What age is old enough for children to stay home alone?

Avatar for weberdns0
Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2000
What age is old enough for children to stay home alone?
10
Tue, 10-25-2011 - 7:12pm

Community Leader
Registered: 12-16-2003
Depends on the who, what, where, when and how long.

Ramona  Mom to 2 great kids and wife to one wonderful hubby since 1990!

Avatar for weberdns0
Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2000

I also think that the maturity of the child and the neighborhood that they will be alone in is also a consideration!

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-06-2002
From this year, DD aged 11 has been home alone for maybe 30-40 minutes between one parent leaving the house and the other coming back. As long as she is happy to be alone I don't mind but she is under strict instructions never to open the door - which is locked but she has a key - and has our cell phone numbers eaily acccessible and we have hers.
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Avatar for weberdns0
Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2000

Sounds reasonable to me!

Community Leader
Registered: 12-16-2003
My 17 yo still says that I am in the shower if I am not home, but ds says I am indisposed, lol. To me, being alone is a life skill, like laundry, cooking and the like. You have to teach your kids to stay alone in small steps. But, you have to teach the kids these things or you are not doing them any favors.

Ramona  Mom to 2 great kids and wife to one wonderful hubby since 1990!

Avatar for weberdns0
Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2000

I agree!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-06-2007
DD started staying home alone for 20-30 minutes at a time just after she turned 11. She's almost 13 now and can do a few hours at a stretch; if she has a day off school, she'll usually stay home in the morning while I go to work, and then I'll come home for the day at lunchtime. She knows not to answer the door (we live in a gated community, so there's not much of a problem with random people knocking) and she has her cell phone to call or text me if she needs anything. I don't let her stay by herself after dark yet, but eventually we'll work up to that too.
Avatar for weberdns0
Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2000

One recommendation that I have is that you have your daughter take a babysitting class.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-06-2007

Not to worry, she's had tons of first aid and safety training through Girl Scouts (she's in her second year as a Cadette) so she's pretty savvy there. I think a babysitting class is a great way to get those skills, though--wish they'd offered them back when I was a tween!

Avatar for weberdns0
Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2000

Scouting is a great way to get those skills!