Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

30 Something Moms 30 Something Moms

Leaving an 8 YO home alone for an hour or two on a Saturday night... Looong post, sorry. PIOG

Posted by on Feb. 21, 2013 at 2:17 PM
  • 38 Replies

The background:


Hello everyone.

I'm sorry this is a little longwinded. I'm really stressing out and I need a little outside perspective. I would normally ask my sis or my mom, but I don't want to worry them.

I have an 8 yr old dd who spends every other weekend at her father's house. He is remarried and DD has been having sleepovers at his house for about 2 years now.

He took me to court 2 years ago to have the parenting plan changed to mandate the sleepovers, (he chose to stop them over a year earlier because she "wasn't listening to them" and I was not ready for him to try again after he pretty much dumped her like that) In order to have the parenting plan changed he came up with accusations like I wasn't taking her to school (No, my mom was taking her 3 days per week because I worked overnight and didn't get home in time) and that I changed our number, and didn't tell him (I was between cells for 2 weeks BUT he still had my mother's home number - Where dd and I LIVED) In other words, totally ridiculous stuff that looked bad on paper until I hired a lawyer and they were explained in his deposition when he had to elaborate on these accusations. Exdh and I do not have a communicative relationship... I've tried, but as you can see, he's an extremely petty and difficult man, effective communication and trust isn't there. 


DD informed me last night that she gets to stay up very late on saturday nights at her dad's house because they go to visit their friends, and if she doesn't feel like going she is allowed to go home and watch TV instead. Just her and the dog. 

I have to talk to DD after school to get more details, I was seeing red and trying to hold it together when she told me this so I kept the convo short so as not to make her think she had done something wrong and make her clam up. Dad has in the past told her not to tell me things, and she loves him dearly  and I think she is afraid he will "dump" her again if she does something wrong. I know she is very well behaved when she is there now.


Here's what I know and think: 

I think the friends live just a few houses down the street.

I know it is considered a "safe" neighborhood.

I know she knows at least one of the nextdoor neighbors well.

I know that they do not have her lock the door behind her.

I know that this is not a rare event.


I'm going to write him a letter, I've decided, and send a copy to the lawyer who deposed him. I can't afford this lawyer AT ALL, but it won't cost much for him to just throw it in the file. I'm going to tell EXH that our not quite 8 and a half yo daughter should NOT be home alone, certainly without locked doors, on a saturday night. 


Can you guys think of any other information I should get from DD, and also, do you think I'm overreacting?

I need some outsied perspective.

Thanks so much if you actually read this!

I forgot to mention: There is no state law regarding leaving a child alone in my (and most) states.

chick BabyFruit Ticker

by on Feb. 21, 2013 at 2:17 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
SallyB_LMT
by Bronze Member on Feb. 21, 2013 at 2:32 PM

Oh man!  I would freak out!  I would never leave my kids home alone, regardless of how close the neighbors are.  Unless you are in your own front yard talking to them or something.  There are too many things that can go wrong, especially at that age.  No matter how well behaved your kid is, this is unacceptable.

What state are you in?  There are laws in some states that require your child be a certain age before they are allowed to stay home alone.

http://www.latchkey-kids.com/latchkey-kids-age-limits.htm

birdiemom
by Member on Feb. 21, 2013 at 2:35 PM

 I would not leave my 8 year old home alone for any length of time.

veganistic
by on Feb. 21, 2013 at 2:39 PM

Me neither :( I wouldn't even THINK to consider it. This man is so irresponsible in my opinion :( I swear sometimes I wish I'd stay married just so I wouldn't have to send DD with him ever. 

Quoting birdiemom:

 I would not leave my 8 year old home alone for any length of time.


chick BabyFruit Ticker

conniejo75
by Bronze Member on Feb. 21, 2013 at 2:41 PM
Most states have no minimum age... it is to the parents to decide if mature enough. HOWEVER a parent can be found negligent if child is hurt and is not mature enough by the courts standards. I was a latchkey kid at that age with younger siblings to watch.... but it was 2 hours during day.


Quoting SallyB_LMT:

Oh man!  I would freak out!  I would never leave my kids home alone, regardless of how close the neighbors are.  Unless you are in your own front yard talking to them or something.  There are too many things that can go wrong, especially at that age.  No matter how well behaved your kid is, this is unacceptable.

What state are you in?  There are laws in some states that require your child be a certain age before they are allowed to stay home alone.

http://www.latchkey-kids.com/latchkey-kids-age-limits.htm


Posted on CafeMom Mobile
ambermario4ever
by on Feb. 21, 2013 at 2:45 PM

I would be very upset. Write the letter and then go from there to make sure it stops. I hope you can fix this with out to much of a fuss from him.

SallyB_LMT
by Bronze Member on Feb. 21, 2013 at 2:49 PM

I am in Oregon and the minimum age is 10 years old.  If she's in a state where it matters then she has one more way to make him listen.  I am sorry your parents made you watch your younger siblings at age 8.  That is definitely not old enough, no matter how responsible and mature a child is.  I don't care if it's only 2 hours.  A lot can happen in 2 hours and you can't expect an 8 year old to make mature decisions.  Some parents just are irresponsible period.


Quoting conniejo75:

Most states have no minimum age... it is to the parents to decide if mature enough. HOWEVER a parent can be found negligent if child is hurt and is not mature enough by the courts standards. I was a latchkey kid at that age with younger siblings to watch.... but it was 2 hours during day.


Quoting SallyB_LMT:

Oh man!  I would freak out!  I would never leave my kids home alone, regardless of how close the neighbors are.  Unless you are in your own front yard talking to them or something.  There are too many things that can go wrong, especially at that age.  No matter how well behaved your kid is, this is unacceptable.

What state are you in?  There are laws in some states that require your child be a certain age before they are allowed to stay home alone.

http://www.latchkey-kids.com/latchkey-kids-age-limits.htm




mommybug77
by on Feb. 21, 2013 at 3:19 PM

 In illinois under 14 can get you in trouble. I never got people who had no problems leavig young children home alone (yes, 8 is young in my eyes)

conniejo75
by Bronze Member on Feb. 21, 2013 at 3:28 PM
I am not saying it's right or wrong... just stating most states have no laws around this. And even those that do... majority are "guidelines" not set in stone laws.


Quoting SallyB_LMT:

I am in Oregon and the minimum age is 10 years old.  If she's in a state where it matters then she has one more way to make him listen.  I am sorry your parents made you watch your younger siblings at age 8.  That is definitely not old enough, no matter how responsible and mature a child is.  I don't care if it's only 2 hours.  A lot can happen in 2 hours and you can't expect an 8 year old to make mature decisions.  Some parents just are irresponsible period.



Quoting conniejo75:

Most states have no minimum age... it is to the parents to decide if mature enough. HOWEVER a parent can be found negligent if child is hurt and is not mature enough by the courts standards. I was a latchkey kid at that age with younger siblings to watch.... but it was 2 hours during day.





Quoting SallyB_LMT:

Oh man!  I would freak out!  I would never leave my kids home alone, regardless of how close the neighbors are.  Unless you are in your own front yard talking to them or something.  There are too many things that can go wrong, especially at that age.  No matter how well behaved your kid is, this is unacceptable.

What state are you in?  There are laws in some states that require your child be a certain age before they are allowed to stay home alone.

http://www.latchkey-kids.com/latchkey-kids-age-limits.htm







Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Briesmom38
by Gold Member on Feb. 21, 2013 at 3:35 PM

There's no law here in Jersey, I have a family member who's a state trooper, and he says parents need to use their common sense when it comes to leaving a child home alone for any amount of time.  I'm sorry my common sense says 8 years old is too young to be left alone.

** It's 5 O'clock Somewhere **

Jinxed8
by Gold Member on Feb. 21, 2013 at 3:42 PM
1 mom liked this

8 is too young ... A friend of mine was wondering the same thing, she let her kids come home by themselves after school the oldest SS was 10 and her girls were 8 - I was horrified and told her they were way too young.  A local cop told her no kids under the age of 12 should  be left home alone and I believe.  I know personally there's no way DD is staying home alone before then.  Same rule applies for going to school on foot, riding the bike or taking public transit nah-ha !

I SOOO understand the relationship you have with your ex I'm going through very very similar things !  Mine has left DD home alone too while he went to the corner store ... when she was 6 or 7 years old.  I don't care if you're just going to the corner store any smart parent knows that an accident happens in a second.  Girl, never mind the lawyer, go and consult your local police department ask them their opinion and what you can do.

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

close Join now to connect to
other members!
Connect with Facebook or Sign Up Using Email

Already Joined? LOG IN