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?

Catsize Sat 07-Sep-13 13:34:42

From this age, I looked after my younger brothers whilst Mum worked in school hols etc. Didn't like it much, but we survived.

FeetUpUntilChristmas Sat 07-Sep-13 13:32:49

DD1 is now 16 and has been letting herself in since the summer term of Y6, I usually get in 1-2 hours later than her. DD2 joined her at the same age, they are now allowed to cook or do whatever they want, this trust was built up over the years, in fact it was me that nearly burnt the house down when I left a tea towel close to the gas hob and walked out the room, fortunately DD2 was downstairs and dealt with it.

They are both girls and quite mature and sensible, when I am at work I am only a 15 min drive away, my sister if at home is nearer.

They have never been bored when I have not been there, they either did homework or watched TV when they were younger, now they are teenagers I don't ask, but they are happy.

I have always left them during the day too especially in school holidays, although not all day everyday as this would be boring.

MrsTedMosby Sat 07-Sep-13 13:03:41

It depends on the child. Ds1 was fine from 10. Ds3 & 4 are 9 and I would probably leave them to pop to the shop for example. Ds2 though is 11 and has ASD and no sense of danger so I doubt I will be able to leave him on his own for a good while yet.

My DS has done it since just before his tenth birthday.

As he has got older I have extended the time I am happy to leave him for. He goes to school on his own and sometimes is the last to leave the house as DP and I have to leave before him sometimes.

He theoretically could get home from school before me, and always comes home on his own, but with after school clubs and going to the park or to his mates houses he is not often home before 6pm, and I get home before that. In winter he tends to just come home more though.

I tihnk by ten most children should be independent enough to do this.

My DS cycles to and from school, and he once got a puncture on his way home and just went to the local bike repair shop, asked them if they could fix it and that he would bring the money in tomorrow. They were lovely in there and fixed it for him and he called me to let me know what was going on while they were fixing it.

I am happy he can cope with most minor issues like that, he knows where I am too, I work really close to home and he sometimes comes and hangs out with me at work after school.

DP and I are also happy to leave him at home alone once he is in bed. We don't go out all night or get drunk, but sometimes pop to the pub fr a quick drink or occasionally for a meal. It is lovely.

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.

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.

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.

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 ;)

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

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

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

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.

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

Depends on the child a bit, but generally fine.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

11 is fine.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Definitely not too young.

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

That is fine smile

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