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to want to report someone for neglect?

(36 Posts)
madusa Wed 16-Sep-09 16:57:13

what would you do in this scenario?

My DD (almost 11)asked me why she can't "babysit" her younger brother (5)

apparently one of her school friends (also 10 or 11) is left babysitting her younger brother (4) for up to 2 hours at a time while the mum goes off to the gym.

The girl in question is a very sensible girl but am I alone in thinking that is a bit too young? Is this something that should be reported and if so, who to?

overmydeadbody Wed 16-Sep-09 16:59:53

You cannot report it, you don't even know for sure that it happens hmm

I was left babysitting younger sibligs from the age of ten onwards. It wasn't neglect at all, I was perfectly capable of being left for two or three hours looking after youger siblings.

FlamingoBingo Wed 16-Sep-09 17:00:08

Do not report! Do you really think the children would be better off in the 'system' than cared for in their family as it is? Really and truly?

I don't know what age I'll leave my children at home without me, it'll depend on my children and how mature and sensible they are. But I really think it unlikely that leaving a 10yo with a 4yo for a couple of hours is going to be worse than the care system.

Maybe she has a neighbour who looks in on them? Maybe the gym's next door and the DD has her mum's mobile number?

Seriously - do not report until you know the FULL story and are absolutely certain that they would be better off in the care system.

overmydeadbody Wed 16-Sep-09 17:00:55

If you are worried find out more from the parent herself.

CherryPopTart Wed 16-Sep-09 17:05:03

jeeeez calm yourself
children tend to exagerate so for all you know this girl babysits her brother with another adult family member in the house, only for half an hour, neighbour popping in, ect ect ect
as she may think it makes her seem 'cool' that shes aloud to be responsible

famishedass Wed 16-Sep-09 17:07:22

Ask yourself this. Who would benefit if i reported it? Because I don't think anyone would. and Who would you report anyway, the mum or the dad?

As you and her have got children of similar ages, why don't you suggest helping each other out with childcare or setting up a babysitting circle.

Although i don't think there is anything unsafe or wrong with this from a childrens welfare point of view, I do think it's kind of selfish of the mother - can't she go to the gym during the day when they're at school or failing that at the week-end. Why isn't the dad doing his bit anyway.

Mamazon Wed 16-Sep-09 17:13:08

even if you report it there is nothing SS will do.

if the girl is quite responsible and has plenty of numbers for emergancies and she isn't left for too long they will just give the mum some advice and leave them to it.

FabBakerGirlIsBack Wed 16-Sep-09 17:16:01

If you feel you have to do something you could mention it to the school.

Nancy66 Wed 16-Sep-09 18:04:19

There is absolutely nothing wrong with an 11 year old looking after a 4 year old sibling for a couple of hours...

bibbitybobbityhat Wed 16-Sep-09 18:05:57

You are not serious are you?

KnockedUpDelf Wed 16-Sep-09 18:10:22

Madness, I used to collect my little brother from Kindy, walk home with him (usually via the shops for sweets) and then get us both a snack when we got home until MY older sister and brother got home from high school a couple of hours later.

Did this the year he started kindy so he would have been 4 and I was 9.

We were not allowed out to play until older siblings got in. But as soon as they were we were both off on our bikes.

Feenie Wed 16-Sep-09 18:15:47

Actually, SS did want to get involved in my bf's case.
They phoned to speak to my bf regarding her dh's proposed adoption of her dd. Her dd was 12 years old, and was alone in the house for half an hour each day after getting home from school. On hearing this, they were round like a shot. My bf was very cross, and they backed off and changed their attitude v quickly when they learned she was a teacher - something that made my friend equally furious.

dogonpoints Wed 16-Sep-09 18:16:58

I'd stop over-reacting.

ReneRusso Wed 16-Sep-09 18:26:15

No it should not be reported. That sort of thing is up to the particular family. I know someone who leaves her child home alone aged 7 to pop out for 20 mins. I wouldn't do it, but I think its their business.

GypsyMoth Wed 16-Sep-09 18:31:19

reported to whom??

waitingforbedtime Wed 16-Sep-09 18:32:11


Its only word of mouth for one and for two, I dont see what's THAT wrong with it tbh.

wannaBe Wed 16-Sep-09 18:37:28

it's not neglect.

Sometimes the words "neglect" and "abuse" are used all too freely on here.. hmm

questioneverything Wed 16-Sep-09 18:52:17

This country is turning into pre-world war one germany. Everyone spying on each other and reporting each other.

Most of the worst cases of abuse are already on at risk lists. You would inflict months of visits and stessful checks based on the word of your own child from another child, who is probably trying to look grown up.

You could end up spliting a family for nothing.

Get a life.

ElieRM Wed 16-Sep-09 18:52:45

You cannot report it. Imagine if SS took the children from their mother; it'd be a long time before you slept at night.
If you are so concerned offer to watch the children yourself.
Your DD's friend may well be exaggerating to make herself sound more 'grown up.' My six year old stepsister has been telling everyone she knows how she 'babysat' my 3 month old DD. She did; under close supervision from my mum and stepdad, who never once left the room.

argento Wed 16-Sep-09 18:57:48

How is an 11 year old watching a 4 year old for a couple of hours neglect?

CommonNortherner Wed 16-Sep-09 19:12:51

Too right on the whole spying and reporting thing, I've been feeling that for a while about society and it's quite sick.

GirlsAreLOud Wed 16-Sep-09 19:36:33

Flamingo, do you really think they'd end up in the care system over that?!

Morloth Wed 16-Sep-09 19:37:58

questioneverything and CommonNortherner have it right. It is actually getting kind of creepy.

cory Wed 16-Sep-09 20:41:55

How would these overzealous SS cope with <lowers head and whispers>

the Continent?

where 7yos walk home from school on their own

where children regularly play out on their own or stay in on their own

scary place shock

thesecondcoming Wed 16-Sep-09 21:43:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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