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AIBU in thinking that it would be ok to leave son home alone after school ?(55 Posts)
Thinking in advance for September.
Son will be 11 in September - but in year 6. I will be working till 5pm every night (getting home at 6 ish). He HATES after school care so I am considering an alternative....
We live 5 miles from school so walking home is not an option but a school friend drives past my house on their way home.
So 2 questions ...
Would i be taking the piss asking them to drop son off every day (if their child is ill (or whatever) my son could do the after school care.
and ... although not ideal .. is it ok to leave an 11 yr old home alone for 2.5 hours per day? (Son is happy with the idea / calm child / sensible etc - however due to circumstances he has never really been left alone for more then 10 minutes at a time)
I suppose it depends on what sort of child he is. My son is 11 in October and about to go into P7 and he'll be staying at the childminders until he goes to high school in 2014! No choice in the matter. He may hate it but for me it gives me peace of mind that she can have him if the school gets closed early and I'm not relying on anyone else.
My son was only 11 when he started comp, had to get 2 buses alone and walk so far to school. So if they're old enough to do that then yeah I'd say ok to leave alone. Start preparing him now though, leave him for an hour to go shopping etc then increase it. The 5 mile to school would be my only worry.
Think it's a bit much to ask someone
They'll probably feel they should wait til he's inside, or ask him rouge to theirs every night
The 5 mile to school would be my only worry.
Op is going to ask someone to drop him off though
Is there no bus he could take? Could you contribute to their petrol cost?
I would leave him that long if generally sensible, but you will get all sorts of opinions. What will you do in the school holidays? Would be best if he had some trial sessions of being alone for 1-2 hours before, so you can iron out any kinks / identify issues.
Oh, and mine do answer the phone for sure when home alone. How else would I check up on them? Their mobiles won't have credit or charge, that part is for sure.
Yes, I think it would be very cheeky to ask someone to give your ds a lift every day and yes, I think 2.5 hours on his own every day is way too much. I speak as someone with a y7 12 year old dd who I will leave on her own for an hour or so if I have to but I know she prefers it when dh or I are in the house (even if she doesn't particularly communicate with us when she is here!).
Being alone would probably be fine at that age, if he is happy with it, but asking someone else to drop him home might be - I am just thinking of all the previous threads on MN when people have been asked/pressurised ithis'd regular lift arrangement by another parent or a colleague, and they have been desperate to find a way out.
Has the other parent suggested this arrangement? Would you pay them? And can you put your son into the after-school club at the drop of a hat if the lift falls through?
I personally wouldn't do it but know many who would and do. Asking too much of friends to do drop off though. Tough luck for your dc not liking after school care-he will just have to put up with it as many kids do.
DD is 11 in July and going into P7 in August; DH and I have decided today that we're not going to make her go to out of school care next year, in preparation for high school.
She's matured a lot in P6, and can handle the responsibility. I didn't feel that way six months ago, so it depends on the child.
Do you have friendly neighbours? My dc are primary age and I work school hours, but the boy next door is going to secondary next year and will be coming home while his parents are still at work. I will be in pretty much every afternoon so if he has a problem or needs anything he can just pop round here.
I have to admit though, if I was asked to pick another child up every day I'd be a bit reticent and would probably feel obliged to keep inviting them round.
I think its a lot to ask of your friend, but then it depends on the friendship. I would never ask this off a friend though; lifts from friends have a nasy habit of spiraling into seething resentment ime.
Ok I shall try and answer some of the questions..
I would drop him to breakfast club at school every day
I can get after school care as long as i call before 3pm on the same day
The friend wouldnt feel they had to invite him to their house every day (mainly because they live another 10 miles from my house)
Yes I would be very happy to pay towards (or for) the petrol
There is no bus or train he could get.
Holidays I manage with mutual kids swapping with friends and annual leave.
...and sure it is tough luck (and i know many kids attend child care) but he has been doing the whole child care thing since he was 5 months old and I was thinking about alternatives, that's all.
I think it's too big a favour to ask of a friend. I'd be a bit miffed if someone asked me - but I'd probably not feel able to say no.
She may want to take her DC swimming or shopping etc. It's too restricting having to take another child every day, I'd say.
I would be a bit uncomfortable dropping an 11 year old off home knowing he was going to be alone for a couple of hours. I'd feel responsible for him as the adult that left him alone IYSWIM.
My DS is 11 and there's no way I'd leave him on his own after school because he's very irresponsible. I know some of his school friends could manage fine though, so it comes down to the individual child.
I agree that it is too much to ask of a friend. A couple of days a week I would be happy to do, but every day would be too much, particularly as there are in fact other options.
Being home on his own - fine.
Arrangements for getting home - may cause issues/resentment, but if all involved are happy with it then seems fine.
I would be careful not to take friend for granted, to pay something for the petrol, to regularly thank and check still ok to continue arrangement.
I am very good at showing my appreciation towards someone who does me favours - and I would truly appreciate this. However, I take on board your comments and agree that asking if they could do it everyday could put them in a difficult position to say no, and that every day is much too much.
Not sure on the friend giving your child a lift everyday thing. I'm not sure how well that would work. We live near to school and give one of DDs friends a lift home from school once a week but even that is quite a struggle if I want to take DCs anywhere and I know her Mum greatly appreciates this but I would never do it more on a regular basis. Maybe you could do a 'half and half'. So 2/3 days a week at after school care and 2/3 days a week going home with friends. Then he is not alone for 12 hours a week or so. I would agree to this as the person giving the lifts and it means your ds doesn't have to go to after school care that often.
You may find that he (and the friends dc) do after school activities so won't leave at the same time anyway.
If the school is 5 miles away is there not a school bus?
My current year7 boy only leaves school at 4 once a week and does lots of after school clubs.
How will he get home if he doesn't get a lift?
Way too much to ask of anyone, sorry. I would feel very uncomfortable if someone asked me this. I think you need to stick with the after school facility.
I would try and see if there's a compromise with friend-2 days a week and you do something in return eg take them to weekend club/do holiday care. 5 days a week is too big an ask.
I think if he's fine with being at home then it's no problem, but it is quite a long time and he may feel bored/lonely.
I think you may have to introduce this more gradually over the year and find more people to share lifts.
It's too much to ask. I do a lift share with 2 neighbours, we share equally so I get benefit too but there are still plenty of days when I wish I wasn't having to pick their children up as well as mine (they are lovely children, it's not an issue with them). Some days you want to go somewhere other than home, or your children want to do activities after school/go to a friends and it's the whole palaver of organising an alternative. Or, tbh some days you just want to be able to chat to your own DC on the way home and not have another child in tow.
I also think if I was the other parent, I would be sick with worry about something happening to your DC - I'd feel responsible for them, even if you don't expect/want them to be.
2.5 hours at home alone every day seems a lot as well.
I'm not sure I know any children (even older ones) that do this. They either stay late at school or go to friends or parents are not so consistently late back.
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