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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Joined: 08/22/06
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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.


Alissa_Sal's picture
Last seen: 2 years 9 months ago
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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.

mom2robbie's picture
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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.

Last seen: 1 year 6 months ago
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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.

meggyrn's picture
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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.

CamelNoodle's picture
Last seen: 1 year 7 months ago
Joined: 07/28/04
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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.