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At what age can a child stay home all day while parent is at work?

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  • MojisolaMojisola Forumite
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    It depends on the child - and his/her friends.

    Be wary of any friends who would turn up and then take advantage of an adult-free house.

    Would your child be strong enough to refuse them entry or contact you if friends arrived?
  • bflarebflare Forumite
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    Mojisola wrote: »
    It depends on the child - and his/her friends.

    Be wary of any friends who would turn up and then take advantage of an adult-free house.

    Would your child be strong enough to refuse them entry or contact you if friends arrived?


    Luckily at the moment he doesn't have any friends come round & the friends he does have appear to very sensible as my son is.
  • bflarebflare Forumite
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    frago wrote: »
    @bflare I'm asking myself that question as well. Mine's 11 (school year 7) and comes home from school at 3:30 or 4:30, depending on whether there are clubs. I work from home 2 days a week but the other 3 days I get home at 5:30-6. I'm a single parent.

    This is all very new, just started yr 7, but so far so good. October half term is coming up and it's a 2-week break. We have plans for week 2, but week 1 will be a combination of me working at home and holiday camp. I did think about a trial day - one day home alone, but it's way too early for us... even though my child seems very responsible and very open to the idea.

    Having said that, a friend of mine has already left her 11-yr old 3-4 days alone, during the day, and it worked well.

    I personally think 12-13 year olds would be fine at home for a full day, but yes - as others have said - it does depend on the child.


    Yeah it is the October hols I am thinking about. It is only a week & I can take a few half days off. I do think my son would be ok however I still am a little apprehensive due to it being for a lot longer than he is currently used to. I was thinking of having a trial run but I don't really want to use all of my remaining holidays when I could take use them as half days & spread them across the October hol.
  • PrimrosePrimrose Forumite
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    Don,t forget that the daylight fades early from October onwards so does the child have any issues about being in a darkening house? . Make sure you have timer lights on in various locations that come on we'll before darkness falls so this is an issue which never has to arise.
    Children may be fine in daylight but being alone in a darkening hiuse may spook them and obviously give them the "Dont open the front door" lecture unless you know who is knocking.
  • DUTRDUTR Forumite
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    Primrose wrote: »
    Don,t forget that the daylight fades early from October onwards so does the child have any issues about being in a darkening house? . Make sure you have timer lights on in various locations that come on we'll before darkness falls so this is an issue which never has to arise.
    Children may be fine in daylight but being alone in a darkening hiuse may spook them and obviously give them the "Dont open the front door" lecture unless you know who is knocking.

    And where would they get that rational from? :eek:
  • Mrs_SoupMrs_Soup Forumite
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    My elder son is in year 8 now but only turned 12 in August - for the last year he has been getting himself to and from school and staying at home alone after school for a couple of hours. I would happily leave him for half a day and by the time next summer comes a whole day- although possilbly not multiple days but I work part time so that shouldn't be likely. i am happier with him being at home glued to the ps4 than out roaming the neighbourhood with his mates.
  • Happier_MeHappier_Me Forumite
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    Hi OP

    My youngest is 11 and has been taking himself to and from school (20 minute walk) three times a week since around May - he was responsible for locking the house and was on his own for a short time after his older sister left for school too.

    He's just started secondary school and he is now catching a school bus. I have no issue leaving him alone for a few hours, even a full day whilst we are at work on the odd occasion. Grandparents are a 5 minute drive away and available most of the time if there is a problem.

    It depends on the child as many have said. My son is responsible and bright enough at 11 to deal with his 14 year old sister nicking his house key because she's lost hers:o. I find I trust them more alone than together!
  • unholyangelunholyangel Forumite
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    FWIW I had my own housekey aged around 8 (still have the key and very first keyring actually despite it not having any use now) - to let myself in after school before my parents got home. I did have siblings 2-3 years older but they got home later.

    We knew who to contact if things went wrong (a family member if less serious and police/ambulance if more so).

    However if you're not comfortable with it then don't do it. Try to find a creative solution. Perhaps a friends parent has taken holidays and will agree to watch him a few hours each day if you return the favour down the line?
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  • silvercarsilvercar Forumite, Board Guide
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    bflare wrote: »
    Yeah it is the October hols I am thinking about. It is only a week & I can take a few half days off. I do think my son would be ok however I still am a little apprehensive due to it being for a lot longer than he is currently used to. I was thinking of having a trial run but I don't really want to use all of my remaining holidays when I could take use them as half days & spread them across the October hol.

    I would do it for a few days over half term, less likely to do it for the summer holidays. Most likely he won’t surface before noon!
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  • Savvy_SueSavvy_Sue Forumite
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    I'd try to break it up for him, if you can.

    For example, I had different holidays to my siblings once I was at secondary school, so during the holidays when I was 'home alone' mum would often get me to go and meet her for lunch to break the day up (and check up on me). it was a journey I was comfortable and familiar with.
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