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To think that things were different before 2007?

(750 Posts)
Haarrieett Fri 15-Mar-19 19:03:21

Just happened to see that the new Madeleine McCann documentary is trending on twitter - I clicked on it and saw that hundreds of people were saying things along the lines of "Who would leave their children alone in a foreign country?"

I was slightly blush at this because dh and I honestly used to do this all the time. My dc are a few years older than Madeleine - when we went on holiday to resorts in places like Greece and Spain, we would often leave them alone in a hotel room (often with a window/patio door open for fresh air) while we went out for dinner.

Obviously, after Madeleine went missing we never did it again, but I do recall it being pretty common behaviour at least among our friends.

Did anyone else used to do this in the pre-MM era?

StoorieHoose Fri 15-Mar-19 19:04:53

Nope. I can't say I have ever left DD alone in an accessible room in a foreign country

EstrellaDamn Fri 15-Mar-19 19:05:21

I asked my parents about this and they said they only did it once in a hotel with a listening service. They came back up the stairs to find the 3 kids in the room next door hysterical and had to look after them until the (pissed) parents appeared ages later.

So no, it's wasn't normal for us. I think it was much more common than nowadays though. Or I hope it is!

UrsulaPandress Fri 15-Mar-19 19:05:46


starabara Fri 15-Mar-19 19:06:18

Prepare to be shot down in flames; this is the place where you don’t even leave your child in the sitting room to go for a pee until they are 3.

I think this was common years ago; but not with the door unlocked! My parents left us in hotel rooms with the “listening service” ie, you left the phone up and the reception nanny rang dialed in every ten mins or so, to check.

needmorepizzainmydiet Fri 15-Mar-19 19:07:06

Our parents left us in hotel rooms in the UK I’m sure but I don’t think abroad and I’m not sure how old we would have been.

gamerwidow Fri 15-Mar-19 19:08:52

Absolutely not in the same way I wouldn't leave my child sleeping at home while I went to dinner up the road.
This isn't a new thing when I was going on holiday as a child 30 years a go my mum would never of dreamed of being so neglectful.
If it had been a working class family who'd left their kids to go to a disco instead of a middle class family who left them to go and drink wine with their mates they would have been crucified by the press.

In fact it's so reckless I find it difficult to believe you're even telling the truth.

ShinyMe Fri 15-Mar-19 19:09:26

I don't think it was common. I remember an immediate public reaction of "WTF, who goes out and leaves their kids alone on holiday??" when MM disappeared.

SwimmingKaren Fri 15-Mar-19 19:09:30

I also think common years ago. I wouldn’t leave mine but this may be your point as I’ve only been a parent post MM case and the accompanying atmosphere.

DoomOnTheBroom Fri 15-Mar-19 19:10:05

My parents used to leave us in the chalet at Butlins when we were small (under 6) as there was a listening service who would radio the showbar with the chalet numbers of any children who were awake. The service was still going when they last took us in 1990, I think it ended the following year.

In 1992 we went to Spain, we would all go out together on an evening and then once it got to around 10pm they'd put us in the hotel room and go down to the hotel bar for some grown up time.

PaquitaVariation Fri 15-Mar-19 19:10:16

No, not usual. Even when we were children going on holidays in the 80s the bars and restaurants were full of families, usually with the kids all hanging out together whilst the parents were drinking. Taking the kids out and letting them stay up late is part of being on holiday, isn’t it?

PositiveVibez Fri 15-Mar-19 19:10:51

No. Our parents never left us. Especially not in an unlocked room with the window open.

I don't think anyone will 'flame' you at all. Just because you say you do thing differently, it's not 'flaming' you.

Some people are so dramatic.

There's no way - even pre-Madeleine - that I would leave my toddler child in an unlocked apartment 100 yards away. No baby monitor, no listening service.

adulthumanwolf Fri 15-Mar-19 19:11:04

I must admit I'm gobsmacked anyone has ever done this. What if there was a fire? Or a child decided to scale the balcony or wander out of the door or something?

gamerwidow Fri 15-Mar-19 19:12:14

DoomOnTheBroom a locked chalet with a listening service is a bit different from an apartment with the door open and no listening service though.

Haarrieett Fri 15-Mar-19 19:12:23

Taking the kids out and letting them stay up late is part of being on holiday, isn’t it?

Not when they're toddlers, surely?

We certainly wouldn't do it every night - most nights we'd all eat together around 5 or 6pm when the dc were very little. But if we were on holiday for say 2 weeks, then 3 or 4 times dh and I would want to eat later, somewhere a bit fancier.

Amanduh Fri 15-Mar-19 19:12:41

Eerrm no.

Kitsandkids Fri 15-Mar-19 19:12:43

I’m late 30s and I’m almost positive my mum and dad never left me and my brother alone in a hotel room while they went out to dinner.

ZippyBungleandGeorge Fri 15-Mar-19 19:13:43

No we were always allowed to stay up late on holiday, there are pictures of me on my dad's knee in various restaurants and I remember the odd cabaret show or live music. Same as Nye pictures of is also on chairs pushed together at the disco usually with gran sat by us while others were dancing. Ok we were out of routine but we were with adults. We went to Mexico with family last year and DN was two and a half, she would stay up until the adults were ready to go to bed, sometimes falling asleep in the buggy. This approach has meant all of us are easy sleepers anywhere any time, which is a nice bonus.

gamerwidow Fri 15-Mar-19 19:13:45

adulthumanwolf exactly, the risk of abduction is actually the least you need to worry about in this scenario.

ZippyBungleandGeorge Fri 15-Mar-19 19:14:11

*pictures of us asleep

RockysMa Fri 15-Mar-19 19:14:51

My parents left us and I know my friends parents did the same so in my opinion Op yanbu.

SilverySurfer Fri 15-Mar-19 19:15:10

My parents never left my sister and I, ever but then they weren't .... well I can't say it on here.

gamerwidow Fri 15-Mar-19 19:15:19

Not when they're toddlers, surely?

Yes you take them in their strollers and let them sleep while you eat or if they won't do that you suck it up and say in.

isabellerossignol Fri 15-Mar-19 19:15:41

I know when my eldest child was born in 2006 my sister in law thought us very uptight because we wouldn't leave the baby in a hotel room whilst we went down to the restaurant for dinner.

But I would never have done it, although I am not one of the 'children must never be out of your sight, even for a second' posters. But leaving a baby alone in a strange place was a step too far for me.

ZippyBungleandGeorge Fri 15-Mar-19 19:15:52

@PaquitaVariation your experience is the same as mine, I was also a child of the eighties. The were always children around at night

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