Originally Posted by One_Girl
I don't think I will ever be comfortable with my dd staying in the car alone while I am off shopping. If she is old enough to stay home alone (13) then I will let her choose to do that. I remember having to stay in the car sometimes and it got very hot and uncomfortable, I don't want my dd thinking she has to endure that.
Wouldn't you be available to avoid that by saying "Come find me if you get hot or bored?"
If I give my son the following choices:
1) Come with me and come in the stores as I run errands.
2) Come with me, enjoy the drive and the conversation, and then sit in the car reading your book for 10 minutes a few different times.
3) Stay home alone for an hour.
He'll pick 2. I assume that if he were hot and uncomfortable he'd choose 1 or 3. I'm not sure why he'd think he had to "endure" something that he chose to do, and that he has the ability to undo (by coming in and finding me) at any time.
OP, I started leaving him around 8 or 9, in neighborhoods I felt were safe when I could see the car from the door, and it was quick (think 7 - 11). Now at 11 I pretty much always offer the choice, unless it's something like Target where I could be a couple of hours.
When the weather's hot, I've also let him sitting under a tree near the car with his book or the dog.