Staying Home Alone - Rochester,NH

Updated on January 11, 2010
A.G. asks from Dover, NH
7 answers

What age did you start letting your children stay home alone? How long did they stay alone? What kind of rules did you have? Did you live in a house or apartment with other people around?

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So What Happened?

Thanks so much everyone. Im not ready to let my oldest son stay home alone yet, I just wanted to find out what other families were doing. Id like to maybe start talking to him about these bigger responsibilities so when he and I are ready for him to stay home alone he will be ready.

More Answers



answers from New London on

I now allow my son to stay home at age 12 for shorter periods of time. My in-laws live right down the street so they are close and the nieghbors are great people too.
We own our own home. But he's not allowed to have people over, go on the computers, or cook. He ussually spends most his time calling me wondering where I am, when I'll be I'm not sure he really likes it all that much. Just for short times rather than more than an hour.



answers from Lewiston on

My children were 10 and 11 with my 11 yr old daughter being very responsible for her age. I think I would have waited though if it wasn't for my situation. My inlaws live on the same plot of land up the hill and we live in a very rural area with very low crime if any. I made sure they each had a cell phone in case of emergencies and knew address/phone #'s etc to call. They also could not cook on the stove, they had to use the microwave if they needed to heat something up.


answers from Norfolk on

Just now my son is 11, and just this year I let him stay home sometimes if I'm making a quick trip to the store for an errand during the day. He can watch TV or play a computer game (he doesn't play any that are multi user online). Most the time he doesn't want to be alone and will want go with me. Longest time he's been home alone was when I went to a Mary Kay party at the neighbors next door and that was a few hours and not dark out.



answers from Boston on

Mu daughter is 12 now and in 7th grade and spends most afternoons at home alone doing her homework. She walks to and from school with friends and has a cell phone where she calls me when she gets out of school, and 5 minutes later when she has made it home. It helps that I only work 1 mile from home, but she is very responsible and gets her homework done first thing and then chores. She is a straight A student so I haven't really worried about goofing off yet. I do have some rules, such as no cooking, no friends, no phone calls (except to me and my husband, or a quick call to a friend about homework), no computer and no leaving the house. I am also very strict about the cell phone and it must be put away at 6pm every night and all calls for her must come through the house phone.

So far there haven't been any issues and I feel that she is very safe and responsible. I did start letting her stay home 1 day a week when she was 11 (6th grade) instead of getting her a babysitter. I DO try to have her involved in after-school activities whenever possible so she doesn't spend too much time alone at home (violin lessons once a week, cooking class at school once a week) and she has swim practice 2 or 3 times a week but it is mostly in the evenings and she gets a ride from another parent and I will do the after-practice pick up.

Good luck!



answers from Boston on

I have twin girls who are 10.5, and we're just starting the process. We live in a house, but have neighbors we all know well living all around us.
We've left them home for brief periods 15-20 min. and things have been fine. I plan on slowly increasing that over the next six months.
I know some of their class mates have been left home alone (ie with no sibling, either) for hours.
It's a tough question, I think, and really depends a lot upon the child and the situation.
Thanks for asking



answers from Boston on

Check with your state some have age restrictions and the national safekids campaign recommends that a child be at least 12 and that once they are 12 it should be based on the individual.
here's a link with questions to determine if your child(ren) are ready to be left alone.



answers from Boston on

I think legally your child has to be 12. And I would start him out with quick errands, like going to the bank or getting gas. Making sure he had all the emergency numbers posted by the phone. Making sure he locked the doors and understood about not opening it for ANYONE. and not answering the phone....

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