How old were your kids when you left them home alone?

Hi, I have a question for all the parents of older kids out there. I’m about to go back to work, 8 am-1:30 pm. My son is going into 6th grade. Last year when they did virtual learning, he could stay in an essential worker daycare. But it’s only K-5. My question is, how old were your kids when you let them stay home by themselves? He’s 11 will be 12 in December. I feel it’s too soon, but then again, I stayed home at that age. So am I being too protective? He would know not to use the stove, not to open the door, and will have a phone. I was just curious about others experiences with this big transition. Thank you all for the advice.

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My 10 year old is going into 6th grade and I let him stay home alone for short periods of time. He has a cell phone he can use if needed and if I need to get ahold of him. He will be 11 in Oct.

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My son is now 12 stayed home at 11 by himself but only for a 2 hr max.

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My soon to be 11 year old stays home alone for no more then three hours at a time but we will be expanding that time soon to max five hours. But we got her , her own cell phone and will call her if we are needing to be out longer. Just go over general rules, don’t answer the door no matter who it is, keep the door locked, no using the stove but microwave is fine stuff like that. And make sure he knows what to do in case of an emergency.

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I would let him but my soon to be 12 yr old would sleep until noon :joy:. You know your kid No cooking no answing the door and have phone access


I’m well grown but my mom use to let me stay alone for short periods at 10 years old.

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I definitely wouldn’t have my child at that age in a daycare… I habe an almost 7th grader and he’s been staying home for bout 4-5 hours alone at a time since he was 10.

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Only you know if he’s ready Momma. By age, yeah I guess (my 11 year has started asking lol), but only you know what he’s capable of. It’s hard letting them grow up. Prayers Momma.

Honestly my son is the same age bday is Dec 9 and he will be staying home. However I will be coming home for lunch everyday to make sure everything is good.

I think it depends on the maturity of the child and the trust you have in them. The age isnt so much the issue.


Depends on his maturity, where u live, ur neighbors, whether he has a phone or other device to communicate

Really each kid is different


I let mine stay alone once in a while at 11. Just made sure he was awake (he wouldn’t wake up to a fire alarm), nothing on like candles or the stove. No cooking, no answering the door. I also think it depends on their maturity which you know more than anyone and where you live. We live in a small “safe” town but if we lived in the metro area I would be hesitant but that’s just me.

My older daughter was 10, at home with her 8 year old sister by themselves. We started small, and hour here and and hour there. By the time they were 12 and 10 they were all day by themselves.
Be honest with yourself. How responsible and mature do you think your child is? Do you honestly believe he will follow your instructions? If you think so, give it a try. If you have time, start small. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: good luck


Check your local laws sometimes they have an age set. Most places i have lived in has been age 13 to be left at home.

My girls stayed home at age 11. If you can afford to set up a camera and that way you can check in on him every so often


Mine stayed home at that age no problems but I would worry about them staying on task during school hours if they are doing virtual learning.

Mine were 12 and 10 when I started leaving them alone, and then it was just to do grocery shopping. They had a choice to go with me or stay home.

I am probably way to over protective but the internet is full of creeps!!! and a bunch of you are stating your kids age and that you leave them alone :flushed::flushed::flushed:. Its not hard for people to find out your personal info. Not a big fan of this thread. Just me though.


Each kid is different. It totally depends on how level of maturity


Depending on the maturity of the child, he can stay home. Just leave him like sandwiches in the fridge and little snacks where he doesn’t have to make anything and he should be fine. I loved staying home by myself when I was around 11. It was relaxing I would watch tv do my homework and chill at home.

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My mom was a helicopter mom. I wasn’t allowed to stay home alone until I was 14. We lived in a small town and my aunt lived 2 houses down and I still couldn’t stay home alone. Neither could my sister and she was only a year younger than me. But I also didn’t get my first phone until I was almost 15.

It’s up to how mature the child is. My daughter is 15 and just started staying by herself, her choice though she has horrible anxiety so being alone was to much for her.

every kid different depends on maturity

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My boys started staying home for a few hours here and there when the Rona hit. I still had to go to work. They are 10 and 11… They still call me conatantly to Knark on each other for stupid shit. And they suck at cleaning up their own mess’ but… They haven’t burned the house down!!!

I asked our local DFS office one time because my ex was throwing a fit about the kids being home alone. They told me it just depends on the kid there is no actual set age. So you just have to be confident in your kid. Just like everyone else and yourself have mentioned no cooking on the stove no candles do not open the door for anyone! Keep doors locked and phone charged. Answer when I call!! I still tell them that when I leave to this day. LOL

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That’s the age I let my daughter stay home alone, I started small with quick trips to the grocery store, ran an errand or two. Helps to build it up so when you leave for an extended period of time you dont feel as anxious. Good Luck!


Depends on his maturity level. If he is mature for his age i say no problem but if he is childish for his age i wouldnt

Look up your states age requirements! Some say talk to their drs, others have an age minimum.

I let my kids stay home alone when my daughter turned 12. My son was 10 so she was in charge and very responsible. My parents lived 2 house up from up in case something happened.

  1. My kids are mature enough and knows basic life skills. There is no minimum age requirement in Ohio.

As a single parent, this was hard for me also. Children age out of day care by 6th grade. I ended up getting house cameras I could monitor and talk through and a phone with a tracking app.

I stayed home alone at that age, but I also didn’t have to discipline myself to do schoolwork. In my personal opinion I would think he’d be okay, but I dont know that I’d rely on him to keep himself focused.

It depends on the maturity


I was babysitting 4 kids by myself when I was 12. I would say that it depends on their maturity.

I was left at home for hours at a time by my parent around age ten. And I would trust to leave my 10 year old at home, but I’ve got 2 smaller kids age 8 and 7 and they would burn the house down. You know your child of you think it would be ok then it probably would be

I was 7 babysitting a 2 year old🤷‍♀️

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The law is 12 I believe

I feel like it needs to be based on each child. My son will be 12 next month. When he started 6th grade last year he was only 11. He was home for about 2 hours in the morning and 1 in the afternoon. We bought a camera where I could keep an eye on him and we have a home phone. I suppose a cell would have worked fine but I didn’t want him to have one at 11. He did fine. Momma was the one worried out of her mind. :flushed: Now, as far as all day…I don’t think I would leave him here all day for the virtual learning. There are a lot of places that are offering care and are extending the age requirement up to 12th grade. Your son may be ok home all day. But I know mine would need some kind of instruction throughout the day. Good luck momma. I know everyone is having to make tough choices!

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Dfs told my friend up to 4 or 5 hours and with a phone in the house

That’s exactly the age we started leaving my son home. My husband and I both work, and after school care stopped after 5th grade.
He would let himself off the bus, walk the 3 houses to our house, and let himself in. He was alone from 3pm to 5:30, unless he had after school activities.
It went perfectly fine! I was nervous in the beginning, but he had a phone to reach me, and we had an app (life 360) that was loaded onto all our phones so I could see where he was if I wanted to. He honestly loved the responsibility and a little bit of freedom. He even did his homework before we got home! He’ll be fine mama! Just make sure he’s clear on house rules and knows what to do in emergencies.
Now, all day, I think that depends on you and your child. Can he be trusted to do his remote learning on his own? Can he make simple meals, like sandwiches, on his own?

11 is a good age. I worked as an essential employee and my youngest stayed home from 7am-12pm even though he slept most of that time! He has a phone and we have an Amazon alexa so I could “drop in” and check on him without him feeling i was being overbearing. I also only work 5 minutes from our home so that ease my anxiety.

I was 8, by 9 I was watching my newborn brother and 7 year old brother. It depends on the length of time, age, and maturity.

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Check each state for law. Where I’m at there is no law on age. Just goes by maturity level. I work from 8-5, during school I didnt have anyone to get my kids off the bus so they started staying home after school by themselves. They have a cell phone and all of my neighbors know they are alone so if something were to happen they know what to do.
If you dont feel comfortable at first, just let them stay home while you run to the store and get a RING camera and set it up in the house where they dont know about it and check to see.

Depends on the child one of mine I was fine with the other was too immature

Check and see what the law is in your state. My state at 11 they can only be alone for a couple hours but at 13 they can be alone for a work day. And depends on the maturity level. I might would install a camera in the kitchen and or living room just to check in every now and then.

My son is 11 and he has been staying by himself since he was about 8 or 9. A few days a week I work very early mornings so he would put himself on the bus, I had gotten him a phone and we had a plan for him to call me when he woke up. It ended out working out great because now he is in middle school and they are required to walk from where we live. He also knows how to use the stove or microwave, I leave easy things for him to grab to eat. I also told my son the same thing about not opening the door to anyone. You’ll know when your child is ready.

When my husband and I were working, the boys had to be home for about 2 hours on their own. They would come in, go to the back door where my neighbor was waiting by her back door and wave to her. Once she thought she heard them fighting so she hopped the fence and came in to see what was going on. I think they were playing and it got out of hand. It’s good to have neighbors you can trust

It’s all based on maturity… our 12 and 10 year old stay home majority of the day. Both dad and I are essential workers and no family around. We have a phone, and check in regularly. They use the microwave for food.


My 11 year soon to be 12 has done a few hours home alone since he turned about 11 maybe even 1 hour at 10 years old. He has his phone charged and tell the neighbors to just watch the house ( more for my protection/anxiety then for my son)

My son and daughter have been “latch key” kids since they were 11 and 8. They know the rules, how to be safe, how to be responsible, etc. I think it all depends on the maturity of the children, IMO
They have had a phone and we have cameras in the house that we can talk back and forth through as well.
Also probably helps that we love out in the middle of nowhere so strangers aren’t much of a concern.
Also you should check your state laws because it is not the same everywhere. In SC there is no minimum age for a child to be home without a parent.

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My daughter is 11 and I feel she is mature enough to be left home

Think the law is 12, where I live. But also maternity would play a part too

It depends on his maturity level but I would think he’d be just fine with the right preparation!

Depends where you live. Certain ages have a time limit and restrictions

My kids are 11 and 12(13 in December) they have been staying home by themselves while we are at work/ going to the store for about 6 months now. I was worried about it at first but they have cell phones and know the rules. No stove. No opening doors ect. They have done great with it.

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Every state is probably different so you would have to check…I know here in Canada…at leeast in ON your child who is 12 is permitted to stay home by themselves up to 3 hours…HOWEVER…they have to have a way to reach you in case problems arise ex. Cellphone, tablet etc. It’s also recommended that you inform a trusted neighbor to keep a look out for them.

You said 8-1:30? How much of that is he sleeping? My son wakes up 9-10 then goes to video games so he’s active like 3-4 hours of that… but he won’t go outside nor answer the door. I text him just to check on him (nothing has ever happened)

If u feel his is mature enough to be home alone then yes. I have a 10 almost 11 yr old who is mature enough. But there’s no way her brother who is 9 almost 10 will be mature enough to do it at 10 yrs.

I think I was 10 when I started staying home alone. Just make sure he has a phone incase if emergency, and maybe if you know your neighbour get them to check on him every couple hours, even with just a phone call :slightly_smiling_face:

Depending on your state … it dont matter the age as long as they know responsibilities and you know you can trust him … have you ever left him home by his self before? Like to go to the store or run a few errands? If so how well did it work ? … does he have a phone or do you have a land line so he can call you if he needs something? What about food options does he know how to work the microwave … it all depends on what he knows to make it until you get home

One daughter since 8, another is 15 and I’m still not comfortable with it. It depends on the child.


I would just make sure he has a cell phone, knows not to answer the doors, knows that they need to be locked at all times and he’s never to leave alone. Things are different nowadays so don’t think you’re being overprotective!!

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This is my go to guide for staying home alone…

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Check state laws… Some states allow 12 yr olds home alone for a certain number of hours some states say 13 yr olds for a certain amount of hours.

Do not go by child’s “maturity” go by state law.

In new zealand the minimum age for no adult supervision is 14, at 14 you can be a baby sitter (within reason etc)

My son is almost 10 and we leave him home alone sometimes. But only for a few minutes if we have to run to the store.

12 years old for my 3 girls!! Do a trial run a few times… leave him for an hour, then 2 hrs., etc. & see how it goes!!

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if u think hes responsable enough to be alone for his age ok and just make sure has all emergency contacts keeps doors closed and locked doesnt answer door for anyone same for phone unless knows from u someone or u are checking in with him.

Where I live there is no set law and alot of it depends on maturity. My daughter is 12 going into 7th… I started let her stay home alone when she was 11 for a run to the store or something brief… She has a phone and I have cameras in the house. She stays home for up to 3 hours. She doesn’t want to be home alone any longer than that. But most of her friends do stay home when their parents work. Mine just gets nervous so I won’t do a full workday until she feels comfortable and confident with it.

Guess just depends on his maturity. Years back my kids were home alone for a few hours everyday and they were 11,8,7. But my kids have always been exceptionally well behaved and responsible.
SingleMomLife back then

It depends on how mature he is and how safe your neighborhood is

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I would check the state regulations on that every state has an age. When u can leave ur child alone

Depends on the child and their level of maturity…


If you have amazon prime… get an echo device (dot, show, etc) you can drop in to talk to him (think intercom…I preferred this over a cell because they dont have to accept it…I can drop in and holler their names and here what’s going on in the room) you can also set alarms or reminders and make announcements


I would call the Department of Social Services in your county and specifically ask what are the requirements/ guidelines for when this is appropriate. Also, document the call (time, date, who you spoke with). Then you’ll know you’re covered and have an educated answer based on age and developmental expectations.

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Every child is different but when I was 8 I was able to be left home alone for several hours. When I was 10 I was walking myself home from school and taking care of myself (homework, dinner, shower, in bed) before my father got home from work around 3-4 am. I think if you’ve raised your child to be responsible, then there shouldn’t be a problem letting your child be alone while you work. Especially since he’s considered a “pre-teen”

Why can’t he be able to use the stove? I was cooking meal and such well before I was 12


My oldest is very mature, i started being able to trust her home alone for short stints at 10, all she would do is watch TV. She has a phone and we have 2 home phones and cameras. I’m lucky to only work 5 min from home so during school if she was sick she could stay home and I’d go home at lunch and breaks to double check. We have an emergency contact list as speed dials on the home phone. It comes down to maturity and preparedness. My middle daughter is 9 now and I don’t see her being home alone at 10 lol

Depends on his ability to behave appropriately. If someone comes to the door will he answer or ignore? Make sure he knows how to contact you, the police, any other numbers he needs to know.

I have an 11 year old who has been staying home by herself with no issues whatsoever since she was 9. Also, my 11 year old watches my 6 year old after school.

Only you know your child. My daughter was WAY more mature than my son at age 11. She could be left alone but not my son. If your son is mature enough, I’d definitely invest in a couple of safety essentials including a camera. My coworker works nights and her daughter was 17 at the time and she’d watch them all night via her phone to check in on them. Also, she had a sensor outside her home when anyone would walk to her home, her lights would turn on and she’s get a notification. Good luck! It’s hard being a working mother during these times :heart:


I was 12 and babysat 3kids st home alone 🤷

I was a single mom and my daughter has been staying alone since she was 7 I had no choice

My kids were 12 when they stayed home alone all day while I was at work. Its not what I wanted, but circumstances happened and that’s what it was. Same rules applies…no cooking, opening the door and they had phones. If you trust your child is responsible enough, give it a go.

I wouldn’t be comfortable leaving my children home alone. What if an intruder breaks into your home and harms your child?

Back then the world wasn’t as bad as it is today, and I would never leave a child under the age of 16 home alone it’s not safe for a male or female. Me and my opinion only.


Mine started watching her siblings while I worked and she was 11. Shes mature and has known how to cook simple meals since she was 8. She has her own cell phone, so she could call me if there was an emergency or if one of them were acting up lol. Its all about maturity level I think.

He’ll be perfectly fine.

My 11 year old daughter watches my 8 year old daughter while I’m at work. I’m only 10 mintues away as well.

It really all depends on the child. My son is 11, will be 12 in December. He’s stayed home by himself most of the summer. He knows not to cook anything or answer the door. He does have a phone and 2 huge dogs that are really protective of him. Our Aunt/Uncle live next door and he knows he can call or go up to their house, if needed. He is usually sleeping most of the day, playing video games or watching t.v…

My girls are 15, 13, and 12 and I don’t leave them home more than maybe 30 minutes alone. I stayed alone at single digit ages, but it was a different time then than it is now… I also don’t believe my 15 and 13 year old are mature enough not responsible enough yet…

It depends on the child, my older two children I felt were responsible enough to be left at 10 for short trips to the grocery store and errands. But my third and fourth children, I’m not sure I will ever be able to leave home alone. They worry and get scared easily and make choices that prove they need supervision.

Check your local laws instead of asking FB. Where i live its a child endangerment charge if you leave your kids home alone under 13.

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There are laws in different countries and provinces or states it’s best to find out what the legal age is, here in Canada it’s 13, thou parents do leave their kids at 11-12 for a few hours at a time, not for such a long shift, you can have a teenage babysitter to check in or a neighbor to check on them etc, to each their own, just god forbid something does happen you just need to have your butt legally covered

My son’s 13 but started staying home around 11. Honestly make sure he has a phone for emergencies and to be able to call you when and if he needs. And also they sell a camera for about $20-25 bucks on amazon. Its then an app on your phone and has 2 way talk. Dont have to pay monthly or anything. Brings peace of mind to you and also let’s your child know your there if anything happens.

I can leave my 12 and 14 yr olds for a day and they will be fine. They have phones and know not to open the door for anyone for any reason. We have one trustworthy neighbor that if they had a problem they can go to. I would maybe do a test run, give him the rules. Then have a friend or neighbor go knock on the door while you’re gone to see if he follows your directions. That’s how we tested to see if the boys were ready and able to be home alone.

Definitely depends on the kid and how much you trust them to behave on their own. We started leaving my daughter for short periods of time around 9. She is now almost 12 and sometimes stays home alone for long periods of time 5-6 hours and is fine. She’s also watched her 2 year old brother for a couple hours before as well. Each child is different.

My oldest two stay home alone either together or separate depending on what is going on that day, they are 12 & 14 and since covid they now babysit their 3 younger siblings who are 7,7 and 3 for a hour or two every time I have to go to the store to grab groceries or if I have a appointment in town or when I have to go pay bills. I leave them with a emergency phone list, a exit plan Incase of emergency, they have their phones and always lock up the house as I leave and have strict instructions to not answer the door for anyone and I always text when I get to the driveway so they can unlock the door, they both are cpr certified since our school has a pool and they give lessons as a part of swim class and they both know not to cook anything unless it can be done in the microwave

I allowed my 11 year old daughter to babysit my 7 year old son. She is extremely mature and responsible.

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I leave my 11 and 9 year old home alone all the time. I think its based on maturity not age.