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Mom left kids in car, I called 911; Right action? - Page 4

post #61 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by nannymom
Even if you don't think the car could have gotten hot what about the children being abducted or the car being hit by another car? These things can happen.
I never said it was wise. However I think the chances of the children being abducted or involved in an accident are very remote.
Far more remote for instance than being involved in a serious accident in their own home while my back is turned.

However I still think it was wrong to leave the kids in the car that young for so long. Paying for gas. Grabbing a soda. That's one thing. But browsing the clearance racks is seriously another.
I think maybe a 9 year old can be responsible for an infant. But I was thinking these kids were like 5 and 7. I think the biggest risk is what if middle sister decided not to listen to big sister. Then what does she do?
joline
post #62 of 150
She was Danish not Dutch...
post #63 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by octobermom
Okay clearly I just have a totally diffrent view on these situations but driving in an old navy parking lot which she didn't have to do to go clearence shopping? I just don't get how thats compared to avoiding driving off a cliff. :

Deanna

I just meant that sometimes a mom can feel very overwhelmed, and perhaps this woman really needed to park her car and be alone for 15 minutes.
post #64 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by octobermom
Okay clearly I just have a totally diffrent view on these situations but driving in an old navy parking lot which she didn't have to do to go clearence shopping? I just don't get how thats compared to avoiding driving off a cliff. :

Deanna
i think our society makes it nearly impossible for parents to do the simplest of errands. We don;t know anyone in the mega parking lots, and whenever we need the basics, we often have to drive miles to do so. We are tired, and we trust no neighbors, who might be willing to say "hey-- let me watch your kids for five freaking minutes while you return a piece of crap or get 5 minutes to yourself".

We have to do every freaking little thing by oursleves. With little kids in tow, who might not want to be there, and who crab so other mothers can think "why is that woman *here* with her kids!???"

This society is wrong. Period. I can't be talked out of that belief. To create community in this society takes a heap of effort, and not all folks are trusting of that, or up to the work.

If we had neighbors we accepted, imperfect as they might be, or if we lived in a society which accepted it was OK to leave the babes happily sleeping in prams, with sibs, whatever, we could get itshay done.

In our society we are supposed to keep the tile clean, keep the kids clean (god forbid they go into stores dirty) the dh's shirts clean, the house organized, and omg, never, ever, try to do an errand in the day with children in tow. Children who might not want to do errands.

That's garbage. Those are *wrong* expectations.

If we knew our neighbors, weren't forced to shop in huge malls, we would not have to do everything ourselves or have to call 911 on other unsupported mothers who drop the ball for a few frigging minutes.
post #65 of 150
What gives me the chills is that you and the other woman were able to stand there looking in for so long and the mother never knew. ANYONE could have been standing there looking in and she would have never known until she came out. That's the thought that makes me bring my kids with me even when it's a pain to unload them, then get them back into their seats again after.

We do live in a paranoid society, that's true, and probably nothing would happen. I just know I could never forgive myself if I let something happen.

Don't know what I would have done. Maybe I would have tried to talk to the oldest in the car and been suspected of being some kind of wierdo myself. That is a really tough situation. Really tough. Hearts to you!

CurlyTop

p.s. I remember going around town while DSM passed proofs for a photography studio when I was about 3-4 yo. I sat in the back of that car for what seemed like hours all alone, only to see her come out, drive us to the next stop on her list, and do it all over again. Boredom and scared too if anyone walked by..... ugh.
post #66 of 150
Retail therapy is SO not an emergency or excuse to leave kids alone. If a mom needed "time away" - fine, go to the park and sit outside the car. If she was just in "for a minute" then find a different time to go or get a babysitter or whatever. Is this an emergency? No. If you see kids outside a pharmacy or ER, then fine. Outside an Old Navy/mall parking lot? Er...

"Oh, my kids got carjacked/abducted/released the e-brake/choked to death because I really needed that shirt that's on sale."

I would totally call, and I always will, particularly once I've tried (as the original poster did) to find the mom, waited for a few minutes, or tried to talk to her myself. That's just really not cool...

I don't care - 9 year olds should not be left to take care of siblings unless they've got a great support network (as in traditional cultures). My baby brother almost choked to death when I was 9, and I was beside myself because I couldn't save him - I had no idea how. It was luck that he didn't. And I still got in trouble because I'd let him have access to the dangerous object (little christmas ornament) in the first place.
post #67 of 150
IMO, you absolutely did the right thing.
post #68 of 150
The OP did exactly the right thing. She waited by the car, tried to locate the mother then called the police. How was she to know when the mom would decide to come back?

IMO the woman who left her kids in the car did so knowing all the risks. In addition to all of the risks that have already been mentioned that includes the possibility that a concerned citizen with her children's safety in mind would call the police. She decided to take that risk. She now has to deal with the consequences. It could have been much worse.
post #69 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom
i think our society makes it nearly impossible for parents to do the simplest of errands. We don;t know anyone in the mega parking lots, and whenever we need the basics, we often have to drive miles to do so. We are tired, and we trust no neighbors, who might be willing to say "hey-- let me watch your kids for five freaking minutes while you return a piece of crap or get 5 minutes to yourself".

We have to do every freaking little thing by oursleves. With little kids in tow, who might not want to be there, and who crab so other mothers can think "why is that woman *here* with her kids!???"

This society is wrong. Period. I can't be talked out of that belief. To create community in this society takes a heap of effort, and not all folks are trusting of that, or up to the work.

If we had neighbors we accepted, imperfect as they might be, or if we lived in a society which accepted it was OK to leave the babes happily sleeping in prams, with sibs, whatever, we could get itshay done.

In our society we are supposed to keep the tile clean, keep the kids clean (god forbid they go into stores dirty) the dh's shirts clean, the house organized, and omg, never, ever, try to do an errand in the day with children in tow. Children who might not want to do errands.

That's garbage. Those are *wrong* expectations.

If we knew our neighbors, weren't forced to shop in huge malls, we would not have to do everything ourselves or have to call 911 on other unsupported mothers who drop the ball for a few frigging minutes.
Hey UUMom! I love what you wrote here and I 100% agree.
I just had to post!! LOL
Its nice to come down on the same side once in a while!
post #70 of 150
Quote:
If we knew our neighbors, weren't forced to shop in huge malls,
Umm no where is a person forced to shop in a huge mall no where :
I do agree though that society makes it hard but then there is an element of reality and that includes the reality that innocent kids are snatched hurt or killed when left unsupervised. I can think of a lot of reasons that might warrent a parent leaving there children unattended even in a car, going to Old Navy is never one.
I moved to this icky town a year ago I live in an apartment building you'd think I would have met someone by now nope.. DH works loong hours so its very rare I get anywhere or time without him but leaving my kids unnatteded in a public place simpily isn't an option. I'll delare it naptime put my child in her room and take a hot bath if I need to I'll order pizza for dinner whatever but I wil not leave them in a car alone..
Quote:
f we had neighbors we accepted, imperfect as they might be, or if we lived in a society which accepted it was OK to leave the babes happily sleeping in prams, with sibs, whatever, we could get itshay done.
but sadly we don't, I hope to raise my children to be more aware to help instread of always pointing, in the OP I haven't got a problem with the idea of her waiting with the kids untill the mother returned but I object to the fact she had an obligation too and I object even more to the idea "we" should expect that from another. I don't want to walk around in fear trusting noone, nope but I also refuse to purposly place my child in a position of danger.

Quote:
we would not have to do everything ourselves or have to call 911 on other unsupported mothers who drop the ball for a few frigging minutes.
There was no way for the OP to know if this was an issolated incident or how long the kids had really been left alone...
Overall I agree with your feelings but I think the realities of society today need to be considered and parental responsibility still must be first. And again considering this I think the OP did fine.
Okay I'll get off MY

Deanna
post #71 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar
I wouldn't have called. I think our culture underestimates children, and then complains about our children's lack of responsibility. Most 9-year-olds, IMO, are perfectly capable of caring for a baby (who was clearly not a young infant, if the mom was noticeably pregnant) for 10 or 15 minutes. In many societies, they would be doing so for hours by age 9. The kids had instant access to the mom if something came up, via cell phone, and she was minutes away. The car doors were locked. They didn't appear distressed in any way (sobbing, screaming in terror, etc). Yes, a strange man could come along and smash in the car windows and grab the kids, all in a crowded parking lot, but the chances are pretty slim... and the same strange man could do the same thing at home, while mom was in another room.

Dar
I agree with this. While leaving children in a car while I go in to a store is not something I would personally do (especially knowing my local Old Navy's penchant for keeping as few checkouts as possible open), we really don't know this woman's story, or her children (some 9 year olds would feel frightened in a car with their siblings and resent the responsibility, but there are also those who beg to stay in the car rather than have to put down their book or game and help herd the little ones while mom does her errand).

We all assume she was shopping because she was in clearance. What if she didn't have a receipt and they would only let her exchange and not return? I would've hauled butt to pick something out quickly just to get the errand done and not have to come back. Were all the children awake when she went in? I think many 9 year olds, especially equipped with cellphones, are responsible enough to watch a probably strapped-in, possibly sleeping older baby for 5-10 minutes, especially when that baby is a sibling.

Yes, she made a bad choice. I would likely have stayed by the car until she came back, and probably told her I was worried about the kids, but I'd be very reluctant to call the police. To the OP, though, I think you did the right thing. If it made you feel better about the children's safety, it was the right thing for you to do. She was probably yelling because she was frightened and embarrassed and angry at the same time -- angry at you and the other woman, but also at herself. I'd be frightened to have the police called on me too, especially after reading some of the CPS nightmares people on this board have been through.

OT, but does Old Navy even have a loudspeaker? I've never heard one used at any I've been to. They play music, but that system is installed and maintained by an outside company.
post #72 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmyAngel
OT, but does Old Navy even have a loudspeaker? I've never heard one used at any I've been to. They play music, but that system is installed and maintained by an outside company.

They talk to each other on headsets. I'm fairly certain that they can page customers in the store, but they rarely do it.

The topic at hand-- I think it's ridiculous to tell mothers that they just can't go anywhere if they don't want to drag all of their children out of the car at every little stop. What are we supposed to do? What if you're single, how in the world are you supposed to get *anything* done? I used to fall into the "never, there's no excuse for that!" camp, back when I only had one child. I'm still very very cautious about it, but I have left the kids in the car. I think it's very silly to say "a nine year old could never be trusted with a baby" because that just doesn't make any sense to me. I've met very few nine year olds that I *wouldn't* trust with a small child for 5-20 minutes. Under ordinary circumstances, I don't think that it's appropriate to leave kids in the car, but I have found it necessary at times (and no, I'm not talking about going shopping or returning carts-- I just don't do that with the kids in the car) and I can see it happening again. Of course, I've also stopped strangers in parking lots and asked them to run into convinience stores for me if I needed something very much and both kids were asleep. I will not pay for gas with the kids in the car, and I will not do anything that *might* cause me to be away from them for more than 5 minutes. If there are too many cars in a parking lot, I won't leave them there. Still, at 11:30 pm at a Turkey Hill in the middle of nowhere with two sleeping kids in the car, I have no qualms about running in and grabbing some caffiene to keep me awake for the drive home.

I guess it's all a matter of priorites. I probably wouldn't have called the police, because I don't like cops, but if I'd thought for a moment that the chidren were distressed or in danger (i.e. they were crying, bouncing around the driver's seat, etc) I wouldn't have hesitated to have someone page her.
post #73 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by mother culture
I never leave my kids in the car unless I can see them.
I have done this a few times also, when my son had just fallen asleep and I dashed in to pick up the take out food I ordered or paid for gas. If I can't keep him in my view, then I take him with me, no matter if it wakes him. But that is just with my son buckled in a car seat, asleep. Never with the engine running, and with in full view, car locked so crazies don't carjack. If it is hot out, or there is another younger child in the car, I don't think I would ever, although I have never been in that position. But my feeling is it's just too dangerous. Actually shopping leisurely with my child in the car like this lady was doing? NEVER EVER. I think you did the right thing. What if the kids got in an argument or accidentally took off the parking brake...they wouldn't know what to do Hopefully they will just give her a warning though, so that she will be scared enough never to do it again, but so that her family won't get torn apart. She may have just had a one time major lapse of judgement...
post #74 of 150
Can a nine-year old protect a baby or younger child from an intruder? Are they accountable for their actions? Do they know CPR? Do they have the negotiation skills if a younger sibling tries to hurt the baby? Do they fully comprehend risks and strategies for dangerous situations? Do they have the emotional resources to cope for a lifetime, if something DOES happen on their watch?

I don't know - I'm not signing up any nine year olds to babysit my children, they usually still need babysitters themselves. I would love to know how many others here defending this practice have ACTUALLY done so...
post #75 of 150
I certainly would not have called the police.

If you went into the inner cities you'd find man mamy kids that age left looking after siblings. I'm not saying it's wise, but it's a reality. Certainly the areas where I worked in London the young kids would be out playing all hours in the streets with no adult watching. 9 y/os would take care of the baby while mum was out. Very, very common.

I would not impose my values on them - my world is nothing like their world. Similarly, I would not impose my value judgement on this mum. If I was concerned, I would watch out until she returned. But I would never have called the police. I dont know her situation or her kids. I hope she straightened it out with the cops.

I think sometimes we need to stand back and realise that other people do not live in our comfortable world (I speak here about my world - I'm not struggling to survive with kids and too much on my plate, and I suspect the same is true of most of us here) If you live in a tougher environment your judgements are going to be different, and usually the last thing you need is the police on your case about it.
post #76 of 150
Sorry, Britishmum, it's a different situation. The inner cities over here tend to be a close-knit community where the elderly gossips know every single child, every family, what's going on- and they keep the net curtains twitching. As long as your front door is open and you live in a quiet area, traffic-wise, nothing exciting is likely to happen. That's NOT the same as a 9yo being left in sole charge of a baby, because they're in public and so being supervised by some 40 households.
I get the kids friends turning up on the doorstep at least twice a week asking for plasters or a drink, and my two don't even play out on the streets (traffic's a nightmare round here- we live right on a blind corner) It seems like a completely different way of life.
post #77 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by boomingranny
She was Danish not Dutch...
Thanks.

Sleep dep makes English not my friend. Whee~
post #78 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Britishmum
I would not impose my values on them - my world is nothing like their world. Similarly, I would not impose my value judgement on this mum.

At least where I live, children under the age of 11 can not be left in a car alone or with others under this age.

Running in to a store, even for "5 minutes" will get you in trouble (endangering the life of a minor).

I have no problem calling the police to report a crime.

The law is not a "value judgment" It's the law, pure and simple. If you think it is wrong, seek to have it changed.
post #79 of 150
OP - I would have done the same thing myself. Here in the South, even 9 year old children die inside cars, even on not so warm days, when parked in the sun. It's something that is taken very seriously because every few months, there's another story in the paper about children who died because they were left in a locked car. The ones who don't die end up with irreversible brain damage. It's not cool to leave babies inside a car, even for a second or two. That's all it takes for something horrible to happen, and then how do you think the mother would feel? I'd much rather make her angry than to see her mourn the loss of her childrens' lives.
post #80 of 150
Did anyone see the Oprah episode last year about children left in the car while their mothers ran into the house, or into the store, and it ended in the children being hurt or killed?
One mom left her 3 boys in the van, running while she ran into her apartment. The oldest was about 8 or so ( can't remmber) and the youngest a toddler. Well, the car caught fire, and they all just sat there. They were burned and the toddler's face is unrecognizable from his burns. Another mom left her young son in the car at a convenience store and as she was coming out a man stole her car with the child in it. She was trying to get him out of the carseat and he took off, dragging the child and kiling him. There were a few more examples. I have never gotten over seeing that show. Watching those women tell the stories just ripped my heart right out.
I know in the op's particular situation, it's likely that nothing would have happened, like some people say. But since that show aired, it made me even more determined not to leave my ds in the car alone.
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