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This isn't an age question for me but a maturity one. I know some 20-somethings who'd it would be completely irresponsible to leave alone for those hrs. And, conversely, some 10 year olds for whom that would be just fine.....
 

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12 is the legal age in NJ, and that's when we started doing it. As Dan said too, maturity level has a huge influence on that.....
 

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Haha Dan, that is too funny!!! My brother is 20 and I swear the boy shouldn't be allowed to stay home alone for more then a few hours!


I was around 12'ish when my parents would leave me alone for periods of time like that. On that same note though, my boss' daughter is 12 (going to be 13 in March) and she is not trusted to be alone for more then an hour while her parents aren't home (they're working on that though)
 

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I'd say 11-12.. but the morning one makes me nervous.. how tempting to just go back to bed =)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I know it's definitely a maturity/per child issue. But say, you're watching the news and they're reporting a fire or something and the reporter says 'the child, X years old, was home alone at the time.' At what point would you not say 'OMG, what were they thinking leaving that child alone at that age?!'

(There was a fire story on the news once and they seemed to make it a point to report that the 13-year-old was home alone, like the parents should be tarred and feathered.)
 

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Don't all states have a legal age? I thought so....like in NJ we'd be in deep doo-doo for leaving a 10 year old home alone for any period of time.
 

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dweck said:
This isn't an age question for me but a maturity one. I know some 20-somethings who'd it would be completely irresponsible to leave alone for those hrs. And, conversely, some 10 year olds for whom that would be just fine.....
Definitely a maturity issue. I used to set a timer for Jennifer after I left for work, to make sure she would not get so engrossed in TV that she 'forgot' to go to school. After school, she was alone for maybe 45 - 60 minutes, and in that time had to change clothes and start on her homework. We started this when she was about 11.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
kelli said:
I'd say 11-12.. but the morning one makes me nervous.. how tempting to just go back to bed =)
The missing the bus worries me too. I've decided he would have to be completely dressed, fed and ready for school by the time I left so the chances would be less at least.
 

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I agree with everyone else, it depends on the child. But I have to say, I was babysitting other people's kids before I was 12. Times are different now, I guess. I was talking with a co-worker the other day about kids and cell phones. Her daughter is 8 and has one she said so she could call her if she was outside (in town) with her friends. I'm like, WTF is an 8 year old doing running around by herself with friends. Sorry, but I think that's way too young.
 

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i was like 8 or so when my parents started leaving me home alone for short periods of time. but they never would have left me home alone in the am. especially during school i not only would go back to bed but have gone back to bed.
 

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Ours is a city law. So I'm assuming there might be other cities who have laws too? Ours is 12 but there have been a few times when I have left Kyle (he's 11) at home for less than an hour. The elementary school has before and after care but Kyles middleschool does not. So I've on occasion had to leave before Kyle did for school and there are times when Kyle gets home before I do. I stayed home by myself every day when I was 10 and I started babysitting other people's kids when I was 12. Of course like other people said, times have changed and it really does depend on maturity of the kid.
 
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