- I started leaving my boys, 11 and 7, a year ago. My husband and I would go for a 30-minute walk. We loved the time out and they loved the independence. However there were rules: 1) Do not answer the phone (unless you know it is us - on the answering machine), 2) Do not answer the front door, 3) Do not cook anything, and 4) Make sure we can trust you so that we can leave you alone again. The boys loved it. They were a partnership together. Independence is a must and we are always a phone call away. ~www.teachermum.com
- —Guest Cued them in...
- We live in the country, and I started leaving my kids home alone when they were 11, 9, and 4 with short trips of 20-30 minutes. Then I expanded to 1 hour, with lists of who to call and phone numbers taped to the fridge. They didn't expand past the 1 hour until they were all a couple of years older. I based this on the fact that there are no close neighbors to run to for help if needed.
People Baby Their Kids Nowadays
- I've seen 11- and 12-year-old kids who can't cross a suburban street, use a steak knife, or plunge a toilet. Really? When did we become America, home of the lame? Baby your kids, and they will stay babies. Challenge them a little at a time, and they will amaze you, and BE amazing. My 10-year old walks to and from school alone, knows how to stay calm, and can cook for herself. I'd trust her before most adults I know. Teach your kids to be smart, and they will never disappoint you...or themselves.
- —Guest did a dance of joy.
17-Year-Old Left Alone for 10 days????
- My 17-year-old is a good kid, and he hasn't gotten into any trouble thus far. This past July he went to live with his dad. Now his dad is going out of town for 10 days and wants to leave my son home alone. I think it's CRAZY. First off, he's a teenager. Secondly, yes, he is old enough to be alone for a while, but this is ridiculous. Am I just being to over protective, or am I being realistic? I want him here under proper supervision, not doing whatever with whomever.
- —Guest think my Ex is being unreasonable
It's Never Safe to Leave Kids Home Alone
- Never! I was a latch key child and stayed at home alone in the summers with my siblings. Again, NEVER do this!!!
- —Guest Latch key
- Seriously, people will leave the responsibility of caring for their siblings to 12-year-old children. What if they died under their care? That is too much responsibility to put upon a child. Why not just take your 8-year-old along with you to pick up your other child? I wouldn't leave any child alone until they are teenagers - 16 or older. They really are not equipped mentally or emotionally to deal with what we as parents are supposed to be doing. We are not supposed to push this responsibility off on our children. Just because we are busy as parents, doesn't mean that we should rob are children of their time to play and be children. They are supposed to be children; they shouldn't have to pretend to be responsible adults. It is not their time to step up to the plate, it is ours as adults. Let them be children. Protect them and let them play.
A Word of Caution
- There's something you should know about good kids: When you leave them alone for long periods of time, repeatedly, they have a tendency to develop depression. Just a cautious word of wisdom: don't do it! Arrange for your child to be in the company of trusted friends and/or companions.
- —Guest Hello!
- I love the idea, but if my kids aren't safe then I'd have to say forget it and hire a fantastic babysitter.
- —Guest john
Wow, These Kids Must Be Sheltered.
- I think that parents these days worry too much about their children. I think that if the child shows signs of independence and can make meals for himself, then the child can stay home alone for a work day. I know as a child I was home alone at age 9 and I never had any problems. I would even cook myself meals on the stove. I think that if a child cannot even be home alone at age 12 that's pretty crazy and your child must be very immature.
- —Guest klk365
I'm Not Ready to Leave Them Alone!
- I havent let my kids be alone yet. I have three boys 11, 6, and 3.5. I have them in the summers and I have always hired a babysitter when I have clients in my home, because I work out of my home in a separate space. I know the day will come when it will be ok, and my oldest is really responsible, however I don't feel comfortable leaving him with the responsibility of his 2 younger brothers. He watches them like a hawk when they play in the yard and I feel good about that but- call me paranoid - I would not be ok with going down the street even for 5 minutes, and here's why. I could get in a car accident, then what? What if I'm unconscious?? We have to make the best decisions for our kids. We have been entrusted with their lives. I's a tough call. For now I wont do it. Maybe next year after my oldest is 12.
- —Guest michael
Ensure Their Safety Before I Leave
- I must say it depends on their ages, as mother of two kids, which are 15 and 9 years old I regularly leave them home alone because my work is on the night shift. However, I don’t have worries because they are responsible enough to handle emergency situation because I registered them to SafeKidZone and it gives me peace of mind since it helps me ensure their safety. It has a panic button alert installed on their cell phones that in just a press of it our trusted friends, family members will be notified if they are in danger. If you want to check it out, this is their site http://safekidzone.com/.
- 12,13,14...Really?!! Come on! They have their permit at 15 and are getting ready to drive, and you have not let them stay home alone much before this?!!
- —Guest t
I Never Want to Live With Regret
- I personally don't feel comfortable leaving them alone younger than 13 or 14. I never want to live with regret. I recenlty went across the parking lot to my friend's to get something, and I put my 8-year-old on Skype with my friend's kid, so I could still see him. I worry about things like what if they choke on something alone, or there's a gas leak, and those kinds of things.
- —Guest mn
- I made sure they were at least 12 years old. This is really the bare minimum that a child should be left for short periods to begin with. Any younger, and you are taking too big a chance. It's not worth it. And they should have immediate access to you by cell phone!!
- —Guest CherieA
Is She Ready?
- My oldest is almost 8 and she wants us to leave her home alone, but not at night. I have left her while running down the street to my sister's house and am kind of worried about leaving her to go much further. Reading some responses assures me that she is probably ready for me to go to the store downtown, but I am not ready to leave her for longer than 30 minutes. I think there has to be a comfort level both ways.
- —Guest Janet