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Would you have done this? - Page 4

post #61 of 179
Being that the leading cause of death among children in this country is motor vehicle accidents, the kids were safer at home.
post #62 of 179
I have no idea what I would have done in that situation, but its clear that it was a rough morning for you and you made the best decision you could at the time. So no flames here, mama.
post #63 of 179
On the legal aspect, I believe that 8years old can be left alone but not sure about babysitting. Does anyone know or have a reference?
post #64 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by riverscout View Post
Being that the leading cause of death among children in this country is motor vehicle accidents, the kids were safer at home.
Yep.

Anyway, I would (and have) left an 8yo home alone. It's not illegal where we live. Whether I would leave an 8yo in charge of a baby would depend upon the child. My friend's daughter would be perfectly fine taking care of a baby for 20 minutes. Neither of my sons would have been at that age. Neither of them had any experience with babies.
post #65 of 179
I don't have a baby, and I live in a very different situation than you do, but I often left my son alone at nine for short periods while I ran to the store or something similar. He knew how to contact me by phone (we each had a cell) and knew to go to the concierge in our apartment building if he had a problem.

I think if we had had a baby that was ours (e.g. that he lived with and had seen me care for every day and participated in their care) he probably would have been able to handle the baby, but I'm just speculating since we don't.
post #66 of 179
I would, and have, done this. I do think it all depends on the child. With several of my children, this was something I could do in a heartbeat. Yet, there were a couple that I would never consider leaving alone, much less in charge of a sibling.

It is a good thing that I now have a house full of teenagers! Always someone there in an emergency to watch the LO.

As for keeping secrets. Well, I have to say, it depends. We have a policy, "What happens (or is said) in our house stays in our house". I know it kinda sounds like we are hiding something, but we are not. We have explained to our children that there are just some things that are private and are not the business of anyone else. (Usually it has to do with conversations that we don't want repeated to other family members because they are always taken out of context. And I have had to "fix" misunderstandings when my child has repeated a statement I made but was totally misunderstood and started a family fued.)
post #67 of 179
In our county, it's illegal to leave a child alone for more than a minute until they are 12 or older. I agree with all of the other posters who think this is a major CPS risk. The children would be immediately taken away in our area, if this were found out.

I can think of many reasons why this would be not worth it at all:
fire
choking
head injury
slip and fall while holding crying baby

I know that I would never leave my children under the care of someone who showed that sort of judgment, to tell the truth.

I have an 8 year old who is extremely mature, very bright and resourceful and I would never ever do it. I was a mature child and babysat an infant and a 3 year old for an entire weekend once when I was 11, and I did fine, but I would never have watched an infant alone when I was 8.

Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post
ETA: I know you asked for no flames but I think you lapsed in judgment with this decision.
I agree. This was beyond a lapse in judgment though, it was illegal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by morgainesmama View Post
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.
Totally. Bad, bad precedent. As a child, my mother made us keep all sorts of little tiny secrets and it was such a burden. As an adult, I just want nothing to do with my constantly fibbing relatives.
post #68 of 179
No flames here, but I do urge you to think about the things that could happen and do happen to children when left in these situations. My main concern would be that your DS would get so engrossed in whatever he was doing (especially a video game) that he might forget that the baby was there, or forget that he was responsible for the baby. Also, if you got into a car accident, even a fender bender, the likelihood of police finding out that your children are home alone would be very high.
post #69 of 179
No, I wouldn't. 8 yo's can be mature enough to care for babies and pets, and cook, etc. But, those responsibilities should be supervised at this age, imo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by riverscout View Post
Being that the leading cause of death among children in this country is motor vehicle accidents, the kids were safer at home.
The overall leading cause of death in children of all age groups is MVA, but it isn't the leading cause of death in each age group. Non-MV accidents are a more common cause of death in little kids, and MVA are overwhelming the leading cause of deaths in teens. Here are some stats in NY state that show the breakdown by age groups.

Household injuries (drowning, falls, poisoning) are a significant cause of death in little kids. I suspect that it would be (and was) an even more common cause of death if 8 yo's were responsible for supervision.
post #70 of 179
No, I would not do that. IMO...if you wouldn't leave the two of them home alone for 2 hours, you shouldn't do it for 20 minutes Something could have easily happened to delay you (ie. auto accident, car trouble, traffic jam, etc.). Stuff like that happens ALL the time. You basically put yourself in a position of being several miles away from a baby and young child left home w/o adequate supervision.

IMO....leaving chldren home alone to do something that involves getting in a car and driving someplace is VERY different from leaving them alone to go outside and get the mail or go to the barn and take care of animals. Once you leave your property, there are A LOT of things outside your control that can happen to delay you. Not to mention the fact that it IS a huge CPS risk.

My daughter will be 8 in a few months, and while she is very mature and responsible, she would have no clue to what to do if the baby so much and woke up and started crying. She would probably have trouble lifting a baby out of the crib and wouldn't be able to comfort a baby that only wanted mama. Yes, she "watches" her little brother while I take a shower, but if he starts crying she just opens to bathroom door and sticks him inside with me, and if he started choking or fell down and hurt himself, I'm still right there and accessible.
post #71 of 179
I think it's pretty unlikely anything would have happened. The most likely bad scenario would have been that the baby would have woken up, the child would have picked the baby up and moved the baby, the baby would have kept crying because he/she wanted mama, and the child would have gotten overwhelmed by an baby he/she couldn't make happy. Which isn't that bad of a thing, but I wouldn't put my older child in that position.
post #72 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThoughtFullMama View Post
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
Better a screaming baby in the car than a dead baby at home with the blame being laid on an 8 yo boy who was put in charge if one of those "what ifs" actually happened. Can you even imagine the psychological torment he would be in the rest of his life if something bad happened? Let alone for you, as well. It sounds like you did this for your convenience, not because you had planned and discussed doing this. This wasn't a planned trial run, which was discussed before hand, to see if your child could handle being alone for 20 minutes with an infant. This was a last-minute decision and your son had no instructions about what to do in different cases.

My cousin is a family law attorney. She, all the time, deals with situations like you've described you did. Most of them end up simple CPS cases because the kids were fine, just left alone. But some have been just a quick run to the store or to work, two young kids, and one of them getting injured, the parent having car trouble, etc. etc. and in one or two cases over the years, it's resulted in a child dying. Yeah, statistically it's not likely, but it has to happen only one time to make you that statistic. I just think it was a very irresponsible thing to do. However, I am a much older mama here and many of the mothers here could be my child, so perhaps my caution comes from just being in the world longer. And I grew up rurally... I know the dangers of a farm. I would NEVER leave a child of 8 on their own rurally. No matter how responsible.
post #73 of 179
I agree with Velochic that it isn't a question of whether the child is responsible. The question is whether that responsibility is fairly placed on a child. When our new baby was born, we were talking about how older dd needs to keep things that can be choked on out of areas where the baby roams. And then we realized that we have to be careful with how we word this. She's pretty responsible and does a good job of keeping little pieces of things out of the family room, BUT we can't make make that her responsibility, no matter how responsible she is. What if the baby DOES find something and DOES choke and dies? Would it be fair that we put that responsibility on our older dd? She'd blame herself forever. We, as adults, have to take on the responsibility of watching her and making sure nothing she could choke on is in her vicinity.
post #74 of 179
No.

Not only because of what could happen at home, but what could happen to YOU while you are gone. Deer, drunk drivers, car problems. I can't imagine freaking out on the side of the road knowing my child and baby were home alone.
post #75 of 179
I wouldn't have had a problem leaving either of my girls at home with a baby at that age, for up to half an hour or so. They would have been capable of getting themselves and the baby out of the house in case of a fire, and would not have answered the door to strangers. More than half an hour...I would start to worry, but they'd probably be fine.
post #76 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by cappuccinosmom View Post
Barring a life or death emergency situation, no.

Not just for the "what if's" but if someone found out, I could risk losing my children through CPS interference, or at best lose a good deal of time and sanity dealing with them.

I can understand wanting to be able to do that. But never would.
I agree with this. In a serious, life and death emergency, I would if I had no other choice (example: running over to the neighbor's house to help). To take my husband to work? Nope, illegal and not worth it the potential real what-ifs nor the CPS what-ifs.
post #77 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnmama View Post
The overall leading cause of death in children of all age groups is MVA, but it isn't the leading cause of death in each age group. Non-MV accidents are a more common cause of death in little kids, and MVA are overwhelming the leading cause of deaths in teens. Here are some stats in NY state that show the breakdown by age groups.
I'm not going to get into a battle of statistics, but those are very different than the statistics I've seen with a similar breakdown of age groups. They were national stats though, not based on a specific state. I wonder if NYC might skew those stats for NY state. Anyway, in the stats I've seen, the only age group where MVA was not the leading cause was kids under one. It wasn't other accidents though that were the top cause but rather congenital issues.

Regardless though, there were risks either way. I think the occupied mature 8 year old and the sleeping baby were quite safe while mom ran a 20 minute errand. I think chances are high that they were in the exact same position when she got home. I might have made the same decision given the circumstances.

ETA - after further review, it does look like NYC did skew the stats a little. I didn't notice earlier that under the stats for the whole state there is a breakdown for NYC and the rest of the state. In the rest of the state, for the age group 5-9, the percentage of deaths for motor vehicle injury and non-motor vehicle injury was exactly the same from 2005 to 2007, and from 1999 to 2001 the percentage of deaths by motor vehicle injury was slightly higher than non-motor vehicle injury.
post #78 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by riverscout View Post
I wonder if NYC might skew those stats for NY state. .
the link breaks it down for all of NY state, NYC, and areas outside of NYC, if you are curious. Just scroll down.
post #79 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnmama View Post
the link breaks it down for all of NY state, NYC, and areas outside of NYC, if you are curious. Just scroll down.
Thanks. I noticed after I posted and edited my post.
post #80 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by riverscout View Post
ETA - after further review, it does look like NYC did skew the stats a little. I didn't notice earlier that under the stats for the whole state there is a breakdown for NYC and the rest of the state. In the rest of the state, for the age group 5-9, the percentage of deaths for motor vehicle injury and non-motor vehicle injury was exactly the same from 2005 to 2007, and from 1999 to 2001 the percentage of deaths by motor vehicle injury was slightly higher than non-motor vehicle injury.
Right. And in the 1-4 yo range, there were more than twice as many non-MV accidental deaths than MVAs in each year range. And no MVA deaths under the age of 1 year in either year range, which is surprising to me. Non-MV accidental deaths made the list for under the age of 1. If you are going to consider the dangers of driving, it makes sense to also consider the dangers to an infant in the home--especially when in the care of child.
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