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Too young to be by themselves at night? WWYD? - Page 2

post #21 of 87
There's an awful lot of assumptions being made about this mama. Especially when you consider only one person on this thread has actually ever met her.
post #22 of 87
I don't see what the big deal is. Depends on the maturity of the child. My dd is 11 almost 12 and I have left her here with the other kids to go pick dh up from the airport late at night. Of course we live in a great neighborhood and know all our neighbors very well. We have a firefighter across the street and a policeman 2 doors down and there are lots of people she can call if she got into trouble. We also have an alarm system and a 130 lb guard dog that would eat anyone alive that tried to break in or die trying. She's in 7th grade and she is very comfortable with it. The other kids are usually already in bed or ready to be put into bed. I pay her to watch the other kids and she enjoys the extra money. She also stays home alone sometimes when we run out somewhere and she doesn't want to go. She has been staying home for short stints during the day since she was 9 or 10. I did too as a child. But my sister was never allowed to be home alone and I wouldn't let my 2nd dd who is 9 stay home alone for any period of time. Maturity varies greatly and age isn't a deciding factor imo for when a child is ready to be home alone.
post #23 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2goingon2 View Post
Eleven year old children are too young to be left alone while mom bar hops. Does this happen on a routine basis? Does the little girl know that she is alone at night? This raises so many questions and concerns. What if she gets sick?
Call Mom on her cell phone.

What if she has a nightmare?
Call Mom on her cell phone, or just go back to sleep. She's 11 years, not 11 months.

What if she hears something that scares her?
You guessed it, call Mom on her cell phone.
These days it is easy to stay in touch. It's not like she is gone for days with no way to get in contact. Obviously, I am going on my own experience of maturity at that age, and that of my dds, but you seem to be expecting the maturity level of a much younger kid.
post #24 of 87
I'm not sure what I would do, other than tell the girl that you are nearby if she needs something. I would have been terrified to be left alone at night at that age, but that's probably part of my personality. I still don't like being alone at night.
post #25 of 87
It depends so much on the kid and other circumstances.

We live in an apartment building and are friends with our neighbors. We occasionally take a walk around the neighborhood by ourselves or run to the corner store, leaving dd home alone. She's totally comfortable with it. We leave her one cell and take the other and she knows she can go to our neighbors in the building if she needs help.

My BIG concern though is if something happened to ME while I was away, so I always let someone know. DH was visiting his family a couple of towns away last night. I was making lunch for DD for camp after she had gone to bed and I realized we were out of bread.

I left a note for dd and called DH and had him stay on the phone with me while I walked the two blocks to the store and back until I was safely back home (I was gone for about 13 minutes).

So, it depends on the kid and the circumstance. I'm sure, with dd's maturity level now, she will be more than comfortable and ready by the time she's 11 to be left alone for a few hours while DH and I go on a date. However, we'd stay within walking or extremely short driving distance, definitely not 30 minutes away.
post #26 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawningmama View Post
There's an awful lot of assumptions being made about this mama. Especially when you consider only one person on this thread has actually ever met her.
I totally agree.
post #27 of 87
I know this probably comes up a lot on mdc, but I really think it is important to remember that we all come from very different places in terms of background, customs and culture and definitely INCOME! It's lovely that so many folks are well off, but I think important to remember thats not all of us.
I'm not sure why this is coming up for me in this thread, but it really is.
And it's not that because you are poor you don't take as good of care of your kids, it just sometimes means you have less resources or options.
post #28 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamahart View Post
I know this probably comes up a lot on mdc, but I really think it is important to remember that we all come from very different places in terms of background, customs and culture and definitely INCOME! It's lovely that so many folks are well off, but I think important to remember thats not all of us.
I'm not sure why this is coming up for me in this thread, but it really is.
And it's not that because you are poor you don't take as good of care of your kids, it just sometimes means you have less resources or options.
This gets to me sometimes here as well. But even if she does have money for a sitter, it doesn't mean the girl needs one. Some kids would be just fine in this situation. For all we know, the child had a sitter and begged to be left without one! Not enough information here to judge one way or the other.
post #29 of 87
I don't see the issue. Like other people said, I was babysitting other kids at that age. And who cares that it's so the mama can step out and have a drink at a bar.
post #30 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Herausgeber View Post
I don't see the issue. Like other people said, I was babysitting other kids at that age. And who cares that it's so the mama can step out and have a drink at a bar.
I think the bar is what really bothers a lot of posters.
post #31 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nautical View Post
I don't know, I was doing overnight babysitting by age 11 and had been for a while.
It's different in this day and time though.

And yes, I for one think it bothers me more that the mom is leaving her to go to a bar and party.
post #32 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommy68 View Post
It's different in this day and time though.

And yes, I for one think it bothers me more that the mom is leaving her to go to a bar and party.
What's different about it in this day and age? Apart from the obvious, that the kid could contact her mother at any time by cell phone if she needs to.
post #33 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arduinna View Post
Have no idea what it's like in Canada, but where I live there are no laws stating at what age kids can be left home alone.
In Alberta, at least, there are no laws about this either. I think it really depends on the child. I was a latchkey kid, making lunch and dinner at the age of 11 for myself and a younger sibling week in, week out....and we did ok.

I know some children much older than 11 that shouldn't be left on their own. And I think my daughter at age 10 is probably mature enough (though I don't leave her alone yet). I see a wide range of maturity in her friends --one 11 yr old who is very easily distracted -- I'd be afraid she'd burn the house down making toast somehow. Another little one, 9, has a mom who works shifts as a nurse and she is on her own, apparently happily, for hours during the day when her mom is sleeping and her dad is at work. Mom IS in the house, though, but asleep, and not to be woken unless there is a dire emergency. But this kid makes dinner for her family, does homework by herself, etc. I'm sure she'd do fine even if mom were physically out of the house instead of asleep.

I know the Red Cross offers a safety training course for babysitters as young as age 11. I am going to sign my daughter up for it after her next birthday. I'd hire a sitter if we were going out for hours at night, I think, but it would be lovely if she could stay with one of her brothers for 20 min while I go to pick the other up at an afterschool activity....

I do think that letting this child (and her mom ) know that she can call you anytime if she is afraid or can't reach mom, as a pp suggested, would be a good idea.
post #34 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post
What's different about it in this day and age? Apart from the obvious, that the kid could contact her mother at any time by cell phone if she needs to.
Yeah, I don't see anything different about this day and age compared to when I was 10-12. That was 18-20 years ago not 100 years. And even so, I don't perceive this day and time as any more dangerous. There have been thieves, murderers, child abductors, and the like since the beginning of civilization. If anything, modern times provide faster and easier access to help in the case of an emergency. I lived 15 miles from the nearest neighbor growing up and even farther from a fire department or police station. Had something happened while I was home alone there was no one to call on a cell phone and it would have taken fire and rescue an hour to get there. At my house it would take less than 5 mins.
post #35 of 87
Do you know the child well enough to befriend her a little? Just to get a sense of her own knowlege about "what to do if...". And to gauge her confidence. I think an 11 year old is okay for an hour or two alone IF you know they have someone to call in the event they needed company. And at night is easier because at least the child is not tempted to be out with friends.

I guess, to me, 11 years old is pretty borderline. My oldest was okay alone for an hour at 11 but my 2nd,,,NOOO WAY! He's almost 13 and I'm just starting to leave him for an hour here and there. Different kids, yanno?
post #36 of 87
I think it's safer now to be home alone than it was when I was younger and home alone. If I was to hire a babysitter I wouldn't be able to afford to leave my house and my kids don't need one anyway so it would be wasted money. I enjoy having a life outside of my kids and sometimes that involves having a drink with some friends or heading out for a late dinner. I also live in the "bad" (read low income) part of town and if you look at vehicle breakins you would say we are high crime but many many "bad" areas have little to no "person crimes". People will say they don't even like to eat in my neighborhood and I just laugh. I'm glad not be so sheltered and I'm glad my children are so sheltered either.
post #37 of 87
I have an 11 year old and have left her home alone before without worry. I'd probably not leave her alone while I went to a bar, but that's just not my life. I would however, leave her alone while DH and I went out to dinner. Well, probably not because we do everything as a family, but I would feel comfortable doing so.

My DD is 11, going into the 7th grade and is incredibly mature. She knows what to do in case of an emergency. She knows how to use a phone, she knows the places to hide if someone breaks in, she knows how to call 911, she knows not to use the stove when adults aren't present.

There is such a HUGE difference in children at this age and an even bigger difference in children just a year or two younger. The only issue I have is that mom is leaving her alone to go to a bar. It has nothing to do with leaving the child home alone, it has more to do with why she is leaving her alone. But that is my perspective on life, and I can acknowledge that I have a different view than other people.
post #38 of 87
Sometimes even mothers want to go out and drink and dance and party. Sometimes this can rejuvenate a weary spirit.:
post #39 of 87
I think it totally depends on the child, but no matter how responsible the child is, or what age they are (when you leave your 18-year-old at home there's a chance someone will break in and kill her, and you'd still probably feel awful for not being there), there is always a risk involed.

I was babysitting my younger sisters for up to 4 hours at a time when I was 11, never had a problem. We stayed in the house, we didn't answer the door, we always had a number to reach parents/neighbor/friend, and we knew about fire safety and how to call 911.

Quote:
Yeah, I don't see anything different about this day and age compared to when I was 10-12. That was 18-20 years ago not 100 years. And even so, I don't perceive this day and time as any more dangerous. There have been thieves, murderers, child abductors, and the like since the beginning of civilization. If anything, modern times provide faster and easier access to help in the case of an emergency. I lived 15 miles from the nearest neighbor growing up and even farther from a fire department or police station. Had something happened while I was home alone there was no one to call on a cell phone and it would have taken fire and rescue an hour to get there. At my house it would take less than 5 mins.
ITA. I do think there's a tendacy in everyone to start bemoaning how 'things are different now' but it's mostly all in the eye of the beholder. Crime rates now are lower than when I was a kid. There's simply a lot of media hysteria, which can fool people into thinking there's some sort of pedophile epidemic, etc. And cell phones have increased safety enormously.
post #40 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post
What's different about it in this day and age? Apart from the obvious, that the kid could contact her mother at any time by cell phone if she needs to.
Well, I am in my 40's,so imho, a lot has changed. There was not the perverted,violent society that invades most homes and streets(all the more if "crummy"-as stated-otherwise,why the label,"crummy"?),like there is today.There wasn't a CPS,eagerly awaiting parents to slip up and make the tiniest mistakes...to get in,and prove a case against the parents. God forbid something bad should happen to this Mother or her DD,THE FACT that the Mom is away at a bar,drinking,would just fuel any fire under CPS. Just look at the tragic case down in Florida,now that the Mother has pics plastered all over the news,of her out partying,she is being made to look all the more guilty-and protrayed as a HORRIBLE Mother. 11 year olds have access to so much cr*p these days,or their friends do. So,what if the DD seems like she is asleep,but is eagerly awaiting for her Mother to leave,so she can carry on herself. That "carrying on" may look *very* different today,than 30 yrs ago.

Does this DD have a cell phone? Does her Mom have one? Would her Mom be driving home drunk? Would she be sober enough to properly guide her DD through something gone bad?

As for the suggestions of pps re discrimination due to socio-economic differences. I guess I am seeing it different. In todays society,if a Mom,who is single(?),and lives in a crummy neighborhood(stated)leaves her 11yo DD alone at night, is much more at risk of being discriminated against. She already has two strikes against her-she is a(single?) woman,and she is (presumably) poor. A stranger,the police,or CPS, could all view the Mom as being neglectful,unable to make responsible decisions when it comes to her parenting. If the Mother is poor,rarely gets a brake,and wants to go to the bar to relax,or enjoy herself-she probably has less choices in obtaining affordable and/or trustworthy childcare.(I'm thinking of a pp who said she leaves her DC alone,but has trustworthy neighbors,policemen,firefighterws-all living on her street-IOW-she has extraordinary support system.YK?)
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