To offer to have the dd after school or keep my nose out.

(60 Posts)
moldingsunbeams Thu 14-Nov-13 11:55:21

Its a difficult one for me as my dd is younger and I do not really know what is appropriate for older children.

A neighbours dd is just turned 13, her Mum will not give her a key for the house which is her decision but she works far away and rather late.

Up until she was 12 the dd went to a childminder but it was decided understandably that she did not need it now.

All normal except the Mum is working late and forty miles away and the 13 year old is having to sit in a cafe near school until she arrives. This would not cross my mind as odd but the child never knows when Mum is coming, she does not have any money and can be sat there until 8.30pm some days (school finishes at 2.30pm)

Once a week we go into this cafe and she is always there, she sits with no drink or food being moaned at by staff for taking a table and she sits calling her Mum constantly asking where she is and if she has left etc.

The dd is lovely and I would have no issue with her waiting at ours if needs be but I do not know if my having a younger child is affecting my judgement of this being an ok situation or not.

EldritchCleavage Thu 14-Nov-13 11:57:02

Call SS. This really is not appropriate-the mother should still be paying for a childminder or simply giving the poor child a key to her own house. Sounds weird, unkind and wrong.

Helpyourself Thu 14-Nov-13 11:58:31

That's bizarre.
Any idea why? Is it a travelling home problem or being alone in the house problem?

HouseAtreides Thu 14-Nov-13 11:59:44

Poor girl sad Why the hell doesn't her mum just give her a key?

Isildur Thu 14-Nov-13 11:59:50

Gosh that sounds odd.

I know you said the staff moan at her, but are you sure she isn't related to, or a friend of theirs?

That's the only way I can see the girl being able to brazen it out from 3-8.30pm. They might moan at her, but she and they are comfortable enough with each other for it to be OK, if you see what I mean.

Otherwise they'd surely just chuck her out? Are you sure she's there all the time?

Offer to have her if you're sure you can commit to it long term, but there must be a reason why she isn't allowed a key, or doesn't go to the library.

grendel Thu 14-Nov-13 12:02:50

Poor girl, that sounds really miserable for her. Seems a bit of a strange arrangement for her mother to have made, there's possibly more to it than meets the eye.
Most secondary schools have a range of clubs or study/homework zones where children can stay after school for at least an hour or you can't help wondering why mother and daughter thought that sitting in a cafe for 5 hours was a better choice.

Anyway as the parent of a DD of a similar age I would be delighted if a nice neighbour offered to let my DD stay at their house until I got home.

How well do you know the mother? She may well take offence at your implied criticism of her arrangements, but I think it would be nice to offer anyway.

Mylovelyboy Thu 14-Nov-13 12:05:37

Blimey that is NOT ok. Poor kid. And nice of you........for being concerned. It seems like the mother of this child does not give a toss. Wonder why the kid is not allowed a key. I can see your worry and you want to help but I think in you getting involved might be a mistake. Once you start offering to take this child in then more responsibility could be placed on you than you think. Could you not have a word with the mother in a diplomatic way.

Chippednailvarnish Thu 14-Nov-13 12:07:43

Contact her school and tell them. It sounds controlling and neglectful to leave her without anywhere to go and with no money.

moldingsunbeams Thu 14-Nov-13 12:10:06

No she is not related to people there I asked. Its a fast food place very close to school. They moan at her because she is taking a table up when it is busy (tea time).

Quite a few kids wait with a drink for half an hour to be picked up and they don't mind that.

She told me she is there every night but one day when she goes to an afterschool activity 5 - 7 and as their are younger children classes before hand the place is open so she sits in there.

Certainly we go once a week on different days and she is always in there when we go in.

We do not have a library although I am guessing school does.

Its one bus or half an hours walk, my own dd who is much younger will be doing the same walk next year so cannot see that being an issue, she does get taken to school and picked up a lot even on the activities locally where my dd has been at same thing so maybe they do not like her walking but I have seen her walking about outside of school and she has decided to walk up with us to an activity rather than wait for Mum to come home.

Mylovelyboy Thu 14-Nov-13 12:12:34

Chip Once the child has left the school at 2.30pm then the child is not the schools responsibility. The girl is 13. But in saying that. She should not be left to sit in a café for hours on end waiting for the bastard mother to get home. Its not on, poor kid must feel really awful. And its cold and dark out early now sad

GetOrfGetStuffed Thu 14-Nov-13 12:13:08

That is utterly disgraceful. She is sometimes there until 8.30? What is wrong with the mother and why doesn't she give her a key?

That poor kid, it sounds utterly miserable.

I don't normally say such things but I would call SS and hopefully they can give her a call to say what she is doing is crap.

moldingsunbeams Thu 14-Nov-13 12:14:38

I don't know why she does not stay in school, she does not seem to have many friends her own age and has said she stopped school dance lessons because the kids were laughing at her because of being a bit overweight.

I do not really know Mum that well, only to say hello to really, the girl I see very often as we attend a lot of community activities and her dd is always there also. She's a good kid, I know she is sometimes in bother at school for being a bit lippy but she is not a bad kid on the whole.

She has never had a key, dd asked her (I thought she might of been silly and had it taken off her)

GhostsInSnow Thu 14-Nov-13 12:16:47

horrible, and I can't think of any reason why if a kid is deemed responsible enough to sit alone in a cafe until 8.30pm she isn't responsible for a key.

Both mine had a key at that age (though with DD it came with specific warning not to touch the stove because frankly her head is in the shed most of the time). I feel so sorry for this girl.

sheeplikessleep Thu 14-Nov-13 12:16:52

Poor girl sad

GetOrfGetStuffed Thu 14-Nov-13 12:18:57

Oh that sounds just bloody so sad all round. Poor kid.

My daughter had a key at that age (had a key from 11 in fact). They are perfectly trustable at that age. Plus it's her house. How horrible to sit in a cafe and feel awkward because she is not eating anything and the cafe owners want her gone.

Miserable godforsaken mother. What is she thinking?

moldingsunbeams Thu 14-Nov-13 12:20:12

One night this week me and dd had tea at the cafe. She was in there so I asked her if she wanted a drink and got her one. I did not have enough for another mean so I gave her some of mine.
She kept ringing and ringing to see where Mum was, me and dd were leaving as dd had homework and I needed to get some shopping too. but girl asked if we would stay with her, I stayed until 6.45 in the cafe and she rang her Mum and told her she was walking to supermarket with us, Mum came around 7.15pm.

I asked if Mum often got held up and she said its usually around 6pm but if Mum gets on a call it can be much later, she said it had been 8.30 the night before.

TheToysAreALIVEITellThee Thu 14-Nov-13 12:28:45

Another one here who says ring SS

And I never EVER screech that, but my god the poor kid. not on at all and the Mum needs to be told its not acceptable.

GetOrfGetStuffed Thu 14-Nov-13 12:29:21

Could you have a word with the mother and ask why she doesn't have a key. I don't know how well you know her or want to get involved though.

Poor kid. I don't know what her mother is thinking, it's completely inappropriate for her to be out for hours and hours, especially in this weather. It's so bloody uncaring.

KippyVonKipperson Thu 14-Nov-13 12:30:11

I really think you need to speak to the school about this, it's so unfair on the girl and she's not being looked after properly. You could offer to look after her but I wouldn't as her mother sounds like she has a very odd idea about what is reasonable, you might get into something you can't get out of. The school would want to know about this I'm sure. Like others have suggested you could speak to SS but I think the school would be the first place to start and take it from there.

GetOrfGetStuffed Thu 14-Nov-13 12:31:46

Yes, I think SS as well. It sounds a bit sledgehammer to crack a nut, but leaving her in the streets like this with nowhere to go is neglect isn't it?

Plus she can hardly be a reasonable woman, nobody in their right mind would leave their kid like that without even letting her in her own house.

You sound very kind OP but personally I probably wouldn't offer to look after her just yet, but go through proper channels.

Pancakeflipper Thu 14-Nov-13 12:32:02

Poor child. Surely it's safer for her to have a key and go home than be hanging around for hours especially as its getting dark early.

BarbarianMum Thu 14-Nov-13 12:33:21

Please don't keep your nose out.

Leaving a 13 year old vulnerable and unfed (which is basically what she is) between 2.30 and 6pm each night is neglect.

In your situation I'd speak to the school (she's not their responsibility after 2.30pm but they are responsible for acting on concerns about her welfare in and out of school) or ring the NSPCC for advice.

You could speak to her mum, but you'd still need to do something if she brushes you off.

If you offer to have her at yours, that's lovely but for how long? What if her mum doesn't give her a key til age 16?

EldritchCleavage Thu 14-Nov-13 12:33:59

I wonder why on earth the girl can't have a key? It's so simple a solution, one wonders what on earth would be the problem. The mother is not being at all sensible.

ICameOnTheJitney Thu 14-Nov-13 12:36:12

You should first speak to the Mother to ask if you can help out...make it known that you don't want payment unless you'd like her to maybe offer something for the girls' meal....but then you can give her pasta or something at very little cost to yourself. If the Mother refuses, then you need to tell the school.

The girl is vulnerable sitting in a public place alone so regularly.

EldritchCleavage Thu 14-Nov-13 12:41:17

The problem with helping is that it would be quite a burden on the OP,and it could serve to disguise real problems at home or in the relationship with the mother that might need to be resolved.

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