Leaving an 8 YO home alone for an hour or two on a Saturday night... Looong post, sorry. PIOG
I'm sorry this is a little longwinded. I'm really stressing out and I need a little outside perspective. I would normally ask my sis or my mom, but I don't want to worry them.
I have an 8 yr old dd who spends every other weekend at her father's house. He is remarried and DD has been having sleepovers at his house for about 2 years now.
He took me to court 2 years ago to have the parenting plan changed to mandate the sleepovers, (he chose to stop them over a year earlier because she "wasn't listening to them" and I was not ready for him to try again after he pretty much dumped her like that) In order to have the parenting plan changed he came up with accusations like I wasn't taking her to school (No, my mom was taking her 3 days per week because I worked overnight and didn't get home in time) and that I changed our number, and didn't tell him (I was between cells for 2 weeks BUT he still had my mother's home number - Where dd and I LIVED) In other words, totally ridiculous stuff that looked bad on paper until I hired a lawyer and they were explained in his deposition when he had to elaborate on these accusations. Exdh and I do not have a communicative relationship... I've tried, but as you can see, he's an extremely petty and difficult man, effective communication and trust isn't there.
DD informed me last night that she gets to stay up very late on saturday nights at her dad's house because they go to visit their friends, and if she doesn't feel like going she is allowed to go home and watch TV instead. Just her and the dog.
I have to talk to DD after school to get more details, I was seeing red and trying to hold it together when she told me this so I kept the convo short so as not to make her think she had done something wrong and make her clam up. Dad has in the past told her not to tell me things, and she loves him dearly and I think she is afraid he will "dump" her again if she does something wrong. I know she is very well behaved when she is there now.
Here's what I know and think:
I think the friends live just a few houses down the street.
I know it is considered a "safe" neighborhood.
I know she knows at least one of the nextdoor neighbors well.
I know that they do not have her lock the door behind her.
I know that this is not a rare event.
I'm going to write him a letter, I've decided, and send a copy to the lawyer who deposed him. I can't afford this lawyer AT ALL, but it won't cost much for him to just throw it in the file. I'm going to tell EXH that our not quite 8 and a half yo daughter should NOT be home alone, certainly without locked doors, on a saturday night.
Can you guys think of any other information I should get from DD, and also, do you think I'm overreacting?
I need some outsied perspective.
Thanks so much if you actually read this!
I forgot to mention: There is no state law regarding leaving a child alone in my (and most) states.