This week’s Saturday Sidebar Question comes from World Moms Blog writer Maman Aya. She asked our writers,
“At what age would you start to leave your child at home without supervision; how long would you leave them and where do you live (i.e. an apt in a busy city, a house in a busy suburb, on a farm, etc)?”
Check out what some of our World Moms had to say…
Hamakkomommy of Japan writes:
My only answer is not yet! My kids are seven and five. We live in an apartment in a large city. In Japan, it’s assumed that first grade is old enough to stay home alone or go about the neighborhood alone. Sometimes even younger kids are left home alone for short periods. Teachers leave the classroom during break times, etc. Even preschool teachers will leave the kids unattended for a minute or two. It’s very different from the attitude I grew up with!
I would probably leave them alone without supervision if they were already in the later teen years, BUT with clear guidelines/rules set in place. However, if God wills us to continue homeschooling even during high school, there may not be long periods of time when the kids are left home alone. We currently live in a rented apartment here in Manila.
Purnima of India writes:
We live in the suburbs and it is a fairly safe area. But I am not sure when I would leave my 6 year old son home alone. Probably not anytime soon. Maybe when he is ready, I would know. But I would wait definitely for him to be in his teens at least.
Amy Hillis of Ohio, USA writes:
I have started to leave my 9 almost 10 year old son home for short periods of time. No longer than an hour and only if I’m going to be right in town. We live in a small farm town. His dad works in town, too, so we’re both minutes away if he needs us.
Mamma Simona of South Africa writes:
Every child is different. For me, it wasn’t a question of age … it was a question of necessity AND maturity (both mine & my kids’!!). If I remember correctly, the first time I left my children alone at home for a short while, they were respectively 16 & 13 years old. I’m also more relaxed with my second child – for example, I didn’t allow my son to take a bus home when he was still in high school but my daughter has been catching a bus on her own since she was 15 years old. I DO worry and she knows to call me when she leaves school and as soon as she’s safely home, but she’s a lot more indipendent and self-sufficient than her older brother! We live in a house in a middle-class suburb of Cape Town.
MrsPCuyugan of Philippines writes:
Not any time soon! My little boy is only six. We do live in a quiet, gated and very safe community though, so maybe when he’s in his early teens. Or earlier, if he can be responsible enough to call me every once in a while just to let me know that he’s safe and the house isn’t on fire. 🙂
Eva Fannon of Washington, USA writes:
Frelle of North Carolina, USA writes:
I leave my oldest at home alone, she is almost 13. I do not leave her in charge of younger siblings. I live in a suburb in a gated apartment complex.
Kyla Pa’an of Massachusetts, USA writes:
Good gracious, my 6 year old daughter is practically a teenager and I’ve left her home for really short runs up to the local farm stand or a similar nearby, quick errand. My 3 year old son on the other hand may never be there. In fact, just tonight I loaded him in the car well past his bed time while leaving my daughter asleep to run the sitter home around the block. Wee must do what feels right for each of us, parent and child.
What about you… would you leave your children home alone, and if yes, at what age?
Do you have a question you would like to pose to our WMB writers? If so, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to see what they have to say.
– World Moms Blog
This Saturday Sidebar Question has been compiled and edited by our World Mom, Alison of Malaysia.