How old a child should be to be left alone at home?

United States
January 12, 2007 11:26am CST
I think 11 years old is mature enough to be left alone (12 years is legal in USA) without a baby sitter. A 13 year old can be left alone with younger sibling? What do you think.
1 person likes this
6 responses
• United States
14 Jan 07
I think that is an excellent question. I've been pondering the same question these days. My son is 10yo and I still have not left him alone. I know kids younger than him that are left alone quite often and it has always amazed me. It is usually only for about an hour and they have neighbors very closeby if their was an emergency. But it still makes me uncomfortable. I think it depends on the maturity of the child and the individual circumstances. Our neighbors are not within hollering distance if he should need emergency help. Yes, there's the phone but what if he couldn't get to it? We also have an old, old dog (about 17yo) that is getting a bit unpredictable. I don't feel comfortable leaving anyone with the dog unsupervised. I just don't know.
@KrisNY (7592)
• United States
12 Jan 07
I have a 10 year old daughter-- And I often wonder the same thing. (I know my daughter is not ready yet- for many reasons) Alot of things matter? How long will they be alone? Is there a neighbor that can check in on them regularly? Where do you live (town/city/country), how responsible are they? do they want to be home alone?.. lots of questions to answer.. I live in the country.. my daughter is an only child.. I dont think 11 is old enough- 12 maybe for a couple of hours-- What about all day in the summer? NO! Maybe 14-15.. I think it really matters how responsible they are, are there more than 1, and how fast you can get home or someone can get there if needed.
• India
12 Jan 07
i think a boy who is 11-12 he is mature enough to be left alone.there is no problem here.as there will be neighboring houses and children who will be a help and to play with him.They sometimes will be naughty but some advice and discipline will make them better.Yes it would be good if they have siblings then they will not feel the loneliness.
@jennifer611 (2502)
• United States
12 Jan 07
I dont think the age matters. they can be 11 or 12 and still not be capable enough to watch themselves. It depends on how mature they are. just because someone is 11, doesnt make them mature. and just because 12 is legal age, doesnt mean it is good for every 12 yr old to be left alone.. it depends on how they act. and how trust worthy they are and just a whole list of things..
@jmcafam (2891)
• United States
12 Jan 07
I have been going over this question myself. My hubby says ten but I just can't picture, when the time came, leaving my ten year old home alone. I had no idea that 12 was the legal age in the USA, good bit of info.
@classy56 (2883)
• United States
12 Jan 07
i have a 13 year old grandaughter who watches her 10 year old brother after school, an she do a good job of watching him till the parents get home.she locks all the doors an call her parents as soon as she gets in the house,so i 13 yr old is a okay age.but i dont know about a 11 yr old i think they may be still to young to be left by their self,an it depends on that person behaveiour at 11 yrs old