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What age do you leave them home alone? - Page 2

post #21 of 51
I will leave dd's(almost 11 and almost 8) home together sometimes in the afternoon while I go out for a 30 minute jog. I take my cell with me and am not more than a mile or so away. We have trustworthy neighbors at home that time of day and dd's usually are reading or working on homework.
post #22 of 51
I think it really depends on how mature your dd is and how comfortable you are. When I was that age I started staying home rather than need to go to a sitters during the school day. My parents woke me before they went to work, called to make sure I was headed out the door on time, I walked to and from school with friends and frequently ate lunch at my friend's house since her place was closer to the school than mine. After school I was not home alone very long before mom and dad were off work, but our next door neighbour was a SAHM, as well as a few other women in the neighbourhood, so there were many eyes on me to make sure I didn't get into any trouble (as a teen I called them "Mom's Many Spies", ). By 12 I was doing short babysitting stints for my brothers and neighbours..by 13 I was the main sitter on our block.
That said, when my niece was that age there was no way she was responsible to be left alone, and she would freak out if it was suggested. She is coming up to 16 and while she is ok if my mil (she lives with my mil in a small town, her mom is here in the city...don't get me started on this situation) goes for the day, Grandma can even take the 2 hour drive and spend the day in the city, but if it's approaching evening my niece will not stay home by herself. She is planning to get her own place here in the city when she comes to college....I do not think she is going to be able to handle it.
My brothers, while responsible on their own, at 10-14 could not be left home together. Too much arguing over who was "in charge" . Now at 15 and 17, they're fine.
But I think the big issue here for you is that you are not comfortable with leaving her home alone, and I totally understand that. If your gut is telling you to wait, then you should wait a bit longer.
post #23 of 51
I think the time to start leaving them by themselves is when both you and the child is comfortable with it. If either of you is uneasy, it's probably better to wait a while. It varies, I find that my oldest LOVED being left alone and was ready for it at 8, but my younger was not ready at that age, though she was fine if her sister was with her.
post #24 of 51
I was left home alone after school and started babysitting my little sister (8 years younger) at the age of 10. Nothing bad happened, ever.
post #25 of 51
My oldest just stayed home alone for the first time last month. He is almost 13.

I think it depends on the kid. Sage would rather run an errand with me than stay home. Starting at 11, I would talk to him every so often to see if it was something he was interested in, and he just wasn't until now.
post #26 of 51
I was riding my bike to school with the neighbors' 9 and 7 yr. olds when I was 6. At 7, I was walking to school with my 5 yr. old sister, and babysitting her for 2 hours every weekday after school. By 10 I was babysitting other peoples' kids.
I'll feel comfortable leaving my oldest home alone around 8, I think. He's very mature and responsible at 4. His toddler brother will be a different story, I think.
post #27 of 51
i really think it depends on the child and whether they feel comfortable staying at home by themselves or are deamed responsible.
post #28 of 51
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the responses. We do have a neighbor my daughter could call in a pinch, but I think I'm going to wait another year-ish. She's totally ready to be left alone, and she's a homebody, so she's always asking if she can stay while I run errands. I'm not sure what I'll tell her the next time she asks. Maybe I should look up the CA law.

My DH and I have an agreement to never let the kids stay home alone together because we were both tortured by older siblings. We may change our minds eventually depending on the kids' relationships with each other.
post #29 of 51
I leave dd home for a short periods of time if I have to run to the store or take the dog for a quick walk. She is mature for her age (10) and very responsible. She is comfortable with this, otherwise I wouldn't do it.
post #30 of 51
I would be left alone at home at the age of eight with three younger siblings to care for, but I was quite mature and dependable.

I never left my children at home alone until they were ten.

Legally I do believe it is age thirteen. No questions after that.
post #31 of 51
I just started allowing my 11-year-old ds to stay home alone for short periods of time (like an hour). We live in the country, so I wasn't comfortable with the idea a few years ago. Last year my dh and I offered to let him stay home while we took a short walk up the road, and ds said "no." This year, however, he asked if he could stay home during his sister's Brownie meetings. Like pp, we have very strict rules.
post #32 of 51
In our local newspaper, there was an article about leaving kids alone. The article was talking about home alone after school while the parents worked, but relevant to this thread, too.

The article said age 9 was the legally accepted age when children can be left alone. I do not know if that was a state law or what.
post #33 of 51
Quote:
My husband and I have been disagreeing about leaving our daughter home alone while we run errands. She'll be 10 next month, and she is very mature and trustworthy, but I wasn't ready to leave her. He insists that if we leave her for short periods it will boost her self-confidence and make her feel responsible.
Your dh is right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lunabelly View Post
We do have a neighbor my daughter could call in a pinch, but I think I'm going to wait another year-ish. She's totally ready to be left alone, and she's a homebody, so she's always asking if she can stay while I run errands. I'm not sure what I'll tell her the next time she asks.
It sounds to me like not wanting to leave her is your issue, and has nothing to do with your child's ability to handle being alone. Starting out leaving for very short amounts of time (to mail something or return a video) might help you get over your anxiety.
post #34 of 51
I thought the legal age was different for different states? Have to look that up.

I've just this year left ds be at home alone. No longer than 30 minutes and like pps said, our rules are strict. He can't open the door, etc.

I think it definitely depends on the maturity of the individual.

ETA: Only two states have laws regarding the age of children left alone. Maryland and Illinois, I think they were. The only info I found for here (WA state) said that the earliest (norm) seems to be ten.
post #35 of 51
my ten year old gets left for short periods 10 mins at the most unless her older brother - 13 - is there, however he was left for a much longer time at his own request when he was 10, he was much more indepentant at 10 than she is . She worries about what might happen while she is alone where as my son dosen't even notice we are gone diffrent kids same upbringing, i would say if they want to stay home let them as long as they know how to contact you...
post #36 of 51
We started with quick trips at 10 yo. He stays home for a few hours now (11 yo). I mostly worry about him getting lonely.
post #37 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by lunabelly View Post
Thanks for the responses. We do have a neighbor my daughter could call in a pinch, but I think I'm going to wait another year-ish. She's totally ready to be left alone, and she's a homebody, so she's always asking if she can stay while I run errands. I'm not sure what I'll tell her the next time she asks. Maybe I should look up the CA law.

My DH and I have an agreement to never let the kids stay home alone together because we were both tortured by older siblings. We may change our minds eventually depending on the kids' relationships with each other.
As far as California law, I'm not sure there is one. I called CPS on my cousin who was leaving her 10 yo in charge of her 10 month old ALL DAY LONG (and he was very irresponsible). They told me there wasn't a set guildeline, it depended on the maturity of the child. They told me that some 9 yo can safely babysit a toddler, and some cannot.
post #38 of 51
I started leaving them home by themselves when dd turned 11. It was only for very short trips- ei the corner store for milk or dropping off mail. Over time, I would leave them alone for longer times. But it was a very slow process. DD is now 13 and during the day, I have no problem leaving her and ds home. I do not like them home alone after dark though.

I don't think you are overeacting if your gut is telling you it is too soon. Maybe wait a little more
post #39 of 51
i have left my almost 9 year old a couple times to run to the store (3 blocks away) or the post office (4 blocks away)

but i live in a very tiny farm community, and i know just about everyone.

if we lived elsewhere, things may be different.
post #40 of 51
My kids are 13. 5 and 16 and I don't like leaving them alone and certainly not together. I have at times but really try not to-they like the compainship etc. Again, not in a fearful lway but they, in my opinion still need an adult in the house. I wait and do my shopping when my husband is at home. I do my appts. like massage when he is at home. I do my chiropractic very early in the morning when they are sitll asleep. This weekend my daughter had a volleyball tournament and my husband stayed home to be with the 16 year old. Yes he is driving, etc. but still needs help with meals, etc. I need to decide what I am comfortable with and remember in many ways they are still kids. I had way too much responsibliaty at an early age and want them to be adulats gradually. Sallie
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