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Old 06-14-2008, 10:52 AM   #21
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Re: What age is okay for kids to be on their own?

look into your state guidelines first as every state is different. tehn look at the maturity level. Like I wouldn't trust my 12 YO that long but for quick trips to the store, yes.

Oh and as someone else pointed out thats a grand time to have boys over and all. Especially seeing as she knows you won't be home!

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Old 06-14-2008, 07:15 PM   #22
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Re: What age is okay for kids to be on their own?

My DD is sometimes home in the afternoon after school. DH gets home from work earlier than she gets out of school, but if he has appointments or errands, she's home alone. We also leave her home if she doesn't want to go with us to the store or something. She is a very responsible kid and she does babysit her brother from time to time. I think every kid is different though, so it depends on the kid and if they will follow the "rules of the house" when you're not home. For us, the # 1 big rule is nobody else in the house if we're not home.
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Old 06-15-2008, 03:09 AM   #23
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Re: What age is okay for kids to be on their own?

Legally it is OK, but it depends on the maturity of the child. You'll have to be aware of not only what she is doing but what harm can come to her - ie predators on the internet. She's also entering into the teen-age years with a host of issues that should be taken into consideration.
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Old 06-16-2008, 10:00 AM   #24
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Re: What age is okay for kids to be on their own?

I think it depends on the kid and your area. I would also surprise her from time to time, by coming home early. It helps to keep a kid honest if she is not sure if you might get off of work early. I would probably keep the internet off too. And if you have a neighbor you can trust, I would check in with the neighbor to see if anything interesting happens while you are at work.

I always tell my older children that it takes a village to raise families, and that our village watches out for each other and that parents/adults talk. I let them know that they are being watched. (in a good way) Just as I keep an eye out for my friend's children when they are out and about in the neighborhood. (disclaimer: I also teach my kids about stranger-danger, so we don't blindly trust every neighbor/adult, but we have enough good friends in our community to interact with safely)
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Old 06-19-2008, 07:57 PM   #25
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Re: What age is okay for kids to be on their own?

I think it depends on your neighborhood and the child. Do you have neighbors she could go to/call if there was an emergency, or someone nearby at least that she could call? Neighbors who might *keep an eye out* and let you know if anything's going on that you aren't aware of before you get home? If you think she's fairly responsible & trustworthy, I don't see anything wrong with giving it a try, but definitely set rules and be FIRM with them.
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Old 06-19-2008, 08:23 PM   #26
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Re: What age is okay for kids to be on their own?

For that length of time I'd say she's probably too young. I stayed home with my little brother for 30 minutes every day at that age until my dad came home, but if she is going to have the house to herself without someone to "squeal" on her I wouldn't do it.
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Old 06-19-2008, 08:35 PM   #27
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Re: What age is okay for kids to be on their own?

I have 12 year old and she babysits my youngest and sometimes her siblings but its not for longer than 2 1/2 hrs. if I go see a movie at night she babysits up to 5 hrs with her friend but only for baby.

at this point I have no option. I wish I could get a sitter for all of them but its not easy and she is VERY mature.

I think 2.5 hrs alone is fine but leaving a kid home completely alone makes me sad. I had that done and I hated it. I'd be less inclined to do that over leaving her with a friend or family.
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Old 06-21-2008, 01:08 AM   #28
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Re: What age is okay for kids to be on their own?

In my state there is no actual age. It is at the discretion of CPS caseworkers. My little brother was taken by CPS when he was 14.5 YEARS old, my mom and dad went out of town and left him in my care (at 19.5). When they showed up, it was decided that since I could not be there 24 hours a day with him, he would need to go into foster care. Even when my parents were in town, he was alone for about 3 hours before my parents got home. They (CPS) were not happy with that at all.

So, based on my personal experience, I would err on the side of caution.
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Old 06-21-2008, 01:43 AM   #29
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Re: What age is okay for kids to be on their own?

2 hours for a 12 yr old is just fine mama!!!
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Old 06-21-2008, 07:50 AM   #30
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Re: What age is okay for kids to be on their own?

I was a little surprised to find that the legal age in my state is only 8 y/o.

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According to Maryland law a child 8 years of age and older can stay home alone. Under 8 they must have a babysitter who is 13 or older.
My 8 y/o is nowhere near responsible enough to be left at home alone. My 11 y/o on the other hand is, but I have never left him completely alone. I have left him at home (awake) with the younger ones still sleeping for 15 minutes or so, to take the 8 y/o to the bus stop a few times, but that is it.

Also, I think that it is different when there are 2 siblings at home, than one child alone. I would feel more comfortable leaving my 11 y/o and 8 y/o together than leaving either one of them alone.

I think the mother's helper idea is good. If you do decide to leave her at home alone, I suggest that you either have a neighbor keep an eye out or arrange to pop in unexpected from time to time, so she never feels like it is a guarantee that you will not be coming home. Even good kids will take advantage of situations.

I recall being at home alone with my boyfriend when I was in 10th grade. And there is plenty that can happen in a short period of time. But, it is starting earlier and earlier. I can see a new girl in school wanting to make friends and making a bad decision or falling into peer pressure.

Also, I wanted to say that it is great that you are planning to have her live with you. One of my older brothers and his wife took me in when I was your niece's age and it really means a lot of have a stable home environment at that age.
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