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To have left my dd home alone for a short while?

(176 Posts)
Dancergirl Mon 08-Nov-10 21:31:44

Went to pick dd1 up from ballet this evening. Got dd3 (3.5) all ready to go but dd2 (nearly 8) was ensconced in reading in her room and didn't want to go out again.

So....after weighing up any risks, I decided to leave her alone for a 25-min round trip. But one of the mums at ballet said she would have never left hers alone at that age. I actually feel a bit guilty now....but she's sensible, would never open the door and in the minute risk of there being a fire she would run out and go to a neighbour.

So, would you leave a nearly 8 year old alone for 25 mins?

Portofino Mon 08-Nov-10 21:32:25


posey Mon 08-Nov-10 21:34:02

No I wouldn't have done either.

mumbybumby Mon 08-Nov-10 21:34:05

What if something had happened to YOU on your 25 minute round trip?

kelly2525 Mon 08-Nov-10 21:34:59

Difficult one, i know my mum did when i was that age.

You weighed up the risks of something happening at home, but what if you`d had an accident and couldnt get back to her?

I wouldnt beat yourself up, you did it, shes fine, next time you may feel differently

ginodacampoismydh Mon 08-Nov-10 21:35:06

dont know to be honest but marking my place to see what others say.

littleducks Mon 08-Nov-10 21:35:11

I think its fine if they have been prepped and know what to do in an emergency

That said i would prob have planned the first time i would do this in advance

Casmama Mon 08-Nov-10 21:35:17


sonotboden Mon 08-Nov-10 21:35:24

dd1 i would have/did whilst dropping younger siblings off

dd2 not in a million years.

but then again my mum left us to fend for ourselves during the school hols while she went to work at that age (shudder)

Rebeccash Mon 08-Nov-10 21:36:18

I probably wouldn't, I leave my ds now 9 for up to 40 mins every now and again but he is VERY sensible. At 7 I am not sure I would.

LionsAreScary Mon 08-Nov-10 21:37:23

There was a similar thread about a toddler today...

Personally, I think YAB abit U. The probability of anything bad happening is fairly small, but the possible consequences for her and you if it did could be terrible. So on balance maybe it would have been better to tell her she didn't have a choice and to put her shoes on.

It is difficult though, I sympathise a lot. Children all have different levels of maturity.

Tidey Mon 08-Nov-10 21:37:40

I've left my nearly 9 year old at home for the two minutes it takes to walk to the postbox down the street before, but no, would not leave a child that young alone for 25 minutes.

AuntiePickleBottom Mon 08-Nov-10 21:37:56

at the age of 7 is way too young imo

Dancergirl Mon 08-Nov-10 21:38:11

Oh dear, probably shouldn't have.

So if you said no, what age would you do it? If the child was a bit older, say 9 or 10, you could still have an accident etc....?

onceamai Mon 08-Nov-10 21:38:58

Did it for up to 20 mins from when ds was about 8 and also with dd at about the same age. Both sensible. V good neighbours. Both knew how to call me on mobile. Didn't worry about it at all. At 10 ds would stay on his own for a few hours when the au-pair was at language school. Would say, though, that we live in London and the traffic doesn't move fast enough for a serious accident to happen or if it did it would rarer than a flying pig.

QOD Mon 08-Nov-10 21:39:04

no way

ChippingIn Mon 08-Nov-10 21:40:07

Children are all different - you know yours. If you and she were both happy about it and you are confident she would go to a neighbour if you were late coming back etc then don't worry what anyone else would or wouldn't do.

AuntiePickleBottom Mon 08-Nov-10 21:41:57

once my kids have some common sence.

if you had an accident, would you daughter know to go to a neighbour if you didn't return after a long period of time.

ConnorTraceptive Mon 08-Nov-10 21:41:59

Nope I wouldn't have tbh. I know generally it's low risk but in the unlikely event of something going wrong the consequences could be serious. I think you could probably trust her not to do anything silly but she's not equipped to deal with the unexpected.

Even something silly like someone knocking on the door and being a bit persistant with knocking if they can see lights on might be quite frightening for her

Ripeberry Mon 08-Nov-10 21:42:20

No! You got away with it this time, just don't let it be a temptation again.
If anything had happened then you would have been in VERY deep trouble.

ForMashGetSmash Mon 08-Nov-10 21:42:48

Seven year olds cannot judge how best to react in an emergency...YABU.

posey Mon 08-Nov-10 21:43:28

My ds is same age. Very sensible. He would not get into any bother at home. My reason for not doing it would be if I got into trouble while out, an accident, a traffic jam...that delayed my return.
Not worth it. I have to drag ds around a lot as dd does a lot of swimming training. He doesn't always relish coming but he does it, its part of being a family I'm afraid.

LelloLorry Mon 08-Nov-10 21:43:52

I'd have done it.
Nothing bad happened, no need to worry about it now. Spilled milk and all that.

AnyFucker Mon 08-Nov-10 21:44:48

no, you really shouldn't do that again

it's not what could happen to her, IMO (although there are lots of things that could happen in 25 mins) but what could happen to you while you are out

cue 7yo home alone for god-knows-how-long shock

winnybella Mon 08-Nov-10 21:45:07

I would if she was a sensible 8 yo and knew what to do in emergency, had a phone next to her with your phone number etc.

I leave my nearly 9 yo DS for 30 minutes or so occasionally- but I know he won't burn the house down and would know what to do in case of emergency (we drilled it into him).

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