Monday, May 28, 2018
Parenting & Relationships

Tell Me About It: What to do if you witness a child who might be in danger

What to do if you witness a child who might be in danger

Q: I live in a complex that has a lot of families in it. There are always kids playing outside. All of them are sweet and polite, and I love seeing them, but I rarely see parents.

This weekend, I finally met one of the parents. She came outside with her boy, calling him names, cursing at him, and then he ran away to play with the other kids. She was completely wasted at 10 a.m. on a Saturday. The looks on the kids' faces, too, were just heartbreaking.

What do I do? My heart aches every time I see one of those children, and I want so much to FIX it, though I know I can't, so I'd settle for helping, but I'm at a loss. Is this something you call the authorities for?

Neighbor

A: When it's that bad, yes, it is. I realize there is a sense of crossing a Rubicon when calling the police or child-protective services on a parent — of putting them in "the system," of possibly doing more harm than good. I also understand why this sense is often enough to keep people from making the call.

At the same time, if these kids are in crisis, then it's every witness' duty to speak up.

That's why I recommend Childhelp so often in this space. It's a nonprofit dedicated to the prevention of child abuse, and it has a toll-free hotline — 1-800-422-4453 (4A-CHILD) — that you can call. The hotline staff can bring three things that are critical in these situations: calm, expertise and followup questions that get at the context of what you witnessed. Share the decision about what to do with someone who is available in the moment to help you make it.

Comments
With makeover, ZooTampa at Lowry Park takes a page from the theme parks

With makeover, ZooTampa at Lowry Park takes a page from the theme parks

TAMPA — Behind the construction walls near the carousel at ZooTampa at Lowry Park, hammers, saws and power drills made a racket in the blazing Friday heat. A raft full of 100-pound water jugs took test trips on the new Roaring Springs ride set ...
Published: 05/25/18

Tell Me About It: Half sister worries about wedding drama

Half sister worries about wedding drama"target="_blank">Half sister worries about wedding dramaQ: I really want to go to my half-sister’s wedding, but I don’t want to start trouble with her dad, who hates me. He might cause a scene if I go.My mom ch...
Published: 05/25/18
An all-ages playlist of the summer songs of 2018? It can be done

An all-ages playlist of the summer songs of 2018? It can be done

Recently I was asked to create a playlist for a summer beach party. An opportunity to procrastinate and mess around on Spotify for a few hours? Yeah, totally, when can I start?I like playlists that are diverse, not just in terms of genre (pop, hip-ho...
Published: 05/24/18
9 things to do indoors on this rainy Memorial Day weekend

9 things to do indoors on this rainy Memorial Day weekend

We've got you covered. Get it?
Published: 05/24/18

Tell Me About It: Busy mom wants to check her priorities

Q: As a mother of three young kids holding a full-time job and with a husband who frequently works late evenings and some weekends, I feel my priorities change according to what is in front of me at the time, then I’m reconsidering my choices later.H...
Published: 05/24/18
Top things to do for the week of May 28-June 3.

Top things to do for the week of May 28-June 3.

Shania Twain: Canadian country pop princess makes a comeback at the Amalie Arena in Tampa on Saturday ($36.20-$156.20).Memorial Day: There’s plenty of ways to celebrate today, including the Treasure Island Memorial Day Parade that steps off at 9 a.m....
Published: 05/23/18
Updated: 05/26/18
Top things to do for Memorial Day weekend in Tampa Bay: Concerts, festivals and memorials

Top things to do for Memorial Day weekend in Tampa Bay: Concerts, festivals and memorials

Our editors' picks for things to do this weekend.
Published: 05/25/18
Top things to do this weekend: Margarita Festival, Rays’ Kiermaier as Star Wars figure, Nintinder

Top things to do this weekend: Margarita Festival, Rays’ Kiermaier as Star Wars figure, Nintinder

LIME TIME: Tampa Bay Margarita Festival This year, there are twice the bartenders and a new RFID wristband system for less waiting at the two-day Tampa Bay Margarita Festival with a margarita flavor for every taste. Music headliners are the Wallflow...
Published: 05/23/18
John Fogerty, coming to Clearwater, isn’t backing down on protest songs, Parkland and #MeToo

John Fogerty, coming to Clearwater, isn’t backing down on protest songs, Parkland and #MeToo

It’s been 50 years since John Fogerty wrote Fortunate Son, one of the most scathing protest songs from the Vietnam War era. Writing another one with that kind of impact has been a challenge ever since. "Back in the ’80s, I had a couple o...
Published: 05/23/18
What's in theaters this week: 'Solo: A Star Wars Story,' Art and Short Film Mini-Fest

What's in theaters this week: 'Solo: A Star Wars Story,' Art and Short Film Mini-Fest

OPENING FRIDAY: SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY Alden Ehrenreich stars as a young Han Solo navigating the underworld and meeting his forever wingman Chewbacca and his scoundrel buddy Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover). With Emilia Clarke, Thandie Newton, Woo...
Published: 05/23/18