Leaving my son inside alone for 5 min? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 113 Old 09-22-2004, 10:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Would it be ok to smoke a cigarette outside while my ds is inside alone? He’s 22 months and my home is very safe, I just worry that its too early to leave him alone. I don’t have a screen door or anything so I would have to keep the door closed while I was outside, but it has a large window where I could look in and I would always be right by the door and open it every couple of minutes to see what he is doing if I can’t see him. Would this be ok, because its just me and my ds during the day until my dh gets home. I wouldn’t have anyone to watch him till then.
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#2 of 113 Old 09-22-2004, 10:46 PM
 
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Hi Kelly

Somehow I am not surprised you have not received a response yet.

I do not advocate smoking and I do have to say, my first advice is that you quit.

It has been proven that, even smoking outside, can be harmful for your child. The particules stay on you and your clothing, therefore passing on to your child.

Secondly, I feel it's important to put the child first. I would not go outside and smoke a cigarrette because you would be putting your baby second.

I see you are new, and before you might get flamed I encourage you to read the MDC statement of purpose and see what we are all about.

Good Luck!
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#3 of 113 Old 09-22-2004, 10:54 PM
 
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Hi! I first want to say that I'm telling you this with the best intentions. It's your business if you want to smoke. But here's my perspective:

I really resent my own father's smoking. He's used nicotine in some form since before I was born. He quit for many years, and is now back to smoking cigars (nightly) and probably cigarettes.

The reason this bothers me so much is that I have two younger sisters (14 and 12) and my own child now, and I want him around! I don't want my mom to have to care for him if he gets emphysema (sorry, I know I spelled that wrong) or cancer. I feel that he's potentially cheating us out of his presence.

I know this might sound off topic, but your child may have these same concerns and fears. With all the media and school coverage about the dangers of smoking, it's likely that your child will, in the next few years, start to fear for your health. And that's hard for an adult, much less a kid!

Just my thoughts.

Wife to a wonderful dh and mom to four beautiful kiddos, dd (3/04):, ds1 (1/06), ds2 (10/08), and ds3 (7/10)
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#4 of 113 Old 09-22-2004, 11:18 PM
 
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Are you serious?
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#5 of 113 Old 09-22-2004, 11:20 PM
 
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What have you done up until now?
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#6 of 113 Old 09-22-2004, 11:22 PM
 
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You know, my kids aren't in front of me every minute of the day, but they're usually just around the corner, etc. A few days ago, my neighbor and I went outside to pass a stick of butter over the fence and talked for 2-3 minutes. She walked back in and her husband told her he'd just had to do the heimlich maneuver on their 3 y.o. Scary stuff.

OT but I think once your son figures out why you're going outside, it could be a problem; ie forbidden fruit, resentment (ITA), etc.
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#7 of 113 Old 09-22-2004, 11:57 PM
 
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Some things can't be prevented even if you are away for 5 mins or just turned your head. For example a week ago I was unpacking our groceries when I turned my head just in time to find my son had taken the plastic thing out of the light socket and was seconds away from sticking the car keys in it.

But I do leave my son alone at times. When he is sleeping I am able to get some house work done, or I make sure he is involved in an activity of some sort while I take the dog outside ( she has a habit of hoping the fence and if I'm out there she doesn't). My neighbor I know takes a 5 min break to have a smoke on her porch and her DD is 3. Use your best judgment, I personally always check on my son and my ears are always perked. I usually can get my grandfather or younger brother to keep an eye on him if I have to do something that takes a little longer than 5 mins, either that or I take him along with me.

But like I said before, things can happen even with you right there and turning your head for a second, you really can't prevent everything but just be very cautious and use your motherly instincts.

Just don't be like my SIL who leaves her 6 month old baby unattendent while she takes a shower and spends at least a half an hour getting ready upstairs while her baby is left downstairs. Thats poor judgement on her behave.
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#8 of 113 Old 09-23-2004, 12:02 AM
 
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In 5 minutes, your child could fall against a piece of furniture, choke on something you didn't even know was around, etc. No way do I think anyone should leave a toddler alone for 5 minutes, especially not to go smoke. If you want to smoke outside, do you have a fenced in area or a sandbox outside (away from the smoke) that the baby could play in? (Not that I advocate smoking....I think parents shouldn't be smoking anywhere near a kid, but that's a different thread).

~Brandon Michael (11/23/03), Jocelyn Lily Nữ (2/4/07, adopted 5/28/07 from Vietnam), Amelia Rylie (1/14/09), & Ryland Josef William (9/7/05-9/7/05 @ 41 wks). 
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#9 of 113 Old 09-23-2004, 12:12 AM
 
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I applaud you for not smoking around your ds. I will give you credit for that. Though I am curious what have you been doing the past 22 months? I've got to agree with the others though- too many scary things can happen in the 5 minutes it would take for you to smoke a cigarette. I wouldn't risk it. Either bring ds outside with you (away from the smoke but still within sight) or don't smoke at all.

Not to sound preachy but this dellema (sp?) would be good motivation to quit altogether. If not for you, for the safety of your DS.

Steph, DH Jason (1-1-11), DS Owen (10-3-03) and DS Kai (10-13-11)

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#10 of 113 Old 09-23-2004, 12:32 AM
 
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In my younger child free days I did smoke and it really does take 5 minutes to smoke and 5minutes is a long time. When you are smoking it doesn't feel that way but when you are a toddler it is an eternity. Just today I ran downstairs (outside) to grab the toys we left out there and I was out of DD's sight for not even aminute and she was crying because she got her finger caught in the gate. Not life threatenning but had been out of her sight longer she could have gotten really scared, too.
I wouldn'trecommend leaving him alone.

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#11 of 113 Old 09-23-2004, 12:35 AM
 
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Originally Posted by hipumpkins
In my younger child free days I did smoke and it really does take 5 minutes to smoke and 5minutes is a long time. When you are smoking it doesn't feel that way but when you are a toddler it is an eternity. Just today I ran downstairs (outside) to grab the toys we left out there and I was out of DD's sight for not even aminute and she was crying because she got her finger caught in the gate. Not life threatenning but had been out of her sight longer she could have gotten really scared, too.
I wouldn'trecommend leaving him alone.

Oh man, that reminds me of what happened to my son. He was playing on the kitchen floor and I turned to mix the breastmilk into his cereal...during that time, he got his finger stuck in the metal floor vent and tried to crawl with his finger still stuck. That was 15 seconds worth of trouble...I can't imagine 5 minutes!

~Brandon Michael (11/23/03), Jocelyn Lily Nữ (2/4/07, adopted 5/28/07 from Vietnam), Amelia Rylie (1/14/09), & Ryland Josef William (9/7/05-9/7/05 @ 41 wks). 
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#12 of 113 Old 09-23-2004, 01:26 AM
 
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Adding to the stories of anything can happen..... I watch my 24 month old half sister during the day.... a couple weeks ago I had gone into the bathroom to pee real quick. I hadn't even sat down when I heard a blood curdling scream. I ran out and found the 2 year old with her arm caught in the back of the dining room chair. She was apparently trying to climb off the chair (she had been drinking milk), slipped, and got her arm stuck between 2 of the wood bars in the back. She was trying to free it, getting frantic, ect. Another 5 minutes and I have no doubts she would have broken her arm by yanking/bending it as much as she was.

Steph, DH Jason (1-1-11), DS Owen (10-3-03) and DS Kai (10-13-11)

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#13 of 113 Old 09-23-2004, 02:17 AM
 
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NO it's certainly NOT ok to go smoke for 5 minutes while your toddler plays inside. My nasty opinion of smoking will come out in this post, but in 5 mins, your child could choke, fall and crack his head, take a bad tumble off a toy, or fall into the toilet trying to get his toy boat out of it.

Not trying to be rude here, but Um EWWW. You need to QUIT. It's not right to smoke where your children could see you or smell you, and it's your responsibility to make sure you are and stay healthy for their sakes. Smoking is not an acceptable habit IMO. There are ways to quit, and it would be my suggestion that you do everything in your power to quit ASAP.

Don't you worry about the nasty toxins that can harm your child even if you don't smoke around him? Not to mention that you probalby smell terrible to him.

Do you really want him growing up, going to a bar when he's old enough or to a party and thinking wow, it smells like Mom in here? I have this fight with my mother at least once a month, and she still doesn't get that she's NOT playing with my child if she stinks. I don't want her keeping him b/c I am terrified that her cigarettes will be more important. They are more important than her pregnant daughter, so why would she ditch them for a couple hours for my child?

QUIT smoking and find something more fun to do with your son in those 5 minutes. That's 5 mins to read a book, dance a dance, play hide and seek, sing a song, share a drink, play peek a boo, walk to the park, learn a new word, etc.

Good luck finding something to replace your habit. It's gonna be worth it!

Remember that for every cigarette you smoke you take time off your life, too. Do you wanna meet your grandkids and be able to play with them? Think of the future! Be there for your son when he has his first child and be there for your grandchild when he/she graduates from hs/college and BE HEALTHY when all that happens!

Hugs, it's not easy, but it's gonna be worth it!
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#14 of 113 Old 09-23-2004, 10:28 AM
 
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I'm not going to get into the whole smoking aspect of this argument. We all know it's bad.

I would never leave my child inside playing while I went outside. She would have a total panick attack, if she could see me out there, and if I left her alone where she couldn't see me, anything could happen. My house is very babyproofed, but I know that in a few seconds, she could easily learn to climb a piece of furniture, or get her fingers slammed in a door.

That said I have left her on occasion, when she's fast asleep, to go in the backyard and do "dog-duty." It has to be done when she's asleep, because if she were awake, she'd want to come outside and play in it. :P My yard is very tiny, so I'm not far from her at all (I'm actually further away from her if I go to the basement to do laundry while she naps), and have the baby monitor with me so I can hear anything that's happening in her room. She still sleeps in a crib, so I know she can't climb out and get into trouble.

As for the smoking (ok, I lied and am going to say something about it after all), do you have close neighbours? I commend you for smoking outside at least, for your child's sake.....but my neighbours smoke outside for the same reason. While they're working to keep their kids safe, what they don't realize is that their second hand smoke is filling my daughter's bedroom, and the rest of my home. My husband worked very hard to quit smoking a few years ago, so that we would have a smoke free home, but my house still smells like cigarettes thanks to these aweful neighbours. I've asked them to stop, but for their children's sake, they refuse to smoke inside. They'd rather poison my child. I have to keep all of my windows and doors shut, which is horrible because the air gets so stuffy and stale.

Just my semi-off-topic rant. :P
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#15 of 113 Old 09-23-2004, 12:06 PM
 
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Getting beyond the smoking issue (I THINK YOU SHOULD QUIT). I don't condone you leaving him unattended for this puprose but reality is you will.

I have had to leave my child alone for a 5-15 min to go let out the dog, shovel snow, help out in a major car wreck infront of my house, et.

The thing is first off make sure they are in a safe place (play pen, crib, baby proofed room). If you can have a baby monotor in the area so you can at least hear him.

I smoked for 11 years. Quitting smoking was the hardest thing I have done. It took many, many failed attempts. I have not smoked in 7 years but to be honest in times of stress I crave cigerettes. There has been times the only thing that has stopped me from starting was the fact my husband would be disappointed in me. I keep a mental picture fresh in my mind of what got me to stop: My son 2 getting a hold of my cigs pretending to smoke.
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#16 of 113 Old 09-23-2004, 04:30 PM
 
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Man, there a lot of judgemental and condescending replies on this thread.

Perhaps her dc just recently gave up naps or something.

To the OP, somone very wise once told me something and it was this: If something doesn't feel right, don't do it. It sounds to me like you are unsure if your son would be OK without you. If that is the case, hold off till your dh gets home.

~lisa~mama to 3 boys (1/02, 5/04, 12/06)
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#17 of 113 Old 09-23-2004, 04:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by The Lucky One
Man, there a lot of judgemental and condescending replies on this thread.
actually, I think the opposite. all I tried to do was give her advice which is what she asked for.

and I am editing this post to add.. what do you want us to say? what do you expect us to say? if someone is asking a question like this, I can't not say that I disaprove of smoking, it's part of the answer, and I also disaprove of leaving a child alone which is what has also been said. No one has attacked her as a person, something of which I am very proud of
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#18 of 113 Old 09-24-2004, 10:43 AM
 
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Do you really want him growing up, going to a bar when he's old enough or to a party and thinking wow, it smells like Mom in here?
This had me laughing so hard, because it´s horrible yet TRUE.

To the OP: If you can't wait until there's another adult home to watch your son, can't he come outside with you? Sure, it isn't good he sees you smoking, but I reckon it's better than being left unsupervised inside.

If you want to quit smoking, there's a zillion aids nowadays. you can DO IT!
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#19 of 113 Old 09-24-2004, 11:13 AM
 
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I agree with Maria, if you absolutely HAVE TO smoke, then I would take him outside (weather permitting ofcourse..)
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#20 of 113 Old 09-24-2004, 11:20 AM
 
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Yep the smoking part can take on a post of its own.

My son is 2.5 and I don't leave him allow for 5 minutes. Heck when I have to go potty I put all the daycare infants in their carseats and line them up in the hall while I pee quick :LOL

I have strong beliefs that your child is first, so taking 5 minutes, 3 minutes or evey 1 minute outside by youreself is putting you first. Why not let the child play outside in the dirt or grass while you smoke? My brother "hides" his smoking from his kid but he still knows dad smells bad.
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#21 of 113 Old 09-24-2004, 12:34 PM
 
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Why not just wait until nap time? That's what I do when I have a cig. I'm not much of a smoker though. I don't smoke often and when I do, it's 1/2-1 a day of an organic american spirit cigarette.
(I had no idea smoking tobacco was against MDC's statement of purpose).
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#22 of 113 Old 09-24-2004, 01:46 PM
 
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I guess every toddler is different---my first thought was that my 23 month old would throw a fit if I went outside without him. He would bang on the door or window and demand to join me on the porch. If it's naptime, and the bed he's in is safe, then I would feel okay going out to get the mail or talk to a neighbor on the porch for a few minutes, as long as he were in earshot and I could hear him when he awakens.
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#23 of 113 Old 09-24-2004, 05:24 PM
 
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Just curious, what do you mamas do while you take a bath during the day? Do you wait until your husband is home, or do it while the child naps?

I have 4 children, and since my first one was 12 months old or so, I have left him, and now them, in a child safe room to play near the bathroom while I take a 10 minute bath or so. They are in earshot, and I think if she is right outside the door, the child could be in earshot (I guess it depends on your particular house). I'm surprised the OP's child doesn't see mom going out and wanting to go out with her.

This also makes me think about when I am washing dishes sometimes in the kitchen and the kids are playing upstairs-- I can't hear them. I don't think that I am being negligent. Same goes for when I am vacuuming, or down in the basement for a few minutes throwing some laundry in.
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#24 of 113 Old 09-24-2004, 07:09 PM
 
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Quote:
what do you want us to say? what do you expect us to say?
Well, loving-my-babies, since you asked, I expected the replies to address the question asked by the OP. The question was: Do you think it is OK to leave a 22 month old inside a house for 5 minutes by himself? IMO, the reason she was leaving him alone was beside the point. Who cares if she was smoking, hanging up diapers, talking to a neighbor across a fence--it's all the same.

Most adults, especially smokers, know the risks involved. Snide comments and condescending remarks like these:

Quote:
Do you really want him growing up, going to a bar when he's old enough or to a party and thinking wow, it smells like Mom in here? I have this fight with my mother at least once a month, and she still doesn't get that she's NOT playing with my child if she stinks. I don't want her keeping him b/c I am terrified that her cigarettes will be more important. They are more important than her pregnant daughter, so why would she ditch them for a couple hours for my
Quote:
QUIT smoking and find something more fun to do with your son in those 5 minutes. That's 5 mins to read a book, dance a dance, play hide and seek, sing a song, share a drink, play peek a boo, walk to the park, learn a new word, etc.
do not, to my knowledge, help anyone overcome an addiction.

Quote:
(I had no idea smoking tobacco was against MDC's statement of purpose).
Me neither.

And finally, would have you directed her to MDC's mission statement if her post count had been 600 as opposed to 6?

Her sig shows a mama wearing a sling reading a book to her dc. I just felt a lot of snap judegements were made about her because she mentioned smoking in her post.

~lisa~mama to 3 boys (1/02, 5/04, 12/06)
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#25 of 113 Old 09-24-2004, 07:12 PM
 
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Just curious, what do you mamas do while you take a bath during the day?
Normally, when I have a shower, my 15 month old hops in with me. If my husband is around, he watches her. We have a cupboard full of toys in the washroom, so she can keep herself busy while I wash myself, and then I bring her in and wash her. I wouldn't feel comfortable leaving her in another room, as I wouldn't be able to hear her cry over the shower noise if she hurt herself or got scared.
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#26 of 113 Old 09-24-2004, 07:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mat4mel
Just curious, what do you mamas do while you take a bath during the day? Do you wait until your husband is home, or do it while the child naps?
When they were babies, I brought them in the bathroom with me. Now that they are older, I bring them in the shower with me. I don't often shower alone unless they are both asleep, in the bathroom with me, or being supervised by another adult.
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#27 of 113 Old 09-24-2004, 07:55 PM
 
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Thank you, Lisa. I'm a new poster at MDC so I looked up the statement of purpose today. It did not mention smoking but it did mention something about treating people with respect. Hrmmm
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#28 of 113 Old 09-24-2004, 08:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mat4mel
Just curious, what do you mamas do while you take a bath during the day? Do you wait until your husband is home, or do it while the child naps?
Well...either I put him in the sling and he showers with me, or I do what I did today...he sat on the bathroom floor playing while I showered with the shower door open...I literally took under a minute (superfast washing! LOL!) and he was 6 inches away from me...no shower curtain or shower door blocking us...yep, the floor was wet, but I had to shower really quickly to go out to an appointment and didn't have time for him to be in the sling.

~Brandon Michael (11/23/03), Jocelyn Lily Nữ (2/4/07, adopted 5/28/07 from Vietnam), Amelia Rylie (1/14/09), & Ryland Josef William (9/7/05-9/7/05 @ 41 wks). 
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#29 of 113 Old 09-24-2004, 08:49 PM
 
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Coming from a cc perspective I think we are not giving toddlers any credit for their sense of self-preservation. Granted, I probably would not go so far as the Yequanna in Jean Lieloff's book who let their babies play with knives, but I honestly don't see what the problem is with leaving an almost 2 year old for a few minutes, especially when the OP says she would be looking in on him from time to time.

And as for the smoking, I am not a smoker and I'm sure smokers and non-smokers alike agree that smoking is an extremely unhealthy habit. BUT it's an extremely *addictive* habit, too, from what I understand. I've heard people say it's more addictive than heroin. I think we are all being way too holier-than-thou about this. Kudos to those of you who were able to quit, but putting a guilt trip on someone is not going to help them quit. At least she does not want to be smoking around her kid. My in-laws smoked around their kids since birth, and my dh was a premie! But this whole discussion sounds so negative to me. It's like how so many smoking mothers won't even breastfeed because they're made to feel like they can't possibly be a part of the natural breastfeeding mom's club. We're making the OP feel like she can't possibly be of the MDC philosophy and also be a smoker. I beg to differ...

But back to the question at hand... It has been said that the more responsibility we, as parents, assume for insuring the welfare of our children, the less the child will assume for looking out for himself. We need to have some sort of faith here that we did not evolve as a species this far with a built-in habit of self-destruction. Sure, accidents can happen, but anyone who is familiar with cc philosophy knows that Westerners are so safety-obsessed, but we are also the most accident-prone. Is that any coincidence? Perhaps there's some truth to the idea that if you tell a kid enough times (explicitly or implicitly), "you're going to get hurt," that they start to think that's what's expected of them and, being the social creatures we all are, they comply and get hurt. I think we need to have a little more trust in them to look out for themselves. I do not feel doing so is being neglegient, but rather it is teaching them self-sufficiency, which should be our goal as parents. Of course you do this one small step at a time--you don't tell your toddler to mow the lawn and pay the bills. But each mom should know their child well enough to know how much responsibility they can handle at any particular age.

As for me, I regularly let my 2.5yo dd play on our fenced in porch while I nurse my 6 mo dd inside. We have a huge picture window that I can see my toddler through. Being that I live in a quiet, safe neighborhood with neighbors who have known me all my life, I even, on occassion have allowed my toddler to play in the back yard while I finish cooking dinner--our stove is right beside the back door, which I keep open and can see the entire yard. I have noticed my dd exhibits self-confidence, and because I trust her sense of self-preservation, she seems to, in turn, trust my judgement when it comes to the really crucial things, like staying off the road. Toddlers can't differentiate between an "important" rule and a not-so-important one. If we are telling our little ones they aren't even safe in their own homes, gee, that's pretty scary. How can they know when they really are safe? How can they know you really mean it's not safe on the road if you are constantly saying they aren't safe even in their own home? JMO....

Sarah born 04/03/02dust.gif , Ashley born 03/13/04homebirth.jpg,  Rigel born 09/10/11 nocirc.gif

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Mum2Sarah...I agree that toddlers have self-preservation skills, but learning them from falling down the stairs or tripping and hitting his head on a table while I was outside smoking is not the way I want my toddler to learn those skills. As a parent, it's my job to make sure my toddler is safe. And, it is also my job to make sure that I am fully aware of what my child is doing. It takes 3 seconds for a toddler to swallow something and choke on something we never knew was there...a screw the toddler dug out of who knows where, the batteries the toddler took out of the remote we didn't know he could open, something stuck in the couch cushion, etc. etc. I take the same approach outside though...it's not that I don't trust my child. It's the rest of the world I need to look out for...my son will not be playing outside alone (I've lived in a town where a 14 year old was kidnapped and murdered. It was a quiet and safe neighborhood that happened to have a child predator driving through that day). My child will learn self confidence, and I encourage it. But I also make sure I watch him and know what he's doing at all times....

~Brandon Michael (11/23/03), Jocelyn Lily Nữ (2/4/07, adopted 5/28/07 from Vietnam), Amelia Rylie (1/14/09), & Ryland Josef William (9/7/05-9/7/05 @ 41 wks). 
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