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What age did / would you leave DC home alone for a little bit?

(43 Posts)
Hermano Wed 16-Sep-20 15:37:46

I'm not there yet, DD isn't quite 7, but another thread inspired me to ask.

If eg I had to drop DC2 at nursery, ~8 minute walk each way, what age would you feel comfortable leaving a fairly sensible child home alone? Assuming they know how to use the phone to call me if needed etc.

She can already unlock the front door by herself so no worries if something spontaneously caught fire.

OP’s posts: |
Aroundtheworldin80moves Wed 16-Sep-20 15:40:32

I recently left my 9yo for about 15mins. She didn't want to before that. I took her 7yo sister with me.

Mippi Wed 16-Sep-20 15:40:41


Love51 Wed 16-Sep-20 15:45:04

I'd leave my nearly 9 year old now, if I had anywhere to go. I'd have to go over all the rules about not answering the door again, we were just starting work on it before lockdown.
Their dad used to work away, as in overnights sometimes. Now he barely goes to the office. I'm having to work entirely from home. Going out seems totally decadent!

GreyishDays Wed 16-Sep-20 15:48:18

It’s around ten here.

whirlwindwallaby Wed 16-Sep-20 15:48:41


sandieshaw Wed 16-Sep-20 15:51:09

I’d leave my 10 year old but they’re not keen on the idea!
I think it depends on the child. Mine is being assessed for a processing disorder and probably isn’t as confident or as self-reliant as other children their age.

ginnybag Wed 16-Sep-20 15:51:18

We started leaving DD for 10 mins or so last year, and are now up to around an hour or so. She's a very sensible 10, in her last year of Primary. It was possibly accelerated by Lockdown a little, in that it was easier to leave her home than try to take her with me into shops etc, but we'd have been working up to it sometime soon anyway.

It does depend on the child/house/area somewhat. But, somewhere round then. Most kids travel for High School alone, and there's not much in the way of childcare post Primary for the holidays so its wide to get going with it.

thirstyformore Wed 16-Sep-20 15:52:05

Around 9. I think we left our very sensible DD when she was nearly 9 for the first time. Only 10 minutes or so. Then built it up. She's now year 7 (11) and quite comfortable being alone for a few hours/walking to and from school, going to the shops etc.

My next thought is when we can leave DD11 and DS7 together. I'm thinking when he's 9 and she's 13 we could probably leave them for an hour or so together

Fredelliottisayfredelliott Wed 16-Sep-20 15:52:33

I have a 9 yr old and a 5 yr old. I haven't ever left them alone yet but if the 9yr old was maybe sick and not going to school at this stage I could probably leave him while I walk the 5 yr old to school (15 minutes round trip)

GingerAndTheBiscuits Wed 16-Sep-20 15:55:41

I will leave 9yo at home to go to the corner shop but we can see it from our front door so never gone more than five minutes!

Thenneverendingstorohree Wed 16-Sep-20 15:56:12

8 year olds are allowed to be unaccompanied in swimming pools, cinemas, bowling etc. So I think 8 is a good earliest age depending on the child and how long etc.

DinosApple Wed 16-Sep-20 15:58:28

About 8.
Youngest might have been 7 (closer to 8) and off school ill when I first left her to do the school run (5 minute walk each way).

She's 9 now and can be left for 30 minutes to an hour and loves it (gets the TV all to herself!). Eldest has always hated being left at home or in the car so will tag along for everything (11yo).

RedCatBlueCat Wed 16-Sep-20 16:04:32

About 8 to be left for 10-15 mins if they didnt want to drop off a sibling somewhere.

Aged 10 DS used to ask to be left at home rather than come out with me for 90 mins.

movingonup20 Wed 16-Sep-20 16:12:22

I left my dd1 at 7 to take Dd2 to the go for chicken pox (car park appointment, walking distance away. Earliest I can think of. Left them both whilst I was at work at 12 & 10 because they hated childcare so much (not all day, I'm pt)

Hermano Wed 16-Sep-20 16:16:45

Nice range of answers all around the same ages, good to see! Only slightly over a year until I cam go to a spa afternoon leaving her at home solo grin
Or more likely to the local shops to fetch her a treat

OP’s posts: |
underneaththeash Wed 16-Sep-20 16:17:27

We’ve waited until 10 with ours. I don’t think most children have the maturity to deal with an emergency until then.
I’m a Brownie leader - I’ve noticed a big maturity leap around 10 for most of our girls.

Solasum Wed 16-Sep-20 16:20:12

I very occasionally leave my sensible nearly seven year old alone for two minutes to pop to the recycling bins or the corner shop. I would not leave for longer yet.

MaddeningtheUnhelpful Wed 16-Sep-20 16:21:16

So glad I've seen this. Eldest is on his way back from football so won't want to walk ddog with me and his two siblings. He's 10, year 6 and nearly 11 and I havent left him yet. Think I will give it a go tonight

formerbabe Wed 16-Sep-20 16:22:00

When he was 10...I just popped down the road to take younger dc to brownies.

CloudSingsAloud Wed 16-Sep-20 16:34:31

7 for DS, 6 (nearly 7) for DD but most around me would leave their 4 year olds for that 🤷‍♀️

edwinbear Wed 16-Sep-20 16:38:39

I've left DD who is nearly 9 for 30-40 mins when it's unavoidable. It's a bit young, but she is incredibly sensible and trustworthy, knows how to use her phone to get hold of me if needed. She and I are both comfortable with this.

edwinbear Wed 16-Sep-20 16:40:02

@MaddeningtheUnhelpful DS started getting himself home from school (15 min walk) in Y6, he was fine and now very confident getting himself about now he's just started secondary.

frustrationcentral Wed 16-Sep-20 16:40:30

DS1 was 10

DS2 was older - at 11 - but that was mainly because if we weren't home quite often DS1 was! So less reason to be left

HerNameWasEliza Wed 16-Sep-20 16:43:04

About 9. I left my 11 year old alone from 9 till 3 one day which went well - only happened as we had gradually built up the time during the previous 2 years. And she is very sensible and obedient (so rules about 'don't use toaster or kettle', 'don't answer the door', 'call me if needed') would definitely be followed. She was so obedient re electronics (NOT using them) that she didn't turn the heating on and was in her bed with a blanket on when I got back. She doesn't feel the cold though so hadn't even registered that it was an issue! Next time we said she could use the heating.

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