leaving young children in the house

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  • leaving young children in the house
  • Premier Icon PMK2060
    Subscriber

    I went out for a meal last night with my work colleagues. After the meal one of the women said her husband was just putting the kids to bed then he was coming to collect her. I asked who was watching the kids while he was out and she looked at me like I was an idiot and said why would they need looking after they were asleep. Everybody at the table knows her children are only 3 and 5 and that she lives a good 30 minutes from the restaurant and were as shocked as I was. Several of us challenged her about this but she thought it was fine and from the conversation it was something that happens quite regularly. I am her line manager and intend to speak to her again about this but not sure if I should take it further. What do you guys suggest I do?

    Premier Icon Stoner
    Subscriber

    biggest thing to cramp our style is being in the sticks and not being able to get a taxi, the latest time we can leave from a night out is about 7:30 when one of us packs up the kids in the pyjamas and drives to pick up the other. Wouldnt dream of tucking the boys in and heading out of the house for an hour. They’re 5 and 2.

    DrP
    Member

    I would report that behaviour to social services.

    This is a rare “DrP being serious” moment, BTW.

    DrP

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    She and her husband are stupid and irresponsible, but it isn’t your business to cross into her personal life and especially to bring it to work.

    wolly
    Member

    To young to be left

    meehaja
    Member

    As her line manager, what does her child care have to do with her work?

    Yeah, I probably wouldn’t do it, but as a child I was often left home alone from about 7 up.

    trail_rat
    Member

    wasnt there a doctor couple did as such in the press recently ?

    nosedive
    Member

    wow. Really ? She leaves a 5 and 2 year old by themselves?!

    Kryton is right, its not your business as her manager, but still, could you live with yourself if her kids died in a fire or something?

    Papa_Lazarou
    Member

    Illegal and immoral. Disgusting in fact. Where to start…house fire, burglary etc etc.

    I’d keep out of it. You can’t speak to them in a professional capacity and getting SS involved may not help the kids.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    wasnt there a doctor couple did as such in the press recently ?

    In Portugal? As I recall all was rosey.

    Strikes me as crazy, if you feel a duty it’s nothing to do with the fact you’re her line manager, don’t make it about work.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    nosedive – they’d already mentioned it to her at the party – my interpretation of what the op is asking it that he bring it up again, formally in the office.

    She’s been flamed publically already, her call.

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    it’s irrelevant that you’re her manager and not soemthing that you shoudl raise at work.

    Do contact the child protection team at your local Social Services/Police though.

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
    Subscriber

    it isn’t your business to cross into her personal life

    Sorry, but when it’s the potential welfare of a 3yo and a 5yo, it is our business.

    Whether I’d call social services is a different matter, but I’d be letting her know (as a human being, not a friend or a boss) that that is not acceptable, and that if she doesn’t sort it out then I wouldn’t hesitate to report it.

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    Has she heard of something called “baby sitters”
    It’s what they are for!

    Email her this link next time you’re at work: http://www.findababysitter.com/
    FFS some people are idiots.

    gab344
    Member

    Wow just wow…. someone from social services deffo needs to have a word with them both, their attitudes to parental responsibilities are way out of what can be considered acceptable.

    (Dad of a 5 and 7 year old)

    Premier Icon Speshpaul
    Subscriber

    I am her line manager and intend to speak to her again about this

    Thats implies to me that you would bring it up at work “as her line manager” as her line manager what she does out side of work his her business.

    As a parent, they are too young to be left alone. I think i’d be asking her if they where ok when she got home.

    IHN
    Member

    Back in the day, my folks lived on a street where a number of young families with young children were neighbours and friends. When there was a ‘do’ at one of the houses, the children would all be tucked up in their own beds and the parents would go to whichever house the ‘do’ was at.

    Every half hour or so the dads would take it in turns to go round all the houses and check all the nippers were okay/asleep. No harm came to anyone.

    Just sayin’, like.

    Zulu-Eleven
    Member

    Thats, frankly, ridiculous.

    Though there’s clearly nothing that’s a work related issue, other than the fact that I’d suspect nobody will be willing to trust her with anything, or possibly even talk to her, ever again.

    I have no doubt that I’d be telling social services.

    titusrider
    Member

    Interesting how strong the opnions are on here, as someone without kids i dont quite ‘get’ the fuss being made. I suspect having kids changes your mind pretty quick though!

    I was left for short periods probably from 10 and would agree with the OP that its a bit out of order that young. Would have left it as her business though

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
    Subscriber

    bit different from being out of the house for an hour and up to 30mins away.

    Once – just once – my wife had to go out for work and i was late in because of traffic. My wife was on the phone to me right up to where she left the house by which time i was about 2 mins away. My two (aged 6 and 4 at the time) were left in alone for those 2 mins and that felt wrong to me (what if I’d had an accident, been stopped by police for a routine check, etc.)

    Zulu-Eleven
    Member

    titus – I think there’s a huge difference between leaving kids for a short while and/or having somebody checking up on them regularly – and leaving them on their own to go out for the evening at that age.

    glupton1976
    Member

    There is no legal minimum age below which it is illegal to leave them at home on their own. It is only if doing so puts them at risk that it becomes illegal.

    http://www.nspcc.org.uk/help-and-advice/for-parents-and-carers/parenting-advice/home-alone/home-alone_wda90761.html

    I wouldnt leave my kids alone though.

    As for you being her line manager – what does that have to do with anything outside of working hours.

    Premier Icon Stoner
    Subscriber

    short periods (10-20mins) I would probably not argue with, especially if you are no more than a minute or two away.

    Being 30 minutes away by car is too far to be able to respond to anything.

    Premier Icon lowey
    Subscriber

    Way too young.

    I didnt leave my girls till they were 14.

    Premier Icon PMK2060
    Subscriber

    I was planning on speaking to her outside of work. I appreciate it is not work related and because I am her boss I did not say much to her yesterday and left it to the others. I have thought about calling social services but would be uncomfortable doing so. As a parent I also feel uncomfortable doing nothing.

    druidh
    Member

    Way too young. What if a Golden Eagle got in?

    patriotpro
    Member

    Madeline McCann

    Premier Icon stevied
    Subscriber

    Just wrong that is. Not sure about reporting her – I’d be giving her a slap and telling her to get a grip!

    mark90
    Member

    Too young to be left IMHO. Wouldn’t leave our 5 yr old home alone.

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Subscriber

    While leaving them on their own is both stupid and I think even illegal? (Is it? – certainly seems pretty negligent)

    However I’m not sure it’s a line managers role to pick up their subordinates on their parenting…

    The only way it is perhaps within your area of responsibility as her LM is if it’s within your power to adjust her working hours/commitments to accommodate child care, perhaps ask if that is something useful you could do to help, a lot of families struggle with this sort of thing and employers are supposed to help where they can, try taking that line perhaps…

    But yeah, My missus would beat me to a pulp if I left either of our kids unattended…

    As for reporting them to SS? calm down folks, they perhaps just need a bit of friendly guidance on making appropriate childcare arrangements.

    If they are constantly and willfully negligent then inform the authorities.

    But it just sounds like they just need a bit of a wake up as to what can happen to a child if left unsupervised even for short periods.

    (10 months & 3.5 Years)…

    DrP
    Member

    …but it isn’t your business to cross into her personal life…

    The duty of care lies with the children.
    Everyone’s duty of care lies with the children.

    It’s likely that nothing bad will happen, but the fact she regularly does it makes that chance higher…

    In all high profile child abuse cases, the abuse happened because a bit of knowledge was known ‘here’, and a bit ‘there’, but NOTHING was pieced together. See Victoria Climbe etc as the ‘perfect storm’ example (a taxi driver eventually made the report)

    TBH, I don’t really give a $hit about what 5″ travel bike you lot need for the Surrey Hills, or how you’re repainted your frames, but this type of post is where we can really make a difference to life.
    Seriously.

    Child abuse isn’t always hitting and smacking.

    DrP

    yossarian
    Member

    if social services get involved there is a chance her children will be taken away from her.

    I have 4 and 5 year olds. I’d never ever leave them but unless you know her full circumstances and rationale then don’t go reporting her and potentially starting a chain of events that could tear her family apart and have long term negative consequences for the kids.

    jesus, I thought my ex is irresponsible for allowing our extra sensible and mature (for her age) 11 year old daughter let herself in after walking home from school and seeing to herself for 1.5hrs, this couple take the piss.

    I bet if it was a question on Family Fortunes it’d get a ping next to it for being top answer!

    edlong
    Member

    I never cease to be shocked at the STW standard response of “dob ’em in” when someone has a quandary. HOWEVER, this is a whole order of magnitude away from “my boss has a sneaky joint at work, what do I do?”

    Please, please, please report this to the relevant child protection team. This is serious neglect. Those children are clearly at risk. Not a theoretical, eagle-might-swoop-in-the-window risk. Real, serious risk of harm exists here. A quiet word is not enough.

    DrP
    Member

    if social services get involved there is a chance her children will be taken away from her.

    Very unlikely. You have NO IDEA how hard it would be to get her kids ‘taken away’ even if I said “she’s putting a fag out on the kids face as I speak”.
    What they will do is keep information on file, and may speak to the mother. And if another person reports something they will keep that.
    It’s the collation of information in these cases that’s important.

    DrP

    edlong
    Member

    if social services get involved there is a chance her children will be taken away from her.

    And if kids that age are being left alone for hours at a time unattended then, sadly, that might be the best course of action for their welfare.

    BTW, if anyone’s understanding of how, when and why social services remove kids from homes is based on the portrayal in Eastenders, it really isn’t like that. Removal would be a last resort, not a first response.

    gonzy
    Member

    PMK – you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place with this one. like everyone has mentioned it has nothing to do with her work so would be inappropriate of you to bring the subject up at work, but if you were to discuss this with her outside of work then that’s for you to decide but you probably wont agree with her response as she already seems to think its perfectly acceptable to do this.
    as a parent i would never dream of doing this myself, and like you i would feel like something needs to be done if i knew someone else was dong it.
    she’s already been publicly grilled by your colleagues about this and hopefully will realise this is unacceptable, but if she doesn’t then she would only have herself to blame should, god forbid, anything serious happen while they were both out.
    as for getting social services involved, normally you would do that if it was a complete stranger, but this is someone you know, even if it only in a professional manner. this is a classic child protection issue, and in circumstances like this the parents would end up most likely getting prosecuted for child neglect, and social services would take the children away for the short term at least.
    this is a tough one and i’d hate to be in your shoes right now as its hard to determine the right course of action….its the kids i feel sorry for.

    missnotax
    Member

    if social services get involved there is a chance her children will be taken away from her.

    I have 4 and 5 year olds. I’d never ever leave them but unless you know her full circumstances and rationale then don’t go reporting her and potentially starting a chain of events that could tear her family apart and have long term negative consequences for the kids.

    This.

    I don’t have children and I certainly don’t agree with children being left alone at this age. But, I feel that by getting social services involved it could start a very nasty chain of events that might end up being worse than the initial situation.

    I know a couple of people who have – genuinely through no fault of their own – got in a right old pickle with social services and it has literally ripped their families apart. I’m not sure I would want to be responsible for that.

    Premier Icon stevied
    Subscriber

    But, I feel that by getting social services involved it could start a very nasty chain of events that might end up being worse than the initial situation.

    The initial situation being 2 young children being left alone for at least an hour while 1 parent has drinks and the other drives to pick that person up. What if the driver had an accident or, worse, they had an accident on the way back and went to hospital etc?? How long would they be on there own then? Not knowing where mummy and daddy had gone?

    you could anonymously email them a link to this thread..

    yunki
    Member

    Back in the day, my folks lived on a street where a number of young families with young children were neighbours and friends. When there was a ‘do’ at one of the houses, the children would all be tucked up in their own beds and the parents would go to whichever house the ‘do’ was at.

    Every half hour or so the dads would take it in turns to go round all the houses and check all the nippers were okay/asleep. No harm came to anyone.

    Just sayin’, like.

    this

    I’ve two young kids, and wouldn’t have left the kids as described by the OP so I’m not sure on this, I certainly wouldn’t be clambering up onto my high horse about it though..

    I’ve been a fully fledged member of the Nanny State my entire adult life, so I’m predisposed to handwringing..

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