View Poll Results: When can kids stay at home alone? (you can choose multiple options for an age range)

Voters
14. You may not vote on this poll
  • 6 or under (please elaborate)

    0 0%
  • 7

    2 14.29%
  • 8

    2 14.29%
  • 9

    2 14.29%
  • 10

    2 14.29%
  • 11

    1 7.14%
  • 12

    5 35.71%
  • 13

    1 7.14%
  • 14

    1 7.14%
  • 15 or over (please elaborate)

    1 7.14%
  • don't know/no opinion/don't care

    2 14.29%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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Thread: At what age should kids* be allowed to stay home alone?

  1. #1
    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    At what age should kids* be allowed to stay home alone?

    Also (in addition to the title question and poll), what caveats would you give it?

    *This assumes an "average" child of "normal" development and reasonably maturity/responsibility for their age.
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

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    Reads a lot Amadi's Avatar
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    Re: At what age should kids* be allowed to stay home alone?

    My parents both worked late so I stayed at an after school club for a period, by 9 years I was going home alone & was perfectly fine.
    If you're talking about for a full day, 10 is probably fine.
    If you're talking about night or multiple days probably at a far later age.
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  3. #3
    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: At what age should kids* be allowed to stay home alone?

    I'll admit that I'm an advocate of starting small and building up. My kids started "staying home alone" around 5-6 for 10-15 minutes where Hubby or I would literally be outside the apartment building, and they would practice calling up on the phone. At 9 and 7, they are home alone for 20 minutes before they leave for the bus and for about 40 minutes after school, in which they do their homework together, have a snack, clean the litter boxes, and get ready for their after school activities. They also stay at home on school holidays that are not work holidays, but not over summer vacation (probably by next summer they can, or the summer after)...more because I don't want them inside playing video games for two months than because I think they can't be trusted alone (by the summer after next, they will both be old enough to go to the pool without a grown-up, and hopefully have enough manners to manage the library and fishing on the waterfront).

    ETA: I stayed home alone all day, including summer vacation, by 9. I started staying home for an hour or so around 6/7 while my mom grocery shopped. And unlike my kids, I could go to friends houses and to the city pool and to the library, as long as it was with someone and I checked in and out with the neighbor. And did my chores first.

    ETA2: I don't think any child should just BAM! start staying at home alone. It should be a progression that determines their capacity and responsibility. And the parent should be able to decide based on their own children. If you cosset and baby your kids, maybe that age is 14 (in some states, 14 is actually the legal age to allow a child to be home alone)--personally, how on earth anyone thinks a kid should go from *can't be trusted for 5 minutes alone* to *legally an adult, get the heck out* in 4 years is reasonable, is beyond me...but its a thing. But if you raise your kids with expectations and responsibility, they sort of get the hang of it. And, at least in my experience, my kids think its cool to be treated that way (more so the older one).
    Last edited by thalassa; 04 May 2016 at 06:03.
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

    Pagan Devotionals, because the wind and the rain is our Bible

  4. #4
    Live and learn anunitu's Avatar
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    Re: At what age should kids* be allowed to stay home alone?

    With my kids(Me and my ex) about 11 or 12,BUT not because of deciding,it was a matter of scheduling. After my MIL died,it was hard having them out at ladies place who did about 10 kids. Not child care. When my MIL was still alive,she took care of them(she lived with us) The kids loved her. My own Mother I would never have watch them,she being a bit nuts.
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    Re: At what age should kids* be allowed to stay home alone?

    I was around 12 when my parents allowed me to stay home alone. My brother played sports and he would have away games that were several towns over. And when I was younger I hated going to those games. By the time I was 12 my parents decided that I was old enough to stay home alone for several hours while they went off to those games
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  6. #6
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    Re: At what age should kids* be allowed to stay home alone?

    I'm mainly with you, Thal. Build up small.

    I've left my 6 and 8 year old in a locked apartment building while I've run to do laundry at the laundry unit (less than a minute drive away). Usually takes me 5-10 minutes. I've also left them inside the house while I've been outside.

    by 9 or 10 they should be able to be at home for an hour or so, and by 11 or 12 they should be good for a bit longer. 13 or 14, a day (8-12 hours).
    “I am Cat and I walk alone and all ways are the same to me.” ~Rudyard Kipling, The Cat Who Walks By Himself

  7. #7
    lady sings the blues DanieMarie's Avatar
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    Re: At what age should kids* be allowed to stay home alone?

    Quote Originally Posted by thalassa View Post
    I'll admit that I'm an advocate of starting small and building up. My kids started "staying home alone" around 5-6 for 10-15 minutes where Hubby or I would literally be outside the apartment building, and they would practice calling up on the phone. At 9 and 7, they are home alone for 20 minutes before they leave for the bus and for about 40 minutes after school, in which they do their homework together, have a snack, clean the litter boxes, and get ready for their after school activities. They also stay at home on school holidays that are not work holidays, but not over summer vacation (probably by next summer they can, or the summer after)...more because I don't want them inside playing video games for two months than because I think they can't be trusted alone (by the summer after next, they will both be old enough to go to the pool without a grown-up, and hopefully have enough manners to manage the library and fishing on the waterfront).

    ETA: I stayed home alone all day, including summer vacation, by 9. I started staying home for an hour or so around 6/7 while my mom grocery shopped. And unlike my kids, I could go to friends houses and to the city pool and to the library, as long as it was with someone and I checked in and out with the neighbor. And did my chores first.

    ETA2: I don't think any child should just BAM! start staying at home alone. It should be a progression that determines their capacity and responsibility. And the parent should be able to decide based on their own children. If you cosset and baby your kids, maybe that age is 14 (in some states, 14 is actually the legal age to allow a child to be home alone)--personally, how on earth anyone thinks a kid should go from *can't be trusted for 5 minutes alone* to *legally an adult, get the heck out* in 4 years is reasonable, is beyond me...but its a thing. But if you raise your kids with expectations and responsibility, they sort of get the hang of it. And, at least in my experience, my kids think its cool to be treated that way (more so the older one).
    I didn't leave an answer for this reason. I think it's more of a gradual thing, and I more or less agree with your timeline.

    I was allowed home alone by 10. I was even babysitting by 10 (for short periods of time). By 11 I was allowed to be alone after school and for the day.

    To be honest, not letting kids spend a day by themselves until their teens sounds kind of insane to me. Almost no one waits that long here.

  8. #8
    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Re: At what age should kids* be allowed to stay home alone?

    I have no idea...

    I can't recall ever leaving them alone until they were old enough to drive away.

    As far as wondering about, where we live, we had to drive them into town in order for them to actually BE anywhere. We're such hillbillies...
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  9. #9
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    Re: At what age should kids* be allowed to stay home alone?

    I was babysitting at 12 on my own for neighbors. In my state it's illegal for a child to be "latchkey" unless they are 14 or above. It depends in my opinion on the maturity of the individual child

  10. #10
    Nihilistic Goddess Medusa's Avatar
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    Re: At what age should kids* be allowed to stay home alone?

    I have no average age opinion. One big problem is that we are all basing it on OUR experiences as children in the world. And unless you are under 20, then that literally was a different world when we were children. A lot has changed to make children come off more mature. But all that technology also means there are many more ways for your kid to get perved or hurt now more than ever.

    I would say it depends upon my neighbors and support system, where I lived, my economic status etc.
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