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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?!

yummystepford Wed 19-Feb-14 10:04:00

Sounds fine, at 6 I would have been out on my bike all over the place and a lot (most) of us would have had a similar childhood so try and relax.

cory Wed 19-Feb-14 09:43:45

having said that, I had a knock on the door at 11.30 last night, just as I was going to bed (having both dh and ds at home to protect me I answered it, thinking it might be a neighbour who'd been taken poorly)

shifty looking old codger in a Royal Mail uniform wanted to know if his friend Daniel was there

I disclaimed any responsibility for Daniel and hinted that perhaps this was a little late to go looking for his mates in random houses

now what do you reckon, folks? alien or burglar? grin

MrsBodger Wed 19-Feb-14 09:37:21


Martorana Wed 19-Feb-14 09:31:50

"And come to think of it, I've been leaving the dog home alone since he was a tiny puppy and he's never opened the door to anyone . . ."

Really? Ours would open the door to the great train robbers for a Bonio........

MrsBodger Wed 19-Feb-14 09:22:55

That's ok Martorana. She does speak English, but it seems her understanding is a bit random.

Perhaps I should try showing her a dog biscuit while talking to her. The dog gets every word when I do that.

And come to think of it, I've been leaving the dog home alone since he was a tiny puppy and he's never opened the door to anyone . . .

Nocomet Wed 19-Feb-14 09:04:37


Nocomet Wed 19-Feb-14 09:04:18


Gileswithachainsaw Wed 19-Feb-14 08:56:25

Sounds fine to me. I'm sure my dd would be fine in that kind if set up and she's 7. And no I don't do it but I'm sure she's manage just fine if I did.

Martorana Wed 19-Feb-14 08:52:11

No, mad ax murderers never knock.

Aliens tend to, because they've studied Earth customs so they can blend in. Apart from the long thin ones that just slither in through the letter box......grin

Sorry, MrsBodger- I didn't know that your dd doesn't speak English- that does make things a bit different. Have you got a chain on the door?

baby0684 Wed 19-Feb-14 08:48:50

I have been thinking about this with my DD who is 8yo.
She plays out on the street with her friends. But its a cul de sac with about 50 houses on. She cannot go past the end of the green. I do keep checking where she is and what sh is doing. And if I cant see her, I worry.

We dont really live near school friends, one does live a 15 min walk away, and she would like to walk there herself. There is just 1 busy road, but with a pelican crossing. Same with closest shop.

I would like to nip to the shop in the eve when in bed. But i have a 2yo too. So maybe not!

MrsBodger Wed 19-Feb-14 07:35:32

Didn't realise about the mad ax murderer etiquette about knocking - thanks.

The thing about her answering the door to the postman was that I had told her not to answer the door. To anyone. And we often have different postmen, and I'm not sure she would have differentiated between a proper postman and a random delivery person, and if she thought it was ok to answer the door to someone she thought was the postman, who else might she think was ok?

So rather than going in for a long list of who is and is not ok, I preferred to stick to the 'just don't answer the door' thing.

But probably the OP's DS has a better understanding of basic English than my DD, so no worries.

joanofarchitrave Tue 18-Feb-14 19:50:07

Currently leaving our 10 year old for up to half an hour. He's allowed to answer anything if it's light outside.

bonjourno Tue 18-Feb-14 19:47:07

Thanks for your opinions everyone

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Tue 18-Feb-14 18:14:13

I was thinking safety but then it is highly unlikely the postman is going to burgle us blush.

LifeIsBetterInFlipFlops Tue 18-Feb-14 18:13:28

Yes fine for 9 year old.

No way for the 4 year old!!!

cory Tue 18-Feb-14 18:05:41

Toffee, I wouldn't feel bad at all

if your ds is at secondary school, surely his day involves making his own way to school, going shopping on his own, going out with his mates- all sorts of occasions when he'd be engaging with other adults without your watchful eye?

my ds is 13

he left early this morning (halfterm) to take his girlfriend out

I'd be pretty cross if he was too lazy to make his way to the front door and take a parcel in

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Tue 18-Feb-14 12:39:58

I nearly passed out that my 12 year old DS had answered the door to the postman and told him he was in alone. Feeling slightly better now it wasn't the huge deal I felt it was.

usuallyfoundinthefastlane Tue 18-Feb-14 12:24:01

I left my DS1 aged 9 for the first time the other day whilst I took DS2 to a club (out of the house max 15 mins). My main concern was if something happened to me and no one knew he was alone. I wrote down my mobile number and told him to only answer the landline if it was me calling (to say I was going to be late). If I wasn't home by an agreed time, he was to go to the neighbour (who we know and was definitely in). He was fine and I will start doing it more regularly.

uc Tue 18-Feb-14 12:22:57

Yes. My 9 year old goes to the shop with a little list for me sometimes. He also plays out with friends in the park, goes to call for friends.

Indith, I understand what you are saying. I used to leave DS, aged 5, watching TV while I went to meet other DS from a club after school, which is 100 yards away. It is nearer than the end of the garden.

I would also expect both of mine to answer the door to the postman to take in a parcel. I wouldn't expect them to answer the door to someone they had never seen before. They know this, and can understand the difference.

devilinside Tue 18-Feb-14 12:12:31

I do, although the local gossip commented when I allowed my sensible nearly 9 year old to go to the shop on her own

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


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.

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

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

Jesus. Words fail me

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.

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.

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