A Mamas Uncut Facebook community member writes in asking for advice about when kids can be safely left alone unsupervised. This mom’s husband feels their children can be left alone for a little while, but she disagrees.
A Community Member asks:
“How young is too young to be left alone?
My kids are 1,2,6. My husband thinks leaving our kids in a room and leaving the room is fine. He will play on his video games. He will tell me to leave the room and take a break that his parents did it to him, and he turned out fine. My youngest bites, my middle child has a sensory disorder. I don’t think it a good idea, and we argue about it constantly. I believe we could do dishes while they play…but leaving the room for a half-hour is too much. He also thinks on family dinner nights with his family to allow the kids to be unsupervised.
I am called the helicopter/mean parent because I won’t allow the kids by themselves in a room. One kid bullies my kids at the gatherings, and his parents don’t give him repercussions for his actions. He elbows my kids in the face, and his parent acts like it’s my kid’s fault, or they just say don’t do it. He’s very aggressive. What should I do? I’ve threatened not to go over there, but my husband will tell me he will take the kids and leave me at home. I’m scared my kids will get hurt. My youngest can’t even talk…he picks on him the most because of it. I’ve had to tell him to go to his mother, and he couldn’t play with us, which led to a fight with my husband and me. He always takes there side over mine.“
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Community Advice for Mom Writing In Asking: When Should Kids Be Left Unsupervised?
To read the comments of other community members read the comments embedded below:
To summarize the comments, it is an overwhelming, absolutely not!
“Children under 3 should NOT be left on their own together at all. Little kids can’t communicate and can accidentally hurt each other on occasion. I don’t think it’s fair to technically be leaving your 6-year-old in charge of 2 babies. Of course, it always depends on the individual child and the dynamics of the children around them. A mother knows her own children and YOU know your children aren’t capable of communicating with each other appropriately yet, so if you left them alone knowing that, you would be negligent. Your hubby saying he was left alone means nothing. I left my 10-year-old daughter at home alone for an hour but I have friends who won’t leave their 15-year-old home alone. So comparisons to others mean nothing. Go with YOUR instincts Mumma, you know your own kids better than anyone.“
“You can’t raise children like you were raised. Life is a whole lot different than it was when we were children. If you don’t think they are mature enough to be left alone. Then don’t.“
“First of all, everyone needs to take a chill pill. She isn’t asking to be bashed or to have her husband be called names holy moly. With that being said the 1-year-old & 2-year-old r to young but you do you girl. My 9-year-old & 3-year-old play independently together in there own room perfectly fine. My 9-year-old is very mature for her age though.“
“I believe as long as you check on them regularly and listen for them, they can play in another room. Put in a baby monitor while they play, they even have some with cameras! This might help you feel better.
“I have a 7, 5, and 3 year old. I let them play by themselves, and I check every 10 minutes or so. I wouldn’t leave a 1 or 2 years old unsupervised, they can easily get hurt or choke on something small. I suggest a baby monitor, those with a camera are so so helpful, but with the one and two-year-old, I would much rather stay in the room with them. About your husband, nothing we say is going to change the situation, the only thing I can say is to talk to him, communication is key!“
This is an easy answer for most parents: Children under 3 are too young to be completely unsupervised. As a mother myself and a mom of four children, I know that it is impossible to be in the same room at all times. But It is also important to mention that any amount of time spent unsupervised has its risks. I think my favorite advice, which was mentioned quite a few times in the comments, is the use of a monitor with or without a camera. Hopefully, this suggestion can solve the many issues that were raised by leaving the children unattended. I would also make a point to check on them frequently. A monitor with a camera is an even better option since it could eliminate the frequency in which you have to check on them. Being a helicopter mom is not always a bad thing and I think most of us have been “helicopter moms” at one point or another.
Do you have any advice for this mom? Leave a comment to help another mom out!
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Dawn Onye is a Certified Lactation Counselor. With this certification comes education and her own experience helping mothers and babies with breastfeeding. With her CLC, she is required to keep herself up to date on the research studies, conferences, and training related to breastfeeding. She chose this field not just because she is an advocate for the benefits of breastfeeding, but because she sincerely loves working with mothers and babies. Her mission is not to push breastfeeding on all mothers and babies, but to help all mothers reach the goals they have and to provide the expertise for them to do so. The most important thing in life is to do what is best for your family without judgment from others.
Dawn is also a wife and a mother. She has four children ranging from 12 to 19 years old. She can help many families with tips and tricks she has learned along the way. She loves to read and write. Her favorite seasons are spring and fall, although she does enjoy summers while spending time with her family. There has been no greater accomplishment in life for her than being a mother.
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