How old should a child be before they are left unsupervised in the home?

Patti - posted on 09/17/2012 ( 5 moms have responded )

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I have noticed that a few parents feel secure in leaving multiple children at home alone when they can't find a sitter. Or when they think the time and money spent on a sitter would be too much. Call me an over protective mother, but it makes me very uncomfortable. I live in an upscale area with highly educated parents. I am wondering what age is appropriate to leave a child home alone? What age is appropriate to leave a child alone with a toddler and a kindergartener? Or does the age of other siblings matter?

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Robin - posted on 09/18/2012

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It does depend on the child. I use to leave my oldest (now 23) when I would run to the store when she was around 8. I would leave her because she did not want to go. I would never leave her for a long time. She was very mature. I think 13 is a good age and 15 if they are mature to leave younger siblings with them. Again it depends on the child.

Tamara - posted on 10/01/2012

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hi, I think the age of a child that can handle their brothers and sisters alone at home depends alot on the child. You must make the determination on that yourself. Each child is different. Some may be ready at 11 or 12 while other may be older. If your child takes any of the responsibilities of the younger children while you are there on a daily basis then that is an indication that they won't have any problem caring for them while you are away. if that child shows that they could handle an emergency if one came up then they are probably ready. If you have taught them what to do along the way and they are very responsible? then they are probably ready. well I hope this helps you to decide. good luck!

Tammy - posted on 09/30/2012

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The state I live in (Oregon, USA) has a 12 year old rule for being a babysitter but the age is younger for the child to stay home alone. Also, to leave a child unattended in the car like when running an errand, they have to be 12 years old. You might want to contact the state or city you live in to find out the specific laws.

S. - posted on 09/17/2012

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It totally depends on the child, I pop out To the shop's and leave my oldest 13 with my middle child 4.5 I'm never gone for too long, my youngest is almost two and I don't leave her because she's far to little. My oldest is very sensible and grown up.

My SiL is 15 and I wouldn't leave any of my kids with her she's not mature or sensible at all.



I think my oldest was about 11 when I started to leave her on her own.

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Sueanna - posted on 09/25/2012

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i think it depends on the child their maturity level but i must say some states will not allow you to leave children alone until a certain age i think here in ok its 12

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