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to be furious at dh for leaving DD (7) and DS (3) at home for 5 mins?

(177 Posts)
toomanyeasterbunnies Thu 11-Apr-13 18:52:58

DH popped out to end of road in car to get some bread. He made sure DD knew how to call him and he went out for no longer than five mins. I am furious. He thinks I am over-reacting. Am I?

EndoplasmicReticulum Thu 11-Apr-13 19:42:59

I was going to say it would probably be OK for a 7 year old, until I read it properly and saw there was a 3 year old as well.

That makes it different.

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 11-Apr-13 19:44:39

I wouldn't do it, and I wouldn't be much surprised if someone who did got prosecuted its my understanding that there is very little chance of a under 8 being concidered responsible enough to be home alone with a 3 year old by any child protection related professional. Its correct that there is no legal age to do so but children of certain ages are legally not concidered to be responsible for there own actions nor are they much listened to by professionals who may make decisions on there behalf untill they are about 9/10 so I would say that's a general age to aim for.

But I could just be being odd because I'm a bit like that one way of knowing for sure is phoning the nspcc advice line and outright asking them if its acceptable behaviour from a cp perspective, see what they say.

LovePickles Thu 11-Apr-13 19:46:26

Sorry 5mad those responses were to tigoldbitties.

reluctantmover Thu 11-Apr-13 19:47:33

well I sacked my au-pair over leaving my 3 year old with the 12 year old whilst she went to school taking 5 minutes to collect the 7 year old, she still asked to be paid for a month!

If it were an emergency, like running to help a neighbour having a heart attack, you put one risk above another. Sorry but for a loaf of bread, was that an essential thing to do?

LouLouH Thu 11-Apr-13 19:50:28

Reluctantmover my point exactly. In the husbands eyes would it have been acceptable if a childcare professional had done the same thing.

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 11-Apr-13 19:50:39

I forgot to add.

I have 14 year olds and 15 year olds who I wouldn't leave home alone they both have significant disabilities that mean they will be unlikely to ever be with out fairly intense care needs.

Any one want to be a tosser and call that laughable?

I also have other children who would have been perfectly fine without supervision at 9/10.

You Taylor the care to the child and they are not all the same at the same age.

5madthings Thu 11-Apr-13 19:51:15

Hmm bold went wrong in that last post! Sorry lovepickles didnt mean to get you embroiled in a row!

LovePickles Thu 11-Apr-13 19:52:47

Agree LouLou. The reason people are a little bit more 'uptight' about these things than they used to be re: walking to school etc, is because history is teaching us where risks are and as a collective we've changed our habits. It's not because we're all paranoid and want extra responsibility. It's because there's risks out there and it's better to be safe than very, very, sorry.

LovePickles Thu 11-Apr-13 19:53:57

No problem 5madthings smile

TantrumsAndBalloons Thu 11-Apr-13 19:55:37

pixie I don't think anyone is calling you laughable.

It was IMO a perfectly acceptable question to ask, if you leave your 12 year old alone as most 12 year olds take themselves to school, go out with friends etc.

You explained. That's it. I don't think anyone is trying to have a dig at your parenting.

TantrumsAndBalloons Thu 11-Apr-13 19:57:31

Oh FFS. Sorry I didn't read the thread properly.

I thought it was pixie who had made the original comment, sorry.

Either way, no one is calling anyone laughable or taking the piss out of people's parenting. I hope.

5madthings Thu 11-Apr-13 19:58:36

I agree there are risks but i think our risk assesment can be scewed and the media doesnt help imo.

We all drive our children around oftrn for unnecessaru journeys and simply getting in the car is probably one if the riskiest things we do with our children.

In germany and japan and many other countries children walk themselves to school from a young age and i dont think more of them are abducted (a common fear) or are run over etc. At times we can be too cateful. Children need to learn to be responsible.

LovePickles Thu 11-Apr-13 20:02:38

Sorry tantrums that was in response to tigoldbitties saying 'not leaving a 12 year old is laughable'.

Just felt like people were saying I SHOULD leave my kid. It didn't make sense to me. Even if he didn't have SN I don't think there'd be a reason to leave him alone.

LovePickles Thu 11-Apr-13 20:08:47

I think there are other ways to teach children to be responsible - by talking things through and leading by example, not always chucking them in the deep end and putting them in risky situations. When teaching my girl the green cross code, I didn't drop her off at the nearest zebra crossing and hope for the best when I got back iyswim.

Again I wouldn't judge anyone for their way of parenting, this is just me, and some people may think I'm a control freak, but I don't want there to be unnecessary times of risk that's all.

Melpomene Thu 11-Apr-13 20:17:05

YANBU. A 3yo cannot be fully trusted to do what they are told or understand household dangers. Leaving them alone in the house together is putting too much responsibility on the 7yo.

I left my dds alone at home for the first time yesterday. They are nearly 8 and nearly 10. I was gone for 6 minutes and I wouldn't want to leave them together for much more than that yet.

5madthings Thu 11-Apr-13 20:19:42

Yes of course you yeach by example and dont chuck them in at the deap end. I wasnt suggesting that but you start with little things at an age appropriate level depending on their age. Ie my ds3 goes on ahead at a certain point on the school run and does the last bit on his own having crossed the big roads with me. Ds2 can go to and from school on his own tho somwtimes prefers to walk with me.

We live in a cul de sac so they can play out and there is a local shop ds2 and ds3 can go to.

Ds1 caught the train to london during the holidays and met a relative and stayed with them and then caught the train home and called once he got bacl to the station and then walked home, 40mon walk. He is used to going into town on his own, geys the bus to and from high school eyc. But we startex with pkaying out, going to local shop and park and him going off for a bit qhen we were all in town etc.

Minimising risk yes but we have to let them learn life skills so they can be independent adults. They dont turn 18 and grow up, they learn gradually over nany years and many never seem to quite get there esp not by 18

I apply thr same principle to life skills such as cooking eyc, start young and they learn gradually so ds1 and ds2 can both cook and ds3 helps. They all help out around the house at an age appropriate level.

tripecity Thu 11-Apr-13 20:20:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Thewhingingdefective Thu 11-Apr-13 20:21:03

YANBU. My DC are the same age. The 7 year old left for five minutes - fine. Not fine to leave the three year old.

reluctantmover Thu 11-Apr-13 20:25:05

I'd also be cross at using a car for a 5 minute journey to get bread, probably give a lecture a) on organisational skills about running out of bread and b) using a car for a short journey! That's just me though, it's walk/cycle/bus if under a few kms, and if run out of bread, well lesson taught for it not to happen again and make sure of buying it when out doing something else perhaps.

If the shops were across the road, I'd have sent to 7 year old out to buy the bread too, I do believe in children taking risks, but I think 5 minutes by car is likely to be about 1km away and that for me is too far to leave a 3 year old alone, on the limits of leaving a 7 year old alone. Talking about normal development children.

LovePickles Thu 11-Apr-13 20:28:00

Tripe I believe picking up a parcel from a neighbour is ok. Taking a journey out of your street is too far for me. No one's going to flame you, it's up to you how you raise your children.

Abra1d Thu 11-Apr-13 20:29:08

YABU. I've done this with mine at similar ages. They were fine. Like tripecity, I live somewhere quiet, with good neighbours. My children have always been sensible and planted in front of a video very unlikely to do anything other than watch it.

Depends on the child, tbh.

bringonyourwreckingball Thu 11-Apr-13 20:32:11

Yanbu. I might, hypothetically, if we lived within 5 min walking distance, walk to a a shop in an emergency leaving just my supremely sensible 7 yr old at home. I would not drive. I would under no circumstances whatsoever leave my 7 and 4 year old at home alone. It's only in the last year I've felt completely comfortable popping out to the garage and leaving them alone in the house. They are actually quite independent children but I only believe in pushing the boundaries of their independence when it's right for them, not expedient for me.

kinkyfuckery Thu 11-Apr-13 20:32:11

It is unfair to expect a 7 year old to be solely responsible for a 3 year old's safety.


reluctantmover Thu 11-Apr-13 20:36:20

Our neighbour left their 3 year old unattended. He let himself out, walked over a busy road, a neighbour on the way home from the nearby supermarket but initially thought nothing of it, assumed parent was ahead or behind, then once home over the busy road, realised the parent was nowhere. Police called, neighbour retraced route, went into supermarket with Police to ask if anyone had seen boy, found neighbour's child! Social Services ended up being involved. It wasn't the first time they'd lost a child unattended. The 3 year old had been left in front of the TV.

AppleCrumples Thu 11-Apr-13 20:39:26

I would be fuming! But it does depend on the child. Have left ds1(9) whilst i ran to local shop but then i have also sent him there too. He is mature and i trust him. However would never leave him in charge of any of the others thats too much.

Ds2 (7) is completly nuts and i would be terrified to leave him on his own <shudders at the trouble ds2 could get into in 5 mins>

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