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At what age do you think teens can be left home alone?

Posted by on May. 11, 2010 at 11:06 PM
  • 18 Replies

For a few hours? Do you think it's ever ok for them to be alone over night? At what age?

by on May. 11, 2010 at 11:06 PM
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by on May. 11, 2010 at 11:10 PM

We started leaving them alone around 12.  It started with a few hours, and then more and more over time.  They haven't given us a reason not to trust them.  I hope it does not come to that. 

by on May. 11, 2010 at 11:23 PM

I started around 12 but it also depends on matuity levels of each kid. i have one that i dont think was mature enough at 12 so he always had an older bro looking out for him. My other ones no problem. but no over night without an adult. to many variables of age, areas, and reasoning.


by on May. 12, 2010 at 3:53 AM

Depends on maturity level of individual child. I left mine, home alone, beginning at ages 9. I didn't stay gone long and called frequently. I've left them alone, overnight, when they were 12. Legally, the age is 12.

by on May. 12, 2010 at 5:13 AM
No age teens can not be trusted
by Shauna on May. 12, 2010 at 6:09 AM
Our state, PA, doesn't have a legal age when kids are allowed to stay home. I asked a trooper about it at a child safety day when my dd was younger and because the issue came up at work. He said the parents have to decide whether or not their child is mature and responsible enough to handle it and if anything were to happen like property damage or a fire then the parents would be held responsible for it. My dd was allowed to stay home alone at around age 11. Only if I was grocery shopping or something like that. She was not allowed to go outside or answer the door. She was allowed to stay home once overnight when we went to visit my SIL in VA. She was 15, Notice I said once.
by on May. 12, 2010 at 8:13 AM

I can't foresee leaving my 15 y/o home alone over night for quite a long time.  I remember my sisters having parties when my parents would go somewhere for the night.   I think once a child is around 12 (depending on maturity), they can be left for a few hours.  My 12 y/o daughter will stay home with the younger kids for an hour or two if needed, but only during daylight hours.  She gets scared when it's dark.

by Member on May. 12, 2010 at 8:24 AM

Daytime hours my  then 8 & 11yr old boys would stay for a couple hours alone while I went grocery shopping.   I had a cell phone in case they needed me.  

  However the question of over night is more complicated.  Yes, as teen they might be tempted to have frnds over.   But also young people are very sound sleepers.     In the event of a fire or other household emergency would they be awake or even clear headed enough to handle a situation that would arise?     

by Susie on May. 12, 2010 at 9:08 AM

5th grade was when I started leaving them alone for an hour or so and gradually added more time.  When my oldest was in 6th grade she was my babysitter for our youngest and at that time she was in 3rd grade.

Over night I didn't do it until I had to and I left my oldest when she was 18 and out of HS.  3 times she has proved to me she can't play by our rules when left alone for days at a time though.  I know neighbors that have left kids in HS alone for over night or longer.  I never would. 

by on May. 12, 2010 at 9:22 AM

I have left my 11 yo home alone for maybe an hour to run to the store, I've left him and his 15yo brother home for maybe 3 hrs. I had to leave  my 11,15DS and my 17dd home for 3days 2 nights because we went to my 20yo Army  basic training graduation but my oldest son (21)  slept at the house. And I called every couple of hours to make sure every thing was ok I also had neighbors watching the house.

by on May. 12, 2010 at 9:31 AM

Twelvish for the first question.  Yes, its ok for some kids to stay home overnight.  My boys, 16 and 18, have stayed home overnight for a night or two. 

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