What age did you leave your child home alone?

Hollie - posted on 06/03/2011 ( 9 moms have responded )

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Wasn't sure if you would leave your 10 yr old home alone. My sister left her 10 yr old DS(My nephnew) alone and i absolutely dont think its right. He is very immature and he just turned 10! something could easily happen What do you feel?

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Alexandra - posted on 12/15/2011

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SAFE Kids USA - see 12 as an appropriate age. Most states don't have a legal leave alone age, but the parents can be charged with reckless endangerment if anything happens to them. Our son is 9 and is no where near ready to be left alone' but obviously it is up to the parents.

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Sarah - posted on 05/19/2012

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When we lived in an apt while my husband worked overseas, I would sometimes leave her locked in the apt while I walked the trash around the building and down a shallow hill to the trash compactor. I'm only talking a distance of about 2 acres or less. I'd also leave her in the apt if I wanted to walk right outside to grab bags from the car or collect any trash from the car if it was messy. If I was at the car (15 ft from the door) for more than 10 min., I would get her to come out with me and help. I would never leave my 6 year old home alone to run to the store. Not with the crime rates and child abductions these days. I'd rather be overprotective and safe than sorry. I'm sure she could handle it the responsibilty, but I don't want to do that. Now that we live in a house, I don't even let her play in our fenced in backyard without an adult. I will probably leave her alone briefly starting at age 9 or 10. She is a year ahead in school, so she is getting more mature sooner than expected.

Isabel - posted on 01/17/2012

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I have left my son alone at 5 while I went downstairs to the garage to grab stuff from the car. I think it depends on the child. There was one incident when I left to grab the groceries from the car and my son woke up from his sleep (he falls asleep in the car all the time but I cant carry him and the groceries at the same time) and was very scared and left our apartment to look for me. A neighbour found him in the hallway. I was upstairs in 2 minutes but was very embarassed when I saw my neighbour holding my child's hand, he was in tears. Now I make sure I tell him that I am running out to grab bags from the car or to dump the garbage and not to worry or open the door. There is only so much a single parent can do.

Barbara - posted on 12/15/2011

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I have left my 7 year old home for very short periods of time. She was home sick and I had to drop younger siblings off at school. Rather than take her out in the cold like I always did I left her and she was fine. She knew the rules and just sat there and watched TV until I came home. It does depend on the child and how mature they are.

Jane - posted on 06/03/2011

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The first time I left my kids home alone my daughter was 12 and my son 10. He has some mental problems but I thought my daughter was mature enough to deal with him. Apparently she was not, so they got into a fight and broke a window. They had to pay for the window and I waited until they were more mature (about 2 years) before I did it again.

Whether it is okay to leave a 10 yo home alone depends on a lot of things. How mature is he? How able is he to contact you if something goes wrong? How likely is he to follow rules such as do not open the door to anyone, or stay in the house? Does he have any disabilities that might affect his judgment or safety? Is there a nearby neighbor he can go to if he does have a problem? Also, how long are they leaving him home alone? An hour or so would probably be fine, but not much longer than that.

Jodi - posted on 06/03/2011

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I think it depends too. I left my son home for very short periods at that age, just to duck out to the store or something. Perhaps anywhere up to an hour and only during the day.

Karen - posted on 06/03/2011

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i think 10 is okay to leave for a while during the day if they have the maturity for it. at that age i was coming home from school to an empty house until my mother got home from work an hour later. when you consider 12 year olds are babysitting...they have to start somewhere right?

Anne - posted on 06/03/2011

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I think it depends on for how long you are leaving your kid alone for. I think I was probably 6 or 7 years old when my mom would leave me alone for about 20 minutes to run to the store to get milk or some other quick errands. Or she would just send me down the street to the convenient store. ;) I think at 10 you should be able to trust your kids to be home alone for a bit. I leave my 4 year old sometimes for 10-15 minutes while I go to the basement of our apartment building to do the laundry. He just watches TV and if he gets scared (which has not happened yet) he knows where I am and can just come and find me. He actually likes to show me how "big" he already is.

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