Leaving kids alone what would you do?

Christie - posted on 04/10/2013 ( 6 moms have responded )

2

0

0

Neighbor does not want to pay for day care at gym for 1 year old and leaves her at home while still asleep with 8 and 9 year old early in the am, is this ok, what would you say to mom who thinks this is ok. She thinks ok because they are all sleeping and have cell phone to call her if needed.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Siobhan - posted on 04/12/2013

15

12

0

I have a 9 year old daughter and I sometimes leave her at home with my 6 year old son for about an hour at night to go get my husband from work, most of the time they are sleeping and they both know how to call if there is an emergency. They both think that they are old enough and mature enough to be left alone for longer but I am still not sure. At Christmas I talked to my family, to get their thoughts on it. My aunt told me that when her daughters were 1 and 3, she walked to her mom-in-laws house to get something. Her mom-in-law asked where the girls were and she said that they were sleeping and that they were fine. As they were walking back to her house, she said her mom-in-law said, "I am sure that the girls are fine, they are safe in their cribs, but what would they do if something happened to you while you were gone?" My aunt said that every time she left her girls at home for the rest of their childhood, she always thought about it.
Point is, yes kids do tend to be responsible beyond their years, but they cannot control circumstances anymore than the parents. So just because they seem ready, it doesn't mean that they are well equipped to handling emergencies and its unfair to make kids "responsible" for more than they should be.
Check the state laws and see what the age limits and requirements are for children left alone. Maybe you could mention to your neighbor that if something was to happen to her at the gym, what would the kids do? How would an emergency contact be reached to get to the kids? Its not just about them, she maybe needs to be reminded of whats most important.

Cassidy - posted on 04/10/2013

6

0

2

i strongly disagree! the children are way to young to handle that kind of responsibilty. that makes me uncomfortable just thinking about it. if she doesnt want to be paying for daycare then she should be working out from home or finding a responsible adult or babysitter older then 9 to be taking care of her baby. even just leaving the 8 and 9 year old alone is a big no no, never mind throwing a 1 year old into the mix! yikes!

6 Comments

View replies by

Chet - posted on 01/09/2014

2,093

0

587

People need to realise that this is more about a taboo in our society than these children being in any clear or imminent danger. The original poster said that the kids are all asleep and that they can call the mom. For all we know, the gym is across the street.
Over the years I've talked to many parents who believe that their children could handle being home alone, but they are afraid to leave them only because of judgements from other people. You might think that's great, anything to keep kids safe, but the truth is that protectionist ideals can go too far and undermine a child's confidence and maturity. Risk and responsibility are important in fostering healthy development in children, as is having your mom tell you that she trusts you to call her if you need help or if the baby wakes up.
A huge part of the decision to leave children home alone should come from a parent's assessment of the child, not fear of judgement from others or fear of random events that are very unlikely to happen.
It fairly likely that mom is not doing anything expressly illegal. The laws I'm familiar with tend to be written in a vague sort of way so they can be interpreted on a case by case basis. If it's specifically illegal for a 9 year old to be unsupervised than it's illegal for a 9 year old to walk two doors down the street with a toddler in a stroller to a relative's house. Similarly, if the laws are too specific with ages, durations and distances you can end up with situations where a child may be in a neglectful scenario but the law can't do anything because of the precise criteria that have been laid out.
You get a lot from people when you expect a lot from people. It wasn't very long ago when 11 and 12 year olds commonly babysat toddlers who were awake. Not everyone should do what this mom is doing. Not all sibling groups could handle it, but parents should be able to gauge their own children.

Sarah - posted on 01/09/2014

6

0

1

are u all being real no matter how old ur oldest is 12 or downward you never leave ur baby with them if sum was to happen u think to ur self who u gunna blame you or your oldest think reality people I would never dream of leaving my two yr. old wiv her brother and he's ten if I was u I would say something to her because she must really don't care wat happens so wat they got a phone say there was a fire in the house an 8 and 9 yr. old r going to panic by the time they ring her what good id that going to do and if anything happened to them she would be held responsible or she will blame her kids so YES SAY SOMETHING because it will be on YOUR HEAD TO if something happened believe me

Chet - posted on 01/08/2014

2,093

0

587

I wouldn't do anything. It's a situation that many people would not be comfortable with, but it's not their call. She's the mom... she should have a good sense of how likely her kids are to stay asleep and how able the older children are to call her if needed.

I wouldn't call the police or report her. Involving social services is very unlikely to benefit anybody in this situation. I also wouldn't try to scare her with scenarios that are rare or random.

I know that people worry about stuff like fire or a home break in, but this kind of thing is very rare, and there is no guarantee that the mom could do anything even if she was at home. The same with something happening to the mom while she's away from the kids. That's crazy random stuff. If they have a phone to call the mom surely they can call a family friend or other relative if something crazy happened. If the mom gets hit by a car crossing the street it'll be a good thing the kids weren't with her.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms