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Old 06-12-2008, 03:35 PM   #11
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Re: What age is okay for kids to be on their own?

In Arkansas, the DHS guidelines say a child should be supervised through age 11. So 12 SHOULD be okay, but I agree with pp--it depends on her maturity, and I'd definitely have a list of rules, TV monitor set so she can't watch adult things, and limits on the computer too. I also babysat at age 10, so 12 seems plenty old enough to me.

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Old 06-12-2008, 03:38 PM   #12
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Re: What age is okay for kids to be on their own?

I think the only reason she's acting out is the situation she's in. Her step sister has been bullying her for months, goading her on, trying to get her into physical fights, really picking on her, etc. Her step sister is younger and already has a boyfriend that she's allowed to spend time alone with, has piercings, tries to be a lot older, etc. But now her step sister is trying to be her friend, and convincing her to do these things, and I think she's going along with it because she really wants her to like her, you know? She's trying to be accepted. The only issues she's gotten into have been at the pushing of the step sister, the worst one that's let them realize she should come stay with us, is the step sister talked her into sneaking out of the house at 3am, and then when she saw a cop driving by, the step sister bolted and let T be picked up by the police as the step sister ran back home.

On her own without that influence, she's very mature and well behaved, I think it's just she's tired of being picked on and really wants this girl to like her.
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Old 06-12-2008, 03:58 PM   #13
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Re: What age is okay for kids to be on their own?

I would say that if you are taking her in because she is not getting enough direct attention, leaving her alone could be exactly what she is looking for to start getting into more trouble. Only you can decide if leaving her by herself is the right thing to do for 'her'.

That being said, I was left alone for 3.5 hours every day at that age. I am an only child and grew up with 2 working parents. 12 is when I started staying home by myself after school (no friends, no outside, do homework immediately, etc, etc).
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Old 06-12-2008, 05:11 PM   #14
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Re: What age is okay for kids to be on their own?

I feel that is too young, there are too many creeps in the world & a 12 yo is just not mature enough to make good decisions in dangerous situations. Not worth the risk, imo.

ETA: even if she is a straight A, teachers pet, perfect inevery way child, I think 12 is too young. Maybe 14 or 15.
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Old 06-12-2008, 06:27 PM   #15
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Re: What age is okay for kids to be on their own?

When I was 12 and my brother was 10, we were home after school for an hour until my dad came home from work. We were expected to get our chores done before he got home. I would sit down and do my homework, my brother would then play video games
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Old 06-12-2008, 07:56 PM   #16
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Re: What age is okay for kids to be on their own?

It really depends on the child. But I think 12 yo is old enough to be home alone. I'd make sure she had something constructive to do though.

I stayed home alone (with my sister) at that age. My mom gave us a "to do" list that was so long, we barely had time to get into trouble.

She can do her homework, make an easy snack, fold laundry, dust, start dinner (easy things), clean her room. Or she could me a mommy's helper to a local mom. I'm sure there's someone near buy who could use a hand from an able bodies 12 year old!
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Old 06-13-2008, 08:31 AM   #17
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Re: What age is okay for kids to be on their own?

From what you've posted now it sounds like she'll be fine on her own & that she isn't really doing anything bad, just trying to be accepted by her own family.

There is no legal age in Canada(or at least Saskatchewan & Alberta) to when you can leave a child alone. There are recommendations & age where child endangerment would come into play(ie, leaving a 2yo by themselves). I've left my 9yo at home by herself for 1 1/2hours. In the winter I left my then 5yo by herself for 20min or so when I went to pick her sisters up from school. Normally they walk the 5 houses from the school to our house, but the temps were in the -40C/F without the windchill & I wasn't going to let them walk home.
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Old 06-13-2008, 08:43 PM   #18
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Re: What age is okay for kids to be on their own?

I think it really depends on the child & the area. I feel very comfortable with our neighborhood & my DD is very mature. I wouldn't leave her home alone now (she's only 8) but I could see myself leaving her home alone for a few hours at 12. My sitter that keeps my kids started when she was 14 and Canaan was 6 months old. She's very mature and very responsible.
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Old 06-14-2008, 10:46 AM   #19
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Re: What age is okay for kids to be on their own?

Well I was a "Latch Key Kid" from the time I was like 9. I would get home from school at 3:30, and my dad was home by 5:00. But that was several years ago and times have changed. Plus you have to consider what type of person she is. But if she is capable of making good decisions, it's worth a try. Just make sure that she knows what her boundaries are, and what they consequence will be for making a bad decision.
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Old 06-14-2008, 10:50 AM   #20
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Re: What age is okay for kids to be on their own?

I started staying by myself (well my brothers and me) when I was 12, so like 6th grade, I think. We had to call my mom as soon as we got home and we had stay at the house or at least in the yard with the cordless phone near by so she could call us.
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