Home Alone...

@Modestah (11192)
United States
March 28, 2008 12:13am CST
Were you a "Latch Key Kid" (the term applied to children who have both parents working when they get off of school - so they have their key to let themselves in and fend for themselves until the evening hours). At what age did your parents permit (require) that you stay home alone without a babysitter - when they went out? I distinctly remember being 8 years old and not wanting to accompany my mother and brother to a doctor appointment - so I pitched a fit and mom was haggard so she let me stay home - I played with the hose and my brothers bottle collection while they were gone -filling the bottles up and dumping them out. Hey, I was weird then too... anyhow a gallon jug slipped from my hand and either it or the water cut 3 of my toes severely - one was hanging by a thread. I am thinking 8 was a bit too young.... my brother was 2.5 years older than me - so we often stayed home alone, together - while mom and dad went out on a date or for their bowling league. I am thinking that was when I was 10 and he was 12.5
4 people like this
23 responses
@lilybug (21148)
• United States
28 Mar 08
I would say from about the age of 9 or 10 I was staying home by myself. I had older brothers that still lived at home when I was that age, but they were always going somewhere. I got to spend a decent amount of time at home alone or just leaving a note and taking off and going to a friends house.
1 person likes this
@twoey68 (13651)
• United States
28 Mar 08
I was 12 when my youngest brother was born so it wasn't uncommon for me to be home by myself babysitting my two youngest brothers. It was a different time though and these days I doubt I'd leave my kids alone. My Mom worked two jobs so we were usually home by ourselves but we knew all the rules and were pretty good about sticking to them. **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
@Modestah (11192)
• United States
1 Apr 08
you are right, times were certainly different back then.... not only with the rest of the world but also with us kids - we respected our parents and their rules more. I sometimes feel as defiance is thick in the air we breath today
@twoey68 (13651)
• United States
1 Apr 08
Oh, I know. Some of the things kids do today I would have gotten beaten for doing. It's like there's no regard for anyone or anything anymore. I like to say that in today's world the new motto is "If it feels good, do it." It seems to fit. **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
@maddysmommy (16233)
• United States
28 Mar 08
I think I might have been a little older than 8 when we were allowed to stay home alone. I had two older brothers to take care of us and also had to aunts living with us at the time, so mum and dad could work and do their thing because we had family living with us at the time.
@Modestah (11192)
• United States
1 Apr 08
how nice to have the extended family close by to lean on like that - and great for the kids to grow up with them near by.
1 person likes this
@subha12 (18453)
• India
28 Mar 08
Actually I used to stay at home alone from quite early age. when i was about 4-5 years old, my Mom used to keep me alone for say 3-4 hours . i do not have problem as such. Later it was more easy for me to stay. I was not over active child so it was easy for her too.
@Modestah (11192)
• United States
28 Mar 08
I find that remarkable.
@laglen (19782)
• United States
20 Jun 08
I was a latch key kid with older siblings. For as long as I can remember we stayed home alone. My brother was 5 years older. My mom worked and went to school. We are ok for it. My daughter is 14 and doesn't like to be alone but she likes to babysit. What ever that is about.
@rhane7315 (5673)
• Philippines
13 May 08
i'm not a latch key kid because my father was the one who's been working ever since my parents were married. but sometimes i'm being left home alone because my mom was kinda busy in attending to some of my youngest brother's needs in school
@goldeneagle (6775)
• United States
3 May 08
I loved being a latch-key kid. I felt more independent and confident that way. I knew the world wasn't coming to and end if my parents weren't home when I got there. My Step-kid doesnt seem to know this. When my wife and I are out doing errands or something, the kid calls every 10 minutes. It is like she never learned to do for herself. Being a latch-key kid, I had to do for myself till my parents got home. I dont think I would have wanted my mom or dad home every day when I got home from school.
• United States
21 Apr 08
When I was 8 my mother expected me to walk home from school, clean the house & start dinner. While I managed just fine, I certainly would never recommend that for any other child! My own son has just started staying by himself for a few hours a day at the age of 11.
• India
16 Apr 08
i personally feel no child should be left alone at home however big they seem to be. at the end of the day . children are children and curosity gets them first. what i would suggest is do not leave them alone till they are 15 atleast. start by leaving them alone for a short while just to see how they would react in a difficult situation.
@Elixiress (3893)
11 Apr 08
I was one of them for some of my childhood through Primary school and first year of secondary school and then my Mam stopped working. I first got a key when I was in year 3, so I must have been about 8, but sometimes I still had to go to the childminders, because my sister, who was 5 years younger was there.
@ruby222 (4848)
8 Apr 08
Hi...when we were little...well around 10 or 11...my parents were both working...of course when the school holidays came we used to have to look after ourelves....that was a good few years ago now though...we just used to play...and go walking...nothing was ever thought of it then!!..all of the village children did the same.....we knew we had boundaries...and that we coulnt overstep them...but lol we had some fun!!....the doors in our house werent ever locked as far as i can remember....and we just sailed in and out....we werent really allowed our friends indoors though...but we just sneaked them in!!
@Debs_place (10525)
• United States
1 Apr 08
I was not a latch key kid, but my son was. He started coming home to an empty house at 7. we had rules though. Lots of rules. He had to call me the minute he walked in the house. He had to let the dog out and then play with the dog for at least 30 minutes. He then had to call me again. Then he could go in the refrigerator and get a drink and a snack. He had to eat his snack in the kitchen, then he was allowed to watch TV and relax for about a 1/2 hour. Certain channels and tv shows only, but in his case, it was usually sports that he would watch. Then he was supposed to start his homework. He did not answer the phone or the door when he was home alone. By then I was usually home. By 10 or 11 he stayed home alone at night for short periods of time. And by 11, we alternated a week of summer camp with a week of staying home alone. By then he did laundry, vacuumed and started dinner for me.
@mjgarcia (725)
• United States
30 Mar 08
I wasn't a latchkey kid. But my two youngest kids are. When we first moved to this house my oldest son was 14 and he watched the two younger ones until we got home from work. But when he moved into high school he didn't get out of school until after the younger two. Now the youngest one gets home first (she's almost 10), a half hour later her twelve year old brother gets here. About a half hour after that the rest of us get here. I hate it, but don't have a way around it. The neighbor that used to watch them recently moved out of state. They aren't allowed to go outside until we come home. And they can only use the microwave. Most of the time they snack on cereal.
@sid556 (31003)
• United States
29 Mar 08
I was staying home alone while my parents went out by age 10 and babysitting other kids by age 11. here it is illegal to leave your child under age 11. I think that by 11 they are so anxious to be on their own and grown up that they do pretty well. by 15 they need a sitter more than they did at 10!
@biwasaki (1745)
• United States
28 Mar 08
My parents made my brother and I catch the bus to our grandparents' house until I was 13. Then we started catching the bus home together. It wasn't too bad because by the time we got home, we were only alone for about 2 hours before our parents would be home. Now that I think about it, aside from being home alone from school they never really left us at home a lot. I know some of my friend's parents would take vacations and leave them at home, but my parents never did that with us.
28 Mar 08
I was a "latch key kid" from the age of about eleven until the day I left home. I had my little brother to look after (he's three years younger than me) and for the most part it was a lot of fun. We used to just laze around watching TV or playing computer games all afternoon. I don't remember ever having any bad experiences.
@jillhill (37383)
• United States
28 Mar 08
I did stay home but not until I was older and I had older siblings that took care of the younger ones. So it wasn't a big deal for me. My brother was six years older and my sister two. We had alot of fun with the exception of my brother playing king and we were his subjects and had to do all kinds of stuff for him.....he held us in slavery! LOL
@mummymo (23707)
28 Mar 08
I wasn't sweety there was always someone home when I got there! I have let my son stay home on his own if we have to go to an appointment or something for the last 2 years or so , since he was 12 - I wouldn't dream of leaving him alone with his 6 year old sister though - they would drive each other crazy, even though they love each other! xxx
• United States
28 Mar 08
It basically started when I was about I say about 13 or so. They have always trusted me because, I really have never been a problem child.
@kimbers867 (2540)
• United States
28 Mar 08
We weren't allowed home until I was in 8th grade and my brother was in 7th. That was when my mom went back to work. So we had about 90 minutes to ourselves before she came home. My 6th grader is home for about 45 minutes every day until I get home. Most days she does walk down to meet me at our elementary school, where I pick her sister up. If she doesn't walk down, she has to call me to let me know she is home and to start doing whatever little jobs I have left for her. My neighbor across the street is always home so she watches out for her and she has the spare key incase she forgets her that morning.