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At what age would you consider ok to leave a child home alone?

Posted by on Jan. 1, 2013 at 11:52 AM
  • 9 Replies

I mean for like an hour or 2 not a whole weekend or anything. My parents used to let my brother who was 7 years older than me stay home by ourselves when he was about 12, maybe younger but I don't remember. I've seen it in the news that it is illegal to leave kids home alone until they are like 15 or so and that is outrageous. I think if they are able to make safe decisions on their own (no strangers in the house, remember to turn the stove off if you cook something, don't set things on fire) then they should be fine for you to run to the store or something. What do you think?

by on Jan. 1, 2013 at 11:52 AM
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Replies (1-9):
JeremysMom
by on Jan. 1, 2013 at 11:56 AM
Every state has different laws about this. In my state, you can leave a 9-11 year old home alone for 2 hours. My son is only 8 and it will probably be another 2 years before I even think about leaving him alone for the full 2 hours.
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lucky2Beeme
by Platinum Member on Jan. 1, 2013 at 11:57 AM

I think its how mature the child is not an age thing. Would your child feel comfortable being home alone for a couple hours ? We started leaving our boys home at 11 and 12 for a couple hours. They both felt comfortable about it. We let the neighbors know the 1st few times and kept the cells on.

alexsmomaubrys2
by on Jan. 1, 2013 at 11:57 AM

Around 12-13 years old.

There isn't a law on it in out state, they leave it up to the discretion of the parents.

Bleacheddecay
by on Jan. 1, 2013 at 12:55 PM

As soon as I felt they were mature enough which isn't an age, it's a mind set.

I began with leaving them alone for just a few minutes and little by little for longer, even weekends by early teens.

tyfry7496
by on Jan. 1, 2013 at 1:20 PM
In my county it's recommended to wait until 12 but its also the discretion of the parents. How the child reacts in an emergency situation, what they say to someone who calls or comes to the door. I let my son stay home for less than an hour at 10 yrs old. By 12 he was home alone while I worked. He's 16 now and I leave him alone for 8 or more hours. No overnights yet.
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sabrtooth1
by on Jan. 1, 2013 at 1:33 PM

My kids began babysitting when they were 12.  They took babysitting classes and CRP at the local park district before they began, and at first it was only an hour or two, with friends' kids.  However I believe the responsibility for another child keeps them focused and out of trouble.  I left them home alone for a couple hours by mid 13, but NOT all day, and never overnight.  I cannot conceive of leaving "early teens" alone for a weekend. The FIRST time Dh & I left them alone overnight, the youngest was 16 &  the oldest was 19.  They did not go out, and NO ONE came in.  My neighbor knew we were gone, and kept an eye out for trouble.  We called several times on the land line, to make sure everything was OK. 

Jenn8604
by on Jan. 1, 2013 at 1:35 PM
First the state would have to say what age was ok. Than Id go by maturity of each individual child.
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yperez0209
by on Jan. 1, 2013 at 1:49 PM

I don't know. I think it really depends on there maturity level. I rather not leave any child alone, but if I had to maybe 15 sounds like a good age. Again every child is different. I rather pay a sitter and have peace of mind that an adult is present then hope the kids do the right thing.

illinoismommy83
by on Jan. 1, 2013 at 1:50 PM

I wouldn't leave the most mature kids home before age 12, even if it just was for an hour or so.

Being prepared for the everyday is great, but its the what-if emergencies that I worry about.

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