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Would you let your 10 year old be on his own all day?

(33 Posts)
VioletStar Fri 30-Aug-13 11:23:07

DS got a phone call inviting him and another friend (A) to play with friend (B). I presumed it was at his house/ cycling around thereabouts so despite being nervous said ok for a couple of hours.
45 mins later he's back with A and says B is on his way too. Whilst that's ok, I have texted B's mum to make sure it was ok that all 3 were descending on her at such short notice. She texted back saying she was fine with it. (spoken with A's dad too)
When they arrived I discover that B's mum is actually at work and he is on his own all day! (A's Dad is home and wants A back for lunch).
This is my last but one day before I am back at work and wanted to spend it with my kids, but happy if they want to play with their mates. I said I wouldn't have A all day because of this (A's mum is very good friend) and now I might have B because there is no way I could chuck out what is a very lonely little boy despite his bravado at being old enough to be 'independent'.
Hope this makes sense. AIBU in thinking his mum should have arranged childcare for her son cos at their age (just going into year 6) kids shouldn't be left on their own all day?

frazmum Fri 30-Aug-13 11:25:22

No. YANBU. Too young. While child may be responsible what if there was an emergency?

Tortoise Fri 30-Aug-13 11:28:51

No, I definitely wouldn't leave my 10 year old alone all day.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 30-Aug-13 11:29:33

No way! I have a 9 year old who cant bear it if I nip to the shop up the road...10 is way too young. Kids can get up to all kinds and with no adult, if he had any bother, he'd be in a bad situation.

persimmon Fri 30-Aug-13 11:31:59

Isn't it illegal?

VioletStar Fri 30-Aug-13 11:33:30

I wondered if it was legal. I also wonder if there are instructions for him to go somewhere if he was scared or stuff but how do I ask without sounding judgy to him?

TylerHopkins Fri 30-Aug-13 11:33:33

I think a mature 10 year old could be left for a couple of hours but certainly not all day. And if the child is left for a couple of hours then a neighbour or friend close by should be on standby in case of an emergency.

TylerHopkins Fri 30-Aug-13 11:35:30

The law does not set a minimum age at which children can be left alone. However, it is an offence to leave a child alone when doing so puts him or her at risk. NSPCC

thebody Fri 30-Aug-13 11:35:40

there is no a actual minimum age to leave a child, pretty sure that's correct anyway as that's what we were told at last safeguarding course. daft I know.

of course 10 is too young to leave all day.

trashcanjunkie Fri 30-Aug-13 11:53:30

I have left mine for a couple of hours on one occassion. They are twins aged 8.5. They were fine. Usually if necessary I leave them for half an hour or forty five mins about once a week. My work sometimes involves collecting or dropping off animals in the early evening and they don't always fancy coming along, and arranging childcare around that is difficult. I can't imagine leaving them for more than that until they are much older, say 15 or so.

Taz1212 Fri 30-Aug-13 12:00:40

I wouldn't have left DS all day when he was 10. He would have been fine (really would have loved it) but would have spent the entire time playing Playstation games! He's 11 now and has quite a bit of freedom outdoors and I'll leave him at home for up to a couple of hours. When he's home alone he's not allowed to answer the phone or door and no friends are allowed over! I still wouldn't leave him for a whole day.

CinnabarRed Fri 30-Aug-13 12:13:56

Are you sure that B doesn't have older siblings who are also at home?

NoComet Fri 30-Aug-13 12:22:20

I'd leave my 15y DD1 all day if I had to, but not her 12y sister.

DD1 likes her own company, can fix lunch and a cup of tea and bake a cake or go for a walk if she's bored.

DD2 needs company, and isn't yet as practical as DD1. Also she relieves being bored by practicing more and more elaborate flips on the trampoline, not something I'm happy for her to do with no one here.

She's fine to let herself in after school, but more than a couple of hours, no.

SoupDragon Fri 30-Aug-13 12:24:53

No, I wouldn't. Whilst they would be fine under normal circumstances, they would not be able to deal with an emergency or anything out of the ordinary.

HandMini Fri 30-Aug-13 12:30:19

Yes, 10 is too young to leave for a whole day while you work. Totally out of order of Bs parents. Wouldn't be surprised if they encouraged B to call friends knowing that it means concerned and present parents will be guilted into acting as ad hoc childcare.

HandMini Fri 30-Aug-13 12:31:27

And notwithstanding the safety thing it's boring and lonely. As a PP said, older children and adults can entertain themselves. Small children can't for a whole day.

cory Fri 30-Aug-13 12:33:21

I left my 12yo alone all day, but built up gradually from a few hours at 10.

Glitterandglue Fri 30-Aug-13 12:34:47

I wouldn't be worried so much about the safety aspect (at 10 I was alone at home for an hour before school, took myself there then was alone for two hours afterwards) if he is a relatively mature kid, but more about the boredom aspect. A 10 year old is likely to find it hard to be in his own company all day and it can end up leading to situations like this where he may end up unintentionally imposing himself on other people (without meaning to) where if there was an adult around in charge of him they'd be there to explain that people may not want him and could redirect him to do something else.

You can always give him a couple of hours but tell the kids it's only until eg 3pm, and then you want to spend time with your kids alone. That's reasonable and it's given him some hours of socialisation to break up the day.

KristinaM Fri 30-Aug-13 12:37:23

No, I wouldn't even leave my 13 yo alone all day, she wouldn't like it. Although she will stay at home for a couple of hours on her own but she gets lonely .

I woulndt leave my 9yp at home alone at all, even for half an hour. I couldn't trust him. And we live in a very safe area .

complexnumber Fri 30-Aug-13 12:45:13

We have left our 12yo alone for a few hours, not sure about a 10yo.

I know I was allowed to roam free for the whole day on my bike as a child under 10. My mum would have no idea where I was until I got home and told her. (But that was in the 60's, so not that helpful)

VioletStar Fri 30-Aug-13 13:07:52

Glad it's not just me. To answer CinnabarRed no he doesn't have older siblings - just a younger toddler brother (I have no idea who is looking after him).
Should I say anything to his mum? He's an alright kid but a bit naughty according to my DS and friend A (always good in front of me though - I'm a teacher and he seems to currently respect that authority). He also seemed surprised that they aren't back to school early next week. He says his mum thought it was Tuesday and will be surprised its Thursday. I feel sorry for him.
Just given them all lunch and said it's ok until 2.30. A's Dad let him stay for lunch here.

Hulababy Fri 30-Aug-13 13:11:02

I wouldn't leave DD, 11y, home alone all day. I have left her for short periods of less than an hour, but for now this is enough for me - and her. DD isn't overly keen on being home alone for too long, which is fine. I'd rather try and arrange for her to visit a friend or stay with grandparents.

expatinscotland Fri 30-Aug-13 17:29:00


Boaty Fri 30-Aug-13 19:06:18

Years ago we ran a scout troop, we had one ten yr old turn up on our doorstep, he had been left alone and locked out of the house, he had been told by his mum that if he got bored or frightened to come to ours, we would look after him!
He had to walk four miles to get to ours along country roads, we then couldn't get hold of his mother (before most people having mobiles), he turned up everyday for 2 weeks despite repeated calls! It only stopped when we threatened to call SS.
It is too young but I have noticed a lot of 'play' schemes are for young children and don't cater for children from above primary age.

ShakeAndVac Fri 30-Aug-13 20:36:37

I've a 10 year old, and no way.

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