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Is DS1 old enough to come home and be on his own for half an hour after school?

(27 Posts)
EleanorHandbasket Mon 20-May-13 16:25:49

He's 11 in September, but will only be in yr6, if he was a week older he'd be going to secondary.

He walks home now but comes home to me.

I'm waiting to hear back from a job, and am sorting out childcare now. It would cost roughly £100 a month for after school care for him (on top of the £900 for DS2 and DD...).

If he comes home and lets himself in he will only be alone for half an hour until DH gets home. He will just play on the pc or watch telly. Or do his homework <hollow laugh>. We happily leave him for an hour or so now, but it seems a bit different to have him coming home to an empty house.

My Dad is retired and lives a few doors up, my Mum is around two days a week, he knows all our lovely neighbours. So there will be people around, just not anyone there to let him in.

I'm fairly sure this is the right thing to do but wanted to canvas for opinions.


getyourheadout Mon 20-May-13 16:27:48

cant he go to your dads ?

WorraLiberty Mon 20-May-13 16:28:25

He's 2 months older than my 10yr old DS and yes I'd leave him under those circumstances.

But only you know your child.

It's good your Dad lives a few doors away, I really wouldn't worry if it were me.

claraschu Mon 20-May-13 16:30:50

He will be fine. Have him phone you when he gets home. My daughter (11) does this quite often, and I sometimes leave a little note and a snack to greet her, so she doesn't feel alone.
She loves the independence.

UnrequitedSkink Mon 20-May-13 16:31:15

I'd leave my Y5 DS for that long. He is a fairly sensible 10. And especially if my Dad was close at hand.

EleanorHandbasket Mon 20-May-13 16:31:17

He could (and probably will) go up to Grandad's. But I don't want my Dad to have to be in at 4pm every single day for him, so I'd rather do it on the basis that he goes home in the first instance and can go up to theirs if they're in.

Smartieaddict Mon 20-May-13 16:31:22

If he is happy with it, and you trust him not to do anything daft, then I would think he is old enough at 11. Is there someone he can check in with when he gets home, just so someone knows he has got there OK?

LunaticFringe Mon 20-May-13 16:32:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EleanorHandbasket Mon 20-May-13 16:32:14

He can ring me, that's a good idea.


Remotecontrolduck Mon 20-May-13 16:32:22

Yes, do it. No need to spend £100 more on childcare for what amounts to half an hour at home alone. If he was a month older he'd be in secondary where they all let themselves in!

hobnobsaremyfave Mon 20-May-13 16:32:43

DS2 is in year 6 and has done this quite regularly this year. I think it's fine.

BettySwollocksandaCrustyRack Mon 20-May-13 16:32:46

My DS does this- he is already year 6 (Aug baby so if he had been born 4 days earlier he would only now be in yr 5) and he has been doing it since the start of year 6

He is fine and like your DS he has people who live down our street he could call on if need be.

DiscoDonkey Mon 20-May-13 16:33:38

Personally I think it's fine, especially as your dad is so close by.

EleanorHandbasket Mon 20-May-13 16:34:06

Estate Agent! I'm going for a complete change.

Yes, DD can go to my CM friend with DS2, it would be carnage if they were home alone together.

haggisaggis Mon 20-May-13 16:34:17

Get him to phone as soon as he gets home. ds started high school at 11.5 and has been coming home alone since then. dh gets home around 6 so he is alone for nearly 2 hours. He enjoys it! Peace to watch TV, play PS3 etc. Sometime he even does his homework.

EleanorHandbasket Mon 20-May-13 16:34:47

Thanks all of you, I feel happier that none of you have gone WHAAAT?.

jamdonut Mon 20-May-13 16:36:41

God ,yes! Half an hour is nothing, and he has support nearby. Nothing wrong with that at all at that age.

YoniMatopoeia Mon 20-May-13 16:37:10

I would say yes.

BackforGood Mon 20-May-13 16:37:37

Yes. dd is in Yr6, and has done this regularly this year.

LunaticFringe Mon 20-May-13 16:37:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 20-May-13 16:37:52

Yes, I'd be happy with that and did something quite similar.

losingtrust Mon 20-May-13 16:38:59

My DS started coming home at 10. He was with a childminder down the road but kept wandering off with his key so in the end I let him come back, gave him a phone and asked the neighbours to watch. He would be fine on his own for a short length of time. I used to go home for lunch while my parents at work at the same age during the dinner lady strikes in the 70s.

Secondme Mon 20-May-13 16:59:04

Like claraschu I do the snack/note thing and DD has always been fine. Especially if he is higher end and people you trust nearby. Big thumbs up over here. He should be allowed to answer the phone though, so you can contact him. Half and hour is nothing in front of the TV and I would know. blush

redexpat Mon 20-May-13 17:33:32

I used to relish that half an hour of quiet time before my Mum got home!

5madthings Mon 20-May-13 17:36:15

He will be fine, he has people to call on if he needs them, I bet he will feel really grown up and pleased by the responsibility and trust smile

Good luck with the job smile

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