I left my 12yo at home for 1 hour

(72 Posts)
HellesBellesThinksSometimes Fri 23-Aug-13 17:24:47

Now my parents say I am a bad parent and have shouted at me - in front of my son.

First of all, I should say that I have, over the last few months, started leaving ds while I have nipped to the shops or gone to church.

Today, I was delivering family birthday/anniversary cards. I told ds where I was going. I told him the rules for staying safe while I was gone (stay in the house, don't answer the door to strangers, do not use the kitchen except to get a glass of squash, phone grandparents in an emergency).

He wanted to play out, couldn't get me on my mobile (I must have been out of range - we live in a rural area), so he rang my parents but they have massively overreacted. I think they have anyway.

Any thoughts?

exoticfruits Sat 24-Aug-13 07:48:46

You should be starting to leave a child that age - you do not need to drag them off with you every time you leave the house. Your mistake was not explaining to your parents that they were an emergency number. Just tell them that you will be leaving him in future and are they happy to be an emergency contact- if not you will find someone else.

HellesBellesThinksSometimes Sat 24-Aug-13 08:36:54

They know I have left him before to go to church or the library or to nip round to their house or to the shop. I think it was because my phone was out of range.

Andro Sat 24-Aug-13 16:40:22

He did everything right (I assume he was duly praised for that?) and your parents were out of order. Out of order enough to call you a bad parent, but to do so in front your your son? Way out of line imo.

WafflyVersatile Sat 24-Aug-13 16:44:25

Next time say 'in an emergency phone anyone but your bloody grandparents'.

Milliways Sat 24-Aug-13 16:57:00

Both mine spent inset days home alone from Yr 7, and DS was only 12 in Yr8 (Aug birthday).

duchesse Sat 24-Aug-13 16:58:14

Bloody hell, he's 12!! You know him, you know whether or not he's likely to set fire to the house or invite the local chapter of the Hell's Angels in. Your parents are totally over-reacting imo. In the 60s and 70s we were routinely left alone, in rural areas and in towns, much younger and for a lot longer. Ask them how long they would have left you alone at that age.

duchesse Sat 24-Aug-13 17:01:35

Thinking back, I went out leaving my then 12 yo dd2 to babysit newborn-ish dd3 for about an hour. Only you know how sensible, mature and trustworthy your DC is.

elfycat Sat 24-Aug-13 17:02:36

I'd show him some of these posts, to show him that you were right and the grandparents weren't. But only if he won't report it back to them (though I think it'd do them good.

Also let him know that he did well to phone and ask and that it's no reflection on either of your decision making abilities that trouble kicked off.

Chubfuddler Sat 24-Aug-13 17:02:51

So he couldn't contact you and contacted them? What exactly do they think is the problem?

From about 10 or 11 I routinely got home to an empty house until my brothers got home an hour later. Completely normal.

Did your parents honestly never leave you alone at the age of 12?

HellesBellesThinksSometimes Sat 24-Aug-13 17:14:34

They totally left my brother and I alone for a couple of hours after school a couple of times a week!

DS has been assured that, despite gps' reactions, he did the right thing.

The emergency phone call list has been amended and they are being bumped down in favour of family friends and aunts!

Honestly, when they were going off at me, I was really starting to doubt myself - you've all done me the world of good, thank you flowers

mysteryfairy Sat 24-Aug-13 17:31:05

I generally don't think it's unreasonable to leave a 12 year old though my DD who is 11.5 doesn't like to be left so comes along on the most tedious errands with me. However it doesn't sound like he is very good at following instructions if he is told he had to stay in and is then ringing you with a view to playing out so maybe he isn't ready to be left. Was he ringing grandparents to nag them to play out or because he was concerned that you were incommunicado because I think I'd be concerned if a home alone 12 year old rang me for either if those and it might lead to me being a bit vehement!

daytoday Sat 24-Aug-13 18:33:20

Oh my they have massively overreacted and probably scared the life out of him now.

Trills Sat 24-Aug-13 18:40:57

He needs to get a better idea of what an "emergency" is if he phoned his (massively overreacting) grandparents just because your phone was out of range at one point - especially if you live in a rural-type area where that happens frequently.

If you live in a city and the only time your phone would go straight to answerphone would be if you'd just been hit by a bus, maybe it's more understandable.

SilverApples Sat 24-Aug-13 18:43:10

They have over-reacted, but he couldn't contact you when he needed to.
Are there better networks for your area?

Surely 'in their day' they wouldn't have been instantly contactable either since mobile phones have only been mainstream for 15 years?! confused
YANBU grin I was on my own after school for a couple of hours everyday from 11 and all day through the holidays from 12.

RabbitFromAHat Sat 24-Aug-13 19:11:54

Your parents are mad. Happy to help. grin

At his age I was at home after school for two hours every evening before my parents got home. In those two hours I used to set the fire, and get the dinner on for everyone. I absolutely loved that time to myself, and have ended up a bloody good cook too. We didn't even have a house phone let alone mobiles!

SilverApples Sat 24-Aug-13 21:43:18

Why did your DS phone them?

HellesBellesThinksSometimes Sat 24-Aug-13 23:04:18

SilverApples to ask for my aunt's and my coysin's phone numbers because my mobile was going straight to voicemail due to being out of range.

SilverApples Sat 24-Aug-13 23:08:27

You weren't wrong to leave him, but you do need to sort this bit out. he doesn't sound sure about what the sequence is or why.
Aren't their numbers in your personal phone book?

HellesBellesThinksSometimes Sat 24-Aug-13 23:10:53

My mobile is my personal phone book! I have now stuck all the family's phone numbers and my best friend's phone number under the phone - in the order he's to contact in an emergency.

mummyxtwo Sun 25-Aug-13 11:25:26

I would reassure your ds that he did the right thing and you're sorry that the grandparents shouted, which they shouldn't have done. You don't want him to think he did wrong and then not call someone next time. And reassure him that if your mobile signal doesn't allow you to get a call just keep trying as you'll probably move into an area of better reception soon, and not to panic. Definitely tell the gp it is not on for them to shout out you in front of him - how dare they?! It would be upsetting for him as well as undermining you. They are adults and should darn well behave like grown up people.

BellaVita Sun 25-Aug-13 11:28:18

They are bonkers!

Barbabeau Sun 25-Aug-13 19:08:22

I think they totally overreacted.

I took a babysitting course at the age of 12 (baby care, common sense stuff about safety in the home, first aid basics, etc) and started babysitting my younger brothers (10 & 6) and other local kids. This wasn't in the UK.

In fact my mother was quite ill for a couple of months when I was 12 and I had to frequently babysit my brothers, cook meals, take charge of tidying/urge brothers to tidy, etc while my father was at the hospital. I coped just fine.

valiumredhead Sun 25-Aug-13 19:20:53

Massive over reaction, we've been leaving ds at home for short periods of time to Nevin with since the age of ten. He's 12 now and we will happily leave him for a couple of hours. He loves it!

BrianTheMole Sun 25-Aug-13 19:33:07

Its fine. And he used his iniative too which is good. Your parents are way over the top.

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