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Staying Home Alone? Is it BAD parenting?

Posted by on Jul. 17, 2014 at 9:41 AM
  • 17 Replies

So I am a single mother with 3 children, ages 7, 8, and 11.  During the summer, I work three days a week from 8 to 4.  While I am working I arrange child care for my youngest two children, sometimes staying with friends, sometimes family, and sometimes going with me to work.  My oldest, 11 years old, is given the option to stay home alone if she wants or to go to her (step)grandmother's house (I'll call her "Ann").  She hates going to "Ann's" house ("Ann" is very biased towards her own 8 year old daughter) and so she usually chooses to stay home alone.  Well yesterday she came to me crying and said that "Ann" told her that there is a law that children under 14 cannot stay home alone.  She told her that if anyone found out that I left her home alone, then family services would come and take her away from me.  Then she turned to her daughter (who is 8) and told her, "thats why I dont' leave you home alone, I don't want to lose you."  My daughter was very upset and scared.

My question is this...

Is an eleven year old really too young to stay home alone?  My daughter is very responsible and I trust her completely.  I believe that I have equipt her with the tools she needs to stay home alone, safely, for a few hours.  This is the first summer that we have tried this and I feel it has worked out quite well. Also, was she correct in telling my daughter the things that she did?  I feel that it was mean and vindictive with no purpose other than to scare her.  I know that "Ann" gets mad because my kids don't like to go to her house (and this is why!) but how do I handle this? My Dad is no help because he thinks that kids just love his wife (when in fact I don't know any that do) and basically says my kids exaggerate.  I leave my kids with her as little as possible because they hate it so much.  Ann gets so jealous of the fact that her own daughter would rather be at my house and she expresses it by being mean to my kids.  Once she told them that she was going to put up cameras to see "what they did" to her daughter when she wasn't around.  It is ludicrous. Help! I don't know what to do!


****side note

I don't have the choice of never bringing them around her again.  Unfortunately, I jointly own a company with her and my dad and we are supposed to "share" child care responsibilities (I watch my sister when she works and she watches mine while I work).  They are the only family I have for 500 miles.  It's so complicated.

by on Jul. 17, 2014 at 9:41 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Elyce225
by Ruby Member on Jul. 17, 2014 at 9:43 AM

Check the laws in your state.

Where I am you can not leave your child alone who is younger than 12. So if the law is not to leave your 11 year old alone you shouldn't. "Ann" is probably correct.
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ModernSuperMom
by New Member on Jul. 17, 2014 at 9:47 AM

There is no age law here for leaving a child home alone.

HaroldsMom
by on Jul. 17, 2014 at 10:30 AM

Okay that was just so wrong for her to do and I would not let your kids stay with her no more and if there is no law leaving you 11 year old home alone then there is nothing for her to bitch about. Good luck mamma

Quoting ModernSuperMom:

There is no age law here for leaving a child home alone.


maddiesmom1210
by New Member on Jul. 17, 2014 at 10:40 AM

That is just awful, what "Ann" said to your daughter.  I would not have her go there anymore!!!

Personally, I think it all depends on the child and how comfortable you both are with her being alone!!

marchantmom06
by Bronze Member on Jul. 17, 2014 at 10:42 AM
If you are sure there isn't a law then just don't allow your child to be around that person anymore.
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Clara78
by New Member on Jul. 17, 2014 at 10:45 AM
I don't see a problem. In my state the legal age is when the parent feels the child can be left. We leave my 12 year old to stay home with his brothers age 8 and 7. We will take the babies and run to a store or even a few stores. Never had a problem.
Creekie.
by on Jul. 17, 2014 at 10:46 AM

Ridiculous for "Ann" to say that to your child, what a bitch.  Using scare tactics on a child - nice.

However, 11 is often under age to be legally left alone.  Even if it isn't illegal where you live, it probably isn't an awesome idea to do it in the first place.

Anonymous
by Anonymous on Jul. 17, 2014 at 12:38 PM

Wow Ann sounds like a real peach. I'd tell her off and never bring my children around her again.

ModernSuperMom
by New Member on Jul. 17, 2014 at 12:42 PM

I don't have the choice of never bringing them around her again.  Unfortunately, I jointly own a company with her and my dad and we are supposed to "share" child care responsibilities (I watch my sister when she works and she watches mine while I work).  They are the only family I have for 500 miles.  It's so complicated.

MomtoJTAN
by on Jul. 17, 2014 at 1:10 PM

I can't understand why your own Father would let her treat his grandchild that way. Really, he should be the one stepping in on this for you. I know you said he is blind to it, but he is more likely in denial and trying to avoid confrontation. No one can be that oblivious. I am sorry you have to go through this. It's your decision. Stand by what you believe in.

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