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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
Acunningruse · 14/09/2021 09:48

Are you insane? Way way too young. I have only just started leaving my 8 year old in the play area whilst I do this and only at one park which is quite close to the toilets, there are others where it's too far.

DoormatBob · 14/09/2021 09:48


Never in a million years is this acceptable!

Also if you're a man, if you were desperate tho could've done it up a tree while she was in the park?!

The thread is done, lots of repetition or people not reading even my responses but a few people have said similar to this.

It would not occur to me that it was acceptable to piss on the floor of an enclosed play area in front of 50 kids stood 25m away from a toilet because DD was being defiant.

At the end of the day I made a conscious decision not to go and drag her back, as soon as she went out of sight I knew it felt wrong but was too late and I posted to get honest opinions not to look for support.
OP posts:
cowshindtail · 14/09/2021 09:54

No I would have made sure she stopped with me at that age and in a public place.My daughter is now 27 but when she was 5 years old she went around to my next door neighbours to play.We live in a quiet village and she had to cross a private driveway to get there.I was watching out of the window and saw her wait to cross the driveway as a car had stopped opposite as though wanting to go down the drive,so she waited (hopping from foot to foot).The car then drove off and she rushed around to the neighbours.The car then repeatedly passed our house obviously looking for her.Child abductions do happen and such a small child as yours alone in a public place is not a good idea.

Justme10 · 14/09/2021 10:31

Only on MN would a man be told to expose himself in a park as a way to berate him for being a 'bad parent' Hmm

OP knows that the situation could have been handled better, his DD is okay and I'm sure he won't make the same mistake again.

jwpetal · 14/09/2021 10:38

I have. I have also had them miss a party and leave a playmate.

Anjunna · 14/09/2021 10:38

Can’t believe this is a serious ask

widgie · 14/09/2021 10:52

Don’t paedophiles hang around children’s play areas.? That’s where kids have been snatched, you must be mad.

stayathomer · 14/09/2021 10:55

I know someone said about them being snatched but I'd be more worried about them running out of the area or panicking and running to find you but look, we've all had our shit, shouldn't have done that moments!

GreyhoundG1rl · 14/09/2021 10:57

Also if you're a man, if you were desperate tho could've done it up a tree while she was in the park?!
Oh, seriously, just ignore this nonsense Hmm. They'd be the first to call out any bloke doing this in a children's play area.

sue20 · 14/09/2021 11:03

I would be in a situation where I would wet myself, I have very little time between urge and that moment. However, in spite of voting YANBA for that reason, I think that's way too young to take eyes off a child, and also there is an issue of discipline. I was very relaxed with my DD she once managed to open the flat door and let herself out, It was a 2 level flat. The first I knew was a policeman with her at the door 26 years later I still blanche at the thought of what might have happened on a busy City street

Mamadothehump · 14/09/2021 11:26


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.

This all over!

She's 3. Be the parent.
IntermittentParps · 14/09/2021 11:26

Yes, I'm shouting. It seems I need to.

Treesandsheepeverywhere · 14/09/2021 11:36

You've never done it in the nearly 4 years with her, and as soon as it happened, you realised it was wrong which shows you are a good dad.
Everyone makes mistakes and parenting is hard enough without being judged for a one off mistake when you're actually acknowledging it.

Suspicioussam · 14/09/2021 11:51

You sound like a great dad who made a mistake, I'm sure it won't happen again. Whilst I totally agree with the general opinion on here and would never leave a 3 year old myself, I have seen hundreds of small kids in parks not being watched, definitely for more than 2 minutes, so what you've done isn't exactly shocking. Don't beat yourself up.

Mummyto2rugrats · 14/09/2021 12:13

Sorry no just wouldn't allow it personally, each to their own but it takes less than 1min of not being in your line of sight for them to be abducted.
I think what makes me feel so strongly about it all is the unfortunate events of James Bulger which like 9/11 still to this day upset me. If mine had even thought to try this they wouldn't have experienced the park at all, I know they need to learn independence and mine are very independent at 10 and 11 walking to school and home from school (20min each way) but we have also given tools and rules with this in our bid to keep them as safe as we can.
I'm just reading to Jaycee Dugards story also which is another reason to try and ensure without shadow of doubt myself and DH must do all we can to keep them safe.

Sydendad · 14/09/2021 13:59

Completely unreasonable. A: not obeying you and running of should not be an option. Something tells me she is already walking all over you. Stop that now and learn to follow through. No means no, no discussion and running of while saying no I won't do what you told me should be met with consequences. And B: three years old is way too young to be left alone for even a second. You need to be with her at all times and you need to be present and paying attention to her. Motor skills, judgement, experience, awareness are all still lacking at that age.

yogi1 · 14/09/2021 14:24

You’re lucky she was still there when you come back. She could have injured herself badly or be taken by someone and you could have been done for neglect. Plus imagine if she had been taken and what those people/persons would have done. Two 11year olds in secondary school walking home have been tried to be snatched by blokes in vans in the county where I live since school started last week. Fortunately they could run fast enough and know to go banging on the nearest door , hence not being taken. I don’t think your 3 year old would have been so lucky.

sunflowerstory · 14/09/2021 14:37

Didn't think it was worth the risk of a tantrum on a piss-covered floor.
Did think it was worth to risk something far worse happening to an unattended 3 year old.

You made a very, very bad call.

Angrywife · 14/09/2021 15:17

Age is irrelevant, she does as she's told. End of

Vynalbob · 14/09/2021 19:43

You're getting some very strong comments, please ignore any OTT ones it's obviously something you'll learn from (which puts you a lot more competent than those who don't learn).. I've read your comment about work and feel you may have an easier life if you find a strong voice (even if it's fake).

Have a Google/YouTube assertive voice.
all the best

forumdonkey · 14/09/2021 21:07

I'm still flabagasted with your replies. You're her DF You are teacher and protector. Not only would you leave her to do what she wants rather than handle a toddler tantrum, you also have left her in a car while you have shopped!!

Would you leave your car with the keys in and windows open to shop? Would you leave your wallet and car keys outside the toilet while you went inside?

You're her parent, parent her because you're going to create an out of control princess in 10 years and your problems and issues will be more serious than having a piss in peace

ClareBlue · 14/09/2021 21:12

Absolutely not. Not even up to reasonable debate. No.

MyrtlethePurpleTurtle · 14/09/2021 21:27

Daily Mail loved this thread😝!

endlessstrife · 15/09/2021 11:08

As a much older woman, having sons nearly your age, try not to beat yourself up about it. We’ve all had near misses, and hindsight is a wonderful thing. The fact it made you so uncomfortable shows you won’t do it again.
Enjoy your family life, be thankful, that in this case, all was well. Take care.

lollylimejuice · 15/09/2021 12:49


As a much older woman, having sons nearly your age, try not to beat yourself up about it. We’ve all had near misses, and hindsight is a wonderful thing. The fact it made you so uncomfortable shows you won’t do it again.
Enjoy your family life, be thankful, that in this case, all was well. Take care.

I'm with you endlessstrife.
I have two adult children. It was a mistake, it won't happen again. We can all recall things we shouldn't have done.
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