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To leave 3yo in park whilst going to the loo?

737 replies

DoormatBob · 11/09/2021 21:55

Not sure if this is an AIBU or more WWYD but was at a rural touristy attraction. When we arrived both DD (3, nearly 4) and me needed the loo. DD went then refused to wait for me and ran out to the play area (toilets were within the play area but not staffed/ticketed).

I told her to wait but she said no and was off, told me she was going on the slides as she legged it away! We've been there before so she knows where she's going.

I had to go to the loo and therefore she played in the park for 2 minutes unsupervised.

YES - i should have got her back and made her stay with me.
NO - she is OK for 2 mins, she knows where I am.

What would others do? She is very independent and confident but it's just the safety aspect.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

4890 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
BabyRace · 11/09/2021 22:04

I think the bigger problem is that your toddler disobeyed you and you let it happen with zero consequence.

Untold things could happen in 3 minutes whilst you use the toilet, and a 3 year old who won't listen to mum has no concept of not going off with strangers. Yes it's highly unlikely, but do you want that risk?

FOJN · 11/09/2021 22:04

I told her to wait but she said no and was off, told me she was going on the slides as she legged it away!

"She told you"? I think the wrong person is in charge.

There is no way I'd leave a child of that age unsupervised in a play area, there are just too many possibilities for disaster.

Buttercup54321 · 11/09/2021 22:04

You need to parent her properly. Teach her to listen and do as she is told for a start.

DeepaBeesKit · 11/09/2021 22:04


By straight back out the park gates, I mean I would've taken her straight home for her disobedience.

I probably would too tbh. Especially if I were calling her and she ignored me/didnt return.

TheYearOfSmallThings · 11/09/2021 22:04

Firstly no, I wouldn't leave a 3 year alone in a park, even for 2 or 3 minutes.

Secondly if you tell your 3 year old to stay with you and she ignores you and runs off giggling, you NEVER reward that by letting her go and do what she wanted to do. She is 3 years old and you are the parent.

Tulips15 · 11/09/2021 22:04


She would've been straight back out the park gates before her bum touched the slide if she did that to me.

'Independence' and 'confidence' don't come into it. She's 3 years old for goodness sake.

I agree!
JaffaRaf · 11/09/2021 22:05

Absolutely not, they should have been in the cubicle with you. It’s so important to teach children of that age that they can’t just run off regardless of the situation, what if next time it’s into a road?

Gardenista · 11/09/2021 22:05

I couldn’t cope with this. When my daughter is complaining about being in a loo cubicle with me I ask her to stand outside the cubicle and put her foot under the door.

tinkywinkyshandbag · 11/09/2021 22:05

No way not even at 6 or 7

Winemewhynot · 11/09/2021 22:05

Absolutely not she’s 3 Confused

TheLovelinessOfDemons · 11/09/2021 22:06

The consequence for my DC when they were that age was buggy.

Cleverpolly3 · 11/09/2021 22:06

No way would I let that happen

hotasharibo · 11/09/2021 22:06

Definitely not.

I would not have let her run off. If you say no you should mean no. You are the adult!

coffeepleeease · 11/09/2021 22:06

Absolutely no, I'm shocked!!!

nanbread · 11/09/2021 22:07


By straight back out the park gates, I mean I would've taken her straight home for her disobedience.

At age 3 isn't it more the parent's responsibility to keep their child safe rather than have unrealistic expectations of the child to resist going on the slides and immediately do as a parent says? Feels a bit ott to leave over that. If she had been brought back to loos then run off again then maybe but it sounds like OP didn't try that hard to keep her there.

As for the answer - no I don't think I would leave a 3yo. I don't even like having my 5yo out of my sight in the park - but then he does have additional needs.
TheVolturi · 11/09/2021 22:08

Nope. Shouldn't have done that.

GroggyLegs · 11/09/2021 22:08

Apart from the obvious safety issues, a 3yo should not be the one calling the shots.

621CustardCream438 · 11/09/2021 22:08

Nope, she’d have been in the cubicle with me. And she certainly wouldn’t have been rewarded for running off and being disobedient by being allowed to carry on playing. She is well old enough to behave and wait for a couple of minutes, any SN not withstanding.

Mine learned very early on that if you run off/don’t do as you’re told in a public place you go on reins and the fun stops. If you absolutely couldn’t wait then at very least I’d have got her straight afterwards and marched her straight back to the car.

Rosemariex · 11/09/2021 22:08

I would not of done this and my daughter is 7!

I think of the worst possible scenario in every situation though so maybe thats just me xx

user7012893145776 · 11/09/2021 22:09


Littlebutload · 11/09/2021 22:09

I would have brought them into the cubicle with me (carrying them in if necessary). I never let my 3 year old run off, I think you were crazy to allow that.

FlumpsAreShit · 11/09/2021 22:09

I'm very very relaxed generally but, no, I wouldn't have done it.

0palescent · 11/09/2021 22:10

The only reason I wouldn't have taken them home for this, is for the sake of the other child. It wouldn't be fair to punishment them for their sibling's misbehaviour. The 3yo would've had a talking to and a time out, though.

PheasantsNest · 11/09/2021 22:10

Absolutely no way. I can't believe you even need to ask.

flumpo · 11/09/2021 22:10

Absolutely not ok. I'm not a strict parent at all but safety is non negotiable.

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