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How young is too young to let your child stay home alone?

I two boys, 11 & 8. My 11 year old is too old now for after-school care and will have to ride the bus home and stay by himself until we get home from work/school. He's stayed at home by himself for a couple of hours at a time but next summer he'll have to be home all day. It's one of those steps toward your child gaining independence but it's scary.

Also, I've considered allowing my 8 year old to stay at home with his older brother as well, but would that be advisable? Is he too young even though he has his 11 year old brother with him?

I just remember being in kindergarten staying home with my sister that was only 8 or 9 at the time. It would definitely save me in after-school costs if they could both stay home. But I may worry too much about it. Maybe its illegal, I don't know. That's why I'm asking.

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Asked by CindyLea3 at 2:21 PM on Aug. 3, 2010 in General Parenting

Level 2 (12 Credits)
Answers (16)
  • I would look up your local laws and see what they are and follow them.

    Answer by xxlilmomma09 at 2:23 PM on Aug. 3, 2010

  • My son was 9 the first time he stayed alone all day. He was trustworthy and I was 5 minutes away. I also prepared him completely. He even had a huge emergency binder full of info we memorized.

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 2:24 PM on Aug. 3, 2010

  • I don't think I would let my kids stay home at those ages..

    Answer by SuperrMommyy at 2:24 PM on Aug. 3, 2010

  • My daughter is 9 and we left her at home a couple of times. We live on 20 acres and my dh and I went to the otherside of our property. She knew where to find us. As far as leaving the property and leaving her, I am too nervous lol.

    Answer by PoisonousBlonde at 2:26 PM on Aug. 3, 2010

  • that's a good question, I'm curious to know myself

    Answer by June_Mama09 at 2:29 PM on Aug. 3, 2010

  • It depends on the kids. If they are responsible, it should be fine. I wouldn't leave them all day, but a few hours should be fine.

    Answer by mompam at 2:30 PM on Aug. 3, 2010

  • My state law says 12 so ill just go with that if they show me they can handle it at 12. I still got like 6 years before that comes up.

    Answer by Darkdevinity at 2:34 PM on Aug. 3, 2010

  • states have different laws on this

    I personally would say no younger than 12


    Answer by Lynette at 2:35 PM on Aug. 3, 2010

  • When my kids were about that age I'd leave them alone for a few hours while I shopped. If you think they are responsible enough, and they can contact you in case of emergency, I would try it.

    Answer by Scuba at 2:35 PM on Aug. 3, 2010

  • Is there a trustworthy neighbor that can at least check up on them now and then?

    Answer by jessicarae787 at 2:35 PM on Aug. 3, 2010

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