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To think this isn't neglect?

(268 Posts)
twentytimes Thu 21-Mar-19 15:23:31

3 children aged 11,5 and 4. Eldest is sometimes left alone with the little two for several hours and is on her own once a week from after school until midnight. 4 and 5 year olds have on a few occasions been left alone for up to half an hour. They have mums number and know how/who to contact if something goes wrong, nothing ever has though.

Little two are never put to bed because they don't want to. Most nights they eventually fall asleep on the sofa whilst watching tv and are either left there or carried up to bed. They're allowed to watch whatever they want, 5 year old is easily scared so doesn't but both the 4 and 11 year olds will watch adult rated films or tv programmes.

They do what they like with their appearance as long as they aren't in school or it doesn't break school rules and are overall just given a lot more trust and freedom than most children their ages. They aren't spoilt with material things and are told no but if they want to go somewhere or start a new club for example they are almost always allowed. They don't have many rules at home but are expected to follow other peoples rules and are disciplined if they break them or are rude

They are all very happy and confident children, very polite and not badly behaved. Their Mum really loves and supports them. None of them complain or are upset by any of the things I mentioned, if they ever were then Mum would change her parenting.

I know this probably isn't the best example of parenting and If I ever have children I wouldn't do the exact same but AIBU to think its just a different parenting style rather than neglect and that I don't have a moral obligation to report any of this?

Fairylea Thu 21-Mar-19 15:25:20

I’m not at all comfortable with the youngest children being left alone or the eldest being left to look after them.

Or the watching adult rated tv stuff.

Both of those things would make me report someone.

darkriver19886 Thu 21-Mar-19 15:25:43

Its not ideal and would be considered neglect likely to social services. There is no way that a 11 year old is mature enough to look after two young children.

Nicknacky Thu 21-Mar-19 15:26:08

This has to be an wind up? No one in their right mind would think this is a “parenting style”

IVEgottheDECAF Thu 21-Mar-19 15:28:08

Leaving a 4 and 5 year old is neglectful

outpinked Thu 21-Mar-19 15:28:33

I think it is neglectful actually. The 11 year old shouldn’t be forced to babysit their younger siblings for hours at a time. There’s a difference between watching them for half an hour and watching them for ‘several hours’. I think too much is expected of the 11 year old. It doesn’t matter how mature they are, eleven is still very young. Also think it’s too young to be left alone for nine hours after school. I was a latch key kid from 11 but my Mum returned within an hour, she wasn’t out until midnight confused.

Wouldn’t say it’s neglectful not to enforce a bedtime but it’s shit parenting.

PinkHeart5914 Thu 21-Mar-19 15:28:38

4 & 5 year old left alone for half hour, completely unacceptable imo.

Leaving an 11 year old home alone to midnight isn’t great either imo.

Children need a routine, and leaving little ones up all night watching tv until they fall asleep is again not great.

What kind of programs is the 11 year old watching? Some adult shows have very sexual or violent scenes and no I don’t think they would be ok for an 11 year old to watch.

Is it neglect? Not sure
Is it crap parenting? Absolutely as it doesn’t sound to me like much parenting really happens tbh

OnlyFoolsnMothers Thu 21-Mar-19 15:28:53

Yes this is neglect!!!!!
You cannot leave 4/5 year olds alone- ever!
Im usually not one to say "report" but yes this needs to be reported.

TokyoSushi Thu 21-Mar-19 15:28:54

Nope, they are all far too young to be allowed to do those things, It is very unfair to expect an 11 year old to look after a 4 & 5 year old for long periods of time.

LaurieFairyCake Thu 21-Mar-19 15:29:03

Yes it's neglect

Very clearly

MyBreadIsEggy Thu 21-Mar-19 15:29:27

This isn’t a “parenting style” it’s a complete lack of parenting.
4 and 5 year old being left alone? Do you really need to think that hard about all the things that could happen in 30 mins with 2 children that young alone in a house? Makes my blood run cold.

AureliaJane Thu 21-Mar-19 15:30:02

I don’t think it’s at all appropriate for an 11yo to be left alone til midnight or to be left in charge of young children. That does seem pretty straighforward neglect?

The other stuff I wouldn’t be so bothered about except maybe the adult programmes depending on what they are (anything pornographic or violent would concern me).

What’s your relationship with the mother? Are you a teacher or someone with a duty towards the kids?

BlueMerchant Thu 21-Mar-19 15:30:33

I wouldn't leave the two little ones alone for any period of time. Anything could happen.
I also think it's wrong just to leave them to sleep on the sofa and be watching unsuitable things on the TV.
Agree with pp that these things if feel I had to report.

Shoxfordian Thu 21-Mar-19 15:30:35

It's a parenting style that social services would be interested in

twentytimes Thu 21-Mar-19 15:30:47

The 11 year old isn't expected to look after her sibling's, if she doesnt want to or has something else to do then she can and does say no and someone else looks after them.

AureliaJane Thu 21-Mar-19 15:31:03

Obviously totally unacceptable to leave 4 and 5yo alone for any time - shouldn’t even be in question.

TinklyLittleLaugh Thu 21-Mar-19 15:31:21

It’s kind of nonparenting really though isn’t it? Path of least resistance, no boundaries and all that. It’s how my sister parents and her kids, now mostly grown up, are really hard work and don’t have the sort of lives I want for my kids.

boredboredboredboredbored Thu 21-Mar-19 15:31:42

Nah....you can't be serious, can you?!

TinklyLittleLaugh Thu 21-Mar-19 15:33:02

Lazy as fuck basically.

Springisallaround Thu 21-Mar-19 15:33:10

Leaving a 4 and 5 year old for even half an hour is neglectful.
So is leaving an 11 year old in charge til midnight.

It doesn't matter if the children say it's fine, or if they can use mobiles to call their mum (what, aged 4 and 5)?! It's not up to them to know if things are wrong, that's for adults.

This is wrong, I feel this is either a troll or someone with no experience of normal parenting. It's not over-protective to have an adult in with a 4 and 5 year old!

NWQM Thu 21-Mar-19 15:33:25

So sometimes the 11 year old wants to look after her siblings? Really?!?

Why are you asking if you should report this or not?

OnlyFoolsnMothers Thu 21-Mar-19 15:34:41

if she doesnt want to or has something else to do then she can and does say no and someone else looks after them well then this "someone" should look after the children (they are all children!) when the parent isnt able. And this "someone" should be an adult!

BlueCornishPixie Thu 21-Mar-19 15:34:59

Come on OP you know this is neglect!

A 4 and 5 year old being left alone? 11 yr old being left alone till midnight? Falling asleep in front of the tv every night?

Why are they being left alone?

LoisWilkerson1 Thu 21-Mar-19 15:35:17

No way should an 11 year old be left with a four year old for hours. Doesnt matter if the child says it's ok. It really isn't. I think ss have bigger fish to fry but you should report and let them decide.

BlueCornishPixie Thu 21-Mar-19 15:36:01

The 11 yr old should never have to make that decision, they are a child. If there's someone else to look after the children they should. Or the parents could look after the children hmm

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