Wednesday, September 24, 2008

To leave...or not to leave (them in the car)

The other day I saw an commercial for an upcoming Dr. Phil. They were having a woman on who was arrested for leaving her children in the car while she ran in the car. I didn't see the show, but she said (on the commerical) that she was able to see the kids the whole time. So my question to you is, have you ever done this? I'll have to admit I have. I think you just have to use common sense. Would I leave them in the car while I ran into target? No. Would I leave them in the car while I ran into the post office, which has floor to ceiling windows looking right out to my car? Yes. Do I trust my children to stay in the seats and stay buckled. Yes. Would I leave them in the car on a 100 degree day? No...you get the idea. Just wondering if you guys have been rebellious like me and done this.....or am I a horrible parent??

9 comments:

Debbie Tovey and Family said...

I saw the show, and the charges on her were dropped later. It was one of the most ridiculous things I have ever seen in my life. I'm with you. If you can see your kids in the car the whole time, I think you're fine. And I do it all the time...like walking Maelin to the door of her preschool class while Moira is sleeping in the car - stuff like that.

Ditto Family said...

This is something that I hate that we even have to worry about. In the "old" days things like this weren't even blinked an eye at. I remember countless times being left in the car while my mom or dad ran into the store and we waited...and waited...for their return.

I saw an Oprah several years ago that talked about this issue. I decided that I would try harder to not leave my kids in the car. Shortly after watching the show an incident happened here in my town where a lady left her car running while she ran in to grab her pizza. A guy hopped in the car and drove off chucking the woman's wheelchair out the door (she had spineabifida) and then later the police caught him. (Side note: he was injured in the catch and taken to the hospital and ended up escaping from the hospital--nice, huh).

Anyway, again I thought...I need to not leave my kids in the car unattended. I would never forgive myself if something happened. Since that time I have occasionally done the forbidden and left the kids in the car. Like at the local fruit stand where we are on a little orchard road and I'm in a barn buying the fruit. Or occasionally when I run into preschool. I'm always nervous doing it. It actually bothers me less to leave them at home while they are sleeping to run Birch into work in the morning on a rare snowy/really rainy day. In fact I find that I am doing that more and more. I guess I've decided that Alex is old enough to babysit some of the kids than to have me insane while making a quick errand.

So NO you are not a horrible parent.

The Ditto clan said...

There's a great article in this months reader's digest that talks about how "paranoid" we've become as parents. Not letting our children play in the front yard by themselves, etc. The author said that a child is 40x more likely to die in a car accident than to be abducted. (which is what we are all afraid of). She said the media focuses on those rare occasions when it does happen, so we feel like it's happening all over. But really it's very rare.

Anth said...

I've done it - but just to grab the letters out of our PO box, or drop movies in the slot at Blockbuster. The actual line at the Post Office is too long for my taste, as my kids are both little still. Miss E cries if I'm gone from the car for more than a minute or two.

Julia said...

I am Public Enemy #1--I leave my kids in the car sometimes. Would somebody please arrest me? A night in jail would probably be the quietest sleep I've gotten all year.

Amanda said...

I think I am in the same boat as you. I will run a bill in, drop off a movie... But it isn't like I am going to costco with my kids waiting in the car. But I to am nervous about it, and wonder the same things... I guess as long as everyone else is doing it then it is ok! :)

Jonna T. said...

Oh, I feel so much better now knowing I'm not the only one. I would feel absolute horror every time I picked Chloe up at school and left Koben in the car while I walked up to the front doors to get her. I could see the car the whole time, but I always felt like someone would judge me, or turn me in or something. I have also been known to leave them both home while I ran through the coffee drive-thru, or to the store for one item. Chloe is nine, I feel she is responsible enough to keep an eye on things for ten minutes. But, those ten minutes sure seem long!

EdgyK said...

I think I have done all those things that everyone else has said. When I go to pick up my oldest I go inside and leave my 8 year old with the two younger ones. Sometimes I am gone for a few minutes. I worry but I think I shouldn't.
A friend of mine in our little town ran into a store where she could see her kids through the big window. Someone called the police on her without even saying anything to her. The police officer understood but he did give her a warning not to do it again.
I remember many times waiting in the car for my parents and it was a lot longer than a few minutes. I am old enough to remember when everyone wearing a seat belt became a law. I think that's not half as bad as the time they left me at the department store (while on vacation) and it took them an hour before they realized they had left me. This is the days before the cell phone so I just told an employee that my parents left me and he gave me a soda until they came back. I was pretty little.
Anyway, it is a lot of trouble getting little kids in and out of their car seats and dragging them around the store for something that would have taken only a minute if you were on your own.

Becca said...

I am like Michele. I have left my kids in the car to get my PO Box mail and to drop movies in the Blockbuster slot. (Why can't Blockbuster have a drive-by like Hollywood Video? I don't know.) If I have to wait in a line, even though I can see the kids, then I bring them in. Otherwise, I am gone for like 30 seconds and I think the police and nosy people should stay out of my business. It is crazy that people act so saintly and call the police on other Moms over anything. You can't even get upset in the store with your kids without people giving the ugly eye. Unless it's a heat wave, I probably would keep my mouth shut when seeing an unattended kid in a car.

Great topic of discussion, Deena!