At What Age....

Queen of the WDW Scene

It's only MY opinion, YOU decided to quote it.
Joined
Aug 24, 2016
Ugh another one of "those" threads.
Someone is gonna come on and say that this state or that state has a law of this age or that age....
To me it depends on the child and what the child and parents are comfortable with.
I can recall my parents leaving me to go to the drug store when I was about 8.
If they were going to be gone for hours I'd usually go with them even at about 13 mostly because they were going to do x, y, x and then eat dinner so I wasn't about to sit home and have mac n cheese when I could go to a favorite restaurant.
 

jaybirdsmommy

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 27, 2008
Around 10 for the oldest, 8 for the youngest. That is until Thanksgiving weekend when we left both alone (15 and 8) to run to the store. We were gone less than an hour and came home to a driveway filled with 3 police cars, a fire truck and an ambulance.

We share a driveway with our neighbors and couldn't tell until we actually got to the house that all the excitement was at the neighbors house but that was the scariest couple of minutes of my life. Kids didn't even realize it, they were watching TV in the back of the house and never heard a thing. Youngest goes with us now.
 

MrsCobraBubbles

Life's too short to wear pants all the time
Joined
Jul 24, 2013
I agree with others that it depends on the mental maturity of the child. For example, my youngest has ADHD and is extremely impulsive--I will not be leaving her alone for a good long time. It also depends upon your state laws. My state doesn't have a law specifying a minimum age when minors can be left home alone, but many states do.
 
  • DopeyDame

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 8, 2010
    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.
    I don't really care about state guidelines, but I looooooove your Mrs. Kravitz reference. Well done.
     

    mjkacmom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 20, 2006
    I agree with others that it depends on the mental maturity of the child. For example, my youngest has ADHD and is extremely impulsive--I will not be leaving her alone for a good long time. It also depends upon your state laws. My state doesn't have a law specifying a minimum age when minors can be left home alone, but many states do.
    Three states.
     

    siren0119

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 26, 2018
    My kids were 8 and 10 when I started feeling comfortable enough to let them be alone at home. After a while they proved they could handle themselves for more than an hour, and i started leaving them home if they didn't want to run errands with me (2-3 hours). Now, if I have to be somewhere in the evening, not only can I trust them to be home alone, but they can make themselves a simple dinner AND get themselves to bed on time. I generally arrive home within 15-20 minutes of their bedtime and they are in bed and sleeping when I check on them. So they've earned their independence. But giving that to them was HIGHLY dependent on how well they handled smaller bouts of independence early on.
     

    FlightlessDuck

    Y kant Donald fly?
    Joined
    Jun 20, 2006
    10...ish? Like, maybe 8 if you know the kid is super responsible and doesn't get into trouble? 12 if the kid does have a tendency to do dumb things when left alone?
     
  • disneychrista

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 26, 2002
    I can't remember when I started allowing my kids to stay home when I ran to the store. I want to saw they were 12 & 10. But I was very over protective.
     

    PollyannaMom

    I was a click-clack champ!!
    Joined
    May 16, 2006
    It was a very gradual ramp-up with mine. I started pretty young by letting him watch TV while I ran to the neighbor's to borrow or lend something, then he could get off the bus alone if I was working at a different school and got home 15 minutes later than him, then he could stay while I ran an errand...and so on up until he could be home when we were out at night. I'm not even sure of the exact ages, since it was such a slow transition.

    The bottom line is when you and your kid are comfortable (within the law, of course, if you're in one of those few states). But I definitely recommend starting small and working your way up.
     

    mombrontrent

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 8, 2008
    My oldest was 10, middle was 9 and youngest was 8. I progressively got more lenient :) She just arrived home from school first an hour before anyone else did. By the time she was 9-10 I thought nothing of just leaving her for evenings or afternoons to run errands or if we were working etc.
     

    MrsPete

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 24, 2002
    Average age, I'd say, is 8-10.

    It should be a progression: Stay alone at home 20-30 minutes while Mom or Dad does a quick run to the grocery store or the gas station. In the day time. If that goes well, the child feels comfortable and follows established rules (stay inside, don't open the door for anyone, no friends over, don't tell anyone on the phone you're alone) ... then extend the time a bit.

    You should give them plenty of practice staying alone under these circumstances before you allow them to stay alone for an hour or more. Or after dark.
     
  • superme80

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 2, 2010
    I agree with others that it depends on the mental maturity of the child. For example, my youngest has ADHD and is extremely impulsive--I will not be leaving her alone for a good long time. It also depends upon your state laws. My state doesn't have a law specifying a minimum age when minors can be left home alone, but many states do.
    This is the same with my middle son. He just turned 8, but he won't be staying home alone for awhile. My 10 year old I am almost ready to leave alone for short periods of time.
     



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