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What age can you leave a child home alone for a couple of hours in the evening?

(9 Posts)
StirredNotShaken Mon 06-Mar-17 22:24:13

That's it really. I have a 19 year old and a 10 year old. Obviously my 19 year old is up and running as a fully independent adult but my son often objects when I have to drop her at the station or take her training (she has not yet passed her test) and I have left him home alone if it's daylight and I will only be 20 mins round trip type thing. He is perfectly comfortable with it and requests is so it is his choice not mine. Also he has asked to walk to the corner shop alone on occasion. I have allowed it during school sometime as our road has a school within minutes and there are lots of children doing that route so he is fairly safe from harm and it is literally a 3 min walk in each direction He loves this little glimpse of independence but it scares the shit out of me!!! I have told him that I cannot leave him long as it is not legal but he says it is and that he won't mind! I would not go out for more than 20 mins tops but is there actually a legal age or is it child/parent led? Thank you.

StirredNotShaken Mon 06-Mar-17 22:24:47

I mean he objects if I take him with me - he wants to stay indoors.

HelenDenver Mon 06-Mar-17 22:29:25

There is not a legal age, it is about being responsible.

Yes, I would do this at age 10. What age were you when you walked to school/corner shop?

HelenDenver Mon 06-Mar-17 22:31:01

www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/keeping-children-safe/leaving-child-home-alone/

StirredNotShaken Mon 06-Mar-17 22:32:24

I can;t remember - i think I was probably about that age to be honest - but things were different, we played outside in the street in those days. He is perfectly happy and comfortable being left here for a short time and when I walk the dog. He does it because he cannot be bothered to be turfed out of his lovely home I guess. I fret more than he does!

StirredNotShaken Mon 06-Mar-17 22:35:43

HelenDenver - this is great, thank you. I cannot believe that there is not an actual law or legal age! We have legal ages for everything else. So basically, the fact that my son feels comfortable alone for brief spells (those times are my limit rather than his I think) then it is perfectly legal? Well that is good but it has thrown my argument to him out of the water! grin

DailyMailDontStealMyThread Mon 06-Mar-17 22:43:53

I've recently started asking my 9 yr old if she wants to stay at home glued to the sofa infront of the TV whilst I pop to the shop, collect her sister, go grab dry cleaning etc.

Main rules are don't move no answering the phone or door and call me if needed.

She loves the new found freedom and I certainly don't hang about when out without her smile

HelenDenver Mon 06-Mar-17 22:44:36

I think it is better - we can judge our own children!

androbbob Tue 07-Mar-17 19:32:43

My 15 yr DO gets herself home from school and is on own for upto an hour, but not any longer and I text as leaving work (15 min away). Have to get DS (10) from after school clubs, so usually in by 4,45pm. 10 yr old won't stay on own unless his sister is in if I pop to shops. So all depends on kids and their personalities.

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