6 answers

When Is It Age Appropriate for My Child to Stay Home Alone So I Can TRY...

Hello,

I am a single mother that has devoted ALL of her time and energy into her soon to be teenager son. My friends have been trying very hard to convince me to get out there and start dating again. I am finally starting to see what they are talking about. Let's face it, I'm not getting any younger, and used my twenties for not dating, partying and doing what you are supposed to do in your twenties, but I was a mom and a mom only. I shut off the world because I thought that was what I was supposed to do. Soooo, I'm in my thirties now and am wanting to TRY to get back out there and date. When is a good age to, not trust because I trust my son, I'm very blessed, he is very mature, but let him stay home alone while I go out. I annnd he think he is too old for a babysitter. Family is not an option. I know times are different, but I do remember me staying at home when I was 8! Today, I think that is too young. Your advice is appreciated.

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I think I was left alone for a few hours in the evening at around 12 or 13. my parents would play golf friday evening and return at 10 or 11. BTW I looked it up and there is NO LEGAL AGE a child must be to be left alone in California. This is also true in other states. texas is one of them. You may want to look it up as maturity, hours, duration are all factors. Good Luck H.

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If I am not mistaken, I believe the law states you can leave your child alone at home at 10, and they can babysit at 12. They rest is up to you! If your son is mature enough as you say leave him alone when you go to the store or doctors, gradually getting longer each time. Soon you will be able to go out again!

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You don't mention how old your son is and his age has a bearing on the response. In any case I do know that most states, including CA have laws regarding the age at which children can be left home alone. I think it's 12 in CA, but am not positive on that. Some states are 13. I'm sure a quick online search will give you the answer.

I can understand your desire to go out and to have some time to yourself. If it were me I'd probably limit my time out to a few hours so that he weren't home alone for too long. And, I'd be careful to model the behavior I'd want to see in him. You said that, "I used my twenties for not dating, partying and doing what you are supposed to do in your twenties," and I wonder if that's what you're wanting to do now. And for the record, I don't agree that that's what "you're supposed to do" in your twenties. Different things and different lifestyles suit different people. I would just caution to remember that your son will be watching your moves very carefully. I do think it's perfectly appropriate for you to date and I wish you luck.

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My son turned 13 yesterday. When he was about 11, I started leaving him home alone for short stretches of time during the day - to run to the grocery store, to pick up siblings from practice, etc. Last year, we tried an evening out at a friend's house in the evening. We were close by and he knew he could easily reach us if needed. Now, he babysits for a friend's kids. I think the key is to start slowly and work up to an evening out. Keep it early and in his comfort zone. Listen to what he has to say about it. He may enjoy the independence too!

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Hi D A, First of all I lift my hands to you for devoting yourself to your son, and yes that was what you were supossed to do. The leagal age I do beleive to leave a child alone is 12, however I doub't that all 12 year olds are resposible enough to be left alone, only you know your child, I would start off by leaving him at home to go the store, things like that at first see if he feels comfortable. as far as parting and things like that, as a mom i would avoid those activities, but there is no reason why you can't go out to dinner, see a movie, a walk on the beach, things like that. I wish you well. J.

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HI DA:
First, I can tell you, that the state of California has no age limitations or requirements as far as leaving children alone.Shocked? So was I.I contacted child protective services and the local police department,because I was concerned about a couple neighbor kids,that were home alone,several nights a week. The young girl, would come over crying,late telling us that she was hearing noises and afraid. I would sit with her sometimes,till her mother returned. She was usually intoxicated. She never once thanked me for caring for her frightened daughter.Matter of fact she was angry,and often yelled at her child for asking for help. She would leave them till 12 sometimes 1am. The kids were only about 8 and 6. I was told, that there was no age limit, and that as long as children weren't abandoned for days at a time, there was nothing they could do about it.So much for child protective services.I will get off my soap box here, and answer your request. You didn't mention your sons age, but I'm guessing since you said he was going to be a teenager. That hes twelve going on 13. You know DA. The question I would ask myself, is...If there were a real emergency, or someone was attempting to break in,would I be able to handle it by myself? If you don't think you could, then it wouldn't be to terribly fair,to expect your teenage son to.Like you, I put my life on hold in order to raise my sons. God knows You deserve to get out a little and enjoy the comradery of good friends,and possibly a little romance. If you have an alarm system,or a very good neighbor, that would be there for him,in case of emergencies,That would make you and him feel alot safer.I like the response from the mother that suggested starting out with just a couple hours away,and see how he does.Then,adding an hour or two. I wish you and your son the very best DA.J.

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