to think it is not safe to leave a 5 year old in the house by themselves whilst you are in the garden?

(43 Posts)
spookyskeleton Wed 19-Feb-14 17:30:21

I am prepared to be told IABU but I am having a 'disagreement' with DH and would appreciate the MN view wink

DH has been looking after the DC this week and periodically has been going into the front garden with DS1 to play football and leaving DS2 in the house by himself to watch telly (DS2 does not like football!) He has been closing the door to keep the heat in the house. He says he has been checking on him regularly (which I don't doubt he has) and DS2 can open the door and go out if he wants them but I still have an uneasy feeling about it.

DH's argument is that it is only like being upstairs (for example, we have been known to stay in bed and have a snooze in the mornings whilst the DC are downstairs) when he is downstairs but my argument is that if he falls over/hurts himself etc you could hear him cry/scream whereas you can't if you are outside.


tripecity Wed 19-Feb-14 17:31:33


Joules68 Wed 19-Feb-14 17:32:10


cheminotte Wed 19-Feb-14 17:32:17

Sorry. I think yabu. Not talking about a 2 year old here.

HyvaPaiva Wed 19-Feb-14 17:32:47

Sorry OP, YABU!

tiredoftrains Wed 19-Feb-14 17:33:08

Hmm...guess it depends on the size of your garden - we have a little one so can still hear from the end of it. I often leave my 3 yo eating his breakfast while I pop out to feed the chickens, but wouldn't go out for extended periods.

Yabu, it is the same as being in another room, as long as your DS can get out its fine.

ProfPlumSpeaking Wed 19-Feb-14 17:33:20

I suspect YAB a little U. Of course, as ever, it depends on the child and on the set up, but most 5 year olds are fine watching tv whilst a parent is in the garden. OTOH if it is a 5 yo who loves playing with matches, or jumping down the whole flight of stairs when left unsupervised then perhaps not....

trampstamp Wed 19-Feb-14 17:34:10

Yes I think yabu but dose depend on your garden and how safe your garden is my mates garden has a very low level fence were any one walking past could just grab her daughter but if it's secure then I think yabu

CailinDana Wed 19-Feb-14 17:34:12


trampstamp Wed 19-Feb-14 17:35:14

Ahh wrong end of the stickblush sorry thought child was in the garden and ds was in doors

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 19-Feb-14 17:35:54

Yabu. Think about it. Depending on size of your house you could be nearer your dc in the garden than in the house.

VelvetGecko Wed 19-Feb-14 17:36:52

YABU. I'm a LP of a 5 yr old, should I never go for a shower/bath? It's no different.

bryonywhisker Wed 19-Feb-14 17:37:26


StarGazeyPond Wed 19-Feb-14 17:38:05

YAB really U.

SoonToBeSix Wed 19-Feb-14 17:38:14

Is this a joke or reverse ? Of course it's safe

Crocky Wed 19-Feb-14 17:38:29


ColaConkie Wed 19-Feb-14 17:38:49


Well, I'll leave my 4 year old inside, and go and play outside with the 2 yr old.
I've even been known to leave the pair of them watching TV and have a shower upstairs or hang the washing outside.
I do have the advantage of having the lounge at the back of the house, so when in the garden, I can see in iyswim.
Very glad I'm not the only one.

littlewhitebag Wed 19-Feb-14 17:40:52

Of course it's fine. I think you are being a tad neurotic.

Ra88 Wed 19-Feb-14 17:41:02


squeakytoy Wed 19-Feb-14 17:41:48

he is 5 not 2... perfectly old enough to be left on his own in a room to watch tv

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 19-Feb-14 17:42:11

So do you never put the bins out?

spookyskeleton Wed 19-Feb-14 17:45:31

Ok so IABU grin I promise it is not a reverse AIBU.

Of course you don't have to be in the room with them at all times and, yes I have a shower when he is downstairs but that is 10 minutes max.

Funny as I am not generally a protective mum and am quite laidback about stuff so not sure why this has raised my hackles so much confused

morethanpotatoprints Wed 19-Feb-14 17:45:56

YABU but I'm so glad you top me for being over protective.
I'm always accused of this and think well at least I care enough to be over protective.
You do need to stop it though OP, it will drive you mad.
Please have some cake and a brew

spookyskeleton Wed 19-Feb-14 17:46:47

Again, hanging washing out/putting bins is reasonably quick whereas this was for a longer period with periodic checks.

AwfulMaureen Wed 19-Feb-14 17:47:01

Is the front garden on a main road? Could someone see him as they pass by? If so then YANBU.

BUT if it is a private enclosed garden then yabu.

1stMrsF Wed 19-Feb-14 17:47:25

I leave my 2 (4yo) in the house watching TV or playing while I e.g. Hang out washing. I wouldn't do it for long, and I would expect them to come to the back door if they stopped watching or needed anything. Other children might not do that and get upset if their calls are ignored or go doing something dangerous, so I don't think YABU to err on the side of caution, it is important that you make your own decision about what is right for you and your children.

IsitwrongtofancyHarryStyles Wed 19-Feb-14 17:47:45

Yabu in quite a ginormous way

spookyskeleton Wed 19-Feb-14 17:51:02

Just to clarify I am talking an extended period of time (say an hour), not 5 minutes.

Yabu I leave my 18 mo in house while I hang washing out, take bins out, get stuff from car, shower etc...he's fine

TeacupDrama Wed 19-Feb-14 17:54:36

yes but it's not an hour without checking him, it is maybe 5-10 minutes at a time


GreyGardens Wed 19-Feb-14 17:54:37

Genuinely, what concerns you about leaving him inside? I am quite neurotic but it wouldn't occur to me to worry about this for a 5 year old?

WorraLiberty Wed 19-Feb-14 17:55:17

YABU unless the child is particularly disobedient or something

I regularly used to play football in the garden with DS3 and leave DS2 watching TV on the couch or reading a book.

And yes, even for an hour.

If you don't doubt your DH is regularly checking on him, I can't see a problem.

Slutbucket Wed 19-Feb-14 17:55:35

I've left the five year old looking after the two year olds whilst I nip next door to ask for some help with the school run. Bad mother me! (The five year old is probably more sensible than both his parents put together.)

VoyageDeVerity Wed 19-Feb-14 18:04:05


innisglas Wed 19-Feb-14 18:12:40

I think it depends on the child, some children are naturally impetuous and some are naturally careful. My daughter was naturally careful and so could be trusted with lots of things that I would not have trusted another child with

VelmaD Wed 19-Feb-14 18:24:17

Last summer I spent ages gardening, re-sorting my whole front garden. I am a lone parent and my sons at the time were 5 and 6. They'd get left indoors, or indeed in the back garden, whilst I was out the front gardening. I leave them when I hoover and wash the car as well. You'd be surprised what you can hear through supposed double glazing too!


SummerRain Wed 19-Feb-14 18:31:40

Depends on the five year old buy for most I'd say that's totally fine, I've been leaving ds2 to his own devices while I'm upstairs or in the garden for ages and he only turned 5 last week. He's the type of child who won't get up to mischief and he can open the door to come get me if need be.

Ds1 I would have been more cautious with but he has adhd and would most certainly have flooded the house/broken the TV/fallen downstairs at that age of left unsupervised.

You know your son best but unless there are special circumstances I'd imagine you're being a bit over protective tbh

Madeyemoodysmum Wed 19-Feb-14 18:31:45

I'm often in garden while kids in house 6/8 yrs. in the lovely summer we had last yr I would sit in the garden having a cuppa reading etc and leave them too it. If they need me they know where I am (average size house)

gimcrack Wed 19-Feb-14 20:23:48

I'd do this with my five year old. except I can't, as he doesn't like being on his own and would follow me

cory Wed 19-Feb-14 20:31:44

"DH's argument is that it is only like being upstairs (for example, we have been known to stay in bed and have a snooze in the mornings whilst the DC are downstairs) when he is downstairs but my argument is that if he falls over/hurts himself etc you could hear him cry/scream whereas you can't if you are outside."

I hope you mean if he breaks a leg or something that means he can't pick himself up and come and find you. Or do you really expect your 5yo to sit and cry like a baby until an adult comes and picks him up?

Assuming you are talking about a serious injury, that would of course be bad, but why would it be different for a 5yo than for a 7yo or a 10yo?

At this age, they are not learning to walk so there is no reason a 5yo would be more likely to break a leg than a 10yo (and probably slightly less likely than you as his legs will be less stiff). And if they did, what could the 10yo do that the 5yo couldn't?

milkysmum Wed 19-Feb-14 20:40:52

I have a 5 year old and would be fine with them staying in the house whilst I was in garden if they didn't want to come out

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