Would you tell DH kids had been left alone?(15 Posts)
The dilemma - have just returned from weekend away (maybe do
Whoops, created too early, sorry. Just returned from weekend away & mother was looking after 7 and 4 year old for 3 nights - something she does for us once maybe twice a year (v lucky). Kids tell me this morning they were left in car of supermarket car park while mother went to do shopping!! I didn't believe it - asked mother nicely - yes, she did it TWICE as they had been so good the first time. Was apparently away for just a minute - difficult to believe, takes me a lot longer to grab something in Morrisons then queue up to pay......
Anyway, at times strained relationship with mother in law/mother anyway and have been told off in the last by her about telling DH everything she says to me....
Desperately want to tell DH - but should I?
Has she done something absolutely horrendous or am I overreacting - I simply said to her when she asked if she'd done wrong, no we absolutely shouldn't do that, I have my eyes on them like a beady hawk even when paying for petrol, we won't be doing that again. Fall out all the time with her anyway, couldn't face another fall out at the moment.
By the way, she left them in the toddler spaces which are completely around the corned from the shop and no way of seeing the car from the supermarket.
What should I do?
Tbh. I wouldnt have had a problem with it. If it was just a 4 year old yes but not with a 7 year old there as well.
Yes you should tell your dh, because a) your children have mentioned it to you, they might also mention it to him; b) it's just the right thing to do, because it's a factor in your future childcare decisions.
However, I don't think your dh needs to have a discussion about it with her. You have already told your mother that you're not happy for your children to be left in this way in future, so there's no more to be said really.
I don't think this is a really terrible thing for her to have done. It would probably have been quite acceptable when she was bringing up her own children. If you trust that she won't do it again now that she knows you are not okay with it, I don't think you have a big problem.
I'd be uncomfortable with it but I don't think its a terrible offence.
This is because I know I get really anxious if I leave my 6yo in the car and its out of sight (if I'm at the Co-op which has a full window so can see the car I will happily pop in and leave the 3yo and the 6yo in there)
I dont like the idea of them being locked in there when for any reason they may need to get out, and I don't like them not being able to contact me if I'm out of sight.
I think that you need to tell your DH and say you're uncomfortable with it and ask her not to do it again.
Thank you for your considered and very sensible comments/thoughts. I suppose I'm worried that DH will fly off the handle about it as he is "anti MIL" at the moment anyway (she can be rather frustrating, judgemental, self righteous at the moment and he would probably completely pull her up on this). I will tell him as you're absolutely right, he needs to know and I don't want to hide anything from him, but I just wanted to get a few thoughts on perhaps the danger element of leaving kids alone... My initial thoughts were, OMG they could have been kidnapped, what if car had crashed in to them etc etc. but these scenarios are obviously most unlikely and my paranoia coming through, as I wouldn't dream of doing this myself unless I could see the car.
Update! Have told DH...... he never wants her to look after them again...... And states that a well known child abduction took place from a locked room with other children present...... Knew I'd get this reaction and can't help thinking I am as gobsmacked that this has happened as he is. It's not like the car was on the road outside the shop - in this big supermarket it definitely would have taken at least a few minutes to complete the shopping of even one item.
Going to have to make it clear to DM that it was not at all acceptable and has worried us greatly, oh dear
Of course it's his (and your) perogative if he never wants her to look after them again. That might cut down on your available babysitters who are happy to have your DC for a few nights while you go away though!
As others have said, I don't think it's a horrendous thing to do - it's a personal preference - something some people would be fine with, and others (like you) not.
Given that you've already explained to your DM that you are not happy with her doing this, and given that your DH feels she shouldn't be looking after them again because of this, do you really feel you need to enter into further discussions about it with her?
Thanks for your comments Bramshott. It's a hard one.... DS(just 7) has also told us his window was down and DD says he was climbing out of it. I feel I do need to ask her if she left them alone with the windows open as that is again a completely different scenario from leaving them in the locked car. As DH points out, she has left our most precious "possessions" open to being run over, abducted etc etc. What if something had happened to her in the supermarket? What if the 4 year old had been snatched? Obviously our imaginations have run wild overnight but it was only recently a friend of ours was run over in a zoo car park. Strange things do happen.....
I just "need" to know if the windows were open so will ask her and can't help thinking she's acted completely irrationally leaving them there and doing it twice in the first place - it wasn't an emergency, she was buying them chocolate! If you are looking after someone else's children, IMO you surely guard them with your life.... It's up to parents how they look after their own but it feels a bit like she's lost it to do that when she has sole charge over them and we are away. The fact she didn't think it was wrong worries me and I need to address it. But will try to stay calm and not cause upset
You really don't "need" to know if the window was left open. If you are genuinely not letting her look after your children again, there is no reason for you to talk to her about it.
What difference will it make now whether the window was left open or not - none! You are just winding yourself up about it.
If you were going to use her for childminding again, then and only then should it be mentioned.
Please do not go making a clearly strained relationship worse by talking about what you see as a major error of judgement on her part. No matter how nicely or calmly you try to talk to her about it, you are being highly critical and judgemental of her parenting style. You might be right that see should not have left the children alone like she did but you are not going to help with asking her something like "did you leave the window open?"
Sorry to read this. She sounds like my mother. Full of good intentions but no practical sense.
She did act irresponsibly. The issue is, does she realise it? We all do stupid things, well I have, but provided we face it and act to not repeat the mistake, there is hope. Otherwise, you will have to find other childminding arrangements.
The danger of abduction is existent but relatively small, but the main danger is the children leaving the vehicle to find the adult. They are then in danger of being run over, lost, etc.
I would discuss it with her, as reasonably, you are likely to call on her in the future.
I have a friend who regularly leaves her kids in the car while she 'nips in' to the local tesco. last summer I saw them in the car park with the windows down they were 5 and 2. I am not comfortable with it and now avoid all suggestions of her taking my kids anywhere. I agree with your dh but also with other posters it would gave been the norm when her kiss were small. I can remember standong outside the supermarket with my brother screaming in the pram and a stranger picked him up to stop the crying. I would have been about 4
yes should have said it's not the risk of abduction but more how to stop them getting out and wandering around.
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