Mum divides opinion after leaving 7-year-old daughter home alone for 15 minutes

24 November 2020, 13:15

A mum admitted to leaving her daughter alone for 15 minutes
A mum admitted to leaving her daughter alone for 15 minutes. Picture: Getty Images

The mum asked other parents whether they thought it was irresponsible to leave her daughter at home.

A woman has reached out for advice after she left her seven-year-old daughter at home while she popped out.

The mum explained that her daughter was off school because she had to self-isolate due to a coronavirus case.

But when she went to pick her other kids up from class, she realised there wasn’t enough room in her courtesy car.

Taking to Mumsnet, the anonymous woman said: “I drive a 7 seater car and had been given a courtesy car for the day. This car only has 5 seats and I needed 6 if dd was going to fit in.

A woman has asked whether she should have left her child at home
A woman has asked whether she should have left her child at home. Picture: Getty Images

“I couldn't do anything else at short notice. The others were at school and needed collecting.”

The mum added that she gave her daughter strict rules about what she should and shouldn’t do while alone.

She said: “I spoke to her beforehand about the dangers and what to do if x or y happened, explained she could use Alexa to call my mobile also if there was a problem.

“I was gone about 15 minutes in total.”

In her post, the woman said that she wouldn’t have been able to walk to school because her daughter’s class bubble was sent home and told not to return due to Covid restrictions.

She added that the little girl was 'where I'd left her, on the sofa watching tv lying down on her iPad,' but asked: “Is this awful of me? I feel so negligent.”

Hundreds of people have since commented, with many divided over what the mum could have done.

One person commented: “Age 7 is too young, regardless of how sensible or mature they appear to be.”

Others suggested she should have rung the school and made other arrangements.

But many parents sympathised, with someone writing: “I think you're well aware you shouldn't have done this but we've all done things like this before in an emergency so don't beat yourself up, she was fine.”

Someone else said: “It was 15 minutes. Your daughter was fine. Stop beating yourself up about it!”

While a third added: “It's fine, she's fine. No big deal.”

The law in the UK doesn't specify an age when you can leave a child on their own, but the government website states it's an offence to leave a child alone if it places them at risk.