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Can you think of a time you may have made a mistake with your children?

(74 Posts)
Toadinthehole Fri 05-Jun-20 17:36:10

I know there’s already a Madeleine McCann thread running, but that seems to be mostly debating the rights and wrongs of leaving the children alone. Can anyone think of a time they may have done something similar? I’ll start you off:
We’ve had two experiences of using baby listening services in hotels,
1. We were on holiday with our two children. We wanted to take toddler to the beach for half an hour. The hotel owned this beach, very small, and the tannoy could be easily heard on it. We left our 2 month old baby asleep in the locked room. He was a good sleeper, and I knew we had plenty of time. Problem was, I couldn’t relax, so went back. He was fine and still asleep. I just felt guilty though, and wished I hadn’t done it.
2. Four children by now, 8,7,4 and 3. On holiday again, in a hotel that provided baby listening. On the last night, my husband and I fancied a swim in the hotel pool, once the youngest two were asleep. Our 8 year old was very capable, and he knew how to ring reception if the need arose. We told the receptionist where we were and to listen out. When we got out of the pool, on our way up to the room, hotel staff said they’d been looking for us, as a child was screaming in our room. Of course, I rushed upstairs to the stern looks from other guests in the corridor. My three year old was standing at the gate we brought with us, as I opened the main door. The other three were starting to wake. It transpired, that shifts had changed on reception, and no one told them where we were, despite the fact they had a monitor showing the pool, on reception!
Since then, we never went to another hotel, it was all self catering. I never trusted any one again, and became quite over protective. This was all over thirty years ago too, when less was heard about these things. I still feel bad about it today. I know I would never have done what the McCanns did, but holidaying often gives a false sense of security.
Any other stories?

V3ra Fri 05-Jun-20 17:46:17

My parents left me (11), my brother (9) and my sister (6) in a hotel room in Spain while they went out on an evening excursion to a barbecue/flamenco show.
When they showed us the photos I commented that there were other children at the barbecue.
It had never occurred to my parents to take us and even years later they saw nothing wrong with leaving us alone in the hotel:
"You were alright weren't you?"
Unbelievable 😳

Toadinthehole Fri 05-Jun-20 17:49:47

V3ra 😮

Luckygirl Fri 05-Jun-20 18:10:52

I once left my toddler DD in a hotel room while the rest of us were having evening meal in the room below - she was being monitored from reception by their child watching system.

Clearly that system failed as she wandered into the dining room in the middle of the meal stark naked. I have never trusted such systems since. We acted in good faith but were let down. I was furious.

Oopsminty Fri 05-Jun-20 18:16:21

My parents always left me and my sister, (or is it my sister and I?) in hotel rooms when abroad on holiday

We'd be taken into the restaurant at about 6 to have the child meals. I can still almost taste them. Chicken and chips. So delicious. We never really had chips at home.

One year when we were in Tunisia I must have woken up, It was NYE and I wandered toward the dining room.

A waiter dashed over and held me aloft until my giddy Mother spotted me across the room. I was taken back to the room and warned not to leave it again!

I was totally the opposite with mine

Never left them at all. Anywhere.

Kate1949 Fri 05-Jun-20 18:16:57

We were some of those terrible parents who left our child in a chalet at a holiday camp in the 1970s, where they had staff patrolling. Most of the parents did it but I am horrified now. In our defence we were very young but we shouldn't have done it.

Peardrop50 Fri 05-Jun-20 18:21:58

Back in 1979, had three children then, one aged 5, one 4 and a 4 month old baby. Mr P phoned at midnight to say he'd broken down 9 miles from home, would I come and fetch him. Woke the older two and put them in the car. Baby fast asleep so decided to leave. New to area so couldn't find Mr P. Came home to check and went out again 3 times before I found him. All was well but feel sick even now when I think about it.
Actually having written that now feel cross with Mr P, lazy sod could have walked, never occurred to me before.

Madgran77 Fri 05-Jun-20 18:25:45

I never left my children alone in a room in a hotel and never used a baby listening service or similar.

However I made PLENTY of other mistakes with my kids, just not any version of that particular one!

Grannyboots1 Fri 05-Jun-20 18:35:45

Our house overlooked the whole of a beach resort in Cornwall.
I was 10, sister 8 and brother 4. The local pub could be seen from our lounge window. We were left on the odd Saturday night and I was instructed to flick the lights at certain times, to let them know all was well. Unbelievable.

Toadinthehole Fri 05-Jun-20 18:40:29

Oopsminty are you Luckygirl’s daughter!!?🤪

Toadinthehole Fri 05-Jun-20 18:41:55

Oh no Peardrop, hope I haven’t caused a domestic!

Missfoodlove Fri 05-Jun-20 18:59:32

We visited Salts Mill at Saltaire with our 3 children, the youngest was 5.
We had a friend and his daughter with us.
We decided to leave the mill and wander down to Saltaire village , after an hour our friend asked where our youngest son was.
My husband and son raced back to the mill to find our son sitting at a table in the book shop with a book.
He asked where we had been, we lied and bought him an expensive set of paint and brushes he’d been eyeing up😩.
He was so quiet and well behaved he was easy to miss, the other two were very different!

lemongrove Fri 05-Jun-20 19:05:55

Probably made quite a few parenting mistakes over the years
But leaving children home alone wasn’t one of them.
Taking your eye off a child for a few moments when out shopping happens to most parents, they can soon get lost, or
Even leaving one behind in the book shop, like Missfoodlove is easy to do, especially with quite a few children in tow.Remember when David and Sam Cameron left the baby behind after a pub lunch?

grannysyb Fri 05-Jun-20 19:10:51

A bit different, but my DS was a wanderer, lost him once on York market while I was paying stall holder , found him about 20 yards away looking in the bookshop in the Shambles! Next time he wandered off on August bank holiday on Camber sands, he couldn't find us so went back to the car park! My MiL ,lost him once in St James park ,he was a little devil, I think he was about 10 by then.

ginny Fri 05-Jun-20 19:15:27

Sure we made lots of mistakes but leaving any of our 3 DDs alone in a hotel room, at home or anywhere else when they were small would not even have been considered.

Mancjules Fri 05-Jun-20 19:17:15

In the 60s I was left on my own in a chalet at Butlins. Mum bought me comics and sweets and the so called nanny used to cycle around and tannoy parents if they could hear a child crying. Another era that smile

crazyH Fri 05-Jun-20 19:27:09

As a parent, I made lots of mistakes, (more like an evil stepmother than a mother ) but never ever left them alone at home on their own, or on holiday.

varian Fri 05-Jun-20 19:36:13

I made loads of mistakes but I am glad to say I am still on good terms with my children and grandchildren.

Is there anyone who never made a mistake?

Peardrop50 Fri 05-Jun-20 19:38:09

@Toadinthehole.. no domestic, decided to practice what I often preach 'all responsible for our own actions', I have to own my own shame as they say these days.

sodapop Fri 05-Jun-20 19:39:55

I returned home from shopping, put the baby in her cot then unpacked the shopping.
I had forgotten to buy sugar.
Looked at the sleeping baby and decided to run back to the shop whilst she slept.
About ten minutes in total.
Unfortunately for me my husband a social worker had a visit in the area and decided to pop home for a minute.
The ensuing conversation was not a pleasant one for me. I never did that again.

Fennel Fri 05-Jun-20 19:43:39

So many times. Big mistakes. I've apologised to them in writing and they've forgiven me.
Now that they've got their own children.

SueDonim Fri 05-Jun-20 19:50:44

We left ours in hotel rooms, back in the day. It was what everyone did. Hotels didn’t allow children in the dining room after 6pm so that’s what happened.

I left mine in prams outside shops and in the garden. When we lived in northern Scotland we didn’t even lock our doors. Anyone could have come in but it never crossed my mind. We only locked the doors when we went away on holiday.

It had all changed by the time I had my later two, none of those things happened any more.

tanith Fri 05-Jun-20 20:07:19

I’ve left both my daughters in their prams in the front garden while I got on with housework can you imagine leaving babies outside alone nowadays? I’d probably get arrested 😱

Jishere Fri 05-Jun-20 20:09:32

Why have you brought the McCain's into this thread if they were irresponsible surely leaving an 8 year old in charge was too with proven failed baby listening.
Let's judge the McCain's but hey here's all the mistakes I made....then surely we are very lucky that evil wasn't lurking nearby.
Yes holidays do give a false sense of security but sadly heard to many stories now.

Toadinthehole Fri 05-Jun-20 20:29:27

We didn’t leave our eight year old in charge. We just knew he was capable of contacting reception should he need to. We left the listening service in charge, we presumed managed by adults. We didn’t know it was a failed listening service until after it failed! Needless to say, we learnt from it, and never did anything like that again. The McCanns simply didn’t hire anyone to listen in the first place, which makes it different to us.