How old is old enough to be home alone?

Laws are not clearly defined and a number of factors come into play. It seems that there is no problem with a child being left alone for a few hours when they are 12. Even 10 is OK for short periods.

    8Theresa Gould
    It took us a long time to leave our kids alone. I think our oldest was close to 12 or 13. Now, our kids have each other if we go out for a few hours, but we don't like to do it too often or take advantage of our teen daughters because it's a lot of responsibility for the three of them to take care of their five younger siblings. At least now we have three teens to the five younger ones. Much better odds than 1 teen to seven younger siblings!
      One day I had to leave my 5 years old son home alone (don't call the police) because there was nobody to walk with the dog, it was winter and there was a snowstorm outside. I turned on the light in the apartment, even in the bathroom, turned on his favorite cartoon and went, so fast I did not walk with the dog ever. When I got home, the child sat quietly and watched the cartoon, and even took something himself to drink.
        I agree... I think it's up to the parents and the kids... My kids are 6 and 9 and the only time I leave them alone, is to run the trash out or grab something out of my car... and that is only if they're locked in, happy and are well aware of what to do ... ie. don't answer the door, don't touch the oven, etc...

        I have a neighbor, who I'm friendly with and her kids are 7 and 11 and she and her husband will leave them in the evening to go grab dinner... I personally think that's too young, even though her oldest is super mature for his age... but that's me.. They have lived in our building for years, they have a neighbor across the way they can reach out to and now they have my number if they need anything.. so, in all honesty the kids are fine and well looked after, but STILL for me... I wouldn't dare... Only because what if something happens to ME?? Maybe I'll feel differently when my son is 11 and my daughter is 9...

        My kids are so responsible that sometimes at 6 in the eveing, and I realize I'm out of milk or something, I think could I? real quick? but again, I think what if something happens to me.. or I get in a fender bender and they have to wait longer...

        We have i-phones... the kids share an i-phone that their dad gave to them when he moved to NY last year so that he can facetime and text them directly... so, there is that... at our old place... the mail was down three flights of stairs and past the pool and to run down and get the mail with them took like 30 minutes, so if I ran down to get them, I talked to them on the phone the whole time... that was mostly to make my kids feel better...
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          About Elena Voznyuk
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