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AIBU to leave child on their own

(23 Posts)
Wanttobeanon123 Tue 25-Apr-17 22:26:48

This is more of a 'would IBU' as I have not done it yet. Just want some opinions/experiences.

We have a ds who is 9. We would say he is fairly mature for his age. He has started to ask to be left at home on occasion. In particular on a day when my dh is at work and my dd has dancing. I take her, leave her there and then pick her up an hour later. It is a 4-5 min drive away so I am out of the house for 10-15 mins. Ds wants to be left at home when I do this rather than come with me. The questions is, is he old enough?

We have started to let him play put with his friends. He is responsible and comes back at the alloted time (usually 15 mins). However during this time he is always with his friend and we can usually see them from the house (they are allowed a certain distance away down the road, most of which we can see from our front door).

Leaving him at home would be different as he would be on his own. I could tell him to lock the door after me and obviously let no one but me in. I could also leave him a list of numbers for people like me, dh, nanna etc so he knows who he can answer the phone to.

Nspcc guidance says that kids under 12 should not be left for a LONG period of time. But what's long??!!

Any help, advice, experience would be appreciated.

(ps, can you tell his is the eldest!!?? The youngest one will probably be left to fend for herself when she is 6!! Lol!!)

Thanks

lumpit Tue 25-Apr-17 22:33:01

When you say he is allowed to play out, do you mean you only allow him to play outside with his friend for 15 minutes (while in sight!!) before coming back to check in?? This is OTT in my opinion.

I think that 15 minutes left in the house on his own is absolutely fine. Just get him to lock the door and make sure he has the ability to contact you should he need to and he'll be fine!

Wanttobeanon123 Tue 25-Apr-17 22:34:22

Yeah, I make him come back every 15 mins to check in!! I probably am being ott....

This parenting lark is hard!! Lol x

ScarlettFreestone Tue 25-Apr-17 22:36:07

I have 9 yo twins. They are allowed to play out for as long as they want within certain geographical boundaries (pretty much within sight or calling distance) but we would not leave them at home alone.

They are extremely sensible and well behaved but my gut feeling is that it's too young just yet.

intuition Tue 25-Apr-17 22:37:13

Depends where you live etc. Nothing wrong with worrying and caring!!

9 imo is a little young but I have always tried to trust my intuition and it sounds like you know your son and you feel it's ok.

I left mine from 10 but we live in a village and have no immediate neighbours.

Trust your intuition!

WorraLiberty Tue 25-Apr-17 22:40:08

I think only you can answer whether or not he's ok to be left home alone really.

But I can not get my head around him having to check in every 15 minutes when he's playing out.

That must drive him bonkers, and why is it even necessary if you can nip outside and see him anyway? confused

taptonaria27 Tue 25-Apr-17 22:42:38

Leave him home alone and think about changing the 15minutes rule about playing out too it sounds suffocating!

teaandakitkat Tue 25-Apr-17 22:44:34

I have done this with my kids at 9.
I figure the risk of something happening to them when home alone for 15 minute is pretty small, if they are sensible.

kittensinmydinner1 Tue 25-Apr-17 22:44:51

I left my daughter in similar circumstances from 8. Very sensible no problems. By 10 I could leave her whilst I did a supermarket shop.. my son however could not be left on his own even for 15 mins until 10. Different children different decisions. We are very rural with no neighbours.

5OBalesofHay Tue 25-Apr-17 22:45:00

Old enough to play out is old enough to be at home alone for a short period in my book. Whats the difference?

ExplodedCloud Tue 25-Apr-17 22:45:43

If he's sensible then I think he'd be ok for 15 minutes. Does he know how to get out if he needs to? Is there a neighbour you could tell he'd be there alone?

Wanttobeanon123 Tue 25-Apr-17 22:45:54

Thanks intuition, I do feel it is ok, my dh does not. That's why we thought of coming on here and asking. We both have to be on the same page though!! Lol. Maybe we just need to revisit it in a few mths.

Worra, he has never mentioned it, I set the 15 min rule when he first started playing out but have never actually had to enforce it as him and his friend can't seem to go more than about 12 mins without popping in for a drink or a snack!! Lol

Hairyfairy01 Tue 25-Apr-17 22:46:05

Ds is 10 and has been left on his own for a few hours since 8. I guess it depends where you live and your ds but if he is sensible, comfortable with the idea, knows how to use a phone and has neighbours he could call upon in emergency I think you are being ott. But no doubt you will get loads of posters saying they don't leave their 15 year old alone for 5 minutes.

delilahbucket Tue 25-Apr-17 22:49:16

My ds is nine and I wouldn't leave him in the house alone just yet, even though I am sure he would be fine. He plays out on our cul-de-sac which is next to a busy road but he doesn't go anywhere near it. If he is with any of the neighbours children I don't check on him particularly often. If he is on his own I have the front window open and look out on him every 15-20 mins if I can't hear him whizzing around on his bike/scooter/heelies or talking to anyone (he knows all of the neighbours and will chat to them).

Wanttobeanon123 Tue 25-Apr-17 22:49:32

50balesofhay. My dh feels the difference is the being on his own, rather than with his friend who could come and get is if something happened etc.

We have very good neighbours to one side that we are close mates with, and we know the people in the 4 houses opposite well enough. So he would have somewhere to go if he had a problem.

X

LukerExtraordinaire Tue 25-Apr-17 22:53:08

What ages should have what checking in Times? So, say half hour for a nine year old, hour for a ten year old? Should secondary kids check in? Or just be home by a certain Time? It's a minefield.

Op,it sounds fine, I would probably leave him tbh.

ThouShallNotPass Tue 25-Apr-17 23:32:44

Totally depends on lots of different things. Maturity level, where you live, what the area is like, is it they type of place that needs checking in every 15mins (or is that OTT parenting?) how close are you with the neighbour's etc.
My 10yo started playing out unattended at 9. She is allowed free rein around a lot of the village but not alone (it's a small, busy village where everyone knows everyone)
She's mature and well behaved and I often left her and her mates in the house while I dropped her siblings off at clubs. But some of her classmates I would never think that would be okay. Far too immature and silly.

Do what you feel is best. It's certainly not illegal for 5-10minutes.

Willow2017 Tue 25-Apr-17 23:37:09

Shouldnt be a problem at all. Mine had a list of numbers, rules to follow etc and have been fine. They relished the independance.

The checking in every 15 minutes when playing outside is a bit ott though, really he should be able to play out without that if he can follow the rules you have set about where to go etc.

Mine were playing up the park by then with friends for hours.

SweetLuck Tue 25-Apr-17 23:41:29

I've been leaving my DD (under strict instructions not to do anththing other than watch TV or read) for 20 mins or so since she was 6. All is fine.

BackforGood Tue 25-Apr-17 23:42:31

I would. Well, I did.
One thing I would tget him to actually do is to phone people occasionally, (Nana etc.) so he's used to actually making calls and it's not just a theoretical 'here's a number'.

Blimey01 Tue 25-Apr-17 23:45:52

I leave my DC around the same age as yours alone for around 20 mins when I take the dog for a quick walk in the morning when DC is getting ready for school.

Lynnm63 Wed 26-Apr-17 00:21:36

Assuming he's a sensible boy and you say he is. I would and did when ds1 was a similar age. I always told him not to answer the door and left him with a drink and snack so he had no reason to move from his game or tv.
One thing I did do was to have a piece of paper in my pocket with my address and xx home alone written on it. Just in case I was hit by a bus they'd find it and rescue him iyswim.

VoldemortsOffspring Wed 26-Apr-17 00:35:21

I've done it with DD (9).

She knows all important numbers (GPs etc) off by heart. She's very sensible.

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