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Would you leave your child in a hotel room? - Page 9

post #161 of 262
Quote:
Originally Posted by moonfirefaery View Post
There's a HUGE difference between running in to pay for gas, out to check the mail, or to the bathroom and leaving your children unsupervised in a hotel room in a foreign country while you go out to eat and for drinks. I would NOT leave my young toddlers in a hotel room or a house or anywhere without an adult to go out for dinner and/or to have drinks.
I agree with not leaving a child in a hotel room while going to have dinner/drinks.

I think it is equally important to not leave children in the car while paying for gas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moonfirefaery
I think anyone who would needs to take some parenting classes to learn what can (and look what DID) happen when children are left alone. I'm not saying we should blame the victim, but the fact is that if they had been supervising their children, this wouldn't have happened.
I said this earlier, but I will repeat. This could have happened even if they were at home and the kids asleep in their room. Think Elizabeth Smart. I don't agree with their decision, but a blanket statement about how it would have happened if the parents had been in suite. It can happen.
post #162 of 262
Quote:
Originally Posted by moonfirefaery View Post
I hope these people get their daughter back safe and sound, but I really hope they think twice the next time they don't feel liek bringing their children to dinner.
Sheesh, I have a feeling they'll think twice next time. : : :
post #163 of 262
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmlp View Post
Like the McCanns did?
No.
post #164 of 262
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
Good point.

But I just wondered if someone could give us some insight into the European way of looking at horrible misfortunes.

Since so many Americans have this "automatic pilot" response of blaming someone, anyone, for every. single. thing. that goes wrong -- I don't know if we're so much "sinking" as just "staying' in that mentality.

Is it that Europeans are more comfortable with releasing control over their lives? Meaning, I think many of us who blame the victim, do so because it helps us maintain a sense of control over what happens to us. Just so long as we're never that "irresponsible" or "naive" or whatever -- that horrible thing will never happen to us or our loved ones.

How do Europeans "deal?"
I can't entirely answer your (very good) question but I think I can at least explain some of the European view. Some background: I'm an American by birth and have lived in South America and the Middle East before settling in Continental Europe. I'm married to a European man and have lived here for the past 7.5 years.

I think a huge difference is the view of individual responsibility. For better and for worse, (most -- granted, we're still talking a huge numbers of countries and cultures here) Europeans have a more collectivist outlook. For them, the individual isn't always paramount. Rather, the society as a whole is. Therefore, many (most) Europeans don't mind paying what, by American standards, are very high taxes. Not only do they get a lot in return and know it (!) but I can't count the number of times I've heard business people and wealthy people say, "I'm happy to pay more so that everyone has a basic standard of living." In the US, I think we're much more likely to say, "It's up to the people themselves to achieve that basic standard of living and I'm not paying a red cent more than necessary to help them."

I'm *not* trying to start an argument here about social welfare systems! Really! There are pros and cons in my opinion to both systems. I'm just trying to illustrate some basic differences in outlook.

I think this "collectivist" mentality also explains a bit about the response to the McCann tragedy. In the US, our view is that the individual is ultimately responsible for his/her actions. In Europe, there is a view that society as a whole is responsible. Hence, the greater speed at which Americans condemn an individual for not being responsible enough (in their perception).

As someone else said, Europeans, as a whole, aren't as concerned with child-rearing per se. Yes, they love their kids, take good care of them, have playgroups,,etc., etc.! However, because the state takes care of so much, there isn't this extreme angst about kids achieving and every single little thing that parents should or should not be doing. And, let's face it, the McCann tragedy aside, it *is* much safer here to raise kids so there doesn't need to be that concern for physical safety.

I hope this explains at least part of the difference.
post #165 of 262
Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post
Actually, I think it's because Europeans are less obsessed with parenting in general and in particular less obsessed with trying to make themselves look like perfect parents by putting down other parents. They are also more likely to make a realistic evaluation of danger and understand that though things like this do happen, they happen pretty damn rarely so it makes no sense to blame the parents for it when it does happen. They blame the perp instead. Radical, huh:
You are "radically" mistaken


The British may not be blaming the parents, but DH who just returned from a trip to Spain and Portugal (where this occurred) reports that the media there AND the "person on the street" is 100 percent blaming the parents for being so selfish as to leave their kids alone so that they could have dinner!

So saying that "Europeans" are not blaiming the parents and don't feel this bevhior was neglectful is simply not correct.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18726957/
post #166 of 262
Never. Especially not in another country. Simple because I don't know the culture. The parents seemed to be trying to do the right thing, by checking on them every half hour, but really... if they were that concerned, shouldn't they have just stayed in?

I think the girl is found.
post #167 of 262
No, I wouldn't leave my child. I almost left him one time to drive to the store that is 3 blocks from my house, but I realized at the last minute that something unexpected could happen. What if I got in a car wreck? What if the house caught on fire? (okay, I still would have been back in time...) but what if I was delayed getting back somehow?

I decided against it because I was really worried that if I did it once, I would do it again.

But I really hope that no one is judging these parents because of this. I have made so many bad decisions that could have resulted in disaster...

I really hope they find their little girl, and I hope that the people who took her just wanted a child of their own and are being decent to her. She is the same age as my son and I don;t know what I would do if I were in their situation.
post #168 of 262
Jumping in late...

No, I would not leave my son in a hotel room for any amount of time for any reason...perhaps to walk 5 feet or less to the ice machine or something...but that would be it.

I live in an apartment. I have to go down stairs to do laundry. I'm downstairs for MAYBE 3 minutes tossing laundry around. Our door locks automatically.

I make James (2 y/o) come with me. It takes three times as long because I have to wait for him to mosey down the hall, mosey down the stairs and stuff. But I still bring him with me. Every single time. My house is kid safe, I live in an itty bitty town with almost no crime...and I still will not leave him for 3 minutes. It freaks me out too much.
post #169 of 262
Quote:
And, let's face it, the McCann tragedy aside, it *is* much safer here to raise kids so there doesn't need to be that concern for physical safety.
I don't agree with this at all, and statistics agree with me. Stranger crimes are simply not common here, no matter what our media tells us. Our murder rate is mostly attributed to inner city black on black crime (as sad as that is), sexual crimes against youths go widely unreported in Europe whereas here in the US they are more likely to be reported.

As for leaving your baby, hey, you might find it culturally okay to leave a baby outside a restaurant or cafe, but the fact remains that is indeed more risky, even if something happening is very rare. The fact is that the parent would not be there IF something happened. Same thing with leaving your child in a room by themselves. Look at the article someone posted on here about a couple from Europe leaving their 2 month old in their hotel room while they had lunch? The fact remains that if the child cries no one is there, if there is a fire, no one is there.
post #170 of 262
Quote:
Originally Posted by maya44 View Post
You are "radically" mistaken


The British may not be blaming the parents, but DH who just returned from a trip to Spain and Portugal (where this occurred) reports that the media there AND the "person on the street" is 100 percent blaming the parents for being so selfish as to leave their kids alone so that they could have dinner!

So saying that "Europeans" are not blaiming the parents and don't feel this bevhior was neglectful is simply not correct.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18726957/

No not only the British: the Germans, the French, the Scandinavians... I have generally not read anything else but support.

Now, I have also been reading the Portuguese newspapers directly, and what is going on is that people in Portugal and Spain are angry that the several in the British media are blaming the Portuguese police for not doing enough and saying that it is to be expected in Mediterranean countries
So since then, there has been a backlash against the parents.

Did you know that they were even circulating stories that the McCanns were swingers and that they left the children alone because of that? Now, I am not judging anyone's lifestyle here, but that story was spread precisely to feed the fire of a very religious and already hurt people.

Also, the fact that there are MANY missing children in the Algarve who never received such an attention, is also making many people resent this story.

Having said all that, the people RIGHT there at the Algarve have been very loving and supportive and have several times come to the news media to say that, while they don't agree with it, leaving the children alone was a common practice in that resort, so that's why the McCanns did it.
post #171 of 262
Quote:
Originally Posted by polihaupt View Post
No not only the British: the Germans, the French, the Scandinavians... I have generally not read anything else but support.

Yes, as the MSNBC article points out it is there is a cultural difference between Northern Europeans and Southern ones. Exactly my point, that it is mistake to group all of them together. And of course 'right there' no one wants to be too judgmental in a town dependent on travellers.
post #172 of 262
Quote:
Originally Posted by maya44 View Post
You are "radically" mistaken


The British may not be blaming the parents, but DH who just returned from a trip to Spain and Portugal (where this occurred) reports that the media there AND the "person on the street" is 100 percent blaming the parents for being so selfish as to leave their kids alone so that they could have dinner!

So saying that "Europeans" are not blaiming the parents and don't feel this bevhior was neglectful is simply not correct.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18726957/
If the parents are 100% to blame, I guess that means the perp is innocent, right? Very logical indeed....
post #173 of 262
Quote:
Originally Posted by maya44 View Post
You are "radically" mistaken


The British may not be blaming the parents, but DH who just returned from a trip to Spain and Portugal (where this occurred) reports that the media there AND the "person on the street" is 100 percent blaming the parents for being so selfish as to leave their kids alone so that they could have dinner!

So saying that "Europeans" are not blaiming the parents and don't feel this bevhior was neglectful is simply not correct.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18726957/

Yep, and that makes a lot of sense. If the media is blaming the parents the "man in the street" is quite likely to blame the parents too. Most "men in the street" are strongly influenced by the media.

And most people here who have been talking about "European" attitudes are referring largely to Northern Europe, I believe.
post #174 of 262
Umm, about running in to pay for gas:

A few years ago, a 6yo boy died in our area because of something similar. The boy wanted a sandwich from a convenience store, and his mom left the car running, and ran in to get him his sandwich. It just so happened that a man newly released from prison noticed the opportunity to steal a car, and quickly got in the car.

Since the mom was watching the car, she saw and rushed out to save her child. She opened the back door and was undoing the seatbelt, when the thief just took off, with the door open and the little boy hanging out of the car; I think the seatbelt was holding his foot or something. Some people chased the car, but by the time they got the thief to pull over, the little boy was dead, literally dragged to death.

It was heartbreaking -- but I honestly don't recall any discussion of prosecuting the mother, or really too much public condemnation of the mother. I think too many parents recalled doing similar things themselves, and were just thankful they (and their children) didn't have to pay such a high price for making a dumb choice. And of course, people knew how much the mom was already suffering.

I think this couple's suffering must be a million times worse, because of knowing the kidnappers likely did it to make money in the child sex trade. Of course, they also at least have some hope of getting her back alive. Did someone say she's been found?
post #175 of 262
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jwebbal View Post
I don't agree with this at all, and statistics agree with me. Stranger crimes are simply not common here, no matter what our media tells us. Our murder rate is mostly attributed to inner city black on black crime (as sad as that is), sexual crimes against youths go widely unreported in Europe whereas here in the US they are more likely to be reported.
Which statistics?

I'm looking at the following:

Assaults per capita by country: US #6 nearest European country at #8 which is the UK.
http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cr...lts-per-capita

Burglaries: US #1
http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cr...ime-burglaries

Gun Violence (homicide with firearm): US #7
Nearest European Country was Germany at #13
http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cr...cides-firearms

Non-firearm homicide rate: US #16
Nearest European country was Bulgaria at #19 (and, to be honest, I was really talking about Western Europe but, since I said "Europe" I'm being fair here . . .
http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cr...er-100-000-pop

Rapes: US #1
Nearest European country was the UK at #7
http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_rap-crime-rapes

I pulled all these off one website. The source for the stats, though is: Seventh United Nations Survey of Crime Trends and Operations of Criminal Justice Systems, covering the period 1998 - 2000 (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Centre for International Crime Prevention)

As anyone knows who deals with stats, it really depends *a lot* on definitions and systems of measurements. In the interests of fairness, according to this report, Spain beat out the US in number of robberies!

I'm also a bit confused about your comment that the murder rate is mostly among inner city black youth . . . umm . . sure . . . but does that mean it shouldn't count towards the overall US crime rate? Or does that mean that you, personally, don't feel unsafe because crime is restricted to the ghetto and, therefore, you (I'm guessing?) don't have to worry about it? In any case, I assure you, if you live in the inner city, whether you are a black youth or not, you feel unsafe and just because other people in American don't feel affected by it doesn't make it any less of a pressing problem or any less statistically relevant when compared with Europe! After all, much of the crime here in Europe is also from inner city youth of non-European origin. Doesn't mean that it's not counted in the statistics and doesn't mean that it doesn't effect those of us who live here!
post #176 of 262
Houdini, I disagree about paying for gas. If I can see my child, if the car is locked with the alarm on, if I could reach my car in two seconds, he's safe. He's not going to choke on his spit and die, and the fuel tank could explode just as easily with me driving as with me parked. That's called a freak accident. I highly doubt that with me ten seconds away, someone could break my window, take him out of his carseat, or get my door open and hotwire my car without my hearing the alarm and being out there. That's the difference between leaving your child in a hotel room and leaving your child in the car for less than 5 minutes. In one situation you can see the child, you could get to him quickly, you can tell if something is going on. In the other you can't. I'm not going to debate whether or not this situation is right or wrong, but that's my take on it. He's safer in the car than in a parking lot where someone could speed away without paying for their gas and hit us or in a store that could be robbed at any moment. If I were going in for ten minutes, going grocery shopping, or leaving him out there when its severely hot or cold, yeah, something could happen--but I don't do that.

They weren't at home with the kids asleep in their room. They locked their tots in a hotel room to go out for beers and dinner. A hotel room where employees can easily get copies of the keys. A hotel room where they can't hear their children from down the hall. A hotel room. You can lock your windows and doors, get a home security system, and do a number of things to protect your home. Nevertheless you don't leave your kids at home alone, and you don't leave them unsupervised in a hotel room. The hotel room, IMO, is a heck of a lot more dangerous than leaving your kids home alone, and those two scenarios are far more dangerous than letting your kids sleep in their own rooms. Shit can happen either way but you can take reasonable steps to try and prevent it. It's all about risk assessment, and I doubt before leaving they took into consideration that they can't see or hear their kids from a restaurant and that hotel employees could get into the room or the countless of things that those kids could do to themselves without parents supervising them.
post #177 of 262
Quote:
Originally Posted by moonfirefaery View Post
Houdini, I disagree about paying for gas. If I can see my child, if the car is locked with the alarm on, if I could reach my car in two seconds, he's safe. He's not going to choke on his spit and die, and the fuel tank could explode just as easily with me driving as with me parked. That's called a freak accident. I highly doubt that with me ten seconds away, someone could break my window, take him out of his carseat, or get my door open and hotwire my car without my hearing the alarm and being out there.
Even with doors locked/alarms set....it doesn't take much to break a window and then re-lock doors. It doesn't take long for the gun to come out if the person so chooses to use one. Why would you risk it??

This is borrowed from above:

Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama
A few years ago, a 6yo boy died in our area because of something similar. The boy wanted a sandwich from a convenience store, and his mom left the car running, and ran in to get him his sandwich. It just so happened that a man newly released from prison noticed the opportunity to steal a car, and quickly got in the car.

Since the mom was watching the car, she saw and rushed out to save her child. She opened the back door and was undoing the seatbelt, when the thief just took off, with the door open and the little boy hanging out of the car; I think the seatbelt was holding his foot or something. Some people chased the car, but by the time they got the thief to pull over, the little boy was dead, literally dragged to death.
Bet this mama would disagree that the risk in any less than leaving your child anywhere else unattended.

It is just as illegal to leave a child in a car unsupervised as it is to leave them in the house unsupervised.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moonfirefaery
That's the difference between leaving your child in a hotel room and leaving your child in the car for less than 5 minutes.
I completely disagree...no different....unsupervised is unsupervised.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moonfirefaery
In one situation you can see the child, you could get to him quickly, you can tell if something is going on. In the other you can't. I'm not going to debate whether or not this situation is right or wrong, but that's my take on it. He's safer in the car than in a parking lot where someone could speed away without paying for their gas and hit us or in a store that could be robbed at any moment. If I were going in for ten minutes, going grocery shopping, or leaving him out there when its severely hot or cold, yeah, something could happen--but I don't do that.
Seeing the child from inside a store doesn't really make any difference in the end....it just means you get to watch what is happening.....front row seats....guess that counts for something...right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by moonfirefaery
They weren't at home with the kids asleep in their room. They locked their tots in a hotel room to go out for beers and dinner. A hotel room where employees can easily get copies of the keys. A hotel room where they can't hear their children from down the hall. A hotel room. You can lock your windows and doors, get a home security system, and do a number of things to protect your home. Nevertheless you don't leave your kids at home alone, and you don't leave them unsupervised in a hotel room.
I agree a child shouldn't be left alone in a hotel room.

You were saying it wouldn't have happened had they been in the suite...that is untrue. It can happen with the parents right down the hall and it has...more than once.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moonfirefaery
The hotel room, IMO, is a heck of a lot more dangerous than leaving your kids home alone, and those two scenarios are far more dangerous than letting your kids sleep in their own rooms. Shit can happen either way but you can take reasonable steps to try and prevent it. It's all about risk assessment, and I doubt before leaving they took into consideration that they can't see or hear their kids from a restaurant and that hotel employees could get into the room or the countless of things that those kids could do to themselves without parents supervising them.
Amazing....you know what they were thinking. Wow...you're good.

Seriously, read about the culture difference. I think it is a serious mistake to assume you know anything about what they were thinking about before going to dinner.
post #178 of 262
It doesn't take long for the gun to come out if I'm at the pump or in the car either. It does take quite a bit to break a window, open the door, get in, hotwire the car, and drive off. I have a button that conveniently unlocks my doors even if someone on the inside has locked them. It does take time to break a window, oen the door, and unhock a child from a carseat, too. It could happen at a red light, too. It doesn't take long for the gun to come out in the convenience store or for someone to run me and my child over in the parking lot either. Why would I risk it? Because I think the risk of him coming inside with me is far greater, because I know someone could pull a gun either way. If I can see my child and get to him within seconds, he's safe. Big difference between that and a hotel room. If someone tries to steal my car while I'm paying for gas or while I'm in it I have about the same chances of dealing with it, but if someone tries to kidnap my child from a hotel room that I'm not in I've got a far less chance of being able to prevent it than if someone tried to kidnap him from within my sight. And no, it is NOT illegal to leave a child in a car unsupervised for a few moments, not in my state; I've checked the laws. I don't consider it unsupervised if I can see my car and my child and get to him within seconds. When I'm 20 feet away from my child in a car, that's no different than if he were upstairs with me downstairs in our own home IMO. The question is whether or not its dangerous and if its more dangerous than the alternative, and in the situation of the car, the answer is no. Maybe it doesn't make a difference to you, but it does make a difference to me because I wouldn't watch what is happening, I'd carry my ass out there and do something about it, just as I would if someone tried to carjack me at a red light. It could have happened with them in the suite but at least with them in the suite, they could have tried to do something about it and would have maybe had a description of the guy and so on. That's the difference. I don't care about the culture difference; it's still dangerous to leave your child alone completely unsupervised where you can't see or hear them while you go out for dinner and drinks. I'm not going to argue with you anymore. I don't have to defend my choice, because I don't believe it puts my son in harms way in a manner that even begins to be comparable to leaving him in a freaking hotel room for an hour where god knows what could happen without me there. I know what could happen with my son in the locked car with the alarm on with me ten seconds away. Someone could have a gun but I'd be just as helpless if they pulled the gun on me at a red light with us both in the car of if they pulled it on us while we were in the store, wouldn't I? In any of those situations though I still have the chance to act, whether you want to acknowledge it or not. I wouldn't in a hotel room. We should take reasonable steps to prevent things from happening, but I don't think it's unreasonable to be 20 feet away for less than 5 minutes with my eyes on my car. Have a good day.
post #179 of 262
Either they didn't think of that, or they did think of it and did it anyway. Either way it was stupid. What parent WOULD think of that and then chose to do that anyway? Either they weren't thinking, or they didn't care. How could any rational person think it would be perfectly acceptable to leave your child in a hotel room where they could strangle themselves with a telephone cord or where an employee with a key could get in? They couldn't see or hear them, and they weren't a moment away to try to intervene should danger appear. Either they didn't think of what could happen, or they didn't care.
post #180 of 262
No way. Nor would I leave them with a babysitter hired by the hotel.

I feel bad for what this family is going through, but I think they used very poor judgment.
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