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#61 of 87 Old 08-01-2008, 06:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks ladies, I've been out of town for a couple of days, this has really given me a lot to think about, and certainly validating my red flags!

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Originally Posted by the_lissa View Post
None of those things you listed are going to be any safer if the mother is there. If a plane flies into their building or someone opens fire in a school, it is not going to make a difference if the mother is beside her.

I know Toronto well, and would have no problem leaving an 11 year old child home alone in any neighbourhood.
We're in Toronto (Canada, so CPS, US stats don't apply)
She's in an apartment building in Parkdale - where there is the highest density of 'rehabbed' child abusers/pedophiles. etc. in Ontario. That's what bugs me. The crime rate in that neighborhood is quite high. I lived in that neighborhood for 5 years, and I wouldn't walk around by myself at night.

Other things I want to clear up, because yes, there are WAY to many assumptions about the mother here:
-she isn't going out to drink, much less get smashed. She may have one drink, but it's more to see friends and dance.
-she takes the bus, she doesn't drive - certainly not drunk
-the mom is in a long term relationship and not bringing strangers home from the bar
-I don't think she has a cell phone, but if she did, I don't expect she could hear it at the bar.
-there aren't any neighbors watching out for the daughter

I know a lot of us were left alone at that age for an hour or two, but a lot of us were allowed to play "down the street" unsupervised at 6 years old for hours on end, and I don't see a lot of us comfortable allowing our own kids out of our sight at that age. Especially in a crime-heavy downtown core of a metropolitan city. That said, I figured the mom knows what her daughter can handle, and as I said, I really don't know what the world of 10/11 year olds is like (I can't remember if she's 10 or 11) but it does raise flags. I will chat with her and try to find out what her thoughts are on it.
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#62 of 87 Old 08-01-2008, 06:44 PM
 
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My thoughts exactly! The gas to drive to the bar, the drinks(unless bought for her),the clothes to wear-if she's able to pay for all that, absolutely she should be paying for a sitter.


I live in the US, and in my state, it is legal to leave a DC HOME alone,regardless of age. Now, not in a CAR however. DC must be at least 6yo, or with a DC 14yo and older to be left alone in a car.

IMHO....it sounds like this momma has her priorities backward.
Whoa! This last sentence was very judgemental of me! I'm sorry OP!
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#63 of 87 Old 08-01-2008, 06:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dianna11 View Post



We're in Toronto (Canada, so CPS, US stats don't apply)
She's in an apartment building in Parkdale - where there is the highest density of 'rehabbed' child abusers/pedophiles. etc. in Ontario. That's what bugs me. The crime rate in that neighborhood is quite high. I lived in that neighborhood for 5 years, and I wouldn't walk around by myself at night.
While it would not bother me to walk around alone at night, I think there is a big difference between walking the streets alone and being alone in an apartment.

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#64 of 87 Old 08-01-2008, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by dianna11 View Post
I just discovered a 'friend' leaves her 11 year old daughter alone in their apartment at night so she can go out to a bar - "only for an hour" (granted, it takes her at least 30 minutes to get there, so likely 2-3 hours hours in total. It's in an apartment in one of the crummiest neighborhoods in the city, and I believe she leaves after her daughter has gone to bed.

I'm just stunned that she seems to think this is okay, I would have been terrified to wake up and discover I was all by myself at 11 years old. Even if I knew my mom would be leaving. I don't know, maybe this is an acceptable thing? I didn't think this was even legal...

What would you do?
Depends on the state or jurisdiction you're in. In some states in the U.S., this is illegal.

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#65 of 87 Old 08-01-2008, 08:35 PM
 
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11 is legal in ONtario.

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#66 of 87 Old 08-01-2008, 09:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by the_lissa View Post
11 is legal in ONtario.
AHA!! Thank you!! I tried googling for it, but got distracted (and I was away for a few days). Thanks for finding that. While the mother tends to make some poor choices in some areas of her life, she doesn't seem like the sort of person to do something downright illegal when it comes to her daughter.
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#67 of 87 Old 08-01-2008, 10:15 PM
 
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UNder 11 is not illegal per se, but it is a judgement call, so social workers saying like running to the store for a few minutes, that kind of thing, depending on the maturity level of your child under 11 is not illegal.

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#68 of 87 Old 08-01-2008, 10:24 PM
 
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Dianna11, have you talked to the daughter? How does she feel about it? If she's not comfy, can you offer to have her spend a night with your family every now and again? 11 is a fantastic age to be a mother's helper---she could probably get up w/ your little(s) in the morning and you could sleep in, pay her a couple of bucks or just trade the time w/ her mama.

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#69 of 87 Old 08-01-2008, 11:20 PM
 
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I don't think I could leave a 11 y/o home alone. I have a friend that dose leave her 11 ds alone *imo very inmature* all night. leaves after he's asleep in just an hour or so before he wakes. I myself can't do it. I don't think it's safe.

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#70 of 87 Old 08-03-2008, 01:10 AM
 
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Sounds fine to me. Re: not being able to hear her daughter call her on her cell phone when she's at the bar, the mom can put the phone on vibrate. When I go out and leave my kids at home (they're older now, but I used to leave them when they were younger--sometimes to go to a club), I can also text them.
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#71 of 87 Old 08-03-2008, 09:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Sounds fine to me. Re: not being able to hear her daughter call her on her cell phone when she's at the bar, the mom can put the phone on vibrate. When I go out and leave my kids at home (they're older now, but I used to leave them when they were younger--sometimes to go to a club), I can also text them.
...have you ever tried to have your phone on 'vibrate' in a bar? Especially a dance club bar? Everything vibrates, it's impossible to feel or hear. Furthermore, I'm reasonably sure she doesn't have a cell phone at all. Her daughter certainly doesn't have one to text her with.
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#72 of 87 Old 08-03-2008, 11:09 AM
 
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Originally Posted by dianna11 View Post
I'm just stunned that she seems to think this is okay, I would have been terrified to wake up and discover I was all by myself at 11 years old. Even if I knew my mom would be leaving. I don't know, maybe this is an acceptable thing? I didn't think this was even legal...
11? Sounds fine to me!
I was babysitting overnight for other people's toddlers by age 11. I think most 11 yos, especially girls, are mature enough to be alone by that age.

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#73 of 87 Old 08-03-2008, 11:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I just found this Here. It's from an Ontario Canada website (where we live)

Children aged 10 to 11 years old may be occasionally left alone at home for up to 1 - 2 hours provided they have no fear or anxiety staying home alone and the child's level of maturity matches this arrangement. Children in this age group should not be home alone for any period of time during overnight hours or be expected to take care of younger siblings or friends. To ensure a child's safety, parents should teach them general safety rules (for example, who to contact in an emergency, how to use the telephone, how to react in case of fire, etc.).

Children 12 and older should not be left alone overnight. Children in this age group are often able to babysit younger children. They should be able to demonstrate that they can follow safety rules. A babysitting certificate is a great idea to help learn basic health & safety procedures. A 12 or 13 year old babysitter should not be left in charge of more than 2 children; should not be responsible for cooking; supervising swimming of, or the bathing of, children. It is generally recommended that they do not babysit for periods longer than 4 hours per day.


So there it is, I guess.
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#74 of 87 Old 08-03-2008, 12:47 PM
 
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That's the opinion of a gov't Early Years website, not the law. It is just a guideline. It is a group partially or fully run by Public Health.

From the Ontario Children's Aid

http://www.oacas.org/childwelfare/faqs.htm#alone

Supervision & Care does NOT need to be someone standing in the same room as the child. It is purposely vague because they recognize that age does not define ability.

While what the mom is doing is not something everyone would do or that the op herself would do, she is not doing anything illegal.
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#75 of 87 Old 08-03-2008, 07:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That's the opinion of a gov't Early Years website, not the law. It is just a guideline. It is a group partially or fully run by Public Health.

From the Ontario Children's Aid

http://www.oacas.org/childwelfare/faqs.htm#alone

Supervision & Care does NOT need to be someone standing in the same room as the child. It is purposely vague because they recognize that age does not define ability.

While what the mom is doing is not something everyone would do or that the op herself would do, she is not doing anything illegal.
Awesome! Thanks for looking that up, I couldn't find anything about the law regarding the situation. As I said, the mom tends to not make the best choices all of the time, but I didn't think that she would do anything outright illegal when it comes to her daughter.
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#76 of 87 Old 08-03-2008, 07:27 PM
 
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I just got finished reading Gavin De Beckers book, Protecting the Gift". If the kid knows what to do in an emergency, if they know what to do if someone is trying to force their way into the house, what to do if someone is knocking at the door (should they answer it/what if they claim they are a repairman, etc), if they know their address, phone number, etc, and know the escape routes in case of fire (and are clear thinking enough to remember to grab their sibling if there is an emergency instead of just running out of the house by themselves), if they know to never leave their sibling alone and unattended to, then sure, they can be home alone with their younger brother or sister.

You wonder if the parent has thought to tell the older kid all those things, however.

I personally would not trust a kid that young to take care of a young child, unless they are close in age that is. I wouldn't let an 11 or 12 year old baby sit my child either.

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#77 of 87 Old 08-03-2008, 08:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just got finished reading Gavin De Beckers book, Protecting the Gift". If the kid knows what to do in an emergency, if they know what to do if someone is trying to force their way into the house, what to do if someone is knocking at the door (should they answer it/what if they claim they are a repairman, etc), if they know their address, phone number, etc, and know the escape routes in case of fire (and are clear thinking enough to remember to grab their sibling if there is an emergency instead of just running out of the house by themselves), if they know to never leave their sibling alone and unattended to, then sure, they can be home alone with their younger brother or sister.

You wonder if the parent has thought to tell the older kid all those things, however.

I personally would not trust a kid that young to take care of a young child, unless they are close in age that is. I wouldn't let an 11 or 12 year old baby sit my child either.
She's not babysitting anybody, she's just by herself from about 10:30pm to 1:30am
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#78 of 87 Old 08-04-2008, 01:45 AM
 
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I just got finished reading Gavin De Beckers book, Protecting the Gift". If the kid knows what to do in an emergency, if they know what to do if someone is trying to force their way into the house, what to do if someone is knocking at the door (should they answer it/what if they claim they are a repairman, etc), if they know their address, phone number, etc, and know the escape routes in case of fire (and are clear thinking enough to remember to grab their sibling if there is an emergency instead of just running out of the house by themselves), if they know to never leave their sibling alone and unattended to, then sure, they can be home alone with their younger brother or sister.

You wonder if the parent has thought to tell the older kid all those things, however.

I personally would not trust a kid that young to take care of a young child, unless they are close in age that is. I wouldn't let an 11 or 12 year old baby sit my child either.
I just wanted to put a plug in for de Becker's book! Two's up. It's a must read for every parent!
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#79 of 87 Old 08-04-2008, 02:10 AM
 
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While I know many people think children should be glued to mom's hips until they are 18, many others know their 11 year olds are plenty mature enough to sleep for an hour alone. In the state of Oregon, children 10 and over can be left alone for longer periods of time. That said, my 11 year old DS would not be left alone without another more mature child because he has SN and isn't mature enough to call the police or ask for help if he needs it. While untested, I know my DD(13) could do just fine for 2-3 days, even longer if I kept enough food stocked up and she had internet access!

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#80 of 87 Old 08-04-2008, 04:07 AM
 
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Why do DC need a parent or trusted adult then? If any of the above horrific things played out, a grownup or even just another person present could make a huge difference. People are more powerful in numbers.

IMNHO, an 11yo would *need* a parent or trusted adult with them, to help them with the emotional and physical trauma they would experience. Having a parent present could mean a lot emotionally.
Under this logic, you should never let a child out of your sight, because some horrific thing might happen to them. Horrific things are incredibly rare. Home invasions are rare. Stranger abductions are rare. Most child abuse is perpetrated by people the child knows. That was true 30 years ago when I was 11 and no one talked about child abuse and it's true today.

Now, in the OPs situation, I would not be comfortable leaving MY child alone in those circumstances, but that's because MY older child (7) is prone to anxiety, and he's 4 years away from that anyway. He would not be ready at 11. He probably won't be ready until about 14! Our dd might be, but she's only 4, and it's too soon to tell.

But, I was babysitting at 11. Many 11 year olds are quite competent. I'm assuming the apartment is locked, the child knows how to use the phone in case of emergency, and the mother doesn't have the money for a sitter/have a sitter she can trust, or she'd choose that option.

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#81 of 87 Old 08-04-2008, 05:10 AM
 
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Under this logic, you should never let a child out of your sight, because some horrific thing might happen to them. Horrific things are incredibly rare. Home invasions are rare. Stranger abductions are rare. Most child abuse is perpetrated by people the child knows. That was true 30 years ago when I was 11 and no one talked about child abuse and it's true today.
.
I am aware of these things.When reading all of the posts, one can see, I was replying to a pp, saying how much safer our world is today. I was simply giving examples of things that were *not* around in the 60's-70's. Hmm..not sure I would have even listed child abuse, as I know it was happening-in my own home.

Sounds like the OP got some answers she needed. Yay! What a good friend!:
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#82 of 87 Old 08-04-2008, 12:04 PM
 
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Is the world safer? In the US, I guess I am thinking of violent school and church shootings.Mall shootings. Violent musical lyrics and video games. The extreme sexualization of females,getting younger and younger. Terrorists attacks-from US citizens and Non US citizens. People getting messed up on harder drugs like meth-and either getting violent while high,or while trying to get the drug. The evils and ease of the internet. Violent gangs in most towns and cities. Sure,they were there before-but because of the lack of parents attaching to thier kids,they turn to the gangs as their family. I just spoke with a man from Mexico,he was so upset,as his DS was involved in drugs and crime,refused to be a part of the family anymore,all becsause the DS wanted *stuff*,meaning material things. Kids are not playing ball at the sandlot,or playing outside,because the parents or the kids themselves don't feel safe.Kinders bringing guns to school.More DC and women in homeless shelters.

I think you're really off with these assumptions. We surely hear about all these awful things a lot more than we did 20 years ago. However, statistically, life is safer in the US now than at any other time. Statistics are factual; personal opinions and experiences aren't indicative of the big picture.

Things have surely changed over time, but not nessesarily for the worse.

I think part of being a parent is thinking that your own childhood was much safer/more wholesome than what your children are exposed to. My older aunts (11 yrs older than my mother) heard it from my grandmother, mom my heard it from my older aunts, and now me and my cousins with little children are hearing it from my mom's generation.
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#83 of 87 Old 08-04-2008, 08:19 PM
 
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I think you're really off with these assumptions. We surely hear about all these awful things a lot more than we did 20 years ago. However, statistically, life is safer in the US now than at any other time. Statistics are factual; personal opinions and experiences aren't indicative of the big picture.

Things have surely changed over time, but not nessesarily for the worse.

I think part of being a parent is thinking that your own childhood was much safer/more wholesome than what your children are exposed to. My older aunts (11 yrs older than my mother) heard it from my grandmother, mom my heard it from my older aunts, and now me and my cousins with little children are hearing it from my mom's generation.
Again, I don't think I am really off with these assumptions. It's true that because of the click of a mouse, we have the world's bad news at our fingers.

As was stated in pps,THE STATS REALLY DEPEND ON DEMOGRAPHICS. It's right there on the wikipedia website. Actually, I don't see how we can really compare violent stats-when the violence is on the scale of blowing up buildings(Oklahoma City and World Trade Towers), the crimes used via/motivated by the internet,music and video games. These are things that did not exist when I was a kid(60's/early 70's).

And, going waaay OT........perhaps some people believe their own childhood was more wholesome/better/safer than their DC's childhood. For me, I can confidently say that my DC have a much,much more wholesome/better/ and safer than my own childhood. Then again, my own childhood was riddled with drug raids to my house by police(no CPS stepping in then),attending 5 different grade schools, 4 different middle schools, and finally! just one high school; a Mom who put bfs in front of her job as a Mom, being molested for three yrs in my teen yrs, more than a few of Mom's bfs hitting on me, an abusive stepdad,and the best....witnessing my dad try to blow his head off.

VS.....I've been married 18 yrs,offering stabilty, homeschooling(well, till this fall),no abusing drugs or alcohol,practicing AP. And I am an uber mama bear! Though I do have chronic illnesses,which has been no bed of roses for my DC.

Not saying this to pour out a pity party, just to let you know, that lots of us mommas have very different backgrounds-mine was a HUGE motivator to parent the way i do,and strive for something better for them.

I think it may be a more accurate statement(and more appropriate to a variety of people) to say that MOST parents want a better/safer life than they ,themselves, as parents,had.
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#84 of 87 Old 08-07-2008, 07:06 PM
 
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I agree with the posters who have said it depends on the child. I have three children; 12, 10, and 7. This summer they stayed home alone during the day for three hours while I taught summer school. My 7 year old is NOT the average 7 year old; she is very mature for her age. IF she had been like her brother at 7, I would have never done this. We also went over rules and safety issues. We also have family who live close by and dh works 5 minutes away. Honestly, I have said that I feel safer leaving them alone at these ages than I will when they are 15, 13 and 10. At this point, my kids have no clue about the internet, they would never invite friends over, they have no desire to drink, smoke or any interest in the opposite sex. In 3 years, it will be a whole different world.

I also think if this mamma was going off to work, etc. responses would be different. When dh and I want to go out late at night, we get a sitter or arrange sleep overs for the kids. We might go out to dinner in the early evening and leave them at home together, but we do not go out late at night while the kids are sleeping.
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#85 of 87 Old 08-08-2008, 03:32 PM
 
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My 11 year old babysits her younger brother (6) occasionally for an hour or so while I run to the grocery store or a quick errand. We always have emergency phone numbers posted and have gone over safety rules several times. I have never left her alone at night and wouldn't do that because I would be too worried, even though we live next door to a cop and have two extremely protective guard dogs.

But I remember at 9 years old, I babysat at night with my infant sister who was around 6 months old at the time. I did just fine. It totally depends on the maturity of the child and how comfortable they are being left alone.

They have classes here that kids can start taking at 11 and it covers everything from what to do in an emergency to becoming CPR certified. I plan on enrolling her in that soon. But I still wouldn't leave her at night until she's older, it's not that she is not mature enough, it's just for my own peace of mind.

She does absolutely wonderful watching her brother while I run fast errands during the day though. They even surprised me once and washed dishes and cleaned the entire house while I was gone. :
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#86 of 87 Old 08-08-2008, 03:42 PM
 
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i not only babysat my brother at that age but i was paid to babysit other people's children. now however it is not done so much and at any rate would constitute child neglect in my state.
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#87 of 87 Old 08-08-2008, 04:14 PM
 
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I agree with it depending on the kids. I just reconnected with a friend of mine who absolutely has to work every day. Her kids are 13, 11 and 9. They are home alone all day (7:30am-3pm) this summer. The kids grocery shop, keep the house in decent shape, go to the library and pool and have a blast.
I could never do this with my kids because of their temperments.
Both 13yo DD and 11yo DS1 compete for power and arguments frequently erupt. I can leave them alone for 3-5 hours at the most.
My younger friend's kids listen to and defer to their big sister.
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