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Do you leave your child alone when you go to the restroom? - Page 5

post #81 of 97
Wow, I find this thread shocking. No, I would absolutely not leave my 4 year old at the table unattended while I went to the bathroom.

If I saw anyone else do that, I'd watch their kid while they were gone, inform the management, and seriously consider calling the police.
post #82 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by pixiepunk View Post
i would not leave a child of that age alone by him/herself in a restaurant. if i was for some reason somewhere with my older two kids (5.5 and 3.5) and not the baby, and it was a familiar place were we knew the waitress (we live in a small community so this is pretty common) then i might consider leaving them alone together. but i would not leave either one all by him/herself in a public place.

but honestly, this has never come up. we either all hit the bathroom when we first arrive, we all go together, or we just wait until the meal is over. while a toddler might occasionally have an urgent potty need, i've never felt i had to pee so urgently that i'd contemplate leaving my kid alone at the table. i think a tiny bit of advanced planning could really eliminate the entire scenario so that you just don't find yourself having to make that decision.

i give my kids plenty of independence, let them walk ahead of me on city sidewalks, let them walk near the cart/in the aisle when we're grocery shopping. and they know to stay near me. and it's not so much that i think something horrible would happen to them if i left them alone at the table, but why on earth take the risk? IMO it's very much like leaving your child alone in the car - only worse in some ways because in the car they are strapped into a 5 pt harness (at that age anyway), the doors are locked and you have the keys. so the likelihood of them hurting themselves or being hurt by someone else actually seems less likely. in fact, i do sometimes leave the kids in the car to run into the country store, like to grab a loaf of bread or mail a letter (it's also the PO) - you can see the car through the glass windows the entire time, and in front of the store half of the community stands around talking. they know not to open the door for anyone, even people we know, and of course if i saw anyone approach the car, even someone i know, i'd be there in five seconds (keys with me, doors and windows locked). and all that said, i only do it when more than one child is in the car - for whatever reason, there is a big difference to me in briefly leaving one child alone and briefly leaving multiple children (of varying ages) together without an adult.
Ditto all of this.
post #83 of 97
No I would not.

In the familiar family restaurant scenario I might consider it if necessary, but more than likely he would just come with.

In the Subway scenario, no way. And I can say with much certainty if my dh did that I would NOT be pleased.

Why, you ask? It's not that I think all sorts of calamities will befall him, or that a boogey man is around every corner. It is because to me it is not the appropriate decision to make. My instinct says No, and I listen to that.

I think people's response to this will vary be location. In a diner in Pagosa Springs CO a little 4yo sat at a table watching Dora on a laptop while her Mom was working out in an attached fitness center. The barista would have noticed if someone bothered the child, and the Mom and I chatted and she said Pagosa Springs is the only place she ever has lived where she could imagine doing something like that.
post #84 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by KailuaMamatoMaya View Post
My God....I would NEVER leave my four year old unattended in a restaurant, never. I'd rather pee myself.
Sums up my thoughts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EnviroBecca View Post
Most of you are not answering my question WHY NOT? What is it that you think would happen to a child left by himself for 3 minutes in a room with other restaurant patrons and staff?

(((SNIP)))


I did think the situation at Panera was highly questionable. That time I tried to get him to come with me, we argued until I was about to wet my pants, and I gave up because he was making sense (((SNIP)))
The first part.... for my child in particular I can think of about a hundred scenarios that could happen.... he could run out the door and get lost, get hit by a car, get taken by any random person (none of these are unlikely, unfortunately, since ds has autism and has no sense of danger and will escape without any thought). He could run into a waiter/waitress who is carrying something hot and get it spilled on him. He could run into the kitchen and get hurt. He could go up to a random table and start eating someone elses food (). He could get ahold of a knife and hurt himself or others. Hell, he could hurt himself with a freaking fork. He could wander around and try to find me and get lost. And then there are those that no parent ever wants to think about (abduction, molestation, etc). For me it's not worth the risk.

As for the second, bolded part.... Who is the parent? No need to argue with a child over something you feel is necessary (and even you said you thought the Panera situation was "highly questionable"). If he's mature enough to stay at a table alone, he's mature enough to know not to argue with mom when she says no. I see neither of those in a 4 year old.
post #85 of 97
:

A lifetime can happen in 3 minutes. I wouldn't want to be regretting something as simple as taking my child with me when I go to the bathroom. I know I am alarmist but when I read this thread all I could think about were those two 10 year old boys in England who took the toddler when the mom looked "away for a moment". My 3 YO DS wouldn't necessarily leave with an adult but two older boys who promised fun? Absolutely.
post #86 of 97
In the coffee shop I mentioned in my post about sending a child to the bathroom alone, absolutely. It's a small shop, we know the owners and workers and most of the patrons.

In a larger place, probably not, but that does bring up a dilemma on the rare occasion I'm out with my SD but not my partner or anyone else I trust. I don't really want a 6-year-old (who is not mine biologically and who WILL report back to her mom) watching me go to the bathroom (especially #2, if that's not TMI). It's not so bad in a multi-stall bathroom, but in a one-at-a-time? She narrates. She asks questions. And it's not cute toddlerdom. And, if my IBS is acting up, it ain't pretty. I'm kind of at a loss.
post #87 of 97
No I wouldn't. It hasn't even crossed my mind to leave him while I go to the restroom. But in the instances you described, I would have either gone first thing when we arrived or waited until we were done eating. Either time would have been a good time for a potty break for DS also. Too many what ifs to factor in. And if I even remotely considered it and DH found out-he would drop dead of a heart attack right there.

But...my brother is 11 1/2 years younger than me. There was a very small old mall near our house that we (I WAS the babysitter) used to go to. I would drop him off in the toy section of McCroy's (?) and go look around somewhere else in the store. Yeah, he was probably two or three . He also used to play out front by himself. I cannot even begin to imagine doing any of the above w/DS. NEVER! Over twenty years ago-but still.
post #88 of 97
Just to keep you company, Envirobecca, I've done it, though only in a restaurant where the staff are obsessed with DD (4), know me, and would be all over any problem. My main worry is that other people will freak out ... and yes, judging by other responses, that seems pretty likely.

I'm often in a different room from my kid for 10-15 minutes at a time, so abduction seems like the only issue. My dd is pretty clued in to how to handle such a situation, so in a known restaurant, as I said, I feel comfortable.

To me this is similar to the question of whether to allow kids to play outside out of your sight. I think it is worth the risk under most circumstances. I know many feel differently.
post #89 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by lucysmom View Post
To me this is similar to the question of whether to allow kids to play outside out of your sight. I think it is worth the risk under most circumstances. I know many feel differently.
Play outside in our neighbourhood by my children will be fine by me when I find they are old enough to be trusted with that. Four is very young imo. When I deem them old enough to play outside alone, COULD be the time to trust them alone for a short while in the restaurant situation (VERY MUCH depending on the place though) but then still I wouldn't do that Our suburban neighbourhood where they would play is so much diferrent from the part of town where we may be out to eat, this is such an enormous and densely populated town with millions of citizens, you're quite anonymous here. Yes, I'm a very passionate promoter of free outdoor play for kids, but age appropriate. But I wouldn't allow that either if we would live in the middle of town.
I let my (then) 4y old sometimes play, not constantly supervised by me (well, sometimes peeking out of window), on our street with other kids, and when other adults were outside on their terraces or peeking from windows too; we have a narrow, quiet street with a good oversight. But then he got himself in trouble - there was a lucky outcome though. Amd it just was not worth the risk. I won't allow him to play on the street again without my personal supervision untill I find that he will really be mature enough. Safety issue.

Sometimes parenting means learning the hard way.
post #90 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by KailuaMamatoMaya View Post
My God....I would NEVER leave my four year old unattended in a restaurant, never.
I agree! 4 ??
: No way, not me.
post #91 of 97
No I would not leave my child alone in a public place so I could use the restroom.
post #92 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjawm View Post
Nope, not until they're much older. 4 is too young.
I agree.
post #93 of 97
No, no, no, no, no! I still would not be comfortable leaving my 8 year old alone in a resteraun, unless, in an emergency, MAYBE in the care of my 13 year old and for as little time as possible. There is one exception, though- the resteraunt my Sister-in-Law works in. She's worked there forever, my Hubby's gone there forever, it's like that old show, "Cheers"- where everybody knows your name.
post #94 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by lucysmom View Post
To me this is similar to the question of whether to allow kids to play outside out of your sight. I think it is worth the risk under most circumstances. I know many feel differently.
for me the same rules do apply - they're allowed outside together but not alone (at least, not for any long period of time). well, i do let one outside alone to ride their bike on the patio which is right next to the kitchen, if i am in the kitchen. but to run around further away from the house they have to be together. i have no concerns about other people where we live - off a dirt road on 45 acres. and no concerns about them going where they are not supposed to - they understand what they are and aren't allowed to do and there's enough that they are allowed to do that they have no reason to mess with stuff they aren't. and when weather is good and the windows are open i can hear everything they are doing, even at a pretty good distance. but i prefer they are together outside anyway just in case something were to happen that i didn't hear there will be someone who can run in and get me if the other one can't.

but i think for many people it's going to depend on where you live. if you've got a fenced in back yard on a quiet street, the risk really is not the same leaving your kid alone in the back yard as it is leaving him/her alone in an open public place. at least not from a 'stranger danger' or 'getting lost while looking for you' perspective.
post #95 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by pixiepunk View Post
for me the same rules do apply - they're allowed outside together but not alone (at least, not for any long period of time). well, i do let one outside alone to ride their bike on the patio which is right next to the kitchen, if i am in the kitchen. but to run around further away from the house they have to be together. i have no concerns about other people where we live - off a dirt road on 45 acres. and no concerns about them going where they are not supposed to - they understand what they are and aren't allowed to do and there's enough that they are allowed to do that they have no reason to mess with stuff they aren't. and when weather is good and the windows are open i can hear everything they are doing, even at a pretty good distance. but i prefer they are together outside anyway just in case something were to happen that i didn't hear there will be someone who can run in and get me if the other one can't.

but i think for many people it's going to depend on where you live. if you've got a fenced in back yard on a quiet street, the risk really is not the same leaving your kid alone in the back yard as it is leaving him/her alone in an open public place. at least not from a 'stranger danger' or 'getting lost while looking for you' perspective.
Plus, often, you know your neighbors, or at least know they're not kidnappers or axe murderers. Anyone can walk into any resteraunt or public place and they don't have to announce to everyone there that they are a sexc offender, or something like that.
post #96 of 97
I would leave my soon to be 8 YO alone at the table if I needed to pee, yes. I don`t do it, however, because he doesn`t want to. But IF he was ok with it, I would let him sit there while I ran to pee. This would only be ok in a restaurant we both where familiar with, and where the toilet was close by.
Here in Norway I think most people would do that, actually.

I would not do this when he was 4, however.
post #97 of 97
Dd1, who will be 4 in April, would be too nervous (she might claim to be okay, but in reality she`d be terrified the whole time I was gone, kwim?). Also although I consider her to be a very sensible & cautious kid, there are too many potential scenarios where I could see her feeling uncomfortable & scared. As a bonus, I'm usually trying to convince her to try & pee by going with her to go pee myself, lol.
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