View Poll Results: What age did you leave your child home alone for 1 hour
9 years old 7 14.29%
10 years old 5 10.20%
11 years old 9 18.37%
12 years old 15 30.61%
13 or over 13 26.53%
Voters: 49. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-04-2008, 02:07 PM   #1
ctmax
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what age to leave child alone?
I was wondering at what age parents let their kids be home alone for 1 hour?
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Old 09-04-2008, 02:14 PM   #2
MMario
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I was BABYSITTING at the age of nine; daytime with adults available by phone.

By age 12 I was night-time babysitting.
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Old 09-04-2008, 02:41 PM   #3
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It depends on the area you're in and the child's maturity level among other things. I would never leave a child alone in some areas, but never think twice in others. A mature child can be left alone sooner than others too. It also depends on what they have access to. If there's obnoxious neighbor kids who will "taint" their experience, I'd be more cautious. If there's a friend near that can keep an eye on the house, I'd feel better too. I was left home alone at about 10 I think, but I had an older brother and sister and we had a ton of great neighbors so it was no big deal. I can't imagine leaving a 10-year-old home alone today!

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Old 09-04-2008, 02:41 PM   #4
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It really depends on the child's maturity level -- not knowing the child in question, I can't really give you an answer. I've had nanny families leave their 8 & 9 year olds alone while they ran a quick errand.

ETA: I agree with Kelly -- maturity level & area where they would be left. If a friend or neighbor was nearby "just-in-case".

You also want someone they can contact if for some reason you aren't home by the time you said & they aren't able to reach you -- ie you get in an accident.
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Old 09-04-2008, 02:52 PM   #5
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I said 12, but it the maturity level is most important. That being said I still wouldn't allow a mature 10 yr old to stay alone though.
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Old 09-04-2008, 03:12 PM   #6
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personally i dont think kids shoult be left alone at all. there could be a fire and at that young an age they dont know how to react usually
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Old 09-04-2008, 04:40 PM   #7
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I think the USA actually has a legal standard on this. I also think it has alot to do with their maturity and your complete trust of them. Mine were both very calm but kids are different, ya know?
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Old 09-04-2008, 05:10 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by mwhite View Post
I think the USA actually has a legal standard on this. I also think it has alot to do with their maturity and your complete trust of them. Mine were both very calm but kids are different, ya know?
Do you know what that standard is? I have always wondered if there was one or not. I would think it would vary state by state, and have tried looking it up but have never found the answer - even from police officers. As a single working mom I always wondered; however, my kids are 18 and 16 now so I the question is now moot

In any case, I said 12 because that was around the time I started trusting my kids to be alone for short periods of time. When my daughter was in 8th grade and my son in 7th I gave them both cell phones and it made me feel a lot better about running errands or such without them because I knew I had a secondary phone to try to reach them on in the annoying event that they didn't answer the land line (a problem I still have with my DS - I call the land line - no answer, call his cell and the conversation usually goes as follows: Me: "Where are you?"; DS: "Home"; Me: "Why didn't you answer the phone?"; DS: "I didn't hear it." ) I agree that maturity level is the real factor though. And I also agree with Jan that I still wouldn't leave a mature 10 year old home alone.
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Old 09-04-2008, 05:22 PM   #9
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It may vary from state to state but here in SC, I think it's 13. I know that a child of divorcing parents is allowed to decide which household he wants to live in at age 11 in SC. And still, that's actually up the judge in the long run. If there's a Dept. of Social Services in your state, they could tell you. Also, it's not going to cost you anything to contact via telephone an attorney that handles family cases. I voted 13 but with a 25 and a 30 year old, I honestly don't remember what age mine were.
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Old 09-05-2008, 03:44 AM   #10
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I think I was allowed to start walking home from school at about grade 6. I would pick up my little sis from her school and then we just had to phone in with mom to let her know we got home ok.

I agree though with most....it is all about how the child handles themselves!
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