To leave dd2 in the car outside tesco whilst i run in to buy 2 things?

(137 Posts)
Marne Thu 03-Jan-13 20:29:00

Dd2 is almost 7 and has ASD, she had been asking for a magazine all morning, its her favorite magazine and she knows what day it comes out (which was today), usually i go and buy it when she's at school or i go whilst she's at home with dh as she's not keen on supermarkets (bright lights and too busy) but dh had gone out and told me just to take her to get it.

I took both the dd's with me, dd1 is almost 8, got to Tesco's and dd2 refused to get out of the car so i parked in the p&c space right outside the front door, locked them in the car, ran in, grabbed a loaf of bread and the magazine, payed and came straight out. Dd's were fine.

Dh thinks i was wrong to leave them on their own in the car, maybe i was? but if i had tried to take dd2 out of the car she would have had a meltdown and if i turned around and went back home she would scream for the rest of the day (as she wouldn't have got her magazine).

So is dh BU or AIBU?

LouisWalshsChristmasCloset Thu 03-Jan-13 20:31:12

Shes 7
the car was locked
you werent long. Yanbu

pamelat Thu 03-Jan-13 20:32:32

Oh im reallysorry as I do getwhere youare coming from but I agreewith your dh

Im assuming you couldnt see them rather than petrol statiin tesco

Ignore bad tyoing, new tablet!

kim147 Thu 03-Jan-13 20:33:15

I do it occasionally when DS (7) can't be arsed to get out of the car and I just want to get some stuff rather than have him be a pain in the shops.

It's very very unlikely anything would happen.

ImaginateMum Thu 03-Jan-13 20:38:02

I think he was unreasonable to put you in that situation but I personally do not think it was a good solution.

PiccadillyCervix Thu 03-Jan-13 20:38:41

What if she had gotten out and wandered off?

Marne Thu 03-Jan-13 20:39:39

It is a very small Tesco, dd1 was in the car with her, they were locked in. What could have happened to her? i'm sure no one would be able to take her (as i couldn't even get her out of the car without her shouting) smile.

kim147 Thu 03-Jan-13 20:41:07

The UK is not full of people on every corner just waiting to grab a small child from a car.

trapclap Thu 03-Jan-13 20:41:17

I think its ok...

Marne Thu 03-Jan-13 20:41:25

She can't unlock the car (she doesn't know how) so could not get out, the windows sont open unless car is switched on and i'm sure dd1 would not have let her get out even if she was able too.

ImaginateMum Thu 03-Jan-13 20:42:17

I wouldn't be worried about her getting kidnapped. I would be worried about her changing her mind, getting out, and getting run over.

PiccadillyCervix Thu 03-Jan-13 20:43:28

Me too imaginatemum

PiccadillyCervix Thu 03-Jan-13 20:44:11

Or the car doing something weird and scaring the kids (alarm going off etc)

Maria33 Thu 03-Jan-13 20:44:17

YANBU - maybe he should have bought the magazine. wink

SparklingSnow Thu 03-Jan-13 20:45:44

I think your DH was VU to put you in that situation. He knows that your daughter doesn't like going into supermarkets and that she has a routine of getting her magazine on a particular day.

However, my daughter has ASD and I cannot imagine leaving her outside a supermarket in a car. There's all manner of things that could happen. And I'm not just talking about a child snatcher either! What if your DD had changed her mind and got out of the car?

Dromedary Thu 03-Jan-13 20:46:40

YANBU. Having said that, I did the same thing when my 2 DCs were a similar age, and when I came out of the shop a couple of women were circling the car disapprovingly and about to take down the licence plate. Sadly it's sometimes not about what is right for your DCs, but how others may perceive it.

Sirzy Thu 03-Jan-13 20:46:59

I think when a child is autistic it is hard for anyone else to judge because nobody else knows the child and how they respond.

Marne Thu 03-Jan-13 20:48:48

I dont think she would be able to get out, doors only unlock with the key or using the main button which she doesn't know about, also she was in the back so child locks (dd1 was in the front so she would have had to get past her first). We were parked right outside the front door so i could almost see the car from the magazine section.

I did tell dh that he could have got the magazine whilst he was out.

formerdiva Thu 03-Jan-13 20:49:07

I think it's ok too. But this is a vey emotive theme on MN - I'm sure you'll have lots of very strong opinions posted, so be warned! smile

JeezyOrangePips Thu 03-Jan-13 20:51:44

I wouldn't.

A friend of mine popped into a shop for a few things - she wasn't in for long. When she came out her car was on fire. She is single, there was no-one in the car. But it made me very wary about leaving anything irreplaceable in my car.

Yes, I know it's rare. And before that incident I would have left the kids in the car for a few minutes. But never again.

HollyBerryBush Thu 03-Jan-13 20:52:54

I probably would have done the same - but only if I could trust a child of 7 not to fiddle with the handbreak/annoy everyone in a 15 mile radius by horn banging etc!

I wouldn't knock you for it Op - needs must be addressed at certain times.

FWIW I'll hang myself out to dry as well - I never took the car seat in from the petrol forecourt when paying for petrol either!

SparklingSnow Thu 03-Jan-13 20:53:50

JeezyOrangePips - that's the type of thing that would stop me from doing it as well. These things can happen and there's no telling when it could be.

littleducks Thu 03-Jan-13 20:55:18

I leave my kids in the car, they are younger.

DD knows how to lock and unlock the doors from the inside so she could get out if there was a fire or something unexpected, if anything happens that worries her she knows to repeatedly press the horn.

I don't think its too much repsonsibility, kids used to walk to school alone at age 5 (and still do in parts of Europe) I think its good to give them a little bit of trust with clear rules and guidelines for them to follow.

FrankWippery Thu 03-Jan-13 20:55:59

Meh, I leave DD3 (almost 4) in the car all the time when I'm nipping into shops.

yfuwchhapus Thu 03-Jan-13 20:57:23

My LO-7 has ASD and I would never leave her in the car..although HF I just could never do it! I am slightly neurotic so maybe it's just me worrying about the what ifs! Every mum and child is different and I trust you did the right thing for your child or you wouldn't have done it! Just follow your gut instinct.

CloudsAndTrees Thu 03-Jan-13 20:57:23

I wouldn't do it. The risk is minuscule, but not worth taking IMO.

Dromedary Thu 03-Jan-13 21:02:10

There's an assumption that if your child is with you he/she will be safe. What about the children walking along the pavement with their parent who are killed when the reckless driver goes onto the pavement? Or other possible scenarios - eg child wanders off while you're getting your purse out and is lost or snatched? The car may be the safer option.

I think there is a risk, but it is a manageable one.

There's a risk every time you do anything especially getting teh car out. But you really have to make intelligent choices regarfing minimising risk.


PimpMyHippo Thu 03-Jan-13 21:26:24

I don't see a problem - I remember my parents leaving me and my sister in the car when we were younger than this. We used to amuse ourselves by climbing into the driver's seat and pretending to drive. smile By the time I was 8 or 9, I'd stay in the car with a book for over an hour while mum did the weekly supermarket shop.

WRT to the catching fire thing - surely you're at much more risk of fiery death when the engine is on? If you're comfortable with your children in the car hurtling down the motorway at 70mph, I don't see why you'd be worried about spontaneous combustion in a car park.

mariefrance1 Thu 03-Jan-13 21:36:27

I left my daughter in the car for seconds when she refused to get out of the car. When I turned around she was in the driving seat having let the handbrake off. The car was on the slightest incline ever but still seemed to be careering down the wrong side of the road at an amazing speed. A supermarket car park is unlikely to be on a slope but I still wouldn't do it.

lovelyladuree Thu 03-Jan-13 21:44:18

Your car could have caught fire. The car parked next to yours could have caught fire. A driver may have lost control of their car and crashed into yours. Your DD could have choked on something. Not worth the risks.

Dromedary Thu 03-Jan-13 21:45:33

Chaos - I agree, driving at all is probably the riskiest thing most people do. Doesn't stop them driving their children around everywhere.

For those who wouldn't leave their children in the car while they go to the supermarket, at what age will they do so? I leave mine in the car for half an hour or so while I do the supermarket shop if that's what they want - have done so since they were 7 and 10. It's a fairly small place - I would probably take the younger one with me if it was a huge car park. I'm assuming no SNs.

cinnamonnut Thu 03-Jan-13 21:47:46

lovelyladuree for every unlikely scenario you can think of there is another one that could happen if she went into a supermarket. Don't be ridiculous.

Goldmandra Thu 03-Jan-13 21:49:13

I don't think I could leave my children in a car until they were a bit older and I knew they would be able to handle someone trying to open the car door or getting out if it caught fire. However I know others are more laid back about it.

I have two daughters with AS so I know how hard it is when you are stuck in a situation like this. I also know that at some point my DD would have to learn to handle entering a supermarket. I would have considered very carefully whether this situation was an opportunity and whether I should tell my DD that if she wanted her magazine she would have to come into the shop. It was for a very brief visit and, if she'd had to leave part way through there would be no trolley of food to desert.

Maybe this wouldn't have been possible, perhaps due to her level of understanding. Only you know that, but it's just a thought smile

wonderstuff Thu 03-Jan-13 21:52:15

I would have done the same. You take a risk every time you leave the house, every time you get in the car. I think really the risk of driving to Tescos is far greater than the risk of the car catching fire while parked outside. I'm betting you were in the shop less than 10 mins.

You can't control every teeny tiny risk. You weren't in anyway being reckless. YANBU at all imo.

5madthings Thu 03-Jan-13 21:53:25

Yanbu I think you made a judgment call and you know your children.

I will leave older ones in the car whilst we go into a shop, they sit and read.

Marne Thu 03-Jan-13 21:57:01

I think my dd2 was at more risk of hurting herself if i took her with me as she was likely to chuck herself on the floor and have a meltdown.

I'm sure if the car did catch fire then someone would have got them out (they were right outside the front door of the supermarket with people walking past) and there wasnt much chance of her chocking hmm, she cant let the handbreak off as she's not strong enough (she has low muscle tone and hypermobility), she was still sat in her car seat when i returned playing with her toys, dd1 was sat in the front on her i-pad and talking to dd2. I was gone for 5 minutes max.

cinnamonnut Thu 03-Jan-13 21:57:44

I don't think you need to justify it Marne - it's fine smile

Marne Thu 03-Jan-13 22:01:12

Thank you grin

Nanny0gg Thu 03-Jan-13 22:02:48

It's a car park - there is also (an outside) chance that your car could be hit by another car.

I woldn't have done it.

What did you think to Goldmandra's idea?

cafebistro Thu 03-Jan-13 22:07:01

YABU. Completely wrong. However small the perceived risk - there is still a risk.

5madthings Thu 03-Jan-13 22:09:34

Marne as I said you know your children best, ywnbu and certainly don't have to justify yourself on here smile

Damash12 Thu 03-Jan-13 22:11:19

At the ages of 7 & 8 I don't see that being wrong. Now 4 and 5 would be a different story.

littlewhitebag Thu 03-Jan-13 22:11:55

Oh ffs she was gone minutes . You guys have over active imaginations. I did it all the time when my kids were little. Get off your high horses and get a life.

CoolaYuleA Thu 03-Jan-13 22:12:00

I wouldn't have done it at that age, but everyone is different. You made a choice based on knowing your kids - for you it was the right choice at that point in time, that's all you need to know.

Your DH would have chosen differently, so when he takes DD to the supermarket for her magazine he can cope with the meltdown.

QOD Thu 03-Jan-13 22:13:49

I think it's fine, wouldn't have been if you'd left the keys!

My friends very street smart 11 yr old started the engine and tried to drive their car ..... Luckily she didnt realise that in automatics you have to put your foot on the brake pedal to put it in drive ....

cafebistro Thu 03-Jan-13 22:17:15

Well I'm probably paranoid but I would never put my children at risk if I could avoid it. And you could avoid it in this instance by just taking them with you.
I've seen it a few times while waiting for my DP in a supermarket carpark , young children in cars unaccompanied. It only takes one weirdo. Or one idiot driving dangerously. Personally if I have my children with me all of the time then I know that I'm doing everything I can to protect them.

MissingInAct Thu 03-Jan-13 22:17:49

They are 7&8yo. They can wait patiently in a car for the few minutes it took you.

However your DH was BU to leave you in that situation, knowing your dd2 was likely to have a meltdown in the supermarket, had she accepted to go out. He also knew that not having the magazine was NOT an option for you (and your dd2).

Another option would have een to send your dd1 to buy the magazine. Do you think she would have een able to handle it?

Oh and YABU to post this on AIBU because I think your circumstances are very special and wouod have een better in the SN section.

Alisvolatpropiis Thu 03-Jan-13 22:18:47

I don't think ywbu.

Boomerwang Thu 03-Jan-13 22:19:59

I think it was fine. I've left my baby sleeping in the car whilst shopping with my boyfriend. It was only 5 minutes and I didn't want to wake her up.

YANBU you made an informed decision at the time.

I've never taken the kids into the shop to pay at a petrol station either

ChippingInLovesChristmasLights Thu 03-Jan-13 22:22:02


You did a risk assessment and chose the best available option - for your family at that point in time.

Your DH created this situation - he had NO right to lambast you about the decision you made, none at all.

Anyone saying it's 'risky' fgs, there are things you do every day that are a far greater risk, but you still do them - most obviously in this case driving the children around in the car. The number of children that die per year in road accidents outstrips the number of children that die due to being left in a car for 5 minutes hmm

FunnysInLaJardin Thu 03-Jan-13 22:22:55


sharond101 Thu 03-Jan-13 22:23:48

I would not leave a child in the car as when I was 10 I was left in the car with my sister and I decided I wanted something from the front seat. I kneeled on the handbrake and the car rolled backwards into another car. Luckily noone was hurt.

kim147 Thu 03-Jan-13 22:24:10

I love these threads - always a real "marmite" thread.

r3dh3d Thu 03-Jan-13 22:24:14


I do this sometimes with DD1 (8, SLD) and DD2 (7, sharp as mustard) if DD1 has fallen asleep and I'm only going to leave them for 5 or 10 mins. The way our door locks work, you can set it to lock other people out but not lock the kids in. DD1 can't work the door locks but DD2 can, so DD2 is under instructions to come get me if needed (if I'm somewhere like the pharmacy where she can find me) or go to Customer Services in the supermarket.

If DD1 falls asleep in the car, she will have a seizure when I wake her up by getting her out. And that involves a risk to her life which is real and quantifiable, as opposed to the various bogeyman scenarios of leaving her in the car - which are by comparison so unlikely and frankly, downright stupid, that they don't deserve consideration.

MumVsKids Thu 03-Jan-13 22:25:16

Would you leave your phone in the car?

ChippingInLovesChristmasLights Thu 03-Jan-13 22:26:18

For the love of all things stripey. Yes - the car could have been hit while the girls were in it. It is far far far more likely to be hit when they are driving along - perhaphs we just shouldn't put kids in cars at all hmm

Deux Thu 03-Jan-13 22:27:20

I think it's fine. Where is all this danger with cars suddenly bursting into flames.

Supermarket more dangerous, surely? You know the recent trolley rage death in M and S?

There is danger and risk everywhere. Greatest danger is in the home.

This thread is a bit hysterical.

shallweshop Thu 03-Jan-13 22:29:39

I leave my two in the car if I am just nipping in to shop for something. Yes, the car could instantaneously combust or a random kidnapper could strike ... but highly unlikely. As everything in life, you have to weigh up the risks and benefits.

crookedcrock Thu 03-Jan-13 22:33:08

Yanbu, it was just 5mins as others have said you assessed the risks and made the decision you felt best. I left my 4 in the car recently to run into the corner shop, 2.5 yr old asleep, two 10yr olds and middle child, I decided it was safer to run in and get the essential item than to try and manage all 4 (with fractious half asleep toddler). When I arrived out a woman challenged me, I was gone about 3 mins in a sleepy residential area. What annoyed me was that she assumed I hadn't made my decision based on what I felt was the safer option. It is not always safest to unload a carful of children in order to run in for a pint of milk.

doingtwelvethingsatonce Thu 03-Jan-13 22:42:29

I think the main thing for me would be a concern that I was placing the 8yo in a heavily responsible position, if the 7yo decided to push her way out of the car and something happened.

The only reason I say this is because I have a 6yo DS with ASD that sometimes refuses on minute and then is frantic to go in the store the next. He would quite persistently push his way through anyone to get to the door he could open if he felt the urge to get into the store. And then he would run with no regard for safety at all.

I wouldn't feel comfortable putting a child only slightly older in the position of having to physically restrain him or (if he did actually get out) have her feeling responsible if something happened to him.

greeneyed Thu 03-Jan-13 23:01:32

In life we have to accept a certain degree of risk just to get on with the everyday business of living. YANBU

FrankWippery Thu 03-Jan-13 23:05:58

Oh for goodness sake why the hysterics on here. Fucking hell, there's way more chance of bring hit by a car when walking down the street. Ridiculous.

SparklingSnow Thu 03-Jan-13 23:38:58

I wouldn't call it hysterics. Other mums, including myself, who have children with ASD have said no they wouldn't do it for that reason. How is that being hysterical?

SparklingSnow Thu 03-Jan-13 23:39:42

I wouldn't do it even if my DD wasn't autistic but each to their own.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 03-Jan-13 23:44:37

I leave my two when I nip into the dry cleaners, they are 4.5 and 21 months and I've been leaving them over a year. I can always see the car, although I can't see them in it unless I get a space very close.

A couple of months ago I did leave them parked outside the supermarket - in a P&C space right near the door while I went in and got 2 things. They were asleep, and I really didn't want to wake them. I wouldn't do it if I was getting more than a couple of things from near to the door and checkout though, I would worry too much.

TheBOF Thu 03-Jan-13 23:46:08

YANBU. You made a judgement call, and it sounds reasonable.

ScarlettOoHara Thu 03-Jan-13 23:55:36

I would never leave my children in the car unattended. I always ask myself would I nip into a shop and leave my purse on the front seat so why your child?"

Also I always remember seeing on Oprah years ago about a granny that left two kids in a car on a boiling hot day just for a minute while she got a drink from a shop and while she was in the shop she collapsed and had to be taken to hosp. She didn't have a sign on her forehead saying "I've left two kiddies in the car" so noone knew and the kids died from the heat.

oldpeculiar Thu 03-Jan-13 23:59:40

An NT kid, who is happy with the arrangement- fine,
I would be cautious about a child with ASD, but I guess you knoiw your DC best

FrankWippery Fri 04-Jan-13 08:36:47

I do think there's a degree of hysteria on here. All the what ifs. What if the car blows up, what if the car gets hit by an put of control driver, what if they're kidnapped, what if this and what if that. All of these things can happen when you're walking down the street. Really? Better off staying inside until we have safety bubbles surrounding each and every one of us.

Where does one draw the line? They can fall off a swing and break a finger or their skull but the swings are still the most popular thing at the park.

You could have a blow out on the motorway at 70 and flip your car - do you not drive just in case.

If a child has SN and the parent knows that the child will be ok, then I really struggle to see what the issue is.

Our children ARE precious, but wrapping them in cotton wool does more harm than good.

RedHelenB Fri 04-Jan-13 08:49:29

Since the trip to the shop was for HER magazine maybe she should have gone with you to get it? If meltdowns are extreme what was to prevent her from touching the handbrake for eg?

Though personally i would have given dd1 the money to get it if it really had to be bought & you couldn't control the meltdown.

I can see your husbands POV tbh.

seeker Fri 04-Jan-13 08:51:56

So long as you put on their tinfoil hats to protect them from alien abduction they'll be fine. I the only one who thought "she wanted the magazine but then refused to come ibto the shop" - I would have said "if you dont come in with me, then you dont get the magazine"

FrankWippery Fri 04-Jan-13 08:55:55

Oh balls. I forgot about the aliens.


You did the right thing, in your situation.

7 and 8 year olds are capable of being sensible, even if they have ASD.

GoldPlated it probably would have taken MArne longer to talk her DD into coming into the supermarket with her than just nipping in herself.

I know with my autistic DS it can take a long time to talk him into doing something if that situation usually causes him a lot of anxiety.

EasilyBored Fri 04-Jan-13 09:10:33

I would be quite surprised if anyone died from overheating in a car in January in the UK.

Othet more likely risks: Child flings self on floor in shop and hurts self, child runs outof shop and gets hit by a car. Not to mention that way more children die in car accidents than are snatched/combust in cars. We don't get hysterical about every car trip wr take (and a lot of those are completely avoidable) just in case a crazy person or a drunk driver or an overtired lorry driver crashes into us.

Seriously, I would have done the same. People need to unclench.

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Fri 04-Jan-13 09:10:41

I think that you know your children's abilities, you know if they would be ok or not in that situation. I think considering your DDs adverse reaction to going into the supermarket, staying in the car was probably the more sensible idea.

Our parents used to lock us in the car and leave us for short periods of time when we were little.

And i guess it similar to leaving the kids in the car whilst you go and pay for petrol.

Delayingtactic Fri 04-Jan-13 09:12:58

I'd have left em. I wouldn't back home in SA as the risk there is much more real of someone breaking into the car or just taking it but here? I didn't think I was laid back but god all these disaster scenarios are IMO just over the top.

Delayingtactic Fri 04-Jan-13 09:15:24

gold I think that would be reasonable for an NT child but not a child with autism. Their reaction to the supermarket isn't wilful or bad behaviour but a genuine discomfort so I don't see how punishing them gains anything.

Good grief. When I was young this wouldn't have been thought twice about. At that age I was walking 2 miles to school or the shop and back on my own, crossing busy roads.

The way hysteria is getting out of control in this country there will soon be a law stating you have to tether your children to your side until they are 16.

MammaTJ Fri 04-Jan-13 09:17:50

I would have done the same.

clorna Fri 04-Jan-13 09:18:00

I've been guilty of leaving my dd's in the car while I pop into Sainsburys (because they didn't want to come in!). They won't do it anymore as the parking chappy came round and saw them and went and told customer services and an announcement was made for me to go back to my car. I finished paying and walked out thinking help what are they doing are they shouting out the window but no they were still sat in there seats being as good as gold. I would still do it if I was going to a small shop though and I'm parked right outside.

I would do it with my 8yo, he is very sensible, knows not to
play with the controls and would just stay in the back. He has ASD too. I probably wouldn't with my nearly 7yo NT DD, partly because she is more inclined to explore, partly because she is more likely to get frightened. Wouldn't do it in warm weather though because of the overheating risk.

Chopstheduck Fri 04-Jan-13 09:37:43

I think the problem with asd though, is it is so unpredictable. ds1 I could have probably left at 7, he was so compliant and if I told him do this, he literally did it never entertained the idea of doing anything else!

However, now he is 10 he has been through phases where he has been a lot more unpredictable and so I normally leave him with his sister if I am going to leave him, in case he gets some crazy or dangerous idea into his head, and having asd type issues, he really isn't going to have the sense not to implement it. At 7 he wasn't unpredictable, but I think with a 7yo with asd I would always be a bit wary.

What I probably would have done is gone elsewhere where I could leave her in the car and still see the car from the shop, like a little newsagent or a tesco local type thing.

I do know where you are coming from and with no other choice I wouldn't have provoked the meltdown!

diddl Fri 04-Jan-13 09:45:29

I doubt I would have done it-but I´m wondering-if she had been asking all morning whilst you were both still there...?

CwtchesAndCuddles Fri 04-Jan-13 09:54:24

I often pop into my local tesco express and leave the kids in the car. DS is 5 with ASD and severe learning difficulties, his sister is a very sensible 7 year old.

I only need to grab one or two items I am only gone a few minutes and can see the car most of the time. DS is unable to get himself out of his car seat and dd is happy to "look after him" for a few minutes.

I think there are a lot of hysterycal mothers on this thred. Children can be far too overprotected for their own good sometimes.

OP YANBU - but horrible of your husband to put you in that situation. It is very hard for anyone who doesn't have a child with ASD to understand just how your day would be without that magazine!!

ILikeWhisperingToo Fri 04-Jan-13 09:54:41

The worry now is that you could have set a precedence - now DC's know you'll leave them once, they'll ask again? Can you get the magazine on subscription by the way, delivered to your house?

girlynut Fri 04-Jan-13 09:55:46

I left DS1 (7) in the car playing on my iphone whilst I took DS2 (3) into Tesco for 5 minutes to buy some paints.

Came out to a lady claiming to be an off-duty policewoman yelling at me for not being a responsible parent, as someone could break a window to snatch him!

I was very blush and felt terribly guilty for a while afterwards. But, in hindsight, I wish I'd told her to mind her own business.

CaHoHoHootz Fri 04-Jan-13 09:56:21

It's fine by me smile

Whatiswitnit Fri 04-Jan-13 10:02:21

YANBU. We assess risks everyday as parents and in your case you quickly assessed that the risk of something bad happening to your daughter while you nipped into the shop was slim.

I do think your DH was U to force you into that tricky situation though when he knows that your DD doesn't like the supermarket.

Why not subscribe to DD's magazine? Get it sent in the post. smile

RyleDup Fri 04-Jan-13 10:09:06

Sounds absolutely fine op for all the reasons that you have said, ie dd 1 in front, child locks on. A liitle hysteria is being whipped up on here as usual.
FWIW I leave dc(5 and 3) in the car while I go to pay for petrol. Far safer than dragging them across the forecourt.

everlong Fri 04-Jan-13 10:11:10

I would say yes it's ok to do it. It's only a short amount of time, she was locked in etc.. but I wouldn't. I'm not sure why. I wish I could and would tbh but I always think....what if this or what if that and drag ds (6) in with me.

God when I was 6 I was walking to school on my own with my younger cousin in tow. Mad really.

5madthings Fri 04-Jan-13 10:12:50

girlynut i bet she wasnt an off duty policewoman, i would have called her bluff and asked for udentifucation and her police station detsuls and reported her fir shouting at you if she was infact an off duty officer.

And re leaving your purse ir your child, its a daft comparison. In a supermarket carpark a purse left visible in a car is a target for theives. The chancrs if their being a would be kidnapper and them then managing to break in and snatch a child with no-one noticing in the time a parent is in a shop is beyond miniscule.

Some people really need to get a grip.

MoleyMick Fri 04-Jan-13 10:13:14

YANBU, it sounds fine smile
There is a bit of hysteria here in Australia about kids in cars even at petrol stations because of the heat, but your situation is totally different.
(I say that as someone who broke my drivers window to break into my car a couple of weeks ago, when I locked my kids in there - was a hot day, my automatic lock clicky thing broke, and I was utterly beside myself!sad)

MoleyMick Fri 04-Jan-13 10:13:46

And I always leave my phone on the passenger seat too!

doingtwelvethingsatonce Fri 04-Jan-13 10:13:52

I will say that in that circumstance, although DS's meltdown might be spectacular if I refused to get the magazine unless he went with me into the shop, I would still insist. If I left him in the car and went in when he refused, he would then refuse EVERY time to get out of the car - and then it becomes a HUGE problem.

So I would deal with the meltdown as best as possible, to avoid setting a precedent for future meltdowns. But then, DS is simply not safe to leave alone in a car (even with an older sibling). It's so difficult to say as ASD exhibits in different behaviours for different children. IMO (as you did ask AIBU), however, I wouldn't be comfortable with it, not only from the safety issue (of what DS would do) but also from the aspect of not putting too much adult responsibility on the older sibling - if your 7yo kicked off in a big way while you were in the shop, would your 8yo really be able to physically restrain her if she was fighting to get out of the car tooth and nail? And how would the 8yo cope if the 7yo actually got out of the car and got lost or hurt in some way? Just something to think about.

nipersvest Fri 04-Jan-13 10:15:56

i've have left mine in the car a couple of times, but i did see something the other day which did bother me.

car, parked at the side of the road, was in a parking bay but the driver had parked badly and the car was quite a way from the kerb, meaning the other side of the car was jutting out into the road (a main high street through a village). a boy was locked in the car, about 8 ish, and the alarm was going off. lad looked terrified and was clawing at the door to get out, driver was nowhere to be seen.

M25Meltdown Fri 04-Jan-13 10:18:47

Have only read the Op, please tell me, have we had cars on fire, children running off, kidnap and overheating yet . grin

DontHaveAtv Fri 04-Jan-13 10:22:02

I can understand why you did it but I personally wouldn't leave my kids in a car on their own.

My mum used to leave me in the car when she went in the shops plenty of times. If your 8yo is responsible enough to cope with the 7yo going into meltdows/trying to get out I think it's ok. The risk of the car catching fire is miniscule, and all risks are relative, she could throw herself into the path of a moving car if you dragged her out the car.

My only concern would be if they both know not to play with the handbrake. I once let it off when parked on a slope, and got quite scared trying to get the car to stop before it careered into the main road at the bottom of the hill.

Crinkle77 Fri 04-Jan-13 10:37:52

If your husband was so insistent on going to the shops to buy the magazine why didn't he do it before he went out?

abbierhodes Fri 04-Jan-13 10:45:56

Not sure what I'd have done in your situation OP, as ASD is different for every child. But I have three children, all NT, aged 7, 5 and 2. I have no qualms about leaving the older 2 in the car for a few minutes.

Putting the ASD to one side for a moment- those of you who are saying you wouldn't leave your children in the car at the ages of 7 and 8- what age would you leave them?

BridgetJonesPants Fri 04-Jan-13 11:03:56


If I'm just going into supermarket for a handful of items, I always give my DD aged 8 the choice to come with me or stay in the car herself. She knows how to lock/unlock the car & is fairly sensible.

Sometimes when she does come in with me, I leave her browsing through the kids comics (prob another AIBU thread to do this). Anyway, she knows not to leave this area until I come back.

The way I see it, there's not much difference between leaving kids in the car or them playing outside on their own with friends - there's always a risk something could happen....but that's life!

OTheYuleManatee Fri 04-Jan-13 11:25:05

When I was 7 Mum used to leave me and older brother (then 8) in the car for an hour while she did an aerobics class. We just read books and ate our snacks. No biggie. OP, you know your DC and if they are responsible enough for this then YANBU.

BoffinMum Fri 04-Jan-13 11:34:30

Risks to leaving children in cars near supermarkets, in order of likelihood.

Extreme heat
Extreme cold
Children getting out and running into traffic
Another car hitting yours with them in it
Kiddie snatcher in broad daylight in front of other shoppers

Risks to taking them with you, ditto.

Parental stress leading to later adverse event
Child stress leading to later adverse eveny
Car park injury
Shopping trolley injury
Kiddie snatcher while you are in a different aisle or looking in the other direction, in broad daylight in front of other shoppers

Weigh that lot up and decide your own attitude towards risk in each case. For sensible junior school aged children, it's probably OK to leave them in the car as most of the risks would be things they could deal with.

jamdonut Fri 04-Jan-13 11:34:49

YANBU ...but you know your own child. At 7 they should be responsible enough to follow instructions and stay put. I've done it many a time (from about age 4 - oldest is 20 now and has survived). You can't live your life thinking "What if..." all the will become a nervous wreck!

ChippingInLovesChristmasLights Fri 04-Jan-13 11:48:41

Bridget - did you just admit to letting your child play out?? shock hmm

ChippingInLovesChristmasLights Fri 04-Jan-13 11:49:57

You'll regret it.

Not letting them play out, but admitting it on MN grin

RedHelenB Fri 04-Jan-13 12:19:11

The problem is, her dd2 isn't sensible so to leave her older sister (by only 1 year) in charge is a bit unfair.

Marne Fri 04-Jan-13 19:01:28

Did i say dd2 isn't sensible? smile and dd1 is 2 years older and very sensible. Theres no way i would leave dd2 in the car and do a full food shop, though i have left dd1 in the past (she's happy to sit in the car with a book).

sunnyday123 Fri 04-Jan-13 19:14:27

I wouldn't do it - but only because I'm a worrier! It's likely fine though!

rhondajean Fri 04-Jan-13 19:19:36

YANBU but I wouldn't have been getting her the magazine if she had been kicking off a bit, so for that, YAbu grin

yfuwchhapus Fri 04-Jan-13 19:20:32

Autism=isn't sensible........Shaking my head in disbelief!shock

orchidee Fri 04-Jan-13 19:22:59

Could you clarify their ages? Your OP suggested 6 and 7 but your last post said there's a 2 year gap.

I've read the thread expecting to see the legal situation being explained. I was recently told that sleeping babes should be removed from the car while paying for petrol at a petrol station. Which I was surprised at as they're usually in plain sight but maybe it's the fact that petrol is flammable... I dunno. It'd be good to know the truth i.e. is officially ok or not? Surely some HV / SW type folk have read the thread?

orchidee Fri 04-Jan-13 19:23:51

And I'm with the others- did your DH not offer to get it while he was out anyway?

RedHelenB Fri 04-Jan-13 19:35:27

You couldn't cope with a possible meltdown so how on earth would you expect your 8 year old daughter to? That's the point I was trying to make.

RedHelenB Fri 04-Jan-13 19:37:37

You wrote dd1 was almost 8 & dd2 was almost 7 so that makes a 1 year asge gap by my reckoning/

DeafLeopard Fri 04-Jan-13 19:47:07

Some 8yos are walking to / from school on their own round here, so sitting in a car with a younger sibling for two minutes seems very reasonable IMO.

Marne you know your DDs best, and how ASD manifests it in your DD so I think you have nothing to feel bad about.

Your DH however should not have put you in that position.

RyleDup Fri 04-Jan-13 19:58:02

I've read the thread expecting to see the legal situation being explained. I was recently told that sleeping babes should be removed from the car while paying for petrol at a petrol station. Which I was surprised at as they're usually in plain sight but maybe it's the fact that petrol is flammable... I dunno. It'd be good to know the truth i.e. is officially ok or not? Surely some HV / SW type folk have read the thread?

RyleDup Fri 04-Jan-13 20:02:00

I've read the thread expecting to see the legal situation being explained. I was recently told that sleeping babes should be removed from the car while paying for petrol at a petrol station. Which I was surprised at as they're usually in plain sight but maybe it's the fact that petrol is flammable... I dunno. It'd be good to know the truth i.e. is officially ok or not? Surely some HV / SW type folk have read the thread?

Sorry pressed send before answering. Re the petrol station there is no set legal guideline. Its more about weighing up risk, ensuring your child is as safe from external risks as much as possible and using common sense. It would generally considered to be acceptable to leave a child in a locked car, at a petrol station while you go in and pay whilst watching from the window. It could also be argued that the risk of getting hit by a car on the forecourt is far more likely than the car catching fire. Neither is impossible however.

Marne Fri 04-Jan-13 21:13:20

Sorry Red (my mistake), dd1 is almost 9.

Marne Fri 04-Jan-13 21:24:34

And i do cope with her meltdowns as does dd1 (we do it every day) but we also try and avoid them happening in the first place, she was more likely to hurt herself if i removed her from the car (plus i would have to deal with people looking and judging as she chucks herself on the ground). My dd2 does not get violent when having a meltdown so would not hurt dd1, dd1 knows how to calm dd2 down (as its a daily thing in our house), dd1 has Autism too but she's very mature for her age and very sensible (having autism does not make someone any less sensible). I was gone for 5 minutes, i could almost see the car from the magazine section, dd2 could not get out of her car seat let alone out of the car and even if she could she would not have had to walk infront of any traffic to find me (not as though i was thinking about that at the time as i knew she would not get out anyway, why would she get out when she is petrified of going in to a shop?).

Dh should have offered to get the magazine but he was out with our next door neighbour and dh was not driving (so could hardly tell him to pull over to get a magazine), they were working and in a hury to get home.

Dd2 has high functioning Autism, her understanding is not as good as a nt 7 year old but she's not stupid and if i tell her 'to stay still, mummy will be back soon' then she will.

float62 Fri 04-Jan-13 22:14:56

YANBU at all. You have to do what you have to do to get things done, you know your dc. As one of the early posters said, the biggest problem is how others perceive things, and then cast judgement, which is a greater risk than the one you actually took.

SarahWarahWoo Fri 04-Jan-13 22:30:33

Asked DH, he said if we were in same situation he would be happy for me to leave DD in car or he would bring home required item and we could make a big thing of Daddy fetching it for her x

Morloth Fri 04-Jan-13 22:44:17

I think at those ages it is fine.

I leave DS1 in the car (or sometimes at home! shock) for short periods of time now (he is 8).

He loathes shopping and I can't see any reason to subject him to it. He isn't any safer with me than without me, he is 8 and walks to school by himself (has for more than a year now), goes to soccer practice by himself most kids here do this stuff at this age. Thank God we haven't quite reached UK cotton wool standards just yet.

Now DS2 there is no chance (he is 2.5) because he doesn't have the problem solving ability, fine motor skills etc that his big brother does. I also wouldn't leave DS2 in DS1's care because while DS1 can certainly take care of himself. I don't think it is fair to put DS2's safety on him - would your DD2 have needed DD1's help if 'something' happened?

From what you have described you made the right call. The risk/reward ratio would have made me do exactly the same.

neveronamonday Fri 04-Jan-13 22:48:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mentallyscrewed Fri 04-Jan-13 22:52:53

Depends on your child. I would leave my 8 year old for a few mins in the car but when my ASD 6.5 year old is 8 then I can't see it happening.

My friends often suggest that in a year I'll be able to leave my then 14 year old looking after her brothers. DS1 will be 9, DS2 7.5. I could easily trust her with DS1 but not DS2.

Depends on your situation and your children.

Greensleeves Fri 04-Jan-13 22:52:59

Sorry, I know it's hard, but I wouldn't have done it. Just not worth it.

doingtwelvethingsatonce Sat 05-Jan-13 09:03:36

Well, you asked on AIBU. Some will agree with you, some won't. As soon as someone thinks you were, you go into "explain away everything" mode. Sorry, but if you have no problems with what you did then why did you even post it to begin with?? confused

You state your DH thinks YABU and shouldn't have done it. I suggest you discuss it further with him. As he is a parent to the children, he has just as much say in whether or not they are left alone in the car as you do. If HE had done something you felt was unsafe, would you want him to listen to you or a bunch of unknown people on the internet? hmm

RedHelenB Sat 05-Jan-13 09:06:30

If DH doesn't feel comfortable with it maybe avoid doing it in future but if you are fine with it then that's what counts - they were in your care & as you say you know them. BTW, I am not saying anyone with autism can't be sensible but when I test my kids on situations (like letting them walk to the shops( it's the unexpected scenarios I give them that I'm most concerned about their replies!!!)

insanityscratching Sat 05-Jan-13 09:11:42

I would have driven her home without the magazine tbh because that would have been the better learning experience even if she would have screamed. I know with my two with autism they will always push the boundaries so rewarding them for their non compliance would just escalate it next time so it's something I will always avoid. I think you may have made a rod for your own back because dd got what she wanted without having to make any effort on her part so for me YABU.

Marne Sat 05-Jan-13 09:52:38

So what happens when your child is ill and you have to take your other child/children to school? do you not leave the sick one in the car when you run in with the other one? (i always do) or do you drag your sick child into the playground?

Dd2 often gets poorly (so poorly she can hardly stand up) so i have to leave her in the car outside school for 5 minutes when i run dd1 in, i dont have much choice as i have no one to sit with dd2 and no one to take dd1 to school.

Every day you take your child out in the car you are risking their safety, theres more chance of being in a accident than someone taking your child from the car or your car catching fire when parked.

Thank you Insanity for your coment, i understand what you are saying about making a rod for my own back by giving in and getting her the magazine but i was having a tough day, dd2 has been very anxious over christmas, she has hardly played with anything and magazines are the only thing that keeps her still for more than 5 minutes, i spend all day chasing her around, cleaning up after her and calming her down, by getting her the magazine i actually manage to sit down for 5 minutes without having to worry about what dd2 is up to. I made a choice on what was best for all of us. It was a last minute choice to take dd2 with me (as dh was ment to be home before lunch so i could go on my own), i did not have time to prepare dd2 before we went so how could i expect her to cope with being dragged into a supermarket. I should have thought about this before taking her but i didn't.

I know i posted in AIBU so i did expect these responses but i'm a bit shocked at how over careful some of you are (the coments about cars catching fire are a bit OTT), i was only gone 5 minutes max, i'm sure most people take their eyes off their kids for 5 minutes (maybe when they play in the garden or when they are in bed?).

insanityscratching Sat 05-Jan-13 10:10:33

Marne I'm as hard as nails though (because I have to be) Ds is nearly 18 and a foot taller than me so I can't risk him being non compliant because that would be dangerous for me and anyone else.
Not criticising you at all because I know it's really hard but just saying what I would have done and giving you my reasons why.
FWIW the mistakes I made when ds was still tiny I still pay for to this day 15 or 16 years later so would say that if you can see yourself being unhappy at a teen doing that behaviour then do your utmost to address it whilst they are still small enough for you to impose your will.

RedHelenB Sat 05-Jan-13 12:33:29

I think letting the handbrake go or someone bashing into the car would be the scenarios I would worry about plus maybe dd2 getting it into her head to find you if something prevented you from being as quick as you planned. But it's a judgement call. FWIW I would not leave my 6 year old in the car out of my eye vision because i wouldn't be 100% that he wouldn't fiddle with things or decide to come looking for me if he felt I had been too long a time. However i would leave him with his older sisters & he does play out on the cul de sac with the front door open. At the end of the day it is parental choice & everyone has to do what they think best.

Goldmandra Sat 05-Jan-13 20:03:31

" i'm a bit shocked at how over careful some of you are (the coments about cars catching fire are a bit OTT), i was only gone 5 minutes max,"

It only took two minutes for my friend's car to go up in flames. Luckily on that occasion she hadn't left her baby sleeping in it. She went out as soon as the smoke was spotted coming from the wheel arch and grabbed her handbag. She didn't have time to rescue the children's car seats.

I may now be a bit paranoid. I don't know but I do know I couldn't leave younger children in a car out of my sight.

As for whether you should have left your DD without a magazine - you made the judgement based on your own circumstances and what you know your own DD can cope with. No-one else is in any position to judge.

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