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to leave a 4 yr old with a nearly 12 yr old for 30 mins?

(39 Posts)
FrodosGirl Tue 19-Aug-08 17:14:53

Because DP`s grandparents think I should be reported for neglect !!!
We left the kids at home for 30 mins just while DP drove me to work yesterday morning as DD was still asleep and DS is very responsible and knows what to do in an emergency.
But DP`s grandparents called (at 8am!!) found out they were on their own and have been repeatedly calling us ever since to tell us what a bad mother I am and we put our kids at risk and are as bad as Maddie`s parents! Oh and that I aparently bullied their grandson into this.
And after telling us all weekend (when we were staying with them) what good parents we are and how responsible DS is etc.
DP is so outraged at their attitude change that we are now ignoring their calls.

monkeymagic Tue 19-Aug-08 17:20:04

Could you not have got a taxi to work?
Or driven yourself?
Or asked a neighbour to help, since it was an emergency?

meemar Tue 19-Aug-08 17:23:09

They are being ott and unreasonable.

justaboutagrownup Tue 19-Aug-08 17:23:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Shitehawk Tue 19-Aug-08 17:23:23

Got to say that I wouldn't have done it. It's a huge responsibility to put onto a 12 year old, no matter how responsible and sensible.

They are wrong to call you and slag you off for it - but ignoring their calls does no-one any good and just gives them even more ammunition to throw at you.

wheresthehamster Tue 19-Aug-08 17:23:40

As long as dd was aware that you would be out for a while and ds was quite happy - no problem. I did it myself on numerous occasions. You know your children and you weren't neglectful

Onestonetogo Tue 19-Aug-08 17:23:46

Message withdrawn

missmama Tue 19-Aug-08 17:24:43

I see nothing wrong with it.
At that age I used to babysit the neighbours three kids when they had a night out.
It totaly depends on the children in question and if you think he was ready to help and he wanted too I see nothing wrong.

CountessDracula Tue 19-Aug-08 17:26:10

No problem IMO
I used to babysit for whole evenings when i was 12!

forevercleaning Tue 19-Aug-08 17:27:26

not a problem IMO

FrodosGirl Tue 19-Aug-08 17:27:49

I have spoken to the owner of the creche/day care where my children have gone since babies and she sees nothing wrong with it. She knows how responsible my DS is and the neighbour across the hall was listening too.

Mercy Tue 19-Aug-08 17:32:54


But don't ignore their calls. Older people are sometimes a bit more frightened by/over-react to such situations. Get dp to talk to them once more (unless they are being ultra rude)

JuneBugJen Tue 19-Aug-08 17:34:12

There are some 21 year olds with the common sense of a tree stump who I would never let look after my dcs.

There are some 12 year olds who I would trust to do a simple quick task like look after a sleeping child for under an hour without a hesitation.
What is the worst that could happen? Fire? Call 999. Illness? Call 999. Does he know that? You say he knows what to do in an emergency. How about sending him on a first aid course with St Johns or Red Cross to be sure? They are well worth it and then you can tell your DP grandparents this

When you think that some girls are mothers at 12 and look after their kids very well then you realise its your judgement. Don't let them bully you, but acknowledge they were concerned.

SqueakyPop Tue 19-Aug-08 17:34:17

YANBU - a normal 12 year old is well capable of looking after a 4 year old for half an hour.

NotAnOtter Tue 19-Aug-08 17:34:29


they ARe unreasonable- it is good for your ds to learn responsibility as well

PinkyDinkyDooToo Tue 19-Aug-08 17:38:25

YANBU - but grandparents panic about the slightest thing. If DS goes up a slide, on a climbing frame, anything remotely normal for a 5 year old grin

lazyhen Tue 19-Aug-08 17:41:52

Like others on here I used to babysit for other people's kids when I was 12. I look back and kinda think 'what were they (the parents) thinking' as I had no real knowledge of what to do if the baby/kids woke up but did have good sense about emergency situations. However, your son knows his sister much better than that so I think it's fine.

Although just to play devils advocate in those 'just for x amount of time' scenarios, I think it's important to consider what would he have done if something happened to you and your DP? Was there a 'protocol' for him to follow?

However if my in-laws said something like this (and it's highly likely they will when DD is older) I would be really annoyed. Your children, your choices. Why should you have to justify anything you do to them?

FrodosGirl Tue 19-Aug-08 19:29:13

Thank you all, just needed some reassurance.
DP`s grandfather is a bully and too used to getting his own way. He says I should apologise to him and DP for neglecting my kids and putting them at risk.
I never manage to stand up to him for anything so far, even when he was shoving his tongue in my mouth!
I have never left them alone before as I had to look after my younger sister after school every day from when I was 11 even though DS begs to babysit so I find it soo ironic that they called.

mumeeee Tue 19-Aug-08 20:58:56

I wouldn#t have done it. But they were only on thier own for a short while and you know your children.They shouldn't have had a go at you but it won#t help ignoring thier calls.

pointydog Tue 19-Aug-08 21:03:39

It was an absolutely fine thing to do, frodo. Don;t let them bully you.

nametaken Tue 19-Aug-08 21:13:52

Your DPs grandfather shoved his tongue in your mouth?

hercules1 Tue 19-Aug-08 21:15:11

I leave 12 year old ds to look after dd 4 a lot for short periods of time.

UniversallyChallenged Tue 19-Aug-08 21:17:32

I would of done the same with my 12 yr old- but maybe not with my 15 yr old, she cant even put ds2 shoes on the right feet hmm

A lot depends on the responsibility of the child. And you will have to bite the bullet at some point so best have it out with them asap- but I would let dp do it as it's gps

ReallyTired Tue 19-Aug-08 21:27:01

I'm afraid that I have to agree with the outlaws. Its too much responsiblity to put on a 12 year old. What would your 12 year old do if his 4 year old brother refused to accept his authority. We all know that a 4 year old can be a right pita.

How would you feel if your 12 year old lost his temper and smacked a truely obnoxious 4 year old? How would you feel if your four year old broke her arm from jumping off the bed because he ignored your son telling him to stop?

I think that the absolute minimum age a child should be for baby sitting is at least 14 years old or possibly more. Sorry, I am sure that having a 12 year old babysitting isn't legal.

Dropdeadfred Tue 19-Aug-08 21:32:18

i wouldn't have done it, anf i read correctly and this man put his tongue in your mouth why on earth do you have him stay with you??? shock

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