Would YOU leave your child alone in a park? Mother is accused of ‘rubbish parenting’ after letting her daughter, 3, play unsupervised ‘for two minutes’ while she went to the toilet

  • The parent – thought to be from the UK – shared their story in a Mumsnet post
  • On the whole, respondents were very shocked and angry, criticising the poster 
  • Some even accused the writer of ‘rubbish’ parenting as a result of their actions

A parent has been blasted after letting their child play alone in a park for a couple of minutes while they went to the toilet.

The anonymous mother from the UK shared a post about the situation on Mumsnet, explaining she’d been desperate for the loo when she and her daughter, three, had arrived at the park.

The woman said she ended up leaving the ‘very independent’ little girl on her own ‘for two minutes’ in the play area while she went to the bathroom.

However many were left stunned at her decision, and suggested she had put her child at risk, with one saying: ‘It only takes a moment for someone to snatch a child. No way would I do this.’   

An anonymous mother took to Mumsnet to ask if she was in the wrong to leave her daughter, 3, to play unsupervised for ‘two minutes’ while she went to the loo (stock image) 

Asking for other people’s opinions on the situation she explained that she and her daughter, who is almost four, both needed to use the bathroom when they arrived at the park.

‘She went went then refused to wait for me and ran out to the play area (toilets were within the play area but not staffed/ticketed),’ the mother recalled.

‘I told her to wait but she said no and was off, told me she was going on the slides as she legged it away! We’ve been there before so she knows where she’s going.

‘I had to go to the loo and therefore she played in the park for two minutes unsupervised.’

The anonymous poster wrote about their predicament on Mumsnet – and was roundly criticised for letting the three-year-old play alone in a park

The mother went on to ask how other parents might have dealt with the situation had they been in her shoes. 

But many people were left stunned by her decision, with one writing: ‘It only takes a moment for a child to be snatched or to fall off a high slide or run off where you can’t find her. 

‘You shouldn’t leave her alone. She needs to learn she can’t run off when you tell her to stay with you. Take her into the loo with you.’ 

A more strongly-worded response said: ‘Christ no never. It is not how comfortable she is with the area or what she is doing, it is more to do with what piece of scum could be lying in wait. 

‘What is she going to do if they decide to take her, she’s 3? Don’t do it again and make her be with you. Gobsmacked.’ 

Others felt the move showed a lack of parental control, with one person writing: ‘Apart from the obvious safety issues, a three-year-old should not be the one calling the shots.’ 

Another added: ‘Firstly no, I wouldn’t leave a three-year-old alone in a park, even for two or three minutes.

Numerous posters felt that leaving the child alone was dangerous, but also showed a lack of parental control

‘Secondly if you tell your 3 year old to stay with you and she ignores you and runs off giggling, you NEVER reward that by letting her go and do what she wanted to do. She is 3 years old and you are the parent.’

A third agreed, writing: ‘”She told you”? I think the wrong person is in charge.

‘There is no way I’d leave a child of that age unsupervised in a play area, there are just too many possibilities for disaster.’ 

A further Mumsnetter wrote: ‘That is really rubbish parenting op. She should have been in the same cubicle as you. If she ran off you should have run after her and brought her back!!’

While most respondents left angry responses, others were more sympathetic – acknowledging that they too had made parenting mistakes in the past

However, some posters were more sympathetic, with one writing: ‘No I wouldn’t have let her go. 

‘But at the same time I think most parents would say there have been times when their kids were little that something bad could have happened and it was only pure luck it didn’t. 

‘Mine was I was walking behind my 5 year old and he was on his bike, he absolutely knew At every road he stopped on the bike so I could cross the road with him. 

‘We had done this walk hundreds of time before and each and every road he would stop and wait for me to catch up and we would cross the road together but this one time he didn’t stop and just continued to ride his bike into the road.

‘I screamed like a fish wife and ran as fast as I could a d dragged him back. Afterwards I said WHY??? He just said “ I forgot Mum”. I’ll never forget it, you cannot trust kids even when they are very sensible they are still just kids.’ 

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