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Old 03-26-2018, 07:14 PM
 
Location: Log "cabin" west of Bangor
5,487 posts, read 6,426,587 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
OTOH, some 12 year olds are mature enough to be babysitters themselves.
Absolutely. I was minding other people's kids when I was 10. At 12 I had a *real* job, as a janitor at the school, and went on weekend backpacking trips in the mountains. On Saturday evenings I would take my rifle and ride my bicycle to the gun club for a few hours of target practice.

I think kids are coddled far too much these days. Years ago, kids had far more responsibilities and were far more responsible than they seem to be these days. Once upon a time, by the age of 12 or 13 'kids' were expected to begin functioning as adults.

I could go on a diatribe about how I think that the [apparent] slide away from teaching kids to be responsible for their actions is a significant factor in a lot of the issues we are seeing in the US today, but that would probably be way too far off-topic.

Last edited by Zymer; 03-26-2018 at 07:25 PM..
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Old 03-26-2018, 07:33 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,481 posts, read 15,913,707 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zymer View Post
Absolutely. I was minding other people's kids when I was 10. At 12 I had a *real* job, as a janitor at the school, and went on weekend backpacking trips in the mountains.

I think kids are coddled far too much these days. Years ago, kids had far more responsibilities and were far more responsible than they seem to be these days. Once upon a time, by the age of 12 or 13 'kids' were expected to begin functioning as adults.

I could go on a diatribe about how I think that the [apparent] slide away from teaching kids to be responsible for their actions is a significant factor in a lot of the issues we are seeing in the US today, but that would probably be way too far off-topic.
I'm not sure how old you are but in my parents generation (at least in their area) it was expected that you get a full time job and, often, leave home at age 13. My mother did it, my father did it and their siblings and neighbors did it. No attending high school, like today. Once you graduated 8th grade your childhood was over and many of your adult responsibilities started. But today it is different. So it is not fair to compare your childhood and your maturity level with the maturity level of children today.

Last edited by germaine2626; 03-26-2018 at 07:45 PM..
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Old 03-27-2018, 05:32 AM
 
12,404 posts, read 9,199,643 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CGab View Post
Hi all, I'm sure there has been threads about this before but I'm asking for advice on my situation.


I started a new job this past September. I currently only work part time during school hours, but will be working full-time for the same company in the fall.


Here is my dilemma. I have two children, my oldest just turned 12 two weeks ago and my youngest will be 10 in June. I currently work 9-2 four days a week and my boss would like me to keep those hours in the summer. I work about 15-20 minutes away. I don't make enough to justify paying for a sitter and Indiana doesn't have any laws stating how old one needs to be to be home alone. We have started to leave them home for a few hours here and there and they are fine. My daughter is very responsible and has a cell phone, so I know she would be fine.


My concern is that we live in a new subdivision that is still building and there are about 30 (give or take) contractors in our neighborhood at any given time and that makes me a little nervous. I'm trying to give my 12 yr old more responsibility and heaven knows I stayed home alone when I was 8, but times are different now. The town we live in has very little crime, but there were a few home burglaries this past Christmas. There haven't been any since. There are a few neighbors I can call on in case of an emergency as well.


I can't cut my hours down very much (maybe a few) as a girl will be on maternity leave all summer. I can actually do my job from home, but my boss wants me in the office so he doesn't have to be! I like my job so I don't want to screw it up, but I also don't need it for our family to survive.


So what do you guys think? I feel at 12 it can go either way. Is 5.5 hours too long to leave them home alone? Would any parent here be comfortable with that? Do you do that now? Am I being silly or are my concerns valid?


Thanks!
What's the longest they have been left home alone thus far? If they've already done 4 hours before and did fine, you can try graduating them to 5.5 hours, as long as they are not uncomfortable with the idea and have things to do to stay occupied and an emergency contact. OTOH, if they have never done more than 30 minutes alone, now is not the time to go for 5.5 hours!
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Old 03-27-2018, 05:53 AM
 
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It depends on maturity but I would say between 10-12 years old for a few hours at a time at first.
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Old 03-27-2018, 06:21 AM
 
Location: New Yawk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncole1 View Post
What's the longest they have been left home alone thus far? If they've already done 4 hours before and did fine, you can try graduating them to 5.5 hours, as long as they are not uncomfortable with the idea and have things to do to stay occupied and an emergency contact. OTOH, if they have never done more than 30 minutes alone, now is not the time to go for 5.5 hours!
Agreed. My then 12-year-old was home alone last summer, but it was something we had worked up to over the course of several years.
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Old 03-27-2018, 06:43 AM
 
Location: SW Florida
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I was babysitting at 12 years old so if your daughter is mature and will be taking classes you can try it. I would make sure you have things to keep them entertained. Are they going to be alone Mon-Fri? Seems that would get rather boring for kids. Bored kids sometimes get into things they shouldn't.


Do you have any summer camps run by your county? Some of them even teach horseback riding. Ours charges by the day but you need to book them way in advance.
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Old 03-27-2018, 09:12 AM
 
Location: Dallas, TX and Las Vegas, NV
5,077 posts, read 3,772,849 times
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Can you negotiate a lunch break so you can go home in the middle of the day? Can you bring each girll singly to work with you one afternoon a week when you go home for lunch? Can you work from home 2x a week? Can you work half-days 2-3 days a week from home? These are all things you might negotiate with your boss.

I divorced my husband when I was working with a 5 year old child. It was a rough year with many changes. I had a job with some parts that required desk work that could easily be done from home. It was a crappy, conservative business but I was able to arrange to leave work at 2pm daily so I could be around for my child. Once you decide in your heart what makes sense, it helps you have conviction.

If you have to doubt if your kids will be ok, they may be ready but you are not.
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Old 03-27-2018, 10:15 AM
 
1,133 posts, read 402,316 times
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Just stay in touch with the older one during the day as much as you can without it messing with your job.You can face time her on your break or call her when you can(no text messaging because you never know who is responding back).As long as you're able to stay in touch a few times during the day..you'll be fine.It will be fine.
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Old 03-27-2018, 10:18 AM
 
Location: Dayton, OH
504 posts, read 198,157 times
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I believe the Red Cross offers babysitting classes for 12-year-olds.

I was faced with a similar decision many years ago when I had to return to work following my divorce. My boys were 10 and 12 at the time and would be by themselves for about 2.5 hours until I got home every day from work. I called the local Children's Protective Services to see what their guidelines were. The woman told me that the city/state had no hard and fast rules, and that individual communities determined their own standards. The reason CPS doesn't state a specific age is that there will always be situations when a person of that stated age should not be left alone. So much depends on maturity levels, mental development, etc. of the child/ren. The woman did say that it was usually safer to leave one child alone rather than a group of siblings who get each other into trouble.

She told me that when the fire or police come to a house, they decide on the spot whether or not they feel the children were in danger. The responders evaluate each case on its own merits. So if no neighbors ratted me out, then it wouldn't be a problem. Community standards are vastly different in the suburbs versus the hood. I told my kids to play inside until I got home from work, and fortunately, we never had a problem.

I was also lucky that the local Jewish Community Center offered classes for young kids - how to be safe at home alone. It was three days during which they learned about first aid, "stranger danger," how and when to call 911, etc. They got a certificate of completion at the end which I always felt would go along way if there had ever been a problem.

Fortunately for me, my two boys were fine alone. There was no way I could have ever afforded daycare on what I was making, we had no family nearby, and so I did what I had to do to keep a roof over our heads, and my boys knew it.
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Old 03-27-2018, 03:29 PM
 
Location: Log "cabin" west of Bangor
5,487 posts, read 6,426,587 times
Reputation: 9378
Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
I'm not sure how old you are but in my parents generation (at least in their area) it was expected that you get a full time job and, often, leave home at age 13. My mother did it, my father did it and their siblings and neighbors did it. No attending high school, like today. Once you graduated 8th grade your childhood was over and many of your adult responsibilities started. But today it is different. So it is not fair to compare your childhood and your maturity level with the maturity level of children today.
Ah, that's exactly what I was alluding to. Yes, I'm older, nearing retirement age. I started working real jobs when I was 11, I left home at 15...but I *did* stay in school and graduated High School, and several months later at the age of 17 I enlisted in the Army.

I think the comparison should be noted.
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