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Would you have done this? - Page 3

post #41 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama~Love View Post
I disagree; my 8 yr olds (older now) have watched the baby/younger kids while I showered, cooked, etc. and even ran to town (2½ miles away) for something.

Really, I think having an 8 yr old watch a baby for 15-20 minutes is not that big of a deal, especially if s/he is very mature for their age.

I'd be 100% ok with an 8yo watching a baby with me in the house.

It's the not being able to help in the case of an actually emergency that would scare me.

I also think that many 8yos are old enough to stay by themselves for that short period of time.
post #42 of 179
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JL83 View Post
I would leave a responsible occupied 8yo alone. But I would NOT leave the child in charge of an infant. My main concern would be fire. (The 8yo is too old to get into physical trouble in the house, and a baby in a crib is "safe")

An 8yo is old enough to be taught to get out of the house and open the door. But I don't think they are old enough to go get an infant, and then get out of the house with that infant. They might do something like think it's really important to run back for a soother or blanket or some other thing.
See, I think this is where the individual child comes in. Because my DS would totally grab his sister, then GET OUT of the house. He wouldn't go back in for any reason. When you live in the country, you learn how to handle things from a pretty young age.

I am regularly at the barn with DH and DD while DS is at the house, alone. He has a walkie-talkie and knows how to use it.

Anyway, all this has just made me feel more like I made the right choice. Thanks
post #43 of 179
No, I would never consider doing that.
post #44 of 179
One fear I would have is that you may only intend to be gone for 20 minutes, but what if something happened that delayed you? For example, an auto accident, heavy traffic, flat tire, etc. Also, if your children were found to be at home alone you could be referred to Child Protective Services. I would never leave my 8 year old home alone, let alone with an infant.
post #45 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThoughtFullMama View Post
See, I think this is where the individual child comes in. Because my DS would totally grab his sister, then GET OUT of the house. He wouldn't go back in for any reason. When you live in the country, you learn how to handle things from a pretty young age.

I am regularly at the barn with DH and DD while DS is at the house, alone. He has a walkie-talkie and knows how to use it.

Anyway, all this has just made me feel more like I made the right choice. Thanks
The kids are usually in the house while I do the chores & such too, and I have no worries, even when the older 3 are gone & it's the younger 3 by themselves. It's too cold now to bring them all outside anymore.

Glad you feel you made the right choice; I would've done the exact same thing .
post #46 of 179
No, I wouldn't have done it... but I also tell dh frequently that poor planning on his part doesn't make an emergency on mine. He'll learn the hard way that he has to be more prepared.
post #47 of 179
i'd leave an 8 yo home alone (i think i started staying home alone after school for a couple of hours when i was 6) but i don't think i'd leave him in charge on such a little baby.

it seems you feel fine about your decision so i'm not sure my comment adds anything here, but my opinion is that baby is just too little, no matter how responsible he is.
post #48 of 179
I would have been fine as an 8-year-old (and was) in that situation. I was babysitting the neighbor's 3-year-old twins the next year, at age 9, with my mother down the street. I have a feeling my eldest will also be pretty mature and level-headed in that respect by age 8, as well. She does pretty well right now, at all of 5 years and 4 days. I wouldn't leave her in charge of her younger brother, but there are plenty of adults I don't leave in charge of him either. He's a pretty inventive kid.

It really depends on the kiddo. Some kids are quite mature at age 8 and capable (and eager) to handle some responsibility like that. Depending on the family dynamic, by that age they may well have a lot of practical experience, as well. Other kids, other families, other lifestyles and personalities, not so much.
post #49 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by OboePlayerMom View Post
You know your children better than anyone. If you're okay with it, then that's all that matters. I think my DS will be similarly responsible at that age.
I agree, if you feel comfortable and think your son can handle the responsibility then go ahead.
post #50 of 179
this was normal in some families 50 or so years ago.

yes i would have no problems doing it if my 7 year old agreed and i would have let the neighbour know.

i also knew if something happened and i wasnt home, my dd could go to our neighbour or call my friend or who ever i had asked her to call.

i know she is capable of it, because when seh got lost in a crowd when seh was 4 she remembered my cell phone number and called me and we found each other.
post #51 of 179
I would be okay with leaving an 8yo to watch an infant for 20 minutes in an emergency, if I knew that the 8yo was very responsible.

However, I personally would have found it just as easy to put the baby in the car. I can see it taking a longish time to get a dawdly 8yo to get dressed and out the door... but a baby you just have to scoop up and pop into the car seat, it takes 60 seconds. That's less time than it would take to go over with the 8yo what I was doing and where I was going.

Also, I don't think being an extra couple of minutes late for work warrants an emergency. If we were rushing off to the ER, sure, but I don't think this was worth leaving the baby behind. So, no.
post #52 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by sahmmie View Post
One fear I would have is that you may only intend to be gone for 20 minutes, but what if something happened that delayed you? For example, an auto accident, heavy traffic, flat tire, etc. Also, if your children were found to be at home alone you could be referred to Child Protective Services. I would never leave my 8 year old home alone, let alone with an infant.



For me, it's just not worth the life-altering, possible consequences.
post #53 of 179
I'm not really sure. I would let my son at 8 take care of the baby while I was in the house (shower, etc.) My 6 yo is already very good with the baby, and can carry her, and I encourage him to take care of her when I leave the room and go do things. But being away from the house is very different. I would worry about something happening *to me* and me not getting back on time. So I'm not sure, but leaving kids home alone will probably be older than 8. And with another backup adult on alert (neighbor).
post #54 of 179
I'd have done the same thing.
My boys are almost 4 and 6.75, and I would leave them home while I drove my husband to work. In a couple years, I'd trust my oldest son with a baby, especially a sleeping one. He's very responsible, though, and most kids his age don't seem as capable.
post #55 of 179
I am pretty surprised by this thread. 8 year olds can be pretty responsible.

Quote:
this was normal in some families 50 or so years ago.
I knew families who did this when I was young too (NOT 50 years ago ). Kids are much more capable than we give them credit for in our paranoid society.

That said, I would NEVER leave my mature, responsible 8 year old alone. I know he couldn't handle it. But that is just him, he could absolutely not keep a level head if things didn't go according to the plan. If he didn't get so anxious I could see him doing well for a few minutes alone with a younger sibling. I don't think it should be a regular thing, but once in a while if the situation comes up I don't think it is a big deal with the right child.
post #56 of 179
I have friends who had a very laid back parenting style. They often left their children home alone for a few minutes, and in varying combinations -- their girls were like 10, 6, 4, and 2 (maybe 7, 5, and 3?).

One day, after many times of having done this safely, the girls having called their parents safely, etc., they went to their storage shed a couple miles from their house, and the two middle girls wanted to stay home. On this particular day, the older girl changed her mind about staying home and decided she should walk to the storage center.

She was picked up by an officer during the walk, and you can guess what they went through next -- not to mention, she left her younger sister at home alone.

This was a mature, capable, lovely girl who had shown herself to be responsible on many occasions. It's easy to say "My child wouldn't do that." These parents didn't believe their child would do that.

I simply would not do it. What-if's aside -- the "what if child protective services took my children into the care of strangers" is too great of a what-if. It doesn't have to be mandatory reporting at school. It could be a friend, a friend's mother, a doctor, a neighbor. And asking your son to be secretive about it sounds psychologically harmful to me -- it gives him the idea that it's wrong, and he has to keep it secret to keep himself and you safe.
post #57 of 179
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinaKat View Post
However, I personally would have found it just as easy to put the baby in the car. I can see it taking a longish time to get a dawdly 8yo to get dressed and out the door... but a baby you just have to scoop up and pop into the car seat, it takes 60 seconds.
Yeah.... you don't know my DD!! If I scooped her up and put her in her carseat, waking her from a dead sleep (because it WOULD wake her) she would freak out.

This way, she got to sleep until she was ready to wake up and I wasn't driving compleately distracted by a screaming baby. That said, I told DH not to wake me up so close to time to leave again
post #58 of 179
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by morgainesmama View Post
And asking your son to be secretive about it sounds psychologically harmful to me -- it gives him the idea that it's wrong, and he has to keep it secret to keep himself and you safe.
We simply explain that there are many laws out there, some of them are silly, but since we 'have to' follow them, he shouldn't tell people when we don't. We are raising him to be thoughtful and mindful about things, not to simply follow along with the herd mentality.

Not saying anyone on here is doing that!! Just saying we don't want to.
post #59 of 179
I would not leave any child under the legal age limit home alone. Something could go wrong quickly to you or the kids. I'd have made dh be late or he could have taken the car.

There was a mom recently in the news who left her two young children at home while she went out, there was a fire, and both children died.

I could not live with myself if something were to happen.
post #60 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThoughtFullMama View Post
We simply explain that there are many laws out there, some of them are silly, but since we 'have to' follow them, he shouldn't tell people when we don't. We are raising him to be thoughtful and mindful about things, not to simply follow along with the herd mentality.

Not saying anyone on here is doing that!! Just saying we don't want to.
While I totally understand your logic, as a victim of childhood sexual abuse, secrets are a hot button for me -- you are absolutely welcome to disagree, but it's my opinion that the same line of logic is often used by perpetrators of abuse.

I'll not berate the point, but it's a point I felt compelled to make for your consideration.
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