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  1. #1

    • Pucker Up, Sweetie!
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    Leaving your children alone...how old?

    Ok...prompted by several discussions between my husband and myself, friends, etc...then I noticed in Stinkberbell post she was going to let Courtney stay home alone after school..

    How old does a child need to be to stay home alone?

    Bailey (he's 9, 10 in two weeks) is allowed to stay home if I run to Walgreens (which is like 5 blocks away) or if he's sick at home while I run his sister to school...(again just up the road)

    Kat is 8 and we've never allowed her to stay home alone.


    I totally think Bailey is mature enough to stay for an hour or so alone...he knows how to dial a phone to call me on my cell if something is wrong...But is he really old enough?

  2. #2

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    You know, I was babysitting at 10, but times have changed. I think it depends on the maturity of the child- some kids are ready at that age, and some not. If it daylight, he is well versed in what to do in an emergency, and it's just for a short bit of time, then why not? You could always install one of those "nanny-cams' just to see what he does when you're gone...

  3. #3

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    My parents use to leave me alone at a much younger age. They would leave me in rest areas, truck stops, gas stations and supermarlets.
    >>Alan<<
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  4. #4

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    I'm at "work" and nervous as heck....Courtney will be fine. That's my mantra. She'll be fine! FINE! Still nervous though....the kids in my class are at PE, I called the school and she's on target to ride the bus.

    She's really mature. I wouldn't let her babysit anyone, but I'm sure she can take care of herself for an hour or two. Today it'll be less than an hour, since she'll be on the bus for a little while. It's the walk from the bus that worries me, which is stupid, since it's three blocks on a private street. It's not a thru street and there's never any traffic and it's a good neighborhood. I'm still a freak. Like what if she doesn't get off the bus? ACK!

    Must stop thinking. Legally, we have 1.5 months before she is "old" enough to stay home. In Oregon, you have to be ten to stay home and 11 to babysit.

  5. #5

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    I'm very over protective....my mother would leave her alone while she went to the store when she was 11 or 12 and I freaked. I suppose it was becasue my child at the time exhbited very bad behavior and leaving her alone meant she could do more without getting caught until later. She is now 14 and i don't have have a problem leaving her alone while errands are being ran, but not overnight....and we turn the computer off....since I get e-mailed all her chats they tend to get racier when she's alone...*sigh*

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by stinkerbell
    I'm at "work" and nervous as heck....Courtney will be fine. That's my mantra. She'll be fine! FINE! Still nervous though....the kids in my class are at PE, I called the school and she's on target to ride the bus.

    She's really mature. I wouldn't let her babysit anyone, but I'm sure she can take care of herself for an hour or two. Today it'll be less than an hour, since she'll be on the bus for a little while. It's the walk from the bus that worries me, which is stupid, since it's three blocks on a private street. It's not a thru street and there's never any traffic and it's a good neighborhood. I'm still a freak. Like what if she doesn't get off the bus? ACK!

    Must stop thinking. Legally, we have 1.5 months before she is "old" enough to stay home. In Oregon, you have to be ten to stay home and 11 to babysit.
    Posting at work on your first day Claire...nice!

    You know..I've never actually looked it up as to what the legal age is...And I'm like you ...I'm more worried about the walk from the bus...geesh! Bailey and Kat would both love to ride the bus home from school...it stops right at our complex entrance...so they wouldn't have to walk...but hubby worries about things that "happen" on the bus!

  7. #7

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    First off, Claire...Courtney is fine, she's fine(I'm saying your mantra with you to help!)

    I've let Kyler stay home alone when I've ran to the store, drove Shawn to school etc etc, only during the day though. He's a wuss he wouldn't do well home alone at night. He knows not to let anyone in and all his "stranger danger rules" and he's pretty responsible(well as much as any 10 year old boy could be ) Shawn's only 6 so I don't have this worry yet, Thank God, the things that boy could accomplish in the time it'd take me to go to the store baffles me.

    I was also babysitting at 10, daytime and nighttime. I think about that now and look at my immature 10 year old(who's really not 'that' immature but he's 10 and acts 10 ya know?)and think what the hell was my mom thinking?? NO wonder why my brother and I were always in trouble!!!

  8. #8

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    I was just remembering that I was 5th grade (10 years old) when I walked home everyday from school. Of course, we lived across the street, but I was still alone from 3-5 til my Mom got home. So I guess it's ok to start leaving Bailey for an hour here or there...He despises going to the grocery store...hates it! And ends up making me a freakin nut case because he spends the whole time fighting with his sister...

    He'll be thrilled to find this out. I can't see me leaving him to like say, go to the mall or a movie or across town to take Kat to cheerleading...but to run to the store down the road for groceries, I think that might be ok. (what am I saying...he's my BABY!!~! )


    And Claire...she's fine!!!

  9. #9

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    My sister leaves her 10 and 7 yr old girls alone about once a week. She works graveyards here in town and they live 45mins away. Her husband leaves for work around 6 and she doesn't get off until 7:45. By the time she gets home they have been alone for 3 hours. I don't approve, but she is the mom.

    I have been tempted to leave boy for a few mins, I know he will be fine, but it will be a few more years before I actually do. As it is now, I can go back to bed when he is home and he knows what he can and can't do, but at least I am there if he needs something.

  10. #10

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    we recently started leaving our 10 year old home while we run short errends (stared out no longer than 10 minutes) but on the last trip it should have only been an hour but we got caught in a horribal rain storm and it took 1 hr 20 minutes (oh the mommy guilt!) I am slowly increasing the time away (more for my sake than hers, I hate this...why do they have to grow up so fast....waaaaaaa) but I do have very strict rules, she is not to answer the door (obviously) or the phone (because she would say'no my mommys not home...' Yikes) and being the over protective mom that I am I still call home every half hour (I know, I know, but , well what can I say, thats my baby)
    It just kills me to let her take these steps away, I know that she needs to but oh it hurts (sob)

    no one warns you, we all hear about sleepless nights with an infant, the pangs of seperation anxiety (for mommy) when they start Kindergarten, and again in college but no one warns us how hard the "baby steps" away to their own independance hurts so badly...

    ...ok enough, I'm gonna go cry now.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by baileykat
    hubby worries about things that "happen" on the bus!
    Hahaha! I asked Courtney about the bus ride. First of all, we live near downtown Portland in a very cushy area. About half of the families in the school could afford a private school easily. And by "afford a private school," I mean they could buy one.

    We have three full-size buses that come after school for the kids and I never realized it (I'm always battling to get to the front of the pick-up line).....but there are like 40 kids in the entire school who ride the buses home. The rest go with their parents or to aftercare.

    There are EIGHT kids on Courtney's bus. On the entire route. She's the oldest kid. So that would make her the one whose influence the parents would be worrying about. My little mother hen nerdly girl.

    She said the walk the four blocks home was weird.....she realized she was alone. Then it hit me.....she's never been ALONE before. By the time I was her age, I'd hitchhiked, lived on islands where I roamed from a bay to an ocean all by myself, I'd walked across big bridges to a town, I'd ridden my bicycle in a major metropolitan region, I'd hiked through woods to a river, I babysat......my parents never worried about where I was!! We'd take off after breakfast, eat lunch at friends' houses and come back at dark. But she's never had that....nothing even close to that. So a four block walk to her was weird. I've been tripping on that.

    Chloe had a great day with the nanny.....we got so lucky! And Cassidy's two closest friends are at aftercare, so we're lucky there, too. I'm subbing a half-day today.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinkerbelle
    we recently started leaving our 10 year old home while we run short errends (stared out no longer than 10 minutes) but on the last trip it should have only been an hour but we got caught in a horribal rain storm and it took 1 hr 20 minutes (oh the mommy guilt!) I am slowly increasing the time away (more for my sake than hers, I hate this...why do they have to grow up so fast....waaaaaaa) but I do have very strict rules, she is not to answer the door (obviously) or the phone (because she would say'no my mommys not home...' Yikes) and being the over protective mom that I am I still call home every half hour (I know, I know, but , well what can I say, thats my baby)
    It just kills me to let her take these steps away, I know that she needs to but oh it hurts (sob)

    no one warns you, we all hear about sleepless nights with an infant, the pangs of seperation anxiety (for mommy) when they start Kindergarten, and again in college but no one warns us how hard the "baby steps" away to their own independance hurts so badly...

    ...ok enough, I'm gonna go cry now.
    Glad I'm not the only one!! I get so emotional about all this....not sleeping, all that. But I had a nice time yesterday....it's good for me to take the steps away from them as well.

    My daughter has to call us the second she walks in the door, is not allowed to go near the doors, and is not to answer the phone unless it's me or my husband. It'll be 90 minutes max two days a week....but I still feel horrible!! She's been aching to take care of herself for a while now though, to have no sisters around....a little freedom for once.

  13. #13

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    Glad she handled it so well...as did her Mommie!

    And I was the same way when I was younger...We'd leave the house on bikes after breakfast and you were lucky if you saw us for dinner! And I remember riding my bike home from 1st grade...Of course I lived in a small town..but still...I'm amazed I'm alive some of the things I did! (of course it's those things that make me keep a tight leash on my kids! )

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by baileykat
    I'm amazed I'm alive some of the things I did! (of course it's those things that make me keep a tight leash on my kids! )


    me too...
    I hate to think of all the stuff I got away with and then Kimber doing it too, NEVER!

    I always say..."It's amazing kids survive childhood; It's more amazing that their parents do."

    and Stinkerbell, I'm so glad someone else feels the same way too. This Parenting thing is tough ( )

  15. #15

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    my kid is 6 and i dont think she has been to the mail box on her own... its sad really... we JUST started letting her head over to the barn to feed the dog and cat...

    when I was her age I walked a mile each way to kindergarten, in Garden Grove, yikes...

    things somehow have changed in the last 34 years...

    we would be left in the car with open windows while mom was in the store shopping for a half hour (at 7 years old)

    as well we were always away from home with out parents... from 1st grade on... not sure how it all worked out....



    claire what or where is the NEW job??? what are you doing???

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