View Full Version : 13 Year Old
03-26-2008, 05:28 PM
Maybe you guys could give me some information. I have a 13 year old step daughter. When do you guys think it is ok to leave them home alone?
03-26-2008, 05:40 PM
I have heard that 13 was the age that is legal for leaving kids on their own. I personally think that it should also be based on maturity! Is your step-daughter mature or still kinda acts irresponsibly? If you decide that she is mature then maybe you could give her testers i.e leaving her for half an hour then an hour, you could also plan on leaving her but restricting what she does like only being able to use toaster oven/microwave not allowed to use oven/stove . You can give her rules and guidelines that best suit you and your husband.Good Luck!
03-26-2008, 06:01 PM
I agree with Fuzzy that it depends on a child's maturity, but it is also a scary situation in general. I know that in my state (nc) it is "legal" to leave a child as young as 8 home alone. They have to be 12 to babysit up to 2 non-related children. My daughter is 6 and I can't imagine that she would be able to care for herself "legally" in two years, even for just a short amount of time. Deciding on a teenager's maturity level can be even more difficult than a younger child, as a teenager can be rebellious in ways a young child wouldn't think of. I would have to say that it would boil down to what kind of trust you have in her and has she proven that she can respect your rules when you ARE at home?
03-26-2008, 07:54 PM
Were I live, you can leave a 9 year old alone for up to two hours at a time. We have three daughters and my youngest now nine. I have left my second oldest and youngest alone for up to two hours without incident (only a few miles away from them). My 13 year old daughter has been babysitting other children since she was 11 (after taking a babysitting course). I agree though, it depends on how responsible your child is.
03-28-2008, 12:33 PM
I agree, it is a maturity level.
I have dealt with a lot of kids and I have been involved in an explorer program as an adviser for 14 years. (age 14-21) I also have had to interview a lot of young kids through my work. (All ages 2 and up!)
If they are not respectful and mature, they cannot be trusted alone, at any age. But you have to start at some point. The longer you wait the harder it is for both of you.
She is 13, think about it, she could be driving soon?(I got my license in KS at 14.) And you think she should not stay home alone? But in a year or so she can go down the road in a 2 ton killing macine with no indepedence skills learned. Ouch!
If she knows what to do she will be fine. Setting guidelines at any age is important. Also lining out concsquences of failing to follow rules should be there too.
I know 7 and 8 year olds that have it down pat, You don't open doors to strangers, you never say you are alone on the phone, you have emergency contact people either by phone or walking to their house, you know all the 911 rules, etc......... I also know 11 and 12 years olds I would never leave alone!
Somewhere that independence is going to come out and it works some much better to have a control on it before they are so old that they rebel instead.
What ever you do is if you set out the rules and consquences, follow through ---- do not make ideal threats. As a step parent, I know, sometimes that respect is hard to get, but you have to respect them and give them a chanse to show they can do it.
04-03-2008, 12:52 PM
I think it depends on the child too, but I stayed home alone and my mom thought it was ok and she trusted me and now im 14 and 4 months pregnant my first time doing anything I am very mature for my age but im just saying trust that they can stay home but always keep a close eye like have someone in the family just stop bye for a visit or call when youre not there im not trying to make myself look bad and i dont regret my baby but pre-teens and teens are very sneaky and my mom raised me right never cussed we went to church but i learned everything at school starting when i was 11 so just watch them
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