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  • 1 Post By UrbanMomma

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  #1  
July 14th, 2012, 11:27 AM
Babymakes8's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Location: Ohio
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do you think a child is old enough to leave at home without adult supervision?

do you judge it by your child's behavior/maturity level?!

This has been a big discussion at our house a lot lately. In Ohio, there is no "age they have to be" to legally leave your child at home. It's up to a parent's discression.

Our oldest is 13, and we have let her stay at home for 30 minutes or so without leaving any younger kids with her. I don't think her younger siblings would listen to her if she was to be watching them, but nor do I feel like she's mature enough yet to have younger children in her charge. On her own, she's Ok.

For you BTDT Moms, how old were yours before you started leaving them at home?
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  #2  
July 14th, 2012, 11:31 AM
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I'm not there yet....but I'm thinking around 9 or 10 I'll be able leave my dd alone for short periods during the day. I can't remember how old I was when my parents left me, but I know was babysitting for family friends and neighbors by 12 or 13. I'm sure it depends on the kid. So far my oldest (7) seems pretty level headed so I'm sure she'll be fine. I'm not so sure about kid #2, lol.

One more thought - my brother is just two years older than me and he never was able to "babysit" for my parents. We were just too close in age. I didn't want him in charge of me, and would bug him on purpose. I think we might be in the same boat with all four of ours so close in age. Maybe my oldest could watch the youngest at some point, but that's about it.
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  #3  
July 14th, 2012, 12:11 PM
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I let Noah stay home with the kids if Sebastian is taking a nap. He'll be 11 in about a week. He's mature enough to know what to do in an emergency, doesn't take advantage of the home phone to call and tattle. I don't leave them overnight or anything ridiculous, just during the day if I have a dr apt or something that I REALLY don't want to take Bastian to. Sometimes we have issues with the older girls listening to him, they'll be pains in the butt, but then I just take them with me. Not sure when I will trust Jayde or Sydney to be the ones 'in charge'.

They also don't cook anything and are not allowed to leave the house when I am not home.
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  #4  
July 14th, 2012, 01:23 PM
UrbanMomma's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I used to leave my oldest home alone when he was eleven, and he could babysit. He was very mature for his age and could handle it for an hour or two at a time.

The next oldest wasn't ready to babysit at 11, but by 13 he could.

Now Elijaah is 13 and he can stay home and babysit too, not the baby though and only an hour or so at a time. He can do the baby for short trips to the grocery store on the corner though.

I even have left my next two home alone, they are 11 and 9. I wouldn't leave the 9 yo home alone by herself though. The 11yo can watch an older lil one, like the 5 yo.

Above all I really base it on their maturity level and not their age. It seems like so far they have all been ready between 11 and 13.
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  #5  
July 14th, 2012, 01:28 PM
Farmers-wife's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I can leave all three of my oldest with any of the younger. I have a few simple rules. The one in charge is in charge. You obey like it was me. If there is trouble, I will punish when I get home. If the one in charge is jerk, I will punish hi, too. Don't call me until AFTER you call 911.

Also, I start the littles in training them to listen to the older ones. I believe they need to learn to oey the authority over them.

Age is roughly 10 for alone or the older younger ones. 11 for toddlers, 13 for all. It is best when two of the orders are home together for everyone to be left.
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  #6  
July 14th, 2012, 01:35 PM
UrbanMomma's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Yeah my two oldest can now do everyone. I have basic rules like you also, FW. About who is in charge and listening to that person. Also when I leave no friends allowed over. The neighbor kids have a tendency to act like they live here.
I agree about the youngers listening to the olders too. Even when I am home, if an older one sees a younger doing something they know they shouldn't be, then they can stop the younger and they better listen!
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  #7  
July 14th, 2012, 04:39 PM
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I think it depends on the child I didn't leave Nessa home alone until she was 12, then she was able to watch a few kiddos just not the baby when I was running to town to pick up a kiddo after school of for sports. When she was 12.5 I trusted her enough to leave her for a few hours to go grocery shopping and such, I couldn't leave my oldest son with her because they just butt heads way too much but for kick trips their fine. I started leaving Xan home a lone at 11 she is more mature and observant than Nessa, Thayer I just barely started letting stay home for quick trips that I take like to the school and back and he has watched Sawyer when I had to pick up the older girls at school but I don't leave him with more than 1, and I very rarely leave the baby even with Janessa just because I don't feel right.
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  #8  
July 15th, 2012, 06:04 AM
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We have a farm, so I think I've left the kids at home when I went grocery shopping fairly early on, I'd stick them in front of the tv and dh would check in on them, since he'd be around, and take the younger one with me.

As far as babysitting on their own, we eased into it, I think it started when my oldest was 11 going on 12, I'd bring the youngest to bed before we left and we wouldn't be far from home, and just for a few hours and we progressed from there. My oldest and 2nd get along really well, so they always teamed up, and the other kids were good about listening to them, I've never had issues.
For us it seems like 11.5 works for starting to be left alone, but it really rarely happens, we don't go out that much.
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  #9  
July 15th, 2012, 09:25 AM
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Now I can leave any of the older ones home with the little ones.

My older crew was a bit older before we allowed them to be home alone. I think they were 14/15/16. Yeah, we tried a few times when they were younger and came home to a broken window, a broken phone and a few other things. Plus we had the added fear of living so far away that there was not such thing as a quick trip to the store. A quick trip to the store takes 2 hours minimum.

After that it was gradual, including leaving little ones with them.
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  #10  
July 15th, 2012, 12:44 PM
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I wouldn't leave them alone any younger than 12. As for leaving them with siblings I really think it depends on the child maturity level and how well they do with their younger siblings. My oldest is 7 and she is like the mommy type, shes always helping her brothers and they actually listen to her, so if she were 13 and I needed to run to to store I would leaver her with the younger kiddos.
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  #11  
July 15th, 2012, 02:00 PM
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High school age, roughly?

So 12+

Don't even know if there is a legal age here. VIC is such a nanny state, there probably is.
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  #12  
July 16th, 2012, 05:04 AM
Babymakes8's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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M2M, we're out like that, too. For us to get to a main shopping vein it's a 2 hour + trip.

We do have a small local grocery that we can make a quick run to if we're out of bread, but I wouldn't want to do regular grocery shopping there because prices are outrageous!

They also just opened a Dollar General up in our small town, so we can make a quick trip there if we needed something not food.
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  #13  
July 16th, 2012, 07:31 AM
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You sound just like us BM8, small store but only for small things hear and there. Of course ours also has farming stuff and a small 'cafe'. Other then that it's a trip to get anywhere. No dollars store though, just a post office, medical clinic and a couple of bars/restaurants.
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  #14  
July 16th, 2012, 07:27 PM
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We started out leaving my oldest for very short stretches when we were nearby. When she was about 12 we started leaving her to babysit sleeping kids. At first we would have a friend keep her company so that it wasn't just her. We have only started leaving her with awake children to babysit very recently and shes 14. Until the last few months I think she babysat more for our neighbors than us.

I think it might be harder with the younger kids because they are all so close in age it might be hard to put one in charge and my 2nd child is often mischeivious. I suppose well just have to see as she gets older.
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  #15  
July 18th, 2012, 01:37 PM
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We are not there yet. I think maybe when my son is 13 and daughter is 11 maybe for short trips to the store they could stay home by themselves. Probably a little older before they watch the little ones. They are really mature(especially my 5 year old who we call lil mama because she is so motherly) for their ages. They already know what to do in an emergency ( when pregnant i get close to passing out so we had to make sure they knew what to do). They rarely fight so I don't think we'd have problems with listening. I'm more scared of robbers or something than my kids misbehaving to be honest.
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  #16  
July 18th, 2012, 07:42 PM
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My oldest is 10 and I have left him for a few minutes alone but not for long I think it was 15 minutes.

I trust him but I couldn't leave his siblings with him. They don't listen to anyone, not even me or DH. We are working with the mental health agency and the behaviour agency in our area but the progress with her is very slow and she gets the youngest one going. So it wouldn't be a safe situation to leave my oldest in. I will leave him to watch them when they are in the backyard while I do work in the basement.
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