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What would you do - possible neglect

(65 Posts)
AppleHEAD Mon 03-Aug-09 18:50:50

I have a friend who is ill and yesterday her husband took their 2 children out aged 10 and 7. He wanted to train so he took them to a lake where he swims. He left them by the side of the lake by the car (with the keys) for in all about 3 hours. He checked on them each hour but couldn't see them. I am appalled and want to tell her

GypsyMoth Mon 03-Aug-09 18:52:37

how good a friend?

luckylady74 Mon 03-Aug-09 18:54:27

It doesn't sound great because of the water aspect.
If they're sensible children and strong swimmers then I suppose it's like someone letting their children go to the park or beach for the afternoon - which some people would.
If you feel so strongly about telling her I would present her with it in a neutral way- just the facts and let her deal with it.

Tee2072 Mon 03-Aug-09 18:54:49

How do you know he did this? What makes you think she doesn't know?

And I do not think this is neglect at all. Its letting kids take some responsibility for themselves and be independent.

Seabright Mon 03-Aug-09 18:55:23

I don't know that I'd go so far as to call it neglect. Thoughtlessness, maybe.

Can the children swim? Are they independent-minded children? If yes to both, this may be normal for this family.

Maybe mention your concerns, when you friend is better, if the answer to both the questions is no.

Maybe mention it in a constructive way, offer to help out with her children while she's sick.

pamelat Mon 03-Aug-09 18:57:12

My DD is only 18 months so I find it hard to see past the constant supervision side of life

I would have thought 10 is fairly grown up but not 7? Although could a 10 year old look after a 7 year old.

Were other adults around and about?

kathyis6incheshigh Mon 03-Aug-09 18:57:31

I think you're overreacting. A sensible 10 year old should be fine - it's not like they were 3 and 6.

branflake81 Mon 03-Aug-09 19:05:00

I agree. You're overreacting. To call this neglect is to undermine REAL cases of neglect which are far more serious.

Nancy66 Mon 03-Aug-09 19:09:57

i don't think you need to do anything - can't see that he did anything wrong. Plenty of 10 year olds are out and about by themselves over the summer holidays and presumably this one was keeping an eye on his younger sibling.

pointydog Mon 03-Aug-09 19:10:04

Doesn't sound that big a deal. I'm not sure why you were so unhappy with it, apple.

piscesmoon Mon 03-Aug-09 19:18:27

A lot would depend on whether they were happy about it and whether they had something to do and knew where to find him if they needed him. Without knowing more about it-e.g. whether they could see him, what sort of lake, how many people were about it is impossible to make a judgement.

janeite Mon 03-Aug-09 19:20:06

I think you're over-reacting tbh. It's not great parenting and I wouldn't do it but it's nothing like neglect.

OurLadyOfPerpetualSupper Mon 03-Aug-09 19:22:37

Three hours is an awfully long time IMO - who has to swim or train for 3 hours? They might be one of those families who think this sort of thing is the norm - not sure it constitutes neglect but it's a miserable way for two young children to spend the afternoon.

I'd be seething if I thought DH had done something like that.

Not sure how you know this happened though - if the DCs told you, surely they'll tell your friend.

OurLadyOfPerpetualSupper Mon 03-Aug-09 19:24:42

And letting them be independent would be taking them to a park while you run around it, not leaving them in the car near open water.

terramum Mon 03-Aug-09 19:36:13

I wouldn't have a problem about it assuming he knew they would be sensible not to run off or muck about too much. Normal for children from about 8 yrs to be playing out without much adult supervision round here.

How did the children feel about this? Bored? Sad? Felt abandoned?

MovingOutOfBlighty Mon 03-Aug-09 19:45:48

Pretty much over reacting I'm afraid. By age 7 I was feral and knew about water safety. But hey, it was the 70s and generally kids were allowed out without having every single thing monitored to the nth degree. Poor sods nowadays, my own dcs included.

This thread makes me afraid at what age I will finally be allowed to let my dcs off to the shops by themselves. Is 8 ok? 9? 12? FGS when!! grin
I know whatever age I choose there will be someone ready to condemn me for letting them out too early/ too late.

MovingOutOfBlighty Mon 03-Aug-09 19:48:13

And again, 3 hours is not that long if he is checking every hour. We used to quite happily get booted out and return for meals. Have things changed so very much or are we over paranoid and throw around the, frankly disgraceful, use of neglect too much?

mrsjammi Mon 03-Aug-09 19:51:28

Message withdrawn

AppleHEAD Mon 03-Aug-09 20:23:43

Thanks. I guess I just felt sorry for them, no one was around. It wasn't the water aspect so much as the fact that it is totally deserted and I guess I was concerned someone could have halmed them. I know it's a long shot but I just felt it seemed risky. I agree children need independence and to experience life but I wonder if it was a risk too far. Thanks again it's good to see things from other perspectives - I have just had a baby so not sure all the hormones make me entirely rational.

FlamingoBingo Mon 03-Aug-09 20:25:54

How do you know he did that?

OurLadyOfPerpetualSupper Mon 03-Aug-09 21:37:55

Sorry I mis-read - thought you said IN the car, not by it.

Don't think I'd do it, although my DCs have been going to our local shop and park by themselves since 7 or 8 - but not for 3 hours.

But if he was checking them hourly and it's a familiar place to them that's just an example of families doing things differently, not necessarily badly.

Momdeguerre Mon 03-Aug-09 21:48:34

Does not sound like neglect to me. Can't imagine his kids were thrilled by the prospect of being sat in a car for hours but maybe he left them with stuff to do?

Who knows?!?

Just sounds a bit selfish to me.

SolidGoldBrass Mon 03-Aug-09 21:53:09

How do you know all this? If you were close enough to see the DC by the lake why didn't you go over and chat to them or play with them or offer to take them for a walk or something?

LynetteScavo Mon 03-Aug-09 22:01:27

My C's would have a wild time by a lake for 3 hours - i'm presuming there were sticks and trees- they wouldn't have been bored at all.

Swimming in a lake for 3 hours is just odd - or did he get out and run too?

largeginandtonic Mon 03-Aug-09 22:06:36

I wouldn't do it. Accidents happen in seconds.

How do you know all this though?

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