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Children left at home
new study


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73 replies to this topic

#1 JRA

Posted 09 December 2012 - 07:58 AM

There has been a new study on "growing up in Australia", apparently 1 in 4 10yo is left at home for at least an hour once  a week without supervision.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-12-08/one-...sion-at/4416448

http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/parenting...v-1226532477955

Some of the comments have been interesting despite the "it is illegal" that is often cited on EB

QUOTE
In two-thirds of the cases the children were alone but were not really at risk of significant harm," Ms Goward told The Daily Telegraph.

Ms Goward said concerned neighbours, or passers-by who knocked on the door to discover a child alone, were among those who had dobbed in parents.

"There's no law against children being left at home. We expect parents to make their own judgment but parents can be charged if a child is left in a dangerous situation," she said







#2 L&E

Posted 09 December 2012 - 08:07 AM

Mine is one of them  ph34r.gif

Once a week he comes home from school and is on his own for around an hour til I get home. I speak to him when he arrives home and he watches tv til I get there. Knowing my child, my neighbourhood and the adults he knows in houses next door and across the road, I think he's old enough for that situation.

#3 JRA

Posted 09 December 2012 - 08:09 AM

L&E: I am far from having a go. I posted to try and point out it is quite common, despite the reactions on EB, and that Pru Goward believes it is not illegal, once again despite EB comments

#4 Sentient Puddle

Posted 09 December 2012 - 08:09 AM

I look back on to my childhood growing up in the country - from about the age of 6 we were out of the house early and back  probably for lunch then gone again till dinner. As long as Mum had some idea where we were this was considered okay and normal.  My older sister (not that much older though) was responsible for me during the school holidays as Mum was working and there was no such thing as school holiday care.  I now see that leaving a 12 year old could be considered negligent and wonder how things have changed!  I also wonder that if we dont leave kids to their own devices at some stage we will not have a generation of children able to tackle the world independently.

#5 brazen

Posted 09 December 2012 - 08:12 AM

i have started leaving ryan home alone for around 1/2 hour, just in the past few months, at 9.5.

we've set up a system with phone numbers and special phone rings and locked doors etc.


#6 Nora.

Posted 09 December 2012 - 08:22 AM

I leave my 9.5 year old alone. She's given instructions on what to do/what not to do. Good, quiet street. Know all the neighbours. I've told her if there's an emergency, to go to one of our neighbours houses. She also has the ipad, with all my contact numbers on it, so she can call a number of people (obviously including me). She just sits on the computer or watches TV.

I think EB always has a tendency to over react. I was really shocked to read somebody saying they hadn't left their child alone until 15.

#7 PigNewton

Posted 09 December 2012 - 08:29 AM

QUOTE (ILBB @ 09/12/2012, 08:09 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I also wonder that if we dont leave kids to their own devices at some stage we will not have a generation of children able to tackle the world independently.

It's already happened, ILBB. I know of 15 year olds who cry when they get left alone at home and dont even know how to make toast or use a microwave. Scary.

#8 gravity1

Posted 09 December 2012 - 08:29 AM

I do not leave my son home alone and probably won't til he has started secondary school (at age 12). Each to their own though.

#9 Imaginary friend

Posted 09 December 2012 - 08:30 AM

What usually happens in these threads is someone jumps up and down about how it is illegal but has no links or sources to support this and then someone else, often me, responds with govt website link which states it is illegal to leave child for unreasonable time without reasonable provisions (words to that effect) - obviously this is open to interpretation but it does NOT state an actual age that it is illegal to be home alone.


10 seems reasonable age to me for short periods ,say, an hour, with provisions for who to call or contact if there is a problem.

#10 Fr0g

Posted 09 December 2012 - 08:33 AM

I've become quite comfortable leaving my 11 year old home on a regular basis one night a week after school when my MIL goes away and can't do the pick up one night for me.  

He meanders home, weaves his way through the suburbs with his mates for a while, rings me at work when he gets home and plays on the computer until I am home at 5:30pm.

He EVEN did his homework the other night before I got home biggrin.gif FTW.





#11 emnut

Posted 09 December 2012 - 08:36 AM

We leave DS who is 9 at home alone for up to half an hour (have done since his 9th birthday).  He has been tested both for answering the phone and the door.  When a neighbour knocked on the door she could hear him running to his bedroom.  He has never answered the phone either.  He knows that he can't cook anything or use any knives or scissors while we are out.  

He has both our mobiles programmed into our phone as well as all grandparents/aunts/uncles.  Also knows if something happens or he gets scared to go to the neighbour's house (we only leave him when we know she is home & he can go over).  He actually even calls us if he wants to have a biscuit or an icy pole.

I think most parents (obviously not all) are able to judge their own children as they get older to how they would cope with being on their own for short periods.

#12 Soontobegran

Posted 09 December 2012 - 08:42 AM

I don't think it is so much an age thing but a child specific decision.
I would have left all but one of mine alone at that age and I too think most parents can gauge the suitability of their children to manage without a certain age being mandated.


#13 JapNFeral

Posted 09 December 2012 - 08:47 AM

My 11 and 9 yos have both been left either together or separately for periods of time - the longest up to an hour.

I'm comfortable with it; when its in their own home and they are generally responsible.



#14 BetteBoop

Posted 09 December 2012 - 08:48 AM

QUOTE (soontobegran @ 09/12/2012, 08:42 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I don't think it is so much an age thing but a child specific decision.
I would have left all but one of mine alone at that age and I too think most parents can gauge the suitability of their children to manage without a certain age being mandated.


Yes.

My DD is only 5 but she's a sensible kid. In a year or 2, I would have no issue with leaving her alone while I get shopping or pick her dad up.

She asks me all the time now and my only issue is that she couldn't ring me if she needed to.

By age 10 I'm sure she will be left at home quite a bit. By that age, I was out roaming the streets alone or with posses of similar aged kids. How we have changed in a generation.

#15 EsmeLennox

Posted 09 December 2012 - 08:50 AM

Agree with STBG, it is a child based decision, not necessarily an aged-based one. I don't think it's particularly shocking or worrisome that 1 in 4 10 year olds are left alone for the times cited. There was a time, in the not too distant past, where a 10 year old would have been expected to care for, possibly cook for, younger siblings when parents weren't there for much longer periods of time.



#16 Jenferal

Posted 09 December 2012 - 09:07 AM

I knew a girl once(she was dating a friend of mine, so, well over 18) who had NEVER been left alone at home by her parents. Her parents were so scared about bad men breaking in and lord only knows what.
How can kids learn to look after themselves if they aren't given the chance?
I'm not sure she's ever left home which is really sad.


#17 *Tess*

Posted 09 December 2012 - 09:25 AM

In Qld It is a criminal offence to leave a child under 12 unattended for an unreasonable time without making reasonable provision for the supervision and care of the child. There is no fixed rule about what is reasonable in an individual case.
On the whole parents I know are too scared of being prosecuted to leave their under 12s at home alone.

#18 minyaca

Posted 09 December 2012 - 09:42 AM

I would not regard up to 1 hour as an "unreasonable" time. I think the law is to protect children who might be left alone for the night or for days on end.

I have left either kid alone on the odd occasion for up to half an hour. They know not to answer the door or phone, cook or use knives, and can ring pre-programmed numbers in our phone. DS, although younger, is the more responsible one.

DD has band practice before school one day a week, so I leave DS while I drop her at school. He just watches TV or plays on the computer. I have left a sick child in bed to drop off or pick up the other child at school.

#19 EsmeLennox

Posted 09 December 2012 - 09:45 AM

QUOTE (*Tess* @ 09/12/2012, 07:25 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
On the whole parents I know are too scared of being prosecuted to leave their under 12s at home alone.


Really? How bizarre. I would not have thought that prosecution for this kind of thing would be very common at all. Certainly not something I would fear when I know I have been reasonable with both time and provision.

#20 LynnyP

Posted 09 December 2012 - 09:53 AM

I woulnd't have an issue leaving a 10 year old home alone for 30 minutes or so or a 12 year old home alone for a couple of hours.  I wouldn't leave a child under 16 alone with younger children for longer than 30 minutes because of the weight of real or imagined responsibility they would feel if anything went wrong.

I am not sure how the people living in fear of prosecution imagine anyone knows?  Are they worried that their house is wired by the man?

#21 JRA

Posted 09 December 2012 - 09:55 AM

QUOTE (Jemstar @ 09/12/2012, 09:45 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Really? How bizarre. I would not have thought that prosecution for this kind of thing would be very common at all. Certainly not something I would fear when I know I have been reasonable with both time and provision.





Bizarre is certainly a word I use.

#22 JRA

Posted 09 December 2012 - 10:08 AM

QUOTE
t's not that unusual to think that some people might think they would be vulnerable to some sort of official action, given the recent cases of police following young kids home and giving their parents a bollocking for letting them catch busses on their own and the like.


Really. I see hundreds of primary age school kids working/riding home every day. That is what kids do, isn't it.

#23 LynnyP

Posted 09 December 2012 - 10:11 AM

If I popped to the shops now and left my daughter home alone (who is actually at the beach with Daddy but for the purposes of this story), who would know?  If I did leave her alone, she would be told in no uncertain terms not to answer the door!

Please note that I don't leave my 8 year old at home alone unless you count the letterbox or the garage.

#24 Feral_Pooks

Posted 09 December 2012 - 10:23 AM

Most 10 year olds, with some exceptions of course, are more than ready to have some unsupervised time.

As someone who sees others her own age (early to mid twenties) who've been raised in a really cotton-wool, risk-averse way, can I please beg parents to give their kids some credit. There are so many people my age JUST learning how to navigate the world alone, without basic life skills... Or still being treated as children. It's really off.

Honestly, there are risks with everything... One of those risks is that the kids are going to grow up into twats.

#25 aprilrain

Posted 09 December 2012 - 10:25 AM

QUOTE (4kidlets @ 09/12/2012, 08:30 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What usually happens in these threads is someone jumps up and down about how it is illegal but has no links or sources to support this and then someone else, often me, responds with govt website link which states it is illegal to leave child for unreasonable time without reasonable provisions (words to that effect) - obviously this is open to interpretation but it does NOT state an actual age that it is illegal to be home alone.


10 seems reasonable age to me for short periods ,say, an hour, with provisions for who to call or contact if there is a problem.



For Qld, the JUDGE gets to decide what is reasonable, not the parent, or us on EB. In Qld it is 12yo and to supervise an under 12 they have to be over 18.

Use the search function, there are heaps of threads on it some with links. Some parents have been prosecuted and in the media, in Qld.






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