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  #1  
Old 06-12-2013, 04:50 PM
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Default Need Some Opinions On This - Should I Let My 11 And 9 Year Old Stay Home?

Hi
I am in a pickle and would like to know what some other moms and DPs think about this.
I organize a children's program once a week for children aged 0-5 and their parents. Tomorrow is our last day before summer and I have planned a huge party! I have bouncy castles, snacks, games, a clown and a little graduation ceremony for the littles that will be starting Kindergarten in the fall. (Their uncles, aunts, parents and grandparents are all invited to watch).
Problem - Both my school aged girls are sick
I have no one to watch them tomorrow for me and I know they won't be going to school.
My Best friend says she thinks they are old enough to stay home and watch TV on the couch while I take care of the last day party (All my oldest DDs friends go home afterschool with no sitter, some even get ready and walk to school alone) I find they are still a bit young for that.

Here are the details - My father in law lives 3 houses over and will be home (He can't watch them since he is recovering from cancer and his immune system is shot but he would be there in case of emergency), the party is 10 minutes from my house and I have a cell phone which I will have on me.

I feel horrible leaving them alone, especially with them being sick but I have no one to watch them and everyone is counting on me for this party.......I am so stressed.
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  #2  
Old 06-12-2013, 05:12 PM
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I honestly think they will be fine. It will be fun for them, and help them feel more independent and responsible. Just make sure to go over the rules with them several times about what to do in an emergency, how to treat each other, consequences etc. Make a list of rules and a list of emergency numbers in order of who to call first and so on.
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Old 06-12-2013, 05:16 PM
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I currently have a 13 year old daughter and an 11 year old daughter. They started staying home for short periods of time such as when I went to the grocery store, etc. when they were 9 & 11. Gradually worked into longer and longer periods of time but never overnight or after dark. Before I ever left them I called the local police department just to make sure I wasn't breaking any laws. Which I wasn't. They basically told me that it fell under a "latch-key kid" type situation. Hope your kids get better and your party goes well.
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Old 06-12-2013, 05:16 PM
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So your kids are sick and you want to leave them unattended so you can go to the party you organized?

They're sick and you want to leave them ALONE?

Leaving children unattended is always determined by two things age and maturity level. You can have a very mature responsible 8 year old and a very careless 13 year old. By the way more often than not your kids won't just sit and watch tv when a parent is away, however you mentioned they were sick so there's a possibility they will.

Only you can answer that one.
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Old 06-12-2013, 05:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oneluckymom View Post
So your kids are sick and you want to leave them unattended so you can go to the party you organized?

They're sick and you want to leave them ALONE?

Leaving children unattended is always determined by two things age and maturity level. You can have a very mature responsible 8 year old and a very careless 13 year old. By the way more often than not your kids won't just sit and watch tv when a parent is away, however you mentioned they were sick so there's a possibility they will.

Only you can answer that one.
I don't want to go (I would much rather be home caring for the girls) but I have to go. There is just me. Otherwise, who will organize the party? I don't know who else I could get to take over the party and do the games, crafts, graduation ceremony, set up, clean up, etc. It would be great if the parents could step up but they won't.

They both just have colds. Stuffy noses, sneezing, sore throat, mild fever.
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Old 06-12-2013, 05:28 PM
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It really depends on the kids and their maturity levels. Also, I do believe some states do have age limits on leaving a child alone so I would check that for your state.
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Old 06-12-2013, 05:40 PM
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If your children are typically well behaved and responsible and understand what to do in an emergency I wouldn't hesitate.

I was babysitting other people's children alone at that age and coming home from school alone by the age of 8.

My kids at almost 9 and 10 stay home for short stints now and have proven themselves more than able to handle it.
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Old 06-12-2013, 05:42 PM
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I left mine home younger than that.
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  #9  
Old 06-12-2013, 07:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
They both just have colds. Stuffy noses, sneezing, sore throat, mild fever.
That's not terribly sick - I was thinking they were puking or something. If it's just colds and just for a couple of hours I'd consider leaving them home - depending on their maturity level and how comfortable they are home alone.

Otherwise, is there somewhere they can hang out at the party?
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  #10  
Old 06-13-2013, 04:31 AM
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I would do it - you have a cell phone. It's not like they will be out of touch. Grandpa is near - they are old enough to be left for a short period of time (couple hours). Don't let other people's guilt inducing opinions make you feel like you are doing something wrong. In the end you have to go with what YOU feel is right for your kids.
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Old 06-13-2013, 05:05 AM
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Thank you call for your help I feel much better about leaving them for a little bit now.
I lined up a couple of parents to help with the clean up and a few games. I also told the center where we do our program that I will go later this evening for a big clean up when my DH gets home.
I have the girls all ready with a movie rented, box of Kleenex, a little cooler with some juice boxes and the cordless telephone on the table.
I am going to get through all the important stuff first thing at the party and then head home to care for my girlies.
Thanks again everyone! The girls kinda look a little happy that Mommy trusts them enough to let them have a movie morning together on the couch with no adults home. They are really good girls and I know they will be just fine, other than the fact that they may be a little nervous since I have never left them alone.
I love being able to come on this forum and get real help.
((Hugs to all you ladies))
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Old 06-13-2013, 05:30 AM
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Mine are 9 (ten in July) and 12. I started leaving them alone last summer right after my middle one's 9th birthday. I agree that it depends on a child's maturity level... mine know not to answer the phone or door, not to cook, and can call me if anything is wrong. I don't generally go farther than a few miles away.
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Old 06-13-2013, 06:52 AM
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I would in your situation. My cousin babysits my children and she is 12.
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Old 06-13-2013, 08:05 AM
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I hope everything worked out ok this morning for you.

I have a 10 and 7 year old and have left them alone for short periods of time. Especially when they are not feeling great and want to just watch tv. We have toaked about that they are not to try to cook anything. I lock the door and we have gone into detail about who they would open the door for and who they would not. The first time I had my cell phone number in redial for them to call. Now they know the number and call me to check in.
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Old 06-13-2013, 11:07 AM
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This is slightly unrelated, but brought up something I have been wondering about. I'm about to start caring for a 3 month old and she had a 9 year old sister. I think the mom is trying to save money and told me she is going to leave the 9 year old home alone and only have me watch the baby. She will be home alone for about 5 hours each day the baby is here. Technically, I know this is illegal because in our state you can't leave children home alone until they are 12. Do I have any responsibility to report this under being a mandatory reporter? I don't think this would fall under child abuse, but I also don't feel it's very safe. The mom said she might have the 9 year old start coming here as well, depending on how things go leaving her home alone, but wanted to see how that went first. How would you handle this situation?
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Old 06-13-2013, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apick View Post
This is slightly unrelated, but brought up something I have been wondering about. I'm about to start caring for a 3 month old and she had a 9 year old sister. I think the mom is trying to save money and told me she is going to leave the 9 year old home alone and only have me watch the baby. She will be home alone for about 5 hours each day the baby is here. Technically, I know this is illegal because in our state you can't leave children home alone until they are 12. Do I have any responsibility to report this under being a mandatory reporter? I don't think this would fall under child abuse, but I also don't feel it's very safe. The mom said she might have the 9 year old start coming here as well, depending on how things go leaving her home alone, but wanted to see how that went first. How would you handle this situation?
I personally wouldn't stick my nose in.

Not sure if it's necessary to report....which state has the law where your child has to be 16 to stay home alone? Illinois? Florida?....in any event I can't imagine providers being expected to report when kids don't come to them through the age of 16.....
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Old 06-13-2013, 04:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apick View Post
This is slightly unrelated, but brought up something I have been wondering about. I'm about to start caring for a 3 month old and she had a 9 year old sister. I think the mom is trying to save money and told me she is going to leave the 9 year old home alone and only have me watch the baby. She will be home alone for about 5 hours each day the baby is here. Technically, I know this is illegal because in our state you can't leave children home alone until they are 12. Do I have any responsibility to report this under being a mandatory reporter? I don't think this would fall under child abuse, but I also don't feel it's very safe. The mom said she might have the 9 year old start coming here as well, depending on how things go leaving her home alone, but wanted to see how that went first. How would you handle this situation?
I would keep out of it, too. I know in my state (Illinois) there is a minimum age, but the law is ambiguous enough that it would have to be proven that they were in some jeopardy or endangered in some way for it to be enforceable. I would imagine that a lot of states are that way.
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Old 06-13-2013, 04:21 PM
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I would've done what you did too. I hope it went okay today? It's hard when our physical presence is needed so badly someplace but our hearts are totally someplace else. Hope your girls feel better soon too.
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