Leaving 4 year old alone

(204 Posts)
LittleLego Mon 17-May-21 15:31:26

Please help settle an argument.

DH has left DD (4 years old) alone momentarily twice in the last week.
The first time he ran to the corner shop at the end of the road, it's 60 yards away and he said he was three minutes at most. He locked DD in the house watching TV, it wasn't an essential purchase it if matters at all, I was back from work a couple of hours later and could have called en route.

Second time DD was in the bath and DH popped downstairs to check on dinner that was cooking, we live in a solid house where sound doesn't travel well, we can't hear her crying at night for example without the baby monitor on. He said he was only 10 seconds. I've left her to go to the adjoining room to grab a towel etc but talk to her throughout, he can't see how this is any different.

I'm really quite angry that he feels this is ok, he's begrudgingly said it won't happen again but only after arguing the toss that she's sensible and nothing happened. I'm concerned about his lack of judgement, I've talked about how it only takes a second to slip and bang her head blah blah but he's not seeing it the same way. Both of these incidents I only found out about after DD told me. I have a tendency towards anxiety and catastrophising things so want some outside opinions, AIBU or is he?

OP’s posts: |
DisgruntledPelican Mon 17-May-21 15:33:20

YANBU at all - that is a shocking lack of judgment on his part. Serious words needed, you need to set out how irresponsible this is.

WithLargeTableMouse Mon 17-May-21 15:35:27

Bloody hell op. My ds did some kind of weird somersault thing in the bath last week and he’s 12! A 4 year old just shouldn’t be left alone in the bath for however long it takes to go downstairs and check dinner shock

RealMermaid Mon 17-May-21 15:35:29

YANBU that is very irresponsible

BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz Mon 17-May-21 15:35:52

Yanbu.

I'd be saying to him:-
1. Being sensible (her) wont stop her drowning.
2. She may be perfectly safe at home for 1 minute. However he could have had a problem (eg run over/issue in the shop etc) which could have resulted in her being left alone for hours.

Ok so either of the things that I've listed have low odds of happening but the outcome of either is so terrible that it's not worth the risk.

I'd be gutted that he didnt get it. Agreeing to ot not happening again is one thing, but being able to accept and understand why is necessary.

Cam2020 Mon 17-May-21 15:36:50

YANBU at all!

idontlikealdi Mon 17-May-21 15:38:33

That's just fucking stupid.

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MonkeyPuddle Mon 17-May-21 15:40:59

YANBU

I have an almost 4 year old and like you I will pop to the airing cupboard 8 feet away and get a towel while he’s in the bath, talking to him throughout.

He’s being neglectful.

BackforGood Mon 17-May-21 15:43:03

I'm at the more relaxed / laid back end of the parenting spectrum, but it is your dh that IBU here.

Neither of those examples were safe, sensible nor justifiable.

OrangeRug Mon 17-May-21 15:43:08

Omg I'd go mental if my partner did this. It's such a pain taking little kids to the shops with you but not worth the risk of leaving them alone.

LivingMyBestLife2020 Mon 17-May-21 15:43:54

Absolutely unacceptable

Flappityflippers1 Mon 17-May-21 15:46:10

Oh wow YANBU. I’d hit the roof with my DH for either of those.

Menoismymate Mon 17-May-21 15:46:10

YANBU - he takes her to the shops, yes it's a pain but that's what you do.
And as for the bath. DO NOT leave a small child alone in the bath.
I'm probably on the lax side of parenting too BTW.

BeingATwatItsABingThing Mon 17-May-21 15:49:32

The bath incident would concern me the most. It doesn’t matter how sensible your child is, they can still drown in no time at all. There’s no way he was only 10 seconds.

LittleLego Mon 17-May-21 15:50:29

Thanks for comments so far, im glad (but not at the same time) that this is unacceptable to other parents and it's not just me being overcautious. He's a wonderful parent in other ways but this is a massive deal to me and he thinks I'm just being dramatic.
I pointed out DD had just tried walking on water (!) while I was in the bathroom with her and slipped, nothing happened but I was sat in the room with her, it only takes a second for the outcome to be different.

OP’s posts: |
TeenMinusTests Mon 17-May-21 15:50:53

The dinner thing, I'd have said could be OK if he left doors open and told DD to sing really loudly the whole time.
Definitely not going to the shops though.

LifeNight Mon 17-May-21 15:51:03

YANBU she’s 4 far too young to be left alone.

Bath I’ve done what you do and go to next room but can hear here the whole time. I’d never go downstairs and our house is a new build with hardly any soundproofing so in all likelihood I’d hear her quite well but I still don’t think it’s appropriate to be on a separate floor from her in a bath. Your house has good soundproofing so even less appropriate.

The shop thing I understand he’ll be saying it was only along the road, it only took me a moment, etc etc. I’m sure she probably stayed watching tv (and if like mine maybe didn’t even notice he’d gone). It’s not the point. However sensible she is she is 4. She could have an accident, get scared when realised alone or anything else. Even if she was fine what if something happened when he was out. He could have taken ill, a car could crash (even if he wasn’t directly involved he might get caught up helping etc), the shop could have a bigger than expected call, the shop could be held up by a robber at exact moment he goes in. Obviously likelihood is quite slim but the point is he doesn’t know that it won’t happen. It COULD and that potential however small is enough not to risk leaving his four year old alone.

Hopefully he’ll read this and get a bit of a shock at how slack his parenting has been of his four year old. Also be worth asking him why he locked the door. Have him really think about that one. Why did he view it as too big a risk to NOT lock the door? In case she wandered outside herself (in which case he felt she wasn’t sensible enough to know not go out alone so how does he justify him thinking she’s sensible enough to be left inside along)? Or in case someone got in (in which case he has considered one quite remote scenarios so why didn’t he consider other remote scenarios such as a house fire, the shop robbery etc).

giletrouge Mon 17-May-21 15:51:21

He's completely in the wrong.
My nephew set fire to my sister's house left alone for a few minutes at this age - found matches, lit one. All just a four-year-old playing. (This was many years ago when I was still a child myself). If he left your child twice in a week then over a year that's a hundred times. So much could happen. And if anything did happen he - and ultimately you, too - would be held responsible. Parenting at this age is constant, there are no five minutes doing something else for a while yet. A four year old cannot be 'sensible' because they literally don't understand the world well enough.

LittleLego Mon 17-May-21 15:51:21

BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz

Yanbu.

I'd be saying to him:-
1. Being sensible (her) wont stop her drowning.
2. She may be perfectly safe at home for 1 minute. However he could have had a problem (eg run over/issue in the shop etc) which could have resulted in her being left alone for hours.

Ok so either of the things that I've listed have low odds of happening but the outcome of either is so terrible that it's not worth the risk.

I'd be gutted that he didnt get it. Agreeing to ot not happening again is one thing, but being able to accept and understand why is necessary.

Your last sentence here sums it up for me. He's agreeing it won't happen again but that's just because he can't be arsed arguing with me, not that he thinks or understands it was wrong and potentially dangerous.

OP’s posts: |
Thunderdonkey Mon 17-May-21 15:52:23

YANBU, shocking lack of judgement from him!

SpaceOp Mon 17-May-21 15:53:20

I am always the person on here telling parents to relax a bit but this is ridiculous!! A 4 year old should not be in the house alone ever.

The bath is a bit iffier as I would probably have done that at similar age. But then, you can hear a pin drop in the loft if you are in the kitchen so it is a different situation!! Having said that, dd is not great in water so would probably have been less likely than with ds who was a keen swimmer already at that age.

AhaShakeHeartbreak12 Mon 17-May-21 15:53:33

YANBU especially over him leaving her alone in the house, completely irresponsible

VimFuego101 Mon 17-May-21 15:53:50

YANBU, this is really concerning. Is he generally hands off with his child? I can't understand how he has no understanding of what a 4yo might get up to when left alone for 5 mins.

giletrouge Mon 17-May-21 15:54:33

I'm not usually one who says 'show him the thread' but in this instance I think it might help him understand how unacceptable literally everyone sees this as.

DarcyLewis Mon 17-May-21 15:55:36

The bath wouldn't bother me, I would be in and out of the room with school age children rather than watching the whole time and they bathed alone from 7.

I wouldn't leave an under 8 home alone though.

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