When is the right age to leave your child home alone for, say, a couple of hours?

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  • While looking this UK for myself many years ago I could not find a legal answer. Basically the police and legal aid help line said that you will be responsible if anything goes wrong whilst a child is unsupervised, that it was up to the parents to make the decision on whether the child was mature enough. There may be laws now, but would be best to seek out legal advice.

  • This would honestly depend on the child and I also think there are different laws in each State.

  • Depends on the child, how long, your neighbourhood………………. I have 10 year old twins – I will leave one of them home for 10 minutes while I drop the other at music but not the other way around. I don’t leave them home alone together! My parents live nearby and they both know how to call or ask for help.

  • Not until they are teenagers in my opinion – but it depends on their individual maturity and how responsible they are. Can they be trusted at home alone? Do they know what to do in an emergency? Are there neighbours close by they can count on if they need anything

  • My boys are 14 and 11 over the last twelve months we have started to leave them at home for a couple of hours – although this has built up over the year. We have family close by and great neighbors who the boys can go to if needed. And I generally ring a couple of times to get an idea of what is going on.

  • i think that they need to know how to deal with anything if need be. if they set the kitchen on fire, could they smother it out before it engulfs everything. do they know how to deal with strangers at the door, phone. It depends on you but highschool might be a good age lol.

  • When they are old enough pick up the phone in case of an emergency . It is best not to leave children alone until they are mature enough to look after themselves because they might go outside , or answer the door of an unknown stranger , might turn on the stove etc.. I’m a bit protective when it comes to safety as you can see .

  • My kids were around 10-11 when they were allowed to stay home alone. It was for only an hour or 2 to start with, and I freaked out the whole time, stressing they would be OK. It all depends on your children and their level of maturity as to when you start

  • Wise ages and answers moms.

  • I explained to my daughter how to contact us by phone, she wasn’t allowed to open the door to anyone, even her friends on the street. I started with 15 minutes and slowly went up.

  • I would say depends on the maturity of the child. My mother didn’t let me stay home until I was in High School at least… But when she first let us stay home alone, she would tell us not to answer the door and not to answer the home-phone.
    For my children, I probably won’t allow them to stay home alone until they are at least 12/13, unless I deem them incapable of being home alone when we hit that time…

  • I started last year, when my daughter was 12. :-) For an hour or so.

  • I would suggest, not until they are a teenager.

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