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I could do with an impartial perspective of this....

(13 Posts)
oftengrumpy Mon 02-Sep-13 22:30:29

I have been lurking around MN for a while now but not posted much. I could really do with some opinions about how back this is.

Background: "D"H and I are having a lot of difficulties, not all his fault as I appreciate it takes 2 etc but I am having trouble working out if this is as bad as I think or if I am overreacting because I am upset about lots of other things.

The problem is that I had to work today. H had the day off so he was looking after our 2 children DS(12) and DD(6). They went out on the bikes and when they got home H realised that he had dropped a bank card. He left the children on their own together and went to look for it. They were on their own for at least 15 minutes and in he went a mile or 2 not just out in the street.

I don't object to DS being left for an hour and he is very happy to be on his own but they fight like cat and dog and so I don't think that it is safe for them to be left on their own together. DS is also NOT good at looking after his little sister and often refuses to help her unless I intervene. DD always thinks she can do things that she can't i.e. chop veg, get things out of the top cupboards.

Nothing bad happened so was it OK, am I overreacting or right to be annoyed?

oftengrumpy Mon 02-Sep-13 22:30:58

bad not back!

RobotHamster Mon 02-Sep-13 22:32:53

Well, you know your kids and if you think its inappropriate then yes, it is.

I agree with you - just that bit too young to be left I think. Why couldn't he take the 6yo with him?

oftengrumpy Mon 02-Sep-13 22:37:02

He said that it was too far which is probably true as he cycles pretty quickly and she was tired after the ride and wouldn't have wanted to go out.

I would have just cancelled the card as I think the chances of seeing it were pretty slim - he didn't find it.

RobotHamster Mon 02-Sep-13 22:38:50

Yy, I'd cancel it straightaway.

Do you think he'll leave them again, should the situation arise?

OhBuggerandArse Mon 02-Sep-13 22:40:12

A twelve year old ought to be able to look after a six year old for 15 minutes. And he won't learn to step up and take on the responsibility if he never gets the chance. I think you need to take a deep breath and step back on this one, and try not to get it mixed up with whatever else is going on.

oftengrumpy Mon 02-Sep-13 22:42:42

Well he says not but he has left DS before now (when he was younger(9) and before we had started leaving him officially) to pop to a shop ten minutes away. I really don't know if I can trust him :-(

The trouble is that my imagination goes into overdrive - what if DD wanted a drink and DS wouldn't get it so she climbed up to get a glass and fell and banged her head? All unlikely but what if???

oftengrumpy Mon 02-Sep-13 22:46:23

Thanks RobotHamster and also OhBuggerandArse for different views. That's what I need - to be able to see both sides!

beachyhead Mon 02-Sep-13 22:48:01

I honestly think it was his call at the time. He was responsible for them and he decided that was the best course of action.

It's very on the cusp. A 12 yo should be able to look after a 6 yo on what you husband deemed a quick emergency. If he had gone to the pub for two hours, then fair enough.

But he was in charge and he took that decision.

RobotHamster Mon 02-Sep-13 22:54:48

I suppose I'm just thinking back to when I was 13 and my sister was 6. My mum clearly wasn't in her right mind when she left us alone for short periods smile

With more sensible children it may well be fine.

oftengrumpy Mon 02-Sep-13 23:01:07

Thanks Beachyhead - I agree that many 12yo could look after a 6yo but not necessarily my specific 12 and 6yo! However maybe this is something that I should be working on with them.

WhiteandGreen Mon 02-Sep-13 23:29:40

What he's done doesn't honestly sound that bad to me.

Leavenheath Tue 03-Sep-13 00:55:35

I'd have done the same as him too. But that's based on my knowledge of my children at that age and in my judgement as a parent.

Which is the same for him really.

He's got just as much right to make a judgement about his own children as you. He's possibly less risk-averse than you and is better at assessing the likelihood of the children coming to any harm in such a small time window.

I think to prevent this sort of dilemma, it would be a good idea to talk to your 12 year-old about some of the risks you fear and what he needs to do when he's in charge of his younger sibling. Give him some boundaries and also bring your 6-year old into the conversation i.e. tell her the kitchen is out of bounds, if she needs a drink or snack her brother will sort it etc.

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