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Quick answers needed - AIBU about my DD going to the park...

(38 Posts)
parkgate Fri 02-Sep-11 13:57:06

With her 12 year old step sister (averagely responsible for her age) DD is 5 years old...

It's a 10 minute walk from the house with 1 main road with traffic lights.

They were at home today with my partner and he has just messaged me to say he's let them go alone... I'm hyperventilating and wondering... AIBU??!

TheMonster Fri 02-Sep-11 13:58:47

YANBU! I would not let a 12 year old look after my DS (nearly 5), and especially not for a 10 minute walk.

seeker Fri 02-Sep-11 13:59:33

It would be fine with me- but lots of people will say it isn't. Try to ignore them!

slavetofilofax Fri 02-Sep-11 14:00:04

YANBU. I wouldn't allow it.

fedupofnamechanging Fri 02-Sep-11 14:00:23

YANBU. I wouldn't be happy for a 12 year old to be responsible for a 5 year old. I would be telling my dp to get his arse sharpish down the park and supervise my dc properly, not let her sister do it.

I wouldn't be wildly happy about the 12 year old going by herself either, if the road is very busy.

Tabliope Fri 02-Sep-11 14:00:31

I wouldn't. Too far away if anything happens.

NormaStanleyFletcher Fri 02-Sep-11 14:01:00

It would be fine with me too - depends on the 12 year old, but my DS is 12 on Sat, and DD is 5 and I would be fine with it

fedupofnamechanging Fri 02-Sep-11 14:03:17

The other thing is that your partner should have asked you before he allowed this. You have entrusted your child to his care (presuming he is not her dad, as you say she is with her step sister, rather than half sister), not the care of his 12 year old.

Words would be had in my house.

IndigoBell Fri 02-Sep-11 14:03:52


I would easily let a 12 year old sibling look after a 5 year old.

itisnearlysummer Fri 02-Sep-11 14:05:05


I have 5yo DD and 12yo risk averse DS.

We live in a quiet area. There is a play area a 10 min walk away. They'd have to cross our road (in front of our house where I can see them) and then walk along very quiet roads to get there.

I wouldn't allow it. It's unfair to expect a 12yo to look after a 5yo like this. What if she falls and hurts herself? Underestimates her physical capabilities (e.g. starts across the monkey bars like my DD did last week and then needed rescuing)? What if there is a situation your step daughter doesn't have the maturity to deal with?

The issue isn't so much whether the 12yo is sensible/responsible, it's about having the maturity to deal with situations that arise.

I'm quite happy to let my 2 wander off to the play area on a campsite unsupervised, but not where they would be so far from home and I wouldn't realised if there was an emergency quickly/immediately.

seeker Fri 02-Sep-11 14:05:57

First sighting of the scary "anythings" I do wonder what they are. Some sort of leopard?

Kayano Fri 02-Sep-11 14:06:15

I would be fine with it but as someone else said it depends on 12 yearold

Againagainagain Fri 02-Sep-11 14:06:24

It realy depends on the 12 year old, my sister had just turned 13 when my son was born and has always been trusted to take him out

parkgate Fri 02-Sep-11 14:06:54

a 50/50 then. I just called the older one and she seemed fine which has put my mind at ease a bit.
I told DP that the reason i didn't want them going to out alone is that he is working from home and I didn't want him to be distracted by worrying if they were safe/ late home etc. (which was my first reservation) so i can see why he thought it was up to him to decide.
he's just messaged me saying should he phone and make them come back but I'm going to give them half an hour there... Arghhh why do they have to grow up?!

scrambedeggs Fri 02-Sep-11 14:06:54

The other thing is that your partner should have asked you before he allowed this.

wtf! does she ring him and pass every little decision by him first? Jane is having baked beans for lunch, is that ok? Should Jane have bubbles or plain bath water? Should Jane wear the pink or green knickers today?


scrambedeggs Fri 02-Sep-11 14:07:47

oh and some 12 year olds have babies of their own, should they not be alone with them at any time????

Pendeen Fri 02-Sep-11 14:07:49


To me it all depends very much upon the maturity of the two children. I know some 12 year olds that are not very much advanced on 5 and one or two who are more mature and trustworthy than some 16 year olds.

However the comments above about your DP's unilateral decision are spot on if this is your reaction. He should have thought it through and discussed with you first.

fedupofnamechanging Fri 02-Sep-11 14:11:36

This is not a little thing scrambedeggs. This is giving the responsibility of her child to another child. Some people are okay with this, but others are not and it should be a decision that the parent makes.

If I leave my child with someone, I'm expecting them to look after my child, as agreed, not pass it on to someone else without my permission.

It's a little bit more important than deciding whether Jane has baked beans for lunch.

itisnearlysummer Fri 02-Sep-11 14:13:03

I think it also depends on the 5yo.

I would trust my 12yo in this circumstance to not be silly.

I wouldn't be confident that if she fell and broke her arm, for example, that he would be able to deal with this without panicking.

I trust my 5yo to be taken to school by DS (between us and the play area) but not sure that I'd trust her to listen to him when excited and wanting to do something in the park/play area that he thought was a bad idea.

OP, glad you feel reassured now though smile

fedupofnamechanging Fri 02-Sep-11 14:15:05

12 year olds who have babies of their own, learn over a period of time how to care for them properly and are usually supported while they do so.

NormaStanleyFletcher Fri 02-Sep-11 14:16:37

I see the 12 year old has a phone on her too. In that case if there is something that she doesn't feel she can cope with then she can always call

elphabadefiesgravity Fri 02-Sep-11 14:18:00

I'd be fine with a 12 year old looking after a 5 year old but not a 10 year old.

Jas Fri 02-Sep-11 14:32:12

I have a 12 yr old and a 5 yr old.
The 12 yr old is very sensible and I trust her to cross roads/go into the town with her friends etc.
The 5 yr old is very excitable, unpredictable and fast.
I would not leave her responsible for him anywhere outside our house or garden.

Pakdooik Fri 02-Sep-11 14:38:58

I'd be fine with this. Can't keep 'em in cottonwool forever.

onehellofaride Fri 02-Sep-11 14:43:43

YANBU I wouldn't be happy with it. We went to a party at a friend's house not long ago and whilst there my DH said that my DS (4) and DSS (5) could go to the park (no roads, very close but just out of sight) with an 8yo (very sensible) but I said no. I eventually allowed them to go with a 13yo as well but was loathed to do so as my DS and DSS are at that age where they can be a handful for anyone. It turned out fine and they had a lovely time before they came back but still, all it would have taken was for one of them to run away or for there to be some trouble with someone else there.

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