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What age for child left alone?

20 replies

whiteroseredrose · 04/02/2024 10:01

I'm posting on AIBU because I want a range of opinions.

Dsis lives in a very small village with her 10 year old DD (Year 5). The DD is very sensible.

My other Dsis lives next door and great aunt lives the other side. Best friend and family live opposite.

Dsis walks her dog early in the morning around the village, there and back takes 20 minutes. She leaves her DD to carry on getting ready for school alone rather than drag her along.

Dsis has been told that this is irresponsible and illegal.

Do any mumsnetters agree with this being irresponsible or do we think it is OK?

About to go for a walk so will check back in a bit.

OP posts:
Mumoftwo1312 · 04/02/2024 10:04

It sounds fine to me - if she's got a problem she can ring one of the aunts, presumably they have the key. 20 minutes is no time

TeenDivided · 04/02/2024 10:06

Fine to me too.
Maybe not have the DD cooking at that time, but getting up, eating a cold breakfast, fine.
Provided the DD is happy that is.

Babymamamama · 04/02/2024 10:06

It’s fine as the child is sensible. Parental judgement is key. At their own risk.

Tessisme · 04/02/2024 10:11

It's fine. If the child is comfortable with it, which I assume she is, I would just ignore any comments.

DRS1970 · 04/02/2024 10:13

It certainly isn't illegal, and may be perfectly reasonable to do in this instance. If a child is deemed mature, and responsible enough to be left alone safely, then it is perfectly legal to do so. The age at which this happens will vary from child to child, and will also be dependent on the circumstances, location, etc... The responsibility for deciding if the child is responsible and mature enough is determined by the parents, guardians or carers.

tocontinue1 · 04/02/2024 10:15

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AhBiscuits · 04/02/2024 10:17

It's fine. Y5 are allowed to walk home from school alone at our school. They don't need constant supervision.

Littlegoth · 04/02/2024 10:19

I don’t see anything wrong with this (ex teacher) like other said as long as she’s not using the oven or looking after younger siblings- which she isn’t. Relatives are near by if needed. It’s a good age to start having a bit more independence.

clary · 04/02/2024 10:20

Yeah that's not illegal and as long as the DD is happy it's totally fine.

Small steps to independence are the key. This seems spot on.

idontlikealdi · 04/02/2024 10:21

It's not illegal. I think it's fine.

DDivaStar · 04/02/2024 10:27

My dd is 10 and is home alone for up to 1/2 hr twice a week until I get back from work. She is sensible and knows not to open the door or cook or anything. Just sit and watch TV. It has to ve a gradual introduction of responsibility.

SpringleDingle · 04/02/2024 10:31

Seems fine to me, kid can just pop next door if she needs anything. We live similarly close to family in our village and the kids are able to pop in and out of relatives homes with little supervision.

ASimpleLampoon · 04/02/2024 10:31

Neither irresponsible or illegal. If the child is OK with it , no disability \special needs that affects the situation then it's fine to leave her for short amounts of time.

blackpanth · 04/02/2024 10:34

That's perfectly fine

whiteroseredrose · 04/02/2024 11:51

Thank you to everyone. I said that I thought it was fine too.

It was her brother in law next door who is a teacher that said it. But they are very protective of their daughter who is the same age.

OP posts:
Containerhome · 04/02/2024 11:54

It's good practice for when they start secondary school. I have always done this starting year 5. Half way through year 5 u let them walk to and from school too. In year 7 my eldest will have to walk 45 minutes each way. So we plan to start letting him have a bit more freedom. He's allowed to walk to a friend's house who isn't far. But we will need to up our game a bit otherwise it will be a huge shock

whiteroseredrose · 04/02/2024 12:22

@Containerhome we did the same but we live in the suburbs. Walking to school with friends in the summer of Year 5.

OP posts:
DinnaeFashYersel · 04/02/2024 12:34

There's no law in this. You need your make your best judgement based on your child and the circumstances.

In the circumstances you are describing with all those relatives nearby it sounds completely reasonable.

In our case we were comfortable leaving ours for short periods at about age 8 (15 mins) and building it up from there.

We will leave our 11 yo for up to 2 hours.

GlitteryUnicornSparkles · 04/02/2024 13:15

My son was getting himself to school and letting himself in after school at this age until I was home around an hour later. Its fine, certainly not illegal.

tocontinue1 · 04/02/2024 16:08

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