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To think this is totally unacceptable

126 replies

bonzo77 · 16/11/2019 10:33

Leaving 3 boys aged 9,6 and 4 home alone while you “nip to the shops”. Shops are a 7 minute walk / 1 minute drive away. Boys are brothers, prone to fighting but generally sensible: very unlikely to try to cook anything etc.

To avoid drip feeding. DH did this. He drove. He thought it was too much hassle to strap them all into the car. I might have left the 9 year old (10 in March). But he knows my mobile number, and not DH’s. I would probably be more likely to have left the errand till another time.

I’m fucking livid, DH cannot see the issue. I’m re-thinking my work arrangements as this was when he was meant to be looking after them while I was at work.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

810 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
MaidenMotherCrone · 16/11/2019 10:34

Not acceptable.

dietcokemum · 16/11/2019 10:35

Unacceptable and dangerous

BouleBaker · 16/11/2019 10:36

Depends how responsible the 9 and 6 year old are really. I probably wouldn’t but I wouldn’t be livid either.

Newjobnewstart · 16/11/2019 10:37

Not acceptable but i could see my dh doing something like this.

If it was a one off and i presume nothing happened i would draw a line under it this time but make it very clear its never to happen again.

LucileDuplessis · 16/11/2019 10:38

Lazy parenting. I would do this in an absolute emergency, but not just because I couldn't be arsed to strap them into the car.

Mrscog · 16/11/2019 10:38

It’s not perfect but it’s not that bad to be honest especially if the 9 year old knew how to call someone in an emergency.

Limensoda · 16/11/2019 10:40

Depends on the children involved. I doubt anyone constantly watches their child every minute.

mclover · 16/11/2019 10:46

Totally agree with you and my DH has done something similar and couldn't see the issue, makes my blood boil

HaveeeeYouMetTed · 16/11/2019 10:46

I'm guessing he was no longer than 10 minutes if the drive is 1 minute each way then approximately 8 minutes shopping / paying. Some people leave their kids unattended for a similar amount of time to have a poo.
I can't see the huge issue. I think you're over reacting slightly. You've said yourself they are generally sensible. It's not like he went out for an hour or more.

Nanny0gg · 16/11/2019 10:48

What could the 9 year old have done if one of the others had played up?
Or there'd been an accident?

Man's an idiot

Pardonwhat · 16/11/2019 10:55

Leaving the 9 year old I think would be fine for the quick trip there and back.
Maybe even the 9 year old and the 6 year old together.
But the 4 year old I think is totally inappropriate.

littlepaddypaws · 16/11/2019 10:55

*haveee@ but i guess you'd be in the house with them at the same time ? actually going out and leaving is totally different.
i doubt anyone goes out thinking, 'i'm not coming back because i'll be involved in an serious incident, accident or die'
what happens if you've left young children at home?

CymaticPrincess88 · 16/11/2019 10:56

Are all three of your kids still breathing?

Unclench. Just a smidge.

stophuggingme · 16/11/2019 11:03

@CymaticPrincess it’s a bit like playing chicken this sort of “parenting”. All a bit of a laugh and nobody got hurt until they do. Or might.

@bonzo77 I would not be happy either. You need to be on the same page with things like this and you are clearly not so there are two issues for me: one trust and one communication.

It’s unfair on a nine year old boy to be left in charge of two younger siblings in this way. He has no authority, no capacity to act quickly even if he is a bright child and what if something had happened to him?

cakeandchampagne · 16/11/2019 11:06

Too dangerous. What if.....?

FizzyGreenWater · 16/11/2019 11:06

Some people leave their kids unattended for a similar amount of time to have a poo.

Not unless they drive to another location to poo where they are physically unable to do anything if something happens, no.

It's not about the length of time really. So your DH prangs another car in his dash to the shops because he's trying to be quick, or gets stuck in another way.

Basically to take risks with your kids safety because to not take the risk means putting yourself out is reprehensible. It's the attitude. If there was no choice, it would be slightly different.

Yep I'd have trust issues now. I'd know that if it meant making his life slightly easier, he'd take a chance with them. That's crap.

ChristmasFluff · 16/11/2019 11:12

I was the 9 year old who was always left to look after 3 other children - 8, 7 and 3. Not all were even my family!

Guess who got shouted at when things went wrong? So I'm guessing who would have got blamed by your husband if anything bad had happened while he was away.

Parentifying children is wrong. It starts with 10 minutes, and it ends with being the norm.

DrVonPatak · 16/11/2019 11:14

I'm on the fence with this one, on the one hand I've regularly been left at approximately same ages with my sisters to fend for ourselves between the school end and our mother returning home from work. Also prone to fighting, but otherwise sensible. Taught us a thing or two about self sufficience... 🤔

DC3dilemma · 16/11/2019 11:19

Not a chance. I sometimes leave my sensible 8 year old for 10 mins. But not with his 5 year old brother. Under 8 needs an adult around and another child is not a substitute.

I’d be little more forgiving if he took the 4 year old with him.

starfishmummy · 16/11/2019 11:21

The DH is also their parent, hes allowed to make parenting decisions regarding his kids.

BendNSnap · 16/11/2019 11:28

I've been the 9 year old in this only I was left with a baby while parents went to the pub "for an hour" or 4. I hated being left in charge of other children at a young age. I was sensible and would have been happy on my own at that age but not with others. I'm with you OP, I would be annoyed if DH did this especially if it was for something that could have waited.

Winterdaysarehere · 16/11/2019 11:30

My ex used to go to the pub and leave dc alone at this age.
I reported him to ss.
Did nowt.

EvenMoreFuriousVexation · 16/11/2019 11:35

Did he go to buy tobacco/cigarettes?

I would be completely okay leaving a 9yr old in charge of younger children for 5 mins.

Hithere2 · 16/11/2019 11:37


My dh did this - left my 2 dd (1 and 3 years old) in the car while he went to pick up food at night for 5 minutes and I was livid. He said he could see the car, what was the issue?

I almost hit him with a 2 by 4 and told him the police could have been called for child neglect, they could have been kidnapped, etc. He recognized it was too dark for him to see the car clearly but the kids were sleeping and it was easier than waking them up.
He never did it again.

Please do not rethink your work arrangement if it is going to threaten your financial independence. Women and children shouldn't suffer to cover for men's idiocy

Is there a parenting course he could take?

NataliaOsipova · 16/11/2019 11:38

No! 9 year old on his own? Maybe. But the other two are far too small and he’s far too young to have that responsibility.

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