Social Question

Aster's avatar

Was this child abuse or just stupidity?

Asked by Aster (19949points) August 27th, 2012

An eleven year old boy is living with his grandmother and he loves hot peppers. He found out the name of the hottest peppers on the planet and , over the phone, asked his mother to mail him a few. She did and he got some blisters on his gums and was sipping a cold glass of milk in his hand while telling granny he was fine and in no pain. Child abuse?

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12 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Is this a true story or apocryphal? Do you have a link?

FutureMemory's avatar

My primary concern in this situation is that the child is consuming food he got through the mail – granny needs to keep a better eye on what comes through the post!

edit: Are you asking if the grandmother is guilty of child abuse or just stupidity, or the mother…?

Aster's avatar

Asking if the mother was abusive.

anatidaephobiac's avatar

Based solely on the information in that, it is impossible to give any answer other than a guess.

I’m inclined to think there’s something unusual in that the child is living with the grandmother, and not the mother, and that the answer would depend on the relationship between the mother and grandmother.

Some possibilities there:
1)Both the grandmother and mother are just plain old stupid
2)The mother is intentionally causing the child discomfort in an attempt to make the grandmother look bad
3)Ignorance and lack of communication – maybe the mother had no idea how strong the peppers were, and poor communication between the adults resulted in the grandmother keeping out of prying into the contents of the parcel.

Sunny2's avatar

I think it’s just ignorance and stupidity. The mother was responding to the child’s request without having any knowledge of chilies.She may lack the intelligence to be able to check on it. If he was 4 years older, he could have gotten the chillies on his own and no one would know. The blisters will heal. The boy has learned how hot chilies can be. He’ll probably be careful when tasting unknown chilies in the future. No real harm done.

augustlan's avatar

Um, no. It is not child abuse to give an 11 year old food he asked for. Perhaps a tad stupid, for not realizing just how hot these peppers would be. If the grandmother was aware (and I assume she would know what comes in the mail to her own house), she should have known better, too.

Berserker's avatar

@augustlan Agreed. I don’t consider it child abuse because I’m pretty sure the mother didn’t mean to harm her child, and this isn’t neglect, either. (as in, harm and neglect being two key factors to child abuse, if you ask me) Maybe a little lame for not researching about the peppers, as stated, but this is far from being child abuse.

ccrow's avatar

The kid “loves hot peppers”, he asked his mother to send him some, she did, he ate them; presumably his mother and grandmother know he loves hot peppers… how would this be abuse? And if he knew enough to go for the milk, I’d say he has plenty of experience with putting out the fire. Some hot pepper lovers don’t think it’s hot enough unless it hurts.

Aster's avatar

@ccrow These particular peppers were not to be found in our stores; they are that hot. So he asked his mother who lived in a bigger city to find them and send him a few. I wonder if the boy wasn’t being stupid since he had read about how hot they are. They were not habaneros or jalapeƱos.

ccrow's avatar

Scotch bonnet? Maybe he is going to be one of those guys who brag about how hot their tolerance can stand:-) We have a friend who always used to say things like, “This is nothing!! You should try (fill in the blank)!! THAT’S hot!!!” Now that he’s gotten older, I don’t think such things agree with him anymore.

gailcalled's avatar

@Aster: Is this an abstract scenario, a true story about strangers, or an episode involving members of your family?

FutureMemory's avatar

My 6th sense tells me Aster is the grandmother in this scenario.

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