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To leave my DD1 (aged 8, year 4, while I chauffeur DD2 to Rainbows?

318 replies

Mittens1969 · 16/10/2017 23:43

A bit of background. I take both DDs in the car when it’s time for DD2 (5) to go to Rainbows. DD1 has said a few times that she’d like to stay at home whilst I take DD2 in the car. WIBU to leave her at home? I’m out of the house for 15/20 minutes at the most.

I haven’t done it yet, but I’m wondering if she’s old enough to be left at home alone if she hasn’t finished her tea or is watching a TV programme that she doesn’t want to miss?

I suppose it’s more of a WWYD, for those of you who have a child of a similar age?

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DropZoneOne · 16/10/2017 23:51

I started leaving my DD for short times like that this year, once she'd turned 9 which was about half way through year 4. It's all part of building her independence, preparing her for when she starts secondary school.

Our mobile numbers are written where she can see them, she knows to go to a neighbours if she's worried, not to answer the door or the phone. The first time I went out, she rang me 3 times in 20 minutes to check where I was but now she barely glances up from the TV!

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RB68 · 16/10/2017 23:55

8 I think is a bit young if you are a car drive away. If you are walking to neighbours or corner shop no roads for 15 min its fine (She can come and get you) but not a drive away - think my DD was 10 before I did a drive trip with her home alone

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Migraleve · 16/10/2017 23:56

No way. At 8 years old you tab along. Non negotiable here I’m afraid.

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mrsplum2015 · 17/10/2017 00:02

It depends if there is a neighbour in who you know you can rely on.

15 to 20 mins sounds like you are a reasonable distance away if you needed to get back quickly.

8 is a bit young.

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Rescuepuppydaft2 · 17/10/2017 00:09

I wouldn't leave my eight year old daughter alone for that long. What if you had a car accident on the way there/ back. Or if a fire were to start at home? I have an acquaintance who ended up in trouble with social services when she left her ten year old at home whilst she took her partner to work. She got delayed by traffic and came home to fire engines and ambulances outside the block of flats where they live. The flat upstairs had gone on fire and her dd was terrified and didn't know what to do.

She never for a minute expected that to happen, I'm sure she could have been fine 99 out of a hundred times. But its not worth it for that one possible time!

Can you not download an episode of her favourite series/ movie onto a tablet/ phone to keep her occupied while she is in the car?

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ludothedog · 17/10/2017 00:19

yes I would and I do (leave my 8 year old for short periods of time), as long as she knows the rules.

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Butterymuffin · 17/10/2017 00:22

If you had to in an emergency, yes, but as a routine weekly thing, no. TV programmes can be recorded to finish watching later, tea can be put in the microwave. How about you get her a weekly comic or magazine she'd like and she gets that to read in the car?

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CommanderDaisy · 17/10/2017 00:33

Eight is bit young.
I'm still not leaving my 11-year-old at home alone, as he's a tree climbing, bike riding, arrow shooting, disregarder of personal safety and a snake magnet and I couldn't rely on him to either listen to his older brother or stay inside.
My very sensible older son has been left on his own since he turned 12, but only or an hour then. Now he is 14, I can leave him during the day, but take his brother with me.
At his request though, the older one doesn't like being left alone at night - so we still get the odd kid-sitter.

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AcrossthePond55 · 17/10/2017 00:35

Not if I'm going anywhere where the house would be out of my sight. Pop next door to borrow or return something, sure. But not to drive or walk out of sight.

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AnnieAnoniMouse · 17/10/2017 00:41

Some I would, some I wouldn't. Even the ones I 'would', would depend on the situation (location, neighbours, time of day etc).

You know your DD, neighbourhood etc.

Just remind her what to do in a fire etc even if she causes it. The thing that causes more problems is when they're scared they'll be in trouble, then they act to cover up, rather than do what's safest/best.

I'm betting she'll not have moved a muscle if she has a screen of some kind 😊

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RaspberryRuffless · 17/10/2017 01:33

I wouldn’t leave an 8 year old. Definitely wouldn’t leave her eating her tea either, but then I have a ridiculous fear of my child choking so that may be why.

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Pennywhistle · 17/10/2017 01:37

I wouldn’t leave an 8 yo personally.

I have extremely sensible 9 yos and wouldn’t leave them for a 20 minute evening drive.

At 11 ish yes. Not at 8.

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LaughingElliot · 17/10/2017 01:54

Lots of people do but I wouldn’t. What if your car broke down or even if you were in bad traffic or a minor accident? You could be away much longer than the 15mins.
What if there was a fire? This actually happened to my sister who’d almost left the baby asleep while she collected her 3yo from a neighbour. Fortunately she took baby as the house went up in flames (mouse chewed through a cable) in the minutes she was gone.

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Lofari · 17/10/2017 01:58

No. Not at 8. Far too young

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oldlaundbooth · 17/10/2017 02:04

Depending on the kid really.

I don't think I would though... They're still little really.

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Aquamarine1029 · 17/10/2017 03:41

Not a chance. Eight is far too young.

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FaFoutis · 17/10/2017 04:27

I think 8 is too young. I started leaving my sons for a short time about age 11, my dd is 8 and comes with me.

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Flossy1978 · 17/10/2017 04:54

I would and did. My child was fine. Loved being without Mum around. Doors were locked. Safe area. He knew the rules.

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Mittens1969 · 17/10/2017 07:31

Thanks for all your answers. I do feel that 8 years old is too young and I certainly haven’t done it yet. It will certainly make my life easier when I can though!! Grin

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Brittbugs80 · 17/10/2017 07:37

Is it a 15/20 minute journey there and back and including the drop off or 15/20 there, drop off then 15/20 back?

I wouldn't leave my 9 year old but then he has a friend at school who gets left and has done since he was 8, while Mom collects his younger brother from nursery. She sticks him on the Xbox as she knows he won't move from that till she gets back but to me, if you can't trust them in the whole of the house, then you shouldn't really be leaving them alone in there.

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Middleoftheroad · 17/10/2017 07:38

Not at 8. I still only just started leaving my 11 year olds briefly.

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speakout · 17/10/2017 07:39

I wouldn't.

For all the reasons above.

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2014newme · 17/10/2017 07:40

I wanted to do similar with my 9 year old but a police friend said that if anything went wrong it would be 'frowned upon' so I've continued to take her with me.

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WombOfOnesOwn · 17/10/2017 07:41

My goodness, no wonder kids are so late to establish independence now. Yes, I would, even for an "average" child of no particular wise-beyond-years maturity. If you let anxiety about what will happen if this is the specific 20 minutes your neighbor's flat burns control your life and theirs, they'll grow up afraid of their own shadows.

Teach your child basic risk assessment, make sure they won't open the door to strangers (can help to have a fake "stranger" you know well, like a coworker, come over while you watch from the street to see if the child passes the test!), and knows basic fire safety precautions and has a way to contact you. Done.

Being concerned to the point of not allowing your child time on his/her own because of one-in-a-million chances doesn't create a safe environment, it creates a stifling one. All these parents who would NEVER do such a thing, I hope you enjoy your 30 year old children still living at home.

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Scribblegirl · 17/10/2017 07:43

This was how I was first left at home alone, when mum was taking my sister to Brownies (I'd just gone up to Guides and was 9, nearly 10). It was great for me - a regular slot but only 20 mins and I knew that if mum wasn't home by X time i should call grandparents who lived around the corner.

8 does seem young to me but by 9 I don't think I'd necessarily have an issue.

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