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leaving 12year old at home alone while we're at work?

(204 Posts)
mofro Tue 28-Oct-14 06:15:58

Im FT at work and DH is self employed workung long hours. Eldesh DH is in Y7, settled well at new school. Hes' s dropped to school by us in the morning, and has a bus pass for coming home, has a house key and is at home alone from about 4.30pm until we get home for6.30/7pm.
He knows house rules,;is v sensible and is either doing homework, tv or playstation.- doesnt answer door or phone unless its us.
Have 2 other DC who go to family member after school which i pay for.
Had a lecture from my Dsis about abandoing him, how its wrong, what if house burnt down etc....and its kinds stuck in my head!!

Been a SAHM for years, doing crappy atrempts at self employment so i waa there for kuds and now finally gave a great FT job..but feeling guilty....

Was told by another family member she wdnt pop round this half term as i needed to spend time with my own kids as they never see me :-0

Very happy and confident kuds...but they alao moan a lot to me and obviously others about me and DH working so much, i.e. full time

scotchfreeescapegoat Tue 28-Oct-14 06:19:27

honestly i wouldn't have a problem with it if he is a sensible kid.

If you do think he is spending too much time alone maybe enrol him in a holiday club for a few days.

But remember now, a mothers place is in the wrong. wink

LindyHemming Tue 28-Oct-14 06:24:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EEVEElution Tue 28-Oct-14 06:27:55

At that age (well 13, to be exact) I would leave the house alone to do my paper round, come back, get ready for school, get the bus to school, come back on the bus and let myself in and parents would be home around 6 ish. So YANBU smile

pregnantpause Tue 28-Oct-14 06:33:25

Yanbu. If he's sensible it's fine. Independence is a good lesson to teach, as is a good work ethic and that life doesn't revolve around them. Well done. If I were you I might reconsider the family member and pay a professional fir younger dc though- if she's said that to you I expect her reaction when they moan to her is not the sensible type- she is perhaps encouraging and justifying their moaning by agreeing hmm

Honeezreturnofthelivingdead Tue 28-Oct-14 06:34:28

I changed jobs when my DS started yr7. He got home at 3 as we lived 2 mins from school and was alone til 5ish. He loved it! Was on xbox most of the time! He was also alone before school for half an hour. He was fine.
Try not to feel guilty, make the most of when you are all together and dont listen to others telling you how to live your life.
you sound like you are happy to have the job and wil be able to do nice things with DC's if theres abit of extra money coming In thanks

mofro Tue 28-Oct-14 06:41:25

Thanks guys!! Know my DS well enough to know he's fine at home but the backlash from family threw me a bit! Pregnantpause, you'ce got a point - its actually a different family member who has younger 2 and didnt want money but i made payment arrangements so it would be more 'official' and help us both out.

Eva50 Tue 28-Oct-14 06:48:40

I am very PFB (and 2nd/3rd) and even I think that sounds fine. Tell your relative that it's not the quantity of time you spend with your children it's the quality.

toomuchtooold Tue 28-Oct-14 06:55:50

Sounds like some of the family might be jealous of your new job!
(And FWIW I'm another vote for it being absolutely fine...)

18yearstooold Tue 28-Oct-14 07:09:15

My dd comes home from school alone and is fine for a few hours but school holidays she gets bored after a couple of days when the novelty wears off

CambridgeBlue Tue 28-Oct-14 07:20:48

We are in a similar situation and I am so glad to read this and discover I'm not the world's worst parent!

I've worked at home since DD (now 12) was born but the chance of a local job came up and it was too good to turn down. We all leave at the same time in the morning then DD lets herself in after school (4.15ish) and we are generally back by 5. Like your DS she is very sensible, she texts me when she gets home, locks herself in and doesn't answer the door or phone. We've put a lamp on timer and set the heating to come on so it's cosy for her when she gets in. There are several neighbours she could call on in an emergency (small close community) and 2 good friends in the streets either side of us whose numbers she has.

I've been telling myself the independence is good for her but I must admit I've been worrying whether we're doing the right thing or not so it's nice to know most people think it's fine.

I'd hate it if a family member criticised my decision like yours has OP but it's really none of their business- hard not to take it to heart though.

ThrowAChickenInTheAir Tue 28-Oct-14 07:24:04

I was doing this from junior school age. I was sensible and ok but looking back I did seem to spend huge amounts of time alone.

But then for me it was also nearly all of the school holidays and Saturday mornings too.

TaliZorahVasNormandy Tue 28-Oct-14 07:24:51

My Dsis has been doing that since she was 11, shes nearly 15 now and she copes just fine.

Blu Tue 28-Oct-14 07:30:23

If your child is happy with it it is fine, and normal. Most of the Yr 7s I know spend time alone after school.

I encourage my DS to go to after school activities where possible, but he has enjoyed the independence of letting himself into the house.

newpencilcase Tue 28-Oct-14 07:35:40

I used to do this a couple of nights a week from aged 10 or so.

I was very sensible grin

I loved it. However I have always enjoyed my own company.

If he is happy, then I don't see a problem. Ignore your family, they are talking nonsense.

BellaVita Tue 28-Oct-14 07:40:56

It's fine.

DoughnutSelfie Tue 28-Oct-14 07:50:37

Yes it is fine

Funny how people never try to trowel guilt onto the father in these types of scenarios eh

OneWaySystemBlues Tue 28-Oct-14 07:54:37

I think it would be fine. He's old enough, sounds sensible, you're not asking him to look after your other kids, I don't see the problem. I never understand how people castigate others for putting a roof over their family's head though! What terrible parents that you work so that your kids can eat and have a home!

CPtart Tue 28-Oct-14 07:56:32

DS1 is year 7 and does this twice a week when I'm working. Plus we live down a country lane (no footpath) with the nearest neighbour several minutes away. I worried too at first but he's fine, it's great for his confidence, encouraging responsibility. I also strongly agree that DC need to see their lives are part of a bigger picture, anda that like adults sometimes there are things we just have to get on with it to make things work.

LetThereBeCupcakes Tue 28-Oct-14 07:57:03

My mother left home when I was 12. My father left for work at 7am, I left for the bus at 8am. Got home just after 4pm, walked the dog, started my homework and had dinner on the table for when he got in just after 6pm. It taught me loads.

He will be fine and it will be good for him to have a sense of responsibility.

Thebodynowchillingsothere Tue 28-Oct-14 07:58:17

It's fine. Your relatives sound jealous and stuck in 1957. Ignore.

comfycushion Tue 28-Oct-14 08:00:16

It is fine if your 12 year old is sensible.

but if something happens fire, he falls down the stairs and is there for a couple of hours on his own with a broken leg, someone breaks in

prepare for the police and social workers to be all over you like a rash....

Suckitup Tue 28-Oct-14 08:01:37

If it's school holidays, presumably he is on his own for the whole day until early evening? That does seem a long time for any child.

The after-school arrangement is not so bad but being in the house alone until 7pm is quite late in the winter.

defineme Tue 28-Oct-14 08:14:34

Is that 5 days a week?
I know a lot of kids this age and them being left alone is not unusual, nor is them letting themself in etc.
However, I don't know of any who do it 5 days a week or until 7pm. Most kids seem to intersperse a couple of days on their own with after school clubs/activities/parent comes home early on a Friday/goes to a friends that you do some reciprocal childcare for etc.
it is at the far end of normal. I am not judging you...your dh is as responsible as you for his child and any arrangements made. It's brilliant about your job too. I think a bit of tweaking might make it a little less full on in terms of nearly 13 hours a week on their own.

treadheavily Tue 28-Oct-14 08:17:22

I think it seems quite long but you know your situation best, maybe it's ok.

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