How young is too young...? - page 3
...to leave your kid at home alone over a night shift?... Read More
- 0Jan 30, '13 by PaxRNInteresting topic, as I have 3 kids, (7, 9, 12) and also work night shift. I am a very nervous Mom and dont like my kids to even eat while I am gone, so I cant handle the thought of them bring home alone overnight - just me though!
I have left my 12 yr old girl in charge several times for trips to the stores or dr appts and she does fine, however she would be terrified of staying home alone overnight, so thats another issue. My husband is usually home, but the few times he has been gone, I hired a sitter for the night. It would be fabulous if I could leave them though or had close neighbors/family nearby. I agree with the rest of the posters - depends on the child, emergency contacts and support network.
- 0Jan 30, '13 by solneeshkaGreat question! It's just been the two of us for about 5 years now, so he's had a lot more freedom than any of his friends. I started leaving him alone for shopping and whatnot at 8. He's fine. It's never been a problem. I envision a lot of what I'm hearing from others: much junk food and t.v. He does actually also love to read, and I have reason to think there would be some of that, too :-) I would feel better about leaving him alone for a night shift than a day shift because it's during the day that he could potentially get into a lot more mischief. At night, with a bag of McDonald's and the remote in his hand, I have an excellent idea of what he'd be doing (exactly what he would be doing if I were home, minus the junk food), and he'd still be asleep when I got home.
Right now, he spends one night a week with my aunt, but that situation has its own problems, and I'm not sure how much longer it will be open to us, anyway. She's going to be out of town next month over a weekend, so I was toying with the idea of doing a trial run on his own and see how it goes. I can have a neighbor on stand-by. I just wasn't sure if I was insane for thinking about it!
- 1Jan 30, '13 by solneeshkaQuote from thelittledoeThis has occurred to me! I know pretty much what he would be doing now. When he's 16? Not so much!IMO, you might be better off leaving an 11 year old at home alone, than a teenager. I am not a mother, so I'm not sure if I should even be commenting. But I believe that a teenager can get into a lot more trouble (drinking, drugs, sex) than an 11 year old can.
- 0Jan 30, '13 by tewdlesMy kids are adults now, but when I was making those choices it made a huge difference to me how far away my children were from my employment IF they were going to be alone. As well, I had a back up and back up to the back up plan for their support should something happen.
I only felt comfortable leaving them alone when I worked a couple of blocks from the house.
- 0Jan 30, '13 by ProfRN4Very interesting topic. As I was reading this, I asked my newly 13 year old the question. She wasn't sure how she should answer, I told her I won't laugh or judge. She said "15 or 16". I agree, at least in her case.
I am not an overprotective mother. I firmly believe that in general, we coddle and baby our kids. This is going to severely impact their "growing up" skills. My child walks to school by herself, she is allowed to walk around the mall with friends, and lets herself in after school PRN. We try not to go beyond 2 hours of alone time at this point. It will increase over the next year, for sure. She plans on taking a subway to high school (in a major city where many would choose a closer option or drive their kids). I'm slowly cutting the umbilical cord (and much quicker than many parents I know).
However, she is an only child. IMO, that makes a difference. I don't think it's ideal for our family to do it. My hubby works evenings, and she and I enjoy our girl time in the evening. She is good with Hw, but would have no self control with Internet, junk food and bedtime. Besides, she would be bored and lonely, and likely scared.
Besides, my mother would kill me :0. She'd just say "bring her to me", and my kid would not be happy with that.
- 0Jan 30, '13 by NurseCardAt 13, I was living in a large city and taking the city bus to a downtown high
school, by myself, and did well with this. I was a fairly mature kid when it came
to taking care of myself, cooking for myself, etc.. I was also fine with staying
by myself at this age; actually I think I was 11 or 12 when I started staying
by myself; no worries. However we had close friends who lived right next
door; that helped.
I can't imagine that I'll be able to leave my daughter at home by herself anytime
soon though. She's 10 now, old enough to be left alone for a quick trip up the
street to the store, but I think that's about all that she'll tolerate until she's about
15 or so. Just the kind of kid she is; very babied. =) Not just by me. =)
- 0Jan 30, '13 by CapeCodMermaid, RNSomeone told me when my kids were younger that there were rules set forth by DSS and if you left your kids alone before a certain age, they'd be paying you a visit. I never did find out if it were true. My daughter started babysitting when she was 11 or 12. She thought it was ridiculous she could take care of someone else's kids but I wouldn't let her stay alone for more than an hour.
- 0Jan 30, '13 by rumwynnieRNQuote from CapeCodMermaidMy parents were afraid of that, so before the age of 12, they had my grandmother "watch" me. "Watch" as in she was just there -- she was 70+ (died at....85? I don't remember), and only fulfilled the role of an adult being present. She did her thing, we did ours. There were a few times when my brother and I really were left home alone. I think CPS or whatever only really cares if someone knows kids are left alone and are causing a huge problem. After a huge thing with my mom's siblings after grandma died, mom wanted to be left alone -- so started my brother and I staying home alone when mom and dad went to work.Someone told me when my kids were younger that there were rules set forth by DSS and if you left your kids alone before a certain age, they'd be paying you a visit. I never did find out if it were true. My daughter started babysitting when she was 11 or 12. She thought it was ridiculous she could take care of someone else's kids but I wouldn't let her stay alone for more than an hour.
- 0Jan 31, '13 by brilloheadIn the state of Michigan, there is no "legal" age for leaving a child alone -- it all has to do with whether the child is being properly cared for, which all depends on the child's ability and comfort level.
If the child knows to get out of the house in the event of a fire (and where to go after exiting the building), they know to lock the doors / not answer the phone, they know how to prepare food, and they aren't freaked out by the whole thing, you can legally leave them alone at any age.