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Would you have done this? - Page 7

post #121 of 179
I would be comfortable leaving DD (8) alone for an hour or so, but not in charge of a younger sibling.

At this point however, I do leave her inside to 'keep an eye on' a sleeping baby when I'm outside. If the baby wakes, she just calls out to me to come inside.

However, my dd is newly 8 (today!) and is about as flighty as they come. If you have a more attentive/mature 8 year old, it might well be different.
post #122 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by pigpokey View Post
INow, I don't know that I would have done it, but I am pretty sure my grandmothers would have done it before the age of cell phones, and Caroline Ingalls would have done it leaving on a three-hour walking round trip to town in the age when we still had wolves and children cooked on wood burning stoves.
Sure, my great-grandmothers left children with little supervision out of necessity. But, in my very own family, children died from accidents in and around the home/farm. "The good ole' days" aren't so rosy.
post #123 of 179
My 8 yo (soon 9) is mature in that she takes responsibility seriously, has high impulse control, and is known to be patient with and protective of her younger sibling. I have trusted her to watch her little brother while I shower, or to keep him safe while playing behind a closed door. But she is (thankfully) completely untested in an emergency. I hope to keep it that way, but if there is an emergency, I have no idea if she would keep it together enough to save herself and a sibling. I'm not going to put her in that situation, if I can absolutely help it.
post #124 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post
That was my thought too - not only are there plenty of people of both types in both areas, I think it's much safer when there are neighbours right next door, more taxis available to the mum, etc.

I was left alone with responsibility for other kids at that age and I remember it being emotionally taxing. I wouldn't say scarring, but it definitely is not something I would choose for my child. As an adult I find a baby crying stressful, and that's really the most likely thing - just that the baby would wake up unhappy for whatever reason.
And that's partly personality, partly experience.

At age 8, I was definitely being left alone at home at times, and often being left in charge of younger siblings (in the afternoon; my parent started having me evening babysit for my sibs about age 10; my fifth and final sib would have been about 12 months old then). I was herding a group of younger kids 1 mile each way to and from school each day. But at age 8, I was the oldest of 4 sibs, had years of experience in doing some of the "taking care" of infants, and had the type of personality that found that type of responsibility to be fun. I also could and did (by choice!) cook dinner about once a week for my family at age 8: what I could make was spaghetti + canned sauce, pizza from "scratch" (jiffy mix crust, sauce from a can, shred cheese myself), and impossible lasagna (http://diet-recipes.hypermart.net/br...pie-recipe.htm).
post #125 of 179
No I would not.
post #126 of 179
No, I would not. In this state it is illegal.
post #127 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by pigpokey View Post
IMO it is dangerous to think this way. If you want a gov't who tells people when their child is mature enough to stay home for a few minutes or a few hours, you're going to get a gov't who will tell you that you can't sleep with your baby or will go to jail if you don't vaccinate.
See, I find your line of reasoning far more terrifying. Basically what I hear when I read this line of thought is that you are objecting to laws that could have a dramatic effect on the safety of children who are in jeopardy right now, the kind of children I work with, because you imagine that it might conceivably have an effect on your children.

I live in an area where there are specific laws about the legality of what the OP described, and yet we don't jail parents for not vaccinating, or interefere with co-sleeping. It is, in fact, possible.
post #128 of 179
post #129 of 179
No. DD1 is 7; she knows that if anything happens and I've passed out/lost the ability to speak/whatever, she's to call 111 (NZ's emergency number) and then DH on his mobile. We talk about how to do it and what to say. In the event of an emergency? DD1 would freak out and probably be incapable of doing either.

DD2 is 5. She knows all that as well, and in an emergency would probably call not only 111 and DH but the neighbour, MIL, her best friend, the pastor...

So I wouldn't leave DD1 alone, even for five minutes, because she's a very anxious child at the best of times. DD2 at 8? Possibly, though I'm pretty sure it's illegal here. But with one or more of the little ones? No. Never. It's my job to responsible for babies, not hers. There's a difference between keeping an eye on the baby when I'm in the shower or in the garden, and being responsible for your sibling when your parents aren't immediately, physically accessible.
post #130 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by rere View Post
Interesting link, but upon a quick perusal, I didn't see if children of that age are allowed to babysit. Are they?
post #131 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by cschick View Post
And that's partly personality, partly experience.

At age 8, I was definitely being left alone at home at times, and often being left in charge of younger siblings (in the afternoon; my parent started having me evening babysit for my sibs about age 10; my fifth and final sib would have been about 12 months old then). I was herding a group of younger kids 1 mile each way to and from school each day. But at age 8, I was the oldest of 4 sibs, had years of experience in doing some of the "taking care" of infants, and had the type of personality that found that type of responsibility to be fun. I also could and did (by choice!) cook dinner about once a week for my family at age 8: what I could make was spaghetti + canned sauce, pizza from "scratch" (jiffy mix crust, sauce from a can, shred cheese myself), and impossible lasagna (http://diet-recipes.hypermart.net/br...pie-recipe.htm).
Well I had experience too but my point is that at 8, a number of kids may not be ready, but at 12, more of them are - why put your kid in that position when in a few years it's not likely to be as much of an issue.

I was the responsible kid and I did not share my fears, so my parents didn't know that I was stressed out about it.
post #132 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by gaudynight View Post
No. DD1 is 7; she knows that if anything happens and I've passed out/lost the ability to speak/whatever, she's to call 111 (NZ's emergency number) and then DH on his mobile. We talk about how to do it and what to say. In the event of an emergency? DD1 would freak out and probably be incapable of doing either.

DD2 is 5. She knows all that as well, and in an emergency would probably call not only 111 and DH but the neighbour, MIL, her best friend, the pastor...

So I wouldn't leave DD1 alone, even for five minutes, because she's a very anxious child at the best of times. DD2 at 8? Possibly, though I'm pretty sure it's illegal here. But with one or more of the little ones? No. Never. It's my job to responsible for babies, not hers. There's a difference between keeping an eye on the baby when I'm in the shower or in the garden, and being responsible for your sibling when your parents aren't immediately, physically accessible.
That just cracked me up! This sounds a lot like what my 6 year old would do.
post #133 of 179
I echo previous posters who said: you know your son better than anyone.
With that in mind, if you're confident? And for 20 minutes or less (or your pizza's free!)? Sure. When I was a kid we were all left home alone for hours at that age...

But I'm also the terrible, horrible, no-good, CPS-worthy mom who does things like leave my kids watching TV to run (literally) across the street and get some coffee cream in my pajamas and bare feet.
post #134 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by cschick View Post
And that's partly personality, partly experience.

At age 8, I was definitely being left alone at home at times, and often being left in charge of younger siblings... I also could and did (by choice!) cook dinner about once a week for my family at age 8: what I could make was spaghetti + canned sauce, pizza from "scratch" (jiffy mix crust, sauce from a can, shred cheese myself), and impossible lasagna (http://diet-recipes.hypermart.net/br...pie-recipe.htm).
OMG! My specialty was Impossible Cheeseburger Pie I had completely forgotten about that long lost dish - totally making it this week for dinner!

The Summers of my years 8 & 9 I babysat my brother (who was 1 & 2 respectively) 5 days/week 8 hours while my mother worked. That's just how it was. It honestly never occured to me that it might be illegal. I think it was that first Summer I was really into deviled eggs. Every day for lunch we had deviled eggs and diet rite. Some might call that child abuse, but I call it delicious!

My daughter is 3, so I have no realistic frame of reference as to what 8 looks like in my own child, but I think I could find reasonable safety reasons to never leave my child alone ever, regardless of her age.

OP - you have 7 pages of commentary - do what jives with you! (...and...er... if what you're doing is illegal, don't get caught!)


ETA: I also wanted to note that I really appreciated the responsibility of babysitting. It made me feel respectable! I was also our weekend "babysitter" when my parents would go out on a date or whatever - it was really an honor for me!
post #135 of 179
I didn't read the thread but I might depending on how mature my kid turns out to be. People have some unrealistic overreactions to children. I refuse to spend my life afraid. Yes I take reasonable precautions. But your kids are more likely to die in a car accident if you take them with you than to get hurt at your house in 20 minutes. You are more likely to have a 20 minute CIO situation and while not ideal that has yet to kill anyone.
post #136 of 179
First off, you already did it right? So what is done is done. I would not make a habit of it truthfully. My one big question that may have been adressed since i only read the first 50 posts before relpling is how does your son feel about it happening.
About 20 years ago my parents did this to me, only it was really early morning with a 6 month old and a 5 year old, and my mom was gone about 45 minutes. It bothered me then and I can still remember the fear I every minute she was gone. I did not tell her how much it bothered me then until about a year later when I brought it up out of the blue. So I would ask your son if you haven't how it made him feel, and if he was really completely ok with it, then just let it go.
post #137 of 179
I wouldn't do it, but I don't think it's horrible or anything.

I like the suggestion to ask your son how he felt about it -- hopefully he'd be forthcoming if he experienced anxiety about it, and then you'd know if he's not ready for that kind of responsibility.
post #138 of 179
No flaming here, just information:

1. 20 minutes is like a lifetime if something goes wrong. Baby starts choking, your 8 yr old falls and hurts himself, someone comes over and finds your kids alone. A whole lot can happen in 20 minutes, even though it seems like such a short time. Many here say their 8 yr old would be able to go get help, but what if it's the 8 yr old who's in distress?

2. What would have happened if you'd had an accident and couldn't get home for *hours*? No one who gets into an accident knew "Today's the day I have an accident", it's always unexpected. And a high % of car accidents happen close to home. And it could take hours and hours to return home in case you have one.

3. In most states, leaving an 8 yr old alone with an infant is officially neglect. even though you only meant for it to be a few minutes, many things could have happened to delay you and you really don't want someone else finding your 8 yr old and baby and reporting you to child welfare.

4. Even though it's a pain in the butt, it's always better to at least bring the infant, if not the infant and the 8 yr old with you.

ETA: I just saw the part where apparently you told your son not to tell anyone and you mentioned "silly laws"? I have a lot of thoughts that just don't seem worth sharing about that, but I will say this: some laws exist for a reason. I hear way too many stories of babies injured in this exact circumstance, and seriously, laws aside, I just don't see why if your husband really can't afford to be late it's not worth it to upset your infant to at least be sure she's safe.

At the end of the day, all over the world parents are doing things every day no one is ever going to know about. We all take calculated risks. Sounds from your responses that you've already calculated that this one isn't a big deal to you and you'd do it again. I think that's unfortunate, but if you do it I just pray your kids are ok. Cuz it sounds like you truly don't think this could go badly.
post #139 of 179
I haven't read the replies yet, but depending on how my 2 year old turns out, I might have done the same. Kids that age can be very responsible. At 9 I was watching my 3 and 2 year old siblings while my parents worked a part time , 3 hour job. It was fine. I was even allowed to play out in the yard with them if the weather was nice. I knew how to call for help and which neighbors to go to if needed, but nothing ever came up and although they never came around specifically, I'm sure the neighbors were keeping an eye out too. I'm only in my 30s, but times were different then. On Saturday mornings, I would take my parents' paychecks to the bank with the mortgage ticket and deposit slip. The bank had no problem doing both of those transactions and giving me some cash back. I don't think that would happen these days!
post #140 of 179
I think it's interesting that any mom that posted that she left her baby to cry for 20 minutes in his crib while she sat in the next room would be excoriated on this forum.

But if she leaves the house all these people are saying "oh, the worst that could happen is that the baby woke up and cried for 20 minutes."

Let's make up our minds, people!
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