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to leave nine year old son at home while we go grocery shopping?

(131 Posts)
KatyTheCleaningLady Sun 22-Sep-13 10:35:09

My husband wanted me to ask. He thinks it would be illegal.

We have 3 boys. Together they are a handful. I can't drive with a broken arm. I think oldest can be home alone for an hour. He will just watch e enough to tv, happy to have it to himself. He is clever and sensible enough to call us or 999 if needed. We can put youngest in seat of trolly, and middle is fairly docile without older brother egging him on. Would be less hassle if the two aren't trying to race up and down the aisles.

While I typed this DH googled and saw that it's not illegal. Now we're just interested in opinions.

KatyTheCleaningLady Sun 22-Sep-13 10:38:52

Sorry about gibberish typos. Typing with left hand.

havingamadmoment Sun 22-Sep-13 10:40:41

I wouldnt leave my 9 year old dd home just because although she knows what to do (calling 999 for example) I am pretty sure that in an emergency she would panic and forget. I know its unlikely to happen but you never know.

thebody Sun 22-Sep-13 10:40:46

send your dh by himself and you stay with the kids!!! rest your broken arm.

MortifiedAdams Sun 22-Sep-13 10:41:23

Get DH to take the eldest with him to do the foodshop and you stay hone with the two littlies.

Or he takes the two littlies and you stay hone with the 9yo.

Why do you both need to go?!

CailinDana Sun 22-Sep-13 10:41:37

What's your dh doing in all this?

MadameJosephine Sun 22-Sep-13 10:43:42

I wouldn't do it. I don't think a nine year old is old enough to cope in an emergency at home plus I would be worried about what would happen if I was involved in an accident while I was out and couldn't get home. God forbid you had a crash and were taken to hospital, who would know he was home alone. Not worth the risk IMO

5madthings Sun 22-Sep-13 10:48:14

depends on the nine year old.but i would be fine.

i have been leaving my.elder ones for short periods from about eight? ds3 is 8 and i can leave him.for short periods and he can play out/go to.local shop etc.

its not.illegal.

best to start with shorter amount of time and build up and its a good idea to start at this age and build up before high school at 11.

stella69x Sun 22-Sep-13 10:48:37

I've done it 9 was when I started leaving my DS alone for short periods. ie to do the shopping you can do it so much quicker without a reluctant dc in tow

almapudden Sun 22-Sep-13 10:48:45

I'd do it. My brother and I were home alone every day from 3.30 until 5 when we were eight and ten, and it was fine (in 1995, not 1975). Just ban him from using the oven/toaster and make sure he has a key and can go to a neighbour's im an emergency.

OneUp Sun 22-Sep-13 10:49:40

I wouldn't leave a nine year old at home for longer than about ten minutes. In my opinion they just aren't old enough to be completely safe and trustworthy without an adult present.

KatyTheCleaningLady Sun 22-Sep-13 10:50:03

I want to go. DH goes a lot but we are doing some menu planning, switching to packed lunches, and looking to change our diets. I want to go and see whats there and dh needs to drive. Also he's doing the bulk of cooking now so his input is good. We need to communicate and think more than usual for shopping, and all 3 boys together would make it harder. Not impossibly hard or anything.

I just think ds1 wll be fine. When dh was living away in Scotland, I did it when three on my own seemed too much hassle.

5madthings Sun 22-Sep-13 10:50:34

as long as they know what to an emergency, who to call/go to if you are delayed etc its fine.

teach them.the skills they need to cope!!! dont just say its too risky... they need to learn these life skills and this is a good age to do so!

Xales Sun 22-Sep-13 10:51:02

I would leave him. Give a quick call when you get to the shop and let him know you will call again in 30 minutes and for him to pick up the phone.

5madthings Sun 22-Sep-13 10:52:13

of you think he will be fine and he knows what to do/who to call if need be then fine smile

SpockSmashesScissors Sun 22-Sep-13 10:52:39

I don't think I would, but why doesn't DH go without you, he could take all of them 9 year old to help him pack, steer trolley etc., that's what I get DS to do smile

Make sure to put painkillers and choc cake on the list wink

CoolItKittens Sun 22-Sep-13 10:52:49

For an hour, I'd do it. I think DS1 was 9 when we started to leave him for about that long. Just make sure he knows not to answer the door/phone and how he can get hold of you or a neighbour if he needs to.

mrspremise Sun 22-Sep-13 10:55:00

Its not illegal. The law specifies no minimum age for a child to be left alone, only that its an offence to leave them alone if it places them at risk. Would your 9yo know what to do in an emergency? Is there a neighbour or friend they could go to for help if they needed to. Use your own judgement;, but leaving him alone for a short period is not necessarily, in itself, against the law smile

KatyTheCleaningLady Sun 22-Sep-13 10:55:16

In the event of an accident: we can tell MIL to call us/him and check if she doesnt hear from us by X time. Also, strictly speaking, surely ds would be safer at home sat on couch than in the car crsh.

I will call MIL which will eliminate that concern.She may offer to have kids at hers. I just dont like to ask.

SamInSouthWales Sun 22-Sep-13 10:55:42

Why not look online for what you want to buy, do all your discussing beforehand, then just send DH?

I don't think two adults and two children need to do the weekly shop when the 9 yo needs somebody too.

Sparrowfarts Sun 22-Sep-13 10:57:53

I would leave the 9 year-old, if he's willing and sensible, but it might be easier all round to do an online shop on this occasion, as you want to make changes and see what's available. If you don't usually do it, there may be an offer on your first shop.

snowynight Sun 22-Sep-13 10:58:36

Another vote for the online shop - I wouldn't have left ds in the house alone at that age, but then he wouldn't have felt confident about being on his own.

Methe Sun 22-Sep-13 10:59:43

I would leave a 9 year old for an hour or so.

MrsBazinga Sun 22-Sep-13 11:03:36

I leave my 9 year old occasionally. He's fairly sensible and a stickler for following instructions. Its usually only for 20 mins or so, and with very strict rules. He sits with the home phone next to him, usually watching TV. He has a list of local mums/friends/neighbours phone numbers on the fridge, and if I'm not back within half an hour from when I'd said, and I haven't rung him, he knows to ring someone and explain (friends know about list and are happy, I reciprocate). I'll pop to the local shop, or pick up a parcel at the PO etc. My reasoning is that he's in Y5, and by Y7 he's going to be getting himself to school, and probably coming home to an empty house occasionally. He needs to learn how to be home alone, be happy doing it and be confident in the rules. You've got to start somewhere....

KatyTheCleaningLady Sun 22-Sep-13 11:03:55

I thought of online, but it wouldnt work as well for inspiration. just not how i think. and i can barely operate my laptop. dh doing the browsing would not really work in a way I can't really explain. He scrolls and reads pages different to me and we get crabby whenever we look at things online together. i do think we both need to go together.

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