I left my 12yo at home for 1 hour

(72 Posts)
HellesBellesThinksSometimes Fri 23-Aug-13 17:24:47

Now my parents say I am a bad parent and have shouted at me - in front of my son.

First of all, I should say that I have, over the last few months, started leaving ds while I have nipped to the shops or gone to church.

Today, I was delivering family birthday/anniversary cards. I told ds where I was going. I told him the rules for staying safe while I was gone (stay in the house, don't answer the door to strangers, do not use the kitchen except to get a glass of squash, phone grandparents in an emergency).

He wanted to play out, couldn't get me on my mobile (I must have been out of range - we live in a rural area), so he rang my parents but they have massively overreacted. I think they have anyway.

Any thoughts?

cephalicdream Sun 25-Aug-13 19:36:03

Haven't we had links in the past to recommendations for leaving children alone ?

valiumredhead Sun 25-Aug-13 19:53:40

There are no laws about ages of children being left-but you must not be seen to be putting your child at risk. The majority of average twelve year olds wouldn't fall into that category.

ChunkyPickle Sun 25-Aug-13 20:06:30

Another vote for massive over-reaction - at just turned 11 I was taking over an hour to walk to the station, take the train to the town, and walk all the way across town to school (as were many other children the same age)

Far more dangerous than being left in my own home for an hour.

bigkidsdidit Sun 25-Aug-13 20:11:46

Jesus he's 12! Isn't it normal any more for senior school children to take themselves to / from school alone, let themselves in etc? Blimey.

valiumredhead Sun 25-Aug-13 20:22:33

Ds walks to and from school which is 20 mins each way, is out at the park with mates for hours on end and goes into town also. Couple of hours at home is totally normal !

cory Sun 25-Aug-13 22:44:39

of course you were fine

and just wanting to ring you to see if he could change his plans and go out doesn't sound like panicking or disobedience to me: why shouldn't he put a civil question?

I left my 12yo all day during halfterms and was perfectly happy to let him go out as long as he informed either me or his big sister

duchesse Mon 26-Aug-13 07:51:41

Some friends' children have since barely 11 (all four summer borns, one late August) traveled an hour across London to get to secondary school every morning, negotiating trains and tubes and buses as well as walking. Loads of children do the same every day. I think your parents could use some perspective.

MrsDavidBowie Mon 26-Aug-13 07:54:24

I would also let him have a bit more free range in the kitchen too.

cece Mon 26-Aug-13 08:06:25

My 12 year old let's herself unto the house with her own key after walking home from school. She then has 2 hours on her own before we get home from work. She makes her own dinner in that time (chicken nuggets and oven chips). Your parents are out if order.

HellesBellesThinksSometimes Mon 26-Aug-13 21:25:16

DS now has a key to let himself in after school once he goes back next week. Dm not pleased. In fact, I posted on " but we took you to stately homes" earlier today after she found out. Did not go well...

Still, done now and I am not going to worry about it any further.

Thank you alll for your support flowers

TheFallenNinja Wed 28-Aug-13 04:06:11

12 is fine. Good for you.

prissyenglisharriviste Wed 28-Aug-13 04:26:10

Yup, dd1 took her Red Cross babysitting course at 12, and her emergency first aid. She is paid to look after other people's children. grin (although I do confess that she is now 13.)

My 11.5 son is staying home alone for 8 hours a day for the next three days - his sisters are back at school, and dh and I are at work. He's also getting a cab to the pool and back for his swimming lesson during that time. grin

I know, I know. <flagellates self>

HellesBellesThinksSometimes Wed 28-Aug-13 07:41:42

Your children are clearly veryvresponsible prissy. Something to aspire to smile

oscarwilde Wed 28-Aug-13 14:07:45

Babysat multiple siblings overnight while parents went away at 12yo. Not ideal by todays standards but your parents are nuts.

Many in the generation before your parents would have left school at 12 and started full time work....

IslaValargeone Wed 28-Aug-13 14:12:29

Have to say I'm really impressed at how independent some of your children are. I have a dc starting secondary school next week and she would freak at the idea of being left alone.
She wants me to walk her to school too, she has worse case scenario-itis and is very under confident.

HellesBellesThinksSometimes Wed 28-Aug-13 16:10:19

That must be horrendously worrying for you Isla. Is she the same once you've gone do you know or is it just when you're around? We have some kids at the school I work in who are very clingy to their parents but as soon as their parents go, they're fine. A smaller number have equally low confidence whether their parents are there or not.

In the book 'help! My teenager is an alien' there are quite a few strategies for increasing independence and responsibility which should help improve confidence.

My grandma walked 4 miles across fields from 7 to get to school. Our lives are so different to theirs.

oscarwilde Wed 28-Aug-13 16:55:57

I saw this article a few months back and thought it was a fabulous idea. It might be a way of boosting your DC's confidence Isla?

www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2012/jul/28/modern-teenage-rite-of-passage

IslaValargeone Wed 28-Aug-13 19:32:29

Thanks oscar and Helles for those recommendations I shall have a look.
Unfortunately she is just clingy full stop.

Writerwannabe83 Wed 28-Aug-13 19:33:47

When I was 12 I was left home alone every day from 08.00-17.30pm during school holidays whilst my mom was at work. It was never a problem x x

dogindisguise Thu 29-Aug-13 22:11:30

When I was 12 (OK this is more than 20 years ago now - but in the days before mobiles) I used to be at home for a couple of hours after school every day. As long as he's sensible (and it sounds as though he is) I think this is fine and your parents are overreacting.

rrreow Fri 30-Aug-13 17:42:13

My mum (single mum) used to work full time and at 12yo I had a key to let myself in after school (3.30pm) and entertain myself until she got home (presumably around 5.30pm, don't remember exactly).

Not advocating this and I hope my children won't have to do this, but it was never a problem and I definitely think 12 years old is an appropriate age for being left alone for a couple of hours as long as you feel the child is emotionally mature enough.

HellesBellesThinksSometimes Fri 30-Aug-13 17:56:57

I saw df today and I said that on monday, when they are providing a base for him while I'm at work, ds would stay home alone til he got up then head round. Df thinks that's a bad idea. I suggested he sleep over at theirs then!

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