Home alone -- what age?

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MissyJ's picture
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Home alone -- what age?

Question for the Answer Box (i.e. responses from YOU!): At what age would you allow your child to stay home alone for a few hours? We're having a family 'discussion.'

AlyssaEimers's picture
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I go round and round with this one as well. I am leaning towards 12 at this point. However, by 10 or 11 I might if it was an emergency for a very short time.

Minx_Kristi's picture
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I think it all depends on the child, imo.

My now 8 year old nephew could no way be left home alone, but his brother when he was that age would have been fine.

I think the 'acceptable' age though is around 12.

xx

Alissa_Sal's picture
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I agree it depends on the child. I was babysitting my brother and the neighbor kids at 11, so I am biased towards 10 or 11 especially if they are just responsible for themselves (i.e. not babysitting another child) but I agree that 12 seems to be the more acceptable age.

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For a few minutes I would leave Robbie home alone now at age 8. But I *think* the law here is 10 and you need to be 12 or take the babysitting course to babysit. I was a latch-key kid (with no key, we lived in a farming community and our doors were never locked) at 8 and babysitting my two nephews by 10. DH was a latch-key kid at 9.

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I've left Nathan (10) home alone a few times for shorter periods of time. His brother Matt (12) probably would have been fine being home alone around 9...he's the most responsible of the three boys lol.

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I agree...it definitely depends on the child. Our oldest DD is 13 and we started leaving her alone a couple years ago, so around age 11. At that time our other DD's were 9 and 10. We started out by just being gone for a short time, close by home. Then we started being gone longer and now I feel completely comfortable leaving them alone for longer periods of time. When we first started leaving them I would let our neighbor know also. My girls are very responsible and I don't have any worry about them being home alone. We also live in a nice community which makes a huge difference as well.

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We have offered to let our 9 year old be home alone while we walk in the neighborhood or walk to grandma's house (2 blocks away) but he doesn't want to yet. I think for less than an hour, I would have no issue with him being home alone, but longer, probably not yet.