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How do you know if your child is ready to stay home alone?

by annep (follow)
Parenting (216)      Children (252)      Social (107)      Advice (63)      Security (14)     
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The idea of leaving their young children home alone might horrify some parents. Yet, it is a decision that all parents eventually need to face at some point.

So how do you know if your child is mature enough to stay home alone? At what age is a babysitter not necessary?

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My parents started leaving me home alone at around 6-7 years old. Sometimes they just asked me to watch the house for a while when they ran out to buy somethings. I guess it depends on how independent the child is and how safe your house and your neighbourhood are.
It depends on how mature, responsible and independent the child is. Usually it is from ages 10 onwards, and again depending on the child. Teenagers are fine, provide they don't get up to any mischief.
Well I have gone through this 3 times in my life, and each child is very different.
My take on this with three grown sons now.....
I would not leave a child home alone unless they are 16.
I would not leave a child alone when 16, for more than 4-5 hours.During the day.Forget night time.

It sounds crazy, but guess what they can 'get-up-too''? while your away.!!
Girlfriends come over, the next thing is, well need I say more.
If you have a girl, then boyfriends come over...No use saying you don't want them to do it, they will anyway.
LOL good advice!
only because been there...done...that! lol
by jonaja
I'd say around 12, but for really short runs outside the home, like going to drop off a child at school or pick up milk from the corner store, the other can stay home watch TV. I wouldn't leave them for more than an hour.
I'm not sure. I have an almost seven year old and I'd leave her at home while I walk to the corner shop which is three houses away and usually a 5 minute round trip, but no longer than that yet. I wouldn't want to put kids in a situation where they might be scared if I'm gone too long and they aren't able to contact me.

I thought there was a legal age in Australia. (but I don't know what that is, I thought I read it somewhere) 13? Anyway, once they know what they can and can't do, what to do in a fire/break in/black out etc - those unsual emergencies. Realistically, up to a certain age, they'll just sit in front of the tv/xbox because it's what they aren't allowed to do normally...
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