Staying home at 8?

Valerie - posted on 09/20/2010 ( 201 moms have responded )

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Hello I am a single mother with an 8 year old I am wondering if 8 is to young to leave a child at home in the morning. I want to go to the gym at 5AM and be home by 6:15AM. She would still be asleep and I would be home to get her ready for school. I just do not know if that is the right or wrong thing to go. Like I said before she would be asleep and only be home for an hour/fifteen alone. The house would be locked up and I do not see much that could happen. Can I please get some advice? Thank you all.

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Krista - posted on 09/20/2010

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You'd probably want to look at the laws where you live, first of all.

Then, if it is legal, you'd want to look at your own kid, and how she would handle it if she woke up before you got back. Would she just kind of do her thing -- watch TV, maybe have a bowl of cereal? Or would she be anxious or misbehaving?

Then, if it's legal and your kid can handle it, do you have a neighbour close by who could be relied upon in an emergency? Or is your gym very close by? If your kid calls you freaking out at 5:30am because she hears a noise, how long would it take you to get home? Or if it was a real emergency (burglary, fire), do you have a close neighbour who could go and aid your child?

If it's legal, and if your child is mature enough to manage it, and you've got an emergency plan, then maybe give it a trial run. You can get a day pass at the gym before getting a full membership, right?

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I personally think it's too young. Your daughter may be mature, a sound sleeper, and you may have neighbors/granpdarents close by. BUT, ultimately, your daughter is ALONE. What if she wakes up with a nightmare and simply wants her Mommy? Mommy isn't there. I know this is going to sound selfish, but just because YOU want to go to the gym at 5 am, doesn't mean it's the best for your child. Consider going to the gym at a different time, or invest in home exercise equipment. But hey, at the end of the day, you are the parent and you get to make the decisions.

TIFFANY - posted on 09/21/2010

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WELL IF IT WAS ME I PROBABLY WOULDNT LEAVE HER ALONE AT HOME. I UNDERSTAND THAT SHE MAY BE SLEEP BUT ITS SO MUCH GOING ON IN THIS WORLD TODAY AND PEOPLE THESE DAYS ARE SO CRAZY. SO PLEASE DONT LEAVE THE BABY HOME ALONE. I WOULD HATE FOR SOMETHING TO HAPPEN TO YOUR CHILD .

Jaenelle - posted on 09/28/2010

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Wow. Look into the local legalities and look at the stats of how many adult females have been brutalized by strangers with nothing better to do. Sorry if that seems harsh, but is anything worth creating an observable pattern that your child is alone? Mom-sense alert. Please consider.

Isobel - posted on 09/24/2010

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Maybe you should discuss this with your daughter...I personally think my daughter (9) could handle waking up and making herself breakfast and watching cartoons (she does it when I sleep in on the weekends)...but I've talked to her and found out that SHE'S not comfortable with it...maybe that's something that should be looked into as well.

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201 Comments

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Cindy - posted on 09/29/2010

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you say how bad the world is then say she should be able to leave her 8 year old CHILD alone while she goes off to exercise? waiting until a CHILD is 12 to leave them HOME ALONE is not what makes them lazy. it shows them responsibility which is what we should be teaching our kids.

Megan - posted on 09/29/2010

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what your supossed to be with your kid every secound she or he is with you in your own home do you guys realize how messed up that is this world is totatll bullshit if you cant even leave your kid on a couch while you were cooking or goingg to the bathroom like seriuoly people it is her choice what she does with her kid and what you guys do with yours but at 8 years kids arnt dumb the can handle situations you guys really under estimate your kids and make them lazy by baby them tell there 12 why u think this world is so messed i mean really think bout it wen out parents were younger did this crap happpin to them no becuase they didnt babby there kids your supossed to raise your kid and let them make there own mistakes and let learn wats right and wronge not trying to be mean or judge just really think bout it when are you goin to let your kid grow there are so many lazy kids and grown ass people in this world its sickning shes should be able to leave her child in her own home with out having to worry bout some asshole stealing her in her own damn home well im just saying this world isnt free anymore is just full of jerks and robbers and bums there are very few descent people out of them million in this country

Cindy - posted on 09/29/2010

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its against the law for a reason. an 8 year old is not mature enough to stay alone, if you do it dont try to justify what you do is right by saying girls are more mature than boys. you are the parent like it or not you are responsible for that CHILD... yes i said child, not adult, not teenager, child.

Bev - posted on 09/29/2010

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My thoughs are this....At that age, they sleep very deply, and what if the house was to ever catch fire fire??? A child that age is not likely to wake up to alarms in time!

CINDY - posted on 09/29/2010

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Everyone had a good opinion, but anything could happen between that hour of time, there is a lot of sick people in this day of time that may be watching! there is lots of kids missing it's not worth taking a chance.

Megan - posted on 09/29/2010

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i never said anythng bout leaving an infant in the car while momy runs in the store that is just wronge shes 8 shes not retarded i understood a lot wen i was 8 years and maybe you dont have confedent in your kid but maybe shes does thats why we said see if it works first see if she can handle it and if she locks up and even has her mother possibly check in or something i dont see the problem but dont be trying to make someone sound dumby people do leave their kids at home alone for an hour or two a lot of the time

Mary Kay - posted on 09/29/2010

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I don't think I would do it there are way to many crazy people in the world today. Don't you realize that is how some kids are snatched up. My brother was an officer, one of the missing kids was right out of the family home. The child was sleeping on the couch the parents were in the house but not right with her. They came back to check on her and someone had come in taken the sleeping child right off the couch. What if someone figures out your daughter is there alone? Could you live with it if something happened to her while you were out exercising? Which is more important to you? Can't you exercise at home or at a different time when someone can be there with her? I could never put myself ahead of my child, but you need to do what is right for you, Just remember if something happens it can't be undone, and you can't go back to how it was before.

Cindy - posted on 09/29/2010

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what is all this crap about its ok to leave an 8 year old alone? SHE IS 8, boy or girl 8 years old is 8 years old... stop fooling yourselves it cant be legal in any state, maybe 10 or 12 years... NOT 8. with that logic it would be ok to leave a girl infant in the car alone while mom runs into the store to get groceries? after all girls mature faster than boys right? its craziness ladies, if you have to check with your state to see if its legal... then its questionable at best.

Cerissa - posted on 09/29/2010

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I am soory but i don't thank that will be good anything can happen and she is a little girl i have a 9 year old and i wont let her stay home alone have a great day!!!

Megan - posted on 09/29/2010

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i like krista a cheyenne its your child and its your state laws. if you trail run and u see that she is mature enough to do it then by all means do it becuase females mature faster then boys i was 6 or 7 and at home with my brothers and they would ignor me or my oldest would leave and we had to take care of ourselves while my mom was at work during the day (this is summer time) so we would be at home all day we didnt destroy the house and in case of emergancy my mom taught us wat todo in a fire feel the door if ur in a closed room if its hot we had safty plans for everything and we had her work number this was in the 90s but still if your child is taught and she understands wat to do then def do a trial run and see wat she does and see how she does but do more then just one and make sure your parents know that shes there byherself and make sure your daughter has all the numbers she needs and the phones an easy acses for her

BRIDGET - posted on 09/29/2010

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I know I am gonna sound harsh and I will go ahead and say I am sorry but that has to be the craziest ideal ever. I have an 8 yr old and that thought wouldn't even enter my mind! Her bedroom is on the other end of our house and so she sleeps with me because of the fear of a fire and the thought I could not get to her or if someone came thru our front door they would get to her before our room. I am sorry but I think that to even try to justify leaving her is just crazy...again sorry I dont mean to sound harsh but things happen everyday are you really willing to take the rick just to feel better about your body???

Kim - posted on 09/29/2010

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I know it's tempting but I wouldn't take the risk myself. If she is a hard sleeper she might not hear if someone broke into your house. There are so many sickos and child preditors these days. I'd hate for you to make that decision to leave her and then end up regreting it the rest of your life.

Melissa - posted on 09/29/2010

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I agree that there are legal issues,which anyone planning to leave there children home should take into consideration.My children just brought home an article ,about this very topic,that determines what constitutes child endangerment.My opinion on this particular case,I would have to say no.Leaving a child home alone when they are asleep,especially a sound sleeper like you say your daughter is,opens you up to lots of very scary scenarios.Alot can happen to a child,whether it be a break-in or fire,well before even the closest neighbor even knows there is anything wrong.I agree with home equipment,especially if you can save the gym fees up and use that money to buy it.You will much more piece of mind.You will never be able to forgive yourself if,God forbid,anything ever happened.

Truth - posted on 09/29/2010

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I wouldn't ever leave my daughter alone at home at that age. She is still very much a child in her thinking and if she woke up, even if you gave her all the instructions, phone numbers, where you are, yada, yada, yada, she would still be very frightened and alone. House locked or not, you cannot ever be sure what her reaction or response would be.

I would always err on the side of what is best for my daughter and place my needs in 2nd place on this one. It won't be too long before she is able to be left alone. But, you MUST prepare her for that AND take those steps with her when she is up and awake. NOT when she is asleep as a child that awakes to an empty house can turn that shock into all kinds of fears.

I am a mom of a teenage daughter (14 years old) and also an RN. We have been through that with her, and difficult though it was, she was never left alone until she was able to handle it.

The laws in your state are important, absolutely. You do not want a cys worker breathing down your throat because you broke the law. Even more importantly, your daughter's welfare should be the prime consideration in any decision that you make.

Marilyn - posted on 09/29/2010

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In this day and age...I would say no...anything can happen in that short period of time. I understand needing to go to the gym especially being a single mom...but is it really that important to leave your child at home alone at a young age???

Krista - posted on 09/29/2010

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I can remember how frightened I would get just coming home to nobody there and having to be there for two hours. I would shut all the shades and lock all the doors and huddle in my room with my dog. It just isn't good for the child for many reasons, especially emotionally. I say this from a place having been there.

And that's why I say that it really depends on the child. I was in the exact same situation -- my mom was single, and I was home alone for an hour after school. It didn't bother me in the least. I knew I could call her office if I needed anything. Mrs. Young was right next door. So I would just fix myself a snack and turn on the tube.

Valerie, having read through these comments, you've seen quite a few varying opinions. Obviously, you have to do what is legal and what you feel comfortable with. HOWEVER, as you can see, there are a lot of people who feel quite vehemently that it is wildly inappropriate to leave your 8-year-old at home alone for any period of time. So something to keep in mind, if you do decide to do this, is that you may wind up facing a lot of criticism for this, or even being reported to CPS by some well-meaning and panicky individual.

So, that's something to consider. Obviously, we can't live our lives in perpetual fear of what MIGHT happen to our kids, or we'd never let them outside to play, or take them in the car with us. However, seeing as the perfectly viable alternative of at-home exercise DOES exist, then it's probably much less of a hassle to just go with that option, isn't it?

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Would she know what to do if she smelled smoke, heard the fire detector activate or if someone broke a window and was breaking into the house?

CLAIRE - posted on 09/29/2010

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8 years old is far to young to be left home alone!!!!!! dont even consider it....anything could happen to her.....x

Shannon - posted on 09/29/2010

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I agree with checking out the laws, but I really don't think it is leagal to do so. I personally would not leave my child that age home alone. But it is up to you really. Even though your child is asleep you never know what could happen, some random could be checking out your neighbourhood, see that you are leaving at that time everymorning or whenever and break in. Just my own thoughts and worries.

Paula Jean - posted on 09/29/2010

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I think she is to young even though she would be asleep . I myself ask the police & they said if you think the child is responible . Could you wait until she goes to school.

Stephanie - posted on 09/29/2010

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I personally would not do it, but you could check online for the legal age kids can be left home alone for your state, one state I lived in, it was 10 years old. It might be fine, but if something did happen, you could get in big trouble.
Stephanie

Sibabe64 - posted on 09/29/2010

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Insane....watch a few episodes of Nancy Grace and you'll never leave your kid alone.

Carolee - posted on 09/29/2010

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I wouldn't- if a fire ever broke out or someone broke in.....

I know several years ago something like that happened around here and the parents were charged with child endangerment or something similar. And I believe the children died in the fire...

Kim - posted on 09/29/2010

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NO!! Anything that could happen might. You never know if you could get hit crossing the street and you always look first,,so don't take the chance. Also someone may see you leave and call social services....Do you know a neighbor who is up at this hour who wouldn't mind being there for the hour? Maybe you could swap something for their time...Please don't do it...remember murphys law.

Lindsay - posted on 09/29/2010

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please dont do it what happens if he or she wakes up and no mummy you can go to the gym any old time but never leave your little you would never forgive yourself if something happend do sits at hom instead

Kelly - posted on 09/29/2010

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In the UK the law states a child cannot be responsible for another child until they are 14...but u can leave ur child when u feel they are mature enough to be able to do so.
Personally I think 8 is far too young!! Is there not a creche at the gym u want to go to so u could go another time of day and leave ur daughter there??
U would never forgive urself if anything happened to ur daughter...all u gotta think of is Madeline McCann!! I dont think it is worth the risk!!

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I would not leave her alone....she is too young. If there should be a fire or break in, she would be in big trouble. There are a zillion different things that could happen while you are not there...it simply is not worth the risk.

I do understand wanting to work out and that you need time to yourself. However, I would pop in an exercise video or get a treadmill and workout at home. Please do not leave your child...

Kim - posted on 09/28/2010

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It might be doable. See if one of the Grandparents can be persuaded to stay at the house while you are gone, that way there is a responsible adult there at all times. I think 8 is a little young. If something along the lines of an emergency happened, she probably wouldn't know what to do or would just panic. Not worth the risk of leaving her all alone. Too many weirdos out there nowadays.

Seretha - posted on 09/28/2010

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Valerie, I know you reasoned this in your own mind; but to many things can and will happen. What if she has a bad dream and wakes up to find you not there? What if you have a wreck on the way there or back and can't get back home at all? I use to be a foster mom and I would not risk something happening to her or risk her being taken away from you at all for ANYTHING!!! Get an exercise bike or something that you can get up early and work out in your bedroom. 8 is way to young to be left alone. And yes I'm a mom of two. My daughter is now 25, and my son in 29. Don't let her grow up to fast....she will soon enough and she'll be gone and then you can go to the gym anytime you want. Seretha

Lashonna - posted on 09/28/2010

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SAVE SOME MONEY OR WAIT TILL TAX TIME AND BUY A TREADMILL OR WHAT EVER IS YOUR FAV PIECE OF EQUIPMENT TO EASE YOUR MIND AND BREAK FREE FROM THIS DILIMA. ITS A GREAT INVESTMENT. I DID THAT AND I DIDNT HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT THAT CATCH 22. IM GLAD YOU WANT TO WORK OUT. YOU DESERVE TO LOOK HOT AFTER HAVING YOUR CHILD BUT SAFTEY COMES 1ST WHAT IF THERES A FREAK ELECTRCAL FIRE?

Faye - posted on 09/28/2010

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in some states it is legal to leave an 8 year old if they have someone to call or checking in on them. The biggest problem I see is when you say she does not wake up easily. A lot of kids could easily sleep through fire alarms if they were to go off, in fact that can be a big problem. If you live in an apartment you have less control over this than in an apartment since you do not know what your neighbors will do. Personally I would not do it and although I have seen it done legally in CA I know the 8 year old was not comfortable with it either.

Heather - posted on 09/28/2010

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Can you get some workout DVDs? I love P90X, Insanity and anything Jari Love! For a couple hundred bucks you could get a whole library to mix it up and not even have to leave the house and can do them anytime! Everyone wins!

Maria - posted on 09/28/2010

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I dont agree with that. Anything can happen it takes a sec. that sec. that you mite be gone god forbit a fire or she mite have a nightmare anything mite wake her up

Michelle - posted on 09/28/2010

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Ugh! I'm so sad reading all these comments. We live in such a state of fear. Always imagining the worst and every what if. Parenting out of fear does not a good parent make.

That said, quit reading all these comments and go talk it over with your daughter. Assuming that it's not illegal where you live, she's capable (which she must be if you are even considering it) and up for it 100% then give it a try.

Barb - posted on 09/28/2010

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Instead of rewriting everything that Krista E said, I'd say just give her an additional read BUT add that the area that you live in should also be considered as a very important factor. Please make a list of rules ie no phone usless it is an emergency; no one over; stay in the house; no cooking; etc. Remember, your child wont be the only one home at this hour.

Gina - posted on 09/28/2010

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If you are questioning yourself, deep down you probably are not ready to leave your daughter. I also have an eight year old and will only leave him alone for 5-10 minutes to run a quick errand, and that's only when the neighbors are home and I've let them know, just in case of an emergency. Can you work out at home? There are so many exercise classes available on cable these days. And it won't be long before you can leave your daughter without reservations.

Tricia - posted on 09/28/2010

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Do you have neighbors you could trust & keep an er out for her? I wouldn't do it, but then again, it depends on where you live, crime in your area, how your child feels about being left alone, what kind of 8 yr old is she? And there are many more questions. Na, I still wouldn't do it, it only takes a second for something to happen, I couldn't live with that kind of regret. Can't you go after she goes to school?

SARAH - posted on 09/28/2010

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Hi, I havent read any of the other post so I may be wasting my time by repeating what others have said. However, I still have to put my two cents in.
First, I would check with your local law office. They can give you the legal advice you may need in this situation. Secondly, I think it really depends on your child's maturity and how he/she handles themselves in certain situations. Thirdly, if you are close to your neighbors; have them keep an ear out for anything.
Make sure your child knows your phone number and the location of your gym and even the gyms phone number. Most importantly tell your child that you are going to be gone for an hour and youll be back soon. You dont want him/her to wake up and you not be there.

Jan - posted on 09/28/2010

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what about fires or break ins people could be watching to see when the best time is when you are gone. I have raised 3 kids . They are way to young to make adult descions. . What if she woke up sick and you were not there. these are some scenarios for you to concider. There are plenty of work out videos on the market so buy several to step up your work out. Sorry but that is how I feel. I have a ten year old grandaughter This world is not safe no matter how safe we may think just because we want a little time to our selves. good luck with your descision

Jamie - posted on 09/28/2010

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um.. yes i find that very wrong. what if for some reason there was a fire, or she woke up and didn't feel well, or needed you. or realised you were gone and freaked out and called 911. Why would u want to leave her alone. Couldn't you a lot some other time where you could get a sitter too watch her to go to the gym?

Chris - posted on 09/28/2010

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As a single Mom of a 21 yr old, I too had to make this choice. In our area the law says that the child had to be 9 yrs old to be left alone. Maybe check with your local children services. The first time I left my son alone was for a short time ( maybe 15 min) during the day so that he could get used to it for a short time at first. I also covered what I expected of him and what to in case of emergency. Thank God, it went ok and he's an adult now!

Janice - posted on 09/28/2010

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It's WRONG !! This is the exact time some tragedy could happen, and she's ALONE !!!

Paula - posted on 09/28/2010

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In our area we are able to leave our children at home alone when they are 12, however it is also up to the parents discretion and responsibility to be able to make judgement as to whether a child can be left alone temporarily. I think you need to ask yourself and your child whether you both feel comfortable with this, if so organise back up plans should circumstances prevent you from getting back in time etc. The other thing you may want to consider is to buy good quality walkie talkies that you could use so that you could communicate directly with each other if need be. I personally don't think that I could do it even if I had good neighbours around as I think at that age they still need supervision and someone in the home but I do understand your need for that me time. There are some community centres that do offer a 'home alone' course (generally directed towards 10yrs old) that you could both take together which covers all kinds of emergency situations. The other thing to consider is changing your workout schedule. Hope that helps.

Cindy - posted on 09/28/2010

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8 is too young to be left alone. get some hand weights and a workout dvd that you will enjoy and do your workout at home.

Bonnie - posted on 09/28/2010

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I would say no way, especially if she is a heavy sleeper!! What if there is an emergency (like a fire), would she be able to get up and get out? I think that 8 is too young!!!

Christina - posted on 09/28/2010

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I would think it's too young but I only have an 8-month-old. However, I'm not sure if this is everywhere but I think it's illegal to leave your child alone under the age of 12.

Aimee - posted on 09/28/2010

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I believe that if that were me I would not leave my child at home being the product of a single mother. If for ANY reason your sweet child would wake up, say bad dream or feeling ill, you would feel horrible. I can remember how frightened I would get just coming home to nobody there and having to be there for two hours. I would shut all the shades and lock all the doors and huddle in my room with my dog. It just isn't good for the child for many reasons, especially emotionally. I say this from a place having been there. I come from the voice of the child with no judgement for I have the most respect for single parents. Parenting is hard enough and to do it alone is to be commendable. Hang in there a way will come to you to be able to take care of yourself as well.

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