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Is 11 too young to let themselves in house and stay alone for a short while?

(29 Posts)
Lampshadeofdoom Sat 07-Sep-13 11:11:46

And if so what age did your dc do it?

kim147 Sat 07-Sep-13 11:14:18

I used to do it at 10.
All depends on the child and how sensible they are.

bigTillyMint Sat 07-Sep-13 11:14:25

I think they were both 10 IIRC. DS definitely did it all through Y6 on the days I worked (if he didn't stay in the park to play footy!)
It was all finesmile

WorraLiberty Sat 07-Sep-13 11:15:03

Unless you live in the middle of a war zone or something, no of course it's not too young.

RandomMess Sat 07-Sep-13 11:15:46

That is fine smile

claraschu Sat 07-Sep-13 11:16:25

Definitely not too young.

meditrina Sat 07-Sep-13 11:18:17

Mine needed to do it from year 7 because the time they returned from school wasn't compatible with pick up from primary, unless the DC remaining there did no after-school clubs ever, and I did not think that was fair.

It was twice a week, and the gap was about 30 minutes and they were fine. I was nervous that they might lose keys (but they haven't) and I'd left the eldest alone for short periods in the house (without need to let himself in) before, so I knew he was competent and also we have a neighbour over the road whose DC go to a different school and was routinely back earlier than me, so he always had someone to go to if something weird happened.

thatisall Sat 07-Sep-13 11:21:04

We've just started leaving dd now and again, not for long periods of time, longest was during a house move when we got caught in traffic, that was 2 hours. She's almost 11. They have to learn to be alone sometime and I agree with previous posters, it depends on the child.

ByTheSea Sat 07-Sep-13 11:22:31

It depends on the child. DSs would have been too young at that age but DDs have been fine.

SubliminalMassaging Sat 07-Sep-13 11:22:37

No. For short periods of time, and as long as they have access to a phone and a responsible adult is not too far away.

Tuppence2 Sat 07-Sep-13 11:24:54

I had a house key from about 8 years old, but would only be in for an hour alone at the most after school, and was under strict rules to not attempt to cook anything. I could make a sandwich or toast at the most, but nothing more in case I burnt the house down.

I was very sensible though, because I knew if I broke the rules, I lost my key and had to go wait at my grandparent's house most nights, which would mean my mum taking extra time to get me and for us to go home, then it was pretty much straight to bed.

My cousin who was 4 years older than me, didn't have a house key until he was 13... Mainly because he was the naughty one and would've had a houseful of kids every night and a ton of mess!

AgadorSpartacus Sat 07-Sep-13 11:28:11

Ds is 11 and just this week has had to let himself in after school. He's started high school this week just as I've started back at work. So he gets in an hour before I get back from the childminder with DD.

He's managed ok so far because he's been instructed to come in, let the dog out for a wee, get a snack and a drink and start homework. Do not kill yourself or blow up the house grin.

Three days in so far so good.

needaholidaynow Sat 07-Sep-13 11:34:57

11 is fine.

monicalewinski Sat 07-Sep-13 11:50:14

Totally fine. You know your own children, so if you think they're ready then they will be.

Yonididnaedaethat Sat 07-Sep-13 11:54:09

I leave the back door unlocked for my DS (age 10) I would rather leave the door unlocked than risk him getting the key jammed or lost. He knows that if he's alone then he doesn't answer the door or phone unless its my number that shows on caller ID.

racingheart Sat 07-Sep-13 12:01:58

It's old enough for them not to come to harm, so long as they are sensible. Mine would invite the world around and create a lot of mess, but if you are confident that they'll behave well, then, why not?

On the other hand, it could be quite lonely for them always to come home to an empty house. If it was every weekday, because of work, I might try and sort out for them to be doing a few after school clubs so that there were days when they come home to a lit house full of noise and cooking smells. Just a bit more welcoming.

InternationalPower Sat 07-Sep-13 12:12:32

I did it from 9yo. I wasn't until I was much older that I nearly burnt the house down (tried to "melt" a congealed nail varnish in a pan of water on the stove and then went upstairs and forgot about it blush ) At 9 I was pretty sensible, at 14/15 really not so much!

My DS's age 10 & 12 have been left for short spells this summer with strict instruction not to cook anything! If they're hungry they can have cereal or fruit or wait until I'm home.

Hogwash Sat 07-Sep-13 12:13:58

Depends on the child a bit, but generally fine.

purpleroses Sat 07-Sep-13 12:20:19

DD is 10 and has just started to do that. And DS did from 10 too. Made sure beforehand that they knew how to:
- phone me or their dad
- phone 999
- call round on a neighbour, and which ones were good if they have a problem
- keep the key somewhere safe (tied to their school bags is my preferred option)
- not answer the door (until a bit older - 12ish maybe)
- not do anything I consider a bit dangerous when I'm out - trampolining, cooking, etc.

I think round about 10 is old enough to manage that for most children for short lengths of time.

Szeli Sat 07-Sep-13 12:22:03

I had my key on a string around my neck at 10. I was responsible but forgetful!

Me and my 8 year old sister would go home (10 minute walk) probs for half an hour before mum got home to prep me for high school

Rubybrazilianwax Sat 07-Sep-13 12:22:25

No not too young. Ds (11) will be doing that 2 afternoons a week

Iaintdunnuffink Sat 07-Sep-13 12:31:04

Not unreasonable. My eldest is summer born and started secondary at 11, he cycled 2 miles home, let himself in and stayed there until I got in from work between 5.30 and 6. He did practice runs from his last term in primary.

He's quite sensible and self reliant. I will maybe trust the other one from age 18 ;)

ArthurCucumber Sat 07-Sep-13 12:34:52

That's fine IMO. My 11 yr old will usually be with her older sister, but when dd1 is at clubs, etc. I'll be happy for her to come in on her own.

MammaTJ Sat 07-Sep-13 12:37:01

DS will be fine, DD won't, so they will have to wait until DS is old enough and DD will be 54 weeks older.

Elsiequadrille Sat 07-Sep-13 12:40:10

No, I don't think so. It's a a good age to start leaving for very short periods.

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