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When would you trust your child...

Forum: Children's Health


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May 6th, 2010, 09:35 PM
BensMom's Avatar Ephesians 4:29
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: The Lonestar State
Posts: 50,214
... being left home alone for a few minutes? An hour? A few hours?
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May 10th, 2010, 08:25 AM
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 58
Well, it all depends on the maturity level and confidence of the child. My dd is 11 and has been left alone for a few minutes but that's all. I would trust her to be home alone for an hour or so but she is not comfortable with it, so I don't do it. She is still afraid to be alone in the house for more than maybe 5 minutes. However, I have known other families that leave their 11 yr old alone before or after school for up to a couple of hours and the parent and child are both quite comfortable with it.

I would not leave any child under the age of 8 home alone for any length of time, but arond 8-12 yrs old, depending on the child, a parent could try running to the store or a neighbor's house and leaving the child for 20 minutes or so,and see how the child does. By middle school, most children can be left home alone for an hour or two after school, but I would not leave a child alone for more than that until they are teenagers and you are quite sure that they can be trusted.
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May 10th, 2010, 01:58 PM
BensMom's Avatar Ephesians 4:29
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: The Lonestar State
Posts: 50,214
I would trust my 4.5 year old right now for a few minutes (like to go to the end of the street and get the mail). He's a very confident, responsible, level-headed kind of person. My younger one doesn't have that type of personality at ALL. I'll probably still be holding his hand when he's 35. The older one will probably be fine to leave for a couple of hours when he's 8-10 (more like 12 if babysitting his little brother). He'll be fine in his early teens to be left alone for longer periods babysitting other people's kids.

I think there's a certain quality people need - adults included - to feel comfortable in an emergency situation. Leaving a child at home means, IMHO, that the child needs to know what to do in an emergency, and have the clarity of thought to carry it out. Maybe I have too much faith in my older one. Maybe not enough in the younger one. Who knows? I think both will be fine when they're appx 10, though.
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May 11th, 2010, 01:39 AM
beck12's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 12,330
At thsi point I think never....LOL I am sure he will get better - but my wild child is only three - so it's hard for me to ever imagine he will contain himself in any responsible way. I worry more about his ability to handle a crisis or someone else maybe being opportunistic if they were to figure out my child was home without an adult. I guess we will have to wait & see. Honestly though - I can't think I will ever leave him home alone for any length of time until he is graduated. My mom was always home & hence we never ever did anything we shouldn't do at my house...but I knew plenty of kids who did when left even for short periods...so it makes me leery.
B - Crazy momma to my two boys
We've begun to raise daughters more like sons... but few have the courage to raise our sons more like our daughters. ~Gloria Steinem

If a man has been his mother's undisputed darling he retains throughout life the triumphant feeling, the confidence in success, which not seldom brings actual success along with it. ~Sigmund Freud
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