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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.

MrsBennetsEldest Mon 23-Sep-13 20:43:19

5madthings....of course you have to prepare them but not at nine. Mine are grown up now and very independant but I would never have left them at 9 yrs old. People tend to find unacceptable things more acceptable if it fits in with what they want to do.

5madthings Mon 23-Sep-13 21:28:29

Why not at nine of the are ready for it? All children are different but in two years time they will beat highschool, going to and from school in their own, often coming home to an empty house (my elder two get back before I am back from collecting little two) so from just 11(summer bdays) had to be in the house alone. Better to get them used to responsibility in baby steps as they get older.

Ds3(9in Dec) will walk home from school on his own tomorrow as ds4 is going to a friends. He has previously walked home with ds2 (now at high school) he is happy to be trusted, others walk the same route. Again it's him starting to grow up.

We are lucky with where we live, they can play out (quiet cul de sac) have a little shop, library and park nearby so they can start getting bits of freedom like that etc. It all helps prepare them for high school and life, just like they help out at home with cooking, tidying, cleaning etc. Ds3 can make toast, porridge, help prepare dinner and be left for 20mins on hold own and go to the shop etc.

If you don't start letting them do things at 9/10 when would you start?

There is no magic age, its just a gradual transition depending on the child and its not do with making my life easier, I am sahm so actually I am available and it makes no odds to me but its helping prepare them for high school and growing up and allowing the, age appropriate independence which they enjoy.

KatyTheCleaningLady Tue 24-Sep-13 04:31:56

MrsStrawberry I started the thread for my husband, who was initially convinced that I would be flamed to a crisp for even asking.

I have no problem leaving ds for short times, myself, and did it a few times when my husband was living in another city.

SillyTilly123 Tue 24-Sep-13 07:27:05

My very sensible 9 year old dd has been left for short whiles since last year. It started just while I ran dp to work (5 mins) and have built the time up to around 45/50 mins now. If I HAD to I would leave her for about 1.5 hours. She just plays on the computer or watches tv.

I know I could also leave my 5 yr old and she wouldn't budge from the game (little big planet) however I've not tried the theory yet (and wont for a few years)

valiumredhead Tue 24-Sep-13 08:05:30

Yes it's fine imo and I used to with ds, he was walking to school by himself by then and going to the park.

Northumberlandlass Tue 24-Sep-13 08:16:50

Hi Katy - I started leaving DS alone in the house when I went shoppping when he was 8. He is mature, he had my mobile number, I made him promise not to cook anything or try an experiment wink

At 9 he has also walked down to the shops with some cash to get me some things.

My DS has to walk through our busy town alone to school, crossing main roads. It's about a 25 minute walk. He has to get used to being independent & to know that i trust him.

It does all depend on the child & where you live!

I don't have a problem with it.

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