I'm really curious to know how others feel about this- it's not entirely clear what is even legal age for being home alone (and it probably differs if the child is alone or is watching younger siblings). I'm asking this because a colleague of mine stopped by the other day and asked if D was home alone (it was one of the snow days). I said that H was home with her (he would have been home anyway). He said that their daughter (who is D's age) was home alone for the day. I don't know that I have a problem with that, but I just can't imagine leaving D like that. I know that our parenting tends to the over-protective end of the spectrum, but I don't think we are completely out of the mainstream either. I know some of you don't have kids or have much younger kids, but maybe you remember from your own experiences- when were you old enough to be left home alone? I don't plan on changing my mind about this, but now I'm kind of wondering if I am just way outside the norm.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
D had an early dismissal last Friday, two snow days this week, and today they had a two hour delay. I don't live in the part of the country that's had the crazy snow, but we've now got about a foot on the ground- which is quite a bit for Small College Town. These snow days aren't a big deal for us, because I work at home on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and H is home on Monday and Wednesday. D is 10 now, so she is pretty self-sufficient. She gets her own breakfast and makes her school lunches, but we always get her lunches at home for her (our microwave is above the stove, so it would be dangerous for her to even warm something up and risk pouring scalding food on her head). We have never left her home alone (except for 15 minutes once or twice in an emergency). I'm not sure what age I'll feel comfortable leaving her home alone for any extended period of time, but I can't see doing it before she's 12 or 13.