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    • bflare
    • By bflare 9th Oct 19, 11:23 AM
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    bflare
    At what age can a child stay home all day while parent is at work?
    • #1
    • 9th Oct 19, 11:23 AM
    At what age can a child stay home all day while parent is at work? 9th Oct 19 at 11:23 AM
    I do not think that there is a definite law for this. However, it appears that a child over 12 is said to be ok by themselves for a few hours. Would you say a responsible 12 year who is 13 next April would be ok to be left all day while his parent was at work?
Page 1
    • Browntoa
    • By Browntoa 9th Oct 19, 11:35 AM
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    Browntoa
    • #2
    • 9th Oct 19, 11:35 AM
    • #2
    • 9th Oct 19, 11:35 AM
    There is no legal age surprisingly.

    Look at

    https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/keeping-children-safe/leaving-child-home-alone/
    I'm the Board Guide of the Referrers ,Telephones, Pensions , Shop Don't drop ,over 50's , Boost your income and Discount Code boards which means I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum runnning smoothly .However, please remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
    • Skiddaw1
    • By Skiddaw1 9th Oct 19, 11:45 AM
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    Skiddaw1
    • #3
    • 9th Oct 19, 11:45 AM
    • #3
    • 9th Oct 19, 11:45 AM
    I expect you'll find responses will be as diametrically opposed as discussing Brexit....


    For what it is worth, I think it's OK if said child is responsible and isn't being left alone all day on a frequent basis and a responsible adult is checking up (even by phone) at intervals during the day AND child has an emergency adult they can go to if there is a problem.... but it really is very much dependent on the child and the circumstances.
    • Undervalued
    • By Undervalued 9th Oct 19, 11:46 AM
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    Undervalued
    • #4
    • 9th Oct 19, 11:46 AM
    • #4
    • 9th Oct 19, 11:46 AM
    I think it depends very much on the child, the home environment, what support network is available nearby, how far away the parent works and how quickly and easily they could get home if there was a problem.

    Setting a particular age is not really answer and quite sensibly (for once!) the law doesn't. A child that is not ready for this challenge one day doesn't magically become ready the next day just because it is their birthday.
    • Silvertabby
    • By Silvertabby 9th Oct 19, 11:53 AM
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    Silvertabby
    • #5
    • 9th Oct 19, 11:53 AM
    • #5
    • 9th Oct 19, 11:53 AM
    At the risk of sounding sexist (and yes, I know there are exceptions to every rule!), 12 year old girls are usually more sensible than 12 year old boys.
    • ToxicWomble
    • By ToxicWomble 9th Oct 19, 12:03 PM
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    ToxicWomble
    • #6
    • 9th Oct 19, 12:03 PM
    • #6
    • 9th Oct 19, 12:03 PM
    Ours was 14 I think. And I disagree about girls and boys.

    A 12 year old boy will most probably spend the day glued to a tv screen or pc monitor playing games and is less likely to get up to mischief.
    This changes as they get older tho
    • bflare
    • By bflare 9th Oct 19, 12:31 PM
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    bflare
    • #7
    • 9th Oct 19, 12:31 PM
    • #7
    • 9th Oct 19, 12:31 PM
    Ours was 14 I think. And I disagree about girls and boys.

    A 12 year old boy will most probably spend the day glued to a tv screen or pc monitor playing games and is less likely to get up to mischief.
    This changes as they get older tho
    Originally posted by ToxicWomble


    He already makes his way from school to my house on an evening. I moved near his school so it's literally 0.2 miles away from my house. he is in by himself from around 3:20pm to 6pm & he is fine. As you say when I get home he is on his PS4 or watching TV.
    • Money maker
    • By Money maker 9th Oct 19, 12:48 PM
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    Money maker
    • #8
    • 9th Oct 19, 12:48 PM
    • #8
    • 9th Oct 19, 12:48 PM
    Like peeps say, depends on the child. They should be at school all day unless the hols or ill. If ill do not leave alone. If hols, consider how boring it would be at home all day every day.
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    • bflare
    • By bflare 9th Oct 19, 12:52 PM
    • 299 Posts
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    bflare
    • #9
    • 9th Oct 19, 12:52 PM
    • #9
    • 9th Oct 19, 12:52 PM
    Like peeps say, depends on the child. They should be at school all day unless the hols or ill. If ill do not leave alone. If hols, consider how boring it would be at home all day every day.
    Originally posted by Money maker

    It is mainly the school holidays. I am going through a difficult time with his mother. Normally he stays with his mum through the holidays & I pick him up from her house after work. He stays at mine 5 nights per week but it looks like I may have to go for full custody or increase the time at mine to 6 nights per week very soon.
    • Primrose
    • By Primrose 9th Oct 19, 2:08 PM
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    Primrose
    As others have said, it depends on the child, their level of confidence about being in control of the domestic situation and whether there is a responsible person nearby who they know they can contact in an emergency.

    I think parents who bring their children up sensibly and educate them to recognise and u derstand risks are probably doing their children a favour allowing them a little early independence.

    I think in recent years the Health & Safety people have become too dominant. Children of 12 were working and once sent up chimneys in days gone by. I'd hate those days to return but giving a child some education and independence at an early age will probably make them a more confident person later in life.

    Talk to yiur child. See how comfortable he feels about this and talk through any potential nervous issues he might have. Treat him maturely and he will,probably be fine.
    • bflare
    • By bflare 9th Oct 19, 2:12 PM
    • 299 Posts
    • 138 Thanks
    bflare
    As others have said, it depends on the child, their level of confidence about being in control of the domestic situation and whether there is a responsible person nearby who they know they can contact in an emergency.

    I think parents who bring their children up sensibly and educate them to recognise and u derstand risks are probably doing their children a favour allowing them a little early independence.

    I think in recent years the Health & Safety have become too dominant. Children of 12 were working and once sent up chimneys in days gone by. I'd hate those days to return but giving a child some education and independence at an early age will probably make them a more co fine t person late.

    Talk to yiur child. See how comfortable he feels abiut this and talk theiugh any potential nervous issues he might have. Treat him maturely and he will,probably be fine.
    Originally posted by Primrose


    I agree with you. Since he has been given more independence making his own way from school & letting himself in he has really grown up the last few months.


    We have spoken briefly about it & he sounds confident just a little apprehensive. It may not come to it yet I am just looking at the feasibility if it does. I shall have another more in depth chat with him this evening.
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 9th Oct 19, 3:47 PM
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    Mojisola
    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?
    • bflare
    • By bflare 9th Oct 19, 3:49 PM
    • 299 Posts
    • 138 Thanks
    bflare
    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?
    Originally posted by Mojisola

    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.
    • bflare
    • By bflare 9th Oct 19, 3:52 PM
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    bflare
    @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.
    Originally posted by frago

    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.
    • Primrose
    • By Primrose 9th Oct 19, 4:26 PM
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    Primrose
    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.
    • DUTR
    • By DUTR 9th Oct 19, 5:14 PM
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    DUTR
    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.
    Originally posted by Primrose
    And where would they get that rational from?
    • Mrs Soup
    • By Mrs Soup 9th Oct 19, 5:42 PM
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    Mrs Soup
    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 Me
    • By Happier Me 9th Oct 19, 6:30 PM
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    Happier Me
    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. I find I trust them more alone than together!
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 9th Oct 19, 9:12 PM
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    unholyangel
    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?
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • silvercar
    • By silvercar 9th Oct 19, 9:37 PM
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    silvercar
    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.
    Originally posted by bflare
    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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