- Dec 16, 2004
would it be acceptable to leave children alone for a quick trip, less than 45 minutes, to run an errand?
This is what Google says:I would look up your state guidelines. Some states have actual laws, but most just have guidelines. Personally, I would feel uncomfortable going against the guidelines, even if I felt my child was more mature.
I did not leave mine alone until sometime in 5th grade for short bursts (about 10 years old). Like @Klayfish , we have one older and then twins. Older DS was 6 when the twins were born, so he hadn't been old enough to be left alone and then we had to take the twins everywhere anyhow (and a 6-8 year old was actually helpful to have at an errand when you have twins under 2 years old). That was a long explanation for saying that we still have to actively try to leave our older son home alone sometimes (he's 12 now) to get him prepared especially for this summer when DH and I both have to work, and he will be too old for daycares/summer camps (most only allow up to age 12 and he will be 13).
We will probably wait until older DS is 14 and in high school before we consider letting the twins stay home alone with him for short errands.
Most states, even without a law, will have a Family Services/Child Protective Services site with guidelines.This is what Google says:
"Some states, such as California, offer little guidance, with no minimum age set for when children can be left home alone. The majority of states with laws cite 12 years old as the cutoff, while some states lean younger, including Maryland and Georgia at 8 years and Kansas at 6."
I agree guidelines are misinterpreted and I feel it is a shame the world has come to this, but I always felt that if I wasn't following the guidelines (even if there is no law) and Mrs. Kravitz decides to call the police because Tabitha is home alone, then I would invite less trouble if I was following guidelines.8-9 for my kids. We lived in a safe area and they were mature enough to handle it.
The state guidelines in my state are almost always misinterpreted. Basically, the *real* guideline is: don't be stupid and use common sense when deciding when, where, how long, and how safe your kids will be if you leave them for a short while.
I'm in California. We just raised the age to buy tobacco from 18 to 21. And now they are debating lowering the voting age from 18 to 17.I actually think it is a little silly that the guidance is to leave my 12 year 11 month 29 day year old home for only 2 hours and then the next day when he turns 13 he is okay to babysit for 12 hours? However, I like to play things safe and go by the guidelines.
Totally agree!I agree guidelines are misinterpreted and I feel it is a shame the world has come to this, but I always felt that if I wasn't following the guidelines (even if there is no law) and Mrs. Kravitz decides to call the police because Tabitha is home alone, then I would invite less trouble if I was following guidelines.