Jump to content

Would you leave your 9 yo DS at home?

  • Please log in to reply
88 replies to this topic

#1 *JAC*

Posted 24 February 2013 - 10:27 PM

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 lucky 2

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.


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.

1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users


9 things I need to thank my parents for

You really don't realise everything your parents did for you until you find yourself doing them for your own children ... vomit catching and all.

The adventurous baby who's already putting safety first

When you're a baby, even getting off a bed and onto the floor can be a tricky procedure.

The story behind the love video that went viral

It is a quiet video, less than a half-minute long. It features no flourishes to speak of. It has no kittens doing kitten things. None of the things that often make a video go viral.

Anthony and Elle Watmough's joyous news as baby cleared of fatal condition

Rugby league star Anthony Watmough and his wife Elle have shared their joy at learning their unborn baby, who was thought to have Trisomy 18, was cleared of the fatal condition.

Win a family farmstay with Shaun the Sheep

To celebrate the Home Entertainment release of Shaun the Sheep Movie, Essential Kids and Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment are offering one winner and their family a holiday to a farm.

How I learnt to be a better friend

I may have lost that particular friend years ago, but I have gained so much from that experience.

What goes in the nappy bag?

It's far more than just a bag for nappies - it's the travel companion for your baby that should contain all the things you might need when away from home base.

The nature naming trend

The biggest joy of our daughter's name is that people really light up when they hear it (pun intended).

Win a Justine Clarke Pyjama Jam! prize pack

The Pyjama Jam! tour will see Justine Clarke returning to more intimate venues around Australia, creating the perfect comfy and cozy atmosphere for a PJ party.

Parents of baby born without part of his skull stand up to critics

When Brittany and Brandon Buell's son Jaxon was born missing much of his brain and skull, doctors said he only had days to live.

Baby plans are 'none of your business'

Emily Bingham had been asked about her baby making plans one too many times. 

Diet shakes to lose weight? Think again

Thinking of investing in meal replacement shakes to slim down ahead of summer?

Study offers support for cancer treatment during pregnancy

It is among the most delicate and difficult dilemmas in medicine: Should a pregnant woman who has received a cancer diagnosis begin treatment before her child is born?

Awards 2015: Vote now for a chance to win $2000

Vote for your favourite pregnancy, baby and toddler products for your chance to win your share of $2500 in cash prizes.

64 baby names based in nature

Looking for a baby name with a nod to nature, or one with an organic meaning? Check out our list to get inspired.

What coffee does to your body

That cup of Joe is just the boost your body needs.

Mum leaves triplets at hospital because she can't afford them

An illiterate and poverty stricken mother has abandoned her newborn triplets at hospital because she cannot afford to care for them.

I gave my daughter up for adoption - then tried to be her mum

The first time my oldest daughter called me 'Mum', she was 17.

Rainbow Babies lighting up the internet

A recent Facebook photo post is prompting widespread discussion of an emotional topic for many parents: rainbow babies.

The new wave of virgins giving birth

Dozens of young women have had virgin births after undergoing IVF in Britain, it has been reported.

'It sort of became an addiction': parents buying, reselling Bonds Wondersuits

Your baby might be crawling around in hundreds of dollars worth of clothing.

Adjusting your child to daylight savings time

A one-hour difference to the day is pretty big deal when you're little.

Born too soon: life on the margins of existence

The frontiers of life are advancing ever further into uncharted territory.


What's hot on EB

Stella McCartney honours mum with lacy bra

Fashion designer Stella McCartney has honoured her late mum, Linda McCartney, by designing a special bra for post-mastectomy patients.

Don't panic: A granddad midwife's guide for dads-to-be

Mark Harris has helped deliver 500 babies. And he's now telling fathers what to expect.

How to be a calm parent when you're feeling anything but

Being a calm parent takes a lot of work, sometimes more than is obvious to those around us.

The joy and isolation of being a stay-at-home dad

It's cool, kind of like a second childhood. I love him to bits and think, on average, I'm an okay dad. But I also want to talk about the other stuff.

How baby Teddy's short life is helping save thousands of lives

He may have only lived for 100 minutes, but that didn't stop baby Teddy from saving the lives of others.

A heartbreaking trail of missed chances in death of baby forgotten in car

A haunting reminder to stay mindful about babies in cars, especially as we approach summer.

What to do if your baby has tongue-tie

Tongue-tie can cause feeding problems. However once it is diagnosed, the condition can be easily treated.

How to move house without losing your mind

Some people move frequently, while others like to stay put. But everyone finds it stressful.

'She had nowhere to go': how new mum's life began to unravel

The birth of her first child should have been happiest of times for Campsie mother Phuong Cao, but friends say it marked the beginning of when her life began to unravel. 

Women giving birth to a son keep some of his Y chromosomes

It was an experiment doomed to failure - they were looking for male cells in female bodies. And their search was stunningly successful.

Photos: How babies fit in the womb

A gorgeous photo series shows babies in the first hours after their birth - as they were positioned in the womb.

Baby tries to persuade stubborn bulldog to walk, fails

We don't know what he's saying, but this baby has a very clear message for his bulldog pal: let's walk - NOW.

The best toddler gift ever? Nine gender-neutral play kitchen picks

Without a doubt, one of the best gifts for a toddler turning two or three is a play kitchen.

9 easy steps to improve your baby photography

With a few simple tips you can take your images from random happy snaps to lovely clean images that create beautiful lasting memories.



What are your favourite baby products?

The Essential Baby Awards are on now, and we need your help! Have your say on your top picks and you'll go in the draw to win a share of $2500.

Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.