What age to leave home alone for an hour? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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#31 of 46 Old 02-24-2010, 05:27 PM
 
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Yes!

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Originally Posted by CallMeMommy View Post
I'm sticking with my gut on this one.

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#32 of 46 Old 02-24-2010, 05:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mbhf View Post
I just don't want to put him in a position where he feels scared.
This is so sweet and I understand the sentiment totally.

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#33 of 46 Old 02-24-2010, 05:42 PM
 
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I'd not at all be comfortable with that the bus ride I'd be fine with but not the empty house for an hour. I'm fairly free range I have a seven year old so I am right at that age but for me there is a huge diffrence between me allowing my 7 year old to hang out with her friends long our rather safe neighborhood (where multiple parents are aware) and a child left home alone at that age for that long.

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#34 of 46 Old 02-24-2010, 05:51 PM
 
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6 is too young, IMO. A lot can happen in an hour; I wouldn't take the chance.

It really is dependent on a variety of factors, including maturity of said child, of course, but I think the earliest I would feel comfy with is 10-11 years, and only for brief periods of time.

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#35 of 46 Old 02-24-2010, 05:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by FreeRangeMama View Post
I have a 6 year old and an almost 9 year old (plus 2 youngers) and I would NEVER even consider this for years to come. I was left alone for 1.5 hours a day when I starting when I was 6 and although nothing bad ever happened (and I was a ridiculously responsible child) it was not a good feeling to be alone like that. Sometimes I was lonely, or really excited about something with no one to share it with, disappointed with no one to console me, frightened, hungry, bored, etc. That is a lot of things for a 6 or 7 year old to deal with on a daily basis ALONE.
I agree with this. This would be one of my major concerns. That said, I do leave my 7 year old home alone to go to the store right next door for just a few minutes from time to time. But it's never more than 8-10 minutes, and I go when he's engrossed in a book, activity or movie.

Pauletoys' link a few posts back had a short part that jumped out at me:
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"A general rule of thumb is that kids under age seven aren't capable of thinking logically and putting cause and effect together," Tanner said. "They are reliant on caregivers to structure their day." Children between ages 7 and 10 years aren't generally ready to self-supervise for an extended period, but in a routine and predictable environment, such as just after school, they can manage, Tanner said. Children 12 and 13 years old should be judged on a case- by-case basis but should not be left alone overnight.

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#36 of 46 Old 02-25-2010, 01:00 AM
 
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Sorry if I'm not allowed to do this. http://babyrazzi.com/page/2/ reminded me of this thread.
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#37 of 46 Old 02-25-2010, 01:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CallMeMommy View Post
Ongoing disagreement with DH - he thinks next year it'll be okay for our then-6-year-old son to ride the bus home and stay there alone for an hour until I get off work. I'm thinking he's too young still. But, I do get DH's point that he's half a block away (DH works just down the street from our house) if something happens, but then I counter with how will he KNOW if something happens? Opinions? Am I being over-cautious? Something else we're not thinking of?
Totally depends on the kid. But, if you decide to do it, I would have your son first check in with Dad on the way home.

For us, my dd was 9 when she felt comfortable enough to be at home for short lengths (less than an hour). My 7 yr old is comfortable now, but I haven't done it yet. She keeps asking me to leave her home when I drop another child off somewhere. That would only be like 15 min. but I am waiting for my own reasons.

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#38 of 46 Old 02-25-2010, 01:23 AM
 
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I think six is way to young to stay home alone. If something happens to your child while you are home alone, even if you live in a state where there are no age restrictions on this, CPS will most likely get involved and charge you with child endangerment. I think around ten many children are developing the maturity to stay home alone, I would consider it around that age.
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#39 of 46 Old 02-25-2010, 05:44 PM
 
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I have started leaving my 8 year old daughter when I have to drop off/pick up another daughter from dance or girl scouts,etc. It's never longer then 5 minutes (seriously I live in a tiny town). I usually take my youngest but sometimes if she is asleep I don't. I'm facing a situation where I could let my older two walk home from school and let themselves into the house. I would be arriving home approx at the same time, maybe less then 10 minutes later but for some reason that makes me nervous.

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#40 of 46 Old 02-26-2010, 06:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ann_of_loxley View Post
'Legally' here - I think it is 14. I don't know what it is 'legally' where you live though.

Saying that - every child is very different. 14 might be alright for some children and not others ...
I know 14yo kids that have babies of their own.. so that seems a bit weird to me.. I can't imagine having a baby and then not being able to be home alone with my own kiddo.

I think there needs to be balance for kids to learn responsibility and trust, and making it illegal at 14 seems to severely cut off that ability to exercise these ideas..

However, I have an 11 yo that I have just STARTED allowing to come home on his own (and he has a key he is responsible for).. not every day but every once in a while since I want him getting a taste for personal responsibility, trust, etc.

I have a 6yo (almost 7) as well and I would never leave him home alone. He is bright and sweet but pretty sensitive and timid really. I don't know how he would handle being home alone. I don't think it would work out well.
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#41 of 46 Old 02-26-2010, 07:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by USAmma View Post
Wow that is way too young! Can a neighbor watch him for an hour? I have a very responsible 9 year old and have only left her a few times to go get something at the store. Usually it's something urgent like she's sick and I need to get her some medicine and Popsicles and don't want to drag her along with a fever/vomiting. Under normal circumstances I won't leave my kids alone yet. There are always unforeseen things that can happen even if the kid is doing everything right. The times I have left my 9yo she has to stay in my room, never answer the door or phone, and I had her on the cell most of the time I was away.
No offense, but why would she have to stay in your room? I get the not answering the phone or door, but to stay in your room too?

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#42 of 46 Old 02-26-2010, 08:19 PM
 
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I guess I'll be the odd one out- depending on the kid, I *might* be ok with it. I grew up with parents who taught on private school campuses, which meant we lived in apartments on campus. I remember coming home from kindergarten (I was 6) as a 'latchkey' kid for a couple hours. I had to call my mom's office (a couple hundred yards away) when I got in, and she'd call again before heading home. I was alone for maybe 45 minutes a day? I was fine, and not afraid at all.


With my daughter, she wasn't ready at 6, but she's now 8 and I would be totally comfortable for a couple hours.

It depends so much on the child, the setting, and how easy it is for the child to get help.
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#43 of 46 Old 02-26-2010, 08:30 PM
 
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This thread reminds me of something that happened when I was a teenager - when I was fifteen my parents went away for a week on a cruise and left me in charge of my four younger siblings (ranging in age from twelve down to three).

We had an awesome time, and I was totally responsible enough to manage on my own. Maybe it was the way I was raised, or the kind of kid I was, but my parents wouldn't have batted an eye at me babysitting even from age eleven.

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#44 of 46 Old 02-27-2010, 05:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Kaleanani View Post
No offense, but why would she have to stay in your room? I get the not answering the phone or door, but to stay in your room too?
maybe because she was sick at the time (the poster's DD), and she didn't want her exerting herself, etc?

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#45 of 46 Old 03-06-2010, 03:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by One_Girl View Post
I think six is way to young to stay home alone. If something happens to your child while you are home alone, even if you live in a state where there are no age restrictions on this, CPS will most likely get involved and charge you with child endangerment.
I agree. I'm fairly free range with my now 5 1/2-year-old, but being alone in the house is different. I'm also a foster parent and have a pretty good sense of how it would play out if something serious would happen.
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#46 of 46 Old 03-07-2010, 09:12 AM
 
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Just to add, if you leave a child at home, whatever age you decide, don't run any appliances while they're there.

Once, our washing machine caught fire. I was home with my newborn and ran to a neighbor. The washing machine was shot and it was scary seeing the flames leaping out from under.

Actually, the mess the fire fighters made was worse than any smoke or fire damage. But still, don't risk it with a child home alone. My mom actually turns everything off before leaving the house everytime. I have to admit that I use the timer to run something right before I'm due back but not if I have a kid here alone.

You can turn all that stuff on when you're home to monitor things.
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