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I suspect I might be...

(25 Posts)
Minorchristmascrisis Tue 25-Mar-14 13:37:32

Once a week Dh does the school and nursery pick up for ds3 (2) and ds2 (8.5). He brings ds2 home where ds1(12) has already arrived after getting the bus. About half an hour later her goes for ds3 to nursery and has, on the last two occasions, left the older two at home. Nursery is about a 10 minute round trip drive if there is no traffic but it is a busy road and can take up to half an hour. He also on the last occasion called into a shop so was away about 3/4 of an hour.

I have no problem leaving ds1 for that amount of time but I feel ds2 is too young. However, as dh points out, they are both sensible, they don't fight and we have lots of good neighbours they could call on in an emergency. He is also available on his mobile the whole time.

I'm being unreasonable and over-protective aren't I?

Catnuzzle Tue 25-Mar-14 13:39:19


FeliciaDoolittle Tue 25-Mar-14 13:40:54

Yes, I think you are.

mom2twoteens Tue 25-Mar-14 13:44:41

They should be okay.

My concern was that I might have an accident and not return

I used to give my DS a time I should be back, he was to give me an extra 10 mins and call me. If I didn't reply after another five mins he was to call my parents.
Also in case I had an accident while I was out I had a post it note stuck to my dashboard with my parents number on, just so that he wasn't left alone and no one knew he was there.

As it turns out this was overkill and these precautions were never needed. LOL

Minorchristmascrisis Tue 25-Mar-14 13:47:17

It's so hard to get the balance right though. For example if he was away an hour or more, would that be ok? I don't even know why I'm uncomfortable with it to be honest, it just doesn't sit right with me for some reason. With ds1 I think we left him for short periods from about 10 but as dh says, he was on his own whereas ds2 is with ds1.

wimblehorse Tue 25-Mar-14 13:51:32

Agree with pp's.
The oldest is 12, they are both sensible & don't fight. Just be sure to have a conversation about "what they would do if..."

From age 12 I was home alone after school & would call dsis's childminder (9) so that she would walk home alone until my dp's got back from work (1 1/2 - 2 hours later). In an emergency we both knew to go to the neighbours or back to dsis's childminder...

itiswhatitiswhatitis Tue 25-Mar-14 13:53:27

If the eldest is 12 I think that's fine. Ds1 is 8 a very sensible I wouldn't have a problem with him being with a 12 year old for an hour

musicposy Tue 25-Mar-14 14:29:52

I left both my DDs from the age of about 8 to pop to the shops quickly. Once DD1 was secondary age I had no problem leaving 9 yo DD2 with her for an hour ish. We had a lot of what to do if conversations and it was always fine. Now 14 and 18, we can leave them for weekends grin. You're a little being overprotective, I'd say. I understand why it feels scary but I think you need to build independence in small steps and this seems a good start.

AlpacaLypse Tue 25-Mar-14 14:32:22

It really does depend on the child doesn't it? I know 15 year olds I wouldn't leave alone for more than twenty minutes, and 10 year olds who are completely reliable.

blahblahblah2014 Tue 25-Mar-14 14:33:24

I would be fine with that - as long as you have basic rules in place for both of them such as don't answer the door, go outside, cook etc

BertieBotts Tue 25-Mar-14 14:33:56

At 12 and 8? No other relevant information like SN/behaviour issues? Yes of course they'll be absolutely fine.

TheBody Tue 25-Mar-14 14:34:01

I would think that was fine.

obviously the kids are sensible.

discuss emergency situations and using the phone/calling for help.

12 is not a baby and some responsibility is good.

Sounds fine to me. The "what if the parent had a car crash and didn't come back?" argument always seems flawed to me, as it suggests the child would be better off in the car crash than unharmed at home! ;)

Minorchristmascrisis Tue 25-Mar-14 14:40:39

Pretty unanimous then. I'll have a talk to them about ground rules etc and then back off a bit.

My eldest is 8 and I leave her to drop her brother to football and similar errands, which take 20-30 mins max. Have been doing so since she was 6 (though DC2 is 6 and doesn't want to be left home alone, so I always take him). Numerous people question why I don't leave DC3 (nearly3) with DD, but the answer is he is a menace ... attitudes to children taking responsibility are different outside the UK - 8 isn't a baby either!

NoodleOodle Tue 25-Mar-14 15:06:40

Where are you Mr Tumbles?

Rural southern Germany (Bavaria). The community/ traditional set ups most people have is different to the uk to be honest - majority stay at home mums and lots of grandparents luving with or next door to young families, people know and look out for each other - all the local kids know they could call any number of neighbors for help if needed. Kids ealk home from school or take the bus eithout parents from age 6 and parents tagging along to the playground doesn't happen after age 5 or 6 (unless with younger siblings). People watch out for and if appropriate tell off each other's children ... I think its Britian 50+ years ago in some ways (not all!).

BertieBotts Tue 25-Mar-14 15:26:45

I'm jealous Mr Tumbles. We're in Germany too (not Bavaria though) but I don't know enough of the other families locally to let DS scoot off to the park alone. I hate the park so it would be nice grin

I do always find it slightly odd when you tell someone your child is in kindergarten and they enquire "Oh, does he walk alone yet?" (In our case no anyway as he'd have to cross an intersection with confusing trams which go the opposite way to the cars)

We are in the lucky and handy position of living right next to the playground Bertie - I can see all of it from my living room window, so I am a bit of a cheat on that front - and useful to people who phone me to ask me to shout over my fence to their kids to tell them to go home for dinner grin Also we've been here (in this house) since 2007, and as I was paranoid about being isolated when we moved here from the UK (I was pregnant with an 18 month old and planning to be a SAHM) I made a ridiculous effort (with almost no German) to get to know people in the playground - my incredibly sociable eldest and the fact everyone was unashamedly incredibly nosey curious about why a pregnant woman had moved to a random village in the middle of Bavaria and apparently decided to spend all day every day in the playground with her small toddler, got us fairly well known as the family with the loony English mother who was always in the playground which has stood us in good stead now that I am much more socially lazy and leave the older 2 kids to it much more (though I still spend hours most days in the playground with my youngest).

DS1 is still at KiGa but doesn't walk there as it is 4.5km each way! grin DD takes the school bus though, and DS1 will from September.

BertieBotts Tue 25-Mar-14 16:14:57

I should do more standing in the playground! I was similarly terrified of being isolated, but I went about it the less interesting way and found an expat group. While they are lovely (and they truly are incredible - like a mini mumsnet) it's not really helping me get to know people locally unless they speak English themselves.

MintyChops Tue 25-Mar-14 16:29:33

I'd say it is fine but they need access to a phone and numbers to call in case of emergency/non-return of DH by a set time.

GreenPetal94 Tue 25-Mar-14 17:23:19

Actually I wouldn't leave the 8 year old.

LineRunner Tue 25-Mar-14 17:26:47

I would say it's ok to leave them at home together, if there is a mobile number available for both parents.

Minorchristmascrisis Tue 25-Mar-14 17:58:33

Thanks everyone for all your input - mrTumbles - I have a (nearly) 3 year old menace too! Haha

grin Minorchristmas Toddler is so the wrong word isn't it? They don't toddle at nearly 3, in fact I think mine is surer on his feet than I am, they just wreak a whirlwind of loud destruction, and leap off high up stuff... shock grin

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