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Kids home alone, at what age?

I'm already thining about this summer. My daugther will be 11, turn 12 in December. My son is 9 right now, but will be 10 in May.
Do you think, it's okay to leave them home alone while I go to work? I'm a sinlge mom, no family around. We live in a small town, which I know, doesn't make it all safe and all.
From what I've found on-line is that Texas has no laws on age limits.
I would prepair meal for them ahead of time, so no cooking would be required. Maybe the micrave to heat something up.
I do have neighbots near by, they could call in an emergancy.
I'd like to enforce the rule, if they do go to the neightbor home to play (the Mom is a stay-at-home) that they'd both have to go - one of them, is not allowed to stay alone.
Any other guild-lines? Rules?
I have time to figure out other options. Just wonding if seems to be okay.


Asked by Anonymous at 3:18 AM on Feb. 17, 2010 in Tweens (9-12)

This question is closed.
Answers (7)
  • I think this is something that varies for each child, depending on the maturity level and how responsible they are. For example, my soon to be 12 yr old daughter can use the microwave, and assists me when I cook, but does not use the stove alone, period. But, one of her best friends,the same age, has been cooking for quite some time now. She has four younger siblings, and has been a huge part in their care giving. Now, personally, I would not turn any 11yr old, (soon to be 12, whatever!) loose in a kitchen. But, this mom that I am referring to has total faith in her child, and will sleep in while her daughter fixes breakfast for the family. (breakfast of eggs, sausage, canned biscuits) I will leave my daughter for a couple hourse, but that is my daughter, yours may be more responsible? But, I believe that your faith in a child should only go so far, to do certain things. for a limited amount of time.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:48 PM on Feb. 17, 2010

  • My oldest stayed home at 10 but only for a max of 2-3 hours, he is 12 now and legally can watch our 9 y/o, both are good kids and get along so i dont have the worry about fighting. I wouldnt leave my 5 y/o with my 12 y/o only because she can push buttons and while he is legally old enough to watch her i know she is too much to handle.

    Mine are not allowed to answer the door, the phone (unless it is me calling) or leave the house. The only time they can leave the house is an emergency. I live in a small town also but to me leaving the house means i dont know where they are or if they got to where they were going. I have neighbors who know they are home and the boys can go to if needed for help.

    As a kid my siblings and i stayed home while our parents worked summers, it was a bad idea, there were nasty fights and my parents finally sent the younger ones to a sitter it got so bad.

    Answer by 3_ring_circus_ at 3:29 AM on Feb. 17, 2010

  • I think it would kind of depend on the kids' maturity and how well they get along with each other. I grew up with my mom leaving us home alone in the summer (we did live near grandparents though who would check on us) and my older brother and sister were 10 and 8 and I was 4. When we got older it didn't work as well because we fought all the time.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:37 AM on Feb. 17, 2010

  • I think that's too young for being home alone all day. Are there any day camps in your area (YMCA maybe) or places like the Boys and Girls Club? Maybe ask the SAHM if you could pay her to watch them or something?

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:14 AM on Feb. 17, 2010

  • I totally agree with the maturity level of the kids being a huge factor. If you can trust your kids to listen to your rules and abide by them, you should be good. Write the rules out and hang them somewhere. Ask your neighbor if it is ok that your kids call her if they need her. Sit the kids down and explain to them that you are trusting them to take care of themselves during the day and that it is crucial that they cooperate. I can usually trust my son to watch his little brothers if I am just running to the store down the block. They usually play the xbox until I get back anyway and I always reiterate that he is not to open the door for anyone, not even his friends.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:18 PM on Feb. 17, 2010

  • In Illinois state law is 14 years old! I guess this isn't a question I'll have to worry about, but just realizing that I will have to pay/arrange daycare or a babysitter for my daughter until she is in high school is unreal to me.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:41 PM on Feb. 17, 2010

  • I know that one. kids can't be home alone until they arre 14 yrs. old. I know this because the little boy across the street. was left alone at home at age 13, and the police stopped at his house and gave a warning to his mom that he is not to stay home alone till the age of 14. ;)

    Answer by incarnita at 10:08 AM on Feb. 21, 2010