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hmm question ~ is this abuse?? Sleeping while children play... - Page 3

post #41 of 100
I lay down and rest when my DD (2) is napping and usually my DS (5) lays with us or plays in the room quietly. She makes sure i'm up in the mornings when she is by either hitting me on the head with books or pulling up my eyelids saying "Mommy yetup" (get up). We sleep with the bedroom door shut and she can't get it open YET!

When I shower they will both either shower with me or just my DD will and DS plays in the bathroom.

We don't seperate from each other too often. :

When my DD was 18 months old I went to pick her up from her Dad's after a visit. I got there and knocked on the door, opened it and yelled Hello, I heard nothing. It is a tri-plex so I went in the other entrance. There is another door leading up to his apartment along with the other 2 from this door. I found my DD sitting on the staircase and her Dad was sleeping in his room and couldn't be woke up. This to me is neglect. Nobody else thought so though and she still goes and I still worry.
post #42 of 100
I don't see it as abuse at all!

I slept in this morning in my bed for hours while my kids played around the house (they're 6 and 4). I'm sick. They played video games, played with their toys, ate snacks etc. I think it's fun directing the 4yr old exactly how to get things and where they are in the kitchen etc. He's so eager to do it himself and it's really cute. I have very acute radar and hear everything. I heard them making "orange juice" out of real oranges the other day and I just let them go. They'd bring it up to me to have sips (it was gross ) and they were so proud of themselves. The best will be when they get a little older and make us mother's day breakfasts with runny eggs and burnt toast .

I think it's overly sensitive to say it's abusive to nap or shower while the kids are up. Mother's have strong intuition and a strong need for rest and sanity. I'm a supporter of all three of those.
post #43 of 100
I will sometimes nap on weekends when DS naps. My DD will occupy herself just fine. I have had emergencies (migraines, extreme sleepiness after taking migraine meds) and needed to sleep while both kids were up. I would sleep on the couch so I was still in the midst of the playing. At least I wasn't under the covers with my bedroom door closed, I figured.

It's hard. No one can watch their kids every second! There's no way! My son just had stitches last week (his 3rd time) and I never once saw the accidents. 1- at a playgroup and was chatting, 2- on the phone, 3- asleep since it was 6am. Does that make me neglectful? I take my eyes off my kids. I don't intent to stare at them 24-7! My DS is VERY active. He's gotten hurt while I watched him and while I wasn't.

Back to the topic....sleep. My X used to work overnights and watch DD while I worked 2 days. I'd call at 10am (when DD would get up for me) and X would still be in bed. That drove me nuts! I understand he worked the night before but our DD just had to be up and just sitting in her crib. I thought that was neglectful. His co-worker's wife worked FT and supposedly, he told X that he would leave the baby in the crib all day to play while he slept! That infuriated me!

My verdict- a nap every now and then is understandable. Use your best judgement with your own kid. My DD and DS are very different. DD would never think to leave the house whereas DS would....

Talk about scary- DS woke up early the other day and I heard him and got up. He'd pulled the chair to the kitchen counter and was using a pair of sharp scissors to open a yogurt!
post #44 of 100
I think it totally depends on the age and personality of the child(ren). I sleep in some mornings while DS1 (9) "watches" his little brother (2.5). I would never leave them home alone, but I do sleep in the bedroom with the door open while they are awake. I don't sleep very soundly, though.

I would never consider this abuse or neglect. It is more dangerous than being awake and supervising everything they do, but if we try to eliminate all risk in our lives, we'd drive ourselves crazy. It's all about balance. If you're so sleep deprived that you're in danger of "passing out", then it's probably safer to make sure your house is childproofed and get some sleep.

That being said, I personally would be VERY uncomfortable sleeping while DS2 played by himself. That's too young, imo, to be unsupervised & out of ear-shot for more than a couple minutes. If I were so very sleep deprived that I needed to sleep, I'd call a friend or family member to come sit with DS for a couple hours.
post #45 of 100
i have slept with my son around , since he was about 2. when he was that little, it was usually me on the couch in our small house, with a movie on for him, because i was sick or burnt out , and waking to every sound. i am a light sleeper. one time, though, i did this he went in the fridge and ate half a watermelon. i heard him get the watermelon and talk about it, buit i thought it was one of the small peices. so i decided to a) get a fridge lock and B) wait till he was a little older to try to sleep around him. he used to wake ever45 min to a n hour to nurse, and i was sleep deprived for years. the "sleep when he sleeps" advice was really lame to me because i also needed to shower, do laundry do dishes, take care of housework, and do homework when he napped. i would try to nap with him on my really tired days , of course. but really. that advice isnt the best for every situation.

now that he is almost 5 i WISH i could sleep in a little sometimes but he refuses to get out of bed without me and whines and moans till i get up, says he is totally starving even though he has bananas and bread and yogurt at his reach. my only day to sleep in is sundays. once and a while he will lay there for an hour and wait while i sleep. i dont think thats neglectful.
post #46 of 100
Ok so im late to this thread but let me understand correctly. Someone, or more than one someone's i should say, is claiming it is abusive and or neglectful to nap or shower while their child is awake.

I must say i love how some people love to waffle over stuff. Its neglectful to shower alone, but should you put your child in some form of item, say a bouncy seat or play pen, you are caging your child and therefor, no good, ua violation.

If you are a heavy sleeper, and come on now, really, once your a mom, you no longer are lets all just admit to it, then maybe i would think twice about a quick cat nap. But if your not, and there isnt anything around to harm your child (so keep those sharp knifes and nasty checmicals up high under lock and key) then whats wrong with napping or showering?

I know im supposed to be with my children 24/7 but its just not possible. I can not shower with boy of my boys because my tub isnt big enough, and my youngest doesnt like the feel of the shower head. And sorry but if im sick, and i am thank you very much, and i need to rest, im going to lay my behind down. My children know where I am and can come get me (and they do!) for anything, weither its to tell me the garbage man is picking up our trash, or the phone is ringing, or that cat pooped, or they pooped......

oh and FTR my children are 5 and almost 3.
post #47 of 100
I sometimes will nap on the couch while my son plays (he's almost 4)--I make sure he has lots of snacks & something to drink. But he certainly makes sure I don't close my eyes for long--he constantly comes over to cuddle with me. So it's really not napping--more lying there with eyes closed.

When I take a shower he comes in the bathroom with me and plays in the sink. When I have to use the toilet he comes too...and often sits on my lap!

I don't think I could ever really go to sleep and leave him unsupervised. The idea really freaks me out, actually.
post #48 of 100
At this point, I don't nap unless Rachel's in her crib. When she was younger, I put her on her exersaucer or crib while I showered, or waited til she hwas asleep.

Now, at 18 months, I often shower with her up & around. It's a small apartment. I leave the bathroom door open, and look out the shower curtain every few seconds to check on her. I can hear where she is, and it's usually in the bathroom, or in the hall right next to it. If she goes elsewhere, I call her & she'll come back. Or if I see her go into her room, I know that's fine. Right now, she's going thru a clingy phase where she want to be right with me pretty much constantly, so that helps.

If she starts to get into stuff more, she can always shower with me. Sometimes I do that now.

Oh, and if I want to take more than 45 seconds or so, (yep, I shower that fast!) and shave my legs/wash my hair, I either have her with me or in her crib.

I am a single parent btw.
post #49 of 100
Originally Posted by fuller2 View Post
I sometimes will nap on the couch while my son plays (he's almost 4)--I make sure he has lots of snacks & something to drink. But he certainly makes sure I don't close my eyes for long--he constantly comes over to cuddle with me. So it's really not napping--more lying there with eyes closed.

When I take a shower he comes in the bathroom with me and plays in the sink. When I have to use the toilet he comes too...and often sits on my lap!

I don't think I could ever really go to sleep and leave him unsupervised. The idea really freaks me out, actually.
yes , i can probably count on one hand the number of times i actually *slept* when i had these naps or sleeping in. its like a doze, or a slight drifting. i personally have rarely been in REM sleep around him when he is awake. even at night when we are laying in bed together, i cant fall asleep until i feel his body soften and i know he is sound asleep. and , then there is always the chance that he might get up to go pee in the night. and i would be sleeping.

the irony is, on nights he is not here i cant sleep cuz the house is too empty without him. which is what is happening right now.
post #50 of 100
Around the time my dd turned 3 she would wake up before me, creep out of bed and turn a movie on for herself on my laptop. I would often stay asleep without even knowing this was happening for awhile. Then she started to tiptoe out o fbed and go get breakfast for herself in the kitchen and come back and settle down with a movie. She showed me early on that she was responsible enough to handle this herself. Now I know that I can nap and trust her and sleep in too!

Sometimes she will occupy herself for awhile and then come to bed or come back to bed with me and doze for a bit. I've been sick and the other day I woke up lying on my stomach with her lying on my back! Very cozy.

I think it depends on the kid for sure, and my house is about 325 square feet or something. There are no other rooms for her to go in. Very convenient for me, since I am a late sleeper!

But no. I do not think it is abuse or neglect. My kid makes way more messes and gets into way more trouble when I am awake and hanging out online.

I think that sometimes as AP parents we set up an insane standard for ourselves to follow. I view my child choosing to assert her independence as a sign that she is ready. Very continuum concept-ish. I brought her in the bath with me when she was under 2 and I slept when she slept back then. But she slept a lot more then and took naps and stuff!

I see no problem with this. You know your kids. I know my kid.
post #51 of 100
When mommy and/or daddy need a little bit more sleep our just shy of 3 year old will entertain himself. But he does NOT have free reign of the house. If he did, our son would be in to all kinds of things, just not a good idea for him. The baby gate at the end of the hall is up, the other bedroom and bathroom doors are closed, and he can play in his room or join us in our bedroom for a nap.

oops! Just realized this was the single parenting forum but I think my situation applies to a single mama too.
post #52 of 100
Originally Posted by Aura_Kitten View Post
thank you.

followed shortly by

has me ... (?)

and fwiw i think there's a gigantic difference between letting kids play in an age-appropriate and child safe environment and putting them in a moving vehicle without proper safety restraints.

I guess you didn't get my through line here, is that it? I'm just saying that there's a lot of grey area here. If your kid somehow gets himself killed while you're catching extra sleep, well, you're going to jail, more than likely if that kid is under five or six. If my child had when I was sleeping in, that means me, too. I don't think it's a wise habit if you have little ones. My dd likes it, I'm sure. Being up alone gives her some privacy with her imagination play and control of the tv remote. But it isn't wise, in my opinion. I didn't let her start that, being up alone while I slept, until she was six or seven.

Is it the "who's to know?" comment that has you scratching your head? Well, you obviously do feel strongly that your choices are fine and beyond reproach, so the only thing that seems to matter to you is what do people think of it. And what I think is that it's an unwise choice, it's a firing offense for a nanny, but if no one knows what you're doing, then it doesn't matter what anybody thinks, does it?

And the seat belts analogy... it's apropo. It compares the everyday danger of riding in a car without seat belts to the everyday dangers for a young child to be unsupervised. The degree of possible injury may be quite significantly different, but there is a possiblity of injury.

I would feel edgy about allowing my child to stay overnight in your house if you were going to do that with my dd there. That is just my opinion, how I feel about it for myself and my child.

post #53 of 100
I think the situation is a "it depends" It's alot like when we decide to start leaving our children home alone. What is the appropriate age? It depends. It depends on the child. It depends on the length of time, it depends on where you are, etc.... Same as with sleeping.

X has a significant hearing loss. When he sleeps, nothing wakes him. I can remember leaving him with dc when they were very young, and pulling into the driveway and being able to hear one of them crying. They were in their bedroom, hadn't yet learned how to open a door and once one had soiled herself, and once one had vomitted all over himself. X was peacefully sleeping away on the couch not more than 200 feet away. Is that neglect? I think so. I think someone like that should not be allowed to fall asleep while watching toddlers. I myself, could find that I might cat nap around the two. I considered that very different. If one sneezed I was awake.

As far as going to bed without sending them to bed first. Again, X is hard of hearing. Two they heat with a woodstove and if something where to happen he'd never hear it. This includes a smoke alarm. And, the 10yo uses this opportunity, as I think most 10yo's would, to stay up as late as he wants. He plays on his xbox or continues to watch TV, choosing inappropriate things to watch. I personally don't think that is ok.....
post #54 of 100
Originally Posted by Viewfinder View Post

I would feel edgy about allowing my child to stay overnight in your house if you were going to do that with my dd there. That is just my opinion, how I feel about it for myself and my child.

that totally understadable that you make those kinds of choices. i think many parents have realy good judgement about thier own children, and that includes you.

the sleepover comment was pretty irrelevent in my opintion though. i would never do this while waching another child. just like it would be pretty unlikely i would shower when watching another child. i am alot MORE cautions and alert ( and patient, LOL) with other peoples kids, because i dont know that kid like i know mine, so i dont know thier limitations as well, BUT i also feel it is my responsability as a babysitter to be alot more sensitive and attentive with the child being babysat, because they are away from thier parents, and thier parents are trusting me to take really good care...it is just a totally different thing, babysitting, and i dont think in most cases you can say that if a parent naps with thier own child that it would even cross thier mind when babysitting.
post #55 of 100
Originally Posted by rmcarons View Post
I think the situation is a "it depends" It's alot like when we decide to start leaving our children home alone. What is the appropriate age? It depends. It depends on the child. It depends on the length of time, it depends on where you are, etc.... Same as with sleeping.
I agree. I have napped when Owen was here and I've slept in in the mornings also. But I do it as safely as I can. I keep him in the same room (bedroom). A few months ago he mastered opening the bedroom door silently in the middle of the night. I often woke at 2 or 3 am to find him on the kitchen counter, eating something, in the living room playing, etc. It freaked me out big time (he's 3 and has autism so knows no limits). I felt I could never sleep again because I couldn't hear him getting out of the bedroom. I solved that last week by putting little alarms on the bedroom door. I set the alarm before I go to sleep at night and when Owen wakes up and opens the door an alarm goes off. It's not loud enough to wake the neighbors, but plenty loud to wake me up. The first night I put it on he woke up, opened the door, and freaked out when the alarm went off! As soon as he heard it he DOVE back into bed and pretended to be sleeping : Yeah buddy, doesn't work that way He's not touched the door at nighttime since. In the morning (on weekends) he wakes before me and either plays with some little toys he has in there or he wakes me up then I open the door for him. I have also installed one of these alarms on my front door, as he's recently learned how to unlock it :

I would say it *could* be neglect, depending on how you do it (shut yourself in the bedroom napping while your 2 year old wanders around the house getting into who knows what? Yup, neglect).
post #56 of 100
Jumping in because I have personal experience with this. My mom has been on several different meds for mental conditions for years, and some of them would make her fall asleep to the point of "passing out". I can remember from the time I was about 10 years old that whenever she was crashed on the couch or in her room, I would try to wake her up and tell her I needed something or that I was going over to my friend's house to play, and she barely knew what was going on. I frequently took advantage of the fact that my mom was asleep and rode my bike too far, went to the park I wasn't supposed to go to, went playing in the woods by a large lake and waterfall. Fun but dangerous, kwim? Then if she was awake when I came home I would get yelled at or get into a huge fight with her because she would accuse me of going off without her permission. I wasn't going to sit around and have no life and watch all the other kids playing outside while my mom layed around in bed all day long. SO...in short my experience has colored my own attitudes concerning this issue. My children are 16.75 months old and my little one is 5 months old today. There is NO way I would/could let my toddler roam the house unsupervised- that is just my personal comfort level, I know he would get into everything and hurt himself. He also knows how to unlock and open doors. If I want to take a nap ( which I rarely do ) I take it when the toddler is sleeping and I can take the baby to bed with me and nurse him to sleep. I had a mild bout of mastitis two weeks after the little one was born, had the fever, chills, all that miserable stuff. My toddler had just turned 1, so sleeping all day was not an option, even though its what I desperately needed/wanted to do. I stayed on the couch most of the day wrapped up in a blanket, and when I felt strong enough I would sit on the floor for a while and play with ds1, and I made his meals and all that, but I didn't really move around much. Thankfully at that age he was tentative about going anywhere without me, so he stayed in the same room as me and I didn't have to worry about him getting into things. If I got *really* sick now, I would be in major trouble. I would have to get help because he is just too curious. DH can't always stay home from work, but I have family close by that could help. Anyways, as far as sleeping while your child(ren) play alone, yes I think it can be considered neglect in some circumstances, such as my own growing up. If you are THAT exhausted that you aren't going to be able to wake up if there is a problem or your child needs you, you need to find someone to come and help you and watch your children while you get some rest. No excuses.
post #57 of 100
Originally Posted by eclipse View Post
I don't believe that it's either abusive or neglectful, assuming the house is childproofed, the door is locked, you don't sleep for hours and hours and hours while they're awake, and you are alert enough that if someone needs you, you can get up. It takes me 30-45 minutes to get the baby down for a nap. I have to do it with the door closed, or he won't go to sleep (and the older kids will be in every 30 seconds to ask me something that they wouldn't care to know the answer to were I not otherwise occupied). The bigger kids (3 1/2 and almost 6) know they can come get me if they really need anything. I have been known to fall asleep with him :

our kids are all the same age (within a month or two) and I do the very same thing. I lay down to nurse the baby and the older kids are in and out asking my stuff, but on the rare occasions they are not in and out I usually fall asleep.

(i'm not single, but dh works 6 days a week from 8am until 9pm)
post #58 of 100
I can't believe it is as american as apple pie to shut your baby in another room for 10 or 12 hours overnight. I have 3 chidren and one day when I was still married I looked at my kitchen, everything under 2 feet was written on. I blame it on the poor lighting, Ididn't notice, and it probaby happened when someone else was on duty, like the ex. personally I think it is fine to sleep in as a mom. If you are like me you have one-eye opened anyway all the time. My children don't wake up early though, They love to sleep in and I have to drag them out of bed for school. If you are taking sleeping pills or medications or drunk then there are probably impairments from those which is different. and even if you were technically awake there would still remain impairments.
post #59 of 100
I have a two and a half year old and I have never slept in beyond his waking...although I certainly have dragged myself out of bed reluctantly. I simply would not feel comfortable without directly surpervising him and being fully alert to respond to any concerns that arise.
I shower when he is sleeping most of the time, with the door open and I am vigilant and listening for any potential waking (the bathroom is right next to the bedroom luckily). I have also showered when he is up and he tends to play on the bathroom floor while I shower or just outside the open door. My showers are lightening quick since he gets demanding of my attention and starts grabbing the shower curtain which causes water to go all over the bathroom floor.
Now that he is very mobile, independent and can sometimes open doors on his own, I feel more devoted to my vigilance. Every few years I hear in the news about some toddler found out walking alone because they have let themselves out of the house and wandered away.
I don't know if there will come a time when I feel comfortable sleeping while my child plays. I don't know if it is legally abusive or neglectful according to the prevailing child protection laws. This is unimportant to me. I supervise my child because my insitincts tell me it is necessary and because my sense of duty as a mother demands it.
If you feel confident and at peace with your judgement as a mother, than so be it. I am wondering why you posted this question...was it just to spark discussion or do you have any ambiguous feelings or doubts about this aspect of your parenting practice? It sounds like you have felt judged or shamed by reading other threads that disapproved of this practice. I, personally, disapprove of it and would feel judgemental towards other mothers of small children that do this....but it really shouldn't matter what I think if you are really okay with this aspect of your mothering. Right?
post #60 of 100
Thread Starter 
i was genuinely interested in hearing responses (out of my own curiosity)... but there seemed to be an enormous amount of judgment coming from Certain Posters in this thread ... i was honestly really shocked to see such negative responses but on the other hand, if i felt something really strongly i would probably post pretty harshly (and have, many times, in the past). yes i'm hurt that People equate this to not using a carseat which i would NEVER do and HAVE NEVER DONE. i just don't see how this is anywhere comparable.

but, eh, i don't plan to change because i know my kids are safe, and i know MYSELF well enough that i know if i don't get enough sleep i'm not a decent parent. (insert analogy regarding airplane oxygen use scenario here) this morning my son woke up at dawn (as he has done ever since he was an infant) and read in his room while my dd slept in with me ... then they got up for a couple of hours and played and ate crackers and occasionally ran in and out of my room, while i got a couple of more hours of sleep. i CANNOT wake up at dawn every single morning to care for my kids, especially since most nights i still don't fall asleep until at least 2 in the morning (other issues which i won't go into here). so ... getting the couple of extra hours of sleep this morning ensured that i was able to get up, cook breakfast, take a walk with the kids, and overall function as a healthy, happy mama to two very spirited little ones. so to answer your question (again) no, i wasn't looking for advice on changing my own behavior in this matter since i don't see anything wrong with it; i was just really struck by how many people think it's terrible of me to do it. (what mother likes being judged?? -- while *i* don't see what i'm doing as "wrong" it stings to know that so many other people do.)

i was also really, really surprised to see how many parents on MDC (and i didn't look to see if these were the same users in this issue or not) advocate leaving a 2 or 3 or 4 year old alone in the tub .... and yet a ton of parents will not allow these same children to "roam around freely" while a parent naps. : (isn't an unsupervised child in a tub full of water more dangerous then an unsupervised child in a child-safe play area with age-appropriate toys and a lightly sleeping adult nearby? i don't get it.)
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