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Do you leave your 8 year olds in house alone? If so how long for?

(411 Posts)
veritythebrave Mon 13-Jun-11 13:13:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

jellybeans Mon 13-Jun-11 13:14:52

I wouldn't leave them till about 11/12. 8 too young.

altinkum Mon 13-Jun-11 13:15:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

whitechocolatebuttons Mon 13-Jun-11 13:17:13

That its illegal is only part of why its wrong.

altinkum Mon 13-Jun-11 13:18:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TakeItUpTheBumHun Mon 13-Jun-11 13:18:13

Honestly. No I wouldn't.
I know it's a hassle and what have you; but it's too young to be responsible.
It'll take you another 1/4 hour to run an errand, but you will have peace of mind.

antshouse Mon 13-Jun-11 13:18:36

Secondary school age before any of mine were left home alone.

altinkum Mon 13-Jun-11 13:18:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HowToLookGoodGlaikit Mon 13-Jun-11 13:18:59

My post office & shop is about the same distance as yours, and I have left my 8 year old DD twice to nip over, she is fine by herself for a few minutes.

Vicky2011 Mon 13-Jun-11 13:19:30

I don't think it IS illegal. I agree that 8 seems very young to do this but part of the reason the confusion arises because there is no set legal age for leaving a child home alone, even if only for a very short time.

Reality Mon 13-Jun-11 13:19:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

whitechocolatebuttons Mon 13-Jun-11 13:20:51

really? wow...

junkcollector Mon 13-Jun-11 13:20:54

<<http://www.nspcc.org.uk/help-and-advice/for-parents-and-carers/positive-parenting/leaving-children-home-alone/leaving-children-home-alone_wda72908.html NSPCC>>

It's not illegal but I don't think I'd do it...But my DS1 is silly.

itisnearlysummer Mon 13-Jun-11 13:21:09

altinkum is right, there is no legal age when a child can be left on their own at home.

However, I think that people would take a pretty dim view of a 5 year old being left home alone for any length of time.

They are not mature enough to be left alone.

meditrina Mon 13-Jun-11 13:21:18

It's not illegal in UK.

You remain however responsible for your child's well-being, and if a serious accident occurred during your absence you can expect to be investigated and possibly prosecuted.

I left mine at that age to pop to the paper shop (end of the street), but only if calm and well occupied (eg engrossed in a DVD). I left them for about 20 minutes at 9+, and an hour at 10+ (age of the youngest child in the house at the time).

junkcollector Mon 13-Jun-11 13:21:27

Soory l wrong brackets for link NSPCC

Lulabellarama Mon 13-Jun-11 13:21:27

whitechocolatebuttons
Bollocks, there is no law regarding leaving children, don't lay a guilt trip on the op.
OP my nearly 9yo is mature and sensible, I sometimes pop to the chemists over the road and leave him. I m starting to consider slightly longer trips, say 15/20 mins. You know best.

verytellytubby Mon 13-Jun-11 13:22:24

My DD is 9 in two weeks and I've tried to leave her home for 10 minutes but she's too scared. I would if I could grin

MrsvWoolf Mon 13-Jun-11 13:23:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

altinkum Mon 13-Jun-11 13:25:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

whitechocolatebuttons Mon 13-Jun-11 13:26:56

thanks lulabellarama I was not aware of the law, seems there are guidelines though. I don't need to guilt-trip. here, have a biscuit

shineoncrazydiam0nd Mon 13-Jun-11 13:26:59

Good to see the usual balanced views regarding this matter grin

Yes, I would have no problem with this - but then, my now almost 13 year old has always been very sensible. Ten minutes wouldn't concern me.

LilyBolero Mon 13-Jun-11 13:27:15

I leave my 9 and 7 year olds alone for up to 20-30 mins. Also starting to let 9 year old go places alone, to build up independence for secondary (he's Y5).

I think it's fine - as long as they have rules - don't answer door, know where the phone is for emergencies, don't touch the cooker, etc. They do have to start being more independent, but it also depends on the child - my 7yo is supremely sensible, and would trust her almost more than the 9yo.

wannaBe Mon 13-Jun-11 13:28:04

it's tricky.

my ds is eight and we've just reached the stage where he's allowed to play out alone (all the kids in the street do it and they're all similar age), so theoretically if he's old enough to play in the street then why not old enough to leave home for a couple of minutes?

I think the difference really is that if a child plays out at this age and hurts themselves they can come home, whereas if you go out and leave them they have to wait for you to come home, iyswim.

I do think though that it depends on the child at this age. I actually think my ds would be sensible enough to leave for ten minutes or so but still wouldn't feel comfortable doing it.

I am however very shock and hmm at a five year old both being allowed to play out unsupervised and being left home alone.

shineoncrazydiam0nd Mon 13-Jun-11 13:29:06

However - to leave a 5 year old is insanity. I am an ex copper and can state categorically that you would be visited for leaving a child that young - with a possible referral if it was felt that this was not a one off.

You simply cannot argue about 'sensible' with a child that young.

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