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Sensible 9 year old in the house on their own for ten minutes

(45 Posts)
bonjourno Tue 18-Feb-14 09:04:03

Would this be reckless or overcautious?! We live in a small village but have neighbours either side and are about 100 yeards away from the shop, who know DS. I often pop to the shop for milk while he is in the house on his own (or send him). It is three doors down with no roads to cross. He is deparate for me to leave him for ten minutes or so while I give the dogs a quick run after work/after school club, in the playing field at the end of our road. He is drilled on not to anwer phone and door, what to do if something catches fire, and has practised ringing my mobile from the landline. All he would do is play on minecraft, so would not be trying to cook stuff or anything. He is 9 and a reasonably sensible only child. If I try this will someone report me to SS?!

uberalice Tue 18-Feb-14 09:05:32

Sounds OK to me.

bonjourno Tue 18-Feb-14 09:07:44

It would only be in daylight as well, he doesn't want me to do it in the evening when it is dark.

NoIamAngelaHernandez Tue 18-Feb-14 09:12:00

Sounds fine to me too.

wonkylegs Tue 18-Feb-14 09:13:18

Fine with me.

drivenfromdistraction Tue 18-Feb-14 09:21:58

I think that's fine. You've got to start sometime, and this sort of small, phased increase in independence is important.

He needs to know what to do if you didn't come back (in, say, half an hour) too.

MrsBodger Tue 18-Feb-14 09:26:06

Yes, but maybe just make extra sure he understands the rules.

I came home to find 'sensible' DD2 (age 11? 12?) had answered the door to the postman. 'But if I hadn't answered the door he wouldn't have been able to deliver the parcel . . .'

Good grief.

Katisha Tue 18-Feb-14 09:26:11

If he's on minecraft he will hardly realise you've gone! Anyway yes, I would say its fine.

teenagetantrums Tue 18-Feb-14 09:27:59

Yes its fine, i did the same, i was more worried about what would happen if i was knocked over by a car and didnt come home, than what the kids would be up to, make sure he knows what to do if you dont come home.

NickNacks Tue 18-Feb-14 09:32:31

I think the biggest gauge of 'is this ok?' Is if the child themselves is ok and happy with it.

We started leaving our ds1 at 9.

Indith Tue 18-Feb-14 09:39:11

I've been leaving my 5 year old for 5/10 mins while I take her brother to Beavers since she was 4. Similar set up, small village, kids all used to playing out on their own anyway, village hall where Beavers is within spitting distance and just over our side street not the main road (which the children know they are not allowed to cross themselves).

muminthecity Tue 18-Feb-14 09:43:47

Sounds fine to me. I leave my 8 year old for longer than 10 minutes sometimes, and we don't live in a village, we are in London!

bonjourno Tue 18-Feb-14 09:48:19

Brilliant, thank you everyone. I was talking about it to a GP at work and she was incredibly sniffy about, and I wondered if I had got it wrong! DS is really keen for me to do it, I wouldnt do it otherwise.

Martorana Tue 18-Feb-14 09:48:33

Yes of course. And a 12 year old should answer the door to the postman too, for heaven's sake. Mad ax murderers don 't usually knock!

ThreeBeeOneGee Tue 18-Feb-14 09:51:37

This sounds OK to me, especially as you have prepared him and explained what to do in various scenarios.

AtiaoftheJulii Tue 18-Feb-14 09:56:32

That's pretty much when and how I started leaving mine. It's a short enough time that if you were worried you could not necessarily talk on the phone the whole time, but you could keep an open phone line so you could hear what was going on! I haven't done that though.

Indith Tue 18-Feb-14 09:58:45

Mine are currently 7, 5 and 23 months. They have answered the door to the postman plenty of times! I'll come out of the shower or something and find that they have taken in a parcel grin.

Biscuitsneeded Tue 18-Feb-14 10:01:16

Yes, fine. I leave my 8 year-old while his brother and I cycle to beavers and back - about 20 mins. He's quiet happy, and if I leave him on minecraft he hasn't even moved a muscle when I get back!

tess73 Tue 18-Feb-14 10:04:05

I leave dd1 at home for short periods (max 15 mins). She is nearly 10.
She has to be upstairs.
She has the phone and knows not to answer the door or even go downstairs if the door goes.
I think it is ok. She is sensible. I mean next year she'll be getting the train to school without me. Has to start getting some independence/responsibility .

Dwerf Tue 18-Feb-14 10:05:07

I'd do it, happily leave my ten year old for ten or fifteen minutes, the twelve year old I left for the first time for a couple of hours last week. She was fine watching minecraft vids (mobiles written down, non-resident dad aware she was in on her own, door locked but she has a set of keys)

dobedobedo Tue 18-Feb-14 10:28:15

Totally fine if your child can be trusted. Ds is 9 and I leave him on his own occasionally. He has to reply to every text I send him immediately, he's only allowed to leave the room he's in for the bathroom and he isn't allowed to eat anything. That last one is probably just me being neurotic, but I'd be afraid of him choking if I wasn't there! Also obviously he isn't allowed to answer the door or phone.

exexpat Tue 18-Feb-14 10:30:33

Absolutely fine. Within a couple of years he will be expected to be out on his own to get to and from school (well, in most places anyway) so 9 is certainly not too early to start learning a bit of independence and responsibility.

Redtartanshoes Tue 18-Feb-14 10:36:53

You have left a 4 year old???!!! Seriously???!!!

Jesus. Words fail me

Indith Tue 18-Feb-14 11:08:51


Because it works for us and I am happy to do so with my child and in my circumstances taking into consideration the journey I take (a 30 second walk. Honestly, 30 seconds away), the area I live in and the potential risks. The set up is similar to the OP's which is why I mention it. I would not say "oh it is fine I leave my 4 year old" to an OP asking if it ok to leave a child at home for half an hour in an urban area while they went out in the car because that would involve completely different risks.

NigellasDealer Tue 18-Feb-14 11:09:35


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