Mumsnet parenting forum user “Allwashedup” didn’t know the woman who shared the method she used to put her kids to sleep well, but that didn’t prevent her from feeling like she had to do something about it.
As the Mirror reports, Allwashedup took to Mumsnet to ask users about a friend’s Facebook post in which the mother mentioned putting brandy in tea to help her children sleep.
As Allwashedup wrote:
I’ll get straight to the point, which is that a Facebook friend who I know fairly well has put up a post saying that putting brandy in her children’s tea (as in the drink) always gets them to sleep…these children are various ages from 1 to 8.
I can’t help but be concerned that these children are being given alcohol but am not sure what to do.
Users were divided about whether she should intervene or not. As one user wrote: “I think you should mind your own with this. At the end of the day it is down to a parent whether or not they give their child alcohol. I highly doubt that she is giving them lots and just because you or I disagree doesn’t mean it’s wrong.”
Another added: “Got to agree that it’s not really any of your business. It could be a joke but even if not, it’s decision as the parent.”
One asked: “I would imagine she is ‘having a laugh.’ Is there any reason you think she’s actually drugging her children to sleep?”
Many thought the mom was joking about giving her kids alcohol, to which Allwashedup responded:
… I hope it’s a joke.
She’s always very defensive on fb about what a great mum she is and very quick to defend herself against perceived criticism of her family.
I don’t know if she was joking but part of me wants to take a screenshot and report it to SS and the other part says it’s none of my business.
Allwashedup explained though she didn’t know exactly where her Facebook friend lived, she did know the children’s school district. And that they lived in public housing — a detail many users thought shouldn’t have made part of her concern.
…yeah have taken a screenshot now and thinking of commenting on her post although again she’ll probably get very defensive.
If it makes any difference I know they’re in social or council housing.
Think I’ll sleep on it tonight.
Some suggested Allwashedup’s explicit mention of where the mother lived was snooty and arrogant.
As one commenter wrote: “Um, why exactly do you think it would be relevant that they are in social or council housing?”
Said another: “So if your friend lived in a posh house in a affluent area you wouldn’t say anything it would be ok but because she lives in council housing her kids must be taken off her.”
One commenter flat-out responded: “She was joking. You’re a snob.”
Then came this comment: “Why the F**K would SS take a malicious report more seriously because she lives in social housing? You’re an insufferable ignorant snob op. Kids in middle and even upper class homes are neglected and abused too!”
Another commenter added in part: “Get a grip. I often remark that I’m going to put my DC [dear children] in the bin or advertise them as free to a good home, etc etc. If you have GENUINE concerns — not ones based on snobbery and pearl clutching — then by all means give SS a heads up. But for f****s sake, seriously — you don’t even know this woman’s address. You have no idea how she lives, if her house is clean, if her DC are happy and well cared for and loved.”
Allwashedup apologized for her remark, clarifying she thought the information might make social services respond more quickly to her concerns, a point which didn’t go over well, either. “What the hell,” one user replied. “No op they really won’t respond quicker because they are in council housing because unlike some people they aren’t snobs and are trained to understand that abuse can happen in all homes and all walks of life.”
As for Allwashedup’s initial concerns that children were being given alcohol to soothe them to sleep, vice president of the Australian Medical Association, Dr. Tony Bartone, told Mamamia there is absolutely no reason a child should be drinking alcohol.
As he explained in part:
“There is absolutely no safe level of alcohol when it comes to the developing brain, so I would extremely, extremely, significantly counsel anyone against following that practice. Young developing brains are very sensitive. I know the quantities being described are very, very small but there is absolutely no reason to use it in such a manner anyway.”
While commenters remained divided on the issue, some accusing Allwashedup for having the problem due to the perceived snobbish attitude, one commenter wrote there was no harm in reaching out to social services: “I know that people must have known what was happening to me as a child and yet did nothing because it was ‘none of their business.’ I really would report this. If you are overreacting, as many here think you are, she has nothing to fear as SS will see this as completely fine.”