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Would you let your 10yo walk home and be home alone for nearly 2 hours on four afternoons a week?

(28 Posts)
WideWebWitch Wed 19-Sep-07 18:38:13

Ds has asked. He's 10 next month and a friend and his mother walk past our house so he would be walking home with them and then be home alone from about 4pm until 5.45pm when dh gets in.

He knows to lock the door behind him, he knows my mobile no and his dad's off by heart, he wouldn't be allowed to cook (other than toast) and he knows if there's an emergency to climb out of the downstairs window. He also knows not to answer the door or phone unless it's me calling.

I'm a bit torn about this. On the one hand it would be good for him to have some responsibility and he is going to secondary next year when he will probably walk alone, otoh eek. Is it too young? He's not a 'naughty' 10yo, i.e. I do think he'd probably just sit and watch telly, play but what do you all think?

TIA, all views welcome.

WideWebWitch Wed 19-Sep-07 18:50:54

Please, does anyone have an opinion?

foxinsocks Wed 19-Sep-07 18:53:27

I don't know. I haven't got a 10 year old so it's quite hard to think (iyswim).

Do you have a cleaner? ANy chance she could clean in that time period so someone else is there? (so that would cover 1 afternoon).

Is he quite mature? I think 10 going on 11 seems fine but 9 going on 10 seems a bit young.

southeatsastras Wed 19-Sep-07 18:53:55

if he's a sensible lad, i don't see why it would be a problem. it's not for very long.

my ds(13) used to walk home alone in year 6

SenoraPostrophe Wed 19-Sep-07 18:54:28

sounds ok to me. I don't have a 10 yr old though - that might be significant I syuppose.

DrNortherner Wed 19-Sep-07 18:54:34

Sorry www I do not have enough experience of 10 yr old boys to comment. However, a neaigbour of mine does similar with her 10 year old daughter, but she is alone till 7pm.

foxinsocks Wed 19-Sep-07 18:54:50

is there no after school club?

SauerKraut Wed 19-Sep-07 18:56:20

I would but only if he's completely happy with it. Mine likes the idea but when we've tried it he's been a bit nervous in the house on his own, and needed the cat for company!

Pannacotta Wed 19-Sep-07 19:01:04

Hard to say, my eldest DS is almost three so a very different age.
Instinct tells me no along the lines of what foxinsocks says. Can you get someone in to mind him, or ask friends if you offer help in return?

granarybeck Wed 19-Sep-07 19:02:31

Is he in yr 5 or 6 now?

It might seem quite a while four days a week when its for nearly two hours, especially when it gets dark earlier and he's on his own. My dcs are 9 (yr 5) and 10 (yr 6) so I can understand your dilemma, they are at such an in between age. We are having real difficulties with after school care and it does seem silly when they would probably be fine on their own. But for me, I think for longer than about half an hour I would worry too much at work, even though probably fine.

Maybe you could trial it and give your ds lots of chance to tell you if he actually likes the responsibility or whether the reality is less exciting!

Tinker Wed 19-Sep-07 19:12:47

Hmm, I do leave my 10 year old for max 1/2 hour sometimes if I have to nip out somewhere. But, have to say, No I wouldn't do this on a regualar basis like this. And I'm pretty relaxed about letting her play out, go into town etc on her own. I'm thinking about similar for next year when she's Year 7 but not yet. And I'd be home by 17:00

NannyL Wed 19-Sep-07 19:12:47

I was do9ng that when i wa 11 years old.
that was 15 years ago

i was actually getting a bus for a 10 mile journey, followed by a 10 mintue walk then being at home and cooking tea

NannyL Wed 19-Sep-07 19:13:08

when i was in year 7

Cammelia Wed 19-Sep-07 19:14:53

I think he will be lonely www.

princessmel Wed 19-Sep-07 19:18:40

The boy I look after does this on fridays. I have him the other 4 days. He's fine.

Not sure if he'd be lonely doing it 4 days though.

pointydog Wed 19-Sep-07 19:28:53

I think ok. Where does he go after school at the mo?

Marina Wed 19-Sep-07 19:32:23

Um, actually, www, I think four nights a week will be lonely, as Cammelia says. He sounds eminently sensible and trustworthy, and I agree with you that Year Six is all about preparing the ground for the likelihood of much more home time independence. This friend and his mum that he walks home with - any chance at all of an arrangement whereby he goes home with them for two of those nights?

Tinker Wed 19-Sep-07 19:34:33

Isn't he only just starting Year 5 though? I do think lonliness and being a bit frightened once the nights start drawing in might be issues.

Marina Wed 19-Sep-07 19:37:18

Dur, he is Yr 5 isn't he - but must be one of the oldest in the year wink. I hear anecdotally that this is a heavy year in terms of school work etc. Might he need company to get through the homework?

Tinker Wed 19-Sep-07 19:39:20

Not sure what lonliness is, sorry.

brimfull Wed 19-Sep-07 19:39:24

No problem with the safety of it but think he'd be lonely.

WideWebWitch Wed 19-Sep-07 19:44:38

Thank you everyone. He's reading this with me now and wanted to know what you all said.

He goes to after school club now, that's not an issue, he could still go, but asked me about this. I think it will be lonely and I think we should leave it a while but thanks for all your comments, much appreciated.

roisin Wed 19-Sep-07 19:49:47

DS1 is 10, and he wouldn't be happy with this arrangement for long; he'd be very lonely for that length of time on his own, and I obv wouldn't be happy for him to have friends round. But I can understand the desire to be at home with his things.

What does he do atm WWW?

grumpyfrumpy Wed 19-Sep-07 20:01:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

juuule Wed 19-Sep-07 20:04:58

No. He might get lonely after he's done it a while. Also, would there be anyone he could call on if something went wrong. What if other kids found out he was on his own? Also, with the making toast - our toaster burst into flames while one of mine was making toast. I was there but I don't think my 10yo would have known what to do if she'd been on her own.
You know your son, though. Just that I wouldn't feel comfortable to have left mine at 10yo.

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