommate, which I now have, and the landlord. I am in a tough situation and I am trying to navigate it without making bad decisions based off pure emotions, which seems to be where you are coming from.

So please, realize that I am trying to figure out the BEST thing to do in this situation with regards to the girl and my own life, and flaming me with attacks on my character is not going to help anything.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 4:49PM
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Sorry - did not realize it had only been a day so of course it might have just been a one-off, but yes, I have gone by the information you've (otherwise) given - what else should I do - and of course it's an emotional issue, certainly to someone with a daughter.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 7:43PM
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Because what you describe isn't at all about you, my advice would be to do the right thing: call the police if you think there's danger. What did the landlord say when you asked if it happens all the time? What did the father say when you asked if everything was all right? Does the child look like she's been abused?

Child Services isn't going to come breaking in and take the child like in some FBI movie without some actual prior authority.

Most of the posts in this section are people venting, perhaps hoping there's a clear case for their rights regarding noisy neighbors or a parking space. Posting on the Internet isn't really a proactive step toward removing yourself (or the child) from harm. I don't blame Larke for assuming the situation was already worse. If you're really scared, do something real.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 8:30AM
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Just wondering how past couple nights have gone?

    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 10:35AM
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I perhaps came across as insensitive since allowing myself to become jaded by the many OPs who post tales of woe then vanish.

I promise not to be that way moving forward.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 6:51PM
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