My feed

to access all these features

Parenting a preteen can be a minefield. Find support here.


At what age would you leave children at home?

56 replies

Andacherryonthetop · 03/02/2022 14:16

I have a 9 year old and 6 year old so I know not yet. My issue is I want to exercise more and go running which is difficult with mine and OH work patterns. I was wondering at what age you would leave 2 children with a 3 year age gap to go for a half hour run at 6am when they’re asleep. I was thinking maybe when they’re 12 and 9? I currently leave the 9year old if I nip to the shop for 15 min so I’m thinking when the little one is 9 and her big brother is 12, this might be ok?

OP posts:
Aroundtheworldin80moves · 03/02/2022 14:18

Depends on the kids. My 10yo would be fine with that. She often stays at home for 30 mins or so. My 8, nearly 9yo stays with her sister for 10 mins or so, but would get worried waking up with no adult at home.
10yo doesn't like being left after dark.

FoofOfTheWalkingDead · 28/02/2022 21:02

We are having this debate in our house. DS is 11. DH thinks we are neglectful, bad parents if we leave him at home for any amount of time. I think he's old enough to be left for a few hours during the day. What do other people do?

Hollyhead · 28/02/2022 21:04

I’ve been leaving my 10 year old at home since he was 9, for up to 30 mins. Don’t know at what point I would leave my other DC who’s 6 with him though - not yet though!

sunlovingcriminal · 28/02/2022 21:06

Ds is 12. Sometimes is 1-2 hrs by himself. He walks to and from school and has a key. Responsible and mature lad. Knows neighbours and has mobile phone in case of emergencies

Hollyhead · 28/02/2022 21:07

@FoofOfTheWalkingDead I think you have to ask your DH if an 11 year old can’t be left for 30 mins when does he envisage it won’t be neglectful? Most 11 year olds go into town on their own don’t they so surely they’d be ok to stay at home for a short stretch.

Comedycook · 28/02/2022 21:08

Mine are 11 and 13. I leave the eldest for an hour or so max. Never left my youngest. She's quite young for her age. I wouldn't leave them together as they bicker constantly.

septemberismyfavouritemonth · 28/02/2022 21:15

Just started leaving my 10 year old for an hour at a time during the day, he just spends the whole time on Xbox and doesn't move!!!

rainbowandglitter · 28/02/2022 21:15

I leave my 12 yo for about an hour.

Notmuchever · 28/02/2022 21:17

My 12 year old is quite independent but I don't think he'd like being alone/knowing he'd be alone before he wakes up. Younger child definitely wouldn't. I think the alone in the daytime is different to night/early morning.

Peaches55 · 28/02/2022 21:18

I think by law still there are no age restrictions. Depending on how grown up & responsible the child is so I was informed it is therefore up to the parent/s to decide. Though if a parent deemed a 5 year old safe to be left there would be questions!

DistrictCommissioner · 28/02/2022 21:24

It depends so much on the child & the relationships.

my kids are 13, 10 and 6 & I have occasionally left them at home when I’ve had to walk the dog quickly in the peeing rain, or similar situation. If the telly is on they are fine!

TinaYouFatLard · 28/02/2022 21:28

We’ve just started leaving our 11 year old with our 13 year old. Only for short periods though.

MaizeAmaze · 28/02/2022 21:38

My 12 yr old has happily let himself in from school since starting secondary. He will happily spend a couple of hours alone, and gas done the odd 9-4 day.
My 10 yr old will spend time at home alone or with his brother, but never for more than an hour so far. I'm not sure he'd like to wake up to an empty house. Would you be likely to be home before they wake? Could you go after school/work, so see them as you set off and return?
Would the youngest come with you on a bike or scooter?

FoofOfTheWalkingDead · 28/02/2022 21:40

I would only leave him for and hour or so at most and only during waking hours. He is quite mature and trustworthy so I have no qualms. I wouldn't leave him if we were going on a night out, not until he's a bit older.

sunshineandshowers40 · 28/02/2022 21:45

Mine are 13, 12 and 9 and I leave them at home while I go for a run (30-40 mins). I haven't left my 9 year old at home by themselves yet and probably wouldn't until they were in Y6 (maybe Y5). Mine are happy to be left. Older two have phone and I usually tell them my planned route. I use to ring halfway through my run to check they were ok.

sunshineandshowers40 · 28/02/2022 21:46

I don't leave mine when they are asleep, I don't think they would like that. But they happily wave me off as they stare at a screen.

Ducksurprise · 28/02/2022 21:48

Imo there is a massive difference between leaving them alone asleep and alone awake.

OutlookStalking · 28/02/2022 21:48

We dont leave ours in the dark and I wouldn't leave them while they're sleeping to wake to an empty house.

10 and 13 together we'd do 30mins or so. 13 on her own an hour but she does get stressed even with that. I wouldn't leave 10 year old on own at home at all.

Whelmed · 28/02/2022 21:50

I've left my 8 year old at home for short periods of time. 9 and 12 should be fine but you know your DC best

SheWoreYellow · 28/02/2022 21:52

Depends how they get on.

We (and other parents round here) seem to start leaving them at about 10 while they drop a child off at an activity, so for about 20 minutes.

I leave my 11 and 13 year old together for an hour or two (or on their own). I can’t imagine being able to leave the 9 yr old with the 11 yr old though, because they fight.

yikesanotherbooboo · 28/02/2022 21:52

I would leave a 10 year old and possibly a 9 year old if they were sensible and were happy to be left.It might be harder to leave two DC than just one. An 11 yo can't care for a 9 yo and there is possibly the risk of disagreements.

Howeverdoyouneedme · 28/02/2022 21:53

I’ve left my 7 and 8 year old alone for 20 minutes.

It depends on the child.

NeedAHoliday2021 · 28/02/2022 21:55

We started for 30 minutes age 9. I’m much happier now they’re 14 and 10.

Saffy321 · 28/02/2022 21:57

My year 6 11 year old for 10 minutes very occasionally - she can't get into to much mischief in ten minutes right? As for leaving her 6 year old brother with her Hmm I can see that ending up in tears, but it depends on the kids, thankfully I don't have the sensible kind Wink

Cotswoldmama · 28/02/2022 21:58

My kids are the same age as yours. I'd trust my eldest alone for about an hour but not with his brother! In fact i'd trust my youngest alone for about an hour but I wouldn't leave him at the age he is. It's trusting them together! I think like you said probably when they're 9 and 12 maybe at 8 and 11.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.