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[Vent] Excuse me?? Say Again??!!?

Wiserallthetime posted 3/28/2018 11:50 AM

Minor child had weekend with xwh. One of those days, xwh decides to help oldest child with getting a new sofa to the apartment; minor child (mid teens) doesn't want to go, so xwh allows minor child to stay home alone - while he goes over an hour away!! Minor child does not drive and xwh does not have any family nearby; the friends he has now are no friends to the child, and child does not know most at all. Xwh also did not give me any kind of heads up he would be so far away with minor child at home alone, though, if I am home, I am not but a mile away.
(Not the real point of this post, but..... Am I just over-protective here? I never let the [non-driving] child stay home alone if I am going to be that far away, unless I have someone that will be within about 30 minutes away ready to be on-call, should there be something urgent/emergency happen, and minor child is told that is the person to contact.)

While xwh is away, with minor child at home alone, xwh's house alarm sounds, which, of course, freaks out the child - runs to room, locks door, grabs cell, texts xwh about situation and how child was NOT the one to set off the alarm. (Child should have called 911 instead, so we gotta work on that one....) Xwh calls child, saying he told monitoring firm to send cops, etc, and then, get this: xwh ASKS child if child wants him to come home!!!!

?????????????????????????????????!?!??!??!? SAY WHAT?!??!??!???!???????????????????????????????

First, xwh is over an hour away - so what the heck?? If there is an intruder who intends to harm my child, my child is dead/gone well before xwh is even a quarter of the way home. (Hence my protectiveness about not being so far from said child in the first place....) Second, what the heck is he doing asking??????!!!???? The very first moment I understood my child was home alone with the alarm sounding that child says child did NOT set off, I am already in my car to come home BEFORE the monitoring people are sending the cops!!! I wouldn't be ASKING the child about coming back - I'd be TELLING the child I am on my way!!!!!!! UGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In the end, it was discovered that xwh had stupidly left the motion sensor on, so child had indeed set the alarm off. (Child was not aware xwh's system had motion sensors at all, so would not have guessed this.) Cops were contacted and told not to come after all, and child was fine, though frazzled.... But it amazes me the thinking, or rather the lack of thinking xwh has in terms of caring for another human being here, one that is dependent on him to do so in the right way. (I don't mean the part of leaving the motion sensor on - though that was stupid it could have been a mistake anyone could make; I mean especially the part about asking if he should come home.....) Sigh.
Just more evidence on how I was the one that did all the child-rearing/caring while xwh still has no clue....

ETA: Yes, I do give xwh some credit for having set the alarm at all - it actually surprises me he did do that much, though, and it would not surprise me if he did so only because child had been the one to prompt him to do so..... Not often, but sometimes, xwh manages to do this top-level type stuff, such as set the alarm, but it is the follow-through or handling the aftermath/crisis where he fails royally.....every single time.....

[This message edited by Wiserallthetime at 11:58 AM, March 28th (Wednesday)]

squid posted 3/28/2018 13:06 PM

What an ass. He definitely should have let you know that he was leaving your kid at home while he was that far away from home. Understandable if he was just making a quick run to the grocery store. But no heads up at all? Must be so frustrating.

mizunomead posted 3/28/2018 13:12 PM

Tough one here to me....My SO has a 9yr old daughter. I have none of my own. So i can only draw on my personal views and what i did when i was a teenager also....

When i was a mid teen i was left home or at home alone all the time. It was never a issue to me. However, i grew up small town in the middle of know where. If i lived in the middle of a city, it may have been different.

I think that some teenagers can handle it just fine. And some cannot. I think it depends on the kid.

My personal reaction would have probably been to head home immediately if i was the dad.

But, i would point out that whether your a hr away, or 5 minutes away....If someone broke into the home, and planned on harming someone in the home. Being away at all would be too far away time wise...

Neighborhood crime and such would probably play a role in my thoughts on this...

Except for the reaction that dad had initially, which sounds like it wasn't maybe the right one...I'm not sure if there is a clear cut answer to the question.

Where i grew up, i would literally laugh someone out of the room if they told me a 15yr old could not be home alone....If i lived in a sketchy neighborhood in a city. My opinion would probably be different.

Wiserallthetime posted 3/28/2018 14:48 PM

To clarify: I have no issue with this teen child being at home alone at times; I leave her at my home alone some as well, but I don't go over an hour away without having someone on notice the child is home alone so that person can be the child's on-call assistance. This child is on the mature side, but still has a lot to learn about urgent or emergency situations - still has some of that "invincible"-type thought process happening, so still needs some guidance in urgent or emergency situations and that is the point of having that go-to person if I am to be farther than, say, 20 minutes from home. Otherwise, this child can handle being home alone, for the most part... (Remember how I said the child should have called 911 first thing instead of texting xwh and relying on him to get the text and relay the message to the monitoring firm in a timely manner? - that's the type thing the child has yet to learn....)

I also deliberately did not bring up how long the child was left alone. At the point of the alarm sounding, said child had been alone for about 6 hours, and, once the real reason for the alarm sounding was discovered, was still alone another couple hours, from what I understand. From a "leaving a teen child alone at home" aspect, this isn't what bothers me about the length of time; from a "this is how you spent your parenting time with this child" aspect, yes, it does bother me, mostly because xwh has, on paper, about 40%, while he ends up exercising around 35%, then does this kind of thing where he isn't even with the child for much of that, all while still decrying that he doesn't have much time with the child.... BUT, all of that is another whole topic....

I do understand that even being in the house at the time of an intrusion could mean my child is not protected and that being only five minutes away would not necessarily save the child over being an hour away. Still, being closer, or having someone closer prepared to respond, increases the chances of providing help quicker, regardless.

And, yes, I was left alone at home (more often with at least a younger sibling if not my older one) well before the mid teens - used to babysit to earn money on my own beginning around age 12, in fact. But, times were different then. And, I do not recall the adults in the situation ever being very far away from home, either (not that I ever needed to find out, thankfully), and my grandfather lived not five minutes away, too; I don't know for sure, but I suspect my parents often let him know when we kids would be home alone for an evening..... Even if they didn't, we knew his number and that we could call him, if needed. In xwh's case, there is no family or friend nearby this child could call but me - and no one had let me know the child would be home alone, so no one even knew whether I would be home or far away, either.

Anyway, the big "what the heck?" thing to me is xwh's asking the child if he should come home when it was still thought the alarm was triggered by an intruder.... There should be no question, to me, period.

KatyaCA posted 3/28/2018 16:51 PM

How old is the teen?

MadOldBat posted 3/28/2018 18:02 PM

Gosh WATT,
Thank goodness it was a false alarm!
Your child shows good sense though, in grabbing phone and locking herself in......
Not so much.
- and now you're going to be concerned about the "home alone" thing -


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