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Old 10-21-2012, 02:20 PM   #1
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S/O: When is it okay to leave your child at home alone?

My DD is 8 and there was one time I almost let her stay home (she was sick) while I ran DS to school. It would have been 6-7 minutes and my DS2 was sleeping soundly. She wanted to stay home and I think she would have been fine, but I didn't let her at the last minute b/c I got nervous. So how long and what age do you think it is appropriate? Just curious!

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Old 10-21-2012, 02:24 PM   #2
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Re: S/O: When is it okay to leave your child at home alone?

I don't think this is cut and dry. Certainly every child is different in their levels of responsibility and maturity. Some children could be left home for that long at 8, some kids would try to burn the house down at 12.

I would think that your 8yr old would be fine for 10 minutes - but I don't know your kid. Only you can make that judgement call.
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Old 10-21-2012, 03:46 PM   #3
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Re: S/O: When is it okay to leave your child at home alone?

Totally depends on the child's level of maturity and how long you're going to be gone and so on. I think at 8 for a few minutes would have been just fine. I'd stay home at 8 years old when my mom would go to the local grocery store a few blocks away (usually gone an hour, lived in small town and knew my neighbors well).
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Old 10-21-2012, 06:47 PM   #4
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Re: S/O: When is it okay to leave your child at home alone?

I don't think we started leaving DS at home alone until he was 10 maybe? I can't really remember. Even at 13, though, we don't really have a need to leave him alone very often. He did stay home alone the nights we did our foster training classes this last spring (he was 13), but our neighbors were there for him if he needed them for an emergency. He was fine, though.

I, on the other hand, HATED being alone even at that age. My mother let me walk 3 blocks to PRESCHOOL when I was 4. I think back, and realize she was crazy. I can't believe the school never said anything to her. Maybe they did and I didn't know about it...I never walked to preschool alone again. lmao I always walked home from Kindergarten on, though...and school was 10 blocks away, or so?
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Old 10-21-2012, 07:25 PM   #5
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I don't know. My oldest is nearly 6, and completely irresponsible. He is barely allowed to go outside (rural area) alone by himself, because he is very destructive.

My dad started leaving me home for 20-30 minutes at a time when I was 7, and I was fine, but I was a responsible kid.

I have a feeling dd, who is 1, could be better trusted than DS.
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:22 PM   #6
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Re: S/O: When is it okay to leave your child at home alone?

My oldest was about 9 when I would let her stay home briefly by herself. She was babysitting at ten for her sisters and is eleven now. I have no problems leaving all three girls home for up to three hours as long as I am within a half hour of home. Plus I make sure a neighbor is home and let them know I will be gone in case there are problems. My middle dd has adhd and I am not comfortable leaving her home very often. Rarely I will let her and dd3 stay home while I run my oldest up the street to cheer, but that's pretty rare and it depends on what kind of day she is having. she won't be babysitting for a few years yet, if at all.
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:56 PM   #7
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Re: S/O: When is it okay to leave your child at home alone?

I have let my oldest two stay home after school for an hour or so. They both had a younger sib with them starting around 9-10. At ages 9 and 12, I let them stay home while i work during the summer if they want. They are super, super responsible kids.

Aside from the hour after school, I don't often leave my 5 year old home with the big kids. I have never left the toddler home with them. I'm sure the 12 year old would be great at watching her, though.
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Old 10-21-2012, 10:14 PM   #8
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Re: S/O: When is it okay to leave your child at home alone?

Totally depends on the kid and their maturity level. I was left alone for up to 30 mins at a time starting around 6.

I haven't left my kids home alone yet. They're just too young still.

However, I would totally leave my very mature 6 y.o alone for ten to fifteen mins at a time if I did not worry some nosy nelly would flip out and call cps or cops or something.

My ds on the other hand, I dont see him being mature enough until later, like ten maybe.

We also have neighbors our kids know they can go to if they needed.

Every situation and family is different. It's just not fair to make any blanket statements and try to apply them to everybody.
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Old 10-22-2012, 09:21 AM   #9
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Re: S/O: When is it okay to leave your child at home alone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by EmilytheStrange View Post
I don't think this is cut and dry. Certainly every child is different in their levels of responsibility and maturity. Some children could be left home for that long at 8, some kids would try to burn the house down at 12.

I would think that your 8yr old would be fine for 10 minutes - but I don't know your kid. Only you can make that judgement call.
This. I've gotten my now 5 year old occupied in a task and run next door or out to the (rural) mail box as young as 3, but she's a laid back kid who's very good about not getting into things she's not supposed to, and the whole thing would take <5minutes. Her cousin who's the same age I'd NEVER do that with, she's destructive and willful - a good kid, but VERY big into pushing her boundaries as far as she can possibly stretch them. DD1 is quite timid by comparison. I've known 12 year olds who were capable of babysitting other children and 12 year olds I wouldn't trust to stay home all by themselves. It's very dependent on the child.
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:14 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EmilytheStrange
I don't think this is cut and dry. Certainly every child is different in their levels of responsibility and maturity. Some children could be left home for that long at 8, some kids would try to burn the house down at 12.

I would think that your 8yr old would be fine for 10 minutes - but I don't know your kid. Only you can make that judgement call.
I was left home alone at about 10 and shouldn't have been. I did almost (accidentally) burn the house down and I was typically scared by myself. But my grandmother was old fashioned and decided I needed to suck it up.

By the way, did y'all know pop tart wrappers are not microwave safe? I figured it out real fast.
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