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Old 05-15-2018, 08:18 AM
 
Location: Brackenwood
2,686 posts, read 1,008,039 times
Reputation: 5394

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I'm all for nosy busybodies minding their own business, but 4 and 5 is way too young to be left home alone for more than maybe two minutes at a time. Absolutely try to get involved. If your daughter is willing to do it without pay, by all means approach and let them know. Tell them you couldn't help but notice that their kids are (probably) being left home alone, and that you're concerned for the kids' safety and welfare of the entire family, lest they be separated by CPS if they're found out.

Unless the kids are in imminent danger, don't listen to the people who want you to call CPS as a first resort and likely ruin this family's lives if their worst crime was being stuck between a rock and a hard place re: child care. That is almost guaranteed to be far more traumatic for the kids than being left along for a couple hours a day, especially if they're accustomed to it by now. Give the parents a better alternative first. If they turn you down, mention that you would then have a moral obligation to contact CPS. That might motivate them to change their minds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
If you are sure that they are alone, I would contact someone, if you don't want to call CPS. Call the school, the police, a local clergyman, someone, anyone. Or, talk to the parents.
Most of those people will simply contact CPS themselves -- police and the school in particular may well be obligated by law to contact them.

Last edited by Bitey; 05-15-2018 at 08:26 AM..
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Old 05-15-2018, 08:42 AM
 
Location: Las Vegas
13,419 posts, read 24,162,437 times
Reputation: 24685
Report your neighbor. It's the American way. I think it would be kinder to just offer to help if you can.
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Old 05-15-2018, 08:47 AM
 
4,284 posts, read 1,455,971 times
Reputation: 9922
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.

It's far kinder to these children, and to the parents, to at least ask if they'd like someone to watch the kids for a couple of hours, than it is to call CPS.


I think it's very kind of OP to offer help. CPS is the LAST resort, not the call to Nirvana.
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Old 05-15-2018, 08:58 AM
 
Location: Denver CO
18,944 posts, read 9,979,314 times
Reputation: 27711
Quote:
Originally Posted by ItIsWritten. View Post
Just go over and start visiting with the kids. Ignore anyone who tries to discourage the clear solution.

Don't call CPS. I say that only because of my experience as a Foster Parent and working there temporarily. Most kids go to institutional like settings where they sleep together on mattresses on the floor not watched at all for most of the day. There are a ton of kids crammed into one huge room because there are never enough foster parents like us. It is HELLA traumatic.

The risk of what might happen when their alone needs to be weighed. I suggest you check on them, your daughter or whoever and do this regularly as you can. Ensure the kids have your telephone # and feel free to come over to your house at any time in which they need or want you. Kids like to be alone for a while, they're probably just watching a movie.

I am not justifying their actions but weighing what outcome is best for the children. CPS isn't it from what youve posted. Good luck. Again, so nice of you to care. The world needs more people like you
Repeating wrong headed advice doesn't make it better the second time around.

It's inappropriate for the OP or her teenage daughter to go over if the kids are there alone and try to get into the house. OP needs to communicate with the parents, not leave it to a 4 and 5 year old to determine if it's safe to open the door to this set of people vs. another set of people who might be dangerous.
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Old 05-15-2018, 08:59 AM
 
5,368 posts, read 3,351,758 times
Reputation: 20202
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sassybluesy View Post
Who wants to know they're the talk of the neighborhood like that?
No offense but I think you've got it a little backwards.

Assuming, of course, the kids really are there alone. The parents think what they're doing isn't being noticed. That's part of the problem.

People tend to act differently and in many cases, more responsibly, when they know someone might see.
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Old 05-15-2018, 09:07 AM
 
Location: Denver CO
18,944 posts, read 9,979,314 times
Reputation: 27711
I do wonder about the van driver though, and how they would be ok with leaving the kids home alone. I wonder if the parents are paying them to stay for 2 hours and don't even realize they aren't there? Obviously they know the driver isn't there hen they get home, but maybe they agreed to let them them leave 10 or 15 minutes ahead when the parents get home. Still not ideal but I could see someone thinking that could be ok vs. leaving kids alone for 2 hours.

Or of course the possibility that a few of us have mentioned, the idea that there could be a non-driving, perhaps not all that mobile but still functional adult at home.

Lots of questions here, and I still think the best way to get them answered is for the adult OP to talk to the adult neighbors.
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Old 05-15-2018, 09:29 AM
 
991 posts, read 663,949 times
Reputation: 3541
Op, why not go over to your neighbors when they are home and introduce yourself, and mention that you noticed the van driver dropping them off after school. With your daughters permission let them know that she would be happy to watch them till one of them gets home from work.
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Old 05-15-2018, 09:36 AM
 
4,284 posts, read 1,455,971 times
Reputation: 9922
Quote:
Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post
No offense but I think you've got it a little backwards.

Assuming, of course, the kids really are there alone. The parents think what they're doing isn't being noticed. That's part of the problem.

People tend to act differently and in many cases, more responsibly, when they know someone might see.


I will maintain that it's enough for the parents to know that OP knows, and is offering help. Mentioning that all the neighbors know about it will only make parents defensive, and to what end? How does that help anyone?
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Old 05-15-2018, 10:06 AM
 
5,368 posts, read 3,351,758 times
Reputation: 20202
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sassybluesy View Post
I will maintain that it's enough for the parents to know that OP knows, and is offering help. Mentioning that all the neighbors know about it will only make parents defensive, and to what end? How does that help anyone?
Who cares about them getting defensive? It's illegal to leave young children alone, and for a reason.

Are we losing sight of the main objective here, which is making sure those little kids are safe on a day-to-day basis?

I'm beginning to understand why tragedies occur and afterwards it turns out that everyone knew this was happening but none of them lifted a finger to intervene....for fear of causing embarrassment.
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Old 05-15-2018, 10:18 AM
Status: "Autumn!" (set 27 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
84,908 posts, read 98,665,754 times
Reputation: 31326
Quote:
Originally Posted by emm74 View Post
I do wonder about the van driver though, and how they would be ok with leaving the kids home alone. I wonder if the parents are paying them to stay for 2 hours and don't even realize they aren't there? Obviously they know the driver isn't there hen they get home, but maybe they agreed to let them them leave 10 or 15 minutes ahead when the parents get home. Still not ideal but I could see someone thinking that could be ok vs. leaving kids alone for 2 hours.

Or of course the possibility that a few of us have mentioned, the idea that there could be a non-driving, perhaps not all that mobile but still functional adult at home.

Lots of questions here, and I still think the best way to get them answered is for the adult OP to talk to the adult neighbors.
Distilling this all down:

My take is that the parents know very well what's going on, and it's probably what they arranged. After all, these kids are old enough to talk; it's not like leaving two year olds. I also think it's highly unlikely that there is some non-driving, non-mobile adult that mysteriously arrives at the home yet no one has seen this person, or that lives there and has never been mentioned in conversation. What parents think would be OK may surprise you; that's why there are laws against leaving little kids alone. If everyone did what they should, there'd be no need for the law. The OP does seem fairly familiar with the parents' situation.

Sure, the OP should ask the parents just what is going on. Also agree with fluffythewondercat that "(p)eople tend to act differently and in many cases, more responsibly, when they know someone might see". That said, I don't think it's necessary to tell these people they're the talk of the neighborhood.

Offering up the OP's daughter for free babysitting seems a bit over the top. After all, the DD might be able to procure a paying babysitting job for the summer, to her advantage. If both parents are working, they should be able to afford to pay the DD. And yes, I know how much day care costs. That's something you figure in to your decision to work. I think the OP could say "My daughter would be happy to babysit" and see where that goes.

If the parent(s) say, "Oh the kids are fine; they have a cell phone, and we're not that far away, blah, blah", I'd hoist the red flag. These kids are being locked in to the house, probably with a deadbolt which they may not even have the dexterity to be able to open in case of an emergency. Now I know, because I've seen it here, that someone will say "Just how often is there a fire in a house?" It doesn't matter. It only takes one. Plus there are numerous other emergencies that could happen. These kids are too young to even be told to go to the neighbor's if there was a problem, especially since they're locked in. Yes, I'd call CPS.
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