Would you leave a responsible 9yo and 5.5yo at home alone for about 10 minutes? - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: Would you leave a responsible 9yo and 5.5yo home alone for 10 minutes?
Yes, if they have proven themselves to be responsible 107 58.15%
Not under any circumstances at those ages 51 27.72%
Maybe 26 14.13%
Voters: 184. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 71 Old 03-05-2010, 06:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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If you had a 9yo and 5.5yo who were both very responsible, would you leave them at home to drive exactly 1mi to the bank atm machine? Approximately 10 minutes total time.
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#2 of 71 Old 03-05-2010, 06:36 PM
 
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I would leave the big kid if he didn't want to go and take the 5yo with me.

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#3 of 71 Old 03-05-2010, 06:37 PM
 
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If I knew I could trust the 9 year old to handle the 5.5 year old and any issues that came up, then yes I would. DD is 11 and she has watched DS for short stretches (no longer then an hour).

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#4 of 71 Old 03-05-2010, 07:01 PM
 
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I'd leave the 9yo home alone, but I wouldn't let a child babysit (no adult around at all) before age 11, no matter how responsible the children are. Some kids wouldn't be ready to babysit at 11, but 11 is my cutoff point (I wouldn't feel comfy letting a 10yo babysit, no matter how responsible that particular 10yo was.)

However, I wouldn't freak out if I found out that a neighbor or friend was doing this, the way I'd get upset and concerned if a friend was leaving a 5yo to babysit a 2yo (that's CPs worthy IMO). If it's a friend of yours who's letting their 9yo babysit, I advise you to keep your mouth shut. If you're the one considering doing it, I'd advise you not to.

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#5 of 71 Old 03-05-2010, 07:04 PM
 
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I would. I have.

Of course the usual disclaimers apply:it depends on the children in question- their personalities, maturity level, etc.

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#6 of 71 Old 03-05-2010, 07:16 PM
 
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I would trust that the kids could handle themselves. But, I would want some backup just in case something happened to you on the way to or from the bank. So, i'd do it, if I knew someone could get there quickly, in case of an emergency.
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#7 of 71 Old 03-05-2010, 07:27 PM
 
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honestly, it could be illegal...here kids are allowed to be home alone at 8, but not with a younger child (babysitting) til 13 I believe.
My biggest problem with your scenario is that you will be driving and while it is only 1 mile, and you may be the best driver ever, all it takes is one idiot or misjudgement and you could be broke down or in an accident and gone for hours.
I wouldn't hesitate to do it myslef if I were walking down the street to the neighbors or something...I'm sure I probably even did when my DDs were a little younger...

Also, like PP have said, I would leave the 9 year old and take the 5 if it were me

ETA...i agree with what nextcommercial said completely!

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#8 of 71 Old 03-05-2010, 07:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nextcommercial View Post
I would trust that the kids could handle themselves. But, I would want some backup just in case something happened to you on the way to or from the bank. So, i'd do it, if I knew someone could get there quickly, in case of an emergency.


The 10 minutes isn't a big deal, but if you were in a fender bender, or there was some other hold up that made the trip take longer, it would be good to know that someone could get there if they needed someone. I'd also make sure they knew how to reach me while I was out, if they had a problem they didn't know how to handle.
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#9 of 71 Old 03-05-2010, 07:35 PM
 
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Uh, no. It was against the law in my old state to leave under 13's in charge of siblings.
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#10 of 71 Old 03-05-2010, 07:46 PM
 
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I wouldn't do it.

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#11 of 71 Old 03-05-2010, 08:11 PM
 
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Honestly not being in that situation or having kids that age yet, I don't know. I do know that if I did decide to, I would probably talk to the kids on the phone for the entire trip.
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#12 of 71 Old 03-05-2010, 08:12 PM
 
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I probably wouldn't do it for a bank run--as others have pointed out, there would need to be a plan in place for unexpected delays. To go next door or down the street; yes.

Mom of two girls.
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#13 of 71 Old 03-05-2010, 08:16 PM
 
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Well sorry to dig into the hypothetical, but the idea of popping a 9 and 5yo in a car just seems so simple...

Car trips w/ DD have been on my mind lately though. I still have to help her into the car at 16 months and lean into the middle to buckle her, but at the same time my pelvis is already going wonky on me. I measure car trips the way I measure steps LOL

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#14 of 71 Old 03-05-2010, 08:23 PM
 
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my mom used to do it to me all the time, it wasn't a big deal.

However, in most states it is illegal to leave a child under a certain age, with a younger child.

So, I would look into that and then ask yourself it it was worth it, if you got 'caught up' in something on your way to or from your destination..and someone found out your kids were alone during that time?

I have left my kids here alone while I went for a run in my neighborhood. They were watching a movie, and I had my cell phone. My oldest is 8, knows the number, and a neighbor. I also know the best "short cuts" back to my street from anywhere in the neighborhood so I know I could be back quickly.

But I won't leave my kids here alone if I'm driving past the entrance of my neighborhood.

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#15 of 71 Old 03-06-2010, 02:32 AM
 
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nope. too many things could happen. take them with you.

Erin, 33, salty southern mama, sitting by the sea with my DH35, DD10, DS4, &DD2!
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#16 of 71 Old 03-06-2010, 03:00 AM
 
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I stayed home alone with my little sister when I was 9 and she was 4...

But I wouldn't leave my own children. Why not just take them?
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#17 of 71 Old 03-06-2010, 02:58 PM
 
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I would definitely, if they were comfortable and I trusted them to be safe.
This is different I know but I have left my 6 y/o home alone a couple times while I walk around the neighborhood with my younger kids.
I'm within earshot of a loud yell though.
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#18 of 71 Old 03-06-2010, 03:02 PM
 
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Nope, not somethin I'd be comfortable with for all the reasons already stated, and it would be illegal in my state as well.

Mom to ds 9 dd 7 : and dd 3/08 : if I can I go to
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#19 of 71 Old 03-06-2010, 03:25 PM
 
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When I was 6 and my sister was 8.5 we would come home from school around 2:30 and she "looked after me" (ha ha) until my mom or dad came home about 5 or 6pm.

But that was the early 80's and laws were different then.

I think I might except when you add driving into it, because then you're increasing the chances of there being an accident. I don't think I would get into a car, no. But run down to the corner store, probably. I have left ds when he was 4.5 in the house for ten minutes while I ran across the street for some milk or something.

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#20 of 71 Old 03-06-2010, 03:32 PM
 
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I would, but only after alerting another adult-- my mom, a neighbor, a friend-- to the situation, and asking them to check in after about 20 minutes, to make sure I was back and all was well, and if I wasn't back by then to come and take charge. And only if the kids in question were reliable and mature for their ages (my DD1 is 5.5, and more responsible than I even am, most of the time , but a lot of her friends are still very much babies.) And only if the environment was safe and the doors were locked, and the 9 year old knew how to answer the phone.

So cautiously yes. But I also know my standards of "safe" often differ from the mainstream. Most people think I'm crazy under-protective...

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#21 of 71 Old 03-06-2010, 03:36 PM
 
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To go next door, probably . . . but to buckle up and drive away in my car, even though it's only a mile away, no.

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#22 of 71 Old 03-06-2010, 03:36 PM
 
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Yes, I would, and have. Better throw my butt in jail, then, what an awful mom I am .

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#23 of 71 Old 03-06-2010, 03:42 PM
 
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Is it legal in your state? Knowing what me and my little brother were like at those ages, I probably would be okay with leaving them, but I'd want to be sure it was legal.

Also, do you have lots of neighbors at home that they know? We had a printout with all the names and numbers in the neighborhood so, even though it never ever came up, we would've been able to call across the street or down the block for help.
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#24 of 71 Old 03-06-2010, 03:49 PM
 
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I voted yes. I would leave my 9 yo and my 6 yo for a short time, but I wouldn't leave my 4.5 year old with my 9 year old, as they fight a lot and 4.5 year old is difficult to handle. 6 yo and 4.5 yo would not allow me to leave them, either. That's particular to my kids, though. My MIL lives only a few blocks away, so she could easily check on them. I have no idea if it's illegal where I live, but I suspect not. Mexico has kids in much more dire situations than being left in the supervision of an older sibling for 10 minutes while mom runs to the bank/store.
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#25 of 71 Old 03-06-2010, 04:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Autumn Breeze View Post
However, in most states it is illegal to leave a child under a certain age, with a younger child.
I believe there are only TWO out of FIFTY states that have any such laws and they are MD and IL.
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#26 of 71 Old 03-06-2010, 05:34 PM
 
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I wouldn't do it because it's illegal here in Maryland. If it were legal, I probably would do it if I thought the kids in question could handle it.

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#27 of 71 Old 03-06-2010, 05:54 PM
 
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Nope, wouldn't do it. (and I do have a 9 and 5 yo.)

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#28 of 71 Old 03-06-2010, 05:56 PM
 
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Nope.
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#29 of 71 Old 03-06-2010, 06:32 PM
 
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I would be okay with leaving a responsible mature 9 yo for a short period of time, but I would be bringing the younger sibling. I also like the idea of alerting someone you trust that you are leaving so they can check in and make sure you got back in a reasonable period of time.

Kirsten, mama to Monkey since May 2007 and Bean born 11/7/09
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#30 of 71 Old 03-07-2010, 01:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Llyra View Post
So cautiously yes. But I also know my standards of "safe" often differ from the mainstream. Most people think I'm crazy under-protective...
I find that standards are different in small-town rural than they were in middle-class suburbia. What was considered underprotective in the affluent suburbs is considered normal in the more rural area that I now live in.

I also find it telling that they majority of VOTERS say that they'd do it, but most of the posters say they wouldn't.

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