It would be no surprise that placing the ark of God next to this pesky idol was not a good idea, but they did it anyway. Only after God knocked this idol to the ground twice, breaking off his hands and head, leaving only a torso behind did they start to second guess their decision.
Deep in thought and depression the new mom contemplated all that had happened, she understood completely that Jehovah was no longer with her or her people, that the glory of the Lord had departed.
The elders tried to bring the Lord into their mess by carrying the Ark of the Covenant to the battlefield. What a great idea, they thought. God has been showing up regularly at the temple in the holiest of holies so let's bring the Ark here and God will work like a magic genie.
The boy was placed into an environment that was a cesspool of sin under the authority of the man who basically allowed it. The odds that Samuel would grow to be a prophet of God was not in his favor.