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Grandparent leaving children for 20 minutes

(21 Posts)
saltere123 Tue 17-Feb-15 17:07:02

I have recently left my two kids (10 and 7 years old) with their Granddad for a few days, to enjoy the first part of the half term. I was concerned when calling my kids on FaceTime, that my daughter had said that she had been left alone (with her brother) in a cafe for 20 to 30 minutes, while Granddad went to get a hair cut. The cafe was a Ceramic Cafe on a typical town high street, where you can do pottery etc... and the male hairdressers was round the corner. My husband and I were extremely concerned. After speaking to my kids I realised they were scared and uncomfortable. My husband spoke to his Dad about it, who considered there to be no risk at all, and even suggested that we were being over protective, and was quite adamant. He could not remember the name of the owner of the cafe but insisted it was a trustworthy and safe place for the kids to be left in. I was, and am, uncomfortable about this, and would be grateful for any other Mums or Dads views on this. Am I being over protective? Should I let my kids stay with their Granddad again?

vestandknickers Tue 17-Feb-15 17:10:26

I would be very worried about this. He clearly doesn't have much sense of what is appropriate. No, I wouldn't be letting my children stay again!

girliefriend Tue 17-Feb-15 17:12:57

I would be a bit annoyed about this and can't imagine either of my parents doing this with dd who is 9yo. I don't understand why he didn't just take them to the hairdressers with him? confused

However I wouldn't make a massive deal out if it but say something along the lines of 'can you just take them with you next time as they were worried being left on their own.' if there are no other concerns I would of course let them stay with their Grandad again.

tiktok Tue 17-Feb-15 17:15:18

This is not good. Why should the cafe owner be responsible for the safety of the children, anyway? Why should your kids be left feeling uncomfortable and/or scared? It would be fine in a couple of years, perhaps, but they are both too young, IMO.

Whether you let them stay again will depend on how well you trust him to 'behave' in the future, but it doesn't look good if he is still adamant.

newgirl Tue 17-Feb-15 17:18:53

It's interesting that he left them in a pottery cafe - maybe he thought that more fun/appropriate than being in a barbers. I think too young but he may genuinely think it ok. I think a generation thing.

Hoppinggreen Tue 17-Feb-15 17:19:40

Mine are 10 and 6 and they would have been very upset I imagine.
It's totally unacceptable. My children wouldn't be going there alone again without assurances

Seriouslyffs Tue 17-Feb-15 18:40:12

It only matters because the children were upset. That age and location are suitable for 'first left alone' situation. I'm surprised that the answers to far have all considered it not so!

Only1scoop Tue 17-Feb-15 18:43:12

You say you 'left them for a few days to enjoy the holidays'

Maybe that's a little much for him?

Blondeshavemorefun Tue 17-Feb-15 21:31:01

i think he meant well by leaving in a 'fun' place for children while he did an errand

but obv should have asked you plus possible cafe owner wouldnt be insured for unattended children?

simply say to him that they cant be left alone and yes maybe a few days is too much for him

saltere123 Wed 18-Feb-15 10:44:39

Thank you for your advice and wise words. The feedback has been most helpful.

MaCosta Wed 18-Feb-15 10:46:52

Absolutely not acceptable. Seven years old is to a suitable age to be left alone in a public place without adult supervision. My DS2 is seven and could get up to anything.

MaCosta Wed 18-Feb-15 10:47:03


zoemaguire Wed 18-Feb-15 10:50:07

10 ok if they know the score, 7 not!

CliveCussler Wed 18-Feb-15 10:52:35

were they painting pots? That is an activity that is very tedious to watch can go on for ages. I would think this was fine if they were occupied and the kids were happy to be left/café owner ok with it.

However, you say the kids were scared and uncomfortable so maybe he wasn't clear with them how long he would be, or didn't check that they were properly ok with it.

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Wed 18-Feb-15 11:34:17

It's a generational thing. I bet your parents and your husbands would have happily left you for 30 mins somewhere safely occupied at 10yrs with a younger sibling in tow if they were fairly sensible types.

By all means express a request/preference that your 10 yo is not left in charge of their sibling and state your concerns that your children were not comfortable with it. Perhaps he should have been clearer as to where he was going and at what time he would return.

cestlavielife Wed 18-Feb-15 11:42:23

We're they painting pots ?
If so fine.

MaudantWit Wed 18-Feb-15 11:48:36

I too would have thought it was fine - a pottery cafe is a very child-centric kind of place and 20-30 minutes isn't long - but would want to know why the children were upset. Had grandad not explained where he was going or how long he would be?

ragged Wed 18-Feb-15 11:53:45

Gosh, my kids would love that. Definitely not too scared to be left alone like that.

Bettercallsaul1 Wed 18-Feb-15 14:52:11

Agree that this is a generational thing - I'm sure their grandfather would never have left them anywhere he perceived to be dangerous. I would just have a gentle word, stressing the fact that your children are not used to being left alone (especially the seven-year-old) and were therefore uneasy, and ask him to keep them with him in future. You don't want to spoil a lovely family relationship!

Hakluyt Wed 18-Feb-15 14:55:00

Why were they scared? Did they say they were before you asked if they were scared or not?

sanfairyanne Wed 18-Feb-15 17:13:58

sounds like they were left to get on with painting pots? not all that worrying for me, or your fil, but obviously concerns you and your dh
probably better to not leave the kids for so long with your fil if you cant agree on what is and isnt acceptable. i would be fine with what he did tho

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