DEAR ABBY: My neighbor has a registered day care business, and every day I hear her screaming at young children and infants. They are all 4-year-olds and younger. We live in a rural area outside a small town. She uses profanity and says mean things to them. It makes me want to cry when I think of how scared those kids must be.
Who do I contact with this information? I could record her with my phone if evidence was needed to shut down her business. This woman has a really bad anger management problem. She also knows I can hear her because we have spoken about how our voices travel.
I don't think she is being physically abusive, but her words must be damaging to those kids. Please help me find someone to tell. I'm afraid the local police won't be able to do anything. I can't even take my own child in our backyard because she swears so much. -- DAY CARE DRAMA IN INDIANA
DEAR D.C.D.: Ideally, you should try to tell the parents what you have been hearing because they should be aware that their trusted caregiver loses control of her emotions and takes out her frustrations on their children. If the situation is as ugly as you describe, those kids must be terrified of her.
If that's not possible, Child Protective Services should be notified because the environment is not emotionally healthy for little children.
P.S. By the age of 4, children usually have started to repeat the language they hear around them. I'm surprised these parents haven't noticed the change in their vocabulary and questioned their little ones about where they heard those "bad words." Nonetheless, on the chance that the parents are clueless, what you have observed should be reported.