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Do you leave your child alone when you go to the restroom? - Page 3

post #41 of 97
I can't imagine leaving my dd alone in a public place like a restaurant. Part of the reason is that I know she would feel insecure and frightened as she is not ready to be left alone. But even if she was fine with it, I wouldn't leave her, not because of anything specific I think might happen to her but rather because there really wouldn't be any reason not to take her with me.
post #42 of 97
I'd never be in this situation since we very rarely eat out and if we do it's the whole family or at least me and the children all together. If I were alone with my youngest then I would take my child with me to the bathroom simply because I know my DD (age 6) would not want to stay alone.

I also think it would look bad to do that in front of other people. It would also depend on the restaurant. If it's fast food like McD's then no way!
post #43 of 97
I wouldn't, not ever. DS will be 5 next month, and while he is a really smart kid, he is also impetuous and distractable. I'll let him stay at the table alone while I walk 20 feet away to refill my drink (without ever leaving his line of sight) but I wouldn't go to the restroom without him.

To the OP:
Would you leave your purse or your laptop unattended at the table? Most people are honest, and it's just for a few minutes, and you're coming right back. If you wouldn't, then are you really comfortable leaving your son alone under the same circumstances - he is surely far more important to you than the mundane, replaceable contents of your purse. I'm not trying to be snarky here, I'm just genuinely puzzled by the scenario you described.

If I was about to pee my pants and my DS was being totally uncooperative, I might - in an emergency - consider asking a nearby family with children to please keep an eye on DS for 3 minutes while I sprinted to the bathroom and back. But I would be totally uncomfortable the whole time, and I have never actually done this. I just think it might be a perferable option to leaving a child unattended with no one watching them.
post #44 of 97
My son is 3.5 and I would never leave him alone in a restaurant.

And I don't really understand why some posters are 'qualifying' the restaurants they would or wouldn't leave their children. Just b/c you know the wait staff or have been there before doesn't mean that your child is necessarily safe. I guess I've seen too many bad movies...
post #45 of 97
My ds is almost 4, and I wouldn't do it. It would be so easy for someone to walk away with him. Kids that age are so trusting...it would be frighteningly easy to convince a child to go with someone. Even if you "know" the waitstaff....do you really know anything about them or their background? And is the waitstaff really paying any attention to who's talking to your kid? How do they know the difference between a friend of yours talking to your kid and a stranger trying to abduct your kid talking to him? I'm not "freaking out" at the OP, I just don't understand why you would take this risk. Personally, I wouldn't.
post #46 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by doctormom View Post
Would you leave your purse or your laptop unattended at the table? Most people are honest, and it's just for a few minutes, and you're coming right back. If you wouldn't, then are you really comfortable leaving your son alone under the same circumstances - he is surely far more important to you than the mundane, replaceable contents of your purse.
But this argument really doesn't hold up. There are far, far more people interested in your wallet than your child. And it is easier to take a wallet than a kid. AND far, far easier to "use" or profit from stealing a wallet or laptop than a child. Statistically your child is much safer than your easy-to-steal and easy-to-sell possessions.
post #47 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by EnviroBecca View Post
One reason I started this thread was to assess the likelihood of somebody freaking out at me. Looks like it's high.
I think it's really dismissive to describe the legitimate concerns expressed in this thread as "freaking out." Who wouldn't at least take concerned notice if a parent walked off and left a young child alone in public? And that's how it would look no matter how briefly the parent intended to be gone or how mature the child was.
post #48 of 97
Why not?

Because I absolutely refuse to be that person on the news or in the newspaper who is adamantly saying "But I was only gone for a second!"

I'm just not the it-won't-happen-to-me kind of person because 'it' does happen. Every day, every where.

Better safe than sorry, I suppose.
post #49 of 97
no I don't. I will let my 14 or 11 yo take my 4 yo to the restroom if it is within eye shot of where I am sitting. I will leave my older girls at the table while I use the restroom and take the younger 2 (7 and 4) with me. I have them stand outside the stall so I can see their feet. It only takes a minute for something to happen.
post #50 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by SAHDS View Post
Why not?

Because I absolutely refuse to be that person on the news or in the newspaper who is adamantly saying "But I was only gone for a second!"

I'm just not the it-won't-happen-to-me kind of person because 'it' does happen. Every day, every where.

Better safe than sorry, I suppose.
exactly.

especially since i was kidnapped at a park 5 feet from my teacher in a sea of kids.

nope.

unlikely scenario? absolutely.

impossible? no.

i also do not leave my 3.5 year old alone in the tub... im way strict like that.
post #51 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by EnviroBecca View Post
My main concern was not that he would come to any harm, but that somebody would freak out at me.

One reason I started this thread was to assess the likelihood of somebody freaking out at me. Looks like it's high.
That sounds like me, too. I give my son a lot of independence for his age, and have left him at a table while I went to the bathroom since he was three. I also let him run ahead of me when we are walking places. He won't run into the street because I spent a lot of time teaching him not to. He's almost 5 now, and is allowed to walk across the very quiet street next to our house to see if a friend is home. (I confess that I am still watching out the window to make sure he is never forgetting to carefully look both ways. This is a recently earned privilege.)

People freak out at me semi-regularly, and I find it sad. In reality, the odds of getting kidnapped are extremely low. Yes, it happens. Most kidnappings, though, are by someone a child knows, and usually by another family member. The real crazies...they are out there, yes, but I won't let them dictate how we live any more than I will condone signing away our civil liberties because of one terrorist attack. The odds are low of anything happening, and the price is high in terms of how much it has changed how we relate to our children and teach them to relate to other people in our society.

Plus, there are risks to taking kids into a public bathroom stall. Those places tend to be filthy, and I think the risk of catching a stomach bug or the like should be weighed into the analysis, too.

Ultimately, though, I really do believe it is for each parent to decide which things to be most cautious about and that the people who are freaking out need to understand this and know that we know our own kids. I can trust my son not to wander off or spill something hot on himself.
post #52 of 97
I give my kids a lot more freedom than most parents do. I let my 9yos ride their bikes unsupervised all over our safe little town (during daylight hours). I'll send my 11yo to the corner store (three blocks away) and let her baby-sit her younger siblings for hours at a time.

But I would never leave my twin 4yos alone in a restaurant while I went to the bathroom, nor would I have left any of my other children alone in a public place when they were 4, not even my ultra-responsible super-child (meaning Beth, lol). Why? Because a 4yo doesn't have the impulse control to be alone in such a stimulating and potentially dangerous place. My concerns would be for them getting into trouble or wandering off, not kidnapping. Even my 7yo is iffy because she's not particularly mature for her age.

Of course, if one of my older three is there to supervise, it's not a big deal.
post #53 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by EnviroBecca View Post
The thread about letting kids go to the restroom got me wondering about this: Let's say you're the only adult with your child in a restaurant, and you need to go to the restroom. Do you leave your child sitting alone at the table?
Oddly enough, a situation like this has never come up. I have left my daughter in a movie theater when she was 8 to take my 4 year old to a restroom.
post #54 of 97
A just turned 4 year old - no, definitely not. My 12 year old - yes. My 8 year old - would depend on the restaurant (size, location, how far the restroom was from our table, our familiarity with it).

Could choke, could slip and conk his head on the table, could break the water glass with an overzealous silverware stirring (mine can't be the only kids who like to stir their water), could bother other patrons with kicking feet or incessant questions or loud singing or ?, could put a foot outside the booth and accidentally trip a waiter, could lose a crayon under the table and break into tears, could decide they aren't ok with being alone anymore and try to find mom - and get lost in the process, could be seen by someone not as ok with it as the OP and have the cops called, could be in the wrong place at the wrong time and have someone who overheard you tell your child that you were going to the bathroom that he or she was asked by his mommy to bring you to her as a ruse to take him, mom could fall and hit her head and be taken off with no one realizing she had a child at a table elsewhere in the restaurant (I'll admit this one is pretty unlikely), could be subjected to an ugly conversation between mom and restaurant staff or patron who strongly disagrees with a barely 4 year old being left alone.

Barely four - some kids aren't even potty trained at that age! Mine were responsible little kids too - but it doesn't mean we should leave them alone in public without us. He didn't want to go - but you had to. Mom is the adult and safety is more important than his wish to be left at the table. Might not be GD but if you don't have all day to go over the merits of your point of view, then it is "because I need you to" and you can discuss it more later.
post #55 of 97
it would depend on how are away the toilets were from our table, how far our table wads from the door, how big and busy the restaurant were.

once i went out to lunch when my youngest was a small baby and my others were 3 and 5 and i needed the toilet which was upstairs. as the littlest was asleep in the pram it was impossible to take her with me, so i asked if a waitress could sit with them while i went to the toilet, the restaurant were very kind and she sat at the table with the children and chatted with them while i went to the toilet (i think she appreciated the opportunity to sit down!!)

another time at my local pub there was a table next to us with 2 older ladies at who we had been chatting to who offered to watch the baby while she slept while i went to the bathroom with my older child, i also was very familiar with the staff at the pub too. in both cases i my gut feeling was that they were safe situations to leave the children, which is all usually use to make decisions regarding the ell being of my children, if it feels wrong it is wrong.

but as for leaving them alone it depends on a lot of variables.
post #56 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by doctormom View Post
To the OP:
Would you leave your purse or your laptop unattended at the table? Most people are honest, and it's just for a few minutes, and you're coming right back. If you wouldn't, then are you really comfortable leaving your son alone under the same circumstances - he is surely far more important to you than the mundane, replaceable contents of your purse. I'm not trying to be snarky here, I'm just genuinely puzzled by the scenario you described.
good point.
post #57 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan&Anna's_Mom View Post
But this argument really doesn't hold up. There are far, far more people interested in your wallet than your child. And it is easier to take a wallet than a kid. AND far, far easier to "use" or profit from stealing a wallet or laptop than a child. Statistically your child is much safer than your easy-to-steal and easy-to-sell possessions.
But the consequences of having your easy-to-steal possessions taken or damaged are NOTHING compared to the consequences of a child be taken or hurt. Personally, I don't worry about my kids getting abducted but I think are a lot of opportunities for an unsupervised 4 year old to make some random bad decision that could either get them seriously hurt or really scared, and I think as parents we need to remember that it's our job to keep our kids safe, and that's worth the inconvenience of leaving our lunch unsupervised.

FWIW, I was depressed for a little while, and one of the symptoms for me (and then, OH JOY one of the side effects of the meds my doctor had me take) was that my gut-feeling in situations like this became completely unreliable. If you really can't see why the Panera situation in particular wasn't the best choice, then you might want to take depression screen and make sure you're functioning the way you'd like to be. I'm sorry if this comes across as "if you don't agree with me you must be crazy"-- I only mention it because I kind of wish someone had pointed it out to me when I made my first questionable decision.

ZM
post #58 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by doctormom View Post
To the OP:
Would you leave your purse or your laptop unattended at the table? Most people are honest, and it's just for a few minutes, and you're coming right back. If you wouldn't, then are you really comfortable leaving your son alone under the same circumstances - he is surely far more important to you than the mundane, replaceable contents of your purse. I'm not trying to be snarky here, I'm just genuinely puzzled by the scenario you described.
I try to keep that rule of thumb in mind in public with DS--am I protecting him as much as I'm proteccting my purse? Because he's infinitely more precious to me. It will be many years before I would be comfortable in the situation the OP describes, heck, I barely get to pee alone at home, DS still follows me!
post #59 of 97
My dd will be 9 soon and I am just starting to leave her alone in a restaurant.
post #60 of 97
Nope, not until they're much older. 4 is too young.
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