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At what age did you start leaving your kids alone?

I don't know what to do. I've been a SAHM since son was born and now he's 11 years old. Financially we are stuggling and I need to go get another job, I work part-time already when son is in school. There is an opportunity to work during the summer 2-3 hrs. M-F and everyone tells me to leave my son home alone during these hours. I have never left my son alone before. Doing this makes me feel like I would be a bad mother and I'm just being selfish. My DH already works more than 16+ hours a day so him helping me is out of the question. I don't have family around and daycare is out of the questions because I would only be earning minimum wage and that would defeat the purpose. Leaving my son with strangers or neighbors, let's just say, no one likes to work for free. Don't know what to do. How do you do it? I have an only child.

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Asked by Anonymous at 1:53 AM on Apr. 11, 2010 in General Parenting

Answers (8)
  • Depending on his maturity, I think at 11 he can look after himself for a few hours a day as long as he knows emergency procedures such as 911 and your work number. If you are worried still he could go to summer school during the day though.

    Answer by Tf1990 at 1:58 AM on Apr. 11, 2010

  • if it's during the summer that this would be happening, what about sending him to some sort of day camp?

    Answer by alexis_06 at 2:17 AM on Apr. 11, 2010

  • When I was a single parent I had to leave my kids home alone while I worked, I set up strict rules and phone numbers were posted on the fridge. My kids were 12, 8 and 6. I also had neighbors keeping an eye out, and the kids were not allowed outside or to open the door.....until they were older then they were allowed to walk to Burger King for lunch or something but they always had to call me when they left and when they got back in the door.

    Answer by wheresthewayout at 3:17 AM on Apr. 11, 2010

  • Also, check your local laws. I know here, the child has to be 12 to be left alone.

    Answer by mhaney03 at 5:34 AM on Apr. 11, 2010

  • can you work out something with one of his friends mother, where you could reciprocate

    Answer by GMMOLLY at 6:41 AM on Apr. 11, 2010

  • I'm with GMMOLLY. Is there any way for you to work a deal out with a friend's mom, like they stay at her house x days while you work, then they are at yours x days so she can get things done?

    Answer by preacherskid at 9:30 AM on Apr. 11, 2010

  • It depends on his maturity level. If he knows what to do in case of an emergency and can stay calm, not answer the door to ANYONE and to answer the phone ONLY for you then he should be ok for 3 hours. Leave him foods he can eat without cooking. Do a trial by leaving him for an hour while you run to the grocery store, then do 2 hours, then 3 and see how he does.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 12:18 PM on Apr. 11, 2010

  • Is it just me or is this like the 15th time this question has been asked today?

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:38 PM on Apr. 12, 2010

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