I think what is appropriate is dependant on so many factors- maturity of the child, safety of the neighbourhood where you live, ability to contact you (by cell phone), etc, etc.
The things we took into consideration was: Maturity level, how long were we going to be gone, what time of day was it ( we started with daytime hours only), how available is an emergency contact ( I always have my cell with me ).
I was home alone from at least 12 and was babysitting my preschool age sister at the same time. I started my dd at about 10 for short periods of time (like running to the store for milk) and only during the day with constant access to an adult by phone, or a neighbor. She is very responsable though, so it does depend on the child.
Rule of thumb based on maturity was 12. However, we did not approve of walking in on a 12 year old taking care of younger sibs for extended period of time, say over an hour and having to fix meals.
If child is 12, home alone for an hour or so, knows emergency phones, has an immediate contact in case of problems, (close neighbor, friend etc) we usually felt it was ok.
If child was 12, immature, had no idea what to do when we asked about emergencies, fire, who to call etc. We were concerned and took steps.
Hope this helps.
I think 8 to 10 is an OK age for short periods/day time and 10 -12 at night and for longer periods. of course that is assuming they are mature and I can be reached on a cell phone and am within 10 minutes of my house. we also live across the street from the emergancy room.
i was home from the time I was 5.
The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it. We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.
I started my dd at age 10, and gradually increased as she got older and felt more comfortable.
Now she is 14 and has lost ALL priveleges of staying home alone due to the fact that she broke the rules...big time. Guess I'm gonna be toting her around with me until she is 18. Oh My Gosh!!! That sounds really weird, but you gotta do what you gotta do.