Home Alone?

I take my daughter to speech therapy twice a week for an hour.  The office is less than five minutes from my house, and because of the whole homeschooling thing, I have to bring my soon-to-be 10 year old along with us every time.

Which, you know, on the grand scale of things, is not really that big of a deal.  They have an observation room that we sit in, and we either read books or play games on the Kindle.  Well, usually it is me reading a book and him playing the games.

For almost all of my upper elementary years into high school, I was a stereotypical latch-key kid.  I would take the bus to my grandmother’s house, go into the backyard and over into the garage, where the house key would be waiting for me, tucked into a compartment in the water heater cabinet.  I would let myself in, watch television, maybe get a drink, and my grandmother or grandfather would be home from work in two hours or so.  My grandparents were very young, and didn’t hit retirement age until I was almost in high school.

I never had any issues or problems during those latch-key years.  No person trying to rob the house or salesmen knocking on the door.  Or, if there was someone purporting to be a salesman, I simply didn’t answer the door at all.

Even though he will be 10 in less than a month, my son has a fairly good head on his shoulders.  I know he is definitely not the type to light something on fire just for the hell of it, or make prank phone calls.  He just doesn’t have that type of temperament, and never has.

I was toying with the idea of possibly leaving him here for the hour that I am away at speech therapy, what with being so close and it admittedly being quite boring for him during the sessions.

My state has no age limit as to when a child can legally be left at home alone.  It’s more of a “you can make the decision yourself, but there will be hell to pay if you make the wrong one” type of thing.

At what age, if ever, did your parents leave you home alone?

5 Responses to “Home Alone?”

  1. marvel August 21, 2012 at 7:31 am #

    Age 10, without brother/sister, for less than an hour.

  2. Stella August 21, 2012 at 9:11 am #

    Yeah, age 10 sound about right for when I was by myself for an hour or so while mom ran up to the grocery. She didn’t trust me with my brother until he was about 10 and I was 12 though – rightly so! We fought like cats and dogs.

  3. Seana August 21, 2012 at 6:33 pm #

    I was about 11 when I started coming home to an empty house. I allow both my boys to be home after school for what amounts to about an hour and a half. I wouldn’t let my younger son be at home by himself (10 almost 11) not for fear he would do something naughty, but because he is a tryer. I don’t want him to try to make himself somehting on the gas stove and set himself or the house on fire by accident. He has a tendancy to push buttons and poke at things to see what they do. I prefer to know what it does before I push. For that reason, I make sure he is there with his older brother. I think it really depends on the kid though.

  4. La Petite Acadienne August 23, 2012 at 9:42 pm #

    I was about 9, I think. I got home an hour earlier than my sister, and so would let myself in with the hidden key, pour myself a glass of milk, turn on the tube, and happily amuse myself until she got home. My sister would get home an hour after that, and the two of us would then wash and prep vegetables, and sometimes even put a ham or a roast in the oven, for when my mom got home an hour after that.

    It really DOES depend on the kid, though. My form of “naughtiness” at that age consisted solely of a sassy mouth, not of getting into things I shouldn’t.

  5. Alice September 23, 2012 at 1:28 pm #

    I was nine or ten when I first stayed home by myself, because I was one of those incredibly trustworthy kids, but my mother (rightfully) didn’t let me stay home with my sister until I was eleven. My sister, on the other hand … I can count on one hand the amount of times she stayed home by herself before she turned twelve or so. There were plenty of opportunities, but my mother simply didn’t trust her. She had good reason – the first time she stayed home by herself, if I recall, she broke the only express rule my mother gave her!