Leaving children aibu or keep my beak out?(55 Posts)
I'm wondering whether other people would do this or whether I'm right to think it's a little concerning.
There's a parent at ds' school, she's often rushing in after the bell, this is relevant because it means that sometimes there's no other parents or children left in the playground apart from any other few rushing in, it also means that sometimes the classroom doors have been closed and teachers have gone inside to start for the day.
Firstly I noticed that this parent was bringing her eldest into school and leaving the two preschoolers in the car, up the road, parked on a main road, and completely out of sight for up to 5 minutes. I'd see her going into school as I was walking out and then I'd see her car parked up the road with the kids in, aged about 2 and 3.
It's not that I thought somebody was going to snatch them, more that I thought they might mess around and end up taking the handbrake off, or that the car could get hit. My sisters car did actually roll away with her kids inside once after they took the handbrake off.
Roll on a year later and her middle child is in reception, her eldest year 2, what she's started doing now is leaving the kids slightly down the road and them going into school by themselves. This means that they've got to walk up the road a bit, into the gates and past the office around the corner of the building and into the playground to their classrooms, so completely out of sight. They also have to separate as the reception classroom is in a different part of the school. I think it's very, very unlikely that anything is going to happen to them, but, there is noone really about at this time, there is another entrance at the other side so it is possible but unlikely that they could go straight out the other side of the school grounds unnoticed, or just fall over running in and there'd be noone to notice. Also because the classroom doors are closed by this time they have to knock the door to alert the teacher that they're there. I just think that they're still so little the mum should see them into the class, everyone else seems to manage it even with prams and toddlers in tow.
What does mumsnet think? And even if it's wrong what could I do anyway?
You could have a quiet word with the office staff... The year 2 child is absolutely old enough to walk from car into school as you describe, reception maybe not, depending on the child.
I leave my sleeping baby in the car whilst I take preschooler in.
There. I said it.
No I don't have 3 dc's and appreciate it must be a real struggle some mornings.
I do feel sorry for her as I know it is blooming hard to get a gang of kids up and to school on time.
That said, most people do manage it most of the time. I think she could try a bit harder?
So she can see them all the way to the gate?
I used to do this with my DS1 Once he was a bit late and they had locked the classroom door and he couldn't make them see him, so he went round to the reception and eventually got let in there.
I think from memory (it's 15 years ago now!) he said he was a bit upset and frightened at the time.
So after that if there was any possibility of being late I went in too.But no generally he loved being a big boy and walking in by himself
If they are chapping the door then the teacher will be aware that mum has dropped them off somewhere and not walked straight to door.
What ages are the kids, 5 and 6?
After about 6 weeks at DSs school, we were expected to drop them in the car park at the gate and they walked through the playground to their classrooms.
Or they played in the playground before the bell.
I don't see why children can't walk into school on their own. (Unless the road is an A road with no footpath and cars zooming past at 70mph and they're walking on the verge - in other words, with common sense applied.)
Yes sometimes we're late or sometimes I see them coming in as I'm leaving. I mentioned the time only because it means that the classrooms are closed and not teachers/parents about, I explained all that in my op, not because I'm judging her or anyone for running late. But I just knew someone would come out with that.
I asked because I've seen something that I thought might be worrying involving 3 little kids. But everyone's got different ideas about parenting.
It doesn't sound that concerning to me. Not many kids that age are going to wander straight back out of another gate surely? And if they fell over they'd just go and find a teacher wouldn't they?
I'd prefer to see the reception age child in safely myself if I were her but I don't see any great danger in not doing so. If you're really concerned then maybe mention it to a teacher/the head.
I think you have just answered your own question, it's different parenting styles. I now drop my 7 year old and let her walk but most of the kids her age still get walked to the door.
Disagree with the pp...most Year 2 children are still only 6. I don't think there's any 'absolutely' about a 6 year old being old enough to do this.
Some 6 year olds may be, many others not.
Ds1 is in Year 2...he's very sensible, self-sufficient, and what I'd call 'mature' for his age. But 3 weeks ago we were in the Town centre for the Santa parade at 7pm in pitch black. I had ds2's hand and ds1 was the other side of ds2, holding his hand. Completely safe IMO at the time. Ds1 is a sensible 6.
I glanced up, turned back, and ds1 was gone. Crowds all around, no where to be seen. I stayed put, shouted his name over and over. Started to panic, shouted again. He was gone for 3 minutes and then turned up, pushing his way through the crowds.
He'd seen a man drop his gloves so had picked them up and raced after him to give them back. He'd followed this man for over a minute, given them back and then returned.
He saw absolutely nothing wrong with that. Did a look at me. Was completely rational and slightly insulted that i
shouted told him off, and said that of course he knows he mustn't run off, that's not what he was doing, he was just helping.
It's made me realise that however old he seems, he's still only 6 and doesn't yet thing things through.
Personally (now) I wouldn't place 100% trust in any 6 year old not to wander off, much less a 4 year old.
I have 3 DC... (9, 7 and 3 now - we are almost never late because I hate lateness ... But we are always forgetting stuff we should have brought along )
The problem I see is the combination of being late (so door locked and no more children expected) plus kids going in alone - either one without the other sounds fine. A year 2 is at least 6 years old and shouldn't need escorting in, but a 4 year old might as they are late and the door is locked.
My 7 year old takes himself to school (abroad) as is normal where we live, but 4 year old are less reliable!
Not really the OPS business, but a quiet word with the office so they know to keep an eye out for the 4 yo seems ok.
Our schools phone parents immediately if kids are missing at 8 am (when school starts) precisely because kids get themselves to school from year 1 - they are very arsy if your child is sick and you don't phone the absence in by 7.30am. My experience of UK schools was that absences are chased up, but not in the very first 5 mins of the school day, and not as a matter of immediate urgency.
Sounds as though it's just me then, fair enough, I will think no more about it.
Everyone else brings their children into the playground, waits until the bell goes and watches them in, I don't think it's common at ds school to let them walk in by themselves but everyone's different.
How far do they have to walk anyway? 20 feet fine, across roads and round corners = maybe not so fine.
But it's not something I would speak to the teacher about.
The lateness irks me. I have 3 children (6, 3 and 1) and as I am walking out the school grounds after the bell has gone I consistently see the same parents swanning up late (they then have to go in through the office as the classroom doors as locked almost straight away). I just don't get it. Yes there is the odd time when you get stuck in traffic or a child vomits but most of the time it should be perfectly possible to get up, out and to school on time. Some people just don't give a shit. Our school get really shirty about it in their newsletters but it's the same people doing it all the time. The walking in by themselves bit, absolutely fine. Our school insist that we have to stay in the playground with the kids until the bell goes but often DC1 is way ahead of me catching up with his mates whilst I am persuading the other two slow coaches to stop prodding leaves, patting cars etc so for all intents and purposes I am breaking the rules as well. We do still get to the playground by the time the bell goes but often I won't have seen DC1 for 5 mins by then anyway!
With three dc that age you are often forced to make an assessment of risk and go with what you feel is most suitable for your dc. It may not be absolutely ideal but it's the best solution on the day.
It can be very difficult juggling 3 young dc.
You seem to have been observing this woman for a while I suppose if you have major concerns you could speak to the school. But as you say it's very unlikely to be a problem.
If they're regularly being late the school will be on to her anyway so not sure raising it will achieve anything.
Some schools ask that the children walk themselves in and parents don't do a drop off in the classroom etc in order to foster independence.
They're not crossing any roads but it's a 5 minute walk and out of sight.
I'm not observing her as such, I'm not watching out for her each day and tutting and shaking my head, I'm not like that, a few people seem to be reading more into my opinion than I've noticed something that I wouldn't do, that imo is a little risky and not the norm, for ds class anyway.
I did notice the kids in the car as I walked past them everyday and the were climbing around in the car sitting in the drivers seat, my thought was that they might release the handbrake, I'd be less concerned about a sleeping baby.
Meh, they don't need to walk in by themselves to be independent. I've saw ds in to the classroom since he started as do all of the parents in his class, and he's never looked back once, he can't wait to get in. He has however fallen over flat on his face ripped his trousers and grazed his hands and knees and needed an adult to help him. I imagine not having an adult when you've just smacked your nose off the floor would knock your confidence and independence, not build it. But each to their own.
What the mother is doing is fine - you should keep your beak out. If it's not fine, I'm sure the school (who will be aware, from what you've said, of what is going on) will deal with it appropriately.
How do they feel about you being late sometimes?
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