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Is it okay to leave my children for four hours?

(23 Posts)
SuperSillyus Thu 18-Sep-08 09:49:03

I'm meant to be leaving the children today from 4 to 8, I've promised a friend I'd go to her exhibition.
ds1 (17) reckons he can mind them (if I pay him) dd (5) ds2 (3) ds3 (1 1/2)what do you think? Am I mad? It's causing me to have an anxiety attack. He's minded them all for one hour a few times while I popped to shop/chippy.
What will happen if they all poo and need cleaned and all start crying at the same time as often happens....oh dear....fret, fret, fret....

Saggarmakersbottomknocker Thu 18-Sep-08 09:56:51

I think it's fine if ds1 is happy to do it(I have a 17 year-old). What's happening about dinner? I wouldn't recommend cooking with all the other distraction that will inevitably be going on. And is he expected to get them to bed?

They'll probably have a fine time but will be swinging off the light fittings when you get home smile

Bramshott Thu 18-Sep-08 09:58:31

Sounds fine to me - as SMBK says, leave something ready made for their tea, and ask him to get them into pajamas and maybe the little one into bed, but leave the others for you to put to be when you come in.

Overmydeadbody Thu 18-Sep-08 10:01:03

I think it will be fine. 4 hours isn't such a long time when it falls over dinner/bath/bed time is it?

Give him a back up plan incase they all start crying at once, like putting a dvd on for them.

AbbeyA Thu 18-Sep-08 10:04:29

Sounds fine to me-I thought from OP they were going to be younger.
I wouldn't think it a good idea, but your DS1 is old enough to be married and have his own child! I am sure he can cope for 4 hours.
I used to babysit other people's children at that age and stay overnight if they were having a late night.

Bramshott Thu 18-Sep-08 10:10:17

Although remember that they will play your DS1 up A LOT more than they would an external babysitter! Maybe you need to warn him about that too?!

AbbeyA Thu 18-Sep-08 10:11:43

They can play up an external babysitter!

MamaG Thu 18-Sep-08 10:11:59

DS1 will be fine

Let htem watch DVDs and make their tea in advance

SuperSillyus Thu 18-Sep-08 10:30:22

My friend is very understanding and trying to find someone else to go instead of me, if she can't I won't let her down and I'll go and hopefully the house won't fall down.

My friend was hoping that I would be able to join her in the adult world, I think she has been missing me. (And I miss me too).

SuperSillyus Thu 18-Sep-08 10:31:10

Thanks for the encouragement, I do need it!

OrmIrian Thu 18-Sep-08 10:31:27

Fine. But make sure he knows just how important his job is - is don;t get distracted by anything else. Is he happy with it?

Anna8888 Thu 18-Sep-08 10:32:37

Sounds fine - make it as easy as possible for your DS1 by providing a lovely ready-prepared meal (and don't expect him to clear the kitchen to your own standards).

Can you buy/rent a new DVD for the little ones?

Carmenere Thu 18-Sep-08 10:34:15

Go, they will be fine, when dss was 17 he regularly used to look after dd who was 2 at the time with no trouble at all. And he is an eedgit at the best of times, I know minding one is not as difficult as minding three but he will be fine, it will be good for him and he will appreciate you more when he realises what a chore it is to look after small children. go.

Hassled Thu 18-Sep-08 10:35:51

Yes, make it clear that it is paid work and that his chances of sloping off to play on the computer are zero [voice of bitter experience emoticon]. My older DCs have minded the younger ones a lot, but it did take a few disasters where they seemed to think the little ones were actually self-sufficient before all went well - I did the stern "this is a business arrangement not a normal evening at home" talk.

AbbeyA Thu 18-Sep-08 10:39:02

Just think-if it is successful you can do it again! I always left my eldest DS looking after the younger ones (8 and 10 yrs younger). They got on fine. You need to tell them that their brother is in charge.

fortyplus Thu 18-Sep-08 10:45:36

GO GO GO!! For goodness' sake - he's 17! It will be fine!

SuperSillyus Thu 18-Sep-08 10:45:51

He is definately an eejit and he will be wanting to play computer games while minding them, so I will have to give him some speeches and good idea to make clear to the little ones that he is in charge.

No chance of him doing any dishes or anything. He is good with them though. I feel a bit less anxious now, thanks everyone.

fortyplus Thu 18-Sep-08 10:51:11

They will love it if he plays computer games with them! Here's an idea... get him to set up a 'cinema'. They can choose a dvd, put chairs in rows, close the curtains so it's all dark. He can show them to their seats with a torch and 'sell' them popcorn!

SuperSillyus Thu 18-Sep-08 11:01:23

Well my friend found someone else to go the the opening [sad and also relieved emoticon] So I can relax in my pit of children but I vow to leave them soon armed with good ideas and encouragement from this thread grin

sillybigsausage Thu 18-Sep-08 12:58:33

Glad it turned out OK

Blu Thu 18-Sep-08 13:08:36


tbh I would think that that time of day would be hard for a 17 yo to manage 3 v young kids on their own unless they were v v used to it! Tired, hungy, bedtime...

I would have said go from 4-6, perhaps. Especially if you want the 5 yo in bed at a reasonable hour for school!

Make sure he has lots of practice over the coming months!

kiwibella Thu 18-Sep-08 13:42:34

oh you silly thing!! You would have really enjoyed an evening in adult company - without the children - even if you spent most of it checking up on your ds. He would have enjoyed the responsibility and the payment even more grin. He's a great guy for offering / agreeing.

I hope that you make another opportunity soon.

SuperSillyus Fri 19-Sep-08 12:31:15

grin i definately am silly and I do long for some adult time away. that was a mad time though and they are all under the weather and were all whinging and getting on. Plus I'm still breast feeding.
So I shall bide my time!

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