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Old 06-29-2009, 08:49 AM   #1
disneyobessed
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? Regarding leaving child alone in room

At what age do people feel its "ok" to leave a child in a room to run and get a coffee or fill up a refillable mug or get laundry from the laundry room. Im leaving for Disney in about 2.5 weeks with my 8 year old son for 2 nights at the Wilderness Lodge (rest of family will join us 2 days later at the BCV!!) But I wake up by 5am.. and am going to have to find some things to do while my son sleeps. My friend had said, run down and do laundry or go get a coffee but Im not really comfortable doing this. IF i was to get a room in the vicinity of the Roarding Forks which is near the laundry room, I may think twice about this.. Am i being over protective here?
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Old 06-29-2009, 09:46 AM   #2
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I think you will get a lot of differences of opinion on this!
IMO, it depends on your child. I have left my DS9 in the room watching TV or reading. We also let him walk to the food court and fill up a mug by himself during the day but not after dark. (we were at ASMovies in TS section.)
The distance from the room to where you will be is a huge factor because it changes how long you will be gone and how easily he will be able to find you if needed.
One thing I do is use this early morning time before everyone is up to organize my day and even catch up on my reading.
Good luck on your decision!
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Old 06-29-2009, 10:07 AM   #3
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I agree with the PP, but would add this condition: you have to absolutely know that your child will not open the door while you're gone, no matter what, before you can leave them in the room alone for even a second, no matter how far away you are. I have been able to do this with DD since she was about 7 ie. I got up earlier and would be outside the door reading -- when she woke up she knew where I was. Now she's 9 and our rule is "do not open the door for anybody -- I have a key so I won't have to knock -- if anybody, even if they say they are from the hotel, knocks on the door she is to tell them to come back or call me on my phone (I always have my phone on me and she can call me anytime -- we have some great conversations when I'm just outside the door LOL)

You might want to test it first ie. go out, tell your child not to open the door and spy. Or knock on the door and see what they do.
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Old 06-29-2009, 10:27 AM   #4
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We just did this on our trip with DS10. He wanted to leave dinner before us(we were eating at our hotel). I gave him my phone and DH told him to call when he got back to the room. We gave him all the rules, etc. We finished our dessert and were getting concerned that we hadn't heard from him. DH looked at his phone and realized he didn't have a signal! We left immediately. DH called DS only to hear, "Dad, I called you three times, why didn't you answer?" We got back to the room to find him stretched out on the bed watching TV. He was probably alone <15 minutes.
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Old 06-29-2009, 10:30 AM   #5
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As with the others I would say it depends on the child - but you do need to be a bit paranoid and be aware that "stuff" happens - you could trip and hurt yourself, be involved in an accident somehow and not be able to get back to the room - what then? What if something happened in the room - what is your "contingency" plan if an electrical appliance overheats, the fire alarm goes off, the phone rings, housekeeping comes early - sorry, I am the paranoid mama here....

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Old 06-29-2009, 10:33 AM   #6
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I think it will be fine, as long as he is well-trained not to open the door to anyone and to stay in the room and not come looking for you... EXCEPT ... in the case of a fire alarm going off.

This is something that you should always do with kids in hotels, and even without kids. The fire exit map should be on the inside of the room door, and you should not only look at it carefully, but walk the route if you have kids with you. It's REALLY rare to have a hotel fire in the US, but they are serious business, and should be prepared for. Kids are trained about fire evacuations in school; if he knows what to do, he will almost surely do it exactly as he should. (This has been tested by airlines -- they found that adults often lose it and get confused and dithery when told to evacuate a plane, but school-aged kids always follow the rules just as they are told to.)

I learned my lesson on this after an incident in the UK. We had been on a flight that got in late, and had trouble finding the hotel, so we did not get checked in until nearly one am. Naturally, at that time of night we didn't bother to look at the evac map. Sure enough, an alarm went off at 2:30 am, and we had to evacuate. Luckily, it was a false alarm and there was no smoke in the halls. DS didn't even wake up that time; we just carried him.

Also, since we are talking about going out in the wee hours while he is sleeping, always leave a note, and carry your cell phone, not so much for his safety, as for yours, so that you can get in touch if something delays you. I once forgot my cell phone in the car after checking into a hotel on a road trip, and decided to run down to get it at 11 pm -- while my family was sleeping. I took the stairs down, and I got locked in the blasted stairwell! (Really locked in, not just only having the option of setting off an alarm. The crash-barred fire doors were all locked with keyed deadbolts!) I banged on doors and shouted for an hour before someone heard me. If I had stayed there until morning, DH and DS would have had absolutely no idea of where I was or what had happened to me (and in that particular case, I probably would have died -- it was winter and the stairwell was unheated.)
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Old 06-29-2009, 10:47 AM   #7
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I probably should add that I feel much more comfortable leaving DD alone in the room at ASMusic, since it has no interior hallways. I can sit on a park bench within view of the door (we always request a ground floor room), and actually got most of the way to the laundry at the Piano Pool before I lost sight of our room door. So the layout of the hotel might be a big factor for us in making this decision.

And you can start out by leaving your kid for short periods of time eg. when you go to the ice machine, when you run to the car to get luggage as you're checking in. Also, do some practice runs. And never, never do anything outside your own comfort zone, no matter how paranoid your friends tell you you're being -- you won't have a good trip.
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Old 06-29-2009, 10:58 AM   #8
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I'd run down the hall to grab something or whatever... but not while he's sleeping. I'd be afraid he'd wake up and see me not there and panic or leave the room or something while I was gone. If he was awake when I left and watching TV and could clearly agree to not answer the door and and not leave the room and understood how many minutes I'd be gone, I'd probably do it. But just to run and get food or something. Not leave the resort or anything, of course.
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Old 06-29-2009, 11:00 AM   #9
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I couldn't do it. I wouldn't leave anyone under 13 (not even sure then) alone. Too many what ifs for me
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Old 06-29-2009, 11:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevschickee View Post
I couldn't do it. I wouldn't leave anyone under 13 (not even sure then) alone. Too many what ifs for me
I agree with you!
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Old 06-29-2009, 11:19 AM   #11
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I couldn't do it... my kids would do something that required security to come...
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Old 06-29-2009, 12:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gretchen3ajoshmom View Post
I couldn't do it... my kids would do something that required security to come...


I have to agree it depends on the child and if you prepared him so he knows he may wake up and you will not be there.

I have let my dd who was 13 last year go to AK by herself for a few hours while we went to Epcot. We figured she can take the bus right to Epcot and be fine. And she was...but I was a total wreck the whole time!
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Old 06-29-2009, 12:20 PM   #13
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Do you leave him at home alone? I would not leave an 8 year old by himself in strange surroundings. Bad things can happen anywhere-- even WDW. However, if he is used to being home alone it may not bother him.
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Old 06-29-2009, 12:31 PM   #14
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I think that 8 is too young.
We left DS for just a few minutes at the WL at 11 but I would not do it any younger than that. For ANY legnth of time I say 13. We have had people bang on the door (had the wrong room) and it scared ME as an adult. If I were going to do it it would be at the WL. Resort just seems a little more secure somehow?.
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Old 06-29-2009, 12:39 PM   #15
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I'm not so sure what's so magical about the age 13, but I hope when my 12 yo son turns 13 some of it rubs off on him!! Aside from the fact that DS 12 looks older and is physically bigger, he is no more well equipped to stay alone than my DD 9. Of the two, she is much more responsible and careful.
I think you have to know your child, and guage your (and their) comfort level. For a few minutes to get ice, change laundry, yes I would be fine with this with my 9 yo.
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