What age would you allow your children to be home alone?

Michelle - posted on 06/18/2010 ( 13 moms have responded )




Just curious about how many of you feel like you can trust your own intuition on this matter, regardless whether others judge you or feel your decision was wrong. I think a mother knows her own kids and can determine their capabilities better than anyone.


♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 06/22/2011




Depends on the kid. In Wyoming, the law says 9 by themselves, or 11 if with younger children.

My oldest was ready at 6...LOL...which I found out quite inadvertently when the school district sent him home on the bus to our empty house. He did fine, but I was a wreck by the time I found him...I'd gone to his daycare and after school club before I went home...we didn't have a phone at the time, so he couldn't call me and tell me.

My youngest is 13, and we JUST started trusting him for short periods...like an hour or so. Really does depend on the kid. However, I would recommend you get familiar with your state laws, too, because they do differ from state to state, and all it takes is one disgruntled neighbor to call you in if they "think" you're doing wrong...

Florencia - posted on 04/10/2011




I think we do know our kids enough to know when to but make sure there is someone around that they can call or run to if they need help. Make sure they know to lock and not answer the door tht you have a key and will open it on your own when you get home, and that they know if someone calls tht they should say you're are napping or in the shower so nobody knows they are home alone. But they said once they get their licence because then they can drive somewhere if there's and emergency.

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[deleted account]

I don't agree with some parents leaving 8/9 year old home alone with medical and behavior problems to go bar and bingo he huffs gas smokes drinks whisky beer has adhd climbs on everything but it's okay he has cell phone! When many friends said they watch him for free four to six hours home alone even on school night! Or four year old for eight hours come on step up be a parent! All my opinion but yes each case different but there was nine of us growing up and now even with my kids I still won't leave home alone I am mother first! If doesn't include my children I don't do need go work I have hubby or family member or friends buy never tell them stay in house alone if there a fire or someone breaks in then what? They fall get hurt? So many things go wrong!

Christina - posted on 04/07/2011




Good question. Mid to late teens at the earliest I'm thinking. It would entirely depend on their maturity, level headedness, ability to make good choices. There's no age, really, it is about their ability to be alone and make good choices for me.

[deleted account]

You are SO totally right for the most part - but unfortunately some parents don't know their kids well enough or don't know enough about kids and don't care about anything but themselves and so laws are created to dictate to the rest of us what we are fully capable of figuring out on our own. With that said, knowing the law is important - even if you disagree with it or think your kid is mature enough to stay home alone before the age the law thinks so - your KID IS BETTER OFF WITH YOU NOT BEING in trouble with the law :-). I have ADHD so it was a while before I could be left home alone - IN FACT I am pretty sure that my younger sister was watching me when we were home alone as preteens/young teens. I always meant well and was in no way oppositional or defiant but impulse control was NOT my strong suit (I once tried to bake sweet potatoes in the microwave for dinner... wrapped in aluminum foil... ya, the microwave blew up). for the most part, I think most kids can handle it well before the law allows at least in short periods of time - sometimes I go up 2 flights of stairs to do laundry while my 2 1/2 year old plays in her room and the baby naps in her crib and some of my friends THINK I AM NUTS - it's UNDER THE SAME ROOF for goodness sakes and my 2 1/2 year old is smarter and more mature than many teenage girls and boys i know! anyways, i don't understand why mom's judge other moms - i mean shouldn't we stick together better!!?!?!?

[deleted account]

As of right now 12. However if my daughter shows that she isn't mature enough then the age will get higher. The youngest no matter maturity would be 12.

I know that in some states it is acutally a law that the child has to be at least 12.

[deleted account]

I'll let you know when we get there... ;)

My girls are only 8.5 right now and I don't foresee leaving them home alone for at least another 2ish years. Not sure when I'll leave them alone and in charge of their brother who is currently 2, but it probably won't be much older than I start leaving them home alone... at least for short periods of time. They have always been very good and helpful w/ him... my saving grace as a single mom.

Jodi - posted on 06/18/2010




Michelle, I think you are right, a mother does know her own kids best and will make the decision based on that. Some kids are more mature than others, personalities will differ, etc. I don't think there is ever one rule that can apply to all children.

I started allowing my son to stay home briefly (while I did the grocery shopping or something) when he was around 9. He was always under strict instructions not to, under any circumstances, answer the door, and he was only permitted to answer the phone if it was either myself or my husband calling (our names come up on the phone when we call). But he is a pretty mature kid, and always has been older than his years in many ways.

I have only JUST started to allow my daughter (age 5) to stay home with him for short periods of time (he is now almost 13), but I wouldn't leave the two of them together for more than 1/2 hour at the moment because they just can't get along most of the time. I prefer to avoid it altogether. It is more her I can't trust than him, LOL.

So far I haven't left him home on his own at night. I think he'd be fine on his own for a while, but I've never had the need to.

Michelle - posted on 06/18/2010




We started leaving our son home alone at the age of 9 for an hour or so the rule is he stays in the house watches tv or plays video games and the door get locked behind us he doesn't answer it or the phone unless he knows it is one of us.

Kathy - posted on 06/18/2010




When my daughter was around 10-11, we started leaving her home for very short periods of time. I am talking maybe 10 mins max. We slowly upped the amount of time as she matured and proved she could take care of herself and do as was expected of her. She is now 14 and she can stay home all day and night if the need arose. She is also babysits not only her 7yr old brother but many other children including 2yr old twins. She is very mature and responsible-not at all like her brother who I have a feeling we will never allow to be home alone! LOL

[deleted account]

Where I grew up, in New Mexico, the law was age 10 for being home along, and 12 for having others younger than you home alone with you. (like babysitting, younger bros and sis, etc.). When the time comes, I plan on finding out the laws here and making sure my kids are responsible enough to respect our home's rules when I'm gone.

Definitely by the teenage years, but not too sure about earlier than that, as my kids are still very little. :)

Krista - posted on 06/18/2010




It depends on a lot of factors. Usually there are laws on when a child can be left home alone, but they vary depending on where you live. And of course, it also depends on the child. When I was 8, I was allowed to be home alone during the half-hour between when I got off the bus and when Mom got home. I had my own house key, and would just pour myself a glass of milk, turn on the TV and wait for her. My younger nephew has ADHD, and is 11, and I would not trust him home alone for 5 minutes -- he'd have the house burned down, or would take off somewhere and leave all the doors wide open.

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