9 yr old too young to be left alone?

Heather - posted on 07/21/2009 ( 18 moms have responded )

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My son is searching for independence. I have never left him alone at home by himself but have been thinking about it...Not long. Like start out at 15mins at a time. See how that goes. Is 9 too young to be left alone for a short amount of time?

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Jamie - posted on 07/22/2009

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I think it is, I think at 9 kids are still to curious and still testing boundaries.

Lizzy - posted on 11/17/2013

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I don't think it's too young. At twelve you can babysit other kids, so why can't you stay home alone for a little while at nine. At ten, my parents let me stay alone for two hours. By thirteen, I was well on my own.
But again it really depends on maturity. I've seen seven year olds more capable than some twelve year olds.

Try - posted on 10/09/2012

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But by that age you're old enough to babysit other people's kids! Do you really think babysitters should never have been home alone before babysitting? I think all kids should be capable of this for several years before they are teens

Crystal - posted on 07/22/2009

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I would say yea, but of course with time limits. I leave my 9 yr. old alone sometimes on her own but for short period of times, because i have no choice. Also i know that I taught her to handle varous situations if they were to come about. Children are smarter than alot of people give them credit for. When a child sees that you are giving them that responsibility then they will do what they can to keep your trust in them,.

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Jessibell - posted on 08/03/2013

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That completely depends on a few factors.
1. His level of maturity.
2. His trustworthiness.
3. Safety of the home.

It totally depends on how you have raised him to act and think. At 9 years old I was permitted to stay home alone while my mom went to work for about 4-5 hours. This happened only on weekends where I didn't want to go camping with my brothers and dad so I stayed home. My mother would rent 2 movies for me and made sure I had something prepped ahead of time for lunch. I knew which things I was not permitted to use alone (stove, deep fryer, etc.). The 2 movies kept me occupied and all I had to do was grab lunch from the fridge and microwave it. We lived on a highway so the
"neighbourhood" was extremely safe, didn't have to worry about anyone lurking around.

I was the oldest of 3 and my level of maturity was very high.

However, this was before the age of the internet. You will need to teach your son the importance of not posting that he is home alone anywhere online. (His facebook status should never be "mom is leaving for work, i get to watch movies alone") As this could be dangerous if the wrong person sees his status.

Might even be a good idea to turn off the internet when you are not home to monitor his actions online, IF he uses the internet at all.

Ashley - posted on 10/10/2012

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my son will be 9 in december, and although he is independent, and mature for his age, i still dont think i could leave him home alone. my brother left my nephew alone at 9, and i was babysitting by myself at 9, but there are alot more things going on these days. i also dont trust to leave him home alone because of our neighbors tho. but if you would trust him, and he knows his boundaries of what he can and can not do, and if he has a phone available for emergencies, and you live in a safe nieghborhood, then there shouldnt be a problem. go with your gut on that one. it really depends on your son and what he is like.

Try - posted on 10/09/2012

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Honestly, you've done a horrible disservice to your child by not doing this years ago. Why weren't you doing this at 7? 8? At least you can try to correct your mistakes now. I wouln't worry too much about 15 increments - that advice is for toddlers, not 9 year olds. Start out half hour or so, see if he had any questions when you come back, then go for longer.



It's not too late for him to catch up developmentally to his peers!

Erica - posted on 07/22/2009

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Depending on how long? if only for an hour or less i would say ok, but be sure he has numbers to reach in case of Emergency or a safe place to go if something should happen at home. I had to leave my 9 year old at home when I had to commute an hour from work. he and i would be about 45 minutes behind each other. So again just depends. Also check your local laws, there are laws out there for this kind of thing, don't go and get into trouble.

Kate CP - posted on 07/22/2009

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Uhm...yea. I can appreciate his need and desire to be independent but I think you should start on something smaller and work your way up. I wasn't left home alone until I was 12 or 13. Even then it was only for a couple of hours while my parents went to a movie or something.

Liana - posted on 07/22/2009

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I agree with the other mums 9 is a bit young I'd wait till they are about 11. Every kid is different though my sister was older than me but very irressponsible so I always had the keys to the house and things like that from age 10.

Jen - posted on 07/22/2009

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I was 11 and in middle school when I was allowed to stay at home alone. I came home from school and was home an hour or 2 before my parents got home. We also had the luxury of nice neighbors and my grandparents lived down the street. I would have to say that 9 is too young to be left alone by himself for more than an hour. I don't see what the harm would be in leaving him alone while you went to the store to pick up a few things for dinner. However, I would only do so if you know your neighbors pretty well and they can watch over your house while you are gone. Let him search for independence in other ways like being allowed to walk to a friend's house around the corner and stay out playing until being called in for dinner. Good luck.

Carrie - posted on 07/22/2009

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i think it's too young, 11 years i would let my child go into the town with a group of friends, but not alone, and i would not leave them alone at home untill 11 or older depending on how dependant the child is. if you live in a village like me, thats not in a rough area, and you were going to the village shop which was 5 mins down the rd maybe thats ok. it just all depends on your circumstances, where you live, and people around you.

Ez - posted on 07/22/2009

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Definitely too young IMO. Too many risks and at 9 a child doesn't have the mental capacity to deal with an emergency should one arise. I would wait another couple of years and see if you can give him some independence in other ways.

Alleah - posted on 07/22/2009

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I don't think so. I was left alone at times at nine years old. My neice and nephew are nine and ten, and they spend three hours a week at home alone. If you have neighbors you trust that your child feels comfortable going to if something happens, then I don't see any problems with starting to leave him on his own for fifteen twenty minutes at a time. You're raising a little person, right, not a little extension of yourself.



That's just my take on it, though.

Donese - posted on 07/22/2009

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Way too young. Not to mention you would get into trouble for leaving him alone in the house.

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