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Advice please

(27 Posts)
Summer78 Mon 10-Aug-15 01:03:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Summer78 Mon 10-Aug-15 01:09:57

I see I'm not very clear with what advice I wanted. Have you lost your grandchildren am I over reacting by stopping these park visits? I have a great relationship with them but can't get over this. If I post this on mumsnet I know the response would be OTT and very anti my Inlaws I just wanted a view point from grandparents themselves thanks

Grandma2213 Mon 10-Aug-15 02:01:33

No wonder you are 'in a state'. Loosing a child, no matter for how short a period of time is terrifying, no matter whether you are a parent, grandparent, carer or friend. I have briefly lost children both as a parent and a grandparent and know exactly how it feels.

As children get older they do tend to become more adventurous and wander farther afield. If they do get lost, however, most of them will panic and become distressed. My own 6 year old granddaughter recently took hold of a strange man's hand instead of her Daddy's when leaving a 'sea lion' show at the local Safari Park. We were behind her and saw what happened but when she realised, she was distraught and it took ages to convince her it was just a mistake and we were always watching to keep her safe.

All I can say is that your inlaws are likely to be even more vigilant in the future so it would be a shame to stop the visits if the children enjoy them. Was it your FIL that was in the police? If so I thought that his comment was ill advised, considering the upset you and your daughter were feeling. Just remember incidents such as this are very rare statistically, considering how many children get lost and how many are actually safely restored, usually within a few minutes.

soontobe Mon 10-Aug-15 06:15:29

15 minutes is a huge amount of time for a child to be lost. That is going to make anyone distraught.

Having said that, you have 4 young children, and keeping an eye on all 4, particularly when playing hide and seek, and in woods, is taxing.

What are your inlaws like generally?

janeainsworth Mon 10-Aug-15 07:25:47

Summer78 Sh*t happens, doesn't it?
I lost my DD1, aged 7. and her friend once at a country park. I had DD2 in the pushchair and the others just thought it would be fun to run off and hide from me in the rhododendrons. The rhododendrons surrounded a lake and for 20 minutes I was beside myself with anxiety.
I think the problem is how to encourage children's independence without running too many risks.
At 7, your DD should not need watching every moment of every day. She should be learning independence and self-reliance.
Back in the olden days when I was 7, I walked half a mile to school by myself every day and crossed a busy main road to get there, with no
Lollipop person to hold my hand either.
Teach your DD to stick with at least one friend. Teach her to never go with strangers and how to say no.
Don't be too hard on your PiLs, unless of course they are completely without remorse.

janeainsworth Mon 10-Aug-15 07:29:22

PS DD1 survived her neglectful upbringing and now has two gorgeous DCs of her own wink

FarNorth Mon 10-Aug-15 07:48:28

Summer78 you clearly feel that there should have been no hide & seek in the woods.
It's the sort of game many children would have played when I was young but times have changed. Your PiLs are probably like me and have a mixture of attitudes from their past and from nowadays.
They may be rethinking things after having this happen, tho.
I think it would be good if you could discuss the situation calmly with them, explaining your concerns, before you make any decision about them looking after your DCs.

Indinana Mon 10-Aug-15 09:45:50

I understand your anxiety, Summer78, I really do. Like most grans here, I had much more freedom in my childhood than is usually considered safe today. I would go off all day with friends at age 7, wandering around country lanes, walking through fields full of cows to pick flowers, stopping to catch tiddlers in streams and take them home in jam jars.
It is different nowadays, I know, but I think a lot of it is down to perception - as Grandma 2213 says, statistically tragic incidents are very rare and the vast majority of children who get lost are thankfully found again very quickly. Both my DC have been lost briefly, my DS on a very crowded beach aged 4 (you can imagine my terror, with the added danger of drowning), and my DD at a similar age at the Lord Mayor's parade, again very crowded. On each occasion they were returned to me by a kindly mother who helped them look for me.
As others have said, I would have a full and frank conversation with your in-laws before making any decisions that will cause upset to them and to your DC. I am sure they are sensible people who will have been very unsettled by this incident and will be so much more careful with the little ones in future.

Alea Mon 10-Aug-15 09:55:16

I feel for you and dread anything like that happening on my watch. That said DD plus a friend and a nanny took 4 children to Birmingham's Think Tank and DGS(2 1/2) managed to hide from them in the multi storey carpark. The other mum stayed with the children while hysterical DD and nanny ran up and down 7 flights of stairs between car decks. The little horror was found hiding by the Pay on foot machines, tucked in a corner in total silence.
He rather specialises in "hiding", even in the house, it scares the life out of me.
However, at 7 a child should be able to have the sort of freedom janeA suggests. We need to teach our children safe independence.

vampirequeen Mon 10-Aug-15 09:57:53

I must have been a terrible mother. My 5 year old DD2 went missing for over an hour. We even had the police out. Turned out she was at a friends house. I'd been to the house but they had been in the back garden and hadn't heard me knocking.

DD1 got lost in a supermarket. I only realised when the call came over the loudspeaker. I thought she was with Dad and he thought she was with me.

DD2 twice got pushed into ponds by my mum. Each time she was excitedly pointing at fish and managed to knock DD2 in.

I think you're totally over reacting to something that is not an unusual situation. Your daughter got lost. Your daughter was found. No harm done. Put it down to a life experience.

Luckygirl Mon 10-Aug-15 10:02:23

It is not surprising that you are upset in view of your previous professional experience in that wood.

But...... two of my children went missing (on separate occasions) in similar circumstances, and it is very scary indeed, but almost inevitable now and again, unless we chain them to our side.

Just a thought - I am 66 and find it very hard work to manage two GC for a long period, especially when outdoors. I am wondering if 4 is a bit too much for your in-laws to manage. I am sure they love seeing their GC and I know how hard it is to say no to a request for care, but it sounds a big task to me.

Try not to worry too much about this - it is a very common occurrence indeed, and in all cases but a miniscule few does not lead to the sad outcome that you have experience of.

harrigran Mon 10-Aug-15 10:16:08

I do understand your concern, I am at a loss as to why GPs would take children into woods surely that is inviting them to hide behind trees.
My eldest GD loves to run ahead when we are out, especially in parks, and she likes to hide amongst the trees.
A couple of weeks ago a friend's GC got a needle stick injury, this is everyone's worst nightmare.

Elegran Mon 10-Aug-15 11:16:07

Four children are a handful for two older people to keep an eye on all at once. The under-two twins would be enough on their own - each grandparent could be watching one of them, while the older ones played a bit more freely. I understand how worried you must have been, but I also think you are expecting a lot of your inlaws while the children are too young to be sensible for themselves and not stray from them.

Do the twins have reins that can be held? Reins are not so popular these days, but they do keep toddlers close and safe and allow the adults to pay more attention to the active older ones. (when my youngest was reaching two, the others were 4 and 7. I know what it is like to to need three hands and eyes in the back of mny head)

Summer78 Mon 10-Aug-15 11:44:20

Thanks for all of the advice. I never ask my Inlaws to take them they always very kindly offer and I not only appreciated the break but thought it was an important relationship for them to build so have enjoyed these times off. I did wonder if 4 small children was too much for them but never wanted to state I didn't think they were capable as that could be offensive. I agree about it being a different time we are living in. I myself walked home from school at 7 but now it wouldn't be allowed by the school. I had freedom as a child to go off out for the afternoon on my bike but sadly my children do not get this. It doesn't help that i know there are a number of pedophiles living in the area. I can see a balance needs to be had. I think I will suggest that all of the children is too much of a burden and maybe just take the two oldest out. I will also habe a good chat to the older ones about safety. I have trust in my MIL but my FIL can be dismissive of safety issues regarding the children. Such as leaving toddlers in a room with an open fire lit when babysitting and when driving my child having two glasses of wine. I guess this is something that I have been not wanting to rock the boat about but I guess with these points I need to man up and speak up.

MiniMouse Mon 10-Aug-15 12:38:55

I realise that this doesn't cover the paedophile aspect, but do the children know your/your DP's mobile numbers? At least then, if they happen to get lost, they have a means of contact via another adult. My DD taught her DCs when they were three years old - or you could write the numbers on a wristband.

My DGD (aged 9) and her friend mislaid themselves at the local farm, which is open to the public and has play areas etc - somewhere they'd been to loads of times and were thoroughly familiar with! My DGD amazed my DD by being sensible and calm enough to approach one of the people who worked there and told them my DD's mobile number. Happy ending!! smile Her friend hadn't had a clue what to do sad

I agree with other comments that four children is an awful lot to manage outdoors, especially if the children are 'adventurous'!

It's surprising how hard it is to get back into Childcare Mode once your own DCs have grown up! It made me realise how toddler unfriendly my house is shock We tend to forget that little ones have elastic arms grin

Greenfinch Mon 10-Aug-15 13:59:49

You said they were with other friends. Who was supervising them or was it left to the in-laws ?

I think the last 2 dangerous things you mention (the wine and the fire) are far more serious issues than getting lost in the park .FiL definitely needs to be challenged on these points.

I know what it is like to temporarily lose a grandchild. It has happened to us twice at the beach and it is a very scary thing but I would have been mortified if my daughter had refused to let us look after him.(He is autistic and tends to wander off). I tend to agree with vampirequeen. Put it down to life experience.

yogagran Mon 10-Aug-15 14:00:14

MiniMousee has an excellent suggestion of wristbands. My DD had these for her two and they were very useful. Just Google "Kids identity wristbands"

FarNorth Mon 10-Aug-15 18:50:30

I'm guessing FiL took very little to do with childcare in his own family and / or had MiL keeping a sharp eye on him.
Maybe keeping an eye on him, as well as 4 young children, is too much for her these days.

Luckygirl Mon 10-Aug-15 19:01:03

I do think that it is perhaps time to consider the in-laws just having two of the children at a time - maybe you could say that the two older ones would welcome a bit of a break from the little ones.

It is so hard to leave ones children with someone who has different standards of care and safety. The issues of the fire and the drink driving would be a huge cause for concern if it were me. I think you need to be clear and just say that you are not happy for your little ones to in a room with an unguarded fire nor to be driven by someone who has drunk alcohol. I know it risks FIL taking the 'ump, and cutting off some of the wider family experiences that you value - but it is a matter of priorities.

It is difficult I know. God luck with this.

NanSue Mon 10-Aug-15 19:36:37

I absolutely agree with Greenfinch. The fire and wine incidents are far more serious than getting "lost" in the park".
My Grandson is 7. I collect him from school where we have to pass a wooded area where he loves to play hide and seek with school friends whilst the Mums stand and chat but even as the world's biggest worrier, I know they have to have a little freedom, even though my heart is in my mouth every time he is out of sight.
I think you need to put this particular incident down to experience.

Stansgran Mon 10-Aug-15 20:21:24

Buy the GPs an elegant fire guard and give the older children a whistle each for when they go for walks in the woods. Four children is possibly too much although I remember seeing an elderly lady with a stick with a collection of children ages ranging about 8 to 2 . It wasn't until she got closer that I realised the sunglasses and stick were because she was blind. This was in Melbourne a few years ago but I was impressed.i still feel inadequate.

Grandma2213 Tue 11-Aug-15 00:16:24

I've just picked up this thread again and agree with many of the posters. Children do need to develop independence and they should be taught what to do in an emergency. I like the wristband and whistle ideas.

I agree with Greenfinch and NanSue about the fire and wine drinking being much more dangerous and these should be discussed (perhaps with MiL first but only you would know the best way to approach this).

I must admit that my DS is much more relaxed about his children than I am when we are out. Maybe that is due to experience as I can predict what is likely to happen and try to prevent it! Like jane he would say, 'sh*t happens!'

Summer78 - you do what is best for you but hopefully that will not mean that your children will not lose the contact with their grandparents.

yogagran Tue 11-Aug-15 13:06:29

I'm puzzled as to why the OP has been withdrawn?

trisher Wed 12-Aug-15 21:34:50

I am puzzled by that and why this is posted as a "discussion of the day" Can you have a discussion about something which is no longer there?

Hellomonty Wed 12-Aug-15 22:36:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.