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Leave a child home alone?

I live where it can get VERY cold sometimes. Occasionally, I will leave my two children in the house by themselves for a few minutes while I get my oldest off the bus at the end of the driveway. The driveway is not very long. I only do this on days when it is very cold and windy and I do not have a car to keep them warm. But their great grandmother complained that I left the children unattended, so against my better judgement, I took them out on a cold day. They were dressed with boots, gloves, winter coat and hats. But they were so cold that one of them said she wanted to go home. So I let her because I didn't want her out to begin with in such temperatures. She got half way up the driveway and stopped and just screamed and cried because she was so cold. Now mind you that I HAVE to be at the end of the driveway or my child will not be dropped off. My children are almost 2 and 3 1/2. The house is child-proofed.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 8:20 PM on Feb. 3, 2010 in General Parenting

Answers (38)
  • Well, they're not really home alone if you're still in the driveway.

    Answer by BridgetC140 at 8:23 PM on Feb. 3, 2010

  • It is just few minutes. Make sure they are involved in something, maybe a video on TV that they only see at this time so they don't want to miss it, and then you can leave them. It is taking a chance, though. If you could continue to take them up with you, they'll get used to being cold for a few minutes each day, and it will be good for them to get out in the fresh air? If they would run around while waiting, they may be able to stay warm?

    Answer by Bmat at 8:25 PM on Feb. 3, 2010

  • In the driveway is not alone.They will be fine

    Answer by mommorgan at 8:27 PM on Feb. 3, 2010

  • Let the oldest child leave at the last minute and have him run out when you can see the bus is coming.
    Your two other kids are too young to be left alone. No home is really child proof.

    Answer by gammie at 8:27 PM on Feb. 3, 2010

  • i would put them in a room that was totally proofed and turn on a movie or nick jr and i think they would be fine for just a few minutes while you are within earshot. grandma is just too old fashioned lol my childs great g ma hates the fact that he doesnt sleep in the room with us at night she thinks something is going to happen and we stay only across the hall lol

    Answer by secondtyme520 at 8:29 PM on Feb. 3, 2010

  • can you watch for the bus and go out when it's actually coming?
    If you are at the end of the driveway- I don't think it's THAT big of a deal- jsut tell them to watch whatever kid show is on at the moment...

    Answer by charlotsomtimes at 8:29 PM on Feb. 3, 2010

  • maybe take a baby moniter with you so you can hear the younger ones that way you will feel better about doing it

    Answer by shay1130 at 8:36 PM on Feb. 3, 2010

  • you are fine, the kids are fine. even when you are all in the house together you can't always see them. you can't be in two places at once.

    Answer by happy2bmom25 at 8:37 PM on Feb. 3, 2010

  • Thanks for the vote of confidence ladies. I feel like it is better for my children to stay inside on days that cold. I usually take them with me, and when I do leave them in, I make sure they are occupied. No, Charlotsomtimes, I can not wait until the bus gets there to run out, because although my driveway is not that long, it bends, so that even if I did see the bus, she would not see me quickly enough. I would run, but I am pregnant and even walking is painful, lol. I have thought of a baby monitor. I have 2 somewhere, but I have not been able to find all the pieces to get a working set together. Maybe I will buy a new one to keep Granny happy. I am not too worried about safety issues because the kitchen is child-proofed and all other doors have a lock. At the time she complained, the kitchen had working gates to block it off anyway.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:49 PM on Feb. 3, 2010

  • I agree. If you're at the end of the driveway it's not a big deal. I lived in upstate NY for a while. I know what kind of cold you're talking about. Probably better for them to stay in doors if they don't have to be out. You're the mom. Do what you think is right.

    Answer by Court128 at 9:09 PM on Feb. 3, 2010

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