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Leaving the DC at home alone

(33 Posts)
LovelyBath77 Sun 28-May-17 13:00:00

They are 12 and 8. I have left them for an hour or so in the past. But felt guilty. What age would you leave yours for an hour or two to shop or go to the gym?

Trifleorbust Sun 28-May-17 13:01:41

Not 8. Maybe 10-11.

KanielOutis Sun 28-May-17 13:03:31

9yo has been left while I go to the shops for about a year. She walks herself to school while I go to work. I cant really trust her out the house and not in the house. Children don't need to be babied.

DontOpenDeadInside Sun 28-May-17 13:07:35

I've got a 13,8 (9 in 2 weeks)and 7 year olds. I've left the 2 older ones for up to an hour at a time in the past and am considering leaving all 3 for a bit to get them used to it.
When I was 13/14 I used to babysit all the time (9, 6 and 3yo neighbours) so don't see why I should not trust dd to do so.

Trifleorbust Sun 28-May-17 13:11:30


A 13 year old in sole charge of 3 young children? shock

I don't mean to sound judgey pants but don't you think that is an awful lot of responsibility for a child?

Trifleorbust Sun 28-May-17 13:12:51

Sorry, 2 younger. Still.

booellesmum Sun 28-May-17 13:13:12

I started to leave mine for short periods when they were 10 and 7.
The age isn't as important as how sensible they are and if they know what to do in an emergency.
When the oldest was 10 (year 6) She would walk home from school, let herself in and have the house to herself until around 5.30/6.00 when I got back from work and had picked the youngest up from after school club.
She started seniors at just turned 11 and would catch a train there and back. One night a week she would walk to pick her sister up from after school club, take her home, make her some tea and make sure she was ready for me to take to Brownies as soon as I got back.

user1495025590 Sun 28-May-17 19:08:34

I think 8 and 12 is fine

CuncelForTheDefence Sun 28-May-17 19:12:59

12 and 8 is fine. Loads of secondary school Year 7s and 8s pick up younger sibs from primary school.

couchparsnip Sun 28-May-17 19:16:10

It all depends on your kids. I left DS at 10 on his own to go and get DD (8 at the time) from dancing. DS is quite mature and sensible so I wasn't worried. I am not sure I'll do the same with DD as she's a bit more reckless and unpredictable.

mumeeee Sun 28-May-17 19:18:29

2 year old fine,8 is a bit young. Mine were about 10 when I left them on their own.
When my children were at school no one under the age of 14 were allowed to pick under 9s up. so basically only year 9s and above were allowed to pick them up

missiondecision Sun 28-May-17 19:18:52

Wow - for some kids mentioned here that is just too much too young.

Squishedstrawberry4 Sun 28-May-17 19:21:40

I think it depends on how silly the 8 year old is and how responsible the 12 year old is

pinkhorse Sun 28-May-17 19:34:41

Wow. I wouldn't leave my 7 year old ds with my 15 year old dsd. Dsd is very moody and immature and phone obsessed though and would not take one bit of notice of ds.

Willyoujustbequiet Sun 28-May-17 19:57:21

I think 8 is far too young personally.

RainbowsAndUnicorn Sun 28-May-17 20:05:39

A 12 year old is fine, not an 8 year old.

It's unfair to expect the eldest to be a free on call babysitter and they are not old enough to be responsible should something bad happen.

mouse26 Sun 28-May-17 20:30:50

I leave mine while I go food shopping, never for more than an hour. They are 13 and 9 now and I've done it for the last year, although if they're bickering I do make them come with me. I think it does depend on their maturity. I wouldn't leave the 13 year old alone with 19 yo dss because they're unbelievably silly together, but I'd be happy to leave the 9yo with dss .

DontOpenDeadInside Sun 28-May-17 20:35:11

Whats the age DC are legally allowed to babysit? I think 13 is old enough and I'm only talking about up to an hour in the day time and I'm less than 10-15 minutes away should I be needed. Dd1 is quite happy to do it (and they'd be on their games so wouldn't be moving very much) Obvious rules, don't answer door/phone (I'd ring her mobile if I need her), no using cooker or microwave etc.

I remember my dad leaving me and my brother locked in the car while he went into work for what seemed like hours (probably about 30 mins) when we were 5+9.

VelvetSpoon Sun 28-May-17 20:38:34

It depends on the children i think.

I used to come home from primary school for lunch by myself from 10 (only one day a week when we had swimming so i could dry my hair) - my mum was at work so i was on my own for an hour, then around the,same age I stopped going to a cm and was home 8-4 in the holidays.

My DC have been left at home for varying periods since they were 9-10. However they don't fight and are sensible (younger DC less so but eldest is more responsible). I do have friends with DC the same age as my youngest (15/16) who are never left alone in the evening for more than an hour which seems a bit unnecessary to me, especially as in 2 years they could be off to uni!

user1492287253 Sun 28-May-17 20:57:51

at 11 and 9 my older 2 used to walk home together and co exist for an hour each day.

wigglybeezer Sun 28-May-17 21:08:56

I've just left my 16 year old in charge of my 13 year old for two nights! They were taken out for tea by grandparents both nights, but sorted out the rest of their food themselves. I started leaving DS3 for about 20-30 mins ( collecting big brothers from school bus in next village) when he was 8 or 9 but I know some of my friends children weren't happy to be left until they were a few years older.

user1495025590 Mon 29-May-17 00:59:42

The school reported to a very immature 8 yo being left home alone for half am hpir plus twice a day whilst mum drove younger sibling to nursery.they were told that it didn't teach the threshold for concern

Italiangreyhound Mon 29-May-17 01:10:21

Lovely you said you "But felt guilty." I'd suggest you listen to that feeling. Maybe you know n some level your kids can't cope with too much unsupervised time.

My dd gets to and from school under her own steam at 12 and has since 11, she's been home alone for short times, an hour or so, but I know she would not like to be home for much longer on her own.

Plus with a younger sibling around there could be issues, so maybe best to just go slowly in terms of leaving them along for short times and see how they handle it.

LovelyBath77 Mon 29-May-17 08:30:02

Yes the eldest if fine it's just the younger one. Not fair really leaving the 12 year old in charge I think. Will be different in a couple of years. It's difficult to know, as when I was young was in rural Scotland and we basically were left alone from around this age and went off for the day etc, is different in a city though.

Neolara Mon 29-May-17 08:40:59

I leave my 7 yo with my 12 yo for up to an hour and very occasionally more. They are both extremely sensible.

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