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AIBU To Think That This is Bordering on Neglect....

(79 Posts)

My mum and I are quite concerned about my nieces and nephews, they are happy and healthy but my brother and SIL are not too worried about safety at home or out.

Basically the DC aged between 9 and 2 are allowed to play out unsupervised in the street in front of their house. The 4 year old has already had a leg broken after being knocked down by a car in their street, and when my mum visited them this week the only just 2 year old was out in the street in the on a trike. The road is quite dangerous cars parked on both sides, the road goes down a hill and then up a hill, and the residents are campaigning for speed bumps and a 20 mph limit, to slow the traffic down.

Do you think we should discuss it with them, we don't want to fall out, or should we just accept that the way the parent is different to us. The DC are otherwise cared for very well.

It should read the way they parent.....

poopscoop Thu 13-Aug-09 11:21:17

I don't think you should interfere if they are well looked after and happy.

You could mention how dangerous you think the road is, and do they worry but that is about it.

Pinkjenny Thu 13-Aug-09 11:22:52

My neighbours are like this, they have a 3 and 7 year old that are always playing in the road. It's not a main road, but used as a short-cut by lots of people.

I would never let my dd play out there, and I am a little bit judgey about it, but I would never say anything. I agree with poopscoop's approach, actually.

ben5 Thu 13-Aug-09 11:24:08

i would mention it. maybe write a letter and type it so they don't know it's from you. ask the school to help. they might suggest a safe way to walk to school programme.or that kind of thing.something the children do and they teach the parents?

wannaBe Thu 13-Aug-09 11:24:43

I would stay out of it.

It wasn't so long ago that most children played out unsupervised, it's only in the past few years that we've developed a paranoya about allowing children to play out without any supervision..

I wouldn't personally allow mine to play out unsupervised but people raise their own children as they see fit.

So while I would probably judge them, I wouldn't get involved.

Lizzylou Thu 13-Aug-09 11:26:29

Gawd, it's a toughie.
I think you could keep dropping hints about how dangerous the road is and if that doesn't work have a word. Just imagine if something happened, you'd never forgive yourself and you could have been able to prevent it.
2 yrs old is way too young to play out on the road unsupervised. Do they have a garden? I can understand if they don't that their DC need to play outside, but they should be out with them.
My boys don't play out unsupervised in our cul de sac, they are 5 and 3. Our neighbours zoom into their drive and it scares me witless.
I know DS1 is going to have to start soon, but will cross that bridge when I have to.

Tamarto Thu 13-Aug-09 11:28:01

One of my children was run over in my street yet they all play out there still does that make me a bad parent?

Allowing your children to play outside unsupervised is not neglect.

LovelyTinOfSpam Thu 13-Aug-09 11:28:56

Got to say I don't agree that anon letter is good idea.

Def worth mentioning, but presumably if one child has already been hit by a car they know it is possible.

WidowWadman Thu 13-Aug-09 11:36:10

It saddens me how few children you can see playing outside on their own nowadays. And it's ridiculous if parents who allow their children to play outside should now face accusations of neglect.

I think you're totally OTT.

My feeling is that its OK for the 9 and 7 year olds to play out put not the 2 and for year olds.

They do have a garden but its not large enough to ride bikes etc.

I do not think they are bad parents but I feel it is neglectful to allow the 2 and 4 year old to play out unsupervised is neglectful, they have no idea out road safety yet, if they were supervised I wouldn't have a problem with it and it would be an opportunity to learn about road safety.

wannaBe Thu 13-Aug-09 11:40:14

are the nine and seven year olds out at the same time as the two and four year olds?

OrmIrian Thu 13-Aug-09 11:41:50

Leave it. You have to let them parent as they see fit and clearly it doesn't bother them. And if they are otherwise good and caring parents this isn't such a big thing. Mine play out all the time (OK not at 2yrs and our road is a cul-de-sac) and have come to no harm.

Tamarto Thu 13-Aug-09 11:46:04

How do you know they are not supervised?

They may not be constantly supervised, but i bet people are regularly checking, i know the kids round here wouldn't be able to get up to much without someone seeing.

Sometimes, but I feel that they cannot be resposible for the LOs.

proverbial Thu 13-Aug-09 12:08:13

OTT? Maybe for the older kids, but do you seriously let a 2 year old out on a built up road that your 4 year old was hit by a car on, alone? shock Really?
I'm not taking any position on the question really, not knowing the full info, but I'm surprised by that. I always thought I was pretty relaxed with my kids but I would not in a million years let my 2 year play in the road, and I live in a cul de sac that is practically empty.

expatinscotland Thu 13-Aug-09 12:11:40

A 2 and 4-year-old have no business playing out unsupervised in the street, or supervised by a 9 or 7-year-old.

A week or so ago a poster started a thread about allowing her 4-year-old to walk about 200 yards unsupervised and out of sight to some shop and got roasted here.

Yet it's okay to let another child of the same age to play out in the street in front of their house unsupervised?

Northernlurker Thu 13-Aug-09 12:13:37

I think you should butt out. Personally I wouldn't let my two year old out with her sisters but that's because she has no sense! grin Allowing children to play outside of a house or garden is not neglect. It's your brother and sil's responsibility not yours and what they are doing is reasonable imo even if it's not something I would do.

Tamarto Thu 13-Aug-09 12:19:14

I'm confused as to how the OP knows they are not supervised?

Or does someone have to be hanging off the children for it to be classed as supervision nowadays.

YorkshireRose Thu 13-Aug-09 12:26:48

A friend of mine some years ago hit and killed a 3 yo who ran out into the road straight in front of him. He was held entirely blameless, but obviously he was completely devastated by it.

He was told by the police that the kid's 4 yo brother had been killed in exactly the same way a year before. Apparently the parents sent all their kids out to play in the street unsupervised every day.

These parents are very lucky they did not have a dead 4yo, not just one with a broken leg. And has anyone thought about how the driver involved must feel? Children of this age just have NO road sense and will take NO NOTICE of traffic.

I know this is a difficult situation, OP, but you would never forgive yourself if anything happened to the younger ones and you did nothing. As they are close family, I think it is very much your business as you love those kids as well.

Would it be better coming from your mum?

I think 2 year olds and 4 year olds should be supervised on busy roads at all times and not just be checked on at regular intervals. Although the 4 year old MAY be more aware of the traffic after her acident.

Also the older cannot be held responsible for the LO, imagine how they felt when they saw the 4 year old get run over,

I do feel it is my business as the DC are very special to me, however I feel I cannot tell them how to raise their DC, all I can do I feel is tell them how I feel in a tactful way.

Sorry overuse of the word feel grin

Also my mum has said she is going to have a word with them.

YorkshireRose Thu 13-Aug-09 13:20:02

I agree about kids this young needing constant supervision on the road, ITMDIPP. Checking occasionally will not be any help in avoiding accidents as it only takes a second for them to rush out into the road.

I think it is a good idea for your mum to have a word - these things seem to be listened to more if they come from a parent. How is your mums relationship with SIL? If a bit sensitive, might be best for her to speak to your DB on his own , then he can talk to SIL - avoid the interfering MIL label! grin

kitkatqueen Thu 13-Aug-09 13:27:53

There is a family on our street who allow the children out to play by themselves, I recall the children being just 3 years old, 4, and 5.

The 3 year old was usually wearing an eyepatch and glasses, meaning that she would frequently walk into inanimate objects such as my front fence.sad None of the children were supervised, they would fall and hurt themeselves and knock on someone elses door because they couldn't get their parents to hear.

They had no road sense at all and would frequently run out in front of cars to get to the park opposite.

There used to be a group of teenagers who hung out on our street and they would actually get upset that they were effectivley "minding" the children. One of the teenagers took the 3 yr old home after a near miss with a car and got a mouthful from the parent on the lines of well why did you let her run into the road.

I know they say it takes a vilage to bring up a child, but imo I shouldn't have to be responsible for someone elses children just because I happen to be outside and nor should a bunch of teenagers. I took the children back numerous times with scrapes etc and tried to talk to the parents.

Horrible situation.

expatinscotland Thu 13-Aug-09 13:36:12

It's her niece and nephew. I know my sister pretty well. I'm pretty close to her. I've been around her enough to know how she supervises her children (hers are now teenagers, though wink)

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