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Or is dds friends mum re kids home alone.

(48 Posts)
TheTartOfAsgard Mon 13-Feb-17 18:25:41


I live in a small village. No childcare for over 11's.
I have dd 13.5 and ds 12.

For context, twice a week I don't finish work until 7pm so dc come home from school, play Xbox do homework etc until I get in (work 5 mins away)
They've been doing this since they were 11 and 12.

Yesterday I wanted to go shopping to look at prams (I'm 24+2). nearest shopping centre about half hour away near DPs house. Dc didn't want to come so I left them at home from 10am til about 5pm. They didn't get up til about 12pm, had lunch, then went on phones and pc.

My dd was on a Skype call with her friend and mentioned I was shopping with DP, her friends mum heard and went ape shit and started shouting that it was against the law and that she was telling the school that I was neglecting them, and was asking dd lots of questions that made her feel uncomfortable. Dd got really upset and when I got home half hour later was in tears.

I am so angry with this woman - her dd is wrapped in cotton wool, has never played out or gone to a sleepover, never been to the corner shop on her own and is driven the 2 minutes to school and back.

My dd is still upset - she's ignored her friends messages and won't talk to her in case she gets the 3rd degree again.
I don't know whether to confront this woman. I've never met her and feel that going round all guns blazing (which is what I feel like doing) will only make the situation worse. I'm tempted to just ignore her but feel I should at least say something to her about the way she spoke to my dd, and tell her to keep her nose out of my business.

Fwiw my dc are both mature for their age. Dd is first aid trained and I trust them both implicitly. Dd even babysits for my 7 year old nephew 10-4 every other Saturday for some pocket money while my sister goes to work, and she's now Panicking that it's against the law and she doesn't want to do anything wrong.

Any tips on how I should deal with this parent, and also my dds worries? We looked on the nspcc website together but there are no official guidelines so I don't have anything in black and white to show her.


Thefishtankneedswater Mon 13-Feb-17 18:30:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PurpleMinionMummy Mon 13-Feb-17 18:33:18

Rosae Mon 13-Feb-17 18:36:05

So they are both secondary age? Perfectly fine. Me and my sister used to regularly be left for days on our own at that age. My parents worked and couldn't always get a day off for inset days and not every holiday. There are no exact ages as it is a judgement on each child and you know your children best.

Trifleorbust Mon 13-Feb-17 18:36:22

Explain to her that her friend's mum is wrong and you wouldn't do it if it was against the law. Tell her she doesn't have to talk to anyone if she doesn't want to or feels uncomfortable, but can ask anyone she likes to discuss it with you.

AVirginLitTheCandle Mon 13-Feb-17 18:36:44

If she confronts you just tell her to mind her own business.

madcatwoman61 Mon 13-Feb-17 18:37:19

The law does not specify an age, just that you shouldn't put them at risk of harm. Well done you for NOT wrapping your child up in cotton wool. When they are 16 the law considers them old enough to be mothers!!

Gallavich Mon 13-Feb-17 18:37:53

That woman is wrong. And a dick.

Thirtyrock39 Mon 13-Feb-17 18:38:04

I thought it was 14 for babysitting?

Gallavich Mon 13-Feb-17 18:38:43

There isn't a legal age for babysitting

megletthesecond Mon 13-Feb-17 18:38:51

Other mother is being ridiculous.

They're secondary age FFS.

booellesmum Mon 13-Feb-17 18:41:36

Mine have both walked home alone from year 6 - let themselves in and sorted themselves out until I get back at 6.
From Senior school age both left at home from 8.00 'til 6.00 on days I work.
They would rather be at home than dragged out to a holiday club.

Gbean Mon 13-Feb-17 18:41:59

I leave my 12yo son home alone - he's sensible and safe. It's your call, not this bloody woman's.

HouseOfGoldandBones Mon 13-Feb-17 18:43:26

OP, your DC's are plenty old enough to be left on their own.

If it were me, I think I would speak to the Mother, let he know that the way you parent is none of her business & let her know how much she has upset your DD, and suggest that she apologises to your DD.

I wouldn't go in all guns blazing, but I would definitely let her know that your DD is mature enough to discuss this with you. And also it'll be good for your DD's peace of mind that you have her back.

DoloresTheRunawayTrain Mon 13-Feb-17 18:44:52

She's a dick, but if she gets on her judgy pants super hero costume and reports you to the school, they may be duty bound to inform social services (unless she also does this). They will investigate, probably via just a phone call, maybe a visit if they're not swamped and then walk off stating nothing of concern.

booellesmum Mon 13-Feb-17 18:45:07

Adding -
I would ignore the mother tbh.
Tell your DD you are so proud that she is responsible enough to be left at home. Explain that some parents like to keep their children dependant as it makes them feel useful, but is not in the best interests of the child.

Isitjustmeorisiteveryoneelse Mon 13-Feb-17 18:45:24

Well leaving them on their own isn't against the law but harassing and intimidating a child on SKYPE might be

CecilyP Mon 13-Feb-17 18:47:12

Other mother sounds bonkers TBH. Why is she threatening to tell the school; if it's illegal (it's not) it's for the police; if it's neglect (it's not) it's for social work. I don't think you should confront this mother (who has really overstepped the mark - it is none of her business) just do all you can to reassure your DD.

MaisyPops Mon 13-Feb-17 18:50:47

Ignore the woman. It sounds like she wants ro keep her kid a baby forever and prides herself on having a holier than thou approach to her own awesomeness.

I wouldn't approach her. It just gives her a platform.

Reasure your own kids that they are perfectly safe and youd not do anything illegal. If it helps, remind them where the emergench numbers are in case tbey need to call. Focus on what they enjoy about being at home.

GallivantingWildebeest Mon 13-Feb-17 18:55:40

The woman sounds unhinged. There is no minumum age for leaving DC alone. If you're happy that your DC are sensible, then that's fine. I happily leave my 13yo dd alone for a few hours at a time.

EweAreHere Mon 13-Feb-17 18:55:44

It is not against the law.

The other woman has lost the plot. Ignore her.

BlueFolly Mon 13-Feb-17 18:55:48

The woman's crazy. I would want to go in all guns blazing!

SparklyUnicornPoo Mon 13-Feb-17 18:59:19

friends mum is massively over-reacting, and totally out of order in how she handled it. There is no legal age to babysit or be left home alone. I would confront the woman, regardless of what she thought about how you choose to parent there is absolutely no excuse for shouting at your DD and upsetting her so much that she was still in tears half an hour later!

Serin Mon 13-Feb-17 19:04:10

How dare she upset your DC like that, she is also likely to ruin her own DD's friendships with her judgey opinions.

SpiritedLondon Mon 13-Feb-17 19:06:03

The fact that the law does not state a specific age does not mean that it's not illegal to leave a child home alone.....however contributors love to demonstrate their superior legal knowledge on MN....presumably because it suits their own ends. There is also a difference with a child who is alone, who has a sibling, or who has caring responsibilities for a younger child. I wouldn't particularly expect a 13 year old to have caring responsibilities for a much younger child particularly over a period of 6 hours. Whether a person was or was not babysitting at that age in the 70's or 80's is of absolutely no consequence to the opinion of the police now.

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