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What age to leave 13 year old in the evening

(21 Posts)
GnomeDePlume Wed 21-Sep-11 08:13:28

Looking for some quick advice/views here please.

We have a 6th for evening to go to with DD1. DH & I would both like to go with her (new school). This will mean leaving younger two DCs (age 13 & 11) to fend for themselves until 9.30pm. Both are sensible.

Would this be reasonable or not?

ForYourDreamsAreChina Wed 21-Sep-11 08:16:12

If you read the thread about having a bath you will realise that you mustn't leave any offspring on their own, no not ever, until they are about 45.

At 13 I was babysitting a 2 yr old up the street while his Mum worked in the evening, but I s'pose it depends on the maturity of the 13/11 yr olds. I'd be OK with it though.

Pagwatch Wed 21-Sep-11 08:16:38

I love your thread title. grin

(yes. I would leave a 13 year old probably at ...err...age 13. They will be fine. They can call if there is a problem)

Ingles2 Wed 21-Sep-11 08:20:07

How long would they be alone for? Are they likely to fight? Get up to trouble?

cory Wed 21-Sep-11 08:23:35

Yes, it's the kind of thing I would do. Starting at 13 for a 13yo as suggested by Pag wink

GnomeDePlume Wed 21-Sep-11 08:31:43

Thanks Pagwatch, you are right! I'm only halfway down my first cup of tea so not really on top form yet!

The DCs are fine, they dont fight, play with matches etc. We would be a 20 minute drive away in case of trouble and home by 9.30. My real worry is that if someone realised they were on their own would we get back to find the house surrounded by social services, police officers, NSPCC etc etc.

We could ask GPs if they would come over but TBH that just increases the risks. They are lovely but late 70s and starting to falter a bit so it would be a question of whether we had asked the GPs to look after the DCs or DCs to look after GPs.

GnomeDePlume Wed 21-Sep-11 08:34:42

Not I hasten to add that there is any problem with social services, police officers, NSPCC, I'm sure they are all lovely but I'm not sure I want the complications...

LaurieFairyCake Wed 21-Sep-11 08:37:46

I'm not sure it's old enough - to leave a 13 year old in charge of an 11 year old.

Pagwatch Wed 21-Sep-11 08:43:49

I let my son look after his siblings for short periods of time at that age. He was very sensible, would phone if he was not sure about something and was generally very responsible.

The only other precaution I used the first few times was to tell my friend who lived in town with us so in an emergency he had someone very close to call. Which of course he never needed.

Ultimately it depends on your dc and whether they will eat a bowl of popcorn and watch a film or try the wine rack and see if they can move the tv into the bathroom.

bigTillyMint Wed 21-Sep-11 08:51:49

I would do that.

I guess you have already left either / both for shorter periods of time without any problems? Then you know that it is very unlikely that they will do something silly, etc.

SS, etc would only possibly get involved if there was a really bad accident or something that caused them to know that they had been left unattended, and that's pretty unlikely.

Maryz Wed 21-Sep-11 08:52:59

Yes absolutely fine, unless (and I am very serious about this) one of them is a pyromaniac or your next door neighbour is an axe-murderer. Barring these possibilities, they'll be fine.

In fact I have left dd and ds2 alone since they were 11 and 9 (in daylight) and at night from not much older, if I was home before their bedtime. Now I will leave ds2 (13) alone to go out in the evenings provided I'm not drinking, am not too far away, and won't be after midnight.

Ironically I couldn't leave them unless (2 years older) was out hmm due to the teenage friends/drinks cabinet scenario.

I do cover my arse in case of traffic accidents by telling someone that I will text when I'm home and if they don't hear from me by a certain time to send out the search parties.

lubeybooby Wed 21-Sep-11 08:54:59

It will be fine long as you trust them both

lubeybooby Wed 21-Sep-11 08:55:17

or rather should say... long as they are trustworthy....

bonkers20 Wed 21-Sep-11 09:01:09

As long as they won't murder each other then I would be happy doing this.

Almanzo Wed 21-Sep-11 09:03:14

I leave my 12 year old for up to an hour with one of my 9 yr old twins if I'm taking the other twin somewhere. Wouldn't leave both twins as they fight. You know your children.
I agree about the slightly older thing. i.e. If the 12 yr old was 14 she might be rather more likely to do stupid stuff!

GnomeDePlume Wed 21-Sep-11 09:28:21

Thanks all for the thoughts. We do trust them, they are both sensible so it wouldnt really be a case of leaving the 13 year old in charge of the 11 year old but leaving them in charge of each other. Both have done first aid courses. Neither have shown pyromaniac tendancies so far. They are both far more likely to sit and watch a film than raid the wine rack.

aliportico Wed 21-Sep-11 13:11:59

Yes, if you've left them before, then they should be fine. It feels different in the evening though, doesn't it? The first time we left our lot on a Saturday night just to go out and enjoy ourselves (to a book reading for an hour!) it felt quite odd, although we'd happily been leaving them on a Saturday afternoon whilst we went shopping!

GnomeDePlume Wed 21-Sep-11 13:20:04

aliportico - you've hit it, the evening does feel different. We have left them in the day quite happily. It's a 6th form open evening for DD1 so the times are fixed.

muffinmonster Fri 23-Sep-11 18:34:18

Last year for the first time we left DCs (then 13 and 10) alone in the evening for a couple of hours, and we let our next-door neighbours know (we are on good terms with them) and told DCs to go to them if there was any problem. Like you, we felt the DCs would be fine and had done it before in the daytime, but it does seem different when they're going to be on their own after dark.

madmomma Wed 05-Oct-11 14:00:28

I happily leave my 13 yold, and I think if she had an 11 yr old sibling I'd be fine with leaving her in charge.

meditrina Wed 05-Oct-11 14:04:19

I work on the general principle that if I'd leave the younger one under those circumstances, then I'd leave two (unless you know you have a pair who egg each other on!)

As you have friendly neighbours, then I think this is OK.

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