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?

WayHarshTai Fri 23-Aug-13 17:27:34

Your parents are chock full o' nuts.

He's 12 ffs.

Surely he walks to school alone, plays out all day, goes into town with friends?

Staying at home for an hour is FINE.

If it helps, DS1 is 11 in two weeks and has been staying at home while I take DD to gymnastics (for eg) for about a year. In September he'll be walking home from school and letting himself in (DH is home at 4.30).

ClaimedByMe Fri 23-Aug-13 17:28:59

I think they have massively overreacted, my oldest is 10 and I have started leaving her for short periods, while I walk the dog for example, she knows the rules, my parents only live round the corner, I am unsure how they learn independence and responsibility if you don't give them the chance.

Floralnomad Fri 23-Aug-13 17:29:08

Yes they have massively overreacted !

CaptainCapybara Fri 23-Aug-13 17:29:46

I think a lot of 12 year olds would be fine for an hour but in this case I would think he is not ready if he can't follow your instruction to stay in the house, I would worry what else he would not do that you had told him to.

You are his parent not them, tell them to unclench.

Yonihadtoask Fri 23-Aug-13 17:32:35

You did nothing wrong.

How on earth are DC gping to learn to look after themselves if never left alone.

Tell your parents to butt out.

LIZS Fri 23-Aug-13 17:33:55

They are overreacting but so was he if he couldn't stay put for an hour and panicked.

Spottypurse Fri 23-Aug-13 17:34:13

I intend to let my 11 year old get the bus to and from school in a week's time. And if she's home before me she will have a key and will wait about an hour tops until I get there.

Your parents are barking.

AnythingNotEverything Fri 23-Aug-13 17:34:16

I don't think you've done anything wrong. In fact, he wasn't sure if he was allowed to play, tried you, then used his initiative! I think he did well.

Ignore them.

aturtlenamedmack Fri 23-Aug-13 17:35:34

Agree with the others. You also need to make sure that they know it's completely out of order to criticize your parenting in front of your ds.

FreckledLeopard Fri 23-Aug-13 17:35:39

DD is sometimes home alone all day during the school holidays. She is also 12. Your parents are wrong. Ignore them.

Bambamb Fri 23-Aug-13 17:36:26

You're joking aren't you captain? He did follow instructions & didn't go out, but came up with what sounds like a sensible alternative plan.
You know your own child and whether or not you can leave him. Your folks are overreacting.

Bowlersarm Fri 23-Aug-13 17:38:51

Perfectly fine to leave him at home alone.

By Year 7 most children are taking themselves off to school alone.

It's time to allow independence. You are it perfectly with small steps.

Ignore them.

RippingYarns Fri 23-Aug-13 17:40:00

so, your DS wanted to go out and knew he had to tell someone since you thought he was in the house. he couldn't reach you so he used his noodle and rang his GPs to tell them, and they went off on one?

they are overreacting

well done to your DS for forward thinking

PlateSpinningAtAllTimes Fri 23-Aug-13 17:40:42

Haha, tell them that my parents went on holiday for a week and left me on my own when I was 14 grin
Same parents are shock about me leaving DC in the car while I pay for petrol.

Nagoo Fri 23-Aug-13 17:43:14

What did he say on the phone to them? If he sounded very upset then I can see why they reacted a bit OTT. It's not on for them to shout at you in front of your son. I imagine DS was devastated by the over-reaction too, as I am sure he was seeking reassurance, not trying to cause a row sad They did not react in the best way at all. I don't think that there is anything wrong with leaving him alone for an hour at all. It was responsible of your DS to talk to an adult before he went out, but now it's all blown up in his face. IMO the correct response from your parents should have been to tell him to put the telly on and phone them back in half an hour. There was no need for anyone to get so het up about it.

I would carry on doing exactly what you want to do. Clarify with your son how he is to contact you, and under what circumstances he is to contact his GPs.

Panic is contagious, so if he sounded upset that will be what wound your parents up. I wouldn't push it with them. I's just quietly get on with what I thought was best.

hugoagogo Fri 23-Aug-13 17:43:28

Your parents maybe got a bit of a shock that he called, but still they have lost the plot.

I leave my 11 year old ds for an hour or so most days in the school holidays.

VoiceOfRaisin Fri 23-Aug-13 17:45:36

A sensible 12yo is FINE to be left in the house for an hour. Your parents have not thought this through. Gosh, in approx 18 months (guessing 12.5 years as a mid point) your DS will be old enough to babysit for others.

Your DS sounds like a star - I hope he knows that he did exactly the right thing (even if the consequences were unfortunate).

Your DParents sound a bit unhinged.

He's 12 FFS, you did nothing wrong.
I rarely leave DD (12 next week), home alone, but only because she wants to come with me.
She's out now though with her friend for a couple of hours, and I'm fine with it.

HellesBellesThinksSometimes Fri 23-Aug-13 17:52:47

You've all been very reassuring - thank you. I checked and he said nothing inflammatory to his gm.

They are control-freaks tbh.

matana Sat 24-Aug-13 07:31:14

Wow dsd is 13 and I would consider allowing her yo babysit her 3 year old brother, providing there were some clear ground rules and we put him to hed first.

This was a huge overreaction to your ds using his initiative.

matana Sat 24-Aug-13 07:31:49

*bed

SPBisResisting Sat 24-Aug-13 07:34:20

He did the right thing. That said it would have been a good idea to warn them in advance this sort of thing was starting to happen.

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