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Old 03-25-2018, 08:42 PM
 
Location: WI
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My kids were pretty good about things like not answering the door, being safe/using common sense in the kitchen, not getting into things they weren’t supposed to get into. My issue has more to do with what they’re actually doing during that time. Some kids are productive and imaginative; mine were not known for those traits Leaving them alone for five hours would’ve resulted in a lot of TV watched, too much ice cream eaten, and many video games played. Or constant “moooom, I’m bored” calls to my cell phone. I think they would’ve gone very stir crazy being home alone several days a week. Of course, it depends on the kids but my kids were always so much happier when they had activities outside of the home to go to.
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Old 03-25-2018, 10:39 PM
 
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I think it's too long an unstructured time to leave them home alone like this, and 5 days a week all summer long. They need something to go to, some activities, through the summer.

Does your town have a parks and rec program that they could go to? Those are usually pretty cheap, but even so, tuition for two would probably make it not worth it to work. But then you need a job in September while they're in school!

This is one of those dilemmas for which there is no good answer. Summer childcare is expensive. But I just don't think that it's right to leave a 12 year old home in charge of a 9 year old 30 hours/week for most of ten weeks.

Can you send them to grandparents for visits? I could see this if they had a day here and there at home like this, but not most of the summer.

Maybe you could pay a small amount to other moms for them to have paid playdates some of the time at the other mom's house? Of maybe you could trade childcare, such as your kids are there from 9-2, and you take theirs for afternoon swimming from 2-6, and have them over on a weekend evening so the other family could go out?
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Old 03-26-2018, 04:13 AM
 
Location: Finally the house is done and we are in Port St. Lucie!
3,069 posts, read 1,412,745 times
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I was babysitting for a working couple at the age of twelve.

I don't feel five hours is that long of time. I babysat eight hours a day, five days a week for that summer. Made some good money for school clothes that year!

Having said that, with having the new pool that you will be getting this summer... Temptation may be too great.

That is more worrisome than contractors or letting them get life experience in being responsible for themselves.
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Old 03-26-2018, 05:34 AM
 
3,799 posts, read 2,081,793 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robino1 View Post
I was babysitting for a working couple at the age of twelve.

I don't feel five hours is that long of time. I babysat eight hours a day, five days a week for that summer. Made some good money for school clothes that year!

Having said that, with having the new pool that you will be getting this summer... Temptation may be too great.

That is more worrisome than contractors or letting them get life experience in being responsible for themselves.
I was thinking the same thing about the pool. More likely to go wrong there.

I was babysitting full time at 13 during the summer but was barely mature enough. Doubt that a 12 and 10 year old would be ready.

But if there’s a college kid around available to make some money that could be the answer.
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Old 03-26-2018, 05:35 AM
 
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I think it depends on the child...son and I were discussing this last time they were home, and what he said made a lot of sense....from what he sees in his career with kids, and what he knows from experience, is the fact that kids are not as evolved as his mother's generation, and his generation.

When I was 8 years old, (and this is true) I was swimming at the pool, and a life guard, blew his whistle and asked me if I could swim across the pool "Sure" I replied and when I accomplished that I was on the swim team...which meant, that I was at the pool, morning, noon and evening until it closed, only going home fro lunch and dinner, while my mom worked. I made my own sandwich for lunch, and started dinner for my mom and I, b/c she had to go into work regardless....and I could go on and on, but our generation was more evolved and mature for our age.

I believe my son was 12 when I left him home all day, but we had neighbors with whom he had to check in with and had lunch with, plus there were a list of chores every single day, he had to do....(just to keep him busy)

So I agree with the others here, it depends upon their maturity level, not all kids evolve as quickly as others.
If you have the help of trusted neighbors, like we did, that is also a big help...
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Old 03-26-2018, 05:55 AM
 
15,312 posts, read 17,300,417 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CGab View Post
I worry about the contractors; not because they are contractors, but because they can see that I leave at the same time every morning leaving the house vulnerable.


Yes, they would have restrictions. No friends over, no playing outside (unless in the backyard which is fenced) and no answering the door. I also feel bad as we are getting a pool installed this year and I wouldn't allow them to swim until I get home.
I believe that your concern about so many strangers in your area is a valid concern. I wonder if there are any summer programs that you could drop your kids off at for them to be able to be doing something away from home while you work. Otherwise, I do think a babysitter would be a good idea.
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Old 03-26-2018, 08:20 AM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
35,748 posts, read 34,386,000 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kibbiekat View Post

For me, it would probably depend on how they behave together. Is there safety in numbers, or do they bicker when they are together?
To me, this ^^^ is the bigger question.

I was fine to stay by myself at a young age. But most of my friends who have siblings close in age have stories galore about the oldest turning tyrant the minute Mom pulled out of the driveway, and there are others whose sibling was basically a partner in crime for mischief while they were alone together. One friend talked about how he and his two brothers used to fight and wrestle each other all day long, only stopping to clean up 30 minutes before Mom was supposed to get home.

I agree that a short trial run is in order, and ask each child individually, separate from their sibling, how they think the experience went.
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Old 03-26-2018, 09:01 AM
 
1,576 posts, read 2,436,474 times
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I'd say the big factors are:

- Maturity of both kids
- Will your oldest "watch out" for the younger sibling even if she is mad at the sibling

As a parent, even when your children have you at the brink of sanity, you always look out for their welfare. Will your oldest child do that for the younger? Or will they get in a fight and the older one say "I don't care what you do!" and then the younger walks out the door.

Not to be an alarmist, but I think that's a key factor in this. You'd need the older sibling to recognize this, be able to resolve it, without being a pushover, and then contact you.
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Old 03-26-2018, 09:10 AM
Status: "Springtime in the Rockies" (set 18 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
82,788 posts, read 95,236,514 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dspguy View Post
I'd say the big factors are:

- Maturity of both kids
- Will your oldest "watch out" for the younger sibling even if she is mad at the sibling

As a parent, even when your children have you at the brink of sanity, you always look out for their welfare. Will your oldest child do that for the younger? Or will they get in a fight and the older one say "I don't care what you do!" and then the younger walks out the door.

Not to be an alarmist, but I think that's a key factor in this. You'd need the older sibling to recognize this, be able to resolve it, without being a pushover, and then contact you.
Excellent points! Stuff like that was always happening with my kids, although I think they circled the wagons when I left them home alone. I think keeping the time home alone short helped. I think it's wise not to over-estimate maturity at these pre-teen/early teen ages, too. Kids don't always think like adults.
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Old 03-26-2018, 09:31 AM
 
Location: Hillsborough
2,825 posts, read 5,803,094 times
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My oldest is 11 and in 6th grade (will turn 12 in 2 months) and stays home alone sometimes after middle school for an hour or two, but she hates staying home alone and avoids it whenever possible. I would not leave her home alone all day, nor would she be happy to be left home alone all day. Certainly not all day, every day, for the whole summer. She is a responsible A/B student, and the worst she would do is probably eat too much junk food, but she has anxiety and would be very unhappy.

My youngest is 8 and in 2nd grade (will turn 9 in 1 month) and I have not even really considered letting her stay home alone as long as she is still in elementary school, nor do I let her stay home with just her sister yet either. When we go out for a date night, we still get a babysitter just because my youngest needs one, even though my oldest really doesn't.

When they are on school break, they go to camp. There are fewer camps available for older kids, but they are out there. My kids both enjoy going to camp.

When I was a kid, I went to camp until I was old enough to work at the camp, and then I worked there as a CIT and then a junior counselor. My oldest could be a CIT at some camps this year, but she would prefer to continue being a camper for now, so that is what I signed her up for this year. Maybe your oldest would like to be a CIT, which could help offset some or all of the camp tuition for you.
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