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working and leaving a 12 year old home alone, or not?

(15 Posts)
Melissad Wed 27-Jul-11 09:55:05

Our eldest daughter is 11, 12 next March. When I work (currently only 16 hours a week) she goes to a holiday club with her younger sister, who is 8. But the holiday club only accepts them up to their 12th birthday. And I'm not sure what I'm going to do then, except look for a term time job? I'm not keen on using a childminder, fitting around their holidays/sickness etc. and most of the childminders I know look after several kids and much younger kids, not older kids. I'm a bit unsure about the thought of leaving her home alone for 5/6 hours on the days I work, but lots of other people seem to do it. Wouldn't she get bored/up to no good? And obviously her sister would still be in the holiday club, cos I can't leave her in charge of a 9 year old. Any advice/experience?

MovingAndScared Wed 27-Jul-11 09:58:47

swap with friends - ie you have friend's kids days you don't work and they have your DD - my parents used to take us to work sometimes and get us doing dull jobs! and sometimes there are holiday activities like sports/drama workshops - she could go to those maybe
or if you could work from home sometimes?

demolitionduo Wed 27-Jul-11 16:10:58

My twin boys are 12 (almost 13) & I'd still not contemplate leaving them at home alone, though they beg me to!

I work part time & between me & a friend we share out the childcare. It works well. Most of the time our children are out & about but one of us assumes responsibility so they know they have a base to return to.

slipperandpjsmum Fri 29-Jul-11 10:11:58

It depends on the child. I have 4. My eldest is 15 and is very responsible, however my 11 yr old is so different to how his brother was at that age.

Thats prob no help at all but you know your daughter and how she would manage. Do you leave her on her own at the moment?

I don't have any friends that are able to help me with childcare.

RockinSockBunnies Fri 29-Jul-11 10:13:58

I'd be happy leaving my DD home alone for six hours or so. If your child is sensible, I don't see that it would be a problem.

jellybeans Fri 29-Jul-11 10:17:13

I wouldn't. Mine would kill each other for a start! An hour or so is OK but 6 hours abit much. I hear of allsorts going on with teens left alone!!

gorionine Fri 29-Jul-11 10:19:19

I will not give an answer but recently a friend "told me off" for leaving DD1 (12) on her own at home while I was working (about 2 hours as I work part time) because 'you never know what could happen!'. The very same friend also "tells me off" for not letting DD1 go to town on the bus on her own yet because 'there is absolutely no danger, everyone does it!'. I think there is no way pleasing peoplegrin. The best thing IMHO is to be the judge of what your child is ableto do on their own and what amount of unplaned events they would be able to cope with.

LIZS Fri 29-Jul-11 10:22:43

have just started doing this with ds (13) for same reason. However it has only been the odd day and I think he'd quickly get bored if it was every day. Could you arrange a play date or activity day sometimes to break up the monotony ?

evieS Fri 29-Jul-11 17:02:20

The situation - legally - in Scotland at least (and Scotland has its own separate legal system) - is that a child (under 16 yr old) can be left on its own provided that the assessment (of the carer) is that the child would be safe and that it is therefore reasonable to leave the child on its own. This means for instance that it could be 'safe' and reasonable to leave a baby (who was not mobile) for a few minutes alone in your house whilst you went to a next door neighbour for example. What is 'reasonable' differs and each situation has to be assessed on its merits. The maturity of the child has to be taken into consideration - some 12 yr olds are remarkably mature, others aren't. You will know how much you can trust your own child. You will also know what hazards exist in your own home and which hazards you could safely rely upon your child to negotiate. I have 5 children and would trust my then 12 yr old son to be on his own for a couple of hours - but not to take responsibility for his younger siblings. He's now 14 - and I am content to leave my 8 and 10 yr old with him for the length of time it takes to do a quick shop at my local supermarket (a mile away). I am a legal adviser specialising in child protection...

Mabelface Fri 29-Jul-11 17:04:47

I leave my 12 year olds for a few hours, no problems. We have good neighbours who they could go to and both DH and I work locally and can be home in 10 minutes.

Oblomov Fri 29-Jul-11 18:26:22

Shame they don't have any clubs for 11-16 year old. they do in surrey. (surrey county council caters for 5-16 yr olds), for 3 weeks of the summer they have splah/vibe, and they have trips to thorpe park, and waterparks etc.

LIZS Fri 29-Jul-11 21:10:54

oblomov - whereabouts might I find details ? Part of our problem is that our term dates don't synchornise with LA so I most need childcare when there is only limited available

Oblomov Fri 29-Jul-11 22:12:58 any good, Lizs ?
have struggled to find link, but I think this works, for me. HTH.

Cleverything Fri 29-Jul-11 22:18:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

exoticfruits Fri 29-Jul-11 22:22:05

A lot depends on whether she wants to be left or not. An alternative is Cleverthing's idea. Lots of 6th formers or university students might like to earn some money and come around to your house.

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