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on the subject of leaving children alone...

(12 Posts)
susia Wed 28-Oct-09 23:10:07

At what age would you all consider ok to leave a child alone for a short while?

I never have but have wondered about this. I have a six year old and live about a 5 min walk from the shop and obviously 5 min back. Sometimes have run out of milk/toilet paper etc in the morning and have got him dressed etc to go to the shops and not thought otherwise.

But on mentioning this to a few people some have said they think he'd be ok to be left in the house for 10 minutes.

Wondered what others think?

susia Wed 28-Oct-09 23:12:31


teameric Wed 28-Oct-09 23:14:25

Ive left DD(3)with my DS(10) to quickly run to the shop (was gone about 10 mins max)
My DS is very sensible though.

susia Wed 28-Oct-09 23:16:12

yes but your ds is 10 and mine is 6, so I think it's too young...but from others opinions that I've asked (even a childminder) they think differently.

teameric Wed 28-Oct-09 23:19:58

if you don't feel comfortable with the idea then don't. I personally think 6 is too young too.

susia Wed 28-Oct-09 23:23:22

what age would say was ok teameric? (btw at 6 I used to walk about a mile to school alone but then it was the 70's)

ErikaMaye Wed 28-Oct-09 23:23:41

I think it depends on the individual child, what the area is like (IE, could you shout over to next door just to keep half an eye out) and how long you are going to be gone. If you're comfortable and the child is comfortable with the arrangement - with practical considerations of course - then fine.

susia Wed 28-Oct-09 23:26:07

my son is one who is always wanting more responsibilty! loves sleepovers etc begging to go to the shops alone! (no to shops btw!)

saintmaybe Wed 28-Oct-09 23:32:47

Agree with Erica, tell a neighbour, and tell your ds/d how to speak to them if need be

Has been said on here before, the child is prob quite safe, but what if YOU were to get hit by a car or something?

I live in the kind of place where it's fine to leave dcs for a while, but I have a 'designated responsible adult' nomination thing with a few of the neighbours and I do the same for them

curiositykilled Wed 28-Oct-09 23:36:21

I think I would do it when I didn't have to think about whether or not it was OK IYSWIM. This means it'd probably be different with each child. I wouldn't think 6 would be that age for either of mine TBH and I wouldn't leave a 3 year old with a 10 year old. I might leave a 10 year old and I would probably tell a neighbour to keep an eye.

Prinpo Wed 28-Oct-09 23:38:38

I'd be reluctant to leave a 6 year old for 10 minutes, especially if you're going to the shops. I'd perhaps be happier trying it out by popping next door for 5 or 10 minutes and seeing how that goes. My 7 year old is practising going into shops (as in little shops) and buying a couple of things while I wait outside. I find taking little steps much more reassuring!

cory Thu 29-Oct-09 08:49:42

saintmaybe Wed 28-Oct-09 23:32:47 Add message | Report | Contact poster

"Has been said on here before, the child is prob quite safe, but what if YOU were to get hit by a car or something?"

As has been said on here before, if you get hit by a car, why would you want your child involved in this accident? Wouldn't they be likely to be hit too? Or do you imagine that your dead or injured body would provide any sort of protection?

When my children are alone at home, they know how to ring their dad at work in case I don't come home as expected. And the back door is left unlocked so they can get out in case of fire.

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