A mum-of-four has been criticised after admitting that she has left her four-year-old child alone at home ‘several times’ to walk the dog.
Shona Sibary appeared on This Morning to debate if parents should leave their young children on their own at home to run errands and pop out for short periods of time.
Speaking to hosts Phil and Holly, Shona admitted that she had left her ‘four/five year old’ child home alone several times to ‘walk the dog down the lane’, claiming that she feels more comfortable doing so than leaving her teenager unattended.
Shona said, ‘Yes I did once in the summer holidays, well actually no not once, several times, to walk the dog down the lane in the summer holidays for 10 minutes.’
Claiming that her child seemed ‘very happy’, Shona says she uses ‘risk assessment’ to validate her choice.
‘My four/five year old was very happy watching TV.
‘I’m more inclined to leave her in the house on her own than my 16 year old actually, so based on having four children across various different ages you have to make a risk assessment based on what you know about them.’
Host Phil then revealed that Shona had actually been reported to social services for leaving her child unattended, to which she responded saying it’s ‘the worst thing you could possibly do to a person’.
Some Twitter users watching the show did not seem to empathise with Shona, with many slamming her for her parenting choice.
One Twitter user said, ‘If I saw a newborn baby left alone in a car even for a couple of minutes I would call the police. Would she leave her handbag in the car?’, another agreed, ‘What about if there was a break in whilst your child was at home alone??’.
Another said, ‘omg how can she think it’s right to leave a 4 year old home alone’.
However, other social media users branded the debate topic ‘ridiculous’, pointing out that you can’t be with children all of the time.
One tweeted, ‘OMG your so right. What if a plane crashed into the house while you nipped to shop!! Ridiculous’ and another said, ‘children can choke in the bedroom do you stay with them all night’.
Would you ever leave your child unattended? Tell us your thoughts on the debate in the comment box below.