44 answers

Some Perspective on Kids Staying Home Alone

Hoping I can see if my views on this are different or the same as the "consensus" of mothers... Do you think it is ok for a mom to leave her 9 year old (who I will admit is very level headed and responsible) and 4 year old home alone for roughly an hour while the mom takes a third and fourth child to a karate class which is a little less than 2 miles from the home? Even though the mom is only like 4 minutes away it seems like something could still happen in that time. She doesn't allow them to eat anything at all in that time and calls a few times during the hour to check in but still... thoughts???

ETA - I do know that laws in California state that kids can be left home alone at any age per the parents' discretion but that does not mean that it is logical or safe.

What can I do next?

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Too young. It is amazing how many parents think their 9-year-old would be level-headed enough to handle a crisis if put on the spot. It may seem like they could when just presented to them as a possibility, but if something were to happen to the 4-year-old, the 9-year-old would be scarred for life.

8 moms found this helpful

It's not the 9 year old, but the 4 year old. SO not worth it, in my opinion. Actually, I think it's negligent.

6 moms found this helpful

I think it really depends on the kids involved, but I personally would not have done it at that age. My main reason is that if something ever DID happen, I would not want my 9 yr old blaming him/herself. It's putting a big responsibility on little shoulders. Not comfortable with that myself.

6 moms found this helpful

More Answers

Too young. It is amazing how many parents think their 9-year-old would be level-headed enough to handle a crisis if put on the spot. It may seem like they could when just presented to them as a possibility, but if something were to happen to the 4-year-old, the 9-year-old would be scarred for life.

8 moms found this helpful

It's not the 9 year old, but the 4 year old. SO not worth it, in my opinion. Actually, I think it's negligent.

6 moms found this helpful

Responsible, mature 9 yr old alone - yeah, in certain situations. But alone AND in charge of a 4yr old? Never under ANY circumstance. But that's just me...

6 moms found this helpful

I think it really depends on the kids involved, but I personally would not have done it at that age. My main reason is that if something ever DID happen, I would not want my 9 yr old blaming him/herself. It's putting a big responsibility on little shoulders. Not comfortable with that myself.

6 moms found this helpful

I may leave the 9 year old home alone with certain restrictions, but not with a 4 year old. I think 9 is too young to babysit.

5 moms found this helpful

I would say it's okay to leave the 9 year old. Now whether to also leave the four year old would depend on the 4 year old and how well that child listens to the 9 year old.

5 moms found this helpful

It is truly a matter of know your kids. My older two were home alone at 8 and 10 and the 8 year old was allowed to stay home alone. They knew what they were doing, they were perfectly safe. My younger two, well they were coddled by the older two and me so they didn't mature as quickly. They were 10 and 12 before I would even run to the store to grab milk leaving them at home. Now at 11 and 13 they are fine.

I was not about to let the younger two stay home at 8 and 10 just because they older two did. They just weren't responsible enough! I am their mom, I know them, ya know?

If you are wondering why I describe my kids in chunks they are 24, 22, 13, and 11. They really are two groups of kids.
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The answers are interesting, my then 12 year old was allowed to watch the then one year old. Maybe times have changed but when I actually got babysitters, the younger two, my sitters were between 12 and 14 so why can't his brother that loves him take care of him rather than some kid who is after money?
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Ya know, looking at the answers again I need to say, what drove the point home for me was coming home to the two youngest drowning a bunny while their dad watched them. Sorry but my then 14 and 12 year olds were better sitters at five than my ex is at the moment!

It is not age! it is ability!

Oh yeah, freaking lucky one of the kids didn't drown too!! Age means nothing! My ex was 36 at the time!

5 moms found this helpful

I wouldn't have a problem with leaving the 9 year old at home. But you need to take the 4 year old with you. If something happens, you would never forgive yourself.

D.

5 moms found this helpful

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