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Leaving children alone?

(7 Posts)
button11 Sat 13-Apr-13 08:39:45

Hi. I'm wanting to return to work 1 night a week 10pm - 6am but not sure about whether to leave my children. My ex husband used to have the children for the night but he no longer see's them. My 16 year old son is very mature and more than capable of looking after his siblings. I also have a mature 14 year old son, an 11 year old daughter and a 4 year old daughter. The older 3 are fine at looking after themselves, and they all sleep well through the night, same as my 4 year old. I also have good neighbours should any issue arrive. Would appreciate anyones thoughts. Thankyou.

mummy2benji Sat 13-Apr-13 08:59:23

However mature your older dc's are, I would never leave a 4yo alone in the house overnight. If she was ill, woke with a night terror, or got up and had an accident, it is too much responsibilty for the other dc's and there should be an adult there. A 16yo sleeps much more deeply than a mum whose senses are finely tuned to hear a crying toddler or a small child coughing / choking. Sorry as I know that isn't what you wanted to hear and complicates your return to work but that is my personal viewpoint.

OccaSheila Sat 13-Apr-13 09:12:26

You would be opening yourself up to scrutiny from social services if they knew you did this routinely I think. Check out the law I think, based on their ages judging from this website you'd be at risk of prosecution if anything happened.
https://www.gov.uk/law-on-leaving-your-child-home-alone

Tobagostreet Sat 13-Apr-13 09:19:39

Occa, the 4yo wouldn't be alone, they would be looked after by a 16yo (who is old enough to have their own child in the eyes of the law), so legally I think she'd be just fine.

That said, OP - I would feel less comfortable with this arrangement as I'd worry about putting too much of a burden of responsibility on my 16yo. I'd worry about how they'd cope with an emergency (could they all get themselves out safely in the event of a fire for example?

I know that's not the answer you need hmm, I hope you can work something else out.

WeAreEternal Sat 13-Apr-13 09:23:05

When I was 15 I babysat 4 nights a week for a mother who worked night. I basically slept over at her house and got the 2 and 4 year olds up in the and gave them breakfast on a morning.

I don't think it's unreasonable for a 16 and a 14 yr olds to babysit a 11 and 4 yr old, as long as they take it seriously and fully accept the responsibility.

InNeedOfBrandy Sat 13-Apr-13 09:23:11

Well 16 is not to young legally but would you feel happy with it? I used to put the kids to bed and have my 16yr old brother babysit and feel completely fine with it but then I had my mum/nan/neighbour/auntie that would of came and dealt with any emergencys like 2am vomiting and such (which never happened!)

5318008 Sat 13-Apr-13 11:15:02

I think it would be fine, as long as the 16 yr old was cool with the arrangement

yy to going through emergency plans beforehand

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