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how do you prepare a child to stay home alone

Posted by on Mar. 24, 2013 at 3:26 AM
  • 17 Replies

My cousins daughter is 12 and a very responsible little girl I actually feel that she was capable to stay home alone a long time ago she has always been wise beyond her years and very mature. My cousin has 2 younger kids ages 6 and 4 but the 12 year old will not be watching them they go to their paternal grandparents house after school. My cousin has finally decided to allow her 12 year old to stay home for the hour and a half after school gets ot and before she gets off work but she wants to do trials and pose all kinds of situations and have ppl knock on the door to test her etc.

Since I have a long way to go mine is only 6 and she is quite a bit less mature then other 6 year olds I don't anticipate going through this for quite a while but I was curious about the preparation because my cousin does seem to go over the top on most things so I was wondering what you all have done or will do in preparation of a child staying home alone for short periods to run errands and such

by on Mar. 24, 2013 at 3:26 AM
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frndlyfn
by Gold Member on Mar. 24, 2013 at 3:29 AM
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I would have a list of rules posted on fridge and on back of the front door stating do not open for anyone unless it is mommy or grandparents.   Adults (as we well know) can be tricky and tell the child all sorts of lies to gain access to the house.  Also make sure the child knows all emergency contact numbers and how to speak to 911 if she has to call that number.

DD is only 7 so we are a long way off as well for preparing but we have started letting her learn how to open the door for some people but others are not ok.  Heck we do not even open doors for strangers.

aetrom
by Gold Member on Mar. 24, 2013 at 5:44 AM
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We started by leaving them alone short lengths of time. 20 minutes, etc. and built up. And we sometimes come back before we are supposed to. ;)
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mjande4
by Platinum Member on Mar. 24, 2013 at 9:34 AM
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That's what we did too.  Short walks, trips to the grocery store, etc. to start.  My rules included never answering/opening the door to anyone.  Any family members knew how to get into the house with the garage code so if one of them came by and the door wasn't answered they know what to do.  My second one was if you answer the phone and they ask for a parent, just tell them that they are busy and can't come to the phone (frankly that's the protocol for when we are here too).  All the kids have cellphones and know how to reach us and any one of importance including neighbors.  Also at 12 my daughter was babysitting.  She took a babysitting course through the town and is CPR certified, etc.

Quoting aetrom:

We started by leaving them alone short lengths of time. 20 minutes, etc. and built up. And we sometimes come back before we are supposed to. ;)



Momforhealth
by on Mar. 24, 2013 at 9:41 AM
Leave a list of numbers and explain what to do in emergencies. Teach her to keep the door locked and do not answer it. Tell a trusted neighbor just in case she needs them. Teach her what food to make and about cooking....(what can cause fires)
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sahmw2010
by Bronze Member on Mar. 24, 2013 at 9:42 AM
Im not sure what i would do. DD is only 8. Though there are times that i WISH i could just run to the corner store and leave her and the boys home for the maybe 5min. Some days it feels more of a hassle to load all kids up in car just to run to corner store for milk, unload, then load back up and come home. But normally when I feel that way i am already stressed and need 5min to myself
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coolmommy2x
by Gold Member on Mar. 24, 2013 at 10:20 AM
I just told DS not to answer the door or the phone unless it was me, DH, my parents or MIL (thanks to Caller ID). We've never had an issue. I wouldn't have people knock on the door as a test because thinking a stranger is at the door can scare a 12 yo.
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corrinacs
by Silver Member on Mar. 24, 2013 at 1:33 PM

I have NO IDEA!  Caden is 5 and I don't want to think about it yet LOL.  But I know I have to.

But as far as your 12 year old cousin, are they going to "test" her and her not know about it?  I woudln't do that, that would scare the living shit out of me LOL.  But at least giving her the tools and guidance needed to do it should be fine :).  I was ready to stay home at 12, I think that was the age...but I was more mature.

MsLogansMommy
by Bronze Member on Mar. 24, 2013 at 3:11 PM

 

I completely understand this feeling I remember I used to jog in the mornings before I had my dd and I am a single mom and we live alone no roommates just me and dd so I cant get up and jog even though she is still sleeping I have wanted to so bad but then I think about all the things that could happen and not even just stuff like house fires but what if something happened to me jogging like being hit by a car etc chances are these things wont happen but im not willing to risk the small percent that they could. I have a friend that would leave her 5 year old in front of the tv and run down to corner store which is literally 2 minutes away but I told her what if you got into a car accident and werent conscious then that 2 minute or 4 minutes would turn into your child abandoned at home alone at 5 years old with no one knowledgeable of this fact. She said she never thought about that and now she doesnt do it anymore

Quoting sahmw2010:

Im not sure what i would do. DD is only 8. Though there are times that i WISH i could just run to the corner store and leave her and the boys home for the maybe 5min. Some days it feels more of a hassle to load all kids up in car just to run to corner store for milk, unload, then load back up and come home. But normally when I feel that way i am already stressed and need 5min to myself


 

Ms_mom_81
by Member on Mar. 24, 2013 at 3:18 PM


that is what I am starting to do with my daughter. If I have to run up the road to get Alex from soccer practice I let her stay behind.

Quoting aetrom:

We started by leaving them alone short lengths of time. 20 minutes, etc. and built up. And we sometimes come back before we are supposed to. ;)



MsLogansMommy
by Bronze Member on Mar. 24, 2013 at 3:19 PM

 

this little girl is completely capable of staying home alone and I would have no problem with her staying home watching my daughter this girl is super mature and always has been sometimes we joke that she is more responsible than her own parents. I'm just thinking that my cousin is going overboard in all the things they are going to do to "prepare" her I think like all the other posters have said is the best way is to leave a list of numbers leave for short periods of time working into longer and make sure the child knows what to do in case of an emergency. My cousin is and has always been very protective and is extreme in most things she does but I guess it is better than the opposite and just up an leaving a child home alone that is completely unprepared. I just feel like sometimes she doesnt give her daughter credit for being the mature responsible young lady that she is. For the most part my cousin is a great mom although a little overprotective which is just my opinion but I love her and I understand why she is that way her 12 year old was a miracle baby they tried to get pg for so long and thought they wouldn't have babies and then after her they had 2 other surprises 6 and 8 years later funny how life works

Quoting corrinacs:

I have NO IDEA!  Caden is 5 and I don't want to think about it yet LOL.  But I know I have to.

But as far as your 12 year old cousin, are they going to "test" her and her not know about it?  I woudln't do that, that would scare the living shit out of me LOL.  But at least giving her the tools and guidance needed to do it should be fine :).  I was ready to stay home at 12, I think that was the age...but I was more mature.


 

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