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Would you be unhappy with this?

(13 Posts)
ballstoit Thu 04-Apr-13 23:41:32

My DS (7), and DDs (5 & 3) see their Dad, my XH, every other weekend in term time and an extra couple of nights in school holidays.

XH also has 2 DSs (12 & 11), from previous relationship. They lived with us when we were together, but now live with their Mum. He has them 3 out of 4 weekends, so 1 weekend a month has all 5 DC together. They also spend most of their school holidays with him, so all 5 for a couple of nights in school holds too.

When my DC go, and just they are there, ex and his gf seem to do a fair bit with them, take them to the park, bake, play board games etc. But when his older DC are there, they seem to be expected to the entertaining of little ones. This has previously been in the house or garden.

Today, I have picked my DC up from 2 nights of school holiday contact. When I got to ex's, DS started showing me a scab on his hand but ex rushed him out, saying 'Mum's waiting, tell her in the car, let's get this door shut before the cold gets OK in'. As we drove home, DS explained that he and DD1 had been taken to the park by ex's DSs, on their scooters. DS had fallen in a ditch on his scooter, while doing tricks with his bigger brothers, skinning the back of his hand and both his knees. DD1 and biggest brother had carried all the scooters home, while 11 year old helped DS, who was upset and bleeding. To get to and from the park, they have to cross 1 busy road with a traffic light crossing and 2 terraced side streets with lots of parked cars on both sides.

My DC don't play out alone at my house, I don't think they're mature enough to cross roads or risk assess situations. I don't think it's fair to expect 11 & 12 year olds to take responsibility for younger siblings. I'm cross that ex dodged coming clean about what happened. And I also feel a bit sad for DD2, that she didn't have anyone to play with because ex couldn't be bothered to go the park, so she couldn't go.

Would other people feel the same? And what (if anything) should I do about it?

Selba Thu 04-Apr-13 23:54:06

Sadly there isn't much you can do. It's not up to you what your children do and with whom when they are at his or vice versa. Sorry to be blunt. And the traffic route you describe seems safe enough.
I feel sorry for any parent who only sees their children as little as your ex does ( just a general remark, I know lots of parents have little interest in seeing their children at all, sadly )

ballstoit Fri 05-Apr-13 00:40:53

His choice to see them as little as he does, he left, he moved 30 miles away and he sends them to the park on their own rather than spend time with them.

Would you be happy for your 6 year old to be crossing roads without an adult thern?

ozzywiz Fri 05-Apr-13 01:25:58

My 12 year old daughter takes my 7 year old daughter to the park and shops etc. . but I guess its up to the parents to judge for themselves what a child is capable off based on self maturity and sensibility of the child. Some parents are more protective than others and some are wayyy too more lenient than others. .

My 12 year old does take the bus to the nearest town on her own and go shopping etc but she is more than capable.

ballstoit Fri 05-Apr-13 08:57:11

Has she been doing that for a couple of years oz?

DS has been out with his brothers before, but only crossing quiet estate roads.

DD1 is 5, and I think that's too young.

ozzywiz Fri 05-Apr-13 11:10:18

No, I would say for just over a year. as she started to go high school she gained a lot more responsibility as she needed to get 2 buses on her own to school and then back. which included changing buses in the local town, so for her to go to town now is somthing she is familiar with and she has a very good head on her, and a mobile phone to stay in contact with.

purpleroses Fri 05-Apr-13 13:38:02

I'd let sensible 11 and 12 year olds take 5 and 7 year old to the park across roads as you describe them. A busy road's not a problem if there's a proper crossing on it. And does sound like they dealt very well with your DS when he hurt himself.

Also not your concern that DD2 didn't get to go - maybe she was having some nice quite time at home with them - but even if she didn't, that's his shout.

Though I have discussed when it is OK to let kids go on their own to the park and have agreed with my ex when we thought the kids were old enough to do it. I'd feel the same as you if I thought he was trying to cover up what had happened. Could you bring it up with your ex? Suggest a few compromises (do the older boys have mobile phones with them? Have you and your ex talked to all the kids about sticking together, not going anywhere other than the park without checking with them first, etc)

Booyhoo Fri 05-Apr-13 13:47:11

my ds is is 7. we live on a very busy but narrow terraced street with cars parked both sides. he goes over to see his friend across the road (i put him across) and his friend who is 10 puts him back across the road. i would also trust the 2 of them to go the park together which is another but quieter road crossing.

there is pretty much nothing you can do about your ex letting this happen however you do have the choice about making your dcs very aware of road safety and practising it at every opportunity.

my dcs are 3 and 7 and i ask them both to put me across the road when we come to every kerb. they both know what to do and obviously i wont let my 3 year old cross roads by himself, but he is building up the safety routine/habits while he is safe with me as opposed to when he is just left to it at a later stage .

KobayashiMaru Fri 05-Apr-13 13:57:33

I don't see a problem with the scenario. I'd do it no problem.

Freddiemisagreatshag Fri 05-Apr-13 14:13:54

When my older,boys who are now 23 and 21 were 12 and 11 I got them to take the younger ones to and from the park. They were, as your dsds sound, very sensible.

I honestly don't see the problem.

Fleecyslippers Fri 05-Apr-13 22:05:58

You have every right to be concerned and have every right to discuss it with your Ex. The fact that he was rushing the children into the car suggests that he didn't want to discuss it then and there though, so how amenable will he be to having a conversation about it?
In theory a 12 year old should be okay to supervise a 7 year old in the scenario you describe. I'm not so sure about the 5 year old to be honest. Perhaps you need to ask your Ex to discuss some ground rules for the kids around how far from home they venture etc.

AllDirections Fri 05-Apr-13 22:08:02

I would be very, very unhappy with this happening. Depending on the children involved I might be ok if the park was very close by and your ex was regulary checking on them.

I would be annoyed too if my ex couldn't be bothered to take them all himself. Can you talk to your ex about your concerns?

ballstoit Sat 06-Apr-13 09:30:05

I have tried to ring but his phone's been off...good job it's not an emergency!!

Seems there's a mix of opinions on here, so perhaps I'm over-reacting. There are so many factors in whether it's safe or not, I think it seems worse to me as my DC don't really know the area, and don't have the same relationship with the older boys as they don't live together and only see them one weekend a month.

I am going to ask him not to let DD go out without an adult. 5 is just so little, and she's quite rebellious at the moment, and I'm not convinced she will stay with the older boys or follow their instructions 100% of the time.

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