To think this is lazy and irresponsible parenting and I should maybe report this?

(92 Posts)
OhTheDrama Wed 09-Jul-14 18:21:13

I really don't think I am and I'm a little annoyed and very concerned. My two DD's (aged 6&9) usually play for an hour or two on our street every afternoon after summer scheme. There are about 5 or 6 of them altogether, eldest being 11 and youngest being 6. It's a quiet-ish street but with some through traffic and they usually play between each other's front gardens, they can either be seen or heard at all times. My two aren't allowed to cross the road without my direct supervision. Myself and all the other parents are very vigilant and keep a good check.

Yesterday I noticed a little girl of about 2 or 3 playing with them and asked my eldest who she was as I hadn't seen her before and thought she was a little young to be out playing. DD1 told me it was 'Zak's' friend', so I presumed she was visiting Zak's house and he had taken her out. Today I noticed the girl again but she was wandering up and down the street on her own, the others including mine were playing in Zak's garden.

I went out and asked the girl if she had lost Zak, she looked confused so I took her to Zak's garden. The children informed me that this little girl lived down the street, across the road and she had wandered down, crossed the road by herself and was asking to play with them. This had happened 2 days in a row. As I looked down I could see their front door open and her toys outside. They all informed me that she had only just turned 3. From me first noticing her to taking her to Zak's garden it was about 30mins. Nobody checked on her or called her name. From her house you cannot see Zak's garden.

I took her back to her house and the mum came to the door after me knocking and calling for a good few minutes. I said I had found her wandering up our street and had brought her back. The mum snapped that she thought our kids were watching her. I replied that no they weren't old enough or responsible enough and walked away. I heard her say 'stupid cow' as I walked away.

I know I'm not BU to be angry that my kids unwittingly had that responsibility put on them by a total stranger but would I be unreasonable to report this as I'm really scared for this poor wee girl. So as not to drip feed we had an attempted child abduction in this area 2 weeks ago.

NorwaySpruce Wed 09-Jul-14 18:26:26

I wouldn't report it, if this is the only slightly lax thing you've noticed.

Now that the mother knows the other children can't watch hers, she might secure the garden.

Vinomum Wed 09-Jul-14 18:27:53

YANBU to be concerned, 3 is too young to be out playing in the street unsupervised. It was also unreasonable of the mother to assume your kids would look after hers without asking you first, they're not her fricking babysitters. I would wait and see if it happens again before reporting though.

ItHasANiceRingWhenYouLaugh Wed 09-Jul-14 18:29:11

Um, Norway, that is not slightly lax. 2 or 3 years old is TINY and she assumed some random kids up the road would watch her? Not slightly lax at all.

bubalou Wed 09-Jul-14 18:31:23

I think to me frank the mums a fucking idiot and that anybody who thinks this is acceptable is an idiot.

I think it would be more than reasonable to voice your concerns. How would you feel if something did happen (god forbid) and you hadn't said anything.

Awkward situation but the mum sounds awful.

I would wait and see if you notice it happening regularly. I used to play out with kids in my street and one was a toddler but was the younger sibling of an older girl so was being supervised I guess. Does the woman maybe know one of the other mothers and thought her 3yo would be 'safe' with these kids

PintOfWine Wed 09-Jul-14 18:34:13

I wouldn't wait again. Her reaction told you what you needed to know.

MrsWinnibago Wed 09-Jul-14 18:34:16

Agree that you should not report it yet. It could be that the Mother has assumed (very wrongly) that your kids would watch her...some people think it's ok though it obviously isn't....if you see her out again or your kids do (tell them to come and tell you if the child joins them again) then you should return her and not get into a discussion...then report her.

In all likelyhood though not much will happen. It's a common thing and SS won't do much other than warn her.

PintOfWine Wed 09-Jul-14 18:35:32

If there was an attempted child abduction that was logged with the police just 2 weeks ago, speak to the police.

ItHasANiceRingWhenYouLaugh Wed 09-Jul-14 18:37:27

But if SS warned her she might watch her kid next time. And if OP doesn't report she won't get a warning...

TickleMyTitsTillFriday Wed 09-Jul-14 18:37:28

I would report it. On what planet is that ok?!

I was all set to say you were U as I am a big fan of playing out, and was expecting a nurotic net curtain twitcher objecting to 6 year olds playing out without parents but clearly you are absolutely NBU to be worried about a just turned 3 year old who's mum hadn't even checked on her in half an hour and who was in the "care" of 6-9 year olds who didn't even know her - nor are you U to be angry your children had neen given the responsibility without offering nor knowing, and at their ages!

I wouldn't report though unless it goes on happening, just be clear your kids are not old enough to watch her.

TickleMyTitsTillFriday Wed 09-Jul-14 18:41:38

How can you not report it. It probably wouldn't result it much more than a sw going to speak to them and offering help and advice.

I would seriously question what else they couldn't be bothered with if supervising their just 3 year old out by roads is too much of a pain.

Flexibilityiskey Wed 09-Jul-14 18:41:49

I would report it. If she wanders into the road next time she could get run over. If a child that young was wandering down the road I would expect frantic parents who would be grateful their child was returned safely. That she was aware and unbothered that such a young child was out wandering is very worrying. She needs some advice at the very least.

Nanny0gg Wed 09-Jul-14 18:44:31

What would happen if the child decided to wander the other way up the street?

She crossed a road. I shudder to think what could have happened. And going by the mother's reaction I doubt she is suddenly going to become super-vigilant.

I'd report.

DoJo Wed 09-Jul-14 18:45:40

I don't let my (admittedly a few months younger) son play in my enclosed and private back garden for that long without checking on him, so how she can not be concerned enough to even make sure she is with the people that she 'thought' were looking after her is beyond me! I would report - if you tell the whole story to SS and they don't think it's a problem, then that's their professional judgement and you have the peace of mind that you did what you could.
If they do think it warrants intervention then the parent/s may get some assistance and support if they need it. 3 isn't too young for the mother to potentially have PND or other issues which prevent her from being able to devote her attention to her child, in which case it could really make a difference to have someone lending a sympathetic ear.

SquigglySquid Wed 09-Jul-14 18:51:35

That's ridiculous. 2-3 is way to young to be letting out without supervision. Also, the mother is an idiot to think that a 6 or 9 year old is mature enough to be responsible for such a small child. Obviously they aren't if the toddler wandered off and no one noticed.

I'd report it to the police, especially since her reaction was snapping at you instead of horror that her child somehow escaped an adult's watchful eye.

Mostlyjustaluker Wed 09-Jul-14 18:55:11

Report it. You are not a professional and you don't have all the information to make a judgement. You should report your concerns as this could be the 'final piece of a jigsaw' to start ss investigation or prompt them to take action.

DottyDooRidesAgain Wed 09-Jul-14 18:59:31

I had this last year. 5 & 3 yo sisters calling for my then 9 yo son. I asked where they lived as I had not seen them before and they pointed up the street. I walked them back home which turned out to be down the street, through the snicket/ginnel/alley across the communal garages and finally got the their house.

Their mum & dad were in the garden and I said.

'I have walked your DD's back from XXXX Drive. They had called for my son.'
'Oh was he not in then' (Mum)
'Erm no'
'Did you tell'em where to find him'
'Er no'
'Stuck up cow'

And with that they waltzed back in the house shouting for the girls to follow them.

I actually stood in their garden for about 5 minutes just stunned.

I never reported it but I did see them on the street from time to time.

A few months later I was professionally involved with the family (unrelated to the children) and found out that a child protection order had been put in place. I haven't seen the girls or the family since November.

OhTheDrama Wed 09-Jul-14 19:00:57

Ok thanks everyone, will ring and report to 101 after I've got dinner out of the way. They have only lived there a month or two apparently, that's why I'd never noticed them before. The mum also has a young baby too. All the other parents are aware and we have all told our DC's that they are to come and get one of us if they notice her on our street on her own again.

You are right, I couldn't live with myself if anything happened. I wouldn't put it past the mum trying to put the blame on us and our children if anything did happen, going by her attitude today.

Aeroflotgirl Wed 09-Jul-14 19:02:19

Yanbu the 'mum' is a lazy idiot, to think some random kids can look after her young child, is she mad! I would look to see if this happened again, if it did, I would report to the Police and SS. My ds is 2.6 years and what she is doing horrifies me! Anything could happen, he's a toddler!

Aeroflotgirl Wed 09-Jul-14 19:03:50

No the only one responsible for her child is her! So she would be callable if anything happened to her, not your chikdren is yourselves!

FixItUpChappie Wed 09-Jul-14 19:09:04

I would report it definately I would. 2 or 3 year old children are incrediably vulnerable. I wouldn't even hesitate to call. At the very least she can get a talking to about it.

LittleprincessinGOLDrocks Wed 09-Jul-14 19:09:50

YANBU.
My DS is 4, and he is only allowed to play in the secured back garden with DD (7) without me. If DD is not out I go out to watch him. Whilst my garden is secure I don't feel he is old enough to be out completely alone (DD is sensible enough to get me if they need me, but I do pop out / look through the window frequently to check they are playing nicely).
No way would I let a 3 year old out of the garden without adult supervision, especially near roads.
I would be tempted to report it too.
Had the child just wandered out of the door, and been gone just a few minutes before mum came looking I would probably over look it. But the child was out alone for over half an hour and the mum didn't even seem bothered. That rings alarm bells to me TBH.

FixItUpChappie Wed 09-Jul-14 19:10:46

and "waiting to see if it happens regularly" - that is just Russian Roulette really.

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