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PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 9:29 pm 
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Am wondering from all those with older DCs at what age can you leave a child "home alone" and also when they can legally look after a younger sibling. I know it will vary as not all have the same level of responsibility and common sense but just wondering how many more years before DH and I can spontaneously venture out of an evening without a 6 week project plan of childcare for one night.... :D
The only trouble is the older I get and harder I work, that by the time the day arrives, I'll probably want to stay in!


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 9:33 pm 
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I had a look at this and it appears that there is no legal minimum :shock: :shock: provided they are not looking after a sibling .... however you remain responsible if there is an accident or they come to any harm...

Re looking after a sibling, I think it is 14....watch this space



edit: http://www.nspcc.org.uk/help-and-advice ... 72908.html

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Parents/You ... /DG_070594 ... vague!!

Blimey - no legal age for babysitting either but 14 seems to be the minimum recommended
http://www.eastsussex.gov.uk/childrenan ... fault1.htm


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 5:32 pm 
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We quite often leave DS on his own - he's now 12 and reasonably sensible. But we don't leave him for long or at night. However, would not leave DD with him (she's 8). DH is in agreement that the age for babysitting is 14, however, he thinks that you are still responsible.... please correct if wrong.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 5:52 pm 
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Jules7 wrote:

The only trouble is the older I get and harder I work, that by the time the day arrives, I'll probably want to stay in!


You will indeed, if our experience is anything to go by! :lol:

Agreed that it should be according to maturity rather than age. You also have to take the dynamics of the various combinations into account. Our 13 (going on 40) year old is mature and sensible enough to look after either one of her younger siblings, but I would be reluctant to inflict both of them on her, due to their ability to fall out (with each other) over almost anything! However, their big sis of 17 (known at home as Nanny McPhee) was quite capable of managing all three from about 15 - mainly due to relative maturity of second child, who - as second in command and in training to take over as "eldest" when big sis goes to uni - often proves a useful ally when it comes to enforcing bed time! :twisted:

Having said that though - for reasons outlined by the OP - now that we are able to go out, we hardly ever do. :roll:

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Last edited by Marylou on Sun Jan 23, 2011 6:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 6:15 pm 
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I leave my DD (she's 13) alone in the day whilst I go shopping or take the dog out for a walk, not usually more than a couple of hours. By contrast when I was 12 I used to babysit my 6 month old niece for the whole evening ! How times change :D


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 6:38 pm 
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Floss wrote:
I leave my DD (she's 13) alone in the day whilst I go shopping or take the dog out for a walk, not usually more than a couple of hours. By contrast when I was 12 I used to babysit my 6 month old niece for the whole evening ! How times change :D


Indeed. My eldest sister was 13 when I was born and was often left in charge of me and even used to take me to the baby clinic for our mother. As she was tall for her age, people used to assume she was a "gymslip mum".

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 6:49 pm 
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Whilst we have a few years to go yet, there is light at the end of the tunnel.....I would probably still worry even then as DD2 can be feisty.....
Funnily enough when I was 11 I was getting 2 buses home from school with a change in a big city centre then was at home alone until my Mum returned from work a couple of hours later. One year on I was also responsible for little sis (1.5 yrs younger) coming home from school. Really makes you grow up and become aware. My sister's road sense was not that great to say the least and I remember grabbing her and not letting her cross until I was sure. Big sis patrol!!
Times have indeed changed!


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:01 pm 
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Location: Chelmsford and pleased
Social services stated to a mother that in their opinion it is fine to leave 10-12 year olds without an adult, but not fine to leave a 12 year old in charge of a 3 year old. She was told that legally you can leave your children at your discretion, but should something happen to them prior to the age of 14 you can be prosecuted for neglect.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 9:38 am 
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We're reasonably happy to leave our 12-yo alone for two or three hours, e.g. if he has a half day. I'd probably leave our 10-yo alone for half an hour to an hour to nip to the shops or something but no more than that (far more mature but somehow far less sensible). I wouldn't leave them together - too much scope for (a) fighting or (b) creative endeavour (Isambard Kingdom Brunel would have been proud of the engineering achievement involved in them getting something down from a high shelf over a door a couple of years ago :shock: ).

When I was around 12-ish it was my job to light the fire when I got home from school :shock: .

Mike


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 10:14 am 
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I often leave my children at home if one is unwell and I have to take the others to school ( it is walking distance) or sometimes leave the 2 older ones if I have to take my little girl to someones house...but again walking only...I do worry if I am driving somewhere and have an accident they will be waiting for me at home wondering where I am !!

I never leave all of them together because then they just get up to no good......the first and only time ds1 set fire to my shampoo bottle....ds2 gave the guinea pig a bath....and dd deleted all my sky recorded programmes :evil:


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