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To leave DD with no adult supervision after school

112 replies

redskybynight · 31/07/2015 12:28

Hypothetical situation at the moment but may arise in the future due to job changes.

Would you feel happy to leave a sensible 9 year old DC for up to 1.5 hours after school on one day a week? She would also be walking or cycling home by herself/with friends (though the journey home alone is by itself not an issue as she would be doing this on other days as well).

Potentially her 11 year old brother would also be there (and could meet her en-route home if needed).

One parent works 15 minutes walk away (so no delays in getting home and close at hand). DC knows various neighbours she could go to in case of real emergencies.

Feel like 9 is just the "wrong" age - a couple of years younger and we wouldn't consider it, and a couple of years older and we wouldn't worry at all!

OP posts:

GobblersKnob · 31/07/2015 12:29

No sorry, I think 9 is too young and while I think 11 is okay to be left home alone I think it is too young to supervise.


jellybeans · 31/07/2015 12:30

No I wouldn't. 11-13 earliest depending on the child.


TheRealAmyLee · 31/07/2015 12:31

I wouldn't at 9 personally regardless. I would do proper after school care for any kid of primary age. Once secondary age it would depend on the child/age/length of time/how often.

If it's only 1 day a week see if you can stick her in an after school club. Ours is flexible and many parents use it on an adhoc basis (including a friend who does 1-3 days a week on a random basis due to shifts)


jellybeans · 31/07/2015 12:31

Is there an after school club?


Nanny0gg · 31/07/2015 12:32


And how lonely for a 9 year-old to come home to an empty house.


Eva50 · 31/07/2015 12:33

No. Ds3 is 9 and I wouldn't leave him home alone for 10 minutes.


sticklebrickstickle · 31/07/2015 12:33

Think it would be fine if your DS is also there but think too young to be going home on her own to an empty house.


TheHouseOnBellSt · 31/07/2015 12:34

It's too young. My DD has just turned 11 and I do it now and then but it still feels a bit too young.


WorraLiberty · 31/07/2015 12:34

No, I consider myself quite a laid back parent but I think 9 is too young.


vestandknickers · 31/07/2015 12:36

No. Too young and, as others have said, how lonely for such a young child.


Moresmores · 31/07/2015 12:36

Absolutely not at primary school age


The5DayChicken · 31/07/2015 12:36

Definitely not, and I don't think 11 is old enough to keep an eye on her either.


googoodolly · 31/07/2015 12:37

I think each on their own is okay, but I wouldn't leave an 11 and a 9 year old together incase they fought and someone got hurt.


Imnotaslimjim · 31/07/2015 12:39

I have a "sensible" 9yo and I wouldn't consider it at all. 15 minutes maybe but 1.5 hours is far too ling


DragonsCanHop · 31/07/2015 12:40

No, 9 is too young and I think 11 is also too young to be given the responsibility to be responsible for a 9 year old.


Lurkedforever1 · 31/07/2015 12:41

Its not the leaving alone, it's the letting themselves in at that age that would worry me. When dd was 9 I'd sometimes leave her for an hour in daylight, not through necessity just an exercise in responsibility because she loved the grown up feeling. But once she was already in, and I knew the neighbours were in, electricity or water wasn't off, there wasn't a break in or burglar to disturb, lost key or any other rare but possible event to deal with.
Forgetting how mature etc they are, I think for any child there is a massive leap in how responsible they are between turning 9 yesterday and almost 10 which would also affect my decision. Not to mention the huge leap between turning 10 to reaching 11.


Goldmandra · 31/07/2015 12:43

It would probably be fine when everything was going to plan but 9YOs aren't old enough to manage crises.

I would arrange for her to go to a childminder for that time or, at least, have a more formal arrangement with a neighbour that she checks in with them on arrival home and has a definite, reliable adult presence, albeit in a nearby house, to call on if something goes awry.


rookiemere · 31/07/2015 12:43

I agree - it's a tricky age, DS is 9 and I wouldn't do it.


insanityscatching · 31/07/2015 12:43

No, not at 9, she'd need to let herself in and so be responsible for the key as well. An 11 year old alone would be fine but is too young t be responsible for anyone other than themselves IMO.


redskybynight · 31/07/2015 12:59

She would be nearer to 10 rather than just turned 9.

She is used to having her own key and letting herself in (she sometimes comes home with neighbours and although DH is in the house he tends to be welded to "important business calls" and can't always open the door to her). So that aspect of it is not a problem!!

OP posts:

TheHouseOnBellSt · 31/07/2015 13:01

Even at almost ten it's too young. It's something which needs to be built up to. First comes a little jaunt alone to the playground...then a trip to the shops...then maybe half an hour in the house alone.

If something happened such as a stranger calling or a fire, she'd be too young to make the right choices.


Yarp · 31/07/2015 13:03

I would not have a problem with the situation you describe.


DocHollywood · 31/07/2015 13:05

I will go against the grain and say I would do it. One day a week is ok but I would insist on a phone call once she was home. Alternatively could she go to a friends house and you reciprocate on another day?


redskybynight · 31/07/2015 13:06

She already walks round to the shops (5 minutes) and has been left alone for up to half an hour or so (though now I think about it, she generally has her brother with her). It's whether the jump from that is too much ...

OP posts:

DocHollywood · 31/07/2015 13:07

There are obvious rules. No answering the door or phone unless sure who it is. And no cooking, having a bath, using electrical appliances apart from tv etc.

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