When are they old enough???

@redkathy (3375)
United States
August 27, 2008 2:43pm CST
Hubby and I were very cautious about leaving our children at home. I don't think we left them alone until they were at least twelve. This may sound a bit paranoid I know. The youngest was a daredevil and the oldest a follower rather than a leader. I think it's an individual thing, to be judged based on each child's level of maturity. In thinking of a child in terms of school age, fourth or fifth grade child home alone, in my opinion, is too young. According to the following article, ten is the starting point. ---------- (HealthDay News) -- It's important for a child to learn to be independent and care for himself. But how do you know when a child is old and mature enough to stay alone?In general, a child younger than age 10 probably isn't ready. But when it comes to older children, the Nemours Foundation says the time may be right to forgo a babysitter if your child: -Feels comfortable with the prospect of staying alone. -Shows a sense of responsibility with chores, doing homework, and following rules and directions. -Stays calm in difficult or unexpected situations, and knows how to handle them. -Clearly understands and regularly follows rules. -Knows basic first aid. -Knows and follows rules for staying away from strangers. -- Diana Kohnle http://www.healthier.com/Article.jsp?aid=9002 ------- Do you think ten is an appropriate age? What age did you begin leaving your children alone?
3 people like this
7 responses
@ANTIQUELADY (36471)
• United States
27 Aug 08
i was very cautios to do that. i might leave them after they were 10 or 12 to run to the store , something quick like that but never left them alone much till they were teenagers but i was never comfortable doing that.i raised them separately there was 20 yeard difference in them so i worried too much i guess about them.
3 people like this
@redkathy (3375)
• United States
27 Aug 08
I think the teenagers at home alone are the scariest! We usually took them with us. I was blessed to be able to worked from home too. I didn't have to deal with going somewhere. If I had an appointment, I would take them with me. Many of our clients knew my kids well LOL
2 people like this
@ANTIQUELADY (36471)
• United States
28 Aug 08
they are but u got to trust them sometime. i didn't work from home. was a hairdresser & a antique dealer w/my own store so stayed quite busy. didn't too many bad things happen. my oldest son & one of his friends ran over each other in my driveway one day, just little things like that. lol
2 people like this
@Anne18 (11034)
27 Aug 08
Wow don't times change. I'm 44 and my bother 18 months older than me used to be left in the house twice a week while my mum and dad went out. We were both sttill at jniour school. Just think if that happened today the social would be called in at once. During the daytime we were left on our own at a little younger only in the mornings while my mum went to work. I didn't like being left with my brother. We never started leaving our eldest now 20 on her own until she was 13. Our other children are 10 and two 8 nyrolds. I cannot even think of a day I would leave them on htere own.
@redkathy (3375)
• United States
27 Aug 08
Yes times have changed! Much of our family lived close by around so we were rarely left alone. With the world today I don't know if parents can ever feel comfortable leaving their kids! Thanks for the response. Have a good day.
2 people like this
@dawnald (84070)
• Shingle Springs, California
28 Aug 08
When I was 7 or 8 I went everywhere by myself, the movie theater, the park, horse back riding, friends' houses, etc., and nobody got worried as long as I was home for dinner, which I always was. Now my kids don't go anywhere without letting me know. And I also remember being left at home alone when I was 10 for sure, maybe younger. I am just now getting comfortable with leaving my 11 year old home alone, and I don't leave the twins unless it's just for a walk around the block or something. Times have certainly changed.
2 people like this
@redkathy (3375)
• United States
29 Aug 08
We were always afraid to leave the boys and the hubby and I were raised like you. In fact he used to go camping all night at age 12 with his buddies. That surely wouldn't be acceptable these days. And it's too bad things jave to be this way. Thanks for the chat. Have a good night.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Aug 08
my mom never left me and my older sister alone until we were about 15. We had very overprotective parents. I will prolly be the same with my son when he gets old enough..
2 people like this
@redkathy (3375)
• United States
28 Aug 08
I don't think that's overprotective at all, especially for girls!!! I hope you are the same way, children need to be protected and loved. Thanks for responding and welcome to mylot!
1 person likes this
@gr8life (6252)
• Malaysia
28 Aug 08
Hello redkathy, I don't know exactly how to answer this *smiles* I only have a 23 months old baby son. But, I can see that I am a paranoid mother. I cannot just leave my son to others even if they are my own siblings or mother and sometimes, I worry too much to leave my son with his baby sitter. I just feel that others don't take care of my son like I do. That's paranoid, I know that. I don't know whether I can just leave my son alone at home if he is 10 or 12. I think even if he shows a great sense of responsibility and independent, it still make me worry just too much *sighs*
2 people like this
@redkathy (3375)
• United States
28 Aug 08
Hey I don't think you're paranoid! Worry is one of a parent's duties in life. We love our kids! Mine are both grown, 26 and 21. I am still worrying and rescuing them. It's a life long affair and I wouldn't have it any other way! Have great night.
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Aug 08
I think it depends on the child. Some kids are fine left alone at ten and others should wait until a older age. You know how responsible your child is so only you can tell what age is appropriate to leave them at home. I would go over what they are to do when they are left. Going over the rules in regards to strangers and also what to do in a emergency. Making sure any phone numbers where you can be reached are in handy reach. I only had one child and he is full grown now. When he was younger I left him when he was eleven. As I said it all depends on the child and only you as a parent can determine that.
1 person likes this
@redkathy (3375)
• United States
29 Aug 08
Thanks for the response, I think like you, parents have to know their kids and then decide. Have good one.
@katsmeow1213 (28926)
• United States
27 Aug 08
My oldest is now 11. We began leaving him home alone when he was 9, but never for more than a couple hours. Our problem at the time was we had 4 children, and our car was not big enough to fit the whole family. We got cabin fever. Sometimes we would borrow our in laws van, but this was hard to do too often, especially when we only wanted to go to Walmart or something of the sort. So we began just leaving the oldest at home for a couple hours while we did things of that nature. We explained the rules such as no answering the phone or the door, and no trying to cook anything for himself, etc etc. We have a front and a back door and we told him if there was a serious problem, to get to whichever door was easiest to get to, and go to the nearest neighbor to get help. He always did very well at home alone. He would watch TV or play on the computer while we were not home.
1 person likes this
@redkathy (3375)
• United States
27 Aug 08
I had two boys, and a few live in nieces for a while, though not all at once. It really depends on the child. A few hours seems o.k. especially if your oldest was trustworthy. My kids wouldn't necessarily break the rules they just thought rough and dangerous stuff was no big deal! Plus where we live was very sparsely populated. We really didn't have anyone nearby to help if they needed. We just took our kids with us most of the time.
1 person likes this