How old before leaving kids "home alone"?

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Rhett&SarahsMom, Aug 11, 2008.

  1. Rhett&SarahsMom

    Rhett&SarahsMom Songster

    May 8, 2008
    According to my mom I was 11. And that means I was "in charge" of my younger sister who would have been 7 years old.
    I was a very responsible kid. Took care of the animals(dogs, cats) then the horses when they came home when I was 14.
    And I know at least two sets of parents that leave their 7 year olds at home after school from 2:30 to 5:30/6 at night. Both have younger siblings that are in daycare til mom/dad picks them up and brings them home. They just leave them with snacks and tv/games and tell them the "basics". Lock doors. Dont go anywhere or let anyone in. If there is an emergency go to the neighbors and call 911.

    I am also wondering ,,, since I just my husband and I were just talking about it, and I just read an article on "what age is appropriate" for giving a kid a cell phone.
    I know that there are going to be kids in her KG class that will, at the very least have cell phones and IPods with them.
    We have already tackled the earring thing. She has to wit til she is at least 10. If she still wants them and can take care of them. Then she can get her ears pierced. But I am sure that this is going to come up again when she gets into school. So.. what age is appropriate for giving them a cell phone or a MP3 player?
  2. I dont think that kids need a cell phone until there at least 15 or 16 years old, or when they get a job.

    Some states I think have a law about leaving kids at home alone.
  3. freshegg

    freshegg Songster

    May 15, 2008
    I think it depends on the maturity and trust of the child. my daughter just turned 12 and we gave her a cell but its prepaid so when her $75 on it is gone she buys minutes herself. she has barely used it and she got it june 25th. I bought her a computer at 9 but still no internet just games. got a mp3 player at 10 it still has never been used. too spoiled I guess. I let her stay home alone now that shes 12 and for short time when she was 11.
  4. SterlingAcres

    SterlingAcres Songster

    Apr 17, 2008
    Poconos, PA
    My parents left me alone to watch my younger brothers when I was 10. Which means they were 8 and 7. Would I do that to my kids? Nope. Maybe 14 or 15 because then they have enough common sense to be alone.
    As far as the cell phone and mp3 player... I had a cheap tape player in elementary school for the bus, a cd player in high school for the bus... neither were necessary, just something extra to carry. I didn't get my first cell phone until I was 17 and driving. Now we have one family cell and that's it. DH has an ipod for work, since he asked for it last Christmas. I'd say 10 or 12 for an mp3 player, as long as your child takes care of it and it's not expensive. Start out with those $30 ones from wallyworld, you know kids are bound to break or lose things.

    Good luck.
  5. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Many states have laws regarding the age children can be left alone. At one time it was 14 in Georgia.

    7 is far too young to be at home alone for any amount of time. While I feel Family and Children Services poke their nose into people's business far too much I would be worried if I were the parents of you refer to. They can step in and take custody of those children due to nonsupervision by a responsible adult.

    Our younger girls got MP3 players this past Christmas - ages 12 and 10 at the time.
  6. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

    Oct 13, 2007
    [​IMG] I bought my son a cell phone when he was 7 - we had an "incident" which freaked me out totally!

    His grandmother was to go to ourhouse after school one day to take care of him - there was an issue with after school care that day and both my dh and I worked full time at least an hour drive from home.

    Anyhoo - grandmother showed up at our house and waited, and my son never came home - she didn't bother to CALL us either. (the school was about a block away from home)
    A few HOURS after he should have been home, my husband got home (a couple of hours before me) and anyway all HELL broke loose when our son wasn't there, and there was grandma watching tv.

    My son knew we wouldn't be home, and apparently got the wrong "message" as to what to do - he had stayed at the school and was playing with his friends.

    Needless to say he got a cell phone................ (and we never asked Grandma to do that again)
  7. BettyR

    BettyR Songster

    Mar 1, 2008
    Texas Gulf Coast
    That depends on the maturity of the kid. My oldest daughter was a very responsible person who was a lot more level headed at 10 than a lot of adults I knew. I could have trusted her with a cell phone at any son was the same way.

    My two youngest...twins are reliable kids but at 23 they are still total airheads. The Lord sent two wonderful men to take really good care of my babies because there is no way they would have made it on their own.

    You know your kids better than anyone just need to take a step back and look at the question without the thought in the back of your head about what will Grandma or Uncle Bob think if I give this to her.
  8. mmajw

    mmajw Songster

    Jan 31, 2008
    I wouldnt have left my daughter home alone at 7 and I wouldnt leave her home alone now at almost 10. I wouldnt leave my son alone either nor would I leave him under the watchful eye of his sister. We live in a quiet community and I still wouldnt leave them alone. I dont know that they will be left alone until they are both teens.

    As far as a cell, she has a few friends that already have one but we are waiting a few years.

    My daughter got a hand me down Ipod shuffle from an older cousin about 2 years ago and my son (almost 7) bought an Ipod shuffle last year with his bday money.

    There are too many weird people out there and I am over protective maybe thats why mine wont be home alone.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2008
  9. SterlingAcres

    SterlingAcres Songster

    Apr 17, 2008
    Poconos, PA
    Quote:Ditto that... Depends on the child sometimes. My brothers are 21 and 20 now. Neither can hold a steady job or pay their bills by themselves. They live (or should I say mooch) off my parents, who are still gullible enough to foot the bill.
    Live and learn...
  10. Ellie_NY_chick

    Ellie_NY_chick Songster

    Jul 1, 2008
    Finger Lakes, NY
    I agree with freshegg. 12 seems about right, but home alone at age 7!?! [​IMG] No way. A seven year old does not have the capacity to make decisions in an emergency. What if some guy comes to the door and says he's the mailman with a package? I think a 7 year old would be inclined to open the door.

    I wasn't left home alone until I was a teenager - 13 - but I'm one of 9, so it was a lot easier in my family. I didn't have the issue with my stepson, who I raised from age 4, because I was always him (and he hated that [​IMG]!!).

    This website has some good suggestions for/about latch-key kids:

    They recommend no younger than 12.

    As for the earrings, I had to wait until I was 13. I think as long as they're old enough to know not to swallow them, it's fine. They can be taught how to keep them clean.

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