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Old 10-22-2012, 10:26 AM   #11
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Re: S/O: When is it okay to leave your child at home alone?

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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.
See I knew that at 10. I think mom started leaving me home alone about that age if not a little younger. I hated the lady we had for afterschool care, so mom gave me a key and let me stay home by myself. Nothing untoward ever happened. The following year she let me look after my little sister after school (2.5 years younger) and a year later I was babysitting other people's children. Only twice did anything happen when I was babysitting as a teen - once someone tried to break in - I gathered up both kids, locked us up in the master bedroom and called 911 while the dog scared the intruder off, and another time one of the kids got sick, and I just called his mom while doing my best to keep him calm and clean up the mess. I'm still impressed with how I handled it and I was only 12 or 13. I have neices and nephews that age and while one of them I think could handle it, the other two couldn't. It really depends on the kid.

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Old 10-22-2012, 10:35 AM   #12
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Re: S/O: When is it okay to leave your child at home alone?

It does depend on the child. Thinking of my oldest DD who is very mature and responsible, I am going to say around 10-12 (she is 6 now).

I was left home alone at about age 10. My sister (2 years younger) and I would walk home from school and be home for about 3 hours without an adult before my grandmother got home from work.

I was babysitting in other people's homes by age 12.
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Old 10-22-2012, 12:11 PM   #13
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I didn't leave my kids home alone until recently. Once I left them home to run to the corner store when they were 5 & 7 but really sick and it was pouring. I took my 3yr old and grabbed Popsicles and Gatorade and came right back.
For any length of time... 13! I have twins and they have stayed home for short periods of time and now at 15.5 I let them babysit their siblings so dh & I can go to dinner or run to the store. But as far as "alone"... 13. My 10yr old has stayed at his friend's house with his friend while the mom ran to drop his sister off at gym, so 10 mins or so. But again, that's not alone. It also depends on maturity.
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Old 10-22-2012, 01:15 PM   #14
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Re: S/O: When is it okay to leave your child at home alone?

I haven't yet at all and my oldest is 11 but he is also ASD. If something happened he wouldn't know what to do. He could call 911 but couldn't answer basic questions so it wouldn't do a lot of good. He lacks common sense. However if nothing went wrong he would be just fine, he would sit in his room and play or watch TV the whole time. It isn't like he is destructive or anything and he is very serious about not opening doors. My youngest is not quite 7 so not leaving him yet. Dh and I have discussed leaving them in bed asleep while we skate at night so long as we don't go any further than the park directly across the street. We would be in sight of the house and could hear or see them if they needed us. So far we haven't actually done it though. I let them go to the park without me so it would sort of be the reverse. It wouldn't be that different from when I leave them inside while I do yard work, the park is that close.
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Old 10-22-2012, 01:47 PM   #15
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Re: S/O: When is it okay to leave your child at home alone?

My oldest is almost 15 and has always been a very responsible kid. He went to China for 8 weeks at 13.5 alone with an organization to teach English.
I started out when he was 8 allowing him to stay at home while I would do errunds, grocery store for 30 min at a time and i had a cell phone. By 10 we allowed his brother, 2 years younger, to stay at home with him while I did errunds, etc.. He has been babysitting our children and other children since 12. When we began having him babysit for Date night, etc.. we had him take a babysitter's class w/ CPR.
We home school and our children help care for each other and the home ( laundry, cooking, etc..) we would come home from date night and all the kids would have been tucked in and asleep, the house clean, and the dishes done. Best baysitter I've ever had. :-) We also voluntarily paid him to babysitting on date nights. He liked it!

Now my second son is currently 12 and is responsible at home alone, but when he is in charge of watching his younger siblings there tends to be a lot of arguing. So, we don't leave him in charge very often. Just a clash in personalities.

My 8 year old has just begun to stay at home alone some when we are doing things at the church during the week, but we also live in the parking lot of the church. He does an excellent job too of babysitting his 3 yr old brother when when we go to a meeting,etc at the church.

Like every one else said, it really depends on the child. If i were you I would talk to you child and see how they feel. Then, I would look up the law and see if there is an age requirement. Our law in GA stated the child needed to be able to handle an emergency ----so basically it was the parent's discretion.
When we started I talked about the rules, tested him on what they were and then I really tested the rules.
For example, he was not to answer the door even if he knew the person. One day I left and asked a friend of our to drop by and see if he'd open the door. He didn't. Practicing things like that helped both of us feel more confident about him being home alone.
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Old 10-22-2012, 01:53 PM   #16
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Re: S/O: When is it okay to leave your child at home alone?

Here is a site that has each state's age restrictions ( These are only recommendations. Not the law). Hope that helps you.

http://www.latchkey-kids.com/latchke...age-limits.htm
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Old 10-22-2012, 01:59 PM   #17
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Re: S/O: When is it okay to leave your child at home alone?

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Here is a site that has each state's age restrictions ( These are only recommendations. Not the law). Hope that helps you.

http://www.latchkey-kids.com/latchke...age-limits.htm
BAHAHAHA! I'm in FL and it says 18. Yes, I know it's a guideline. I think that's Ri-DONK-ulous.
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Old 10-22-2012, 02:47 PM   #18
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Re: S/O: When is it okay to leave your child at home alone?

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BAHAHAHA! I'm in FL and it says 18. Yes, I know it's a guideline. I think that's Ri-DONK-ulous.
I just saw that and that is ludacris!
If you can't be trusted to be left alone by 18, then you need to be put in an asylum.
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Old 10-22-2012, 03:56 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slingmama4
Here is a site that has each state's age restrictions. Hope that helps you.

http://www.latchkey-kids.com/latchke...age-limits.htm
18 in Florida! Thought that was pretty funny.

I remember my mom left me home alone when I was 10 and I got scared. I called my cousin to come babysit me and she told me to turn on all the lights in the whole house and to sit under the kitchen table. By the time she arrived, my mom was home.
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Old 10-22-2012, 04:01 PM   #20
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Re: S/O: When is it okay to leave your child at home alone?

Obviously, dependent on each child, but in my experience, I'd agree that children under the age of 8 have absolutely zero business being left alone in a home. At 8, we started leaving our oldest alone for simple things--walking around the block to get the mail, 5-10 minute time frames. We gradually increased that, and at 10, he can stay alone, during the day, for an hour or two. We do not allow him to watch our other children.

I cannot imagine leaving my 6 year old alone in the house for any length of time, nor can I imagine her being ok with that. I am fine working in the front or backyard with her knowing that. I'd never leave her on her own.
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