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How old do they have to be?

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  • How old do they have to be?

    This question is sparked by Sandies post. I was wondering how old YOU as an individual think a child needs to be to be left alone for a couple hours a day.

    Personally, My daughter is turning 10 in another week and I find her to be VeRY responsible. I have taught her a lot and she is very independant. I have left her alone, and trust her in the house alone for up to two hours.

    Granted my mother lives a couple miles away and I ALWAYS have a telephone contact with her if she needs me. But I think her maturirty level is VERY high. Her brother on the other hand, I can trust alone for about a 20-30 minutes.

    We have the rules, of no answering phones unless its me.. (caller ID).... locking doors and all that j***.. She knows fire and emergency procedures and phone numbers and what our address is.

    But then again, I think that there are some kids that just cant be trusted alone. Hell, I remember at the age of nine I was making four course meals for my dad before he got home. I knew how to use the oven and stove and did it everyday. I even babysat at the age of 12. Little bitty babies.

    So I guess, I'm wondering what you think is appropriate. In Minnesota there is no LAW stating what is age appropriate, but rely on a parents reasonable discreation.

    In our county, children under 12 have a curfew of 9 p.m. and on fri & sat its 10 p.m.

    Of course I'd never let my kid stay out past dark, but I think they are quite responsible enough to be at home alone for a short period of time.
    Oh... Oh... I know you di-int!

  • #2
    My son was 10 when I left him alone one time because of work for 2 hours. I wasn't comfortable with longer and called him twice. I knew he'd be ok but I worried he would answer the door to someone even though I had told him not to. He did well. But he was 12 before I felt a little more confortable doing it.

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    • #3
      I don't think its miuch of an age but maturity. Some ten year olds are really mature, just like some 16 yrs old I wouldn't trust watching a pet rock!

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      • #4
        I think maturity is most important. My stepbrother lets his 11 yr old babysit for the other kids, aged 15, 13, and 6. The two older boys are dumb as bricks compared to the 11 y.o. who can handle crises and anything else that's thrown at him. The older two would probably burn the house down if left alone for more than 5 minutes.
        Don't take life too seriously- you'll never come out of it alive.

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