AIBU to not want DP to let 5 yo DS go to the local park without an adult?(14 Posts)
Our 10 yo DS1 has recently taken to playing with another child his age who lives nearby. I've recently found out that DP has been letting DS1 and DS2 (5 yo) go to the friend's house unaccompanied when he's at home with them and I'm at work. Not a problem, only one residential road to cross and DS1 can be responsible with DS2. However, it turns out DP is then allowing DS1 and 2 x friends to go to our local parks with DS2 without an adult going with them which to my mind is hugely unsafe.
One local park involves no road crossings but is an urban park with a varied clientele (not all entirely savoury) the other is leafier but involve crossing a number of roads.
I know DS1 would try to look after DS2 but when he's with friends he can get distracted, added to which DS2 is an impulsive 5 yo who tends to be v free range and apt to wander off and make new friends.
DP seems to think I'm over-reacting so I'm after a reality check here. It's a real red flag to me and not something I'm happy with, AIBU?
If not, and if I can't persuade DP of the dangers here, what would you do? -
Not a hope in hell but my eldest is only 7 and I wouldn't be let go him go to the park either (watched way too many criminal minds episodes which doesn't help!)
No way should a ten year old be given that responsibility. Is this because your husband's lazy and enjoys having them both out of the house?
Okay so I'm not over-reacting. Next question is - what would you do if DP didn't share your views and continued to let this happen when you weren't around???
DSs will naturally want to go to the park and if their DD is saying it's okay it puts them in a tricky position if I'm asking / telling them something different. It's more about tackling the issue with DP.
That's definitely not ok for a 10 year old to be legally responsible for his 5 year old sibling. You need to chat to your DP about the dangers of this and talk about what you are happy for 5 year old to do while you are not around. Can you set up tasks, games things for 5 year old to do? Let's face it its not actually your responsibility if DP is there with the 5 year old, but if your DP won't step up to the responsibility of looking after said 5 year old then it's in your hands to keep him and the 10 year old safe (let's face it if anything happened to the 5 year old whilst in the care of your 10 year old at the park then your 10 year old would be pretty heartbroken).
I think you need to read the law on childcare with your DP, as kids are not supposed to be left alone under a certain age, and sending a 5 year old out to the park with a minor is the same thing.
I'd also talk to your kids and just say "sorry kids, it's just not ok anymore. You're not allowed to both go to the park like that your younger brother is too young". "But hey I've set up [this] for the 5 year old to do while 10 year old is at the park (special activities like use a device that he can't normally use - iPad, or box of treats and get a special box with lots of different activities like colouring, silly putty, bubbles, crazy sensory type fun toys and drawing equipment or whatever that the 5 year old can pull out only when this happens". (Save something special for that "park" time). (Until 5 year old is older).
Not ideal but I don't think you have much choice. Unless you just put your foot down and arrange for outside childcare where the 5 year old won't be left to roam around on his own - just my opinion of course.
Do you have your parents or in-laws close by who would be on board with going round to see if the 5 year old is at home when you're at work? I know it seems shit checking up and dragging others into it but I think you're in a difficult position (and I think it's really shit of your husband to put you in it).
I wouldn't be happy with that set up in the slightest.
I remember being a bit wobbly about letting my dc go to the park w/o an adult when they variously reached 10 (it seemed to be the thing in yr 6), let alone with a 5yr old in tow! But then I have to fight against being risk-averse, generally. Having said that, I don't know many parents who would be entirely comfortable with this.
The reality is , they will probably be fine, but I think you will worry yourself silly, and the dynamic between your 10 and 5 year old may be unpredictable, especially in a group, as you say.
Would your dp defer to you if he realised that you felt very strongly about this (or anything else), or is he likely to dig his heels in?
No it's clearly wrong on all levels.
Honestly your dh is being neglectful.
What a difficult position for you. Would your dh listen and regard your wishes if you told him how you felt?
A 10 year old shouldn't be getting a job. Your instincts are right, that is not safe at all, AT ALL.
If your asking how to get your husband to actually look after your children when he is supposed to, then I don't know what the answer is.
you will have to figure out or else pay for childcare. Best of luck.
I allow my children quite a lot of freedom and I have only just started to allow my nine year old to go to the park alone and have not yet allowed my seven year old to go with him (I probably will within the next year). There is no road to cross and we live in a rural village where everyone knows everyone. The first time he went I followed ten minutes later etc.
I wouldn't let even the most sensible, mature five year old go to the park without an adult. And if anything happened to him your older ds would potentially blame himself for the rest of his life. When it is not his responsibility but that of the adults. If you leave a child in the care of someone age under 16 you remain legally responsible.
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