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Would you have done this? - Page 5

post #81 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by *Aimee* View Post

It's not an 8 yr olds job to watch a baby.
In other countries the 8 and 9 yo siblings take care of the babies. Esp. the girls. However, I'm sure they are not far away from adults. No flames, but no matter how responsible I thought my children to be, there are just too many 'what-ifs'. My children are my responsibility. Yes, there are many, many times I'm outside in the barn or garden, but my kids know where I'll be, which window to yell out of, etc... if they need me for anything. And I'm never out for more than 15-20 minutes at a time. Then my mama gut makes me go in and just check.

I've had my 10 yo in the house w/my younger 2 while I gardened in extreme heat. I would set the timer on the stove and ask her to please check out the window to make sure I wasn't passed out from the heat (and strict instructions about what to do if I am!). She would go to the appropriate window and tell me the timer went off and ask if I'm gonna come in and cool down.

Never would I leave the property and leave any of them alone w/an infant or any child under the age of 3. The only exception was when I'd run next door for a minute if baby was sleeping. BUT, my baby monitor also picks up that far away, and I would take it w/me.
post #82 of 179
No way. No how. To begin with that's illegal in every state that I am aware of and is actually CPS worthy. If there were an emergency I don't think any 8 year old could deal with it. If a fire broke out. A burglar broke in. God knows what could happen. You hear of cases like this on the news where a parent loses their children to death because they just left for a few minutes. It's just not safe whatsoever. I have a very responsible 14 year old, and I don't even leave him alone with the little ones for long.
post #83 of 179
Also what would happen if you were in an accident and the kids were left at home. What happens to them if something happens to you and you're not able to answer your phone?
post #84 of 179
I'd never do it ... and furthermore, I would immediately report such a situation to CPS as I am a mandated reporter. Catastrophe happens in seconds. As a paramedic, I shudder at the thought of what the OP could've come home to.
post #85 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnmama View Post
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.
I'm certainly not advocating anyone ignore any potential dangers. But personally, I think often times people have a warped sense of risk usually due to the media. So many people freak out over fire but seem so complacent about driving. I thought it was rather interesting too that several people's what if was what if you were in an car accident. It seems no one bats an eyelash when someone straps their kids in the car and goes barreling down the highway, but people flip out when some leaves their kids in car for 45 seconds while remaining within sight to go pay for gas or when they leave their very responsible mature 8 year old with a sleeping baby at home for a few minutes. And really that's all I have to say. I've spent too much time on this already . Carry on .
post #86 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaOf3Cuties View Post
To begin with that's illegal in every state that I am aware of and is actually CPS worthy.
It's not specifically illegal in my state. There is no minimum age when parents can leave children at home unsupervised. There is a fire code statute in which children under the age of 8 cannot be left alone in a locked dwelling, but that's it. I'm sure CPS can intervene when they see fit, but it's on a case by case.

My mom was a social worker and is currently a volunteer advocate for children in the system. Based on what I know of CPS and the court system, I'm quite certain one would have to do way worse than the OP to have children removed.

Also she left me alone for short periods starting around age 7. And I was babysitting infants and young children by 11. I think the standards for what is considered safe have changed pretty drastically in the past couple of decades, but I don't think it's based on reason but due to media hype of horrific stories. And that really is it for me .
post #87 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by riverscout View Post
I'm certainly not advocating anyone ignore any potential dangers. But personally, I think often times people have a warped sense of risk usually due to the media. So many people freak out over fire but seem so complacent about driving. I thought it was rather interesting too that several people's what if was what if you were in an car accident. It seems no one bats an eyelash when someone straps their kids in the car and goes barreling down the highway, but people flip out when some leaves their kids in car for 45 seconds while remaining within sight to go pay for gas or when they leave their very responsible mature 8 year old with a sleeping baby at home for a few minutes. And really that's all I have to say. I've spent too much time on this already . Carry on .
That is the most level headed post yet.
post #88 of 179
I agree that the media does have a lot to do with the general paranoia out there today. The smallest incident, the rarer the betters is blown up and overplayed. Especially during a slow newsweek!

However I do believe that each parent has a responsibility to keep their children safe. The levels at which they do does very greatly by age and by child.

In the OP's particular case I think what bothers me is the infant sibling portion. My son is 8 and using his class a guideline I think the majority would be perfectly cable of being home alone for 25 minutes. They all know how to use a cell phone and they all know *how* to dial 911. I would say around 80 % would be able to maintain enough composure to dial it in a true emergency (fire, etc). The other 20%, not so much but then again I am not their parents so I am judging how they handle having to take turns at the monkey bars or waiting while the birthday boy or girls opens gifts, LOL.

But the infant sibling adds another element. Now you are asking an 8 year old to be responsible for another person. He not only needs to be careful for himself in an emergency but he needs to take care of the infant too. A fire breaks out and he now needs to remember the exit plan to get himself out safely but he also needs to get his infant sibling safely out of the house.

My son is very mature for his age and a very capable young boy but I don't think I could *ever* put that much responsibility on him. Not because I am paranoid by the what ifs but taking that kind of chance is not fair to him.
post #89 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by riverscout View Post
I'm certainly not advocating anyone ignore any potential dangers. But personally, I think often times people have a warped sense of risk usually due to the media. So many people freak out over fire but seem so complacent about driving. I thought it was rather interesting too that several people's what if was what if you were in an car accident. It seems no one bats an eyelash when someone straps their kids in the car and goes barreling down the highway, but people flip out when some leaves their kids in car for 45 seconds while remaining within sight to go pay for gas or when they leave their very responsible mature 8 year old with a sleeping baby at home for a few minutes. And really that's all I have to say. I've spent too much time on this already . Carry on .
When you "strap your kids in the car and [go] barreling down the highway" you, as a mature, responsible adult who has passed a licensing process are making the conscious, informed decision to do so. An eight year old child given the responsibility of caring for an infant is not making a choice and cannot give informed consent even if they 'wanted' to at that -- by definition -- immature age.
Not a logical comparison at all.
post #90 of 179
No flame here, Mama.

The value of a thread like this is that it gets me to think about situations in advance. I can totally imagine being very tempted to leave my children in the situation you describe. The baby's in a crib... asleep... the older child is safely occupied, reasonable and responsible. I'll be gone five minutes.

But thinking about it, no I wouldn't do it. Eight is very young, and kids tend to regress in an emergency. Even if the child is able to say exactly what they would do in a given scenario- who to call, escape routes A, B, and C- what they would actually do when scared and panicked is unpredictable.

I used to teach and we had a couple of emergency situations arise. At those times I was surprised how young the children acted. Otherwise mature 14 and 15 year olds clinging to me like preschoolers. They had done dozens and dozens of fire drills and evacuations in their lives, yet when faced with potentially the real thing they had no idea what to do and stared at me in panic. Again, these were teenagers.

I'm not criticizing, I totally understand why you did what you did and would be really tempted to do so myself. But having had the chance to sit down and think it through (without making hubby late for work), I'd have bundled the baby and the eight year old into the car. And told hubby next time to plan ahead and wake me up earlier!
post #91 of 179
No flame but no I wouldn't do it. As mature as one thinks their 8 year old may be, they lack critical thinking and reasoning skills necessary to behave in an emergency situation. I wasn't even leaving my 8 year old (at the time) sister home alone. I didn't start leaving her for short periods until she was about 10-11. I never would have left her with an infant.

I remember when I first had my DS, my neighbor at the time had a 12 year old daughter. She made mention to me that her daughter was certified as a sitter and had infant CPR. All I remember thinking was "great but no way in he11 will I leave a newborn with a 12 year old". JMO.
post #92 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by starling&diesel View Post
When you "strap your kids in the car and [go] barreling down the highway" you, as a mature, responsible adult who has passed a licensing process are making the conscious, informed decision to do so. An eight year old child given the responsibility of caring for an infant is not making a choice and cannot give informed consent even if they 'wanted' to at that -- by definition -- immature age.
Not a logical comparison at all.
I was comparing actual risk and perceived risk. I'm not sure what you're comparing, but I agree, it's not logical.
post #93 of 179
I would not. I don't think an 8 year-old is old enough to take care of a baby, no matter how mature that 8 year-old is.
post #94 of 179
We left our very responsible 8 year old home alone for a half hour or less once or twice. Not with other responsibilities like another person though.

This isn't meant to be a scary story but some insight into what a very mature kid can do wrong.

First, I didn't get back as planned. There was a car accident on the road and I was blocked from getting home. I couldn't reach him with my cell phone so I waited and worried.

When I got home a car had come up our driveway ahead of me. I knew who it was but I guess he did not. He'd always been told to stay upstairs and not answer the door if someone came. For whatever reason he didn't do that. He decided somehow that somethign bad was happening. He ran out the back door into the woods to hide til I came home.

I was shocked he'd act that way. This was a kid who never did anything bad or really got into trouble. He just made a bad decision. I tend to think it was justtoo much reponsibility for him at that time.

ETA: Under 12 is aginst the law here.
post #95 of 179
risk factors (and the likelyhood of anything bad actually happening) aside... I have a hard time understand WHY anyone would leave their child(ren) at home short of an emergency, or say not enough room in the vehicle (and really, then the DH could call himself a cab, or take the bus). Not wanting to wake a sleeping baby b/c you don't want to deal with them potentially screaming for the 20 min drive, or making an 8 yo stop playing video games b/c it's time to go are no way in heck valid excuses for doing this. I'm sorry, and I know I responded yesterday w/o sounding this harsh, but it's been bothering me to the point I talked to DH to see if I was way off with my feelings (something I almost never do, he rolls his eyes a bit about my "cyber mom homies" whatever). Really, even a small risk, to me, seems not worth it. Yes, there is a risk in taking your children in a motor vehicle, and possibly more so than leaving them at home unattended -- but in the responsible scenario you are physically there with your children.

My neighbor leaves her 8 yo granddaughter home alone for hrs sometimes, and when her DD does go with she will often leave her in the car alone to go into stores. I guess I just don't get it at all. This is a well behaved, easy going kid. What the heck is the big deal with taking them with you to run errands? My DH, BTW, thinks CPS should be called and I would guess that the vast majority of adults would agree with him.

When we have children, we commit to being 100% responsible for their safety. Sometimes that means running late to places, or being inconvenienced in other 'dragging the kids along' ways. That's pretty much what you sign up for when you become a parent, IMO.

I know that there eventually comes an age where you feel comfortable enough leaving them home alone (I'm not saying you have to be attached by the hip until they are 18, or anything) I just, personally, would never in a million gazillion years think it would be a good judegement call to leave an 8 year old at home with an infant (baring an unavoidable true emergency situation).

Clearly, there are plenty of loving mothers here that disagree with me. I guess I'm just surprised, is all.
post #96 of 179
I agree w/ Drummer's Wife-- the risk seems minimal, but the "benefit" seems even smaller. I would consider an eight year-old "possible child care in the event of an emergency," not "childcare to increase convenience a little bit," if that makes sense.

I wouldn't, and my primary reason for not doing would be the legal issues involved.
post #97 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by riverscout View Post
I'm certainly not advocating anyone ignore any potential dangers. But personally, I think often times people have a warped sense of risk usually due to the media. So many people freak out over fire but seem so complacent about driving. I thought it was rather interesting too that several people's what if was what if you were in an car accident. It seems no one bats an eyelash when someone straps their kids in the car and goes barreling down the highway, but people flip out when some leaves their kids in car for 45 seconds while remaining within sight to go pay for gas or when they leave their very responsible mature 8 year old with a sleeping baby at home for a few minutes. And really that's all I have to say. I've spent too much time on this already . Carry on .
What I've bolded is a comparison. So that is what I was responding to.
post #98 of 179
I really can't believe some of the responses to this thread. She didn't leave him with a screaming baby for hours, the baby was sleeping, it was 20 minutes or less, and he was playing games. There was no danger, nothing out of the ordinary going on. He had the phone, and knew how to call if there was a problem.

I'd still like to know if those who are so uptight, worrying about the "what-if's", and say "no", do you live in the city? I'd probably feel differently if we lived in the city, but we don't. I don't even know if there are laws for ages for kids to be alone here, or what it is if there is such a law, which I feel is unnecessary and terribly intrusive into our lives.
post #99 of 179
Not under any circumstances. There are situations that could arise that your older child simply could not handle.
post #100 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama~Love View Post
the baby was sleeping, it was 20 minutes or less, and he was playing games.
It doesn't take much for a sleeping baby to become a crying baby. And 20 minutes of crying baby can feel like a long time, particularly for an 8-year-old when the 8-year-old is the only one there to take care of it. That isn't fair to the 8-year-old.
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