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Parenting failures.

(60 Posts)
kircubbin2000 Fri 16-Apr-21 07:41:26

When my daughter was about 8 I let a Spanish family who didnt speak English take my daughter and her friend out for the afternoon to play with their child. This was in Spain and I didnt know their name or where they were staying.They were away all afternoon and I had no idea where they went. This was in the days before Madeleine Mc Cann. It never occurred to me that anything could go wrong and the only thing that happened was that she cut her foot and they took her to a chemist to get cleaned.
What was your worst failure?

Susan56 Fri 16-Apr-21 08:11:51

My massive parenting fail also involves a holiday abroad.While on holiday in Corfu we left the girls aged 5 and 2 in the care of the scuba guides wife while we went diving🙈We had never met her before.She took a lovely photo of them with our camera, whenever we look through all the old photos I am reminded of the day I left my children with a total stranger on a foreign beach.

keepingquiet Fri 16-Apr-21 08:27:27

My son was too unwell to go to school but a very persuasive friend convinced me he was ok and to send him and go out for lunch with her. It was in the days before mobiles and I went to collect him only to find he's been throwing up all day. I felt really bad for going against my instincts. Sadly, years later I found that friend committed suicide.
My other major fail was getting my daughter all excited and dressed up for the playgroup Christmas party. When we arrived there was no one there and I will never forget how she crumpled when we found out it has been the day before.
I still feel bad! I did go out and buy a diary so I could start and write these things down.

kircubbin2000 Fri 16-Apr-21 08:32:51

On the same holiday I did a little better with the boys. They, aged about 10 and 12 were playing pool in a cafe with a boy who invited them back to his dads yacht. The cafe owner called me over and warned me not to let them go as the dad was some sort of gangster.We also had an incident when the security police guard came up to our room. There had been a report that someone had climbed into our room. It was the girls who were in the next room who decided to climb over the balcony and surprise me and the boys who had the adjoining room.Not a relaxing holiday.

Sago Fri 16-Apr-21 08:33:07

We had a day out with friends to Salts Mill, after wandering around the galleries and the shops we decided to walk to Saltaire village.

After nearly an hour our friends had to leave, as we were saying our goodbyes my friend noticed we were 4 and not 5!

Our then 5 year old was hopefully still somewhere in the huge mill and had been alone for an hour.

My husband ran back to the bookshop where he had last seen no 3, there he was sitting at a table crayoning and oblivious to our absence.

BlueBelle Fri 16-Apr-21 08:49:09

This was why I felt so sorry for the McCains and the huge swords thrown at them
When my children were small I lived on a RAF camp and it was common practise to pop over to another house for a coffee after the children were in bed and asleep you d pop backwards and forwards a few times to make sure they were ok (only opposite or next doors, but still sends shivers down my spine )

Gingster Fri 16-Apr-21 08:58:37

My biggest regret was not staying in hospital with my 7 yr old son, after he’d strained his neck at gymnastics.
I had two other children at home, but my DH was there so I SHOULD have stayed with my little boy. 😢. He was fine and when I went back the next morning, he was playing with the other children. What was I thinking, 😢

fiorentina51 Fri 16-Apr-21 09:41:36

I've had many parenting failures but I did my best. My children have grown into decent adults thankfully.
My parenting "success" was the day I trusted my instincts. I was collecting my 3 year old daughter from playgroup and she came out with her new best friend who was being collected by her father. He was unemployed at the time and mum was at work. He looked at my daughter and remarked on how pretty she was and that he could take her back home with his little girl for the afternoon for a play and lunch/tea.
Maybe I was overreacting but took against him straightaway and said no.
Years later, whilst at school my daughters friend admitted that her father had abused her for years.
Sadly she committed suicide in her mid teens.

Sago Fri 16-Apr-21 09:45:31

BlueBelle The Mcanns left their children on 4 consecutive nights.
The day of Madeleines disappearance she had asked her mummy “ why didn’t you come when I cried last night?”
The parents still went out that evening.

They certainly didn’t deserve to pay the ultimate price but I feel they were careless.

JaneJudge Fri 16-Apr-21 09:48:47

I remember when my eldest son was a toddler he ran into a lift in a department store and the doors promptly closed. I told the lady on the desk and she said it would be best for me to wait by the lift as I had my other children with me. So I stood there waiting until the doors eventually opened and there he was, standing with a rather cross mature lady who snapped 'I presume he's yours' angry at me grin

I'm sure I have failed more momentously than that, just ask any of my children, they have a list that comes out unprompted at family functions

lemsip Fri 16-Apr-21 09:51:21

How crass to bring the McCanns up on here. Haven't they suffered enough?

janeainsworth Fri 16-Apr-21 09:52:22

I’m not sure it’s helpful to torture ourselves with these retrospective ‘failures’.
I’m not going to bore everyone with mine. Regrets maybe but not failures.
But I’m sure that we all did our best at the time and subsequent, once in a thousand years occurrences like the abduction of Madeleine McCann shouldn’t alter our perception of how we brought up our children.

Kate1949 Fri 16-Apr-21 09:56:24

When our DD was about 8, my friend who used to look after her in the school holidays while I was working, moved to another county. We were desperately short of money and I had to work.
My sister-in-law offered to have DD and, as we didn't have a car, I put DD on a bus by herself and my sister-in-law met her at the other end. I feel sick at the thought now.
Our daughter would never have done that with her own daughter. I can't believe I did that.

Redhead56 Fri 16-Apr-21 10:09:06

I was going through a very nasty divorce my then husband was allowed limited visitation rights. We had been to family court because of his behaviour. He had taken the children to a pub and drove afterwards. The next time he took them out my children told me he smashed into a car.
I decided against the solicitor and court order he was not going to see them again. I should have done it earlier but at the time I was intimidated by him.

kircubbin2000 Fri 16-Apr-21 10:12:21


How crass to bring the McCanns up on here. Haven't they suffered enough?


NotSpaghetti Fri 16-Apr-21 10:26:33

Kate - at 8 lots of children caught busses alone years ago.

I don't think this was a failure.

I know people who were put on trains with a trunk at 8 as they went off to boarding school. I crossed London at 9 or 10. It was a different time.

Kate1949 Fri 16-Apr-21 10:31:45

Well thank you NotSpaghetti. I come out in a hot sweat when I think about it. I had her when I was 19 and did my best as we all did.

Juliet27 Fri 16-Apr-21 10:35:09

I had a lift experience too JaneJ I got in a multistorey car park lift and the doors shut quickly before my 3 year old son got in. The guy already in there had pressed the button and we moved up....then there was a power cut. I was frantically pressing buttons but luckily a woman called out ‘I’ve got your son ok’ and the power came back after a short while. It was a bit of a scary experience - more for me than my son!

annodomini Fri 16-Apr-21 10:40:42

When they were teenagers, my two sons joined the local sports club where they played tennis, hockey, cricket and, in the evening, were able to play snooker and darts. I assumed that they would be safely under the supervision of responsible adults. Thirty years later, I am regaled with tales of under-age drinking and my younger son being the club champion at downing a pint of ale in the shortest time. How they ever grew up to be, themselves, responsible parents, I can't imagine. I don't think I was the greatest role model and my ex had walked out when they were just young teenagers and wasn't around.

JaneJudge Fri 16-Apr-21 10:41:49

Omg Juliet! Yes the adrenaline is unreal. I could see the arrows going up thinking, I hope he doesn't get out on the top floor and wander off. Luckily we both just inconvenienced other women grin smile

GrannyGravy13 Fri 16-Apr-21 10:47:09

If we are comparing parenting of yesteryear with today, far too many.

hazel93 Fri 16-Apr-21 11:04:38

Same here GrannyG.
The first of many was taking son( then about 3 weeks old ) and dog across the park to a local shop. Tied dog up on a railing, took pram around shop, came out untied dog and off we went.
Dog kept stopping and eventually refused to move, we were halfway home at this point. You can guess what I had forgotten. !!

Teacheranne Fri 16-Apr-21 11:15:13

One thing that often gets brought up at family holidays is my parents failure. When I was 19 and at university in Sheffield, my parents sent my sister, age 7, on the train from Manchester on her own. I met her at the other end but really, a seven year old?

JaneJudge Fri 16-Apr-21 11:29:00

TeacherAnne that has made me laugh! can you remember all the babies and toddlers we had to look after when playing out? grin and the babysitting of kids of an evening when still a child yourself

kircubbin2000 Fri 16-Apr-21 11:45:37

Not a parent fail, more a brother one. Daughter had gone to visit brother who is 5 years older and working in London. She was about 16,before mobile phones.He decided to show her round and went to get the tube.She got on but he didn't and the train left. I think she got off at the next stop in hysterics but they were eventually reunited.