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Old Today, 04:59 AM
 
2,216 posts, read 1,078,315 times
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Id talk to the neighbor and offer to help. If they dont accept it and you know theyre alone Id call cps in a heart beat. Those kids are in danger even if theyre safely inside. What if one of them decides to try to make spaghetti or turn a gas fireplace on or something? My son is 8 and I wont leave him alone for even 10 minutes so no way would I be ok with that.
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Old Today, 05:10 AM
 
1,506 posts, read 686,376 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hedgehog_Mom View Post
This is my next door neighbor, and with our small lots and the way the front door faces, it's hard not to notice. Every afternoon, a van pulls up, a woman and the two kids get out. She walks them up to the front door, unlocks it for them, they go inside, she locks the door, gets in her van and leaves. Two hours later, both parents get home.

I'm not a nosy neighbor, and the last thing I want to do is make the neighbors uncomfortable or cause any difficulties for them. I just feel like the kids are too young to be home alone.
I couldn't tell you what any of my neighbors habits are. Perhaps spend less time paying attention to what others are doing and you will have less anxiety.

If you sincerely feel these children might be in danger, call CPS. Otherwise, butt out.
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Old Today, 05:19 AM
 
1,828 posts, read 2,505,477 times
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I had a fire in my attic once. My kids were upstairs playing, my wife and I were outside working in the garden. Everyone's safe. House was saved. My kids, all under 6 at the time, would not have known what to do if they were left alone. I live in a well maintained house, and this still happened.

That is a possibility if these kids are left alone; there will be an emergency that they can't handle. Nor should they have to handle it at that age. Confront the parent. I'd be blunt, but not judgmental. However, keep in mind that when you point out that their kids shouldn't be left alone and how your daughter can watch them - the neighbor might be a bit resentful that you are pointing out a problem and then a solution that costs them money and puts money in your daughter's pocket. You are sort of backing them into a corner.

Find out if there is indeed a law that protects this sort of negligence. You could probably get the answer at your local police department. You could probably inquire there as a concerned citizen. Arm yourself with knowledge.

If the neighbor does nothing, then I'd consider applying some extra pressure. Your neighbor won't thank you for it, but sometimes doing the right thing is a thankless job.
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Old Today, 05:50 AM
 
12,339 posts, read 11,587,151 times
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I am thinking of the things my cousins and I got up to when we were 4 and 5, and I'm sincerely plotzing over this situation. My grandparents actually built a chicken wire cage in their backyard to keep us contained - they called it our "clubhouse" and it was still waaaaay more responsible than what these parents are doing.

Um, where's the baby when Mom goes off to work? I'm having visions of a kid left behind in a crib for a few hours until her pre-K sisters get home to rescue her.

I grew up comfortably middle class with everything I technically needed, and my mother was amazingly skilled in finding ways to neglect me. If this parent is actually leaving two pre-K kids unattended for two hours in the afternoon, I'm pretty sure there are tons of other ways their needs are being disregarded.
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Old Today, 05:54 AM
 
12,695 posts, read 19,022,803 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emotiioo View Post
I couldn't tell you what any of my neighbors habits are. Perhaps spend less time paying attention to what others are doing and you will have less anxiety.

If you sincerely feel these children might be in danger, call CPS. Otherwise, butt out.
Please ignore this advice.

OP, you know in your gut that something isn't right. Follow your instincts. If you need confirmation that the children really are being left unattended, why not ask the van driver who brings them home? Either she'll assure you there is an adult on the premises (unlikely), confirm your suspicions, or tell you to butt out. Only #1 lets you off the hook now that you've witnessed what you believe to be child endangerment.
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Old Today, 06:08 AM
 
3,067 posts, read 3,004,675 times
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Call the police. Those kids are in danger. Calling Child Protection Services will take far too long, nothing may ever be done.

If you call the police, they will come to the house, take the kids into custody, contact the parents, and the parents will never ever leave them alone again. You can do it anonymously.

This is by far the safest thing for the children. It's not considered legal to leave kids home alone THIS young! And for a very good reason.
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Old Today, 07:35 AM
 
4,234 posts, read 1,645,044 times
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hedgehogmom, this is doubly baffling because someone is assisting this family in doing this. Another woman who drives a van (I'm guessing after school) is dropping these kids off unsupervised, to the point that she herself has a key to let them in and lock the door behind them.

I would NOT assume this is going to get better after school ends.

Texans are all mandatory reporters of child abuse - we don't have the deal other states have where most citizens are allowed to ignore ongoing abuse or neglect.

I wish you the best. I don't think you should sneak over there, or send your daughter to sneak around. And I'm not sure they'd be better served in a very low end daycare, either, those that their own pitfalls.

I hope you post back with an update.
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Old Today, 07:38 AM
 
4,234 posts, read 1,645,044 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattie View Post
Please ignore this advice.

OP, you know in your gut that something isn't right. Follow your instincts. If you need confirmation that the children really are being left unattended, why not ask the van driver who brings them home? Either she'll assure you there is an adult on the premises (unlikely), confirm your suspicions, or tell you to butt out. Only #1 lets you off the hook now that you've witnessed what you believe to be child endangerment.
That's a REALLY good idea, and likely to end in less confrontation than talking to a parent.

You know when the van arrives every afternoon. Just be ready to greet the driver, and express concern.

I guess. I don't know. Kids left alone are often safer than kids put in the worst of other care situations.
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Old Today, 07:42 AM
 
Location: Johnson City, TN
19,073 posts, read 13,665,548 times
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At that age, I think CPS should be called. 8 or so and above can probably be left alone for a bit.
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Old Today, 08:07 AM
 
2,785 posts, read 901,640 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ItIsWritten. View Post
don't ask just send her over with some cookies. She can just play with them for a while until the parents come home. She can continue to keep visiting. If they don't like it, they'll make arrangements otherwise.


That's how I'd handle it. These kids need to be checked on anyhow, they are too young to be left at home.
Just do it, don't make a big deal about it. Blessings to you for caring.

No...you can't just send a teenager over to the house without the permission of the father. Then he comes home from work, and there's just someone in his house, playing with his little kids? That's not a good plan.



If it were me, as the grown up, I'D take a plate of cookies over, (a plate of cookies or brownies always makes a good peace offering) and explain you've noticed the kids come home to an empty house every day. Then ask; "Would you like Susie Q to come over and stay with them until you come home?"


I wouldn't mention that all the neighbors have noticed as well. Who wants to know they're the talk of the neighborhood like that?


OP, I think it's nice, and being a good, kind neighbor, in being willing to help in this situation. :-)
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