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Old 01-12-2016, 11:23 AM
 
35,121 posts, read 37,862,490 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markjames68 View Post
Be VERY, VERY careful when doing this and understand the law in your area. While it may be fine to leave your kids alone if they're mature enough, note that if something does happen (heaven forbid) that child protective services may be called if the children are under the age requirement. In IL that age is 14. Most states don't have laws but leave it up to the parent.
There has never been an age requirement in Illinois so when did that start?
Each state has their own guidelines when it comes to this issue. Our children were around 10 or so when we would leave them home for an hour or so depending on the situation.
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Old 01-12-2016, 11:23 AM
 
Location: Mississippi
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In my state kids must be 12 before being left home alone. I know every state is different, but I just wouldn't feel right leaving a kid younger then 12 or 13 home alone for hours at a time. I could see leaving younger kids to run a quick errand.
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Old 01-12-2016, 11:35 AM
 
Location: Woodstock, GA
1,986 posts, read 3,352,226 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markjames68 View Post
Be VERY, VERY careful when doing this and understand the law in your area. While it may be fine to leave your kids alone if they're mature enough, note that if something does happen (heaven forbid) that child protective services may be called if the children are under the age requirement. In IL that age is 14. Most states don't have laws but leave it up to the parent.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CSD610 View Post
There has never been an age requirement in Illinois so when did that start?
According to the Illinois DCFS website:

Illinois law defines a neglected minor, in part, as ďany minor under the age of 14 years whose parent or other person responsible for the minorís welfare leaves the minor without supervision for an unreasonable period of time without regard for the mental or physical health, safety or welfare of that minor.Ē

I don't think they're going to take your 9 and 10 year-olds away if you just run up to the store for 30 minutes in the middle of the day.

To the OP: yes it is very hard the first time. As it should be. But it is extremely unlikely that anything will happen, and they have a way to contact you if something does. 9 and 10 is not too young for most children.
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Old 01-12-2016, 11:47 AM
 
2,054 posts, read 986,415 times
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As long as they know what to do in case of emergencies (fire, burglaries-which happen in nice neighborhoods as well, no letting anyone inside the house no matter what, etc) and can reach you or your husband by phone, you can start leaving them at home for short periods of time. See how they handle 30 mins, an hour and go from there.
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Old 01-12-2016, 11:47 AM
 
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Listen to it...it is called intuition.
They aren't...nor are you ready yet.
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Old 01-12-2016, 01:05 PM
 
35,121 posts, read 37,862,490 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billl View Post
According to the Illinois DCFS website:

Illinois law defines a neglected minor, in part, as ďany minor under the age of 14 years whose parent or other person responsible for the minorís welfare leaves the minor without supervision for an unreasonable period of time without regard for the mental or physical health, safety or welfare of that minor.Ē

I don't think they're going to take your 9 and 10 year-olds away if you just run up to the store for 30 minutes in the middle of the day.

To the OP: yes it is very hard the first time. As it should be. But it is extremely unlikely that anything will happen, and they have a way to contact you if something does. 9 and 10 is not too young for most children.
Let me clarify, when I worked for DCFS for 15 years there was not a *mandated* by law age where a child could not be left alone. I know the guidelines and requirements of DCFS by heart since I worked in the division of the Child Abuse Neglect Hotline.
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Old 01-12-2016, 01:20 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles>Little Rock>Houston>Little Rock
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I once came home from a quick errand to find my 10yo son in the bathroom applying bandages to his legs. He already had at least 20 on there and was going for the entire box.

I asked him what happened and he told me he wanted to try out my treadmill and accidentally pushed the 10 instead of the up arrow to increase the speed incrementally. He flew off the treadmill and scraped up his legs as it continued to run.

He had been warned repeatedly to leave it alone. When I left him he was in his room playing a video game. Who knows what possessed him to do that.

Even so, I still had to leave him alone at times. I was widowed and had no one to call to stop at the store.
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Old 01-12-2016, 01:44 PM
 
Location: USA
7,778 posts, read 9,621,396 times
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We left our 8 year old son and his 9 year old friend alone while we ran errands about an hour. Upon arriving home I noticed the toilet bowl was black with soot. The boys were clueless as to why. My husband accepted it, but I knew they'd done something to cause it.

The friend went home and I put our son on the rack... not really, but I made it clear to him we were going to be sequestered until I was told the truth. It took awhile, but this is the story: They filled the bowl with tissue as high as they could reach, then they set it on fire and let it burn down to the water and flushed the burnt paper on down. They "knew" it was safe because of the flush factor. They were too dumb to clean up the soot left in the bowl. It was several years before he didn't have to accompany us when we ran errands.

He may have been 9 and his friend 10 when this happened.
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Old 01-12-2016, 01:47 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in America
12,305 posts, read 10,065,116 times
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Have you asked your kids how they would feel being left home alone? My mother left us home alone for HOURS. I HATED it. I was also the built in free babysitter for 2 kids 4 and 5 years younger than me....I'm sorry but a 10 year old has NOT business taking care of a 5 year old and 6 year old. I was even watching them before I was 10. If someone would have stopped and asked how I felt about it, that would have been nice. I was just told I HAD to do it. No choice. So I was stuck being an adult and responsible by 10 years old...that's nuts! I had to make dinner and do household chores with that as well.
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Old 01-12-2016, 01:51 PM
 
10,090 posts, read 6,503,366 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ss20ts View Post
Have you asked your kids how they would feel being left home alone? My mother left us home alone for HOURS. I HATED it. I was also the built in free babysitter for 2 kids 4 and 5 years younger than me....I'm sorry but a 10 year old has NOT business taking care of a 5 year old and 6 year old. I was even watching them before I was 10. If someone would have stopped and asked how I felt about it, that would have been nice. I was just told I HAD to do it. No choice. So I was stuck being an adult and responsible by 10 years old...that's nuts! I had to make dinner and do household chores with that as well.
I was also taking care of my younger brother...built in baby sitter. I was also doing a lot of house chores and cooking for myself and sometimes my brother. I wouldn't do that.

They would love to stay home when I am running out for a few minutes. They ask all the time why they can't just stay home. My older one wants to for longer periods of time, like if I am taking my daughter someplace to play he is like "I'll stay home". Ummm...no you won't.

I have left them when I am in the neighborhood, like walking the dog or visiting with a neighbor. But they can run and get me in a second...and they know I am "around" so dumb ideas aren't as likely to take root.
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