A MUM was left horrified after discovering that her ex-partner left their toddler alone to go and grab a drink with his pals.
Taking to Mumsnet she explained that her three-year-old son had been staying with his dad at the hotel when he snuck off for a pint at the bar while the youngster slept.
She wrote: “During his access last weekend with our three-year-old son, he let it slip that he left him the hotel room alone (asleep) so that he could go and join the lads for pints at the bar in the same hotel.”
She said her mind had raced with dozens of scenarios.
She continued: “He could have been abducted… could have woken up, could have been scared or got hurt… Ex says he was checking on him every ten mins but I don’t believe that… anything can happen in that time.”
The mum says she feels “so crushed” to think of him alone in the room while his dad was downstairs laughing and drinking.
She says she’s “so confused” as to why he would do this as “he seems like such a doting dad otherwise”.
“I feel like I want to ban him from taking him away again as I feel he’s broken my trust” she said, but added: “My son would be very upset… he literally thinks the world of his dad, which makes it all the more sad.
“I know some parents do this on holiday but I just don’t agree with it – like a meal or drink is really more important than a kid’s safety?”
But fellow parents were quick to reassure her that the dad’s behaviour was unacceptable.
“I am a single parent to twin boys,” one wrote, “Never have I EVER left them like that. You either are parenting or you are going out. Anything could have happened. It is neglect.”
Another said: “I wouldn’t let him take DS anywhere again if my husband did this. That is very poor and selfish decision making.”
What is the law on leaving toddlers alone?
UK law doesn’t give a set age on when it is legal to leave your kids at home alone.
But the law does state that you shouldn’t leave little ones
alone at home or in a car if they could be exposed to risks.
However, the NSPCC has drawn up their own advice and guidelines on when children can be left alone.
They add that children under the age of 12 are rarely mature enough to cope in an emergency and should not be left at home alone for a long period of time.
Meanwhile, the charity explains that children under the age of 16 should not be left alone overnight.
Even though there is no set age in the law on when children can be left alone, parents can still be prosecuted for leaving kids alone.
If it is deemed that kids have been neglected because there are no adults around, criminal proceedings can be brought against the parents.
And if they are found guilty of neglect, they can face a fine or even a prison sentence.
Many admitted that this sort of thing used to be pretty common – but times have changed.
“When I was a kid all the parents did it,” another agreed “We went to a holiday camp and they had a warden walking around and if there was a kid crying they would call out their room number so the parents can go and see to them.”
Others recalled their parents taking baby monitors to nearby bars and restaurants while they slept in hotel rooms, or hotels with “listening services” so parents could dial into the rooms to hear for any distress.
While some were quick to suggest she should be going straight to the courts to rearrange the custody agreements, others urged caution, saying that it would be better to just show him this thread and hope that it helped him see that his behaviour was wrong.
One suggested: “Certainly don’t deny your son a proper relationship with his father over this. Dial it down.”
There was one person who thought she was overreacting. “We’ve done this with our kids. Dinner not in the bar and they had a listening service on reception so if they woke up we could be straight up. Never had a problem don’t really see the issue…”
This article was originally published on Kidspot and has been republished with permission.
And this babysitter was left reeling when a cheeky mum said she WOULDN’T pay her after an an 8-hour shift – because she got a “day of fun”.