Help ex leaves children home alone - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 06-26-2011, 01:47 PM - Thread Starter
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My exhusband leaves the children aged 15 and 12 home alone when they are with him. He regularly goes golfing and to the pub for the night. Recently he has started staying out and coming back to the girls at 0335 and 0530 and 0700 hours. The children are aware of these times because sometimes he has had to ring them to get them to let him in!!!. He is a serving police officer. I am afraid for my children in case God forbid there was a fire or something. An adult should be with them. A friend has suggested I write to the Chief Constable but I am afraid that my ex husband would then take it out on the chilren for telling me.............. Can anyone please help and offer some advice? I am so worried please help........ Thankyou x

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#2 of 10 Old 06-26-2011, 02:00 PM
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Though I wouldn't like it, at those ages I doubt anything can be done about it. Sorry :( 

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#3 of 10 Old 06-26-2011, 05:00 PM
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That's awfully late for him to be staying out, but I babysat when I was 15, and sometimes I babysat very late. It sounds very legal and if he's doing something legal then I doubt there's anything you can do. But if he's been at the bar that long, is he safe to drive? The driving thing would be what sounds questionable to me.
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#4 of 10 Old 06-26-2011, 07:03 PM
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I am not sure if there is anything that can be done legally. Does your ex know that the children are uncomfortable? You could work with your children to provide them with tools that will help them feel more safe and confident:

  • posted emergency/contact phone numbers
  • well-stocked first aid kit, functional smoke detectors, adequate window and door locks, readily available fire extinguishers
  • CPR, first aid, or emergency preparedness classes
  • clear, concise safety rules; who is allowed to come over, how late may they stay, how to secure the home, kitchen safety
  • role play common scenarios; someone is at the door, a friend (or family member) comes over intoxicated, there is a fire, someone is injured, etc...
  • have regular, set call in times so that you know where they are and how they are feeling
  • have emergency/evacuation plans posted


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#5 of 10 Old 06-26-2011, 08:08 PM
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By 14, my parents were leaving my sister and I for the weekend while they went away and my mother is very overprotective. Seriously, in 3 years your 15 year old is going to BE an adult. Unless she has some kind of disability, If she can't handle being home with a 12 year old for less than 24 hours, there's a major problem.


Your ex coming home and not being able to let himself in is a problem, but I really don't think there's much you can do about.

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#6 of 10 Old 06-26-2011, 08:23 PM
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At 15 and 12, they are old enough to stay home alone. Is this illegal in your area? I am certain no one would even give it a second thought here. As a previous poster pointed out, the 15 year old will be an adult in 3 years. A 12 year old can legally babysit younger children in my area. I would focus my energy on teaching them to handle emergencies.

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#7 of 10 Old 06-26-2011, 08:29 PM
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They are beyond old enough to be home alone for those kinds of hours.  I was babysitting until very late night by the time I was 13.  My sister was emancipated and had her own apartment by 15.  I lived with my boyfriend, pretty much alone full time starting at 16.  Teens can be very capable people.  This probably isn't worth you making a huge deal about, and I doubt there is legally much you can do anyways.


I would also put my energy and focus into helping them be more comfortable/confident with the situation.  Maybe also some therapy or something so they can talk to someone about their dad.  Having him come home drunk and annoying in the late hours has got to be a lot for them to process, maybe a professional could help them sort through it.

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#8 of 10 Old 06-26-2011, 08:39 PM
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Why do they need an adult? Is one of them disabled?

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#9 of 10 Old 06-26-2011, 08:44 PM
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I was babysitting when I was 12, so I'm not seeing the huge worry about a 15 and 12 yr old left home alone.  I would focus on giving them the skills needed to care for themselves, so that when they are with your ex, you aren't worrying so much about them. 

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#10 of 10 Old 06-27-2011, 09:37 AM
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If you write to the Chief Constable you risk destroying his career. You could be jeopardising his salary and his pension!

I very strongly urge you not to involve his employers in what is clearly a domestic differing of opinion. I would be incensed if my ex-spouse 'told on me' to my boss!


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