what age do you consider a kid to be old enough for the following:
To be left home alone? How long?
To walk home from school alone?
To hang out with friends alone - go to the movies, library park etc?
I think kids now a days are way to babied.
IMO a child should be taught not to answer the door or phone to strangers or play with the stove at a very early age. Ds is 5years. I started leaving him up in the apartment alone for 5-10 minutes while i run to the corner mart, when he was about 4 years. Never more then 5 - 10 minutes.
Now that he is 5 years, if i need to do laundry at the laundrymat on the corner, i am comfortable leaving him in the apartment alone for anywhere from 20 min to an hour. As long as i am withing the 4 corners of the 2 blocks that are on either side of the apartment. Im not comfortable with leaving him home for an hour if im far away yet. Maybe by 7 or so. By 8 def. He will have a key to the house by then and be allowed to walk home from school, thats a few blocks away, and let himself upstairs and wait for us to get home if we are running late for work. He will also be allowed to stay around the neighborhood and play outside by himself at this age as long as he comes home by dark and stays within ear shot of me - if i need to yell for him (maybe 2-4 blocks). By 10 -11 hes got full rein of the local neighborhood. He will have a cell phone by then. As long as he remains in the Heights area and comes home by dark im cool. Movies, arcade, mall with friends he can go by himself - if its too far away we will call a cab and have them dropped off and picked up. He will also be old enough in my book to be home alone if me and dh want to grab a movie or a bite to eat by our selves. a few hours. hell my sisters were baby sitting me when i was a baby when they were 11 and 8.