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In your opinion, what age is appropriate to start leaving your "child" at home without supervision?

I am curious to know what other people think an appropriate age is to start leaving child home without supervision. My mother left me home by myself all of the time, and I'm sure I was 7 or 8 (If not younger) when she started doing so. I personally don't think that's old enough, but what do you ladies think? What's your opinion of the proper age?

Answer Question

Asked by MacyKaysMommy at 6:34 PM on Feb. 10, 2011 in General Parenting

Level 10 (478 Credits)
Answers (14)
  • I think it depends on the child. I was 12 when I started babysitting but my brother is 11 and there is no way he should be left alone.

    Answer by JLS2388 at 6:36 PM on Feb. 10, 2011

  • My son has some delays but he is 6 and a half and I am not comfortable leaving him yet. I think closer to 10 or 11 for him. I think it some what depends on the child.

    Answer by But_Mommie at 6:37 PM on Feb. 10, 2011

  • and I am talking about run to the store and back less than 30 min.

    Answer by But_Mommie at 6:38 PM on Feb. 10, 2011

  • Our kids did not stay home alone at ALL until our oldest was 12 and our youngest 7. At that point it was only when I was going to a local errand and they were not home for more than 20 minutes and I always had my cell with me. Now our older daughter is 16 and our younger daughter 11 and they can stay home alone for a few hours, but never an over night (even though I know several parents of kids their age who do that).


    Answer by scout_mom at 6:38 PM on Feb. 10, 2011

  • I started leaving my kids when they were 11 almost 12. I made them take the baby sitting course first and you can take that when you are 11. If I was just running to get milk or something so I would only be gone about 20 minutes. As they got older I started increasing the amount of time and the things that they could do when I was gone.

    I think part of it is what you are comfortable with and what your kids are comfortable with. I am pretty sure my state has a minimum age that you are suppose to be able to leave you kids home alone.

    Good Luck!

    Answer by cornflakegirl3 at 6:39 PM on Feb. 10, 2011

  • It depends much more on maturity than an age number. Some children are just not good at handling emergencies at 15, and others might be able to handle the same situation at 10. Experience has a lot to do with it, too. I also would be a lot more careful today than I was when our children were growing up. It's a different world today when it comes to perverts, stalkers, and other folks with not go good intentions.

    Answer by NannyB. at 6:40 PM on Feb. 10, 2011

  • Well, first it depends on your local laws. Even if a child is mature enough to stay home alone, if it's illegal it's not worth risking custody just to make things a little easier on you. In PA where I am they minimum age is 13.
    The second thing to consider is the child's maturity. If they are able to take care of themselves, I don't see any reason why they shouldn't be able to stay home, at least for short periods...

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 6:40 PM on Feb. 10, 2011

  • I still have a good ways to go (my kids are to young). My sister left her son at home when he was fourteen, she then found out he was going online looking at porn. He will be sixteen in a few months and still have to go where his parents go.

    Answer by babygirl0782 at 6:40 PM on Feb. 10, 2011

  • i was 9 or 10 when my parents left me home alone. I was home alone everyday after school from 3:30 to 4:30 but i would wait until my children were at least 11 or 12.

    Answer by L0vingMy3Girls at 6:44 PM on Feb. 10, 2011

  • Whatever the minimum law requires in ones state, and then from there on the maturity level of the child. It's illegal in my state to leave any child home under the age of 12. So until my son turns 12 I can't even begin to estimate an age. To leave 2 kids home alone the law states the oldest must be 12 and the youngest at least 5, I don't know the requirements from there. But either way he'll be at least 12 before this happens, and when the time comes I'll judge whether he's capable of following the rules and knowing what to do in case of an emergency or not. I know my mom left me with my 2 younger brothers starting when I was 10, and it really wasn't good. I look back on a lot of things that occurred while she was gone and think to myself man I'm lucky to be alive.

    Answer by ba13ygrl1987 at 6:44 PM on Feb. 10, 2011

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