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what age staying at home and taking care of siblings?

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May 7th, 2007, 06:27 PM
rdhdtrue's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I am actually very interested to hear opinions also. Not to go partying every night but I have a 10 and 8 year old and they do latch key. I want to figure out when they can stop latch key and stay at home for a couple of hours (max) until we get home from work. They are very close to school (maybe 2 blocks of pure neighborhood, no main roads) and they already walk home Monday and Tuesday because I have a babysitter for Dani at home already on those days.
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May 7th, 2007, 06:49 PM
quietsong's Avatar Just Another Slacker Mom
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I don't know... To your point, there are people next door they can go to for help. I was babysitting for money when I was 13, and on non school nights I did do the occasional late night sitting. My parents were a phone call and a 5-10 minute drive away if I needed them.

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May 7th, 2007, 08:12 PM
rose198172's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Hmm... I think it depends on the responsibility of the child. I mean, it sounds like if you're being asked to check up on them because they weren't following their parents' instructions, then they're not responsible enough. I know that all three of us (my sister, my brother and I) were responsible enough at age 10-13 to take care of ourselves for a few hours. I was babysitting by the time I was 11 years old.
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May 8th, 2007, 06:36 AM
the_elmel's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I think it depends on the children's maturity level and understanding of responsiblity. My Mom left us kids home alone for maybe an hour (13, 11, 9, and 7) in the afternoon to run a quick errand but never much longer than that. We were all very responsible kids and knew not to answer the telephone, door, invite friends over, or go outside while being alone. Most of the time we would all play uno or some other board game until my Mom got back. She didn't start leaving us home alone for longer until I was 9 or 10 and by then my brothers were much older.

Some kids can be left home alone at a young age and some can't. My neighbor left her son alone for a couple hours in the afternoon after school got out and before she got home from work. He was 10. He's probably one of the most responsible kids I have ever met. But lots of his friends would never ever be left home alone because they disobey and aren't responsible.

It's a personal judgement call I think.
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May 8th, 2007, 06:40 AM
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I know what my brothers and I did at that age, just AFTERSCHOOL. Let alone in the evenings, if we were expected to feed ourselves dinner and go to bed by our own direction. I would have NEVER happened. I understand they have a business to run, but even with nieghbors nearby to check on them, it sounds like its asking for trouble.
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May 8th, 2007, 07:19 AM
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I actually think this one is okay to an extent. I began babysitting at age 13 (or maybe even before that) and it's not like the other kids are really young either. You are checking in on them and they seem to know that they can go to you for help whenever they need it. However, I am bothered by the 2 am thing...I mean...eventually YOU will have to go bed and won't be as readily available. 2 am could bring about a burglar, a kidnapper or worse...if some psycho got wind that there were 3 kids alone in there.
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May 8th, 2007, 07:23 AM
Cereal Killer's Avatar Aiming for mediocrity
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I was babysitting by the time I was 11 or 12, and my regular family that I worked for ranged in age from 6mo-4years when I began. My parents were just a phone call away. I think it all depends on the child(ren) and their maturity and capabilities.
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May 8th, 2007, 08:16 AM
jhmomofmany's Avatar Look! A Dancing Banana!
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I'm comfortable leaving my kids for a quick run into town; I usually take the youngest with me. I probably wouldn't leave them for longer than that until the older two are teenagers.
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May 8th, 2007, 08:28 AM
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I started babysitting at around 11 or 12, but it was during the daytime and early evening. I would only feel comfortable leaving my kids very late at night with an adult, or a very old teenager (at least 16 or 17).
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