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? Melissa
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?
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.
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 people. 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.
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 ?
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...
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.