‘5 minutes’ – a true story of childhood neglect

This is a story I wrote inspired by a true story of neglect which I had to report in my role as a child care director. A 4-year-old boy disclosed to teachers when he was left alone on the side of a busy road. As a mandatory reporter, it was my duty to report this as a case of neglect due to lack of supervision. Here is the story..

5 minutes, neglect

‘5 minutes’

A little boy stood on the side of the road, alone.
He was only 4.
He watched as his mum stepped on the loud, smelly bus in front of him.
He then looked at her through the bus window and cried, “Mummy” as the bus drove away. Did she hear him?
He was scared.
But mummy told him not to be scared.
He wanted to run after the bus, but mummy told him to stay still and not move.
Just for 5 minutes.
He wanted to cry but mummy told him to be brave.
Mummy said grandma was coming to get him in 5 minutes.
Mummy said she was going to be 5 minutes in the shop yesterday and that took a very long time.
He was scared to wait alone for 5 minutes.
He looked around.
He could see lots of cars going up and down the road and even a big fire engine.
He looked around for grandma but she wasn’t there yet.
He saw a puppy across the road and he wanted to run over and pat it but mummy said to stay still.
He wanted to go with mummy on the bus but mummy said she couldn’t get her work done when he was with her.
He didn’t want to make mummy mad.
So he waited.
He hadn’t been alone before.
He didn’t like it.
It was scary to be alone.
He didn’t know what was going to happen.
And 5 minutes was a long time.

Grandma!
Grandma was coming!
He could see her.
He ran to her.
He gave her a big hug.
And cried.
And held her tight.
“Can we go home now?”
Grandma said it was time to go to daycare.
He didn’t want to go to daycare today.
He wanted to go home and not feel scared anymore.
Where his favourite blanky was.
But mummy told grandma to take him to daycare.
Mummy told Grandma what to do too.
Mummy was smart.
Mummy knew everything.
Mummy was so busy all the time.

At daycare, he still felt a bit scared from the morning.
So he told his favourite teachers what happened in the morning and how he was so brave and did just as mummy said.

The teachers looked surprised but they gave him a cuddle and told him he didn’t need to be scared.

Mummy was just running late for work.
And she had to get on the bus to go to work to get money.
Because we need money to buy food and toys and to pay for our house.
And I only had to be alone for 5 minutes.
I was such a good boy.
I was scared but I was so brave.

But I don’t know why I got in trouble from mummy at night.
Mummy said I shouldn’t have told my daycare teachers what happened in the morning.
She said I got her in trouble.
But mummy is too big to get in trouble at daycare, she’s a grown-up!

kids first aid

Mummy was crying at night.
I think she was scared.
Just like I was scared.
So I gave her a cuddle.
A cuddle always makes me feel better.
And she cuddled me back.

For 5 minutes.

Summary:

This is a story I wrote inspired by a true story of neglect which I had to report in my role as a childcare director.
A 4 year old boy disclosed to teachers when he was left alone on the side of a busy road.
As a mandatory reporter, it was my duty to report this as a case of neglect due to lack of supervision.

Neglect is a form of child abuse.

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According to the Department of Communities and Justice, it’s necessary to make a report if:
‘You suspect that a parent/carer is not adequately meeting a child’s/young person’s needs such as: supervision, shelter, medical care, hygiene/clothing, mental health care, schooling/education, nutrition, or other basic needs.’

So I did.

You can read more about Child Protection and the different forms of child abuse in my article here: https://teachingbrave.com/child-protection/

Liz.

sharesight

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