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Would you leave your 9 yo DS at home?


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#1 *JAC*

Posted 24 February 2013 - 10:27 PM

Hi!
We've already made our decision, but was interested in other people's opinion. My son is quite responsible, quiet & generally does the right thing.

He goes to OSHC every day with his younger sister. She has just started playing netball & a friend has kindly offered to take her home after school & then to training where my DH will pick her up (we both work FT so wouldn't be able to get her to training otherwise).

My DS is not happy about having to go to OSHC by himself. The thought occurred to me to let him walk home after school (we live about 50 metres away), and have him stay home alone for just over an hour until DH gets home.

Would you do it or do you think he's too young?

Edited by *JAC*, 24 February 2013 - 10:29 PM.


#2 Feral Grey Mare

Posted 24 February 2013 - 10:34 PM

I still quake when I have to leave Mr 14 at home by himself as he is a walking accident. If your son is sensible and there are neighbours at close call I would consider your plan.

#3 *Finn*

Posted 24 February 2013 - 10:37 PM

Mmmm. Nope I don't think I would. I don't have a 9 year old child, but several good friends do and there is no way i could picture them staying home by themselves. They have only just started to be allowed to ride their bike to school which is no more than 500mt away.

#4 fooiesmum

Posted 24 February 2013 - 10:38 PM

No, I wouldn't.

#5 luckyreindeerpoo

Posted 24 February 2013 - 10:51 PM

No I wouldn't OP, he'd be going to oshc if he was my child.
I have less of an issue with the 50m walk home than being home alone, it would be too risky for me. No matter how mature a 9 yo is, he or she is still only 9 and if there was a problem at home he could not be expected to handle it like an adult.

#6 newkie

Posted 24 February 2013 - 10:52 PM

Under those circumstances I would consider it, but there would need to be plans in place for if your DH got caught in traffic on the way home, or needed to stop off and get bread etc. An hour would be my own personal limit on alone time for that age, any more would be pushing it.

I do leave my DS (9) alone, but it's just generally the days when I'm picking up and dropping off his sisters to their after school commitments (all in the same suburb as us, so a maximum of 15/20 min round trip). But then I also have the luxury of my best friend living only 5 houses up the street from me, and her husband (my DH's best friend), works from home, so there is almost always someone about.

#7 Jen1

Posted 24 February 2013 - 10:53 PM

No!!  I would not let my 9 year old at home by himself for more than an hour or even less than that!! I would make him go him go to OSHC even if he didn't like it, and explain to him that they will look after him while you are not there.

If you have made the decision for your family, then why would you ask here??  I would not let a 9 year old child at home by themselves, even if it was for 1 hour!

#8 emnut

Posted 24 February 2013 - 10:56 PM

I leave my 9yo for up to an hour home alone but only if I know that our neighbour is home & she is aware that he is home alone (he can go to her place any time & just send me a text to let me know).  He knows to call us if we aren't home by the time we said we would be and also has several alternate numbers to call if he can't get hold of us & is worried.  

It has not been a sudden hour home alone though - has been done over a 12 month period starting with 5 minutes & with testing him with the rules (such as not answering door).

#9 Terri Coverley

Posted 24 February 2013 - 11:03 PM

Not my children when they were nine.

DS1 I would allow to do that when he was 11.

DS2 is likely to be older than 11 when/if. He is a different child to DS1. Always off with his own thoughts with no concern for what's going on around him (oh like cars and roads and people and stuff).

Every kid is different.

#10 Honey Pot

Posted 24 February 2013 - 11:05 PM

I think I would although I don't have kids that age yet. A neighbour of mine is letting her DS do it a couple of days a week (she works part time).  He is in year 5 and there is no option of OSHC. He knows to come to my house if there is any problems or even if he just wants company. A few other neighbours are aware too so we'll all keep an eye out for him.



#11 Imaginary friend

Posted 24 February 2013 - 11:08 PM

Em nut has a good point - an hour is a long time if he has no previous experience at this.

I think 9 is ok at home alone for short periods but would be starting with shorter times, like 10 minutes at first.

The 50m walk home alone part does not bother me at all.


#12 au*lit

Posted 24 February 2013 - 11:18 PM

It depends entirely on the circumstances. The child, the back-up (neighbours etc.), the likelihood of your or your DH being delayed. So really, it's hard to say one way or the other. But in some circumstances, yes.

#13 FeralLIfeHacker

Posted 24 February 2013 - 11:35 PM

No, I will occasionally leave dd (12) for a very short time and I never feel comfortable. We have crap neighbours though  dry.gif Could he go to training with your dd, hang around, shoot some baskets, then your dh pick him up? or just go to oshc. Has he been before? He might like it. My kids wish they could go to oshc laugh.gif

#14 IShallWearMidnight

Posted 24 February 2013 - 11:41 PM

QUOTE (newkie @ 24/02/2013, 08:52 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Under those circumstances I would consider it, but there would need to be plans in place for if your DH got caught in traffic on the way home, or needed to stop off and get bread etc. An hour would be my own personal limit on alone time for that age, any more would be pushing it.

I do leave my DS (9) alone, but it's just generally the days when I'm picking up and dropping off his sisters to their after school commitments (all in the same suburb as us, so a maximum of 15/20 min round trip). But then I also have the luxury of my best friend living only 5 houses up the street from me, and her husband (my DH's best friend), works from home, so there is almost always someone about.

same here. We are close to the school and Id let DD come home alone for 30 mins

#15 SeaPrincess

Posted 24 February 2013 - 11:51 PM

My sister did when she was 9.

It would depend on the child, and you know your own DS best.

#16 jupiter71

Posted 24 February 2013 - 11:59 PM

Yes assuming at least 1 neighbour was going to be home. I would get him to "check in" with the neighbours, and get them to text me if he didn't check in by say 3:30pm.We live regionally, I would be reluctant if I did not get on with the neighbours. I'd give it a trial run first and an absolute must would be that he was competent in using the phone. WE have let DS9  going on 10 stay home for short periods of time for the last couple of years. My opinion is that kids need to be eased into taking responsibility, you start with short periods of time, and work up.

#17 Expelliarmus

Posted 25 February 2013 - 12:30 AM

No. My 9yo DS who I leave alone for half an hourish would not be walking home and staying for an hour alone. I do not consider that until they are 12.

My DS would get a 'too bad, so sad, you're going to OSHC' response.

Edited by howdo, 25 February 2013 - 12:31 AM.


#18 ~ky~

Posted 25 February 2013 - 12:36 AM

I would and have done. My kids are sensible and we also know all of our neighbours well. I inform one particular neighbour that they will be home alone and as they never go anywhere straight after school (they have two very young children), they are happy for him to come over if he is in any way concerned.

DS just goes inside, gets an apple from the fridge then sits down and watches TV or reads a book. He is so predictable that you can set your clock by him.

Being a FIFO family and having to drop my DH at the airport an hour away at 3pm, I am late home every third thursday. The kids have been perfectly fine. They are now 10yo and 12yo so a little older now.

If I didn't know I could trust them, then they would be going to a neighbours house. They have never given me reason not to trust them.

#19 Fr0g

Posted 25 February 2013 - 06:17 AM

No, I wouldn't do it. My DS (nearly 12) gets himself home 1 or 2 times a week (approx 2km) and is alone for about an hour then. DD goes to OSHC on those days.

I think we started half hour stints at about 10.

Is netball once a week? I'd tell your son to suck it up, he won't be the only 'big kid' in OSHC original.gif



#20 #tootired

Posted 25 February 2013 - 06:21 AM

I would and I do.

#21 Julie3Girls

Posted 25 February 2013 - 06:32 AM

I'd consider it.

Are your talking about 1 or 2 days a week?

I'd have a policy of calling me or dh when he first gets home, just as a check.  Wouldn't really have a problem with an hr time frame.

My 9yr old dd is just starting to spend time at home when I go and drop off her sisters at dance, or if she is home sick ill leave her on the lounge while I do school drop off.  We have ground rules, what to do if its an emergency etc.  and I trust my girls.  My dd1 started with short amounts of time around age 9.

Walking home and doing an hr alone ... If you had been leaving him on his own for short amounts of time leading up to it, and you were both comfortable, I don't see too much of a problem.  
But not if it was everyday of the week.

Oh, and I wouldn't be using the neighbours as a check in ... That is relying on the neighbours to always be home and I don't think that is fair on them.  I would have the neighbours  phone numbers, and if my child didn't check in with personally, I'd be able to ring them and see if someone was home to check on him though.


Edited cause of stupid autocorrect on iPad laughing2.gif

Edited by Julie3Girls, 25 February 2013 - 07:08 AM.


#22 hm6

Posted 25 February 2013 - 06:40 AM

It's not the the being home alone that would worrying nor the fairly short walk - but the combined issue of walking home and then entering an empty house that would make me really think about it. Yes I know neighbours are close by and as neighbours we are all keen to help out but ultimately it isnt the neighbours responsibility to keep your DS safe. After all presumably she/he has a life too. In the end you've made your decision and I would assume you have thought through all the ifs and buts and if you are still ok then that's fine. A 9 yo is still fairly young but it depends on your circumstances.

#23 ~Supernova~

Posted 25 February 2013 - 06:42 AM

QUOTE (Julie3Girls @ 25/02/2013, 07:32 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I would have the newborns phone numbers


Kids are getting phones earlier and earlier these days! Tounge1.gif

I'd also consider it. I'm not so keen on the walking home bit then being alone though. Although having a phone would help to alleviate my concerns.

DD8 was home by herself for the first time last week. She was tired and feeling sick, and I had to get some essentials from the shop. Was gone about a half hour. She laid on the couch and read a book, but she is a quiet, trustworthy kid. So...I guess it would also depend on the child.


#24 DEVOCEAN

Posted 25 February 2013 - 06:46 AM

If the neighbour is home, why can't he just go over there instead of being home alone?

I would never leave a 9yr old home alone for any reason. You may think they are responsible etc., but at that age anything can happen to throw a spanner in the works. If it did, you would also open yourself up to DOCS being called in because he is only 9yrs old.

#25 Super Cat

Posted 25 February 2013 - 06:48 AM

No not at all. Responsible kid or not.




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